Class III receiver hitch to mount 4 bikes on 2008 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Mike_10, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Mike_10

    Mike_10 Member

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    Hi there,
    I'm looking for a solution to carry 4 bikes (of which 2 kids bikes) on a hitch bike rack on my 2008 prius.

    I know there are 1 1/4" and 2" hitches. And I know that there are several classes of hitches:
    Trailer Hitch Class FAQ

    I went through many of the threads regarding hitches and bike carriers on the forum. I noticed some are from a while back and some are about hitches and carriers for a 2010 model. Lot's is written about the coastaletech hitch but for the 2004-2008 version I see for both the 1 1/4 and 2" hitches: "the product you are inquiring about is no longer available for purchase" (at least today).

    My questions are for my 2008 prius and since I want to fit 4 bikes I'm thinking about a Class II or III hitch.

    My first choice (Class III hitch):
    2004-2009 Toyota Prius - "NO-DRILL" Class 3 Trailer Hitch
    $125.95

    Alternative (Class I hitch):
    Trailer Hitch for 2008 Toyota Prius | etrailer.com
    $ 126.95

    Although I'm aware of a quite nice "suspenders" solution from gordonr mentioned in a post started in 2006 in case the bike rack tends to tip, I was hoping to avoid this set up:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-prius-modifications/24660-hitch-mount-bike-rack-suspenders.html

    The calculations by gordonr were insightful. They suggest that a Class II or Class III hitch must be much better than a Class I hitch:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...ch-mount-bike-rack-suspenders.html#post317196



    The kind of questions I have are:

    1. Should I get a 1 1/4" and 2" hitch?

    2. Does someone have a particularly good or bad experience with the two hitches above when carrying 3 or 4 bikes?

    3. Have others recently bought different hitches than the ones I mention to carry 3 or 4 bikes?



    Any help / comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    I just installed a Curt Class 1 about a month ago. The 11428. I got it here about $145 delivered including tongue and pin lock. All it needs is a ball:

    2004-2009 TOYOTA PRIUS TRAILER HITCH 11468 - eBay (item 200573021371 end time Apr-05-11 15:35:35 PDT)

    eCustomhitch were great. Fast ship to my door brand new in a box. Its pretty heavy duty. Not sure if the tongue weight of 4 bikes requires a Class III hitch. Man I hope not. I can't see it being more than 200 lbs tongue which a Class I should handle no problem but maybe its a big wind load. I don't know. I do not have bikes just a little trailer which it pulls fine.

    Bad news:

    Like alot of other Curt customers I found mine was built crooked also. Although the paint and welds are near perfect there welding set up jig really is bad. Alot of people here report the side to side mount dimension was off because the mounting ears were either bent in or out. Mine were bent in and additionally the drilled holes to mount up to the existing threaded holes in the Prius frame were off. I had to bend the ears out with a bottle jack and drill a new hole in one mounting bracket..
    One side was perfect. The other side was 3/4 of an inch off.
    Horrible QC. It turned a very easy job of lifting that big bracket up to the existing threaded holes and simply bolting it in the frame into a pain in the a$$ 4 hour job.

    It would have been much much harder if it was a bigger heavier Class III hitch.

    So I guess the moral of the story is if you are having someone install it be ready for some grumbling and maybe an extra charge when they find out what a bear it is. Or maybe you'll get lucky and it will be perfect!!!

    There's lots of posts about the Curt. Good Luck!
     
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  3. justlurkin

    justlurkin Señor Member

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    I looked at all the hitches you linked to, and they ALL look like the same Curt hitch.

    Aside from the CoastalTech hitch (which is not very well-designed and several owners have had structural failures with it), the Curt Hitch is pretty much the only choice you have for the Prius.

    I would NOT attempt to carry 4 bikes with any of the Prius hitches unless you can jury-rig a stabilizing strap system like what GordonR has done.

    I own the Curt hitch.. At the most I would carry just 2 road bikes with it.

    I didn't have much problems with the install. Mine also had a bent mounting flange, but it was easy to bend it back straight, by standing on the bent end and using the rest of the hitch as a very big lever to bend it back. :D
     
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  4. Mike_10

    Mike_10 Member

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    Your right... both the "Draw-Tite Trailer Hitch for the 2008 Prius by Toyota" ("Class 1, 1-1/4 Inch Hitch Opening") and the "2004-2009 Toyota Prius - NO-DRILL Class 3 Trailer Hitch ("Class 3, 2 Inch Hitch Opening)" look very similar and both state "up to 200 Pounds tongue weight". So both are Class 1.

    And indeed here I see that the "Draw-Tite" version and the "Curtis" at "etrailer" are marketed with the same picture:Trailer Hitch for 2008 Toyota Prius | etrailer.com

    Good to know. Thanks.
     
  5. Mike_10

    Mike_10 Member

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  6. bretaz

    bretaz Member

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    I, too, have been considering all options since I bought my car 3 months ago. I know I don't want a roof mount or trunk mount. The nicest hitch I found was the Curt. I did go looking at REI for a rack, and they had a light weight one that looked nice. But, I don't think I would put 4 bikes on the back of our cars with any set up. I think 2 max.

    Then I saw this! I so want one!
    SportsRig Micro Trailers: Kayak Trailer. Bike Trailers. Lightweight trailer for kayaks, bikes, canoes, cargo, camping gear, boats, storage boxes. Manufacturer and dealer. USA Made trailers for your vehicle. Eco-friendly trailers for fuel efficiency.
     
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  7. Mike_10

    Mike_10 Member

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    I know... isn't that trailer awesome. BTW: You shouldn't load that trailer up with too much weight because the (energy regenerating) brakes of the Prius are supposedly not designed for stopping more than the weight of the Prius and it's passengers. (But than again, our family with two kids under 7 weighs less than 4 average American adults... so a tiny trailer could work :rolleyes:)
     
  8. bretaz

    bretaz Member

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    I just think that trailer is sweet. Did you decide on which hitch yet? Which rack are you looking at? I am looking at this rack, it will only carry 3, but I think the most I would be carrying is 2.

    Thule Helium 3 Bike Hitch Rack at REI.com
     
  9. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Last year for $99 from walmart I got a 4 bike hitch that fits a Class III 2" receiver. I used it twice. I like it and it feels pretty secure.
     
  10. NClark

    NClark Junior Member

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    I know this is an older thread but I have searched throughout here and haven't seen anything more recent. Is there nobody anymore making a 2-inch hitch for the Gen II Prius? We have a 2009 and it's the touring model if that makes any difference. We are just now thinking we'd like to add a bike rack, for two bikes only, and there doesn't seem to be any manufacturer making a 2" hitch for this model. You may ask why the 2-inch, or think that's it's overkill for just two bikes, but we like to go as solid and secure as possible so if a 2-inch hitch is available anywhere, with a good reputation, any assistance would e much appreciated.
     
  11. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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