5 Best Trailer Hitch For Bike Rack to Carry Bikes in 2023

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Cycling is often regarded as one of the most shared fascinations of a person. It doesn’t know the limit of age or race or culture. Almost everywhere around the world, you’ll find people mad about it. For some, it’s a way of enjoying the freshness of nature, and for others, it a means of a healthy lifestyle.

But sometimes, this easy and popular means of pure entertainment requires attention. Carrying your bike is one of such issues that often ask questions. And if you need to transport your bike far frequently using your car, then you know that the necessity of a proper hitch.

Besides, for road trips or camping excursions, a good hitch rack for mounting your bike is mandatory. But the problem is, most of the bikers can’t determine the best hitch for themselves. Hence, end up buying the wrong kind that neither suits their cars nor does it adjust with the bike racks.

In the following piece of writing, you’ll be provided with in-depth information about the best trailer hitch for bike rack of recent time. In the end, you’ll be able to learn the pros and cons of a hitch and the reason behind its popularity. So, let’s move on.

Best Trailer Hitch For Bike Rack – Quick Chart

Best PickAllen Sports 4-Bike Hitch RacksCURT 13182 Trailer Hitch
  • GTW: 6000 lbs
  • TW: 600 lbs
  • Hitch class: 3
  • Hitch receiver: 2″
Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch RacksDraw-Tite 76034 Hitch
  • GTW: 4,500 lbs
  • TW: 675 lbs
  • Hitch class: 3
  • Hitch receiver: 2″
budget pickAllen Sports 4-Bike Hitch RacksReese Towpower 44569 Hitch
  • GTW: 5000 lbs
  • TW: 500 lbs
  • Hitch class: 3
  • Hitch receiver: 2″
VersatileAllen Sports 4-Bike Hitch RacksCURT 13146 Hitch
  • GTW: 6000 lbs
  • TW: 900 lbs
  • Hitch class: 3
  • Hitch receiver: 2″
Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch RacksDraw-Tite 75579 Hitch
  • GTW: 4,000 lbs
  • TW: 400 lbs
  • Hitch class: 3
  • Hitch receiver: 2″

What Makes Trailer Hitch Different from others?

Well, there are different types of hitches. They come up with special features and purposes in the making. Trailer hitch not only provides a strong platform for bike racks, but it also offers firm towing flexibility for carrying anything that you might need.

Since trailer hitches are installed at the back end of your car, it’s really easy to do perform the process. Perhaps, you can do solely do it without any expert’s help. All you need is few common tools to bolt the screws to your car and make the hitch ready to carry your bikes.

Trailer Hitch

If you are familiar with loading a bike to a roof-mounted rack alone, I’m sure you must have felt very annoyed at times. Because the roof-mounted rack needs overhead lifting. This is tiresome work and it might ruin your mood and eventually can cause the trip.

Well, not thistime. Because you have the trailer hitch which is very easy for mounting the bike racks and it also requires a little time to complete the loading process without any third hand in the operation. Also, it’s way safer than the overhead bike racking.

Thus, trailer hitches are best in case your car doesn’t have enough height clearance. It is really important to understand that whenever bikes are racked over your roof-top, it’ll increase an extra one and a half meters inheight. It’s a disadvantage that it may stop you from drive underneath a low pass.

Setting Up A Trailer Hitch

The first question that might come to your mind that – is it too difficult to set up the trailer hitch?

No, not at all. To be honest, trailer hitches are the easiest one which that requires so little maneuver to your bike racks with. You just need to fasten one bolt at your hitch receiver to set up your bike racks. You can carry up to five bikes at a time depending on the bike rack’s capacity.

Setting Up A Trailer Hitch
Trailer hitches are the easiest one which that requires so little maneuver to your bike racks with. Photo: instructables.com

In most cases, trailer hitches come in four common categories. This determines the capacity of carrying the weight of a particular hitch. You’ll be glad to know that the lightweight trailer hitch has a towing capacity of 2,000 lbs.

I should mention to you that the average road bikes weigh between 17-80 lbs. That means even the least trailer hitch is way more capable of carrying three or four bikes at once. But you have to keep in mind that it’s not about the hitch always. You got to understand your bike rack’s potentials too.

Because we have two separate factors in operation here to carry your bike. One is the trailer hitch that is mounted to the rear bottom end of your car. In the second stage, we have a bike rack that is attached to the receiver end of the hitch to hold your bike.

