Great product! I own a Toyota Tacoma w/ a tall camper shell and a slightly raised suspension. I used a roof rack on my truck for a long time. Loading/unloading bikes on the roof was difficult and required some creative climbing techniques. Plus, while on the roof, the bikes took a beating on rough roads, like wicked swinging that drew gasps from onlookers. I needed something easy, secure, and that wouldn't block me from getting into the back of the truck. Other hitch racks that folded straight down didn't allow the assess I needed and they were hard to lift back up into place with bikes still loaded. They also prevented my dogs from being able to jump up or down from the back of the truck.
I was reluctant to spend the extra $$, but the Swing Daddy is well worth it. It is easy to load/unload. It swings open and closed easily, making access to the truck bed a snap without having to unload bikes (other people's complaints about this must be due to damage to their rack, or they've got some dang heavy bikes). Plus it adds another barrier to would-be thieves who would like to check out the back of my camper shell (which has a busted lock).
A few drawbacks:
1. It holds medium-large bikes much better than small ones. Although fitting 4 adult-sized bikes on this rack would be a display of some serious talent. It fits 2 great, 3 ok, I'm scared to try 4.
2. The rear shock on some full suspension bikes interferes with the supports. My wife's bike requires some puzzle solving skills to load.
3. My biggest beef: The hitch bolt continually becomes loose on rough 4x4 roads (even with locking washer). I have to keep a crescent wrench handy and retighten it regularly (a trip to the hardware store might solve this).
Tip: Don't rely on the cable lock for true security. Back it up with some chain or thicker cable or an angry dog. The built-in lock is great for quick trips into the store, but not for leaving your bike unattended for long periods.
Also, I use bungee cords to secure the front tires of my bikes. Otherwise there's a whole other kind of swinging from this daddy.
Product works great for SUV!
Great product - fits great with our SUV and easy access to trunk/ back. Fits family bikes and secures them well - parked in several places with all the bikes and no issues! You will need some strength to lift up the bikes onto the the rack and a little positioning - but that is what husbands are for :) Only con of the product was it blocks our license on our SUV and we did get a 'fix it ticket' because of that. Not a way to install without blocking the license though :(. If you are going to get it - look online for some discounts, just give yourself plenty of time for shipping. Needed it urgently - went to the REI on Reseda/ Devonshire. Floor staff avoided us like the plague - we look like amatures and had our kids with us. We had to walk in front of an available employee to get him to even make eye contact and he kept looking at our kids, who of course were making sounds and being kids, as if they were aliens. Its next to a gym, so most of the customers acted like they were 'professional athletes' so not so much a family place. Moms - Get it online and save yourself the judgement stares!!
Does exactly what we need.
We used a Yakima Bighorn swing down hitch rack for several years before upgrading to this rack. Since upgrading last year, we are super happy with this as it makes getting into the back of our vehicles pretty easy. We use this rack on a 2011 Subaru Outback and a Ford F-150. It works great on both and lets us access the back of the vehicles to get the dogs and gear in and out with relative ease. Before we had to either remove the bikes or tip the rack down which was a major pain and hard on the bikes. I have seen some complain about the multiple steps required to swing this out, but personally think that it is pretty easy, especially considering the alternative. I have noticed that on long road trips, the hitch bolt does tend to work itself loose a little creating wobble. I carry a box end wrench that fits the bolt and when we stop for gas I just do the standard vehicle check and walk around and tighten the bolt if needed. We are very happy with this rack and it does exactly what we need it to.
I spent a lot of time researching racks and was hesitent to get this one because of the higher price. My wife actually talked me into spending the extra money on this because of the fact that we have kids and often need to repack or throw things in the back last minute. I have used this rack one time so far and I am so glad I went with this one.
First off it was very easy to install. I like the fact that you bolt it on instead of a pin. the unit is solid with no movement once it is on. I packed 4 adult mens bikes on the rack and it was a little tight but it worked. 2 were drop handle road bikes and two were straight bar comfort bikes. I would be easier if they were all road bikes. The anti-sway straps worked great and even though it was tight the bikes did not rub.
