How to Install a Hitch for a Bike Rack

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If you want to travel to distant locations for bike riding purposes, then you will have to be able to mount your bike to your vehicle somehow. Installing a trailer hitch for a hitch-mounted bike rack is ideal because it is the most versatile hitch you can use according to Consumer Reports. Not all vehicles will be able to accommodate a trailer hitch, specifically smaller vehicles or vehicles with low ground clearance. It is important that you purchase a hitch that fits your particular vehicle. Installing a trailer hitch can be a simple process, provided that you have the right tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Trailer hitch
  • Socket wrench
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Jack the rear of the vehicle up and set jack stands underneath both sides of the frame. This will provide better security than a jack alone.

  • Put the hitch together. All hitches are assembled differently, with different variations of the cross, draw-bar, pins and clips. The model of hitch that you purchased will be accompanied by instructions per the manufacturer. Assemble it as shown, then hold it up to the rear frame of the vehicle to ensure that it fits.

  • Clamp the hitch to the center of the rear frame, using C-clamps large enough to fit it tightly. Look underneath to see where you need to drill the holes into the frame to mount the hitch. At this point, you are using the hitch as a template to place the appropriate drill holes.

  • Drill the holes for the bolts into the frame. Depending on the thickness of the bolts, use a bit that is 1/16 inch larger in diameter than the bolts provided for the hitch.

  • Insert the bolts into the frame and screw them down tightly, using a socket wrench. Slide your bike rack into the hitch, then lock it into position.

Tips & Warnings

  • Exercise extreme caution when working underneath a vehicle.
  • Always wear adequate eye protection when drilling into metal.

References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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