Yakima Hangover 6 Vertical Hitch Bike Rack REVIEW
Updated: Oct 23, 2019
For years I have used a traditional 4 bike hitch rack on the back of my 2004 Dodge Sprinter camper van and It works great with 1-3 bikes, but now that I am traveling with 4 or more bikes with at least 3-4 of them being full suspension it is a pain to load and there is a lot of contact between bikes. On one of my last trips I saw someone with a North Shore Rack and I really liked that idea and looked into it realizing there are a few companies that make ones like that:
They are all pretty expensive ($700-$1200) and similar in a lot of ways, but different in small details that may determine a better fit for each vehicle.
My concerns for the my sprinter where as follows: -Can the rear doors open with bikes on the rack? -Will the top of the bikes make contact with the ladder on the rear door or windows of the rear door? -Easy to load/unload with full suspension and DH bikes? -It is secured from movement? Don't want a tire going through my rear window on a bump.
After looking into the clearance issue I went with the Yakima Hangover 6 rack. My main reason was that there is a convenient foot pedal to switch the mounting location and allow access to my rear doors. The other ones did not feature this and I was concerned about the clearance with my rear ladder attached and 29" MTB tires.
The rack is very heavy duty (and heavy). I drove a few thousand miles with it holding 4 bikes, on and off road, and never re-tightened it and the rack held up really well. The bikes never came loose. Only issue is I did have two of the rubber straps break on my and Ill be contacting Yakima in regards to that issue.
As for being able to load DH/Full suspension bikes easily, it took some learning. Its hard to get a bike mounted on the inside on and off without removing the others, but its really easy to take all the bikes on and off. In terms of getting them mounted and not hitting each other I would have to say its one of the best racks I've used.
When the rack is in the down position I can get into both of the rear doors. Although I cannot open them fully (about 1-2" short...) I can still get into the back of my van with the bikes all mounted on the rack, which is really important to me.
The rack has three locking positions that it can rest in; tilted forward, vertical, and tilted back. You can see in the picture above that I have to use the tilted back position in order to prevent contact with the bike tires and the van, especially with the ladder.
In order to secure the bikes on there, as Yakima does not have a locking device for the bikes, I just use a 15'-30' Steel Security Cable and Combination Padlock which I cable directly to the frame of the camper van. Yakima does provide a loop to pass the cable through in order to lock the rack to the van or bikes to the rack (or both).
Overall I really like this rack. It is a lot easier to use than my old one and having a vertical bike rack really reduces the vehicles overall length compared to the stand-up racks of horizontal hanging racks.
Here are a couple pictures of the rack in the "all-the-way-down" position that I used to access the rear doors with the bikes still attached (it stops in this position, the bikes are not hitting the ground on the back of my van, but may in other shorter cars):
UPDATE (Oct 2019): Did another trip with it to Copper Harbor, MI this time with 6 bikes. The weight of the bike rack is a lot with that many bikes on it and typically would take two people to fold it down to access the back, but is still doable. Rack stayed very solid and steady for the 18 or so hours of driving. Worked really well for shuttling bikes from the bottom to the top of Brockway Mountain to ride the flow and overflow trails, even in the rain! It is really easy to load and unload them for shuttling purposes.
Bikes are secured with a 30' long 10mm thick security cable and a combination master lock directly connected to the vehicle. With 30' of cable it is way more than enough to go through all the tires and frames of the bikes.
A final note on this rack; its heavy! Heavy and bulky enough to make you not want to put it on for short day trips. My rack spends it's down time in the basement due to my garage being packed and that may have to change because of how big and heavy this rack is. Or I get a smaller cheap rack for day trips also.