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just a quick question...i'm interested in purchasing a 2002 escape, and i need to know if the hitch is capable of carrying my 4 bikes. the carrier and bikes together will weigh more than 100 pounds, can the escape handle it?
 

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I have a 2003 Escape that I installed a 2" Reese hitch (Also a Class III) on and I use a Thule four place bike carrier and it works fine. Like theoldwizard said, I just installed that hitch because of the 2" Carrier (500lbs tongue weight) and not to tow a huge amount of weight (5000lbs GTW).
 

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if a bronco II can do it, i don't see why an escape can't... just as long as you do use the 2'' you should be fine
 

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Attaching bikes to a hitch is a big difference from actual towing. You don't go by the gross tow weight. You go by tongue weight. Class 1 hitch is a 200 lb tongue weight hitch. I wouldn't suggest placing 4 bikes on that hitch...

Class I 200/2000
Class II 300/3500
Class III 500/5000
Class IV 1200/12000
 

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Attaching bikes to a hitch is a big difference from actual towing. You don't go by the gross tow weight. You go by tongue weight. Class 1 hitch is a 200 lb tongue weight hitch. I wouldn't suggest placing 4 bikes on that hitch...
All of the bicycle carriers that I have seen "plug into" either a 1.25" or 2" receiver. I have never seen a Class 1 hitch that uses a receiver.
 

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A simple google search will show you that class 1 hitches do indeed have a 1.25 receiver. They can have the receiver or a piece of flat steel protruding for a ball.

Anyhow getting back to the question Maybe the original poster should tell us what class the hitch is. Class I & II hitches can have the 1 1/4 receiver.

Curt 11251 Trailer Hitch - 1-1/4" receiver, Class 1
 
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