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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any experience with the Thule Apex tilt 4 bike hitch bike rack? I am interested to know if the boot can be opened with the bikes loaded on the rack i.e. is there enough clearance for the tailgate/boot door to open without hitting the loaded bike rack? I have a new Touareg V6 TDI 2016. Thanks
 

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I have that exact rack. Yes, you can tip the rack and the tailgate (boot) will open. I will warn you that when fully loaded with 4 bikes (Mountain), it can get rather heavy.

If you have a 2014 or newer (i see you have a 2016), the other thing to take into consideration is the auto open on the tailgate. Thankfully, the "anti-pinch" mechanism is pretty good. I had my boot open once when it was on my 08, but as soon as it hit the rack it stopped. No paint damage to the tailgate (phew). Something to be careful of though.

I wouldn't load 4 CF bikes on there. It's a tight fit for 4 bikes, and there will be a bit of rubbing (not much, but it will happen). When I carry my CF road bike, it's never with 4 bikes. You will find yourself arranging pedals and handlebars to make 4 bikes fit on it. It goes, it works great, but it's tight.
 
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LMK - if you want I can throw it on mine and put a bike out way on the end and take some pics.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have that exact rack. Yes, you can tip the rack and the tailgate (boot) will open. I will warn you that when fully loaded with 4 bikes (Mountain), it can get rather heavy. .
Thanks for your helpful reply. Does this mean you can tilt the rack with the bikes in place on the rack? Everything I read online said you had to take the bikes off before tilting.

Also, would the tailgate in your 2014 Touareg hit the rack if it auto opened? The reason I ask is because I saw a video of someone using the Apex rack on an Audi and the tailgate could open without hitting the rack, even when the rack was not tilted.
cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
LMK - if you want I can throw it on mine and put a bike out way on the end and take some pics.
That would be great thanks. Would love to see the pictures. I'm really interested if I can access the boot with the bikes in place on the rack. Cheers
 

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I was looking at Thule and Yakima racks hitch mount racks. Then found Kuat searching online for 5 minutes. Their Envy model is a big step up and worth the higher price.

Tilting it down will allow the rear hatch to open.
 

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Totally sorry guys. I took a bunch of pictures then forgot to post them. I threw my MTB on the rack and took some pics.

First one shows bike on the APEX 4, mounted all the way on the end. You can see 2 of the other 3 bike mounts out near the end with the bike, and the 4th one way in close to the vehicle.

Second and third pics show the tailgate where it hits the rack when the rack isn't tipped open. The nice thing is it hits the license plate instead of the painted surface of the tailgate. And... it opens slow enough that it doesn't damage it. There is an auto stop mechanism that engages when it meets resistance while opening - similar to the anti-pinch that works while closing.

Fourth pic shows the rack tipped all the way open with the bike on it.

Fifth pic shows the bike mounted closest to the vehicle (where I usually mount it if there is only one bike on).

Hope that helps. The Apex has been great. My only complaint is that every once and a while I trigger the automatic tailgate opener when I am putting it on or taking it off. As I mentioned earlier, the auto stop works pretty well - even when it hits your head.

As for my own situation, I've been thinking about a roof mount too, since 95% of the time I am using it to haul a single bike (my own). But it works awesome for 3 bike and very well for 4. 4 is a tight squeeze, but the mounts work well enough to keep them from rubbing together.
 

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That works a lot better than our Yakima rack... That foot activated lift gate is sensitive if you're not careful and the first thing to come in contact would be the bottom of the lift gate.
 

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Maybe if you plug in trailer wiring, it will think there's a trailer and disable it? But of course now your transmission will be shifting differently. :- /
 

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Maybe if you plug in trailer wiring, it will think there's a trailer and disable it? But of course now your transmission will be shifting differently. :- /
That would be a great idea, a trailer dummy plug!
 

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Maybe if you plug in trailer wiring, it will think there's a trailer and disable it? But of course now your transmission will be shifting differently. :- /
I thought about it. I would need to put some sort of resistor in it so the car would see a load and think there was a trailer connected. I wouldn't want to go into the wiring itself since I tow quite a bit too - so I would almost have to modify a 7 pin to 4 (or 5) pin adapter with a resistor. I will say that I love that i no longer get "bulb out" errors due to LED trailer lights. My 08 would constantly tell me I had trailer bulbs out.

As for the shifting part - I'm not sure it's much different that Sport mode - other than the throttle sensitivity of sport mode isn't there. It seems to hold higher RPM's like sport mode and use a little more aggressive throttle braking.
 
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