A rear-mounted spare tire or a camper shell can make some things difficult for you when towing. But not to worry.you can use a hitch extension to add anywhere between 6 to 12 inches of space to the receiver to provide clearance for a biker rack, cargo carrier, or any hitch-mounted accessory. The extender also comes handy even if your vehicle doesn't carry a large tire or camper shell on its back. It can give the hitch receiver added length in case the hitch sits right under the bumper. Not only that, but it can also make it a tad easier for you to maneuver the trailer because of added turn clearance.
Tips when buying a hitch extension
- Check your hitch receiver first. Consider its length and other specs (is it a standard 2-inch receiver, for instance?) so you can look for an extension that matches the receiver.
- Know what would be a preferable length to add to the hitch receiver. Some extensions may add 10 inches or less, depending on your preference and trailer towing needs.
- Choose an extension with the right product fit. If you're getting a universal extension, make sure that it matches your trailer specifications and the hitch receiver so you can be sure that this accessory won't only be safe to use but will also allow for good turn clearance when pulling the trailer.
Fixing a loose hitch extension
If the connection between the receiver and extension is no longer tight, then you have to deal with a wobble, making it difficult for you to pull the trailer. There's also the noise that may bother you while driving. To fix this, you can adjust the connecting point between the extension and receiver. Keep it tight to get rid of the wobble and noise. You can also switch to a J-hook from a hitch pin. The J-hook can help tighten the connection better. Just be sure to use the right kind of J-hook and to install this the right way.
Here are the steps in fixing that wobble due to a loose connection:
Step 1: Disconnect the hitch extension from the receiver after pulling the pin.
Step 2: Trace the length between the hole that's housing the pin and the smaller hole that's near the receiver's front opening. Use a tape measure to determine the distance, laying it on the left of the pin hole and the smaller hole on the other side.
Step 3: Choose a compatible J-hook to use. The distance between the J-hook and the J-bolt should match the length between the middle parts of the two receiver holes.
Step 4: Put in the key (which comes with the J-hook) to the barrel that covers the J-bolt's end. As you turn the key, the barrel must be pulled out of the bolt's end. On the J-bolt thread, you'll find a hex nut. Remove this by turning it counterclockwise.
Step 5: Slip the hitch extension into the receiver opening. As the holes between them line up, the J-bolt's threaded end must slide through the receiver hole. The bolt's small section must be aligned with the receiver's small hole. Turn the bolt for them to be parallel. Threading the hex nut on the bolt's end is the next step. After this, it must be tightened using a wrench. The barrel must be pushed over the J-bolt's end. To seal it, the barrel's end should also be pushed toward the receiver.