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Anyone know if it's possible to install a tow hitch receiver bike rack on the Rav? Just wondering about clearance issues, given the placement of the spare on the rear door.
 

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Just got the hitch yesterday afternoon. Looks like it's going to be a very easy install. Remove two bolts from the drivers side. Place hitch into position, bolt on with 4 bolts. Done.

I'll be installing it this afternoon. Wife has the RAV right now...

I'll take some pictures.
 

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This topic came up in the 4.2 forums years ago, but it was forever lost in the great hard drive disaster. :(

I dug up my photos of a bike rack installed on my 4.2 -- same basic info should apply to 4.3, just have to worry about clearing the spare cover and whether you want be able to open the rear door with the rack attached.







My particular rack, the Thule Hitching Post Pro, folds down, but still does not allow opening of the rear door while it's secured in the hitch receiver. That short upright post with linchpin and cable is welded in place and is barely low enough to clear the tire cover. As a result, the rack must be removed completely before opening the door.

I found other folding racks that *might* work, but quality side-hinged swing-away designs (like the Thule Trailblazer) were around $400 or more :shock: and even still, may not clear the bottom of the door, so I didn't think it was worth the pricetag to find out.

Whatever the design, with the 4.3, the rack absolutely has to fold flat and rise no higher than the rear bumper in order to clear the door. There's a little more height compared to 4.2, but it's probably still not enough to clear a folded Hitching Post Pro.
 

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Well, I installed the hitch. Took about 10 - 15 minutes. Very easy install.




As you can see in the above photo, the bike rack is close to the spare tire (it fits, but it might rub and take off some paint). I'll be investing in an extender...
 

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Yikes! That's too close for comfort... the rack might lean away from the car when it's loaded with bikes, but it probably has just as much chance of leaning into the cover as well... :?

An extender will lower the rack's weight capacity and could make it wobble and flex noticibly, but in this case, I'd say it's a nescessity.
 

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Not yet. I was going to do it this weekend, but ended up going to Seattle. From what I can find, it looks like it is a easy install. You can even run the harness down through an opening on the drivers side, right behind the wheel. If you remove the cover for the jack (on the drivers side) you'll notice a vent like object. This is where the dealership runs the harness to the hitch.

I wanted to also verify that the harness I got will not cause any issues with our LED tail lights.
 

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Keep us posted on the wireing hook up. Someone else posted a rather detailed description on how the harness has to be manually wired into the existing harness. Very un-Toyota like.

Does the harness that came with your hitch look like a plug-in?

I'm trying to work in a major accessory with my V6 sport, for the dealer is not going below list. Would prefer to try for the alarm system, but if the hitch wireing is a pain (or worse, will void the warrantee) than i may have to shoot for that option.
 

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I saw that (or one like it) installation procedure. A lot of pugs and wiring...

My kit is a basic one. Hook up the left, right, tail connections and ground (4 wires). They don't have the direct plug kit for the RAV4 yet.

I'll keep you updated.
 
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