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Yakima EXO SwingBase 2 Tier Swing Away Hitch Extender Review - 2019 Ford Transit Connect

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Review of the Yakima EXO SwingBase 2 Tier Swing Away Hitch Extender on a 2019 Ford Transit Connect


Hi, everyone. It's Evangeline here at etrailer. And today, we'll be taking a look at the Yakima EXO System right here on our 2019 Ford Transit Connect. So the Yakima EXO System is a very unique system, and will pair great with your Ford Transit Connect. If you wanna go into van life, if you want to have everything you need for adventuring, for your camping, for all types of situations, that's where the modular EXO System can come in handy. There's a lot to this system, and I won't go into all the details.

You can find out different specs and measurements on the individual product pages here at etrailer. What I am gonna talk about though is how this works on our van. That way you can get the best fit for you. Quick overview of the accessories I have on here right now. We have the swing away base, we have the GearWarrior cargo basket on top of that, we're currently using the TopShelf as well, with the DoubleUp bike rack on top of that.

So all the dimensions and measurements I give, is gonna be for the TopShelf and the swing away. Just to give you a big idea of how it will work, no matter what type of accessory you have on there. The main part of the SwingBase, is its ability to swing away for when you need to open up your hatch. So the distance from the back of the SwingBase to where our door is, is gonna be eight inches of clearance. Right where the handle is, you have 6 1/2 inches of clearance.

You need to turn this handle in order to release the SwingBase. So note how much space we have for this. It will be a tight fit, but definitely possible. And once you have it fully loosened, you pull that knob and push out on the SwingBase all the way up till you get it to a 90 degree angle where it snaps into place. So with this swung away, you now have all this space to completely open up your hatch door.

That way, if you need to grab something real quick, maybe you have larger items inside of your hatch, or if you wanna camp out underneath here, you can do so. Let's take a quick look at our dimensions here, or some measurements. From the door to the SwingBase, we have a clearance of 3 1/2 inches. So plenty of clearance there, even if you have your larger bikes up there with larger handlebars, things like that, you'll be good. Now, if you notice the DoubleUp bike rack is actually accessible on both sides. It's a little bit different design compared to your normal platform rack. That way you can access it on this side while the other person needs to grab their bike from the other side. But, if you notice below the bike rack, you have your cargo. So what if you're using the cargo box You won't be able to lift up the lid on the box. What you can do is you can actually rotate the TopShelf. So we do have the lock on there. We're gonna take that lock out in a second, once we first loosened this knob. So this knob is out. We're gonna lift up a little bit to take that pin out. And now we will be able to fully rotate our bike rack, or our TopShelf, a full 180 degrees. And then we're gonna secure that pin in place while it's out in that position. And now we have full access for our cargo basket. If you do have the GearWarrior with wheels, you can take this off, cart it around. Now, if you do have your larger bikes, keep in mind that they may have some issues, once you swing them away, with making contact with your van. Although, we have plenty of clearance here, so you should be good. You can actually keep this out in this position as long as you want. Just to remember that you won't be able to open up your hatch If the TopShelf is swung towards the vehicle. And, please use the included jack that will support this corner, if you have it out for an extended period of time. So I'm just gonna swing this back in, so that we can swing the entire system back into place. Now remember, the DoubleUp bike rack has a different weight capacity if it's on the TopShelf, or if it's on the swing-away system. You then have a weight capacity of 40 pounds per bike with it on top, but if you bring it down, you'll have a bit more support, and will be able to carry up to 50 pounds per bike. That's where it's helpful to know the individual product information on our product pages. So we're gonna take the bike off in this position, since it's easy to access it. Note how you have a bunch of different locks on this as well. When you do get the Yakima EXO system, please make sure so, ahead of time, you get all of your lock core to match. That way you can utilize your Same Key System. And when you're ready to hit the road again, don't forget to bring this knob up. That way you can pull it by the end, and support it as you get it up the ramp, into that hole, and tighten it down with the lever you loosened earlier. This is a very important step. Make sure that is secure, because it's holding your SwingBase together. Okay, let's take some overall measurements. So first is going to be the length added to the back of our Ford Transit Connect. I'm going to measure from our bottom, from here to the end of the knobs on our swing away, and that's gonna be 34 inches of length. You're gonna have accessories on this, so that's gonna add length to that. The next measurement is going to be the ground clearance, and our Transit Connect is actually kinda lower to the ground, compared to some other vehicles. So from the bottom of the swing arms to the ground, it sits at 14 inches of clearance. So if you're going up those steep inclines, like those driveways or hills, that's gonna be a measurement to think about. And with that height that it sits at, I do like how it works with our van here, because with the DoubleUp bike rack, you can see how this does not go above our rear windshield wiper. So we still have pretty good visibility outside of our window. Now our backup camera is offset to the passenger's side, so it's gonna go right past the center mast. So depending on what cargo you have, let's say if you have a box, you'll probably have that covered. If you have a basket like this, you might still be able to see through your rear view camera. And if you want to, you could get the license plate and taillight relocation kit that clips onto the end of your swing away system, making sure that you are safe on the road. And in terms of width, this does not go past the side of your van, keeping you legal on the road. This does have a two inch shank, so make sure that fits into your two inch hitch receiver. We have an anti-rattle bolt included, as well as a lock. Again, get all those different lock cores at the same time, so it's all keyed alike. That's gonna be a 15/16 socket to tighten down that anti-rattle bolt. Just double check it as you drive around, to make sure that's nice and tight. Now, not only is it swing-away, but a huge part of it is how modular it is. Meaning if you can switch around your accessories super easily. So just press those tabs and rotate those knobs. Once they're in the unlocked position, both have cleats holding on to your accessory. So doing this means it releases those cleats. And now you can switch around your bike rack for a different accessory real quick. So here I have the Yakima EXO SnowBank, which is our ski and snowboard carrier. Those fit right into those cleats. And then rotate those knobs again to tighten it down. And once you have that secured, you'll be able to pop those tabs, lock those knobs, and just like that, you have a whole new accessory. So my personal thoughts about the Yakima EXO System, is it definitely very unique. You have a bunch of different options for your different accessories. It can get pricey, since you do have to get everything to match. You can't use non-EXO accessories with this. So make sure to use our product pages, where we recommend what types of accessories you can use with your system. I really like how it works with our Ford Transit. It's not too tall where it covers up our rear window. It's not too short where it hits the ground, not too wide where it covers our taillights, and things like that. So it's a really, really good fit. If you have your van loaded up, this is a great way to load up your hitch too. And it frees up your roof for even more accessories, like those cool kayaks or roof boxes. And that was a look at our Yakima EXO System with the DoubleUp bike rack, the SnowBank ski and snowboard carrier, the TopShelf, the GearWarrior cargo basket, and the swing-based swing-away system, right here on our 2019 Ford Transit..


Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
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Jacob T
Employee Chris R
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Employee Zach D
Test Fit:
Zach D
Employee Aidan B
Test Fit:
Aidan B
Employee Evangeline M
Test Fit:
Evangeline M
Employee John S
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