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Yakima Hitch Adapters Review - 2021 Chevrolet TrailBlazer

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Review of the Yakima Hitch Adapters on a 2021 Chevrolet TrailBlazer


Hi everyone, it's Evangeline here at etrailer. And today, we'll be taking a look at our Yakima EXO system right here on our 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer. So the EXO system is a very unique, really cool system. I have the second tier up here right now, which involves our SwingBase, our second tier TopShelf. Our accessories we have on here is the DoubleUp two-bike platform rack and the GearWarrior cargo basket. We'll also take a look at the SnowBank ski and snowboard carrier.

And we're gonna focus on our Chevrolet Trailblazer today though because well, I wanna see, does it fit How much weight capacity do we have total How close does it get to our vehicle And what types of cargos and bikes can we put on this So hopefully, this will help you figure out whether this is the right fit for you, your different types of your adventures, and your vehicle. The first thing we'll take a look at is the swing-away feature. So this is the SwingBase on the bottom, and we have some cool different levers, cool different knobs. Here, I'll guide you through this process. See this big lever here You're gonna wanna start loosening that lever because that's what's holding the SwingBase together.

Once that's fully loose, you can then pull this knob here. All right, it's not gonna let it go unless it's fully unthreaded, here we go. And then you're gonna push out while holding this side, all the way out until it locks in the corner right there. Why would you swing out your system Well, what if you wanna access your hatch Because you can see here, we have all this space behind our vehicle to open up our door, grab whatever we need. We could put out a table, a cooler over here to the side.

That's how much space we have. What if you need access to your cargo over here So let's talk about the swing-away feature. So first is if you have your bike rack, you can access your bike on this side while your friend grabs their bike on the other side. If you have the GearLocker, which is the enclosed cargo carrier though, you'll notice we don't really have much space over here, and that's okay because what you can do is you can swing this out. So we have this pin, and this can be locked if you want to, or you can use a clip, then you're gonna turn this knob.

