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Old 04-09-2010, 07:27 AM   #1
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Hitch receiver on Montana

Our 3150 RL Montana came with a 1.25 inch receiver for a bike carrier on the back of our 3150RL. Our current bike carrier slides into a 2 inch receiver, so I was thinking of having a 2 inch receiver welded to the bottom of the 1.25 receiver. I called Keystone Customer Service and they told me the weight restriction on the 1.25 receiver is 200 lbs. The Customer Service guy told me I could buy an adapter that converts the 1.25'' to 2'', but it also extends the length, which also then makes my bike carrier and bikes heavier. I also have a small metal carrier that slides into a 2'' receiver that I would like to to carry firewood, etc. I don't think anything that I would put on the hitch would exceed the 200 lbs.

When I asked the Customer Service guy if I could weld the 2'' receiver on the bottom of the 1.25'' receiver he said that since I own the trailer I could do anything I want, but it might void the frame warranty. I guess he wanted to cover his but in the event I started carrying excessive weight on the back of the Monty.

Does anyone have a hitch receiver on their Montana, and has anyone changed it from a 1.25'' to a 2'' receiver, and if so what did you do? How did it work out?

We appreciate your opinion.


2017 GMC Denali diesel, crewcab, 4x4, regular box.
2010 Montana 3150RL- Moving to Montana Package , Hickory Edition Package, wet bolts
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:56 AM   #2
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Changing out the 1.25" for a 2" is fine. Others have done it many times. Some owners have even added this receiver and carry or tow much more than 200 lbs, but it doesn't sound like you need to do this. Most of this work was done by folks very experienced in welding metal such that it will support this. Unfortunately, I have also read stories that these mods have failed or caused some problems. But with your 200 lb requirement, I wouldn't worry.

The full 2" receiver hitch is heavier by design when installed and Keystone's concern is a tendency for adding too much weight with the larger receiver and they don't want to risk the liability. You could also consider having the 1.25" extension cut off and and have someone fabricate and weld just the 2" extension to keep the distance sticking out the same as what you have. This way you gain the 2" fitting without the extra weight, but an expert hitch person should be able to do this. You might even want to put a warning label on the receiver to remind you and others (if the trailer changes owners) but you must still remember that it can only support 200 lbs. I think your bikes or the carrier will fall within this limitation just fine.

