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Yakima EXO SwingBase 2 Tier Swing Away Hitch Extender Review

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Review of the Yakima EXO SwingBase 2 Tier Swing Away Hitch Extender


Hi everyone, it's Evangeline here at etrailer. And today we are looking at the Yakima EXO swing away system with the top shelf and the SwingBase. It's our two tier hitch extender here at etrailer. This is part of the Yakima EXO system and these are the bases that you need to be able to carry two EXO accessories on your hitch. Now, this is to be used only with the Yakima EXO accessories. So take a look at those.

The EXO system is Yakima's way of expanding upon your hitch to carry even more accessories and gear for your different and changing adventures. This modular system uses mix and match accessories for camping, cycling, skiing, and biking as well as cargo carriers to maximize your space. This provides two levels for your EXO accessories and you can mix and match up and down however you want with some limitations. One of them is that if you have the top shelf installed you can't have the bike rack at the bottom because you don't have enough height for it and the bike rack needs to be installed on the top shelf if you're using it together. Now let's talk about weight capacity.

Please check the product pages for the specific weight capacities depending on where they are mounted. For example, if you have the load warrior on the SwingBase alone, you have a weight capacity of 250 pounds, but once you install the top shelf, it drops down to 110 pounds and if you put the load warrior on top your weight capacity is 80 pounds. So please make sure to mix and match and know what the weight capacities are when you do so. The SwingBase and a top shelf are just the base for the EXO system and you're going to need some accessories to maximize the entire experience. I have some recommendations, it's up to you, how you live out your adventures, but some good pairings are the bike rack on top, that's a double up two bike rack, with the gear warrior cargo carrier on the bottom.

Another really cool kit is when you have the snowbank ski and snowboard carrier on top and the gear locker on the bottom. This is designed to be left on your vehicle, especially if you have the SwingBase installed, the top shelf you can take off very quickly, but let's take a look at some clearances and measurements. So you know how much space you have to work with. So for the length of it sticking out with the SwingBase we have from the hitch pin hole all the way to the end of the arm and it sits at around 35 inches. Now from the hitch pin hole to where it is folded up it sits at about 16 inches.

