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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been searching and can't seem to find an authoritative answer to this question: What is the Class rating of the factory hitch (I have a 2010 3.6R). Specifically, is it a Class I or Class II receiver?

On a related note, is anyone using the Yakima Kingpin bike hitch rack on the factory hitch? I know that Yakima has a 2"-1 1/4" adapter, but I have also read that you can remove the sleeve from the Kingpin rack and mount it directly to a Class II 1.25" receiver. Can anyone comment?
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Premium, CVT, Steel Silver, all-weather package. Upgrades: Tweeter kit, BlueConnect, media hub, remote start, Curt 2" receiver hitch.
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The factory hitch is class II and is rated for 3,000 pounds and a 200 pound tongue weight.

Technically, class II means up to 3,500/350. But class I is only up to 2,000/200. So the Subaru rack is in between.

I did a brief search, and it looks like the rack you're looking at fits a 2" receiver. It will fit the 1.25" with an adapter, but I wouldn't recommend it. The adapter will force the rack even further back, which will significantly increase the leverage on the hitch. Bike racks exert more force on the hitch than a small trailer. They cause many failures on class I and II hitches. Stock with a rack made for a 1.25" receiver, and try to keep the weight of the bikes close to the car. Also, I recommend using a "hitch silencer" device, which will also reduce the forces acting on the hitch.
 

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The factory hitch is class II and is rated for 3,000 pounds and a 200 pound tongue weight.

Technically, class II means up to 3,500/350. But class I is only up to 2,000/200. So the Subaru rack is in between.

I did a brief search, and it looks like the rack you're looking at fits a 2" receiver. It will fit the 1.25" with an adapter, but I wouldn't recommend it. The adapter will force the rack even further back, which will significantly increase the leverage on the hitch. Bike racks exert more force on the hitch than a small trailer. They cause many failures on class I and II hitches. Stock with a rack made for a 1.25" receiver, and try to keep the weight of the bikes close to the car. Also, I recommend using a "hitch silencer" device, which will also reduce the forces acting on the hitch.
This is spot on. The bike racks can put a lot of force on a hitch. This is because torque = force x distance and by putting the bikes further out on the rack their torque acting on the hitch is actually not insignificant. Many rack companies say that you need a class II hitch for a rack to hold 4 bikes and some even require it be a 2" hitch (though not many). If the Kingpin you have only holds two bikes than don't worry about it, things will be fine using the adapter unless you have a 50 lb Walmart bike. If it's a 4 bike setup than you will want a rack that is designed for a 1-1/4" hitch so an adapter isn't needed and you need to watch how heavy your bikes are. Always put the heaviest bike closest to the car as well. Good luck.
 

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Although they should work I wouldn't use one of the adapters suggested above. Yakima has 2 different tongue sizes for the Kingpin. If your current rack has the 2" tongue just order the 1.25" replacement tongue. They don't recommend the smaller tongue for more than 2 bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips. Yes, Yakima has a 1.25" tongue available, so there isn't any extra "length". The instructions I saw for it say to limit it to 4 bikes on a 1.25" receiver. We're not really serious bikers, and 2 of the bikes will be kids bikes. It will mostly be used a couple times a year to go to local parks, etc.

The specific question I had about the rack is whether you could just remove the "sleeve" to make it fit the 1.25" receiver. Maybe this is an older version of the rack, but there is one reviewer who says that this is possible, and looking at the picture below, it does look like the 2" sleeve may be removable:

Yakima KingPin 4 Hitch Bike Rack from Backcountry.com

Subaru could have made my life a lot easier by making a 2" receiver standard on the factory hitch. I hadn't even thought about asking when I originally ordered the hitch, so the bike rack I had from my previous vehicle (Xterra) does not work.
 

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Thanks for the tips. Yes, Yakima has a 1.25" tongue available, so there isn't any extra "length". The instructions I saw for it say to limit it to 4 bikes on a 1.25" receiver. We're not really serious bikers, and 2 of the bikes will be kids bikes. It will mostly be used a couple times a year to go to local parks, etc.

