Wilco Hitchgate Solo Review

Ray Hyland

Expedition Leader
#1
One of the cool things about being involved with the overland industry is being exposed to a lot of interesting gear. I recently bought a Wilco Hitchgate Solo from Tom at Adventure Ready in Seattle. They are priced reasonably, about $550-$620 depending what options you want.

I've been using it for about a month now, and I am impressed. It doesn't rattle, and it's really solid. I mounted a bike carrier over it, and carried three mountain bikes, and it didn't make a creak.

I decided to get this because on my Tuktoyaktuk trip last year, when I was running taller tires, the spare was too big to carry in its normal spot in the back of the truck, and it became a hassle to pack around it.

I could have bought a custom rear bumper with a swing-away for about three times the price, but since I have a collection of vehicles, this allows me to move it from truck to truck and use it as and where needed, as the hitchgate is universal, it just slides into a trailer hitch receiver.

They also make a high-clearance version, but that one wouldn't allow me to open the tail gate all the way down, that's why I got the standard version, it just clears the tailgate.

The only downside is that the holes for the lugs and the actual lugs it comes with are a bit small. It assumes you are using a steel rim. Mounting my alloys, with the huge lugs and oversized lugnuts Rovers use, meant I needed to drill the holes in the mounting plate a bit bigger, but that's actually a pretty common issue for Rover owners, I've had to do that with my Thule bike carrier on my Defender too.

Anyways, I'm very happy with it so far, and happy to answer any questions anyone might have. IMG_3142.jpg
Tire sits nice and high

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Solid construction, rattle-free hinges and bushings.

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Swings all the way around the truck if required. Also has a licence plate relocation option.

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Simple design.

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Allows you to still have a class-4 hitch while mounted, so you can still pull your trailer.

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Universal tire mounting plate.

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Lots of clearance from the truck, and the ground.
 

68camaro

Active member
#2
Nice review, thanks. I am thinking of one for Jeep WK2 but not decided if I really need or not....but since when did "really need" stop any of us...LOL
 
#3
I have the Hitchgate offset model, with dual fuel can holder and Hi-Lift jack mount and have been very satisfied so far. This setup will allow me to bring two full size spares along if need be (one in the standard location, and the second on the Hitchgate)


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#6
Do these have any sort of locking mechanism at the half or full swung-out locations? I like the look of them, and swing out bumpers for a ZJ are rare.
 

Ray Hyland

Expedition Leader
#7
Do these have any sort of locking mechanism at the half or full swung-out locations? I like the look of them, and swing out bumpers for a ZJ are rare.
No but I figured if I ever need to open it when the truck is on a steep slope I can just use a strap off the RR tire to hold it open.


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rickc

Adventurer
#8
ultraclyde: a really good question. My old H1 had a military spec IbisTek rear carrier that had a 90 deg open lock which would stop the thing from swinging one way or the other. On flat ground, the Wilco stays where it's left but on slightly sloped ground it will swing to its happy spot. I chose the off centre mount so that my rear view camera would still work; the tire is still in the way but as the picture shows in my link, the camera can show what I need to park safely.
 
#9
I hate that I will probably have to get one of these lol
All depends on if I'm brave enough to go with one spare, or some how (and the odds are about zero) cram a second into the bed.
 

Ray Hyland

Expedition Leader
#10
I hate that I will probably have to get one of these lol
All depends on if I'm brave enough to go with one spare, or some how (and the odds are about zero) cram a second into the bed.
Where are you going that you need two spares?


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68camaro

Active member
#11
Does anyone know if Wilco renders backup cameras on Jeep Grand Cherokee totally useless, or is there still some vesibility? The camera is located just under bottom of rear window?
 

Ray Hyland

Expedition Leader
#13
Where are you going that you need two spares?


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Southern Africa...and I'm really hoping that I can talk myself out of 2 spares lol
Wow, sounds awesome. On my London to Singapore trip I only took one spare tire, but I also took a good tire repair kit and a tube. Unless I tore a whole sidewalk out I would probably be able to repair. And I was on 16” rims so it’s easy to buy tires to fit anywhere in the world if I did need one.


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