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Old 12-15-2012, 05:52 PM
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Hauling a mobility scooter on a hitch-mounted platform

Hello everyone. First post here, and I have a question for you guys. I have the idea of getting a trailer hitch for my Fit so that I may attach a platform for a mobility scooter onto it. I have need from time to time to take my mother places, and she has a 195lb Hover Round power chair. I thought that it would be nice if I could just put it up onto the platform and be off. As I look around, it seems like all I can find for a Fit is a class 1 hitch, but almost all of the platforms i have looked at need a class 2 or 3. I am new to hitches, and don't know if there is a way to get my idea to work. Can anyone tell me/point me in the right direction, or is my idea not possible with such a small car? Are there any adapters to use in a class 1 that will fit the larger tubes of the class 2-3 hitches that a lot of these platforms need?
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:31 PM
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I made a custom 2" receiver hitch to haul my motorcycles and for my bike rack. To answer your question, yes, they do make adapters to go from 1 1/4" to 2". You can get one online or even from Harbor Freight. The aftermarket hitch from Curt Manufacturing appears to be the strongest of the ones available. I did not use an aftermarket hitch because of how low they hang down and I frequently drive over very steep driveways and rutted dirt roads.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:31 PM
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I'm not sure if the aftermarket hitch will adequately support a 200 lb mobility chair as it hangs out pretty far. Just so you know, adding a hitch may void your Honda warranty

Last edited by Dookoo; 12-15-2012 at 06:34 PM..
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediem930 View Post
Hello everyone. First post here, and I have a question for you guys. I have the idea of getting a trailer hitch for my Fit so that I may attach a platform for a mobility scooter onto it. I have need from time to time to take my mother places, and she has a 195lb Hover Round power chair. I thought that it would be nice if I could just put it up onto the platform and be off. As I look around, it seems like all I can find for a Fit is a class 1 hitch, but almost all of the platforms i have looked at need a class 2 or 3. I am new to hitches, and don't know if there is a way to get my idea to work. Can anyone tell me/point me in the right direction, or is my idea not possible with such a small car? Are there any adapters to use in a class 1 that will fit the larger tubes of the class 2-3 hitches that a lot of these platforms need?
Neither of the two generations of Honda Fits are rated for towing of any kind, but many people have set their Fits up for doing just that. There are platforms for sale that are made to fit Class I (1-1/4") trailer hitches. But that alone is not your only problem. All Fit hitches mount under the rear floor and fasten to the lower edges of the rear wheel wells. Any hitch-mounted platform that extends 2 feet behind the rear bumper that carries a 200 pound load is going to hit the street at every dip and driveway.

You need to have the mounting bar of the platform as high as you can get it. That will mean that you have to raise the receiver tube of the hitch.

What I did to achieve this purpose was to buy a Class 1 draw bar as well as a Class II draw bar. I cut the front bar off of the Class 2 (2" receiver tube) hitch, and had a welding shop weld that to the top of the receiver tube of the Class I hitch. This gives me about 2" of extra height for any device needing a 2" receiver tube. What you will need is the extra height.

This what I made for my needs- it will work for you too.
Click on the thumbnail image to enlarge---. With this, you can use a Class II platform which are usually priced lower than Class I platforms. To help with weight reduction, try to find a platform made of aluminum, but they will be priced higher than steel platforms. There are fairly cheap platforms available at:

www.Harbor Freight Tools




Here's an aluminum "scooter platform" from Harbor Freight:

http://www.harborfreight.com/aluminu...ier-67599.html

Bring your hitch components to a local, reliable, welding service shop. They will complain about you asking them to violate trailer welding regulations, so just tell them to weld the hitch components together to be safe for trailer hauling, even though you will not be towing a trailer. Any competent welder can do this simple job. If you can weld, you can do it yourself.

Last edited by Triskelion; 12-15-2012 at 08:25 PM..
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:22 PM
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I hate everytime I see a trailer hitch post on here. A very very light balanced tongue weight trailer may be possible,but some here choose to be foolish enough to run the risk. If an accident happens towing with a Fit,you damage your Fit or someone gets hurt,see if anybody stands behind you,like your warranty or your insurance company. Like Triskelion said that would be a possible 250+Lb tongue weight on a hitch mostly designed for a bicycle rack and hitch weight max of 100 lbs. IT"S GOING TO DRAG ON THE GROUND!..The fulcrum point and weight would have the FIT heading skyward and possibly a steering/braking,undercarriage nightmare,let alone damage to the Fit and possible loss of the scooter and platform. Please people, use some freaking common sense here. There is a reason it is not rated to tow and tongue weight is only one factor,weak mounting points and body design are just a few more reasons. Do you drink poison when it says not to drink?? By a Ridgeline,Element,or Pilot ,something designed to handle and balance a higher tongue weight.

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Last edited by PaFitter; 12-15-2012 at 09:29 PM..
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:43 PM
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While I don't see a big problem carrying light weights like mountain bikes on the back, I agree with the above post. 250lbs is 10% of the weight of your car, and the car is specifically not rated for a tow hitch. If this functionality is important to you, I would suggest looking at another model of car. Your plan might seem good to you now, but when you've got the Fit in the driveway you may realize it's not a very big car, and the mobility scooter is a big bigger than you imagined.