The specific question I had about the rack is whether you could just remove the "sleeve" to make it fit the 1.25" receiver. Maybe this is an older version of the rack, but there is one reviewer who says that this is possible, and looking at the picture below, it does look like the 2" sleeve may be removable:

Yakima KingPin 4 Hitch Bike Rack from Backcountry.com

Subaru could have made my life a lot easier by making a 2" receiver standard on the factory hitch. I hadn't even thought about asking when I originally ordered the hitch, so the bike rack I had from my previous vehicle (Xterra) does not work.
The newer Yakima Kingpin which came out in March 2011 fits both a 2" and a 1.25". It's actually a 1.25" tongue with 2" adapter attached. Remove the adapter and it fits a 1.25" hitch. The older (pre March 2011) Kingpin required the tongue to be changed.
 

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Is the Subaru hitch already installed on your car? If not, you might want to try to send it back or sell it and get a 2" hitch from one of the other companies. I have a Curt 2" hitch and I am very happy with it. It doesn't stick out like the Subaru hitch, and doesn't require your bumper cover to be cut, either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is the Subaru hitch already installed on your car? If not, you might want to try to send it back or sell it and get a 2" hitch from one of the other companies. I have a Curt 2" hitch and I am very happy with it. It doesn't stick out like the Subaru hitch, and doesn't require your bumper cover to be cut, either.
Yeah, I ordered it with the hitch installed way back in 2009 (and never used it for anything until now), but thanks for the thought. At the time, I didn't even think to ask about the receiver size, sort of assuming it would be the same as my old Xterra. I guess that's what they say you do when you "assume".
 

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Yeah, I ordered it with the hitch installed way back in 2009 (and never used it for anything until now), but thanks for the thought. At the time, I didn't even think to ask about the receiver size, sort of assuming it would be the same as my old Xterra. I guess that's what they say you do when you "assume".
The 2inch receiver as far as I know was not available till 2010 - older subaru cars are stuck with the 1 1/4 receiver given the after market guys haven't gone back and made up new 2inch receivers for the old cars.

Regardless of the hitch rating - your car rating is your limit. In your case 200lbs is your hitch load limit.
 

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The 2inch receiver as far as I know was not available till 2010 - older subaru cars are stuck with the 1 1/4 receiver given the after market guys haven't gone back and made up new 2inch receivers for the old cars.

Regardless of the hitch rating - your car rating is your limit. In your case 200lbs is your hitch load limit.
Hidden Hitch does have a 2" hitch for the Gen III OB's as I installed one on my mom's OB...I agree with you on staying within the car's weight limits.
 

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Thanks for the tips. Yes, Yakima has a 1.25" tongue available, so there isn't any extra "length". The instructions I saw for it say to limit it to 4 bikes on a 1.25" receiver. We're not really serious bikers, and 2 of the bikes will be kids bikes. It will mostly be used a couple times a year to go to local parks, etc.

The specific question I had about the rack is whether you could just remove the "sleeve" to make it fit the 1.25" receiver. Maybe this is an older version of the rack, but there is one reviewer who says that this is possible, and looking at the picture below, it does look like the 2" sleeve may be removable:

Yakima KingPin 4 Hitch Bike Rack from Backcountry.com

Subaru could have made my life a lot easier by making a 2" receiver standard on the factory hitch. I hadn't even thought about asking when I originally ordered the hitch, so the bike rack I had from my previous vehicle (Xterra) does not work.
If that's the version you have than it does look like just removing the 2" conversion box will work. Be careful with the kid's bikes, some of cheap ones weigh more than adult bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If that's the version you have than it does look like just removing the 2" conversion box will work. Be careful with the kid's bikes, some of cheap ones weigh more than adult bikes.
Thanks, everyone, for your help. I went ahead and ordered the Kingpin to try it out since it was on sale for just $100. Hopefully it will suit our needs.
 

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Thanks, everyone, for your help. I went ahead and ordered the Kingpin to try it out since it was on sale for just $100. Hopefully it will suit our needs.
Just want to put a little more caution in here. My sister has a 1-1/4" hitch mounted bike rack. She had two adult bikes and two kid's bikes on it and the bike rack came right off the car, luckily just at the end of her trip while pulling into her driveway. It cracked at the section that goes into the hitch receiver. Now if it just coverts with a little spacer box than I have to assume the 1-1/4" alone will be strong enough to take full load so it's more your hitch and its 200 lb tongue weight capacity that you likely need to be concerned about. And that 200 lb is right at the receiver, the further your bikes are away from the receiver the more torque they put on your hitch. Have fun and enjoy the ride.
 
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