Hitch for Bike Rack

I have a 2021 CX-9 GT and a Yakima Dr. Tray 2" version. My hitch journey started with the sales person recommending a u-haul hitch. I have seen those in the past and I always find the cheap aftermarket hitches to be ugly and reduce ground clearance. I asked for the OEM Mazda hitch which is 1.25". The sales guy said I could use an adapter to continue using my 2" hitch. I took delivery of the car with the 1.25" mazda hitch.

As soon as I got home, I tried this setup but the connections were all very loose and I had zero confidence my bike would be secured to the car. I did some research and etrailer.com has 2" hitches that fit a CX-9. The etrailer guy assured me that my bike rack would fit in the upright position with this hitch. I talked the dealer into installing the hitch for free if I purchased it. I took some measurements myself and I knew it was going to be tight. I made it home from the dealer and tried the bike rack in the upright position. It's about 1/8 of an inch too close. The rack would rub against the tailgate any time I hit a bump. The end solution was to position the bike rack using the outer safety pin position on the hitch. They give you two safety pin holes spaced about an inch apart. The idea is that you are supposed to use the inner one for the pin and the outer one if you have a J shaped pin that can snug whatever you have in the hitch. I'm convinced there is enough engagement with the hitch and the receiver for a bike rack.

Words of caution if you want a trailer mounted bike rack on a CX-9. I'm still disappointed that I paid the dealer $700 for the OEM hitch but I've told myself to consider it a win since it was only $150 more and I am able to securely mount my bike. It would have been a disaster if I owned a brand new car and had no way to securely mount the bike.
2021 CX-9 Sig
2014 CX-5 GT
So when I purchased my CX-9, the dealer refused to install the Mazda hitch. He sent me to a local dealer to install a hitch - which he said would be better and cheaper. I was really annoyed at the time but he was 100% right. Hitch was a 2" hitch with wiring and cost $200. Works like a charm. When the bike is off, I can fold the hitch flat up, but the rear hatch won't open in that position. I generally leave it at about 75 degree angle.


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