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Confessions of a trailer hitch dummy

4139 Views 21 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  ExCivilian
Hello! I ordered a bike rack for the trailer hitch and the rack looks like it works with a Class 2. I see there are 1 1/4" to 2" adapters. Is there any reason I wouldn't be able to use an adapter to solve this problem? Thank you in advance.
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You can use an adapter. They will have more play than a true fit connection so you might hear more noise from it. They'll also extend the rack an extra 4-6" so be mindful of that and if that concerns you.
Hello! I’m trying to install my hitch adapter but the plastic bumper on the left is preventing the adapter from going all the way in and being flush on the right. Therefore the pin hole (in the middle) is not aligning for me to insert the pin. Am I supposed to drill anther hole in the left indentation to make it work? View attachment 2954
No, don't drill anything. The reason things aren't lining up is because you're using a Class II adapter in a Class I receiver.
I'm not certain, but Class II has a longer shank and is designed that way on purpose so that you can't put it into a Class I receiver. A 1 7/8" ball maxes out at 2,000lb, which is Class I max.

I would have to look into converting between metric and imperial to determine if that is causing the discrepancy. It wouldn't be the first time VW mislabeled it's vehicle's tow capacity. Often they don't even state a US capacity and just say it's not supported.
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Issue solved. Thank you for all the input. The adapter 1 1/4” to 2” from Harbor Freight was slightly too tall so the holes were not aligning. I took it back and got a slightly shorter one from AutoZone. It wasn’t perfect but with some pressure I was able to push it in and align the holes. I also learned the adapter required a 1/2” pin (instead of 5/8”) and that was just long enough. I’m in inbusiness with my bike rack.
Is 1-1/4 in. to 2 in. Hitch Adapter the one not to buy?
According to all documentation that I have seen, the receiver is a 1-1/4" class II.
1.25" receivers can be either Class I or Class II. The differences are in the weight restrictions (200/2000 for Class I; 350/3500 for Class II) and that Class I receivers have a tab inside to prevent Class II accessories from fitting correctly. Then the ball and ball shank will also have a weight rating. Pretty sure 1.25" receivers are simply legacy and we should just do away with them.

If you find a ball-mount shank that is too long to fit into a 1.25" receiver you are trying to fit a Class II ball-mount into a Class I hitch. Drilling new holes in the receiver or cutting the ball-mount shank are not safe or correct remedies to that situation. In this scenario, it sounds like the problem was the bumper surround rather than the shank. Regardless of whether the FE has a Class I or II hitch, drilling the receiver tube still isn't the answer to that problem--buying a correctly fitting accessory was. If that wasn't possible the next best solution would have been to shave the bumper surround.

Altering the receiver tube or ball-mount shank changes the load rating. Even without alteration, the adapter has reduced the effective load rating by 50%. If I'm not mistaken, the load rating for that receiver is now 100/1100.
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Bought this tonight and this one does work.

There's some kind of rock guard under the car that the end of the shank just barely pushes up against (maybe 1mm) but with enough pressure it will seat. It will either rub a spot into the plastic or one could grind/file the end of the shank.
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