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4 Bike Trailer Hitch Mounted Bike Rack for a 2012 Lexus GX 460

Question:

Recommendations please for a 4 bike hitch mounted bike rack for 2012 Lexus GX460? Plan to install 2inch Class 3 hitch. Prefer platform but open to all options. Tailgate swings to the side like barn door. Wouldnt be the end of the world if we had to unload the bikes to open tailgate if that would greatly decrease cost.

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Expert Reply:

For your 2012 Lexus GX 460, you're probably going to be better off picking up a hanging rack over a platform rack, as there aren't any swing-away 4 bike platform racks. Additionally, because of the way that the rear of the GX 460 opens, the hanging rack will work a little better overall with the rear hatch.

For a hanging rack, I recommend Yakima's FullSwing, part # Y02465. This swing-away hanging rack uses ZipStrips to secure the bikes across its two arms, and reduces the amount of sway that the bikes experience, reducing the chance of damaging the bikes during travel. The FullSwing also includes integrated anti-rattle hitch and locks for the bike and rack, giving it added security. Since this is a hanging rack, you'll need to use a frame adapter bar like part # 64005 to help any alternate frame bikes ride more evenly on the rack, further reducing their risk of damage.

If you're set on the platform rack, you'll want one that folds effectively flat to give the best range of motion to the rear hatch when the bikes are unloaded. I recommend the Saris Freedom, part # SA4414B. This frame mount platform rack is extremely adjustable, letting you choose the positioning that works best for your bikes. Additionally, it's extremely light for a 4 bike rack at 53 pounds, letting you easily install and remove the rack between trips. The Freedom doesn't include integrated locks, but they can be easily added with part # SA984.

I've included video reviews of both of these racks so you can get a better idea of their features and performance on our test course.

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Question:

Thank you for the info! So do I understand that there is no swing out model that is platform? And if we went with swing out model you suggested would he then be able to open the barn door type tailgate of the 2012 Lexus GX460 (that opens to the side rather than up and down) with bikes in place or with bikes unloaded but rack still attached? If my son insists on the platform style would he have to remove both bikes and bike rack to swing open tailgate door? If we need to stay in the value range, can you suggest good options? Thanks so much! Anxious to make a decision and place an order!

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Expert Reply:

There's only two bike options that are swing-away platform racks, as the size gets a little unmanageable after the second bike to make the swing-away mechanism work in terms of not hitting the vehicle when its swung open.

If you did go with the Yakima FullSwing, part # Y02465 it would be able to swing out and under where the rear barn-style door on the 2012 Lexus GX460 would open. I strongly recommend using caution with the swing away racks, because even though they have stops to not go past the 180 degree opening, the handlebars on the bikes can still reach the vehicle in some cases.

If you went with the Saris Freedom, part # SA4414B, then yes, you'd need to remove all bikes on the rack prior to swinging the rear hatch open on the GX 460. The bikes won't lean far enough away for the door to swing completely open.

The economy racks aren't really a great fit for the GX460's door, as they use a long distance lean to get out of the way of the door, and I'm not confident that you'll have the clearance in order to open your door.

One final idea you might consider is using a swinging adaper like the Kuat Pivot # PVP20B. It basically allows any bike rack for 2 inch hitches to be a swinging rack. This does however increase the overall cost by quite a bit.

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