This rack was worth the extra money compared to some of the other racks. Very happy with the purchase.
The swing out feature works great!
Originally we weren't sure we wanted to spend the extra dollars to get a hitch rack with the swing out feature. After using it, we're glad we got that feature. It made accessing the back of our minivan much easier. Everything works smoothly, no creaky mechanism, exactly as advertised.
Negatives were relatively minor. The stowable lock cable wouldn't retract into the storage hole all the way. Not a big issue, we leave the cable out and lock it to the bike carrier arms for storage. Hope the lock cable storage hole doesn't trap rain and rust out the rack from within. Also, the wrenches that come with the rack aren't very good quality. Use your socket wrench instead.
Overall, easy to install, generally good quality parts, holds bike very securely. It's overkill for the level of our usage but I'd recommend it to anyone who will use their hitch rack often.
As advertised--the king of swing (racks)
We use this for family outings. Standard bikes are a breeze but with my angled, "thick" tubes of my Trek 6000, they make it a bit more difficult to mount.
I use the Yakima Top Tube for the Trek 6000 and for the ease of use and no PITA factor, go with one of these.
The kids bikes are the most difficult but they work out with a little effort.
If you have a standard triangular frame, it will be a snap to mount and unmount
After you use the "swing-away" function, you'll never go back.
I even do swing out the rack just for fun!!
My 9 year old can swing the rack with the bikes easily.
It's either this Yakima or the Thule Revolver.
Oh, did I mention it has dual bottle openers?
Great product, great website, comedy for free
This bike trailer kicks ass ! I love being able to access the back of the minivan while all our gear remains loaded, a real lifesaver when traveling with kids. Also very easy to load and unload. The only downside is that the rubber straps have left some marks on our bikes from sunfading or something like that. I don't particularly care what the finish on the bikes looks like, and I doubt that most people do, but if it mattered to you I would put a washcloth or some other protective material between the straps and the bike frames. This was my first time shopping from moosejaw, and it was a great experience. Aside from having the lowest price around cheaper than any local merchant could
Holy Cow, it works!
Bought this for a family trip across the States into Canada and back. Carried 3 full size Mountain bikes (27' to 30'), and 1 smaller bike (24' frame), without issue. Getting into the back of the mini-van without having to remove the bikes was a HUGE bonus! Recommend going slower than normal over speed bumps - not that it won't handle it, but the bikes do bounce, and it just looks a bit disconcerting. The locking mechanism is also handy, and with augmented locks (U-lock on last two bikes), felt very secure leaving the bikes in the hotel parking lots.
Would recommend this bike rack to anyone who needs to open a tailgate (mini-van, SUV, hatchback, etc.).
This rack DOES fit Toyota 4Runners
If you have difficulties installing this rack or any other rack into the receiver hitch of a Toyota 4-Runner, as noted in is review, there is an easy solution. Toyota mounts the spare tire for the 4-Runner directly behind the hitch. Sometimes the tire is positioned too close to the hitch. Simply loosen the spare tire as you would if you need to use the spare. The spare dangles from a chain and can be reposition then tightened back up. You'll have plenty of room to insert the rack into the receiver hitch fully. Too bad someone's misunderstanding of their vehicle and low rating can wrongly influence others purchasing decisions
Love the Yakima SwingDaddy Hitch Rack
We borrowed this rack from a friend to try it out before buying it. Like mfreedman above, we have a couple of bikes that do not have the triangular frame. However, we used the Yakima Top Tube Extender which worked quite well. We had four bikes on the rack and loved the swing out feature. The bikes were very stable. It's a little bit like fitting a puzzle together to make all four bikes fit securely, but overall, it's a great rack. We wrapped parts of the frames with some rubber tubing to prevent scratching. The bottle opener is quite handy as well. We're buying our own rack now.