The hitching setup is so easy. All you need to do is remove the bolts from the bottom of your car. You’d be glad to know that most of the cars come up with built-in hitching functions. And those bolts are mounted to your car beforehand. Just unscrew them and pin the hitch in place and you are all set.

Well, some of you might wanna know how would you understand if the hitch is appropriate for your bike rack or not. Let me tell you how you can determine it.

First, you have to take note that the class 3 trailer hitch receivers come in two standard sizes. One of them is 1.25 square inches and the other one is 2squire inches. Similarly, the bike racks are also made keeping the dimension of the hitch receiver in consideration.

In case you end up buying the wrong bike racks for your trailer hitch, don’t start panicking. You don’t need to change your hitch or racks. Because there are adapters that you can find from your rack maker. Install one of them and you can adjust your racks according to the receiver of the hatch.

Top 5 Trailer Hitches That Can Effortlessly Carry Your Bike Racks

There are lots of trailer hitch in the market for carrying your bike. But you should know that this is not the trailer hitch’s sole purpose. They are good at pulling much bigger things such as boats, cargo, food carts, etc. So, it’skind of a bonus for you that you can use your trailer hitches for other stuff too.

However, when you want to own something, you would always prefer the best one. I bet you won’t be eager to choose a weak trailer hitch just because you’ll be carrying your bikes, would you? So, this article is a manifestation of a well-researched and equipped with of the toughest hitches around.

However, we’ll be focusing more on trailers hitches that fit well for bike racks. Let’s find out some of the best trailer hitches that you can install in your car for bike racks as well as some other things too.

Here are the best picks from the dozens of trailer hitches. So, fasten your seatbelt, and let’s find out the best one for you.

1. CURT 13182 Class 3 Trailer Hitch for Bike Rack

Best Pick
CURT trailer hitch for bike rack
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Carbon Steel
  • Gross Trailer Weight: 6,000 lbs
  • Tongue weight: 600 lbs
  • WD GTW: 7,500 lbs
  • WD TW: 750 lbs
  • Class 3 trailer hitch
  • Hitch receiver: 2 inches
Check Price on Amazon

Before I tell you about the product, should spend few words on the company itself. Because this US-based company made towing things so much easier for everyone. CURT has been the pioneer of producing top-class hitches that ensures quality as well as safety.

The CURT 13182 is a class 3 trailer hitch. Well, for a better understanding, you should know that the hitches are classified according to their weight capacity. Class 3 types are also known as heavy-duty hitches which are attached to the frame of the vehicle. You can tow up to 6000 lbs of weight by it.

Now, let’s discuss the CURT 13182’s build quality and other features.

First of all, let’s talk about the design of the product. CURT uses real-life cars to create the perfect design of their hitches. The cutting-edge software ensures the angles and load distribution of the hitch are well balanced and safe to operate.

There are times when you can’t compromise with the durability of things. When it comes to hitching, the first thing you’d like to know is whether it has enough strength to keep things together. Well, you can be assured that CURT has a combination of robotic and manual arms for premium welding.

The production house ensures that all the hithes are to their optimal strength and the weld lines are perfectly aligned so that you don’t face any difficulties to set up the hitch in the precise position. But you might need to remove any unwanted dirt from your car’s hitch mounting area for a better fitting.

The CURT 13182 is automatically scraped to smoothen the surface of the hitch. For long-lasting protection from rust, they’ve used Bonderite undercoating all around the hitch. Hold on, they weren’t happy with all these yet. Hence, for an extra shiny finish,a special black powder coat is applied.

This advanced coating ensures your hatch doesn’t catch any kind of rust. Sometimes, a discolored or faded hitch mightruin your car’s vibe. So, CURT, with a UV-resistant coating over it, made sure that the unruly sun doesn’t fade away from your hitch’s shiny surface.

Now let’s move on to the technical sides of the trailer hitch.

Like all other standard class 3 trailer hitches out there, you have a 2×2 inches hitch receiver for the CURT 13182. You can set up your bike’s rack very easily because most of the common bike racks come in the mentioned diameter.

Besides using your bike rack, it also allows you to tow other things. You’d be glad to know that this class 3 trailer hitch can accept ball mount, cargo carrier as well as tow hook. While pulling something big, you should keep in mind that its weight distribution capacity is 7500 lbs.

It is tested per SAE J684 for safety. So, you shouldn’t be worried about towing your stuff at all. The solid material used in it allows you to use it to its limit. So, if you are considering it for your bike racks, there shouldn’t be any doubt.