And once that's released, you can then swing the TopShelf around. So let's swing this out all the way around, and see how close our bike comes to our car. Notice here how I have 23-inch wheels, and it comes kind of close to our vehicle, but we still have, I'd like to say two inches of clearance there. So something to keep in mind if you do wanna swing this away and you have your bike up on there. You could take your bike off if you have a larger bike or have it mounted to the other side, whichever works better for you. You can also move the TopShelf a little bit further out, but then you're gonna get closer to your vehicle. So there's that pros and cons here. So anyways, with it swung out, you now have access to your cargo on your basket or if you have your enclosed cargo carrier, you can then lift open the lid. Remember when you have it out like this, if you wanna have it out for an extended period of time, perfectly fine, just make sure that your hitch pin is in place, put the knob back in. And the TopShelf also has a jack for the corner, just to support that corner for a while. So that's gonna go right over here and give it that support. Now I'm just gonna swing this back around. That way, we can take our bike off. So let's talk about the DoubleUp bike rack. So I did full review videos of all the different accessories we have for the EXO system. So if you want more details like actual different wheelbases, things like that, definitely check out those videos. But for the DoubleUp bike rack, if you have it on top, you have an 80-pound total weight capacity. You can have it mounted to your SwingBase if it's on its own without a TopShelf. So just keep that in mind. Our bike is mounted right here. We have a carbon fiber frame bike, but since it's a front wheel mount, I don't have to worry about warping or cracking our frame. We have these straps over here, extra long straps for even up to those extra wide fat bike tires. And they have those small grooves for the tires like what we have here. To release the bike, press this lever, push that up, bring that out, and then just grab your bike, and you're ready you to go on a bike ride With all of your different EXO system accessories, they usually have lock cores, except for the cargo basket. So when you have this bike rack, this has locks on its trays. If you have the GearLocker, that has locks too. So depending on your accessories, go ahead and get a large set of Yakima lock cores. That way, you can utilize the same key system and make sure everything is keyed alike. Some quick measurements with the Trailblazer, especially with it swung out like this is we have a lot of clearance for the door. You can see how Chevrolet makes it where their door is really nice and compact. Now where this sits onto the side of our vehicle is gonna be right at the end of our taillight. So that's gonna be with our basket around three inches away from the end of our taillight. That will help you figure out if your different cargo, different accessories will fit with your Trailblazer. Now we'll close this and swing it back. If you had the jack stand attached, you can just take that out, and lift this knob in the corner as you pull on your SwingBase. Remember to hold it just by this handle. That way, you get a good amount of grip and leverage here. This is just gonna swing up the ramp, and then you're gonna use this knob to tighten everything down. This is very important 'cause it's holding everything together. As I tighten this down, let's talk about clearance 'cause this is a tight fit and I'm a small person. So the distance between our basket and our bumper is about seven inches. And notice how close the TopShelf gets to our door, that's about three inches. So it is curved up there, which is great, but it is gonna be a tight fit for when you wanna swing the SwingBase around. As you can see here on our Trailblazer, especially with our TopShelf, our TopShelf sits right below the emblem. With the bike rack on top, we still have our rear window completely visible. On the sides, those are visible as well, our taillights. What is gonna be covered is our license plate and our backup camera. Now that's okay for the license plate though because there is a license plate relocation kit as well as a light kit, it's called the Yakima LitKit. Your backup camera is gonna have to be sacrificed though with the TopShelf on, so just keep that in mind. Another measurement is ground clearance. So the bottom of our hitch on our Trailblazer, it sits about 10 inches from the ground. Our ground clearance for the SwingBase then is 12 inches or one foot. So we have a slight lift here. Now down at the bottom, we have it where the shank is lined with the hitch. So if you're going up steep inclines like your driveways or hills, your front will go up and your back will go down. So that's something to keep in mind in terms of ground clearance. So the two main features of the EXO system is how easy it is to swing away as well as how cool it works with that feature, and its modularity or the ability to switch things around super quickly. So with everything unlocked, I'm gonna switch out our bike rack. We have these tabs over here, push those out, and then rotate our locking SpeedKnobs so that the cleats release our bike rack. Once it's all the way out, you'll feel it stop. You can then lift your accessory up, the bike rack is kind of heavy, and switch it out with something else. So I have our ski and snowboard carrier. That's just gonna pop right into those tracks, one and two, and then tighten down again with the knobs. We're gonna go all the way until it's tight, and you'll know it's secured when you can push those tabs through. Go ahead, lock those with your keys. And now you can load this up with your skis and snowboards. Here, we have our snowboard. This pops right in there and secures. You can load this up with multiple skis or multiple snowboards. Definitely check out the review video for this if you're interested in how it works. This is actually a great pairing with the GearLocker if you are doing winter sports. I also have videos of all the different combinations, so those are definitely fun to watch too. The ski and snowboard carrier is gonna be the longest accessory for the EXO system, so it's a good measurement to figure out how much length is this gonna add to the back of my Chevrolet Trailblazer. So I'm gonna measure from our bumper here 'cause that's the furthest point to the end of the carrier, and that sits at 36 inches or three feet. So definitely a measurement to keep in mind whenever you're backing into your garage or trying to park into a really tight spot. Don't forget too that it swings out, so that's something to think about as well. Another thing about the Chevrolet Trailblazer, since it's a small or more compact vehicle, it's nice to know that this gives you a little bit of extra room at the resort. So my personal thoughts about the Yakima EXO system, especially on our Trailblazer is first, make sure you have the weight capacity and check your hitch on your vehicle, just to make sure you're not overburdening it. Another thing about the EXO system is it lives in its own little world with all of its own different accessories. It's really, really cool if you're into that modular system, but just keep in mind that if you only want a cargo basket or you only want a ski and snowboard carrier, we have those options as well here at etrailer at a little bit more of an affordable price. So if you are interested in the EXO system, we go really into depth on our individual videos for the accessories as well as the two-tier system itself. Those are definitely worth checking out if you're trying to figure out if it's the right fit for you. But hopefully, this video helped you out with seeing how it works with your Chevrolet Trailblazer, and you can see we had pretty good clearances all around. And that was a look at the Yakima EXO system with the SwingBase hitch extender, the TopShelf second tier, the GearWarrior cargo basket, we saw the DoubleUp bike rack earlier as well as the SnowBank ski and snowboard carrier. We took a look at all of them right here on our 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer. My name is Evangeline, and I hope you enjoyed the journey..


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Employee Zach D
Test Fit:
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Employee Aidan B
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Employee Evangeline M
Test Fit:
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