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Yakima Hitch Bike Racks Review - 2015 Toyota 4Runner

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Review of the Yakima Hitch Bike Racks on a 2015 Toyota 4Runner


Hey everybody, Zack here at etrailer.com. Today we're taking a look at the Yakima Exo System on our 2015 Toyota 4Runner. Today I have the bike rack and cargo configuration. What's cool about the Exo System is you can swap a lot of different accessories out. So you can buy it like this, you can buy it with a Ski rack on top, you can buy it with two boxes, one box and bike racks, there's all kinds of different configurations and that's what I like about it. You can get it to suit your needs and then, maybe say in the off season of riding your bike, you go skiing or you go camping, you can swap that out and put in something else out there to just make it the ultimate kind of cargo solution for carrying gear with your 4Runner.

One of the best things about the Exo System is we're getting all of our gear in one spot. So it frees up some space on the roof or in the back of our car. So, there's all kinds of hitch-mounted bike racks and roof-mounted bike racks and the same thing for storage, for coolers, and storage boxes like this. But freeing up our roof allows us to put a box, maybe some kayaks, maybe a tent, something that we're looking that's gonna be a little bit bigger and then we're getting the back end of our vehicle cleaned up by getting some gear out of the back of it. Now, with this being back here, I can still access my hatch.

So the nice thing about it, it is pretty big but I can swing this away. So on the backside here, I have this big handle here that I can loosen that up by just twisting it, get a good grip on that, get that loosened up all the way and then there's a pull pin here, pull that out and then it's swings away. So then we can get this slid out here and then that pin will hold in place. So stay there for us and then I have full hatch access. So if I gotta get in the back to get more gear, maybe put some groceries, sit down and put some different shoes on, whatever we need, we've got that there for us.

And then a couple of things here, I can unload my bike this way or I can swing this around. So maybe I don't wanna get everything unloaded there. I can undo this little knob here. I left that key in that lock just for quick access but I can get that out of the way and there's a little pin there we can pull out, hold onto those and then this top shelf swings away. So then we can get our bike set up in this way now.

