Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner

161 - 180 of 193 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
612 Posts
...use a 2" hitch receiver because it's more universally compatible with stuff that's out there, and there's very little cost difference.
Thanks. I've had my newest car 12 years now and I wondered if 1.25" had become more universal since I last researched this. Looks like the answer is no. The 1.25" hitches on both my cars must be Class 2. Both are from U-Haul with labels 'lesser of 3,500 lbs or car's rated maximum'.

Bolts are heavy, I think equal to an ancient Jeep Wagoneer. (Both around 4,000 lbs). I wonder if somebody braver than we've seen so far will try towing at least a 1,000 lb trailer with one. Stability should be ok but battery heating may force a very limited towing capacity. Has anyone related their towing experience?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
I hate to be a downer...but if the manual states that the Bolt is 'not designed nor intended to tow a trailer', would doing so potentially void any future drivetrain warranty claims?

I read the manual as completely compatible with light (<200 lb) loads on a Class 1 hitch, but not a 2000 lb trailer stated on the Drawtite rating.

In a warranty claim...how would they flag this issue? A Class 1 would not get a second glance. A custom fabbed, 2" receiver Class 3 hitch somehow attached to the frame would be a red flag, no?

I would assume that the car is logging ALL power/driving data, and that this data is available to GM engineering during servicing or even uploaded during routine maintenance.

I figure that no Class 2 or Class 3 hitches for the Bolt EV will ever become available for this reason.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
I hate to be a downer...but if the manual states that the Bolt is 'not designed nor intended to tow a trailer', would doing so potentially void any future drivetrain warranty claims?

I read the manual as completely compatible with light (<200 lb) loads on a Class 1 hitch, but not a 2000 lb trailer stated on the Drawtite rating.

In a warranty claim...how would they flag this issue? A Class 1 would not get a second glance. A custom fabbed, 2" receiver Class 3 hitch somehow attached to the frame would be a red flag, no?

I would assume that the car is logging ALL power/driving data, and that this data is available to GM engineering during servicing or even uploaded during routine maintenance.

I figure that no Class 2 or Class 3 hitches for the Bolt EV will ever become available for this reason.
Burden of proof is on the dealer/manufacturer to prove an accessory caused a failure. The presence of a hitch itself would not be enough.

Now if you towed something, then uploaded a Youtube video showing you hooked up a boat or something to your Bolt, then it had some powertrain issue, then told the dealer what you did, you'd be SOL as far as a warranty claim.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Curt Hitch and Bike Carrier Accessory

Has anyone on the forum had the hitch and bike carrier accessory promoted by Chevy installed on their Bolt recently? Quality of products and installation? Not at all a DYI person, but interested in pursuing this if they have made improvements. Thanks...



So I found this comment buried on the etrailer.com website....they say the Bolt hitch I have is rated at 200 pounds tongue/2000 pounds towing:

Capacity for The Curt Hitch for 2017 Chevy Bolt EV

Question:
The full specifications on the Bolt EV are not yet available but the installation instructions for #C11457 indicate hitch can handle a 1,000 lb trailer with a 100 lb tongue weight.

asked by: Daniel B

Expert Reply:
The capacities for the Curt Hitch part # C11457 are how much the hitch itself can tow/carry. These capacities are separate from the capacities of the vehicle although they are related.

What you would need to do is determine the towing capacities of the vehicle and then go with the lower rated figures between the hitch and the vehicle.

Actually the hitch has a 2,000 lb total trailer weight capacity and 200 lb tongue weight capacity.
expert reply by: Jameson C
https://www.etrailer.com/question-194687.html