You can swing this whole system away as a whole and to do so there is this knob here at the back that you need to loosen. So I guess loosen that all of the way until it detaches from the SwingBase, and then you pull this snap, remember to hold onto this handle and then swing it 90 degrees until that knob in the corner attaches. With it swung out like this you can also swing the top shelf, if you want to access all of your cargo at the same time. To do so take off this lock as well as this hitch pin, then remove this knob right there. And once that's loosened and removed you can then swing the top shelf, a full one 80 degrees. When you do have it fully loaded especially with swung out like this. I highly recommend attaching the jacks that are included with the system to give it the extra support that it needs. You will have two sizes here, depending on how high your hitch is sitting off the ground. Now for this vehicle, I use these smaller ones and there are three mounting points. There's one underneath this end. Then there's one underneath the top shelf mast. But the best one which will get you the best support is right here in the corner. I'll show you how to install it. So first you're going to get to the base and make sure it's properly situated on the ground. Then you're going to pick the piece that will fit your elevation the most, I think this shorter one is the best fit for our vehicle here. You're going to have a hole that you insert the rod into and then you rotate it until it raises up to the height of your SwingBase. One thing I do not like is that this is kind of short and we have it at the max to support the SwingBase. Like it's still gonna fit, but it's gonna be close. If you have any other questions about this system I actually just had a conversation with some of my coworkers where they ask some questions about it. Let's take a look at that discussion. So we've been able to play around with all of the Yakima EXO system down here all week we've been throwing things on the SwingBase, the top shelf and then mixing them around moving them up, taking them off. It's a lot of different products. So I understand if you guys have any questions about how the system works, this is your time. So these products will only work on the SwingBase, correctYes, they will, the SwingBase is the core to this entire system and nothing else will work if you do not have that SwingBase. And what products do you have on there right nowSo right now I have the SwingBase into and on top of the SwingBase is our gear warrior which is like a roof basket for your hitch. And then we have the top shelf installedCamera Man With the gear warrior you can actually throw on these little wheels and we can actually make it into something that's portable. Yeah. The gear warrior turns into a cart. Woman The video's not on so you're fine. Now, could you carry two of the gear warrior Could you carry one we're it is now, and then put another one up on topYes, absolutely you can. So you can get for the cargo carrier, so you can carry two of them each, so, like, the gear warrior is the cargo carrier. And the gear locker is the enclosed cargo carrier that looks like a box. So you can have both of those on there at the same time. Camera Man So both of those or two of the gear warrior or two of the locker, that you, you can like mix and match those, which is really nice. And then do you have the bike rackYes, I'll actually grab that bike rack real quick. So the thing about the bike rack is if you're going to be loading two things at the same time, the bike rack has to be by itself, on top. Alright, its because it gets caught on your So like for the bike rack, if you do have bikes obviously it's going to be pretty tall. But, so if you have the gear warrior or the gear locker on the bottom, the bike rack goes on topYou couldn't put two bike racks on there. No. You can't. Camera Man No, there's not very much room. For that, no. Yep! So that's how quick and easy it is to pack something on top. And now you can carry two bikes, as well as all of your equipment on the bottom. Now how about locksThere's a lot of places to put lock cores on this system. I think the most I counted was nine all at once. I think it was with the bike rack and the like the gear locker on the bottomCamera Man It was the gear locker, yeahBecause the SwingBase comes with three locks. So one for each of the knobs, and then there's a hitch pin. The top shelf comes with three locks again for the knobs and the hitch pins to hold the top shelf. And then each of the items have their own spots for lock cores. Like the bike racks have to lock core spots on, one on each arm to lock each bike. So you can have at least nine lock cores on your system at once. Woman And these don't come with the lock cores pre-installed you have to add them separatelyYes. So they come with a plastic end and that's what you add the lock core to. Woman Right, I mean that way you could make sure that you have all of them the same key numbers. You can have them all keyed alike. Yeah. It's like here on our snow bank we still kept the plastic lock core on there just so you can see what it looks like. So it will still function the exact same way. It just won't be able to be locked until you add a lock core. Woman Cool. Now the SwingBase comes with three locks cause that's an important part. I believe it comes with the locks. Camera Man Yep. It did. Whenever we we're putting it together. Yeah cause that's what you need to use the knob. Camera Man So lock cores are definitely a big one. It's almost like if you're getting one of the kits systems you'd almost want to just have those bought. I think the best thing to do is once you get the SwingBase also get like eight locks in anticipation of your future accessories. Camera Man Yeah. Cause we we're talking about it with some of our other coworkers and it would be a pain if you got like almost everything that the EXO system can give you and then you have like seven or eight keys that you have to go through and figure out which ones are which. It wouldn't be fun. Woman Yeah. It'd be better to get them all at once and then just have one key that works for all of them. Yeah. Camera Man Yep. Then just add them as you go. Woman So the hitch lock comes with the SwingBase and the knobs on the SwingBase come with locks but everything else is separate. Camera Man Everything else is separate. Some of them come with like little lock cores with them but they're not key to like with the rest. Woman So it's better to buy a pack, like you said of eight and then just make sure they're all the same. Camera Man Yeah. Because right now like this top shelf is going to have a different key from the bottom SwingBase. And then the actual like bike locks