2. Draw-Tite 76034 Class III Round Tube Max-Frame Receiver

Runner Up
Draw-Tite 76034 hitch
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Gross Trailer Weight: 4,500 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 675 lbs
  • WD GTW: 5,000 lbs
  • WD TW: 500 lbs
  • Class 3 trailer hitch
  • Hitch receiver: 2 inches
Check Price on Amazon

Draw-Tite is also a premium brand in producing the vehicles’custom fits. They’ve been making high-quality hitches and towing products since 1947 out of pure passion. The Draw-Tite 76034 is one of such products which was first introduced in 2017 for various type of vehicles.

The class 3 trailer hitch comes ina round tube. The difference between a wide squire frame and a round tube is the weight. Usually, the latter one is much lighter than the other. Some people believe that the square-shaped hitches are stronger ones. But if you’re one of them, then it’s disappointing.

Because all the class 3 hitches that come from the Draw-Titemeet V-5 and SAE J684 standards. That means the products are capable of carrying a heck of a load. It is designed for modern-day trucks, sport-utilityvehicles, and standard cars.

This hitch comes in 2 inches squire receiver tubes. You can attach any kind of bike racks to it with minimum effort. You don’t even need to buy any extra screws or parts for the installation. Because they have included the hitch installation screws in the packaging box.

There is no additional drilling or welding is needed for the installation. All you need to do is just attach it to the frame of your car and bolt it with your hand and tighten it with a simple tool. Voila! You are all set to go.

To ensure a confident look, they have introduced computer-aided designing, also known as CAD to reach the appropriate weight distribution dimension. These hitches are fatigue tested and are committed to top-class towing performance.

Similar to the CURT 13182 trailer hitch, this item also has a rust-proof coating all around. The A-coat formula ensures that the color and look of the hitch remain the same for years no matter how tough the weather condition is. Be it sun or rain, your hitch will shine like new for several years.

All the max-frame receiver hitch is custom-built. Draw-Tite has designed its hitches each time a new model of car was introduced. You’ll find your precise trailer hitch according to the manufacturer and model-year specifications.

Though you’ll be using the trailer hitch as a bike rack carrier, still you should know the maximum towing capacity of the hitch. Usually, max-frame receivers are rated upto 8000lbs. So, you can tow anything heavy as well as your bike racks. It’ll be an easy job for the receiver to carry three or four bikes at once.

3. Reese Towpower 44569 Class III Custom-Fit Hitch For Bike

Budget Pick
Reese Towpower 44569
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Steel
  • Gross Trailer Weight: 5000 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 500 lbs
  • WD GTW: 5,000 lbs
  • WD TW: 500 lbs
  • Class 3 trailer hitch
  • Hitch receiver: 2 inches
Check Price on Amazon

Reese is the only vendor who doesn’t have any recurring product on this list. However, the Reese Towpower 44569 class 3 custom-fit trailer hitch has made its way here with its widely applauded reputation for durability and performance.

This Reese trailer hitch is lightweight and compact. To be honest, you don’t always find a class 3 trailer hitch weighing this low. This is because they’ve used high-quality material in the making. The dimension of the hitch is 45.25 x 15.63 x 7.25 inches, which is believed to be smaller than the average size.

If you are looking for a hitch to carry your bikes for a tour or somewhere else to ride alone and refresh your mind,then this one could be the best fit for you. Because people who usually look for a class 3 hitches have the intention of carrying something heavy like boats or carts.

This is why manufacturers give the hitches a bigger shape. But the good thing about the Reese Towpower 44569 is it’s not made unnecessarily wide and heavy. They have kept it simple so that anyone can install it quickly without any sort of expertise.

However, you need a bike rack that can be attached to a 2 inches receiver to use this hitch. You’ll find a unique thing in the engineering of this particular item. Usually, trailer hitches come with 6 mounting holesin total on both ends of the hitches for locking it to the car’s frame.

But interestingly, this time, you’ll see each of them has 2 holes on each side and 2 additional holes at the center just over the hitch receiver to give additional support. This little piece of engineering has both advantages and disadvantages too. Because not all the cars havethese center holes for hitches.

So, if your car doesn’t have that facility, you might need to call someone else or pick up the drilling machine in your hand to make two additional holes precisely. But it’s not like that you can’t use the hitch without securing the center screws.

However, if you consider bike racks on your hitch, then you should fasten those center bolts. Since the bike racks made for trailer hitches are the hanging ones and they don’t have any ground support, it’ll stop the racks from jumping too much. Hence, you’ll get a close-fitting and well-secured ride.

