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Kuat Hitch Bike Racks Review - 2018 Toyota Highlander

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Review of the Kuat Hitch Bike Racks on a 2018 Toyota Highlander


Hi, everyone. Aiden here with etrailer.com, and today we're gonna be taking a look at the Kuat NV Base platform-style bike rack, here on our 2018 Toyota Highlander. Now, the NV Base is a really nice bike rack. It's gonna hold the bike by the rear tire here on this strap, and by the front wheel hook up here which means zero frame contact. It's gonna make it really nice for our carbon frame bikes, we don't have to worry about damaging that tube; alternative frame bikes, because we're not relying on that tube for any sort of contact; and with a 60-pound weight capacity, it's even going to be good for some of our e-bikes with that battery removed. Another nice thing this has is the ability to tilt away with the bikes loaded.

This is a really convenient feature found in some platform-style bike racks and it lets us get access back here without having to remove all of our bikes. It just makes the whole process easier, more convenient, so if I wanna get back here, change my shoes before or after a ride, I've got plenty of space to sit down, get my feet up on the rack, maybe change the shoes out and I'm good to go. And then whenever we're done, we can close that hatch and we can lift the bike rack back up into place, it'll lock in, and you're good to go. There we go. Now to get the bike unloaded, we're gonna start back here at the strap.

We'll undo this first because the wheel hook up front is the thing that's holding the whole bike upright. So, with that done, hand on the bike, hand on the hook, push that up and out of the way, and then we can lift the bike off. Super easy to unload, because you don't have any sort of center mass that you're trying to move around with the bike. Especially if you've got a larger e-bike. With that much weight you don't want to be trying to fight around the bike rack.

You wanna just lift it off and get it out. We'll replace the strap, and while we're here we can see we have integrated cable locks on each tray so we can lock the bikes to the rack. And with these straps, they will slide along the entire length of the tray here, so we can have to accommodate for a variety of different wheel bases to make the bike rack work with our bikes. So I'll go ahead and put this arm down and we can go ahead and get some measurements with it like this. There is a pretty good rise in the shank here.

So we can see for ground clearance we're gonna be working with about 23 inches, which is plenty. You're not gonna have to worry about bottoming out in any of these situations. And then, for the length added, from the back bumper, we're gonna be looking at 31 inches. So that's not too bad. That's not too much extra length added, but if we wanna pull in our garage, close the door and leave this on so we're ready for next time, we can come to that same arm we did before, fold this up against the vehicle and get that same measurement. Now we're only gonna be sticking out about 16 inches to the end here, that's a lot more manageable. I think as long as your garage is big enough you should be able to pull in just fine. Now, while we're down here we can check out the tool-less anti-rattle knob. So twisting that tight, we can see there is no shake or play in the hitch. Loosening it up, we can see we do start to get some movement. I like that It's tool-less, you don't have to bring a wrench or anything with you, and it keeps things nice and solid. This will work with a two inch by two inch receiver tube and comes with a locking hitch pin which is key to like to those cable locks we saw earlier. Now the NV Base is a really nice bike rack. If you want to take a step up to the NV 2.0 it will come with a bike work stand, so if you're on the trails and need to do some maintenance you can, but otherwise it's gonna do the job just fine. Thanks for watching..


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