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Yakima EXO SwingBase Swing Away Hitch Extender Review - 2020 Honda Odyssey

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Review of the Yakima EXO SwingBase Swing Away Hitch Extender on a 2020 Honda Odyssey

Hi, everyone, it's Evangeline here at etrailer. And today we're looking at the Yakima EXO SwingBase System here on our 2020 Honda Odyssey. So the Yakima EXO System is a modular system where you can mix and match different accessories. So it will be a great option for you, let's say, if you do not have a roof rack on your car, you can't add a roof rack on your car, or, if you already have a roof rack on your car, you still want to carry more gear and more accessories, this would be a good option for you in order to maximize your hitch. So they we're going to talk about how the EXO System fits on our Honda Odyssey. So the first thing we're going to take a look at is ground clearance.

Now the closest point, or the closest thing to the ground is going to be your SwingBase. No matter what kind of accessory you have on top of it, this is going to be the same ground clearance all throughout. So at the bottom of the arms, it's a ground clearance of 14 inches. And then over by the shank, we'll take a quick measurement, and that's going to be about 10 and a half inches from that shank to the ground. So it's going to be on the lower end when it comes to ground clearance towards the shank, so you're going to appreciate that slight shank rise to get on top of the arms.

Now we're going to take a measurement for the length added to the back of your car. So measuring from the bumper on our Odyssey, to the end of the knobs on our SwingBase, it's just at 31 inches from the car. Now, depending on your accessory, you may get a little bit more length. So like for example, our bike rack here sits at 34 inches away from our bumper, just because that front wheel mount sits a little bit further out. So the length added to the back of your vehicle is going to be a measurement to keep in mind whenever you're backing into garage or trying to park into a tight spot.

No matter what kind of accessories you have, you want to make sure you have enough clearance in your parking space and that you don't forget that this entire system is behind you. The big thing about the SwingBase System is that it swings away. So to do so, we're going to go over here to our knob and rotate it. So just rotate that knob enough until it releases from the end of your SwingBase, and once you see that it's loose, you just pull this knob at the end and push it a full 90 degrees out until the knob in the corner catches. With the SwingBase swung away, we can now open our hatch.

