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Thule Hitch Bike Racks Review - 2019 Toyota RAV4

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Review of the Thule Hitch Bike Racks on a 2019 Toyota RAV4


Colin: Hey, everyone, I'm Colin here at etrailer. Today we have a 2019 Toyota RAV4. We're going to be doing a test fit of the Thule Apex XT 4 Bike Rack.This is a hanging style bike rack which allows you to transport up to four bikes to and from your destination. We're going to have an onboard cable lock which comes from the mast of the bike rack. Once you have your bikes loaded you pull it up all the way. It goes into that slot and it's going to be a great theft deterrent for your bikes.

You are going to have included set of keys to lock up the cable when it's in the slot. Unlock it to unload your bikes. Then it just stows right in the mast of the bike rack.Our bike is going to be secured at three different points. We're going to have two straps on the top tube securing it onto the cradles. And we're also going to have this anti-sway cradle which is preventing a lot of unnecessary movement from our bike while we're traveling.

It's going to help prevent a lot of bike-to-bike contact, and bike-to-vehicle contact. Let's go ahead and take the bike off. It's going to be pretty easy to do. You just push in the tabs and the straps come right out and the anti-sway cradle which is around the seat post tube and then we'll unload our bike. Now when I'm done unloading all my bikes I always like to go ahead and replace all of my straps.

It just gives my bike rack a more uniform look and the straps aren't loose and flopping around either.Now with any hitch-mounted accessory, you are going to have added length to your vehicle. In the case of our RAV4, we'll measure from the bumper to the outer most point of our bike rack. We've added on about 40" to the back of our vehicle. We can cut down on that space just by folding down these arms. We're going to have a gray latch up top right here.

We'll just pull that up. Let the arms fold down until you hear it click, letting you know it's locked in place. Now we'll measure again from the bumper to the outer most point. It's going to be about 10-1/2" added on. So, we took away a lot of space. That's something you want to keep in mind for situations where maybe you want to park in your garage and not remove your bike rack.Now obviously with the bike rack installed, we can't gain access to the trunk. However, when it's empty we can tilt it away in order to open up our hatch and grab whatever we might need. With a similar latch at the bottom down by the base of our bike rack just pull that up, let the bike rack tilt away. It's going to lock into place down there. And we can open up the trunk. You can see plenty of clearance between the hatch and the bike rack. Now we can get back here, grab whatever we might need out of the trunk. To tilt it back up, like I said, it is locked in place. So, we're going to have to reach back down there and pull the latch to get it to come back up. Now we'll push until it locks into place.Let's come down and see how it attaches to our hitch. We're going to have a 2" x 2" hitch receiver on our RAV4. If your RAV4 has a 1-1/4" receiver or if you have another vehicle in your household with an 1-1/4" receiver you can remove the sleeve that's currently on the inside of our hitch right now and that will convert the shank of our bike rack to fit 1-1/4" hitches. We're going to have this retractable hitch pin which is a nice upgrade. We're not going to have to worry about lining up the pin holes with our fingers. And we're also going to have this knob right here which we turn and tighten down. It's going to be our anti-sway system that takes out the shake and play from our bike rack while we're traveling. And it is going to have a lock on it, keyed to like with your cable lock so no one can remove your bike rack without that key.Well, that's going to do it for our test fit of the Thule Apex XT 4 Bike Rack on our 2019 Toyota RAV4.Here on our test course, we'll start by going through the slalom. This is going to show us the side to side action. This simulates turning corners or evasively maneuvering. Once we get to the alternating speed bumps we'll see the twisting action. This will simulate hitting a curb or a pothole or driving over uneven pavement. Once we get to the full speed bumps we'll see the up and down action. This will be just like driving in and out of a parking lot, parking garage, or driveway.


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Colin H
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