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Yakima Hitch Adapters Review - 2021 Jeep Gladiator

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Review of the Yakima Hitch Adapters on a 2021 Jeep Gladiator


Hey everyone. It's Evangeline here at etrailer. And today, we'll be taking a look at our Yakima EXO SwingBase system. So, this is a special system from Yakima. It is designed so that you can add different accessories. So, whether you want a bike rack, you wanna carry skis or snowboards, you want a cargo carrier or a cargo basket, you can do so.

And in fact, you can have up to two of those accessories at the same time. So, if let's say, your truck bed on your Jeep Gladiator is full of other things, you can't get a roof rack or it's already full, you already have a ladder rack and you want to maximize your hitch, this may be a very good option for you. So first, we'll take a look at the major feature of the SwingBase system, which is that it can swing away. So, we'll look right over here. And there's just gonna be a big knob over here.

So, we're gonna have to rotate that knob. One thing to note is because of how our Jeep Gladiator is designed, it's kind of a tight fit back here. You'll definitely have enough space. Let's measure it real quick. From the handle to the end of the bumper, you have about eight inches of space.

So, depending on what kind of accessory you have here, that's how much space you'll have to squeeze into to disengage this system. So, once that knob is loosened, you pull this knob, and you swing it out a full 90 degrees until it catches right there in the corner. There we go. So, with it disengaged like that or swung away, you can see how we can now lower our tailgate. So, here we have plenty of space around our tailgate.

