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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2005 Element and I'm in the process of spec'ing out a hitch and 4 or 5 bike rack. I have a few questions.

1) Since the Honda OEM hitch only comes with a 1 1/4" receiver, are most people using this hitch or something equivalent:

http://www.etrailer.com/pc-H~87506.htm?vehicleid=2005203595

2) What is everyone using for a 4 or 5 bike hitch? I'm considering Thule, Yakima or Allen but there appears to be many choices. I know I want a fold down with a quick-and-easy rack disconnect from the receiver. Any recommendations based on these specs?
 

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Welcome to the EOC!

I would recommend that you read through the Racks and Hitches forum- you'll find a lot of the info you seek there, along with pictures of many of the racks available for the E.

BTW the Valley Hitch is available for Elements and has a 2" receiver - a better choice IMHO and readily available. The forum discusses that as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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I don't recall much discussion of this hitch. The installation instructions remind me of the ones for the 1 1/4" Hiddenhitch (with long spacers for the frame rails). I'd suggest comparing these instructions with those of the Hidden and Valley (if available from etrailer).
 

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Thats the one I had on my old E and the one I'll get on this. We took the Et to U Haul, they put in the hitch and the rack as a package.Very reasonable price, if I recall. I found this worked really well with the back door and it's versatile enough to handle a dog scooter.

Edited to add: I'm talking about the rack, I have no idea what the hitch was but it was standard U Haul non electric.
 

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Hitch and 4 or 5 bike rack

Yes, go with the 2" receiver, but because you have greater options for racks and other accessories, but not because you increase the tongue weight limit.
Recommend you limit yourself to two adult bikes, three if one is a kids / youth bike and put the others on the roof.
There are posts with pictures of E loaded beyond the tongue weight with claims of no adverse effects. If you have the 2" receiver you can buy a Thule T2 and a 918 extender => http://www.orsracksdirect.com/thule-918-t2-bike-hitch-rack-2-bicycle-add-on.html but you will be exceeding the 150 pound tongue weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, go with the 2" receiver, but because you have greater options for racks and other accessories, but not because you increase the tongue weight limit.
Recommend you limit yourself to two adult bikes, three if one is a kids / youth bike and put the others on the roof.
There are posts with pictures of E loaded beyond the tongue weight with claims of no adverse effects. If you have the 2" receiver you can buy a Thule T2 and a 918 extender => http://www.orsracksdirect.com/thule-918-t2-bike-hitch-rack-2-bicycle-add-on.html but you will be exceeding the 150 pound tongue weight.
Please help me understand your comment regarding the 150 lbs tongue weight limit. I thought this hitch had a tongue weight higher than that.

http://www.etrailer.com/instructions.aspx?pn=75659

If that's truly the limit, then I'm really confused as to why Thule makes this solution.:confused:
 

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I would STRONGLY recommend you go with a 2" receiver hitch, either Valley/Uhaul or Curt or whoever. As was stated, there's just tons more accessories and options available.

The 150 lbs tongue weight limit is a limit from the Element's specs, not from the hitch mfg. Obviously your E won't fall apart if you exceed it, but I wouldn't make a huge habit of it. Also how heavy are the bikes you're carrying? I would imagine a couple bikes won't be THAT heavy unless the bike carrier is ridiculously heavy? The only thing to really watch out for is with each extension you increase your moment arm on the hitch.

BTW the page you linked to specifically states "Do Not Exceed Lower of Towing Vehicle Manufacturer’s Rating or...." when listing the weight limits for the hitch.



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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all as this additional information is what I needed. I'm now starting to lean toward the Thule T2 with a Class 3 hitch with a 2" receiver. I can then add the 2-bike attachment if needed over time. In the meantime, I think I can get by with the T2.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Welcome to the EOC!

I would recommend that you read through the Racks and Hitches forum- you'll find a lot of the info you seek there, along with pictures of many of the racks available for the E.

BTW the Valley Hitch is available for Elements and has a 2" receiver - a better choice IMHO and readily available. The forum discusses that as well.
I'm assuming this is the hitch you reference above?

http://www.southwestwheel.com/store/p-3744-va82580.aspx

Which is the same as this based on part number

http://www.etrailer.com/pc-H~V82580.htm?vehicleid=20055600
 
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