As a side point, why the heck are they so heavy? It seems like most of the motor power would be devoted to carrying around its own weight, not the passenger. Well, I guess this isn't much different than a car, of course.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:47 PM
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Oh, I'll also add, an alternative would be to actually hitch up a trailer. That way the weight is supported by a set of wheels. Still not legally defensible, and you shouldn't take your advice from the internet anyway (disclaimer protecting me, obviously!) but it seems like a much safer idea.

If this were the primary need of a car purchase, I'd suggest something with a really small bed, like an old Subaru Baja or something. A Toyota Tacoma or Ridgeline also have smallish beds, but of course they are big trucks. Last, a folding wheelchair; it'll easily go in the back of a Fit.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:46 PM
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It seems on every forum the Nay Sayers seem to come out. They are attorney, judge, jury, and executioner all in one. If we take that warning where do we stop. Anyone can claim anything. Proving it is another problem.

How far do we take these warnings? Does installing 205-50 tires violate the warranty? How about different headlight bulbs or LED signal lamps? What about tinting windows? Installing a different battery? Using higher octane fuel? Where does the list stop?

I suggest that you try it for yourself and see what happens to the handling and braking. You might start by putting 300 pounds or so in the trunk and see what that does to drive-ability. Then if that is acceptable install the receiver that you feel is the best and build the "1 OD to 2" ID receiver riser adapter shown previously. Harbor Freight sells the 2" ID tube. You could take an old 2" draw bar to get the riser part or buy a 2" drop / raise draw bar and cut off the riser part. They come in various heights up to at least 6". They are available from TSC, Walmart, Harbor Freight, or many trailer places.

One hint that I did when making my motorcycle carrier for mmy motorhome that worked out well. Instead of drilling your holes for the pins in the drawbar for the exact size of the pin, I drilled them undersize and threaded them for of the appropriate bolt size to match the pin diameter. Then when installing the drawbar and adapter I would use grade 8 bolts. It takes a little longer to install but it eliminates the looseness and possible side to side rocking at the adapter and the drawbar. If you do not like it when finished, simply drill the the holes out to the correct size and use a pin.

Good luck on your project.

Last edited by n9cv; 12-15-2012 at 11:50 PM..
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:00 PM
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First, check your insurance policy. Almost all automatically insure whatever trailer you are towing with your car. I've put a tow hitch on every car I have ever owned, from a 1965 Plymouth Valiant to a VW Jetta to a Buick Park Avenue. Just because Honda neglected to provide a tow rating for the Fit in the U.S. market does not mean that you can't tow with it. Like any car with a class I hitch, keep the tongue weight under 200 pounds, preferably around 50. Pull no more than 1/3 of the weight of the car ; for the Fit, a 200 pound trailer with a 600 pound payload is about your limit. Therefore you should put your "Hoveround" on a small trailer- it's too heavy to mount on the back.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:44 PM
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If it were me, I'd get a little utility trailer rather than the hitch-mounted platform to carry the scooter. The hitches for the fit are rated at towing 1000 pounds, which means a trailer tongue weight of around 100 pounds. Putting nearly triple that on the hitch sounds troublesome to me. Some small trailers have a sort of tilt bed that would make loading the scooter on the trailer pretty simple.

Have you measured to be sure the scooter cannot be carried inside the fit? If it's not too tall, you might be able to make do with some ramps or something. That would keep the scooter far more protected from the elements.

(For what it's worth, in the United States, aftermarket additions like trailer hitches have no effect on the warranty coverage unless the dealer can prove that the addition is what precipitated the damage. This is due to a federal law, the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act.)
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewE View Post

Have you measured to be sure the scooter cannot be carried inside the fit? If it's not too tall, you might be able to make do with some ramps or something. That would keep the scooter far more protected from the elements.

(For what it's worth, in the United States, aftermarket additions like trailer hitches have no effect on the warranty coverage unless the dealer can prove that the addition is what precipitated the damage. This is due to a federal law, the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act.)
This sounds like the most practical alternative yet. Measure the height of the scooter and hopefully it will be able to be loaded into the back of the Fit with a simple ramp. If you do go with a trailer or hitch, no worries. I pulled a motorcycle (two-three dirtbikes and gear, ~1000 lbs) for the last four years with my 2008 Fit with no problems. I am doing the same with my 2012 Fit.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:06 AM
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Sounds like its not a good idea. I'll consider some other options. Thanks to those who gave me their insight and didn't jump down my throat about it. I said at the start of the thread my knowledge on all this was very limited.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:15 PM
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If you do end up going with some kind of hitch mounted platform you may want to look at installing some air helper springs like these:

Vehicle Suspension for 2012 Honda Fit - Firestone F4183

With 200+ lbs hanging off the rear of the Fit I would imagine the rear end is going to have some serious sag.

-Dustin
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