Yakima Hookup

No outward swing

Since I have a Honda Odyssey minivan, the Hookup sits behind my rear tailgate that swings upward. I?ve used hitch-mounted racks before and I especially like the ones that can swing out of the way when you need to open a tailgate.

Unfortunately, once you?ve loaded your Hookup, you can?t swing it out of the way if you need to open the tailgate for any reason.

I realized quickly that I?d have to have everything loaded in the back of the minivan before loading the bikes because the only way to move the Hookup, once it?s mounted into the 2? hitch receiver, is to fold it up and lock it into position with the large locking pin.

But the fold-up position only works when you have no bikes mounted. The reality is that I?d never keep the hookup mounted to my Odyssey because in the folded-up position, I can?t get the tailgate open. This fold-up position is ideal for SUV owners that have a separate fold-up tailgate window that allows access to rear vehicle storage.

No locking mechanism

The other drawback to the Hookup is that it currently doesn?t come with a locking mechanism such as the locking cores you get with most other Yakima rack systems.

Your only option is to cable lock the bicycle and wheels to the hitch mount, where you?ll typically find large openings perfect for wrapping a cable around.

So there you have the tradeoffs, rocket-fast mounting and removing of your bicycles but no way to swing mounted bikes out of the way if you have a tailgate. Of course, since it?s so easy to mount and remove bikes, you can simply remove and replace the bikes each time you want access to the rear tailgate. But that seems more hassle than it?s worth for me, especially if you?ve got a cable and lock threaded through the wheels and frames.

Of course, you can also drive around with the Hookup locked into the down position, even when it?s not carrying bikes, but you?ll be hard-pressed to fit your vehicle inside a standard garage and backing up in tight parking lots will always prove problematic as you worry about ramming a parked vehicle with your Hookup.

There?s also an add-on extension that allows you to increase your Hookup carrying capacity to four bikes.

If you?re the type that just wants a way to carry your bikes on vacation, and rarely totes your bike around, then the Hookup is an awesome solution. When you?re not using it, just slide it out of the 2? hitch receiver and stow it away. Come vacation time, you?ll be confident you have the easiest and most painless way to transport your beloved two-wheeled buddies anywhere.

The Hookup will set you back a reasonable $349 suggested retail, complete with everything you need. For complete details, visit www.yakima.com or call (888) 925-0703.

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