The Reese Towpower 44569 has a tongue weight capacity of up to 500 pounds and a gross towing weight of 5000 pounds. A smooth welding finish and black powder coat ensure the hitch has a firm construction and an outstanding glossy look.

Reese always wants to offer something extra for its customers. This is why you get a hitch box cover with this item.

4. CURT 13146 Class III Trailer Hitch For Bike Rack

Versatile Pick
CURT 13146 hitch
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Carbon Steel
  • Gross Trailer Weight: 6000 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 900 lbs
  • WD GTW: 8,000 lbs
  • WD TW: 900 lbs
  • Class 3 trailer hitch
  • Hitch receiver: 2 inches
Check Price on Amazon

For our number four trailer hitch, we had to go back to the CURT again. This is also a class 3 hitch that enablestowing facility for ‎pickup trucks, sport-utility-vehicles, snowmobiles, passenger cars, all-terrain-vehicles, trailers as well as a bike or cargo racks.

The carbon steel technology ensures that the hitch can hold things together while the maximum stress is in submission. It has a gross trailer weight of 6000lbs and a weight distribution gross trailer weight of 8,000lbs.

Like the previous CURT trailer hitch, this one is also tested for safety as perthe SAE J684 etiquettes. This means you can install this item without any kind of hesitation.

The 2 inches squire receiver tube opening of the hitch is compatible with most of the hitch-mounted fittings such as bike racks, cargo racks as well as ball mount for towing any kind of heavy trailers. The center of the hitch receiver is placed at the middle of the bumper edge like any other hitches.

Though the welding line of this class 3 hitch can be seen from broad daylight, you shouldn’t be worried about the quality of the product. This welding procedure is done by the robotic arms at the CURT workshop in the USA and then again rechecked and furnished by the expert manual hands.

Each of the hitches goes through several testing units to ensure that all the products that leave the station are 100% ready to take the loads. You’d be glad to know that they perform both in-house testing inside their Detroit engineering facilityand outside for aftermarket inspections.

After the strenuous tests are done, they dip the hitches into high-quality ink, aka liquid A-coat, two times to make sure the coatings are more than enough to sustain hostile weather conditions. CURT uses a special co-cured solution that includes a black powder coating to resist rust and UV rays.

The last thing you’d want to know about the hitch is whether it is hard to install. Well, it’s very simple to attach the hitch to your car as it is a full bolt-on installation process. If your car’s hitch mounting frame is not rusty or broken you don’t need any kind of welding to secure the hitch to the vehicle.

Don’t worry about the installation process. Because CURT is a well-reputed company and they know their customers. So, they have included the hardware kit and a well-revised instruction manual so that you can easily perform the installation maneuver.

5. Draw-Tite 75579 Max-Frame Class III Receiver Hitch For Bike Rack

Budget Pick
Draw-Tite 75579 trailer hitch
Quick Summary:
  • Material: Steel
  • Gross Trailer Weight: 4,000 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 400 lbs
  • WD GTW: 5,000 lbs
  • WD TW: 500 lbs
  • Class 3 trailer hitch
  • Hitch receiver: 2 inches
Check Price on Amazon

The last product on our list is from the Draw-Tite. We’ve come across the company’s status from the earlier section of the article. So, let’s just try to find out why the 75579-receiver hitch is a good fit for your bike racks.

Though both of the products are from the same manufacturer, still there are significant differences between them. This trailer hitch is comparatively heavier than the previous receiver hitch. The Draw-Tite 76034 weighs about 28 pounds where this time the weighing scale hits 45 pounds.

What I liked about this model is its design is much elegant than the earlier ones. It is flat and straight in its shape and looks bold. But it’s a matter of sorrow that no one will see your hitch except the receiver end once it is installed.

Anyway, you’ll find another dissimilarity here as this one doesn’t have any center securing bolts. There are 5 securing bolt holes together on the brackets. Draw-Tite had to make a slight modification to the driver’s end of the hitch due to the selected cars for this item have an air conditioning line there.

This makes the left bracket’s length shorter than the right one. You’ll get three holes at the left and two holes on the right brackets. However, you don’t need any additional drilling to set up the hitch. The standard installation process should take about 20 mins provided you don’t face any trouble.

This hitch has a premium finish and passed several tests as per the SAE regulations before coming into operation. The doubled-layer A-coat and black power finish all around the hitch ensure it is rust and scratch-free for a long time.

