Category Archives: In-Store Difference

Yakima Hitch Bike Rack Family Vacation Rack Accessories

21st Sep 2017

Hitch 101

Hitches aren’t just for towing! They can carry rear-mounted bike racks, cargo boxes, scooter or motorcycle carriers, and more. When a roof rack won’t cut it or gets inconvenient (for example, reaching up high to grab bikes off the roof of SUVs can get a little old), hitches come in handy. In this Hitch 101 guide, we’ll cover the basics to help you confidently decide if a hitch is right for your vehicle.

The Basics

Trailer Hitch Towing Diagram Rack N Road

Vendors like Rack N Road provide aftermarket hitches. Generally speaking, aftermarket hitches are custom made for each individual vehicle. You need to know the year, make, and model of your car to get it set up with a hitch. These after-market custom hitches reduce dealership warranty conflict and match the carrying capacity of each vehicle. The type of vehicle determines what you should carry on the back of the car just as much as the hitch’s carrying capacity.

Every hitch has an informational sticker. This will display the gross trailer weight capacity (the amount of weight it can tow), and the tongue weight capacity (the amount of weight that can sit directly on the receiver). Never go over the towing or tongue weight capacity, and above all, never exceed the capacity of your vehicle. Those limits are there for a reason!

If towing is in your future, you’ll need a wiring connection installed. Typical wiring will connect running lights, brake lights, and turn signals to your trailer. If you’re not towing, you don’t need wiring unless you’re carrying a rack that requires an electrical connection or blocks the vehicle’s rear lights. The type of wiring and installation difficulty depends on the vehicle. Certain trailers require a brake control system, a more complicated installation that activates the trailer’s brakes as you brake in your own vehicle.

Rack N Road Outfitters have 25+ years of experience installing over 10,000 hitches.

Hitch installations may require fascia trimming, light drilling, or bumper removal; sometimes wiring needs to be run from the engine to the rear of the vehicle. For this reason, we recommend having a professional outfitter install hitches and wiring. At Rack N Road, we’ve never had a dealership warranty voided on our hands.

Not all hitches or hitch providers are created equal. Look for hitches that have two layers of coatings, inside and out, to prevent rusting and corrosion. Find a vendor that offers (limited) lifetime warranties, guarantee quality work, and are certified installers from hitch providers.

What do you want to carry?

Possibly the most important question at Rack N Road: What do you want to carry? Not every vehicle can handle every accessory, so it’s important to understand your carrying capacity. Use the chart below as a quick reference on what’s compatible with your vehicle.


A little explanation is warranted for how hitch tongue weight capacity affects carrying certain accessories. Imagine you’re holding a bowling ball in your hands close to your chest. Not so hard, right? Now imagine holding that bowling ball at arm’s length. The weight of the bowling ball didn’t change, but it’s a lot harder to hold. The same works for the tongue weight capacity of a hitch receiver. Class 1 and Class 2 hitches usually can’t handle the leveraged weight of platform bike racks, 4+ bike racks, cargo boxes, or motorcycle racks. Aside from the tongue weight capacity, some car frames are too weak and will bend under the weight of those accessories (which is why you can’t just add a higher capacity hitch to a Prius, for example). Sometimes the cars are simply too low to the ground, and the racks will drag and grind on the slightest of road bumps.

With all this in mind, Rack N Road employees have the experience to help you carry your gear safely and efficiently. If the hitch isn’t the best solution, we’ll set you up with a roof rack, or both! We install hitches every day, at every location, and have (probably) worked on every car under the sun.

Getting the hitch, getting on the road

Now that you know the basics and what you want, it’s time to put that knowledge to use!

  1. Call your local RNR. Tell us the year, make, and model of your vehicle, and what you want to carry. We’ll set you up with a quote, and order your products if they aren’t in stock. Ordering typically takes 3-5 business days.
  2. Schedule an installation. Most installation ranges from 1-2 hours, but certain vehicles take 3-4. We promise to get you out in one day. Fair warning, some stores are extremely busy in the summer – try to give yourself a week or two of scheduling time.
  3. Get educated! Our employees will show you what they’ve installed, how it works, and answer any questions you have. Feel free to check out our snazzy product showroom.

29th Dec 2015

Try our rental program this winter!

