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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I drive a 2008 Toyota RAV4 with an externally mounted spare tire. Is it possible to use a hitch-mounted bike rack? Ongoing shoulder problems would make it difficult to use a roof rack and spare-tire mounts seem kind of flimsy. I'm tired of putting a dirty, wet bike into my clean car with the rear seat down.
 

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Your RAV4 should be an ideal candidate for a hitch-mount rack. Go to the Yakima website and you can enter your car information and it will tell you which racks will fit. A decent hitch rack will fold down so you can still open the rear hatch without removing the rack.

IMHO, hitch racks are far superior to roof racks, and I have used both. Roof racks create a lot of wind noise, reduce gas mileage -- plus you can hit things like garage doors. Hitch racks don't make any noise, have less effect on gas mileage and don't stick up where they can hit things (although someone could always rear end you and damage your bikes that way).
 

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I would suggest that you use a hitch rack that uses trays to support the bike rather than one that hangs the bike from the top tube. I do agree that a hitch rack is superior to a roof rack. One advantage not mentioned above is that they are much easier to remove from the car when you are not using.
 

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I would suggest that you use a hitch rack that uses trays to support the bike rather than one that hangs the bike from the top tube.
+1

After seeing bikes held by the top tubes, swing and sway into each other on cheap hitch racks, I spent the long buck on a Yakima Holdup. With the first use I knew I'd made the right decision. The bikes don't move. Period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok (smiling) I am 63 and have had shoulder surgery twice in the last three years. I have come to accept that overhead lifts are not in my future. But at least the old guy is still able to put some miles in on his bike. Give him a break.

Actually, I ordered a Yakima Doubledown 2 bike rack (2012) model this afternoon. Got a good deal from REI. I won't use it so much that the added expense of the other carriers mentioned seemed warranted. Thanks again for your input.
 

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+1

After seeing bikes held by the top tubes, swing and sway into each other on cheap hitch racks, I spent the long buck on a Yakima Holdup. With the first use I knew I'd made the right decision. The bikes don't move. Period.
Not a disagreement, in the sense that tray racks are tops; but not all hanging racks have that problem. Good ones have brackets that swing down to hold the seat tube and keep things steady. There are applications where hanging racks work out better, especially where rear vehicle access is important. Some of the tray models do lean down to let the rear gate open, but for access with large dogs, etc, some of the hanging models give better access.
 

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I have a 2007 Rav4 and I use a hitch mounted bike rack and it works great. There are 2 things to be aware of though, you will not be able to use the rear door with a bike in place and if you are using the OEM receiver you may need an extension because the OEM receiver is recessed under the bumper. If you are using an aftermarket receiver you shouldn't have any issues as they stick out further. Let me know if you have any questions. Here are some pictures of my set up.

View attachment 275851

View attachment 275852

SS-
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, I have an after-market class III hitch and I am pretty sure it sticks out far enough. I talked it over with a bike technician at REI and we concluded a problem is unlikely - and if there is one, REI has a 100percent satisfaction guarantee.
 

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My Yakima hitch rack doesn't interfere with the rear door if you fold it down, which is very simple to do. Some hitch racks won't fold down, so that is a feature you would want to look for. Also, my rack holds bikes by the top and seat tubes, and they do not sway or rub the bumper or other bikes if used properly. My rack has adjustable straps the that wrap around the top and seat tubes. I also use bungee cords to keep the front wheel from rotating or wobbling and to keep the frame from swaying. It is all very secure and stable.
 

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I had a Yakima Holdup, which I thought was ok at best. Should of went 1up the first time.
 
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