The only "extra" thing you might consider is using some kind of shim or device to eliminate much of the movement where the bike rack or carrier inserts at the receiver. The receiver being so far from an axle (about 12') will shake around a lot more if it is a loose fit, and I'm not sure how bad this can be down the road, but this is your choice to consider.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:32 PM   #3
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I tried to use that receiver for a bike rack. The 1 and 1/4 inch hitch is too weak for a bike rack. It will bounce out of control. My bike handlebar was a foot from the window. That was the closest I could get it to bounce by hand. Traveling down the road, it bounced into the window while going down I 95. Not rough. I'm lucky it didn't break that window.
A friend following me, later, said it was a wild ride. The rack is a stiff Yakima. It is the receiver that was weak.
I now have a receiver on the front of my truck. That works great.
Others have made or bought a 2 inch square tubing hitch. They have worked a lot better.
Good luck .
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:36 PM   #4
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Does anyone recommend any certain modle receiver for the back of the trailer? I am also going two inch, but I am installing a rack back there and a custom diamond plate box to house my Honda EU2000's and a extra fuel tank for gas. I figure it will be in the 350lb range when I am done....
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:04 PM   #5
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Just get a good welding shop to fab and install the hitch and then you deside how much you want back there.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:07 PM   #6
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I have seen Phil's (exav8tr) receiver that he uses just for bicycles and that was very well done including bike carrying rails and looks like it can probably hold more than just 200 lbs and up to what you might be looking for. You should PM him for details and recommendations.
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:32 PM   #7
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I, and Richfaa, had the 2 inch receiver installed by MorRyde in Elkhart, IN. The hitch is rated for a 300 lb tongue weight and a towing capacity of 3000lbs. We only carry two bikes on a Swagman two bike rack. DW followed me from San Diego to Phoenix and said it hardly moved at all. It is a very heavy hitch. I heard too many stories about the 1 1/4 inch receivers. Keystone just wants to make sure you do not carry much weight. I think you are wise in wanting to upgrade the OEM hitch....
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:25 AM   #8
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When I purchased my 2006 3295RK I had the dealer put a 2" reciever hitch on it. I added a 2' extention on that to mount the biggest diamond plate box I could find. Have had no problems at all. When it's loaded pobably carrying close to 300 lbs. plus. I also stand on it to clean the back of trailer.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:14 AM   #9
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Don't forget about the warranty from Lippert. The folks that have added the 2" hitch are out of warranty. I'll change mine when the frame warranty is done or I don't care anymore!
The 1" and 1/4 hitch can be used very well by using a bolt to snug the hitch to the bike rack, found out the hard way.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:48 AM   #10
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On my 2009 unit 3465SA the 1 1/4" hitch is nothing to mount to .. I had a welding shop fix it so it won't move as exnavydiver followed me out of the keys last season and told me the bikes were going to tear the hitch off .I showed it to lippert last rally but they said that was over kill . that is a standard answer of lippert on any fix as they won't own up that they can make a mistake;;;sailer
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Old 04-11-2010, 12:51 PM   #11
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We where at Jekyll Island and saw a 3400 Montana pulling 12ft enclosed trailer, carried a golf cart.
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Old 04-11-2010, 02:52 PM   #12
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Here is a link to go from 1 1/4 to 2 inch receiver.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:43 AM   #13
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The bounce is so bad on the stock 1-1/4" hitch that we can't use it stock. It tears up the bikes and I feared dropping it on the road. We added a stabilizer bar from the 1-1/4" receiver forward to the frame behind the spare tire, which greatly alleviated the problem and shouldn't void the warranty.
The problem is worse for the Yakima "gooseneck" style than for the flat Swagman, which we now have. The Yakima is in our garage...
If I did it again, I would upgrade to a 2" receiver and the stabilizer. I wouldn't put heavy stuff back there, though. It gets added to the tandem axles and off the pin, with consequences for stability and tires.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:48 PM   #14
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Reason for putting such a big box on trailer hitch was to offset the added weight up front. In front storage I have a Onan 5500 Gen.(propane) and 6 - 6volt batteries.
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:12 PM   #15
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I am planing to install a hitch on the back of my Montana to carry a basket that will hold a small motor scooter and/or my honda generators.
Question. After looking under my rig (without taking off the belly) the only place I saw that might be able to support a hitch was the cross piece that holds the rear stabilizer jacks. Would this be strong enough to hold about 500 pounds?
If not does anyone have any ideas of what type of hitch to get, how to secure it and suggestions to build a secure basket. I plan to build my own basket which will slide in and out of the hitch.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:50 PM   #16
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AJ your jacks are installed with 4-1/4" bolts are atleast mine is I wouldn't put a hitch on that. If you drop the back pc of the belly you can install a great hitch by having one made up to go from frame to frame and welded or bolted if you prefer? but if its done rite you can haul a basket or pull a trailer safely. as has been said I waited till my great 1 yr warranty was up then me and a friend with a welding shop made mine it ties the back frame together IMHO its stronger than without it. Just my 2c.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:48 AM   #17
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Rear carrier and bike rack
I made a sturdy hitch assembly with 2 outriggers to support the weight, my bike rack has the adapter that I welded onto the carrier.
So far, we have around 3500 miles on it, 'knock on wood' still back there. I had to support my tube on the bike rack, as it bent on the top bend, but other than that, it's OK.
here are photo's and some 'splanin about the jobs...
Hitch welding and assembly:
Hitch and carrier assembly:
Rear carrier and hitch:
Lights on rear carrier:
Mounted on Montana:
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:50 AM   #18
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We got the Swagman two bike carrier for our 2011 3400. I wound up using an adapter to go to 2 inch, even though the Swagman fit the 1.25. When I first put it on without the adapter, I discovered that the handlebar on the inner bike was hitting the ladder on the trailer. I tried turning it around, but then the HB was too close to the window. By adding the adapter, it extended it enough that clearance was now OK. I also found that it was wobbly as installed, so I ran a couple of cargo straps from the trailer frame to each corner of the bike rack in a "crossover" fashion. Took care of the instability. The bike rack had good securing methods for the bikes, but I added a couple of heavy bungee cords around the bike frames and rack just to make sure. Had DW follow in the car for a test run, she said it all looked good. A little movement, but not bad. Recently did an 800 mile trip, no problems.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:58 AM   #19
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We kept the small receiver but added two additional ones, one on each of the I-beams. They are bolted and act as outriggers, distributing the weight across three points and they also provide stability.

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Old 08-15-2011, 09:18 AM   #20
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We have the Yakima bike rack, which is 2", so I bought one of the 1 1/4 to 2" adapters like you are thinking about. I used bolts to connect the adapter to the hitch, then put my bike rack on. After putting 1 bike on, I tried to wiggle the rack, and the hitch flexed like you wouldn't believe. Took all off and left the bikes at home. Planning on having a welder come over and install a good 2" hitch with lots of support underneath.
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