dogman wrote:If you like your current car, weld some braces on the hitch to stiffen it up.
Even a beefy hitch is still going to have the play in it allowing the 2" bike rack to waggle. So your new car and new rack will still have the same problem.
Thanks, that is good advice.
I already had a welder stiffen up my trailer hitch by adding a welded tab near the receiver end to the bumber. It made a huge difference in the receiver's up/down stiffness. Almost no more bouncing of the bikes up/down. The play in the receiver is not a problem for me, already added a shim where the bike rack inserts.
The problem I currently have is my modified Thule 990
(shortened to reduce bike weight leverage) is the most flexible component. With only 106 lb of ebikes on it, I can see it twist considerably when I hit a bump on one side of the car that torques the bike rack. The rack must have already been pushed past its limit because it is no longer level. I should consider this as fair warning. I could somehow either...
a) Find a stronger one that fits the 1-1/4" receiver.
b) Beef up the rack itself (not sure how)
c) Add extra straps between the bikes and the car to prevent the bike from applying torque on the rack.
But this would only solve the problem for my current load of 106 lb.
To be able to select from a selection of stronger bike racks that fit a 2" receiver, I also thought of modifying my 1-1/4" receiver to become a 2" by having a welder do a custom job, which would probably cost an extra 500$. But there are other things I don't like about my vehicle: Hitch receiver is low (I would need to extend it with a riser adapter adding more length and leverage for the bikes to flex it) and I have no idea how much ebike weight I can keep adding until this custom trailer hitch just catastrophically fails.
I want to replace my ebikes soon and to avoid limiting my ebike selection based on weight, the rear rack should comfortably support two 75 lb ebikes, for a total of 150 lb. It would be a shame that I avoid what would be an ideal pair of ebikes because they are each 10-20 lb too heavy. I'm expecting to spend between $6,000 and $12,000 on a pair of ebikes, so forcing myself to keep a $20,000 car is starting to sound like a risk not worth it. This is why I am considering replacing the car to open my options for a sturdy ebike carrier. There is also some satisfaction in getting appropriate gear for a task.