The 2×2 inches hitch receiver can be attached to any kind of trailers as well as bike racks. On top of that, you can add a cargo carrier since most of the cars that go with this has so limited cargo space. So, it’ll certainly make your day when you need a little bit more space for carrying your goods.

The manufacturer likes to introduce the Draw-Tite 75579 as both class III and IV type hitch. That means you can consider it as a super heavy-duty trailer hitch. It has a gross trailer weight of 4000lbs and a tongue weight of 400lbs. Hence, you shouldn’t find it hard to rack up some of your favorite bikes on it.

Facts to Consider Before Buying aTrailer Hitch forYour Bike Racks

Best Trailer Hitch For Bike Rack

I guess you have now come across the basics of a hitch and the essential features that a good trailer hitch should possess. However, here are few highlighted guidelines that everyone should follow before buying a hitch. So, let’s go one by one so that you find it easier to determine the best hitch for bike rack.

Don’t Compromise with the Durability

Some of you might argue that why should I go for a class 3 hitch for merely carrying my lightweight bikes. Because there are lower grade hitches that also costs less and paves the way for bike racks. So, what’s the point?

Well, I agree that the lower grade hitches can work for the bike racks too. But it won’t be wise to buy a hitch for just one purpose. Who guarantees that you might not feel the urge of towing a cargo trolly behind your car someday?

Do you want to buy another hitch and end up spending double while trying to save few bucks? I bet you don’t want to. So, it’s better to go for the tough one since you ain’t gonna buy hitches every day. And always remember, it’s better to be tough.

Make Sure it Fits Your Car

Well, don’t squeeze your eyebrows mate. There are a lot of people who end up buying a wrong or unfit hitch for their cars. They just forget to check whether the hitch model is a fit for their cars.

Specific cars have specific hitch mounts. The same thing goes for RVs and trailer hookups. The best thing to do is to keep an eye on the size and dimension charts for these things. 

People can ask around and do a bit of digging when fitting these things. Buying from brick and mortar stores will take some work. If you don’t feel like doing some leg work, just go to the seller’s website (amazon arranged these charts for a multitude of products as well).

Just make sure you buy the right trailer hitch.

Try to Understand Your Vehicles Capability

Most of the vehicles support multiple hitch models. So, before you choose the one, try to determine the purpose of your hitch. If you want to do heavy works frequently using the hitch then you should go for the max frame hitches which look bigger and also tend to pull heavy loads.

On the other hand, if you intend to use your hitch for bike racks or small cargo carries, then the smaller hitches should be sufficient enough for the job. But don’t compromise with the class of the hitch. There are small and simple-sized hitches that also come in class III standard.

Check How the Hitch Will Look on Your Car

Since you have options to choose between the hitches, why won’t you go for the glorious one? You’ll find at least three or four manufacturers that make the same kind of hitch. Here, you should know that there are two kinds of hitches available on the market.

There is a concealed one, which means most of the hitch remains underneath the vehicle. And the other is exposed hitch, which typically takes some extra space at the rare end of your car and stays naked to the audience.

So, you can go through websites and choose the one that you think would add extra charm to your car beside the service.

The Bottom Line

Even though you might be looking for the best trailer hitch for bike rack that can carry your bikes and can protect them, you shouldn’t just consider it as a hitch for bikes only. Because you don’t know when you need to carry something heavy.

Also, keep in mind that you need additional accessories like a ball mount, trailer ball, hitch lock, and wiring harness which don’t come with the hitches. So, you should buy them online or nearest hardware shops to connect your stuff to the hitch.

But in the case of bike racks, you won’t be required any kind of accessories as they just need to be bolted to the hitch receiver. But having tilting hanging bike racks attach to the hitch can add additional stabilization to the bike racks and save your vehicle and bike from hitting each other while driving.

The last thing you should take into consideration is not to put excessive pressure on the hitch. Because it’s not just the hitch that should sustain the towing load, it’s your vehicle too. So, it’s wise to check the vehicle manuals before towing anything with the hitch to avoid any unwanted circumstances.

Also read: Best Bike Covers for Hitch Rack I’m Eyeing This Year!

Jeff Phillips Racktutor
About the author

Jeff Phillips is the able founder of RackTutor.com. In his professional life, he has been offering Paintless Dent Repair and Hail Repair services in North Texas since 1990. He is the owner of DentMasters. He is still passionate about outdoor adventures with his family, bikes and cars. So he has first-hand experience on bike racks. He is regularly testing suitable racks for his upcoming trip. His aim is to create a user-friendly free website where bikers can easily read bike rack informations without any hassle.

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