So as you can see, we have eight inches of clearance between the edge of the door and right where our tires are, giving us full access into our trunk. Maybe we can grab our bags, grab our tables, grab our chairs, our large cargo, we have plenty of space to do so, even more than you would get from toping away from a traditional bike rack. With it swung away like this, notice how when we have the double up bike rack accessory on top, it's actually easier to take your bike off from this position because of where it's facing. And if you have two bikes on, you can then go to the other side and take it off from there. So that's just something to keep in mind for ease of dismounting your bike, especially if maybe you have a heavier bicycle. Now taking the bike off is actually super easy, we have two points of contact. So one is going to be our front wheel clamp, this is going to be especially helpful with, let's say, a carbon frame bike, or, an alternate frame bike, like a women's bike, children's bike, or step through bike, because then you don't need the traditional frame adapter bar that you need with the traditional bike rack. Over here in the back, we have a wheel strap, so that goes around the wheel and it ratchets down to secure it. So when you want to take your bike off, this is where you start. You press that button, then you just lift up on that strap and try to leave it to the side, then you come over here to the front, press this button, lift up, push out, and from there, you're ready to go on a bike ride. With the bike out of the way, we get to take a closer look here at our cradles and our straps. So there, your cradle can be rotated back and forth to accommodate different wheel bases, you also have this extra long strap. So that's going to be helpful if you happen to have a fat tire bike, because the maximum width that this strap can accommodate is 4.8 inches. Now let's go right here to the front. So we have this front wheel cradle, it's a really large cradle for your larger wheels. And how this works, is that it folds in and has a tab that secures it in the compact position. So when you put it away, make sure that it locks into that tab so it doesn't flop back up. You also have this front wheel mount. So we talked about how this is especially useful for different types of bikes, but It's also really easy to use. It has a cable lock integrated into each of the front wheel clamps. So if you want to lock it up and utilize the Yakima same key system, I recommend getting a bunch of lock cores that have the same key, or that are keyed alike, that way you can replace the lock cores on both your swing base, your bike rack, and your other Yakima EXO accessories. This does have a weight capacity of 50 pounds per bike when you do have it mounted to the SwingBase System. Now, if you do have the Yakima TopShelf, the second level system, and you put it on there it's going to be a weak capacity of 40 pounds per bike. So if you do have heavier bikes on here, I do recommend putting a jack into the middle if you have it out for an extended period of time, and then when you're ready to go, just take that up. So we're going to show how to swing it back into place. There's going to be a lever right over here or a knob, just lift up on that knob, hold on to this corner, and start swinging it back into position until that knob catches it in the corner. Now we're going to rotate our knob so that we can secure the SwingBase System. This is going to be a very important step because you want to make sure it's secured so that it doesn't jostle around as you drive around. Here on our Honda Odyssey, we have a clearance of two inches between the bumper and the knob, so it may be a slightly tight fit for people with larger hands. But the biggest thing about the Yakima EXO System is its modularity. So, we're going to take a look at that process and switch this out with a different accessory. First thing you need to do is to unlock the tabs and then rotate them. So just rotate those locking speed knobs just like that, and then your brakes take off the bike rack and replace it with something else. And now I have the Yakima SnowBank. So that's going to be our ski and snowboard carrier for the Yakima EXO System. We'll just fit those into those tracks and tighten it down again with those speed knobs. So once you have it fully tightened down, you can then just press that tab. So that tab is also going to be helpful to know whether it's tightened down or not, and with those tabs in place, that's how you fix or switch out the accessories. So the SnowBank can fit five pairs of skis, or four snowboards. You can see how we have a double jointed end, and that's going to help with your thicker bindings on your skis. Check out my review video of that just to see the exact measurements. You also have this cushion on the inside that's gonna help with securing those skis and making sure they don't get extra scuffs and scratches, as well as when they are wet with snow, you're going to appreciate that rubber cushion, because that's going to give you a little bit more grip when you secure those snowboard carriers. So the SnowBank can ratchet down so you have those different levels depending on how thick your bindings are on your skis and your snowboards, so just tighten that down as far as you can get it. Notice how on the end we have a plastic lock core, that's because you can replace it with these same key system lock cores that you may get for your entire EXO System. You also have a large button at the end that way when you have your larger gloves, you can just press on that button and it pops up so that you can mount or dismount your skis, or your snowboards. Now the SnowBbank is going to be the longest accessory that you can get onto your SwingBase or your TopShelf, so measuring from our bumper to the end of our SnowBank, we have a distance of 39 inches away from our bumper. So again, that's going to be a length that you're going to have to keep in mind when you're backing into your garage, or parking into a tight spot with your SnowBank on. So there's also utilizes an anti-rattle bolt that uses a 24 millimeter socket. It comes with a wrench to tighten down, but I do recommend picking up a socket wrench here at etrailer with the correct socket, 'cause it's so much easier to tighten down that way. But with that being said, my final thoughts about the SwingBase System on our Honda Odyssey is I do like how it works, and especially its modularity. If you have everyone in your vehicle, let's say you have all your gear, you have all your cargo, but you still need more space for your like skis and snowboards, your bikes, if you want the large box, if you want the large basket, if you want both, you get to do that with this system. You do have a close fit for the knob to swing it away with our bumper, but there is still about two inches of space there, which you do get to work with. Now with it, we do have a slightly low ground clearance of 10 inches by the shank. So if you do have it on here, just be mindful of that ground clearance, whenever you're going up steep inclines like driveways or hills. But all in all, I still think it's a great system and we do get access and clearance with our hatch, which is awesome. So that was a look at the Yakima EXO System with the SwingBase, and the double up bike rack, and the ski and snowboard carrier here at etrailer, on our 2020 Honda Odyssey..

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