Since the question explicitly asks if 100/1000 is the correct spec, makes me think the final specs are 200/2000??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Well, there are a number of red flags here. First that massive drop in range from 254 to 153 tells that the trailer has imposed a huge load penalty on the Bolt. Who knows what its doing to the mechanics. Also, a 2k lb gross load is very high even for a vehicle that is rated for 3000 lbs, such as a mini-van. I have done thousands of miles of towing with a mini-van and always felt that anything beyond about half the GVWR risks the lifetime of the transmission. Also, U-haul trailers are usually quite heavy, so they limit what you can actually put into the trailer. Higher loads mean you have to gun the thing up hills much more than is comfortable, and pay a large penalty in gas usage, or battery usage in this case.
Its not really an unknown with a Bolt. When I bought my Bolt, the accessories included a hitch for a bike carrier, which I did not buy, but everything I read said the Bolt EV is not designed for actual towing. If I really wanted to tow something, and I was willing to sit out on the end of a tree limb, I would restrict my ambitions to a very light trailer, ~ 200 lbs or so, for a kayak or canoe at less than 100 lbs, and nothing more. You have to remember that the most you can load a Bolt EV is 500-600 pound inside it, never mind trying to put 2000 lbs behind it. As far as I know the Bolt EV is fine with a hitch for a bike carrier but beyond that its risking the health of an example of the best cars I have driven, ever.
I was thinking about these numbers and I'm not sure that it's as bad as it sounds. To put this into perspective, the motor is 150kW with a torque of 360Nm. It has a curb weight of about 1.6kg. That puts it in about the same class as a Jeep Compass, which is rated for towing about 1,000 lbs. Not sure if 2,000 lbs is a great idea, but assuming no elevation change, it's probably workable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Installed the Draw-Tite hitch (model 24956) this afternoon. Really like the design, including the attachment points/triangle configuration that allows a heavier tongue weight than some others. It's also lighter than some of the other hitches that I looked at. The use case here is a 2-bike platform rack that sees multiple uses per week. I have a different vehicle for actually towing stuff.

Some notes on the install.

Taped the fascia cutout work area with blue painter's tape.

Made a 3.25"x5" template for the fascia cutout from a piece of scrap 3/16" foamcore. Cardboard would have worked fine, too. Centered it, checked that it was squared up, then traced it.

For cutting, I left the fascia push pins in place so that the work surface was more stable.

Tried both a RotoZip and a fresh utility knife blade for cutting the fascia in a test area that would be removed. Was not really pleased with the RotoZip; it left pigtails and quasi-melted the plastic as it went. So I clamped a thin metal straight edge along the long edges and made a few scoring cuts with the utility knife. Made a scoring cut along the short edge while holding the straight edge by hand. Removed the straight edge and then patiently worked through the long edges. Once they were done, continued scoring the short edge and applied light bend pressure while scoring. This yielded a beautiful crisp edge (that no one will ever see, but it made me happy).

The hitch came with standard bolts, nuts and washers, plus two pressed metal blocks that are inserted into the frame. Before installation, I sprayed all these parts with a couple coats of Krylon Rust Tough Gloss Black Enamel, which is what Draw Tite recommends for hitch touch-up.

Removed the fascia push pins and got the hitch into position with the nuts loose. Centered it up and snugged up the nuts, then used a torque wrench to tighten to spec. Sprayed the nuts with a final coat of Krylon and called it done.

Came out great. The hitch is basically hidden. Has ~9" ground clearance.

After much searching around, I went with a Saris Freedom EX 2 Bike Platform Rack. It folds up, tilts down, and has a single-bar design so is relatively light (27#). Folded up, you can still open the hatchback. That's a plus because it is very likely that the rack will just live on the Bolt forever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
Draw Tite hitch installed. 2.5 hours. For use with bike rack and VERY light trailer.
I bought the same hitch. Approx same install time and am very happy with it. Was very careful with the body trimming, and the holes lined up perfectly.

I've put a bike rack and two e-bikes on it at ~100 lbs with no hitch problems. I was testing the limits (slightly exceeding them, actually) of the rack, but survived the experience with some bouncing. I may try to MacGyver some straps to the top of the lift gate to reduce the bouncing. (This isn't an issue with the hitch, but with the overloaded bike rack.)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,067 Posts
I bought the same hitch. Approx same install time and am very happy with it. Was very careful with the body trimming, and the holes lined up perfectly.

I've put a bike rack and two e-bikes on it at ~100 lbs with no hitch problems. I was testing the limits (slightly exceeding them, actually) of the rack, but survived the experience with some bouncing. I may try to MacGyver some straps to the top of the lift gate to reduce the bouncing. (This isn't an issue with the hitch, but with the overloaded bike rack.)
I have the Drawtite hitch, and used it to transport 4 bikes (2 adult, 2 kids) with my Inno Aero Light 4 bike hitch rack on a trip last fall. Despite the hitch being rated for 200# tongue weight, I was still wary of loading it up with all 4 bikes (probably 120# worth at least). Whenever I hit a large bump, I cringed as I saw the bikes bounce around in back.

