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Yakima EXO System Cargo Carrier and Enclosed Cargo Carrier Review - 2017 Toyota RAV4

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Review of the Yakima EXO System Cargo Carrier and Enclosed Cargo Carrier on a 2017 Toyota RAV4

Hi everyone. It's Evangeline here at ETrailer. And today, we are looking at our Yakima Exo System with the Gear Locker enclosed cargo carrier and the Gear Warrior cargo carrier here on our 2017 Toyota RAV4. Now, an awesome thing about the Yakima Exo System is that it designed to build up and out with all kinds of different attachments. So you can get a cargo carrier, a bike rack, a ski-and-snowboard carrier; really, whatever you want, and just put them together to create the system you want for your adventures. This kit comes with four very important pieces.

What we have put into our hitch is the swing-based system. This is the base system you need to start it all. On our swing base, we have here our cargo carrier called the Gear Warrior. It's a cargo basket. Here on top, we have this top shelf which will carry other accessories.

On top, that accessory we have right here is called the Gear Locker, an enclosed cargo carrier. One reason you would like to start with this configuration when you first jump into the Yakima Exo System is it does come with all your base components, but here we have a cargo basket and a cargo carrier. So the difference is, is this is a basket style. You can add wheels and kind of cart it off like a cart. It's a little bit more open, very similar to your roof baskets.

Here we have our roof box on our hitch, and this is enclosed. So if you have items you don't want getting wet and you don't want exposed to the elements, you would put them in here. One thing is, if you do have the Yakima Exo System, please double-check your hitch's tongue-weight capacity to make sure that you have the weight capacity for everything you want for your adventures. So in this configuration, we have the Gear Warrior on the bottom, and this has a weight capacity of 110. Right here, this has a weight capacity of 80 pounds since it is mounted to our top shelf.

So together, we have a total weight capacity of 190. Now let's give a brief general look at how much gear you can actually put in these in terms of your dimensions. So here in your basket, on the bottom, we have an inside dimension of 54 1/4 inches and a width of almost 21 inches. Here in the top, we have an inside dimension of 53 inches for length and 20.5 inches for width. So between both of these, you definitely have a lot of space to put all of your stuff. The benefits of getting this whole system in one go is that they all come with matching lock cores. That way, you only need one key to access the whole system. You can lock your Gear Locker, all of your locking speed knobs, as well as your hitch pin. Some people want to get into the Exo System because they already have their vehicle fully kitted out. You can see here, with the Gear Locker on top, we still have space on our roof for if you want to throw a kayak on there or your rooftop tent, you can really have it all. I loaded it up so you can see exactly how much gear we do have stored in the top and the bottom. It's a lot. Now, one thing to know is that there is a clearance here from the bottom of the swing base to the top of your cargo carrier of 17 inches. So if you have larger coolers, just make sure that they do fit inside that clearance. What you can do with this kit is you can mix and match however you see fit. Put this on the bottom, put that on the top. Very quick and easy to do and I'll show you how to do it. So first, you have to unlock these knobs and then rotate them to loosen the or the track in the arms. Then you can have a friend grab one end and you lift the other end. You just lift up and you go. Here at the bottom, you can do the exact same thing. Just loosen those knobs, lift your Gear Warrior up and then put it up on the top shelf, slide it into those tracks right there, and then tighten down those knobs to secure it completely and securely. And then just press those tabs to lock it in place. You can also lock your keys and you are done. What configuration you do have these in really depends on what you're storing as well as where you are going. You can see here with the Gear Locker on the bottom, I have a lot more space and height here at the top with our Cargo Warrior. It also opens up my rear window, if that's something you are concerned about. While some systems tilt away if you want to access your hatch, what this does is it swings away. To do so, there is a knob here at the back you have to turn. Rotate that knob all the way til it is free, lift this knob up and then push that swing base out. Push it all the way out until it secures itself there at the end. And you can tell when this knob drops down to secure it, and you can see how you have so much space here to access your hatch, put things away; even hold a party without having to take your system off. Now with the whole kit swung out like this, one thing to know is you can't open your Gear Locker's lid in this configuration unless you swing the top shelf out. To do so, you rotate this knob and then you take out this hitch pin and lock, securing the top shelf. With that released, you can see how you can swing this top shelf out. And that's great because then you can now access your Gear Locker. And that was a look here at our Yakima Exo System with the Gear Locker enclosed cargo carrier and the Gear Warrior Cargo Carrier here on our 2017 Toyota Rav4..



Could this system even work on a rav 4 hybrid that has a pthetically low tow capacity -1750 pounds? I'm told that tongue weight is 10-15% of tow weight. If it's 10%, then that means maximum tongue weight is 175 pounds which wouldn't work with both tiers. If we calculate tongue weight capacity to be 15% of tow capacity that's 263 pounds which would allow for use of both tiers of the exo system. But then if one were to swing out either or both tiers to access the trunk, then that would increase tongue weight on the vehicle rendering the system incompatible w my vehicle. What do you think?

David B.


You have a lot of great questions/comments! You are right, the RAV4 can't really handle this set up in a real life event. This video is for demo purposes to see the product, you need to follow your vehicles load limits listed in the owner's manual.

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