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Old 08-19-2012, 12:58 PM   #91
goneamerican
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I moved to the US a few years ago and was one of the first to buy the new 2012 Focus. I'm loving it! I'm looking for a good, affordable hitch that is easy to install. Any tips?

I also thought it was interesting that the warranty might become void if you install a hitch for simple bike rack? In the Netherlands caravans have been and are still very popular. The Dutch version of AAA gave the Focus 2012 1.6 Ecoboost the title: Haul car of the year:

http://www.autotrends.nl/nieuws/ford...-het-jaar.html

It is deemed the ultimate vacation car! And Ford actively promotes it as such over in the Netherlands. So such a warranty clause would really surprise me...
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Old 08-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #92
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It was the first thing I installed. Draw-tite...no drilling.

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Old 08-19-2012, 07:22 PM   #93
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Bike rack won't slide into hitch

Thanks to all the info I received on this Forum, I purchased a Draw-tite hitch for my 2012 Focus Hatchback and had it installed today by a friend. But when I try to put my bike rack on it, the rack won't slide in far enough.



When I look inside, I can see what is keeping it from sliding in, sorry it's blurry, see the little thing sticking out on the right hand side?



Is that sticking-out-thing normal?
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:44 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriH View Post
Thanks to all the info I received on this Forum, I purchased a Draw-tite hitch for my 2012 Focus Hatchback and had it installed today by a friend. But when I try to put my bike rack on it, the rack won't slide in far enough.

When I look inside, I can see what is keeping it from sliding in, sorry it's blurry, see the little thing sticking out on the right hand side?

Is that sticking-out-thing normal?
Must be normal, but I don't know why it's there since the front end is closed anyway. I ran into the same thing with my Yakima rack. I ground a small circular notch on the end of the rack tube where that "tab" is. Since I had a die-grinder it only took a minute to fix.
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Old 08-21-2012, 06:33 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriH View Post
Thanks to all the info I received on this Forum, I purchased a Draw-tite hitch for my 2012 Focus Hatchback and had it installed today by a friend. But when I try to put my bike rack on it, the rack won't slide in far enough.



When I look inside, I can see what is keeping it from sliding in, sorry it's blurry, see the little thing sticking out on the right hand side?



Is that sticking-out-thing normal?
I had the same thing...it is there to stop people from putting on the adapters and then towing a 6000lb trailer. Basically it is their way of saying 'if u take this tab off you are agreeing that it is your problem now...not ours'

The guy at the shop took mine out with a big screw driver and a hammer. He punched it from the outside...then finished getting it to come off from the inside.

It's a pain in the butt...but since my bike rack is sized for a bigger hitch...I had to go the adapter route too.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:46 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriH View Post

Is that sticking-out-thing normal?
Yeah... it's normal, and it's a pain in the a$$. I beat on it with a hammer and chisel, but couldn't get it smooth enough that way, so I ended up using a Dremel tool with a metal shaping bit.

Oh... and when you do finally get it smooth out, and slide your rack in, the pin may not slide into the hitch far enough. At least it won't with my Thule Helium.
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:46 PM   #97
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Okay - so which hitch is the one that DOESN'T require the following?

1. Grinding carriage bolts
2. Cutting heat shield
3. Filling a 1/4" gap because the hitch bar is cut too short

I have a 2012 SE hatch.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:54 PM   #98
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Just a thought

Don't know the exact ratios but here's something to consider regarding hitch loads.
The forces involved in a carried weight are considerably greater than the forces imposed by a trailered load. In other words, a bike rack with 100 pounds of load will impact the hitch and it's attachment in a fashion similar to a 1000 pound trailer. Not in all respects, engine and tranny load of course doesn't care how the load is attached. The hitch and the frame it attaches too does. I've seen a 1000 pound motorcycle destroy a 10,000 pound motorhome hitch when it was carried off the ground.
All this is to suggest that using the focus to tow a small trailer is probably no more troublesome than a 3 bike rack carried 18 inches past the hitch.
Just sayin.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:08 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green_Mtn_Boy View Post
Don't know the exact ratios but here's something to consider regarding hitch loads.
The forces involved in a carried weight are considerably greater than the forces imposed by a trailered load. In other words, a bike rack with 100 pounds of load will impact the hitch and it's attachment in a fashion similar to a 1000 pound trailer. Not in all respects, engine and tranny load of course doesn't care how the load is attached. The hitch and the frame it attaches too does. I've seen a 1000 pound motorcycle destroy a 10,000 pound motorhome hitch when it was carried off the ground.
All this is to suggest that using the focus to tow a small trailer is probably no more troublesome than a 3 bike rack carried 18 inches past the hitch.
Just sayin.
The force you're referring to is about the torque put on the hitch. Not the forces put on the car's drive train.

A loaded hitch bike rack can put as much destructive force (torque) on a hitch as a 1000 pound trailer, but is a small fraction of the load (tension) to the drive train.

I believe a very modest amount of trailer pulling will cause no harm to the Focus. I would install modular wiring that is easily removed before taking my car in for service concerning a drive train issue. At least until the warranty expires.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:11 PM   #100
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follow up

You're right, good points. The impact force when the load on the hitch bounces up and down, multiplied by the torque factor could tear things up.

Agter adding the hitch if I did have a drivetrain issue, I'd probably consider removing the hitch, but I don't anticipate having any problems. I'm planning on towing a light trailer, actually the tow dollie that my Focus will ride on behind the motorhome.
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