are going to have different keys. So that's already three keys that you have to, you know, keep track of. And that's only, you know, a full setup. This is one of the kits, correctYes. So, and then if you switched it out with this snowbank or you switched to this one with another gear locker those will also have different locks. So in anticipation of how many accessories you have try to think about lock cores as well. Is the weight capacity the same for the upper tier as it is the lower tierNo and that's what you're going to have to be super sure of. Well, not sure of, but check before you build things up. Like here we have the gear warrior and it has the highest possible weight capacity which is 250 pounds if it's installed alone on the SwingBase. But once you install the top shelf anything on the bottom has a slightly less weight capacity. And if you put the gear warrior on this top shelf it will have a weight capacity of 80 pounds. So it's a big difference depending on where you mount it. That is a big difference. Woman Yeah. That is a big difference. That's mostly to do with the hitch itself rather than the actual components, weight capacities. Yes. All cause it's further away from the hitch. Like we have, we have the weight capacity. So also the top shelves can be pushed out if you're worried about for your back. So I believe that would also be why we have a lower base weight. Now much like a lot of bike racks will fold up so you can pull into a garage or whatnot. Is there any kind of fold-up option for this or do you have to remove it from your hitch if you're in a tight spotYes. You'd have to. Well, yeah, you gotta remove it, it swings away, which is it's, you know compromise for not being being able to tilt away or fold up, but yes. Camera Man So you could get to like folding it is taking almost everything off. Like you can take off your equipment and you can take off the top. And then the two bottom arms fold in that's about the closest thing that you would get to it but it's not like you can fold it any other way and you still got a good amount sticking out but at least those, those two Yakima arms are going to slide in against the base. Can you remove the bike rack and put on the ski rack real quickI can. One thing though about the top shelf, is that it does add a little bit to where it feels slightly heavier, but yes. I can. So first we just lock it with that where it's open and lift your bike rack off. And I'll find somewhere put this and then snowbank comes in two parts. So here's one, I just slide this tracks. Then we'll tighten those feet down on that. And then lock that tab into place. That secures it. So the tabs only turn when it's tightened down that lets, you know, it's fully tightened down. And that's it. Ready to load. Woman Remind me, you can't just buy the fit feet and add them to your previously existing Yakima accessories to make them work with this, correct They're all stamped. They have to be for the EXO system. Actual clamps are available anywhere to install. So it's just EXO system accessories that fit into those tracks. Camera Man Yeah. We haven't seen any evidence to the contrary that we'd be able to do that. So. Woman No, it makes sense. I just wanted to double check. I think the only thing from Yakima's previous line that fits on this is the skinny warrior and that's because the clamps for the gear warrior are attached to the gear warrior. So that's what the that's what allows the skinny warrior to be retrofit because it fits perfectly on top of that too. But other than that, nothing else that I know of. Camera Man Okay. Well glad we could answer some of your questions on the EXO system, it's a definitely an interesting one. We've messed around with it. For what like last three days, four days. Four days. Yes. It's definitely something for people who've already build up their roof rack or can't get a roof rack. So they're looking into this because this is a roof basket but on my hitch or a roof box on my hitch plus a ski and snowboard carrier. So I do see people that are thinking of whether to get a trailer or this as an option, as a comparison. Camera Man And I would definitely say that if somebody is wanting to buy this they're going to want to be able to get as many of the pieces as possible. This doesn't seem like something you would want to be like, Oh I'm just getting this for skis or for a bike. Like this is something like, Oh I need room for my skis, my bikes. And then maybe I'm going to go just camping. And I need two cargo carriers for the week or something like that. Sure that makes senseWoman That was going to be, that was my one question is after our conversation this morning, that is as a bike rack. Like if you we're just going to get the bike rack is it really that comparable to other swing away bike racks Or is this kind of more trouble than it's worth You know what I meanCamera Man It's good. But like, it's like, you know having a piece of like a massive puzzle, it's like you just don't want that specific piece if you can't fill out the rest of it. Yeah. I think the beauty of it is how fast it is to mix and match. Like I cannot, I have not been able to install a bike rack as fast as I was to do this like any other hitch mounted bike rack. So that base is what creates this ease. And I don't it's the beauty of it is that mix and match modular ability. So at this price point let's say just a bike rack on the swing base. I do not think is as effective as a bike rack created just for your hitch. If that makes sense. Yeah. Woman Yeah, totally. That's what I was wondering. So I just, after you guys have been able to think about it a little bit more or, you know, reflect how it compares to other swing away bike racks. So I think if anybody we're to stumble upon it in that bike rack category, that's good to know that it's like, yeah, you can buy this just as a bike rack but there are better options if that's all you want. And this is really more. Absolutely. My thoughts about the top shelf and combined with the SwingBase two tier EXO system kit is that it works really well together. You have two points of swivel not only does the base swivel out 90 degrees but your top shelf also swivel out 180 degrees. Now, one thing to note is again, the weight capacities please double check the weight capacities depending on where they're mounted. Since a top shelf doesn't have as much strength or capacity as the SwingBase, but as for if they do their job really well and they carry the EXO system accessories quickly easily and securely. Yes they do. And that was a look here at the Yakima EXO system two tier swing away, hitch extender with a top shelf and a SwingBase here at etrailer..


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