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Hi, need some advice...wanting to use a dual hitch receiver to haul a tent camping trailer (600 lbs) and also a hitch bike rack. Anybody have this setup? Wasn't sure about the drop (?), tongue weight, etc. Haven't got a trailer hitch yet...was considering the Valley hidden hitch Class III and using a dual hitch receiver. Any help would be appreciated...Thanks
 

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I don't quite follow what you are aiming for.

Do you want to use both the trailer and rack at the same time, or just want to use both at different times? As I understand the terminology, the receiver is the open box at the end of the hitch. 2" receiver on the Valley, 1 1/4 on others.

The bike rack plugs into that receiver. To tow a trailer, you plug a draw bar (I think that's what it's called), that hold the hitch ball. Draw bars can have different offsets, allowing you to use different combinations of car (hitch height) and trailer.

Draw bar selection for 1 1/4 receivers tends to be limited; in fact you normally get the bar with the hitch. With the 2" you normally buy a separate bar, depending on your trailer.

There are some hitches with two receivers, spaced several feet apart. These are intended to give extra stability to a platform. I don't think there are any such hitches for the Element.
 

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With a light enough trailer that might work. I'd worry about wobble in that hitch extension.

But wouldn't be better to figure out a way of carrying the bikes on the trailer? I've seen bikes on that back of trailers (sometimes using a hitch on the trailer), or top (trailer mounted roof racks). Coolers fit on the front of the trailer, though wider bikes could get hit on tight turns.

That Discountramps site has other options, such as this dual receiver hitch extension (straight through extension for the trailer, raised receiver for the bikes)
http://www.discountramps.com/receiver-hitch-extension.htm

of this which clamps to the trailer frame, and supports the bikes above the trailer
http://www.discountramps.com/pop-up-camper-bike-rack.htm
 

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2008 Element EX AWD TRP
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etrailer has been one of the best sources of information on hitches and accessories. Used to be you could download installation instructions for most hitches from them - I haven't checked recently if that is still possible.
 

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That is nice, but the trailer ball will likely end up too low. Most E owners end up using a ball mount that is straight or has a slight rise to get a level trailer. (Typically)

Your situation/trailer may be different...but you should prolly measure first if you don't alread use a ball mount with a similar drop.
 

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wach your tail gate

be carful when you lower tailgate make sertan that it wont hit!! I added a hitch to the rear of my camper years ago.mainly to hold a cargo carrier, witch also works as a bike rack.sort of two fer one. good luck
 

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dual receiver

I pull a tear drop with the E and I plan to use a dual hitch receiver for the bikes. I liked the idea of the longer ball mount that puts the trailer a little further away from the bikes when turning. i'm also extending my trailer tongue 2 feet. I actually don't have enough tongue weight with the tear drop. With everything I still will be under 175#.
 

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That is nice, but the trailer ball will likely end up too low. Most E owners end up using a ball mount that is straight or has a slight rise to get a level trailer. (Typically)

Your situation/trailer may be different...but you should prolly measure first if you don't alread use a ball mount with a similar drop.
Since I work for the govt, I suppose it's up to me to point out that the -correct- fix for that issue would be to put the trailer on the top sleeve and since the bike rack doesn't have any height issues reported, put it in the bottom one. Problem solved. .:D
 

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the -correct- fix for that issue would be to put the trailer on the top sleeve and since the bike rack doesn't have any height issues reported, put it in the bottom one. Problem solved. .:D
I see the smiley face and think your joking right? :confused:

If you're not.....

There would be a major "height" issue for the bike rack, assuming it is more than 2 inches tall. If you mount the trailer in the upper, the bike rack will hit on the trailer toung from the bottom. You'd have two large metal objects occupying the same space.





BTW...when you mentioned mounting in the upper I went and looked at the pic again....
Weird.... the pic looks different. A few days ago I saw something like this.



Now I'm seeing something like this...


With the pic in your link I'm seeing now it looks much more "doable." You could use a ball mount with a bit of rise (in the lower opening) , but watch for contact between the trailer coupler and the bike rack.
 

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Jesh....never mind...I'm mixing up 2 differents posts....one was right after the other.


Duh. :rolleyes:

I'm really tired I guess.

Desinia....yours would be a great alternative (as you mentioned) to the "drop down" "1 piece" version selected by ellekansas.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Much Better

When it was mentioned I might need a rise instead of a drop in the ball mount (I don't have a hitch even installed yet), I looked at it and realized (duh!!!???) how low Elements are to the ground. I kind of gave up the idea of having a dual receiver. As mentioned, this just might be crazy enough to work :D...having the bottom with a slight rise to the trailer. I had seen these before but discounted b/c of the possibility of wobble in the trailer with the extension. (As a kid, I was hauling a trailer once loaded down with sheetrock that started a bad wobble on a busy hwy...not cool!) It's worth trying tho...Thanks for everyone's input! :)
 

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I see the smiley face and think your joking right? :confused:

If you're not.....
Of course I'm not joking! Sheesh... No one would ever notice that the bike rack would have to go through the same area being used by the trailer hitch until after the whole thing was finalized, merit awards given, and then the approved plan was handed to someone like myself to implement. Uh huh... and don't even try to say there's a problem with the design because it's already been approved.

Our last official "engineer" had a BS in landscaping until someone tapped him on the head with a magic wand and said "You're an engineer!" He shoulda been tapped a little harder. :confused:
 

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When it was mentioned I might need a rise instead of a drop in the ball mount (I don't have a hitch even installed yet), I looked at it and realized (duh!!!???) how low Elements are to the ground. I kind of gave up the idea of having a dual receiver. As mentioned, this just might be crazy enough to work :D...having the bottom with a slight rise to the trailer. I had seen these before but discounted b/c of the possibility of wobble in the trailer with the extension. (As a kid, I was hauling a trailer once loaded down with sheetrock that started a bad wobble on a busy hwy...not cool!) It's worth trying tho...Thanks for everyone's input! :)
There are ways to reduce the wobble. Some of the RVs use a couple different designs of clamps that fit over the tongue. Less sturdy, my bike/wheelchair carrier uses a sleeved bolt instead of the hitch pin to clamp it tight. I used to just pound a couple metal shims in the hitch on my truck and that worked so well that removing them again was always an adventure in itself. The long hitch bar will always magnify the leverage a bit but how much? I'm not sure. I -am- sure that it'll also magnify the load on the hitch so your 100 pound tongue limit might be more like 50-60 instead.

On the other hand, if you put the bike carrier on the trailer tongue instead of the hitch, the ends will swing with the trailer when you turn and probably smack against the car. I saw that done once at a recumbent rally years back. Poor guy had to rebuild a rear wheel before we could get started.
 
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