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I am.thinking.about buying a 2007 PT Cruiser. I need a reece hitch 2" receiver to accommodate my power lift and a scooter. Combined weight about 500 pounds. Can this be installed on this vehicle and will it handle the weight

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Oct 24, 2020 at 23:25
  • Are you considering towing a trailer (which contains your power lift and scooter), or having the power lift and scooter mounted directly onto the car's trailer hitch? Oct 27, 2020 at 23:28

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As per @PAULTER2, the towing capacity of PT Cruiser maxes out at 1000lbs (with an otherwise empty vehicle). As a standard, the maximum tongue weight of the trailer hitch (vertical force applied on the receiver) cannot exceed 10% of the trailer weight*, which makes it about 100lbs. This makes PTCruiser inappropriate for the task at hand.

To be able to handle 250lbs off the hitch like you want, you need a vehicle that can tow at least 2500lbs or even more.

*Note: You may exceed that, but only to less than 15% and with a real trailer.

Reference to PTCruiser's towing specs: https://www.etrailer.com/question-359072.html

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The towing capacity of your PT Cruiser is 1000lbs. It should be able to handle a combined weight (trailer and cargo) of 500lbs. As far as the hitch itself, you'd have to ask a Reece reseller if it will fit. If you can find one for it from Reece, it should be installable.

EDIT: As was rightfully pointed out, my answer did not give the full picture or answer the question fully.

While the towing capacity of the PT Cruiser is 1000lbs, the load capacity of it is the same (~1000lbs). Whether towed or carried, this is everything included. If you can get a hitch of significant strength to support the load of the scooter, it might work. As Enot points out, though, a hitch will only support so much.

What you really need to have is a purpose built platform which can support the weight of the scooter. As long as everything in the vehicle, including the scooter, scooter rack, passengers, fuel, and whatnot, does not exceed the 1000lbs, you'll be golden. If you weight 180lbs (just throwing a weight out there for example ... please don't take it personally!), plus another 200lbs for the rack, then throw in fuel for the car, a bag, any emergency supplies, etc, etc, etc ... you're going to come in close if not over the weight of what the capacity of the vehicle can handle. You need to be careful to measure what you're putting in there.

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  • I think the question asks about hanging 500 pounds on the trailer hitch, not towing a trailer of that weight. I know little about PT Cruisers, but I'd be very apprehensive that such significant weight on a hitch would have bad or dangerous effects on the car's handling and safety. Oct 27, 2020 at 23:29
  • @DavidSupportsMonica - Yup ... should have read the question closer. I'll see what I can do to update it. Oct 27, 2020 at 23:41
  • @DavidSupportsMonica - Updated. Oct 27, 2020 at 23:50
  • Much improved ! Oct 28, 2020 at 3:01
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I think putting a 500# load several feet aft of the rear axle on such a small vehicle will not be safe, and is not a good idea. While the car might be able to tow a trailer of that weight, I understand your question as asking about putting the weight directly on the trailer hitch, similar to how bicycles are carried on hitch-mounted racks.

While 500# may be within the car's carrying capacity, the weight won't be distributed between front and rear tires and suspension, but will because of the hitch's position mostly be acting on the rear. Worse, because the weight is significantly aft of the rear tires, the weight pressing down will tend to lighten the load on the front tires, which in the PT turn, brake, and steer. The front tires' ability to do these tasks will be impaired by hanging a big weight off the back of the vehicle.

I am not an engineer, but I have worked with car and motorcycle suspensions for decades. I think this is a bad idea, and is just too much weight for a hitch-mounted carrier.

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