Hi folks: I got my Wilco Offroad Hitchgate Classic Offset (https://www.wilcooffroad.com/shop/hitchgate/
) a few weeks ago but only picked up my full size spare last week; here's the promised review:
First, Wilco Offroad have been really good to work with; they responded to my queries within the day and sent pictures and comments. Erik Williams, the tall guy in the Wilco Offroad videos has been by primary contact. I ordered the Hitchgate through 4Wheel Parts; it cost CAN$1095.98; I also got a license plate relocation kit for CAN$123.99, totaling CAN$1422.37 including taxes.
The thing arrived in two big boxes and one little one (license plate kit)! The bigger parts were wrapped in plastic, placed in the box and then foam was sprayed into the box on each side to lock the parts in place and protect them. The welding is excellent and powder coating looks really good.
The instructions are a little vague but it's really obvious how to set the thing up. The main frame attaches to the truck using the hitch; it has a wedge/bolt assembly that locks the thing in place when tightened BUT when tightening, the wedge pulls the square section tube in towards the truck a little and up hard against the top of the truck's receiver. In my case, I had to start with the tube pulled out just a little, deliberately misaligning the tube with the locking pin holes so that when the wedge bolt was torqued to 75ft/lbs the pin holes were aligned - horizontally! Problem was that the upward shift mislaligned the holes vertically so a little, patient hand filing was necessary to get my locking pin in place. Of note, the locking hitch pin is not included in the delivery.
The swing arm simply bolts to the main frame and locks using a small push pin. Attaching the license plate relocation kit was easy; again the wiring instructions were a little vague but it's really simple. The kit contains one of those wire-tapping thingies so I tapped into my right side license plate lamp wire; it just required cutting about two cm of wire protection away from the lamp plug. Taking a license plate off our trucks leaves a big hole so I made a close-out panel using an old license plate cover and a piece of mouse pad. In the future this will likely be my on-board air connection point.
Putting on a wheel requires setting the top stud location first. I used my old spare as I was waiting for my new wheel to arrive. The kit comes with the adjustable top stud, three bolts, three washers and four acorn lug nuts. Just jiggle the wheel around a little so that all four studs are straight and tight then tighten the top adjustable stud's two side bolts to lock it in place. The kit comes with a plastic covered safety cable and oval screw carabiner.
The camera works! Remember, I got the offset Hitchgate so the wheel is displaced to the left. I can still see below the wheel and "around" the wheel to judge my stopping distance. The picture shows me stopping with the second white line in alignment with the base of my garage door; this gives me full swing room for the spare plus about 18".
I don't feel the thing at all when driving; it's made no difference to handling; I'm just about 2' longer than before.
I almost forgot; the 20” Fuel Vector rim and Toyo 305/55/20 tire set me back about CAN$1100. I should note this is all no-choice spending for me as the OEM spare was useless (too small, would not fit the front due to my 5.5” BDS lift). I also wanted the bed free of wheels to make room for other stuff. I read lots of memos about lifts but very little about full-size spares to accompany these lifts; an absolute necessity if going off-road which is my intention.
Pictures tell more than words: