Best 1 1 4 to 2 hitch Adapter for bike racks and cargo racks

Published by Bike Scientist on

1 1 4 to 2 hitch Adapter for bike racks and cargo racks

A number of bike racks, cargo racks, and trailers might only attach to a 2-hitch receiver while a lot of small vehicles such as the Subaru Impreza, Ford Fiesta ST, and Volkwagon or other hatchbacks only come with 1 1 4 hitch receivers, creating a compatibility issue. Also, it might have them because your previous vehicle was compatible or you bought it without realizing it only attaches to a 2-inch receiver. You can still make them useful by either changing the hitch receiver on your vehicle, changing them for the right size hitch, or simply by using a 1 1 4 to 2 hitch adapter. In case you opt for a 1 1 4 to 2 hitch Adapter you need to understand the limitations associated with using it along with how actually it works.

What does a 1.25-inch to 2-inch hitch adapter do?

The hitch adapter makes from 1 1 4 to 2 inches essentially all more accessories adaptable to your hitch receiver/vehicle. The adapter attaches to your existing hitch and offers a new hitch receiver opening for 2 to 2 hitches. Along with that, it can offer additional rise giving more ground clearance and also extension which places the bike rack or cargo carrier away from your bumper.

Are the 1.25-inch to 2-inch hitch adapters universal or not?

As they are designed for 1.25 hitch receivers, they should fit almost all of the 1 1 4 receivers. Two major issues which can arise are that because of the rise or extension they offer they might not be completely adaptable with some hitch receivers. While you are aligning the holes and realize that the hitch falls too close to the bumper or too far from the bumper then you might need to make adjustments.

Best 1 1 4 to 2 hitch adapters

MaxxHaul 8087

1 1 4 to 2 hitch Adapter
1 1 4 to 2 hitch Adapter
  • Pros Available in 2 shank lengths of 5-1/8 and 5-7/8 inches. Rugged construction with powder coating and gives a rise of 4 inch
  • Rating 4.8 out of 5
  • Price Around $30

A very high satisfaction rate is associated with Maxxhaul 8087. The product offers a substantial rise in case your bike rack or cargo rack hits the ground while traveling on bumpy roads. Overall a 4-inch rise or a 3 3/8-inch drip is designed to fit class 1 and 2 receivers. Most customers found it sturdy and built with a good paint job. Some customers had issues lining it up with the

Reese Towpower 7020500

1.25 to 2 inch hitch adapter
1.25 to 2 inch hitch adapter
  • Pros 6 Amazon’s choice, 6 inches in legnth, reasonable price
  • Rating 4.6 out of 5
  • Price Around $20

Not offering a rise or drop, this is a simpler adapter. The adapter is amazon’s choice for converters and is very reasonably priced. It requires a 9/16 inch pin and should snugly fit your hitch reciever. It is made of alloy steel, is 6 pounds heavy, powder coated and has a towing capacity of 3500 pounds.

Pros and Cons of 1 1 4 to 2 hitch adapter

Primarily the advantage of an adapter is that you can use all the 2-inch accessories such as 4 bike hitch racks or 5 bike hitch racks that were previously useless for you. Apart from that, it is a fairly inexpensive product which makes your fairly expensive product useful for you. Some adapters come with rising and they are helpful in ensuring your bike rack or cargo rack does not hit the ground while traveling through uneven surfaces. Essentially giving your more ground clearance.

A limitation would be that you will unable to use 1 1 4 hitch bike racks and cargo racks if the adapter is installed on your hitch receiver. The weight limits would apply as per your originally hitch receiver which is probably 1 1 4 class 1 or class 2. Usually limited by 3500 lbs or 50% of the allowed hitch receiver capacity. The adapter itself might have a weight limitation and you would have to obey the limit which is stricter. So, in case you have a 4-bike rack that only fits a 2-inch receiver then you probably might end up carrying 2 or 3 maximum bikes because of the 1 1 4 hitch receiver tongue weight limitations.

Another thing you need to care about is the wobbliness associated with hitch adapters. Try ensuring that you get one that perfectly fits your hitch receiver and there is no wobble. There are ways to stop the bike racks from swaying and they might help in this case as well.

How to use a trailer hitch adapter?

  1. Insert the hitch 1 1 4 inch opening end of the adapter into the existing hitch receiver of your vehicle
  2. Align the holes of the adapter and hitch and insert the hitch pin (might need adjustments in case you are unable to align both)
  3. Insert the bike rack or cargo carrier into the hitch adapter 2-inch opening. Again line up the holes and lock them up with the pin.
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Bike Scientist

S Chaudhry is the founder and the first writer for BikesRacks. He covers almost all the bike reviews after doing a lot of secondary and primary (hands on) research on the products. Apart from that he is the author of a number of how to do articles as well on the website. He is an avid road bike cyclists who is dealing in a lot of areas related to biking. Currently he has gained experience fixing bikes to retailing accessories related to them as well. His eventual goal is to build an authority site on cycling and also become a profession bike fitter.