Whether you’re going hiking, camping, or biking, a hitch-mounted cargo rack or bike rack can make your trip much easier. You can carry your bikes or supplies outside of your vehicle without having to lift them up top and risk scuffing or scratching your car’s paint. They can allow you extra room in the cab to make your trip more comfortable, and give you more room for other supplies inside the car.
Luckily, installing a cargo or bike rack is quick and easy. All you need is the rack, a receiver hitch, and a hitch pin and clip. If your vehicle doesn’t have a hitch yet, we have a full blog article on how to choose the right one for your car or truck.
For a cargo or bike rack, you need to know the size of the shaft that slides into the receiver hitch tube. Make sure you pick a hitch that has a tube that matches your bike or cargo rack’s shaft. It’s better to get a bigger tube than a smaller one. If the tube size doesn’t match your shaft size, you can always get an adapter to make things fit. Also, make sure you get the right size pin. These usually come in 1/2″ or 5/8″ sizes. Measure the width of the pin holes on the side of your receiver tube to figure out what size pin you need. Once you have your pin, clip, receiver (and adapter, if you need one), you’re ready to get started. Installing these is always much easier if you have another person with you to give you a hand.
How to install your cargo or bike rack
1. Slide the shaft of your cargo or bike rack into the tube of the receiver
2. Line the pin holes on the side of the shaft of the rack up with the ones on the side of the receiver tube.
3. Slide the hitch pin through the holes.
4. Snap the clip onto the pin by sliding the straight prong through the hole on the pin. It should come to rest with the pin resting between the middle “hump” in the curved prong on the clip.
Always follow the instructions that come with your cargo or bike rack when you install and use it.
When you use your cargo or bike rack, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s weight limits and limit the number of bikes on your bike rack to the number it was designed to carry.