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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 Transfer V2 Platform Style Bike Rack here on our 2018 Toyota Highlander. Now, this bike rack can hold two bikes, and it's gonna hold it at the pivoting wheel cradle at the back here, and at this wheel hook on the front, which means zero frame contact. That's gonna make it good for our carbon frame bikes, our alternative frame bikes, and with a 40 pound capacity, you're not gonna want to work with any sort of e-bikes probably, so just watch out for that. Now, this does have the option to tilt away with the bikes loaded and to do that, I'm actually gonna pull this other arm up just to give me easy access to the foot pedal here. It's a really unique way of tilting down.

And something important to note on your Highlander is that it doesn't tilt back super far. And you'll see here as I let the hatch up slowly, I will stop it once it gets close, we're not gonna clear it with the handlebars. Now, depending on your bike, if you had something with really narrow handlebars, you might be able to kind of flex it out a little bit, but personally, I wouldn't risk it. So if that's a deal breaking feature, you might wanna look into some other bike racks, but the good thing is your Highlander's back glass can pop open. So if you do need to get something outta here without unloading the bikes, you totally can.

Tilting it away still gives you a ton of room to just walk in here, grab what you need and go. So I don't think it's that bad. And then what we can do is just tilt it back up and it locks into place, nice and easy. So to get the bike unloaded, what I'm going to do is undo the back wheel strap first, and then we can come to the front wheel hook, press in this button, up and out with it. And then we can just lift the bike up and away.

Now I do wanna point out though, it's not that much of a difference on the two bike version of this. They do have other larger capacity options, but you can unfold that arm and walk right up to the bike. So if you are pushing the weight capacity, you don't wanna lean out and get it. Then you could do. It's a really unique feature, you can just walk up and do this.

Again on the two bike version you don't notice it as much, but on those other ones, you are gonna notice it a lot more. And if you want to down the road, you can get a one bike add-on for this, so you can make it a three bike carrier. And again, you will really notice it a lot more then when you've got three slots and you have to reach to the innermost one. So now, I can just replace this strap. We can see how these pivot and I can fold down these arms. And then we'll get some measurements here with our tape measure, starting with our ground clearance. There is a bit of rise in the shank here which will give us 20 and a half inches of ground clearance, which is pretty good. The Highlander sits up pretty high off the ground. And I don't think you're gonna have to worry about bottoming out, but we do have the nice option for folding it up. or actually first, let's check the distance that sticks out with it folded out like this. So that's gonna be adding 36 inches of length to the car. So that's gonna be adding quite a bit, tight parking spots and stuff you're gonna wanna watch out, but now we can fold it up and actually see how much the folding reduces that length. We're going to be sitting here at 15 inches added to the back. That's a lot more reasonable. So if you wanna leave this on your car between rides, you absolutely can. It's ready to go for next time. And something else important to note is because of this U-shaped design, you've got a lot of open room here for your backup camera. That's a thing that not a lot of people think about, and it's gonna really improve the usability of your car with your bike rack on it. Now down below, we can check out, we've got a specially keyed tool here for our anti-rattle device. So not tool free, but it's gonna prevent tampering with when you're out and about. And we've got it working in a two inch hitch or an inch and a quarter. Something to point out is that there is a version of this bike rack that is strictly two inch hitch. That one's really nice because it actually gives you a better weight capacity, 60 pounds per bike. So if you like this bike rack, you want to use it, but you do have something that needs higher than that 40 pounds, go for the two inch version of this. Or if you've got two vehicles you may be swapping between, you have different size hitches, maybe go for this one. Either way, they're gonna be really nice and work really well for your Highlander. Thanks for watching..


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