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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering putting a trailer hitch on my Lexus 350. I need it to easily cart two bikes during the warm months to some out of town rides. During the cold months I don't need it because I can fit one bike in the back of the vehicle and won't be doing any out of town biking. Is it easy to put a hitch on and take it off? I do quite a bit of driving for work and don't want the extra weight.
 

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turtle killer.
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While it's not terribly difficult to remove one, I really don't see that the extra 40lbs will make enough difference to bother. We're talking about a very small percentage of vehicle weight here.

edit: This is if you're referring to the actual hitch, the rack itself should be dead simple and quick to remove.
 

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No need to remove the hitch, while it wouldn't be a big deal it is going to add about as much weight as a 3 year old and visually you probably won't even be able to notice that it's there unless you're looking for it.

Removing the rack for the bike will usually involving removing one hitch pin (or bolt, if anit-sway) and sliding the rack out of the hitch. Less than a minute involve in putting it on or off.
 

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Just Plain Bitter
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My wife and I share a Thule T2. I have a hitch on my CR-V and she has one on the minivan. One bolt holds the rack on to the hitch. It is easy to remove and replace, takes about 5 minutes. On the smaller cars like yours they make a kit that hides the hitch in your bumper when the rack is not installed.
 

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The bike hitch takes no more than 2 minutes to remove, and thats taking your time. much better than a roof rack because it doesnt eat up gas mileage or worry about driving into your garage with the bike on top or even parking garages.
Post photos when you get your hitch on the car!
 

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Joe the biker said:
I am considering putting a trailer hitch on my Lexus 350.

Which 350? IS, ES, RX,...?

I have an RX 350 on which I installed a Curt 2" hitch. Very easy to install using 4 existing tapped holes, but I wouldn't dream of taking it off.
 

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Depends on how the hitch receiver is installed. Some are installed using plated and bolts (PIA to install) that go inside the frame rails, once tightened they hold the hitch. If you loosen them those plates and bolts are loose and will not stay in place. You would have to fish them out of the frame to reuse them. Other racks simply bolt through the frame and clamp on the outside of the rails. These are typically quick and easy to take off.
 

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n00bsauce
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Once installed no one actually removes the entire hitch from a vehicle. Never seen or heard anyone do this for seasonal use. However, to install a hitch mounted bike rack the hitch must be a receiver type hitch. You can easily remove the ball mount from the hitch, it's connected by a pin and only takes a few seconds to remove. Likewise you remove the bike rack the same way, pull a pin and remove the rack from the hitch "receiver". Put a cover on the open end of the receiver and you hardly know it's there.
 

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Mel Erickson said:
Once installed no one actually removes the entire hitch from a vehicle. Never seen or heard anyone do this for seasonal use. However, to install a hitch mounted bike rack the hitch must be a receiver type hitch. You can easily remove the ball mount from the hitch, it's connected by a pin and only takes a few seconds to remove. Likewise you remove the bike rack the same way, pull a pin and remove the rack from the hitch "receiver". Put a cover on the open end of the receiver and you hardly know it's there.
I remove the one on my car when I take it to the dragstrip and seasonally because the car is never used for carrying the bike during the winter...but then again it takes only 5 minutes to remove and is a through bolt design.
 

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mopartodd said:
I remove the one on my car when I take it to the dragstrip ...

I leave it on my RX350 at the drags because I have wheelie bars and drag chute that attach to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
looigi said:
Which 350? IS, ES, RX,...?

I have an RX 350 on which I installed a Curt 2" hitch. Very easy to install using 4 existing tapped holes, but I wouldn't dream of taking it off.
I have the RX 350 also
 

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n00bsauce
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Joe the biker said:
I have the RX 350 also
You have an RX350 and you're worried about an extra 50# of hitch?
 

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looigi said:
I leave it on my RX350 at the drags because I have wheelie bars and drag chute that attach to it.
:D
Might be a good idea to weld the rack to the frame then, instead of putting trust in threaded bolts.
lol
 

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The RX350 is really an old ladies car. When I bought mine my wife was with me and the salesmen kept lapsing in to acting like it was for her even though I explained repeatedly it would be principally for me. Anyway, a hitch adds a bit of machismo to an otherwise effeminate rig. It says I got some serious toys and need a hitch to tow them around (I have boat and motorcycle trailer). Of course if all you use it for is a little pansy bike rack, nobody will know you don't have bigger toys. Whatever you do, don't get a 1.25" hitch. I don't know what people with these were thinking. (I got serious small toys?) Anywho... I've been considering getting some of these to hang off it but I'm a bit concerned about the added weight.
 

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TomH said:
the factory RX hitch is so much nicer than the aftermarket ones that loop over the exhaust.
??? All you can see of the Curt hitch is the receiver. It's hidden behind the bumper and above the plastic cover beneath the bumper. And it cost $140. What's so "nice" about the factory hitch?
 

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I ride in circles..
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I put a Curt class 1 hitch on my Impreza and picked up a Thule T2 rack. Got everything online with free shipping from Etrailers.com. Installed the hitch in maybe 10 minutes. Took longer to unbox the rack than get it set up.

If you have the room to store the rack I highly suggest it.
 

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TomH said:
the factory RX hitch is so much nicer than the aftermarket ones that loop over the exhaust.
If this is any help, typically aftermarket hitches (i.e. Curt, Draw-tite, etc) are more heavy duty than the OEM hitches.

OP, if you are looking for a hitch rack that you will remove often, consider a aluminum rack like the Kuat and 1UP. I have a Kuat Sherpa on my Acura TSX and a Thule T2 on a 4Runner...the Sherpa is almost half the weight of the T2.
 

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looigi said:
??? All you can see of the Curt hitch is the receiver. It's hidden behind the bumper and above the plastic cover beneath the bumper. And it cost $140. What's so "nice" about the factory hitch?
You dont have this ugly thing?


Theres nothing particularly special about the oem one, it just doesnt have the ugly loop that goes over the muffler. If different aftermarket ones no longer have that loop, then thats great too.
 

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TomH said:
You dont have this ugly thing?


Theres nothing particularly special about the oem one, it just doesnt have the ugly loop that goes over the muffler. If different aftermarket ones no longer have that loop, then thats great too.
The Curt hitch for '10+ Lexus RX350 does not have the support tube positioned under the muffler like the last gen. Rarely does Curt design their hitch to be so obtrusive unless the design of the car limits it to that type of style.

After reading on the Lexus forum, it seems like the OEM hitch is just as good as the aftermarket hitches, the only problem is that the OEM hitch requires a lot more work to install. The OEM hitch replaces the rear support beam requiring you to remove your rear bumper and other parts to get to the support beam.

Taken off another forum:






 
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