Despite my worries, I made the 300+ mile trip with no issues. I did measure the distance from the top of the hitch to the hatch window with the bikes loaded both before and after the trip. I found that the distance was about a 1/2" longer after the trip compared to before. I'm hoping that's just normal settling after installation and not an indication the hitch was getting stressed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
612 Posts
... measure the distance from the top of the hitch to the hatch window with the bikes loaded both before and after the trip. I found that the distance was about a 1/2" longer after the trip...
Do you think the stretch was in the car, the hitch, or the bike rack? Most hitches are designed for a lifetime of use with far more weight, then with the specific application limited by "... or the towing limit established by the car manufacturer". Not limited by the hitch design, that would create too much liability.

I expect a bouncing trailer would apply far more stress than a bike rack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
I have the Drawtite hitch, and used it to transport 4 bikes (2 adult, 2 kids) with my Inno Aero Light 4 bike hitch rack on a trip last fall. Despite the hitch being rated for 200# tongue weight, I was still wary of loading it up with all 4 bikes (probably 120# worth at least). Whenever I hit a large bump, I cringed as I saw the bikes bounce around in back.

Despite my worries, I made the 300+ mile trip with no issues. I did measure the distance from the top of the hitch to the hatch window with the bikes loaded both before and after the trip. I found that the distance was about a 1/2" longer after the trip compared to before. I'm hoping that's just normal settling after installation and not an indication the hitch was getting stressed.
I'm not worried about the hitch at all. My concern is with the 16" square tubular steel lever arm of the 100 pound rated bike rack bending with 105 pounds of e-bikes bouncing along every time I go over a bump. Very cringe-worthy on a short, 25 mile suburban trip of mixed freeway and residential streets. The Draw-Tite hitch handled it like a champ. I'll probably only take one e-bike on it in the future, unless I can figure out a way to run a couple straps to the top of the rear hatch. Darn things are *heavy* (52 pounds), and because of the rack design, taking off the front wheels isn't an option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
612 Posts
... unless I can figure out a way to run a couple straps to the top of the rear hatch.
Do you have the roof rack rails? There might be some way to add a rigid arm from a roof rack crossmember, back to the top (or an extension) of the bike rack to stabilize it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,688 Posts
Do you have the roof rack rails? There might be some way to add a rigid arm from a roof rack crossmember, back to the top (or an extension) of the bike rack to stabilize it.
Yeah, I was considering that possibility too. I'll need to figure out the thread size on the rails.

Intermittent, large downward force on the rear spoiler is a real concern of mine, too.

I'd hate to go over a bump and tear the spoiler off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Got my Draw-Tite hitch installed by a professional this week. I'm really happy with how it looks and fits. I've only used my 4-bike Yakima rack on a 2" receiver before this but converting it was quick and easy. Best part is the car is so much shorter than my last one, I can park in the garage with the rack and bikes on it. This is the first time the rear view mirror has more visibility than the camera :)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I installed an EcoHitch from Torklift on my Bolt about a year ago, and it has been great. However, I ran across a post on another site where a Tesla Model S owner had an Ecohitch for 3 years, and after getting rear ended, the rear bumper was disassembled and he found out that the hitch and body of the car were corroding badly, due to galvanic corrosion (dissimilar metals touching, causing greatly accelerated corrosion). The Model S has an aluminum body and the hitch is made of steel. In 3 years, there appeared to be holes forming in the aluminum body of the Model S.

Do we need to be concerned about this issue with our hitches? I'm pretty sure the Bolt's unibody is steel, so that shouldn't be an issue, but the "crash bar" behind the bumper cover is made of aluminum (from what I recall), and it's definitely in contact with the steel hitch. I don't recall any sort of spacer between the steel and aluminum, so I'm considering taking everything apart again and making some sort of spacer, maybe out of thick plastic, to keep the two metals apart. Any thoughts/opinions on this?
 

·
Registered
2017 Bolt EV LT
Joined
·
272 Posts
If you're considering that, it's not just the two major components touching eachother but the fasteners in contact with the parts as well. It would be pretty tough to completely isolate three two parts.

