Halley - '17 WK2 Trailhawk Overland Build

Adventurous

Explorer
Things are looking good since I last checked in here!

The wife and I are, regrettably, moving back to the Boston area at the end of this summer. I'll definitely have to speak with you about where to go and explore. Having boundless amounts of BLM and National Forest here in the West has spoiled us; the prospect of not having that is a wee bit depressing.
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
Things are looking good since I last checked in here!

The wife and I are, regrettably, moving back to the Boston area at the end of this summer. I'll definitely have to speak with you about where to go and explore. Having boundless amounts of BLM and National Forest here in the West has spoiled us; the prospect of not having that is a wee bit depressing.
Welcome back to Boston! Definitely open to talking about exploration and locations to check out while you're here... in fact... check out the next post!
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
I'm back again after a bit of silence with modifications to the Jeep. It's been running along and I've been busy as all get-out traveling with work, saving money as much as possible in anticipation of a move to the Carolinas next summer.

Needless to say, I finally got to work editing photos and beginning to write about our club's trip last summer through the remote wilderness of Northern Maine, so here I am to announce its documentation. Might take a little since I haven't written much yet, but I will follow through because this area of the country deserves to be seen. I'll be cross-posting on my website (www.2180miles.com) but also have a trip report going on here so it's databased for anyone else researching trips on the East Coast that still provide that sense of escape.

Without further adieu, Adventure Through Maine's Allagash Wilderness.



Ledge Road Trail
by 2180miles
 

echo7tango

Overlanding Road Tripper
>> ... our club's trip last summer through the remote wilderness of Northern Maine.

Hey, Mooselookmeguntic!

It is beautiful up that way, though Mooselook may not be as far north as you were, 2180; it’s near where Maine, New Hampshire, and Quebec intersect, up by Rangeley and Oquossoc.
 

MagicMtnDan

2020 JT Rubicon Launch Edition & 2021 F350 6.7L
I think I've read all the pages of your well written and photographed terrific Trailhawk build but I have 2 questions:
1. What can you tell us about the Waypoint RTT by COE Vehicle Solutions? I can't find any info about that product even on the Tacoma Wold site
2. Spare tire carrier - I saw pics of your Trailhawk with a rear spare tire carrier and didn't see any info in your write-up about it. And the latest pics don't show it. I'm confused and interested
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
I think I've read all the pages of your well written and photographed terrific Trailhawk build but I have 2 questions:
1. What can you tell us about the Waypoint RTT by COE Vehicle Solutions? I can't find any info about that product even on the Tacoma Wold site
2. Spare tire carrier - I saw pics of your Trailhawk with a rear spare tire carrier and didn't see any info in your write-up about it. And the latest pics don't show it. I'm confused and interested
Thanks for reading! Greatly appreciate the kind words.

1) From what I've heard, Chandler (who owned the company and handled the tents) wasn't getting enough commitment from people and basically said he'd get back to it when there was consistent and genuine interest. I guess we just lucked out with timing and actually being able to take advantage of it. It's unfortunate, really. Great product... wish more people could have access. Best bet for purchase if you're interested is to follow this thread for any that come up for sale.

2) Keen eye. I took the photos, did the whole write-up for the actual 2180miles website, and didn't post it on here because Flickr changed their terms of agreement and capped users by creating "Pro" accounts. I've just updated and am now paying monthly for Flickr so I will get that write-up on here ASAP. Thanks for the reminder!
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
>> ... our club's trip last summer through the remote wilderness of Northern Maine.

Hey, Mooselookmeguntic!

It is beautiful up that way, though Mooselook may not be as far north as you were, 2180; it’s near where Maine, New Hampshire, and Quebec intersect, up by Rangeley and Oquossoc.
I love the Rangeley area. Some of my favorite sections of the Appalachian Trail are up that way in the Saddleback area. We're planning a winter North Maine Woods trip this year so there should be a fair amount of time spent up in the Allagash Wilderness before 2020!
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
Wilco Hitchgate Solo

The Wilco Hitchgate came to my attention almost two years ago now when I began to research building a Trailhawk into a capable overland vehicle. Since at the time almost no information existed about really overhauling a WK2, I found myself with a ton of dead ends, and compiling information from different truck/SUV builds for future reference. Coming from the world of a Wrangler where there were a billion and a half aftermarket accessories, one of the most impressive non-vehicle specific parts I found was the Wilco Hitchgate, a trailer-hitch mounted spare tire carrier for ANY vehicle.

I booked-marked their website and kept it in the back of my mind as my Trailhawk build progressed. Once it came time to install a second battery in the trunk space, I knew that the spare tire was in need of a new (and more accessible) place to live. Revisiting Wilco’s online store and pricing out the needed add-ons, I finalized my order and eagerly awaited delivery day. One of the most impressive things about Wilco is that they are a proudly owned and operated American company, with all of their customer service, sales, and welding being done out of a southern California warehouse.