I'm not gonna be able to get in the hatch this way but this just makes it a little bit easier, if for whatever reason we need to adjust our bikes on here but then I can have those get loaded, unloaded and then I can just keep my stuff, I can take my straps off and just work with the cooler and my storage box here and not have to lift everything out of there. Get everything lined back up, get that secured down. And then I can take a closer look at this bike rack. We'll leave it in this configuration just to show you. So this bike isn't the biggest bike that I've ever used. This actually isn't my bike at all but we're gonna be able to fit several different size bikes on here. So for tire sizes we're gonna go from 20 up to 29 inch. So BMX up to some big mountain bikes. Widthwise we're gonna get up over 4.7 inches on tire width there. Now when it comes to the weight capacity, probably gonna be cut down on being able to carry mountain bikes or E-Mountain bikes on the top shelf. So when we have the bike rack in this top shelf configuration, it's gonna be a weight capacity of 40 pounds. If we, for some reason wanna take it off and use it down on the bottom by itself, the weight capacity per bike is gonna be 50 pounds. So, if that's something you're concerned about, there's definitely a negative side to this bike rack and top shelf, that 40 pounds but most road bikes, most mountain bikes we're gonna be able to fit up there, it's just when we start getting into some of the fat tires and the E-bikes is where we're gonna lose some of that capacity. Now when it comes to taking this off, I didn't show this off but it does have a lock that we can wrap around the frame there and lock back into itself. We will probably wanna consider picking up a bunch of different lock cores. I wanna say different, different than what it comes with. So getting everything to lock up here. So we're talking the lock at the hitch, the lock on the top shelf, the locks on the device that latch, all of our accessories in place, the locks for the bike rack, the locks for the Ski racks. So if you're starting to get a lot of different accessories for this system, you're gonna wanna pick up one of those larger, same key system lock core kits. It's gonna be a lot of lock cores to swap out but then you'll just have one key to use for all your different accessories. We'll get this bike taken off. We're gonna come back here and we're gonna release this strap. So, get that pushed out there and you can see that strap's really long and it'll come in handy for those fat tire bikes. Then we're gonna keep one hand on there and we can get this lifted up. And that just ratchets down so, what I do like is we do get this little bump out here in this hook. So if you've got a little bit larger fork here, even for some of those bigger ones, you're gonna be able to get around that for the most part and I liked that the button's right here. So really easy to get a good hand on and get around everything there. We gonna get this taken off, get this out of the way. So then we can get this back in place, that cradle and something you'll notice which is a little unique and I'll show you as soon as I get this back in place, I'm gonna twist this back around by pulling up on that pin. On most hitch mounted bike racks, the hooks are gonna be facing in the same direction. So they're gonna open up to the backside of the vehicle. You can see here they kinda go opposite of one another. The hooks open up to one another. And really what that is for, is when we have this swung out to make it a little bit easier to get that unloaded. Just one small design that I found to be a little bit interesting. We'll get this all put in place and then I have this back in place down here but I do need to make sure that everything latches back in place. So, make sure that One Push pin goes back in place and you get that larger T-bolt tightened back down to make sure everything stays nice and tight as we're going down the road. With all of our gear removed, we can take a closer look at the cargo carrier. So this is gonna be similar to some of those roof-mounted cargo carriers that you've seen or baskets. So it's gonna be about 21 inches wide and it's going to be about 54 and a quarter inches long on the interior dimensions with 110 pounds as its weight capacity. So not the highest hitch mounted weight capacity you'll see with cargo carriers, but being able to tag in with the bike rack or another basket or the Ski carrier is really what separates this. I do really like that it has all these different spots that I can run hooks or straps like I did with the cooler and storage box earlier, So it's really easy to get gear in there and tie it down. Altogether, this system is really heavy. So it's gonna be about 160 and a half pounds so keep that in mind, that's just the system by itself. That's not including the bikes, that's not including all the gear in here and if you keep that in mind, all of that gear together, you need to stay within the tongue weight capacity of your hitch on your 4Runner. A couple of other measurements to keep in mind is how much this is gonna add to the back of your vehicle. So you're getting a lot of gear back here but we're not going that far back. I like that we're going up with this. It will definitely block your back glass view but it is not gonna be completely obstructing all of your view. So from our rear point of our bumper there, we're adding about 37-1/4 inches and then our rear ground clearance. I'm gonna go up this knob here is at about 24-1/4 inches. So keep that in mind. We're still getting pretty good ground clearance back here, just something to keep in mind and then the closest point to the vehicle, we've got plenty of room back here but it's gonna be at this knob and that's gonna be at about 5-1/4 inches. So we've got tons of room there to get back there if we need to and then we're not gonna be able to get our hatch opened up like this but if you don't wanna swing it away every time you can still lower your back glass, just fine. The way this maps to your vehicle is with the two inch hitch which is going to be factory on most 4Runners and it comes with this anti-rattle bolt that has a lock on it so we're gonna be able to secure that. And it's gonna be nice and tight in there. You might get a little bit of play up and down, not much, you can see just a tiny bit but right here on the bottom of the base, there is a way that you can run this and hook this up to a 4 flat wiring to give us lights and if you also have concerns of your license plate being covered up, we also have a license plate relocation mount that you can get that hooked up as well. Another thing too, how this system works, I can show you quickly how this system comes off if you wanted to swap your gear out. You're just gonna get these loosened up, get those tabs over into the unlock position. And then this just slides out so then we could simply swap on our other accessory. The bottom is gonna do the same and then when it comes time to getting that lined up, we just want to get those tabs lined up, get everything tightened down. The one thing to this is this system is really heavy like we talked about earlier. So being able to take these off to make it a little lighter if we are taking the whole system off is a really nice benefit to it. So overall I think this system is really cool. It's really heavy so getting it loaded up maybe takes a little bit of effort, fine not a bad idea to grab a friend, cause we are really heavy on this passenger side. So getting that lined up with the entire ratable can be tricky at times but overall I think it's a really cool system. I really like that I can carry my system like this, swap it out, put Skis on there if I want, the box configuration with the bikes is really cool too. So we can keep everything secured if we're going on longer trips or we wanna run into the store. The nice thing about this one in particular is, maybe you don't need this full system, maybe you're only using it for a trip but you still want a bike rack for your weekly rides. We can take the top shelf off, put this bike rack down low and just use it as a regular bike rack throughout the week and save this for whenever we're going on our trips but overall it's a really cool system and I think it's gonna work out well with your 4Runner. But that's gonna do it for a look at the Yakima Exo system on our 2015 Toyota 4Runner..


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