If we need to grab our items, like here we have a lot of firewood. This is a great way to bring it out without having to maneuver around your bike rack. Also, if you just wanna hang out behind your truck, you have plenty of space to do so. Another thing to note is with this swung away, we have the Yakima DoubleUp bike rack right here. This is on our EXO SwingBase system. So, this is a two-bike rack. We'll take a close look at it just cause it's already here. It has a front wheel hook, which I personally like because no matter what bike you have on there, whether it's a carbon frame bike, it's a women's bike, a children's bike, a step-through bike with a really low frame, having this front wheel clamp makes it so much easier to carry them. You also have a lock on each bike or for each bike. So, let's just loosen this. That way, you can pull this right out. You can wrap this around your bike and secure it. And if you get the Yakima same key system lock cores, you can get multiple lock cores for both your bike rack and your SwingBase system if you think ahead of time to get them all in advance. All right. We'll put this away because if you've noticed, this is a perfect way to take off your bike. So, you can take it off over here, and another person can take it off on the other side. So, I'll demonstrate that real quick. You press this lever, and you pull up on the wheel strap, which is holding your tires into place. Then you come over here to the front. You press this lever, so press it, push up, and then push out, and then you can take your bikes off. So, we'll leave this right over here to the side, so that we can take a closer look at the bike rack itself. So, we have these wheel straps, and this is gonna be over our rear cradle. So, we tilt this cradle back and forth to accommodate different wheelbases. Notice how it has different grooves. So, whether you have your smaller tires on the inside or your larger tires, this can fit that. The maximum tire width this can accommodate is up to 4.8 inches. So, this fits right into there. And then it's secured by pulling that shut. Over here, we have a front cradle. And this can be moved back into a compact position. We have a tab right over here, just pop that in there, and it secures that front cradle. Finally, our front wheel clamp, this comes down and this ratchets down to secure your front wheel. And I'm gonna move it right over here, so it's nice and tidy. Okay, that was a really quick look at the DoubleUp system. When you have it on your SwingBase system, it has a weight capacity of about 50 pounds per bike. If you do have the TopShelf, where it goes on top of your bike rack or on top of your SwingBase, this will then have a weight capacity of 40 pounds per bike. So, we're gonna swing this back just to bring it back into the ready and drivable position. See this knob, pull up on that knob, and then bring this through. And you also have a triangle or hand grip on the end, and that's what you're gonna use to guide it through and back into the SwingBase just like that. Don't forget to tighten it down by rotating this knob. This is a very important step because you wanna make sure that your SwingBase doesn't disengage when you're out on the road. So, make sure that this is nice and secure. And once that's in place, let's take another look at this. Now, the EXO system is designed to have different accessories, but what's gonna stay constant is the SwingBase itself. So, I'm gonna take some measurements just so that you can see how the SwingBase fits on our Jeep Gladiator. There's gonna be some length added to the back of our Jeep right now. So, I'm gonna measure from our bumper. So, the end of the bumper, let's go above, right here. That's a good spot. To the end of the SwingBase, and that sits at 31 1/4 inches away. As for the bike rack, that sits at 34 3/4 inches away. Closest point is going to be right here where the shank comes up. You see how it ramps up. And it's not that close, but a measurement until that ramp would be about 2 1/2 inches. And then from that bumper to your knob, it's gonna be about three inches of space between the two. While we're over here, let's talk about how this fits into your hitch. So, this has a two inch hitch width shank, which fits in your two inch hitch receiver. It also comes with a lock, and that lock is keyed alike to the locks that are on your speed knobs. Now, please make sure to get multiple locks for all of your accessories at the same time. That way, they can all be keyed alike. And also, you do get a tool to tighten this down. But I recommend doing what I do, which is I use a ratchet with a socket. A longer socket just to fit past that bracket. And that's gonna be either a 24 millimeter socket or an inch large socket. Okay. Now, let's go over here to ground clearance. Ground clearance is gonna be measured from underneath the arms to the ground, it's 20 3/4 inches. Then underneath the shank to the ground, it's gonna be 17 inches of height. So, ground clearance is something to consider whenever you're going up a steep incline like driveways or hills. Your front will go up, your back will go down. Especially since you have a Jeep Gladiator, it's gonna be a little bit of longer length that you're gonna have to consider. But as you do so, you have plenty of ground clearance here with our SwingBase, so it's not really something you should worry about with your Gladiator. Okay. We'll look over here at the speed knobs. So, we're gonna switch out this system real quick. Right now, we have the DoubleUp bike rack. Awesome, but what if I wanna switch it out I don't wanna be carrying bikes around anymore and I want a different accessory. To do so, you just rotate these knobs. Make sure those are unlocked first, those tabs. So, if they're all the way to the left, that's the loosened position. And once you have it fully disengaged, you can then lift up on your bike rack. And just focus on the SwingBase as I go grab our next accessory. So, you can either put the cargo box, which is the GearLocker. You can put a cargo basket, which is the GearWarrior. Or you can do what I'm doing right now and put the SnowBank, which is our ski and snowboard carrier. So, these just fit right into those cleats. Just slide them through just like that. Then tighten them down with these speed knobs. You see how fast One, two, three, just like that, you lock that into place. And you now have a completely new accessory on your SwingBase. I really like how speedy that is. And the SnowBank itself is a pretty good ski and snowboard carrier. You can carry, let's say, five pairs of skis or four snowboards. You have a double jointed hinge at the back. You have this big button, so if you have thick gloves, you can press it. This also ratchets down to secure skis and snowboards. I actually have a more in-depth video of each and every accessory here at etrailer. So, please make sure to check those out if any of them interest you, just to see if they will work for you and your adventures. But the whole point of this video was just to see how fast you can switch out the different accessories. How accessible it is with your Jeep Gladiator. You have plenty of ground clearance, so no issues with that. You do kind of have a tight fit for when you need to access that knob, but that's pretty normal, no matter what kind of vehicle you have. My biggest suggestion is just to make sure if you do want the TopShelf, make sure you have clearance with whatever's on your truck bed or if you have a ladder rack. I think it's a great way to add to your system. If you have your truck bed, truck, again, full, if you have your ladder rack full, and you wanna maximize your hitch on your Jeep Gladiator, this may be a great option for you with the Yakima EXO SwingBase system. Again, check out the different accessories here at etrailer. But for now, this was a really quick look at the Yakima EXO SwingBase with the DoubleUp bike rack, the SnowBank ski and snowboard carrier here on our 2021 Jeep Gladiator. My name is Evangeline and I hope you enjoyed the journey..


Info for this part was:

Employee Jacob T
Video Edited:
Jacob T
Employee Aidan B
Test Fit:
Aidan B
Employee Evangeline M
Test Fit:
Evangeline M
Employee John S
Video by:
John S
Employee Thomas T
Video by:
Thomas T

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