Wilco Hitchgate Solo Arm
by 2180miles


Made In USA
by 2180miles


The production time took a little longer than I expected, and ultimately arrived just days before we left for a week-long overland trip through northern Maine’s remote Allagash Wilderness. For reference, I placed the order on May 12thand it was delivered on July 5th…. They make an exceptional product but the wait-time can be somewhat substantial, especially in the world of Amazon Prime where we all expect things in two days time, ha! Needless to say it was without a doubt worth the wait. The welds are gorgeous, the powder coating robust, and the product itself worthy of the acclaim it receives.

Of the three Hitchgate Solo models available (Standard, High-Clearance, and XL) I specifically chose the high-clearance version. From what I’ve seen on social media I’m in the minority with this decision, but it was made deliberately in order to not block my recessed Rigid SRM reverse lights in the rear bumper. After having friends take measurement of their WK2s I was able to roughly guesstimate that the top of the main bracket’s steel boxing would line up with the lip of the rear bumper where the tailgate opens… good news – as you can see in the photos, it’s a PERFECT fit.


Hitchgate Solo Lower Arm
by 2180miles


Proprietary Wiggle-Free Bolt
by 2180miles


Swing Arm Installed
by 2180miles

The Hitchgate Solo is comprised of two main pieces, a lower arm that fits into the trailer hitch receiver and a tire-carrying-swing-arm with an impressive bushing for the lower arm mounting. Inserting the lower arm into the receiver, a socket set and extension arm allow you to tighten down their proprietary WedgeLock system, responsible for keeping the whole assembly tight when you’re cruising down the highway or crawling over some tricky terrain.

Greasing the supplied hardware and fitting the swing-arm bushing into the lower arm’s bracket, I tightened down the bolt and lock-nut to an appropriate tension to allow a “just right” amount of tension when swinging the tire carrier open. Mounting the add-on RotoPax fuel carrier bracket and license plate bracket, I took my time and was done with the install in about 45 minutes… a pretty quick project with a great return on investment!



Installed and Mounted
by 2180miles



Rear View - No Jerry Can
by 2180miles


________________________________________


Long Term Review:

After a year and nearly 10,000 miles with the Hitchgate Solo fully loaded – 32” spare tire set-up, 3 gallons of fuel in a Rotopax, and a steel HiLift jack, the Wilco unit has performed phenomenally. Even on the worst washboard roads, even with standing on the cantilevered end of the swing-arm, even with using the main brace to help load the roof-top tent, the Wilco has without a doubt been worth every single penny I spent on it. Having a spare tire on the rear end of the vehicle not only makes it look infinitely more bad-ass, but also is one of the most practical moves any overlander can make. Easy access to the spare tire, especially when compared to digging it out of the trunk space when we’re fully loaded, makes a world of a difference when stuff hits the fan and you’re left needing to swap in a spare deep in the backcountry.



Wilco Hitchgate Solo - Loaded Up
by 2180miles
 

kga1978

Active member
Nice writeup (as always)! I think this is the next thing on my list - more so I can have an extra spare tire, than clear space inside (Eastern Sierra keep eating up my tires!). With everything, how much did you end up spending on this? About a grand?

Also, looking at your reverse camera picture - you totally need a ProClip next ;) https://www.proclipusa.com/
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
Nice writeup (as always)! I think this is the next thing on my list - more so I can have an extra spare tire, than clear space inside (Eastern Sierra keep eating up my tires!). With everything, how much did you end up spending on this? About a grand?

Also, looking at your reverse camera picture - you totally need a ProClip next ;) https://www.proclipusa.com/
Hey KGA! (I used to have a friend with a Euro repair shop called KGA Motorsports)

I'm pretty sure that with everything, the tire carrier, hi-lift/rotopax mount, and license plate mount it was about $700 delivered. This was a year and a half ago before their price hikes recently. There was some 10% off coupon on a vehicle forum somewhere that was decently helpful in that purchase too. PM me and I'll try and find it before you buy!

I've got a ProClip on the center console... but it's occupied with more important gadgets :) Might need to look at their vent mount ones...

Dual-Band & CB Radios by 2180miles, on Flickr
 

68camaro

Any River...Any Place
Ryan, excellent write-up on Wilco with very helpful photos, specially backup camera.

Do you think backup camera view would be better or worse with Standard model?

Thanks

Chuck
 

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
Ryan, excellent write-up on Wilco with very helpful photos, specially backup camera.

Do you think backup camera view would be better or worse with Standard model?
Hey Chuck,

Thanks! Personally I think it'd be worse, as the tire would be 3-4" lower and blocking more field of view, but I can't be sure.
 

Huezee

New member
Where did you source the spare wheel? I'm trying to find four 18" wheels to mount dedicated snow tires.

-Fellow Trailhawk owner
 

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