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Yakima Hitch Adapters Review - 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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Review of the Yakima Hitch Adapters on a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee


Hi, everyone, it's Evangeline here at etrailer, and today we are looking at the Yakima EXO SwingBase system here on our 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee. So the Yakima EXO System is a modular system, meaning you can mix and match different accessories. You can even get to up to two levels of accessories, so have a bike rack and a cargo basket or a ski and snowboard carrier or a cargo box all at the same time. So we're gonna take a look at how it fits here on our Jeep Grand Cherokee just to make sure you have the correct ground clearance as well as hatch clearance that will work with your adventures. So first off, we're gonna take a look at the length added to our vehicle. So the base of the system is the SwingBase.

So most of our measurements will base around that. For our length, we're gonna measure from our bumper to where those knobs sit on our SwingBase. So that sits at 31 inches away from our bumper. Now, with a bike rack on, that sits out a little bit further, and that's 33 inches away from our bumper. So that length is something to consider whenever you're backing into your garage or trying to park into a really tight spot, you're gonna have to consider that.

Now, since you are fully utilizing your hitch, it's definitely a lot shorter compared to having a full trailer on your hitch, but still a length worth considering. Now let's take a look at ground clearance. The lowest point will be your SwingBase no matter what accessory you have on. So underneath the arms, it sits at 15 inches from those arms to the ground. Now over by the SwingBase system, it has kind of like a shank shelf, and that sits at about 11-and-three-quarter inches to the ground for when it comes to ground clearance.

So ground clearance is something to think about whenever you're going up steep inclines like driveways or hills. If you wanna take your Jeep Grand Cherokee over some bumpy roads or speed bumps or potholes, you'll want to think about ground clearance. Again, still more ground clearance than when you have a trailer, which is further out behind your vehicle. Now, a major portion of the SwingBase system is that it swings away. So we'll take a look at that process.

So first, you have this large knob behind your SwingBase system. Let's take a look at how much clearance we have around that knob. Since our bumper does kinda sit out further back, it has a curve towards the back. You have about four inches of space between this knob and your bumper. So that means that's just how much clearance you have or space to access it. If you are kind of larger than I am, it's a space worth considering but still accessible. So once you pull that knob out, you then pull this knob on the edge and then push this out a full 90 degrees until it catches right there in the corner. And with it swung out, you can see how from the edge of our hatch to right where that arm is, the end of the arm, we have about nine inches of space between the two. And you can see how we have plenty of clearance between our door and our bike rack right over there, meaning we can get into our trunk, grab our helmets, our bags, or even our larger items like our coolers or our tables or our tents. You have plenty of space to do so with it completely swung away. Now let's close this door so that we can take a look at our bike rack. Notice how we have our bike rack swung out just like this. This puts it in the ideal position in order to take our bike off. So one person can take their bike off over here while the other person goes to the other side to take theirs off. This has a weight capacity of 50 pounds per bike. It has a front wheel mount, which is great with your carbon frame bikes but also with your alternate frame bikes, like women's bikes, children's bikes, step-through bikes, 'cause then you don't have to get a frame adapter bar. When you wanna take your bike off, you start by this wheel strap, press that button to lift up on this shaft, then leave that to the side. Then you go over here to the front, press this button, push this up, push that out, and from there you are ready to go on a bike ride. And with that bike out of the way, we get to take a quick, closer look here at our bike rack. We have a rotating rear cradle, and that's gonna accommodate for different wheel bases. We have an extra long wheel strap, and that means even if you have fat tire bikes, that's perfectly fine. The maximum tire width this can accommodate is 4.8 inches. You have this front wheel cradle, which stows into a tab there in the center of that bike rack. And you also have an integrated cable lock. Now, when you do get the SwingBase, I do recommend figuring out which kind of accessories you're interested in and getting the lock cores for those in advance. So get a large quantity of lock cores, that way you can replace the plastic lock cores that come with your accessories and make sure everything is keyed alike. Now, when you take your bike off or you're ready to go back onto your trip, you're gonna wanna swing this back. So pull this knob in the corner, grab this end, and then start swinging it back. So just bring that back until it catches in the corner and tighten it back down again. Now, this knob right over here is very important. Since it holds your SwingBase together, you wanna make super sure that this is secure. Another thing that we've noticed here is that with our Jeep Grand Cherokee, with the bike rack stowed down just like this, you can still open your hatch. If you do have the top shelf though, you will not be able to open your hatch. Also, this does look like it may come close to your top shelf, but you do have a clearance from the back of where that shank will go to the top shelf to your bumper. And that's gonna be about five-and-a-half inches away from where the back of that mast will go. Now, another thing about the EXO System is its modularity, so we'll take a quick look at that. So just unlock these tabs and then rotate your locking speed knobs until they fully tighten down, showing that they've released your bike rack. Then you just pick up your bike rack and then switch it with another accessory. So you have different options here. You can either get the GearWarrior, which is our cargo basket, or you can get the GearLocker, which is our cargo box, or what I have here is the SnowBank, which is our ski and snowboard carrier. So note how it just fits into the cleat and that was it. When you tighten it down, you suddenly have an entirely new system on your SwingBase. Nice, fast, and convenient. So just lock those in to hold them into place. And this is the SnowBank ski and snowboard carrier. This can fit five pairs of skis or four snowboards. Now, this does depend on the size of your skis and snowboards, so check out the video just to see the exact dimensions. But notice how we have a double joint in the back for your larger bearings. You have this nice cushion on the inside. One, to cushion your ski and snowboards, two, to provide better grip even when they're wet with snow. Here we have a ratcheting knob at the end, so this goes down and clamps down depending on the height or the thickness of whatever you're carrying. You also have this large button. So even if you have your really heavy, big gloves, you just press on that button and it pops up. Note again how these also have plastic cores to replace with those same key system Yakima locking knobs I talked about before. Now, the SnowBank is the longest accessory you will ever have on your SwingBase system. So we'll take a measurement right there from our rear bumper. To the end of the snowbank, it sits at 38 inches away. So you can check out our product pages here at etrailer for more details about the dimensions, how they work, how to use, but as for how it works here with our Jeep Grand Cherokee, we have a decent amount of space for that knob there in order to swing away. You actually have a good amount of clearance between our door, and it fully swung away with it out 90 degrees. Now, one thing to note is the ground clearance. You have an okay ground clearance, but it does depend on where you're taking your Jeep as to if it's enough for you. But I hope this helped out in terms of dimensions, weight capacity, and how much lengths it adds to the back of your Jeep Grand Cherokee. This was a look at the Yakima EXO System with the SwingBase, with a DoubleUp bike rack, and with the ski and snowboard carrier, which is the Yakima EXO SnowBank here on our 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee. My name is Evangeline, and I hope you enjoy the journey..


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Employee Evangeline M
Test Fit:
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