Here at FastTrackRacks.com we often get questions regarding various hitch racks and whether a product will work on their vehicle. Recently, we received a question about hitch extenders and adapters to accommodate various hitch racks. Whether it’s a cargo box or bike rack, one benefit of hitch mounted carriers is the a flexibility to use on different vehicles. For the most part, hitch receivers come in two standard sizes, 2″ and 1’1/4″ square openings (2.5″is also available on Class V hitches).
When selecting a hitch rack, the first thing you should consider is what size hitch receiver you have on your vehicle. This will determine the type/size of rack you will need. However, if you already have a rack that doesn’t match the size of you receiver, you can purchase an adapter properly fit the two parts. An adapter will add an extra piece to your rack system and extend the cargo further out. This cause extra stress on the vehicles hitch. We do not recommend using a 2″ rack with a 1-1/4″ receiver as the smaller receiver (Class I and II) is meant for lighter duty and may not be able to accommodate a heavier 2″ rack.
A hitch extender may be required for clearance over anything that extends over the hitch receiver. Some RVs and certain vehicles are equipped with a rear mounted spare tire or ladder. This will often require an aftermarket extender to properly fit your hitch rack. Be aware that extending the rack farther out will reduce your carrying capacity.