Are you unfamiliar with roof racks? Never put a cargo box on top of your vehicle? Well, we at Rack N Road have a simple and easy solution for you. Before you spend an ample amount of money this winter, we recommend trying our rental program. Customers come into our stores everyday wondering what roof rack would work best for their vehicle, how expensive will everything be, is this something they will use on a consistent basis, and is it worth the cost. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge, try the product out first to answer your questions.

If you only need an accessory for a short period of time, renting is a great way to save hundreds. If you want to try something before you buy it, all your rental costs go towards purchasing the item!

Getting Started
Does your car already have the foundation to carry accessories? Almost all accessories need a roof rack or a trailer hitch to carry them. If you don’t have crossbars on the roof, let us know if you have any side rails, fixed points, or a bare roof, and we’ll get you set up with the proper fitting rack. Because non-permanent roof racks require a very specific vehicle kit, the only thing you’ll have to buy outright is the fit kit. The rest of the rack is available to rent!

What Do You Need?
Planning on a road trip and need extra storage? Need an easy way to take your skis up to the mountain? Want to try out a hitch rack to see if you like it before you buy it? Rack N Road has plenty of items to rent, and plenty of possibilities. Narrow down what item you need and how long you need it for. Consider the size of your vehicle while figuring out your needs; a cargo box would be a great space saver for a Prius, but it should be a smaller box for the smaller car and may not fit some specialty items or a large amount of luggage.

Get in Touch
Every store has different rental item availability, it’s always a good idea to call ahead to see if they have an item you’re looking for and to see about pricing. After that, come down to the store with your vehicle and we’ll take care of the rest! We’ll show you how to use your rental to ensure you’re good to go.

13th Nov 2015

Get 20% Off Yakima this November!!!

Come on down to Rack N Road for our annual Yakima Sale!

The sale is going to last from November 13th-30th and will include all Yakima products except Whispbar products. In order to get the full benefits of this sale all you have to do is go to our sale page and enter your email. We’ll send you a coupon to either present on your phone in store, or print out and bring it down with you.

Once you get down to the store you can check out some of our favorite Yakima gear for 20% off! This includes all cargo boxes, perfect for carrying all your wet skis and boots home from a long day on the mountains or saving space traveling with family for the holidays. We understand cargo boxes can be a one of the bigger investments in the vehicle accessory market, so this is a perfect time to get the best deal on one of the best accessories out there.

Pro tip: if you have skis or boards you plan on carrying in a cargo box, check the length of your longest skis and compare them to the dimensions of the box to ensure they will fit.  We do carry a variety of cargo box sizes and styles, but if you really have your heart set on a particular box it’s always a good idea to call beforehand to see if we have it in stock. If we don’t have it on hand, ask about ordering times or one of the many alternatives!

You can also check out our favorite ski rack we discussed here, the Yakima FatCat 6. The FatCat 6 perfectly marries form and function, and gives you lots of room to carry up to 6 skis or 4 snowboards. Of course, you could check out the FatCat 4 for a lower price point, but regardless you’ll be getting a good price with the 20% off coupon.

Yakima FatCat 6

We still stock summer accessories in addition to the winter gear, so if you missed the Yakima fall or summer sale and really wanted that bike rack – give your local Rack N Road a call to check if we have it in stock. Or if you don’t even have a roof rack that is necessary to carry most Yakima products, the entire base rack system is on sale (including crossbars, Q-Towers, and Q-Clips, although we highly recommend our awesome custom installations) to get you started.

If your unfamiliar with Yakima and products in general, don’t hesitate to get in contact with one of our store employees and we would be more than happy to point you in the right direction!

29th Jul 2015

Trade-In & Trade-Up for End of Summer Savings!

Check out all the recycled and certified used racks we have!

Check out all the recycled and certified used racks we have!

We were recently asked by a long time customer, “What should I do with all of the old gear and racks lying around in my garage?”  The answer: Trade-In and Trade-Up for Savings!

He brought in all his old gear including bike mounts, ski racks, a cargo carrier, kayak mounts, and a bunch of loose parts and accessories.  To his surprise, we took it all.  We gave him a fair shake for what he offered and the best part was, it was enough to finally get the new cargo basket he’d been wanting!

We’ve been doing trade-ins for as long as we’ve been in business and we make sure to tell everyone who comes in that we deal with recycled racks and certified used gear.  But some customers are all about getting the brand new stuff all while letting their old racks collect dust in their garage.  We are here to provide you with all the latest and greatest gear, but don’t forget to bring in your old racks and accessories and trade-up to something new!!