Might be smart to just keep an eye on things until we confirm this is an actual problem on the Bolt as well, it's an easy enough area to access.

Interesting finding though, I'll take a look at my car in the spring when I rotate back into my summer tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
I installed the Draw-tight hitch, if I had known at the time that U-Haul installed the identical hitch I would have them do it. Today I had them do the wiring, 5 pin plug, compatible with the 4 prong plug but adds backup lights. I test towed one of their 4x8 closed trailers, got 153 miles/60KWhr at 65Mph, vs 254 Miles w/o trailer. Plan to tow 2K lb gross each weekend with an improved custom trailer. See pix on the photo gallery of the U-Haul trailer behind the Bolt.
How did that feel?
Is the hitch stiff, stable?
It is held by two bolts per side and the design looked kind of weak to me...
I am planning on getting the very same one, but wanted to hear opinions.

Lights?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Curt Hitch and Bike Carrier Accessory

Has anyone on the forum had the hitch and bike carrier accessory promoted by Chevy installed on their Bolt recently? Quality of products and installation? Not at all a DYI person, but interested in pursuing this if they have made improvements. Thanks...
I tried the Chevy accessory hitch but it hung too low so I returned it and got the Draw-Tite. Much cleaner, stealthier design where most of it is hidden behind the fascia and really clever tools they provide to fish the bolts inside the frame rails to complete the install. I did the install myself in about an hour but it would have been easier with two people. I used tin snips to cut the fascia panel to clear the hitch. Together with a Kuat Sherpa 2 bike rack, it's stable as a rock.
 

·
Registered
2017 Bolt EV LT
Joined
·
272 Posts
How did that feel?
Is the hitch stiff, stable?
It is held by two bolts per side and the design looked kind of weak to me...
I am planning on getting the very same one, but wanted to hear opinions.

Lights?
I've got the draw-tite hitch on my car as well. I thought the mounting design was perfectly adequate for the 2000lb rating. It feels quite solid and I've seen much worse on other cars / hitches. I've only pulled about 1000lbs on my 4x8 utility trailer behind the Bolt so far but the car was quite happy with that, and based on my experience with this trailer and my other cars I think the Bolt will feel just fine with the 1500lb max weight capacity of my trailer behind it. Of course, common sense and proper trailer loading are crucial when the weight increases. My only complaint about the draw-tite unit is that it's only a 1-1/4" receiver as I'd prefer it to be 2" so I can stick a 4-bike rack in there and they all seem to have a 2" tube. I may yet try it with an adapter since the load is lighter (2 adult bikes, two kids bikes) but I haven't crossed that bridge yet.

I used the Curt C59236 trailer light controller as I thought I might be dealing with PWM signals to the brake and running lights, but based on the common wiring instructions going around I think you can probably get away with a more basic unit. Unlike some of the other examples I've seen though, I did run a dedicated 12v feed from the battery to the trailer light controller so I'm not robbing power from an existing circuit. Also, IMO it's also way easier to pull the back seat and all the driver side trim in the trunk to do the wiring than it would be to try to get in behind that panel while it's still captured by the seatback. Don't worry about the airbag, just disconnect the negative terminal of the 12v battery and open the door or something to turn on a light to drain an residual energy from the system before disconnecting / reconnecting the airbag module.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
Thanks guys.
My HarboFreight 4x8 foldable trailer has all LED lights and so far all cars were OK with power draw from them.
My KIA with LED tails and 500e with PWM.
Both worked OK without additional 12V supply.

I think the most I pulled was 1600-1800 lb (gravel and mulch). That was with KIA. All of them were 1-1/4" square.
I looked into 2", but it just looks bulky in Bolt. Just does not look good.

Actually, on my trailer, I rebuilt the wiring system to use a custom 5 wire system that separates stop and turn signal (I have amber turn signals and red stop/tail). It all goes through 5 wire, where blue is the stop.
It is also wired with 4-flat through a signal separator (in case I needed standard 4-flat) to the lights.

I just need to check the wiring and find a way how NOT to splice. I would prefer to find the OEM harness or at least the socket and build the "extension" or kind of like a "tee-connector", so I can always easily remove it and bring the car back to stock state.

I guess this hitch is the best option. Price, installation, and the final look are just very nice.
 
161 - 180 of 193 Posts
Top