I like the swing-away design of the Bauer rack (no longer sold), because it has a built-in upward sweep that starts right as it comes out of the receiver, so the hitch itself and not the rack determine the maximum entry angle when the back scrapes, but on our extended body in fairly mild off-road situations (we only have 4x2) the rearward of two bikes did hit the ground a few times on a recent sourthwest desert trip (http://lugnutlife.wordpress.com
). So I had it raised by 12". The vertical tube was cut, and some 2-3/8" tubing was slipped on and welded. The new section as seen below and goes from the bottom of the original plastic protector to a bit above it where you can see the upper weld. The work was done at Teeter's Metal Fabrication in Seattle.
I drilled a lower hole and drill & tapped an upper hole for eyelet bolts and some rubber straps to give this longer stem a bit more lateral support (the rack hinges have a bit of play in them).
The rack had a trigger up high by the reflector that released a lower latch for swinging the bikes to the side, but the internal cable had to be cut, and the trigger would have been too high anyway. For the modified rack, I planned to just install a loop going through a hole drilled in the latch. But the latch is very hard steel, and even a colbalt drill bit made little headway as you can see below. So I Just looped the wire under the latch and added a tether so it does not get lost when the latch clears its hole until I figure out how to drill the hole.
The finished rack with one bike mounted is shown below. The idea of extending the rack 12", is that even with a two-bike extension we have that slips in where reflector is, we should have no ground clearance issues even with four bikes, or so is the plan. I expect with the bikes now higher, they will stay cleaner, but I won't hold my breath.
2008 E-350 6.0L diesel:
Bought new in 2010, 4x2, 4.10 LSD, HD spring-lift all 'round,
Cruiser II Top, 6'7" inside, full-time upper bed w/ kind'a EB50 layout, cozy 4-season rig
540 W of Kyrocera w/ Blue Sky 3024iL, 3x100 AmpHr AGM's
4 cf fridge, nuker, water heater, compressor
stove top, furnace Travel: https://www.lugnutlife.wordpress.com