I knew that I wanted to upgrade the wheels and tires on my Subaru Outback Wilderness as soon as I bought it and I also knew that I would need another option for transporting my spare when I did. I wanted something of quality construction, that looked good, and offered more flexibility for our camping trips and tailgate sessions. There were a couple of options, and while most of the people I saw went in the direction of the Dirtcom system, I couldn’t turn away an offer to snag a nearly new Rigd Ultraswing Multi-fit for a steal!
The Ultraswing Multi-fit is a spare tire hitch mount designed for light trucks and sun’s, can accommodate up to a 37″ tire, has an off-set accessory hitch for bike racks and other accessories, retains the capability of towing with up to a 10k lbs capacity, and it just looks cool with that orange flare on the handle. It has an anti-wobble design (truly works), supports a combined weight of 250 lbs, comes in at 65 lbs itself, comes with an integrated license plate bracket, a black powder-coat finish, and accepts a host of accessories.
I wish I could say installation was a breeze, but it wasn’t for the Subaru Outback. Warranty be damned, I got it on, but it took some muscle. I started by backing the vehicle up on some ramps I borrowed from a neighbor. Once in the air, I used some channel locks to bend the spare tire wheel-well pinch weld down. I then used an aluminum pipe and a really big freaking hammer to pound it down further. I couldn’t seem to get the pinch weld flat enough so that the pin holes on the Ultraswing would line up with the pin holes on the Subaru factory hitch. I finally had enough, and the sledge hammer came out. A few good hits with that, and not only did the hitch fit perfectly but all the caked up dirt and mud in the rear quarters came falling out! I lined up the hitch using a locking trailer pin, then removed the pin and tightened the anti-wobble bolt before reinserting and locking the pin, thus making the rack irremovable without a key or a lot of elbow-grease.
Next up was to adjust the Ultraswing lugs to 5×4.5 (5×114.3) which was relatively simple. A few minutes later and the full size spare was hanging safely off the rear of the vehicle. While this system does completely block the rear camera, those of us who are older than sliced bread remember those neat analog devices they install called mirrors. I’m able to safely back in to my driveway or any parking space using those nice clean reflective surfaces and haven’t had an issue with rear-end spacing so far. It does make it a little difficult to enter the hatch area, and I’m worried one day I’ll forget and use either the key-fob or the interior button to access the hatch (and thereby hitting the hatch on the swing) but that day hasn’t come just yet.
Initial impressions of the Ultraswing are very high. The swing is high quality and well built. The powder coating appears to be holding up extremely well. The accessory hitch has been used more than a few times to carry a Kuat NV2.0 bike rack with mountain bikes or road bikes on 6 hour trips across the state without any issue (a little wobble is noticeable, but that’s the Kuat and not the ultraswing as the spare tire doesn’t move an inch). I am enjoying the Rotopax mount and 2gal fuel container, but I do hope to add a Sidehack and UltraTable to my system shortly.
The Rig’d Supply company is pretty active on Social Media and has shared a few of the BIKEWAGN posts and stories already. If you’re not following them, head over and check them out.
Now, is this worth the price tag? It’s difficult for me to answer this as I lucked out on a lightly used product. Currently, as of June 2022, Rig’d is stating they have a 1 week lead time with UltraSwing’s in stock and the MSRP is currently $1599. This certainly comes in cheaper than the Dirtcom TrailSwing which is currently $1750 with a SIX WEEK lead time!
If you have a genuine need for your spare tire to be relocated (carrying a fridge like we do, or an oversized tire), and are interested in the capabilities a hitch mounted spare tire and accessory mount may just be the ticket for you. For the time being, Rig’d is offering financing through Affirm to help make one of these pieces of American made, lifetime warrantied and patented hitch carriers yours!