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2021 Bolt Premier
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Greetings from a new member here.

Just about to install a Torklift hitch on the 2018 Bolt I reluctantly obtained as replacement for our Volt (turns out my spine is 10 years too old for 57" entry height and squatty Volt doors, even after I've withered down to 6'1.5").

The Torklift "Invisi-Hitch" we put on the Volt has been just dandy but there was a bit too much Googling involved with installing it due to the unmentioned hidden clips attaching the sides of the rear fascia to the quarterpanels (easy to damage paint).

Question for those who've undone the rear fascia on the Bolt: are similar hidden clips of fear and loathing to be found on the fascia sides of the Bolt? Thanks for any insight.

The Bolt fascia is attached with push-pin style fasteners. I only needed to remove two rear ones. None from the sides. They were very simple to remove. Look at them carefully, IIRC it should be obvious how.
 

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I also had a Curt hitch installed. There were warnings about not having more than two bikes in a carrier for the hitch. Even with two hybrid bikes, I wouldn't dare carry more. When I hit the bumps, there is tremendous pressure on the hitch from the up/down motion.
With more than three bikes, you may end up with bikes on the road, causing a lot of grief. I don't think there is a lot of strength where the hitch carrier is attached to the body. Good luck!
This is exactly my worry. The OP had a different hitch (Torklift) and a picture holding three bikes on rack.

The Curt seems to have the least support of the three hitches I know about (Curt, Torklift, and Draw-Tite). I believe I read that some of the first Curt only were rated for 100lbs, instead of the more standard 200lbs rating for Class 1.

Does the OP have more time/experience hauling three bikes?

Can anyone comment on the quality/strength of the different hitches?

TIA
 

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There is a class 2 (2") hitch rated at 2000/200 lbs for the Bolt: https://torkliftcentral.com/2017-chevy-bolt-ecohitch?p=1

I have no idea how good it is. The installation is a little different than most others: instead of bolting to the underside of the vehicle, it mounts on the same studs that hold the rear bumper, between the bumper assembly and the car chassis. I have no idea whether that's better or not. There's a video on that page showing how it's installed on a Bolt.
 

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2017 Bolt EV
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Can anyone comment on the quality/strength of the different hitches?
I can't really give you any quantitative information other than to say that I've had Torklift "Eco Hitch"s installed on my (former) Prius C and now on my Bolt and I'm completely happy with them. I have one with the 2" receiver and it's rated at 200 lbs, so I have no hesitation throwing two bikes on the back. The hitch seems solid, the bikes bounce around a bit on bumps but that's due to the rack, not the hitch.
 

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2018 Bolt LT
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This is exactly my worry. The OP had a different hitch (Torklift) and a picture holding three bikes on rack.

The Curt seems to have the least support of the three hitches I know about (Curt, Torklift, and Draw-Tite). I believe I read that some of the first Curt only were rated for 100lbs, instead of the more standard 200lbs rating for Class 1.

Does the OP have more time/experience hauling three bikes?

Can anyone comment on the quality/strength of the different hitches?

TIA
I installed the Draw-Tite Class I on my Bolt LT. It's a 1-1/4" receiver rated for 200/2,000 lb loads.

Two reasons I selected this product:
1. Ease of installation - No bumper parts need to be removed. Just unfasten the forward edge of the under-bumper trim panel for easier access.
2. The receiver mounts to the lower bumper bolts AND the underbody framework. To me, that is a sturdier way to support the up-down loads on the hitch (tongue weight) as opposed to only using the bumper mount bolts.

This setup works very well for towing my Waverunner. I would think it would work just as well for the bike racks since it would tend to brace better against the "bike bounce".
 

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I installed the Draw-Tite Class I on my Bolt LT. It's a 1-1/4" receiver rated for 200/2,000 lb loads.

Two reasons I selected this product:
1. Ease of installation - No bumper parts need to be removed. Just unfasten the forward edge of the under-bumper trim panel for easier access.
2. The receiver mounts to the lower bumper bolts AND the underbody framework. To me, that is a sturdier way to support the up-down loads on the hitch (tongue weight) as opposed to only using the bumper mount bolts.

This setup works very well for towing my Waverunner. I would think it would work just as well for the bike racks since it would tend to brace better against the "bike bounce".

I'm using a 100lb capacity rack for two 52lb e-bikes. I get a *lot* of bounce, and hesitate to take both bikes any more, except on short drives. Nothing off-road for sure. The bounce is in the rack, not the Draw-Tite hitch. I'm considering rigging up straps to the roof rails, but am concerned with the mini-spoiler. Putting a "D" ring on the gate lift bolts is another option I'm looking at. I'm also considering having a local welder put a 1" square stiffener in the rack's hitch bar, too.
 

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Torklift "Ecohitch" installed on 2018 Bolt. Nicely made (as w/old hitch on Volt), perfect fit, pleasingly rigid w/loaded bike rack hanging off back of car. No weird bouncy-bouncy; resonance should not be an issue. Per stud size of compression-oriented collision bumper, towing probably not a good idea; all initial pull on trailer will go through just the two lower studs due to offset receiver and consequent moment effect (which geometry is necessarily part of the no-drilling plan).

Confuses the **** out of the back-up warning system when bikes are on, of course. It eventually goes mute. Bonus feature: bikes on the rack look positively psychedelic through the mathematically-corrected view of the reversing camera.

[Torklift instructions are nearly perfect. We found that lifting the outer corners of the fascia while doing the straight pull backward suggested by instructions got us past "it seems stuck." Be sure to locate all fasteners mentioned in instructions; missing one could result in a mess as the amount of force required to pop off the fascia could easily mask resistance and snapping of plastic.]
 

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2017 Bolt EV
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Per stud size of compression-oriented collision bumper, towing probably not a good idea; all initial pull on trailer will go through just the two lower studs due to offset receiver and consequent moment effect (which geometry is necessarily part of the no-drilling plan).
Without having seen the studs, I'm guessing that the limiting factor would be the screw threads. Was there enough stud length to screw on a second set of nuts? That would probably increase the safety margin.

It's not an issue for me personally, but it might be of interest to someone else.
 

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Was there enough stud length to screw on a second set of nuts? That would probably increase the safety margin.
Unfortunately not really. Attached should be a shot of the mounting detail. The extra length showing on the studs is almost all smooth shank presumably included as a factory assembly aid. The picture also helps to illustrate how the hitch ends up in a rotation situation and pulling mostly on the lower two studs, which are 5/16" (maybe even 3/8") or thereabouts. The actual receiver is down on the end of what is effectively a lever of about 10" length. Hard braking would of course reverse the leverage, stressing the upper two studs. There's not a lot of metal attached to the car that would actually be involved in trailer dynamics at any given moment-- a bit less than 2/10ths of a square inch for the involved 2 studs and of course a skosh more taken up by the next bolts in the line after the 2 stressed studs begin to stretch. The design of the collision bumper really only contemplates being crushed, not yanked, and the leverage from the hitch doesn't help the numbers.
 

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Attached should be a shot of the mounting detail. ...The picture also helps to illustrate how the hitch ends up in a rotation situation and pulling mostly on the lower two studs, which are 5/16" (maybe even 3/8") or thereabouts. The actual receiver is down on the end of what is effectively a lever of about 10" length. ...There's not a lot of metal attached to the car that would actually be involved in trailer dynamics at any given moment-- a bit less than 2/10ths of a square inch for the involved 2 studs and of course a skosh more taken up by the next bolts in the line after the 2 stressed studs begin to stretch. The design of the collision bumper really only contemplates being crushed, not yanked, and the leverage from the hitch doesn't help

The DrawTite (U-Haul?) hitch in this recent post by tk1971 includes an arm that angles upward and attaches several inches forward of its primary mount at the rear. That appears to be a more robust design. However it's only a 1.25" receiver, still not ideal. Are there other designs out there with 2" receiver and this kind of additional bracing?

 

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Per California's remark, that does look like a good choice if you actually want to tow. And still no drill.

"Draw-Tite Sportframe Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Class I - 1-1/4"

Given the Bolt's general characteristics it seems reasonable to think that a 1.25" hitch will do fine for the kind of towing one might do. And 1.25" weighs a lot less.

Our old Volt's hitch was 1.25" and a bit more floppy with bikes on than this latest iteration. If you're OK w/the weight, 2" might be worth consideration.
 

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2018 Bolt LT
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Per California's remark, that does look like a good choice if you actually want to tow. And still no drill.

"Draw-Tite Sportframe Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Class I - 1-1/4"

Given the Bolt's general characteristics it seems reasonable to think that a 1.25" hitch will do fine for the kind of towing one might do. And 1.25" weighs a lot less.
In another thread, I commented on the Draw-Tite 24956. Works well for my needs. I only tow 4 miles to the launch ramp, max speed 45-50mph. Very solid setup for towing light loads.
 

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Shorten those chains bro! Let's not start any fires, please.
Seconded. Down the hill from you on the flatlands and we're choking on smoke here.

I've read two stories about the origin of the Carr fire (Redding), it was caused by a trailer safety chain dragging, or I think more credible, that an auto towed by an RV had a flat tire that ground down to the bare metal wheel. In either case, sparks were thrown into roadside brush starting fires for a considerable distance.


This is only early August. Expect more fires until fire season peaks in October. We live in a new reality now.
 

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2018 Bolt LT
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Shorten those chains bro! Let's not start any fires, please.
If you're referring to my Bolt towing the waverunner, that was a pic from the first day I brought it home. I've since made a few modifications including shortening the safety chains.

Sorry if I frightened you, but there is nothing in this wasteland called Arizona that will catch fire anyway.
 
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