Factor 55 Hitchlink (Hitch Receiver) 2.0 Review
Factor 55 Hitchlink 2.0 Review, Overview, How it Works, General Tips and Tricks – A solid option for a 5th Gen 4Runner Hitch Receiver
Having a good four-wheel drive vehicle like the Toyota 4Runner is a big part to going off-road, however, you always need to be prepared and expect the unexpected (or possibly the inevitable in the case of going off road regularly). Although you never want to get in a situation of being stuck, it does happen. If you go off road enough, it is likely to occur to you if not someone else who might need help. This is why it is so important to be prepared, carry the essential off-road accessories and understand how your 4Runners off-road features work.
Having the proper accessories in the case you or someone else should get stuck can make a large difference in time, personal safety, and care of your vehicle. Being prepared is an important element of taking your 4Runner to remote locations with few people and few vehicles present. Take the time to understand what gear is essential for your needs before venturing out into the world unknown.
Factor 55 Hitchlink 2.0 Set-up Options
- The Hitchlink: Check Today’s Price
- D-Rings Shackles: Check Price
- Grip Tow Strap: Check Price
- ARB Snatch Strap: Check Price
- Rhino Tow/Recovery Strap: Check Price
What Is Recovery Gear?
Recovery gear is just as it sounds – gear that helps you recover your vehicle or someone else’s vehicle. There are a lot of different options and components to recovery gear, such as straps, shackles, winches, bumpers, gloves, traction pads and many other items.
If you are willing to spend the money, the more recovery gear you can have the better, but what if you are on a budget and just want to spend enough money to give you some adequate gear? After all, bumpers can cost well over $1,000 and many other recovery gear options are several hundred dollars. Have hope, because the Factor 55 HitchLink 2.0 provides you with an affordable recovery point option.
Although there are some recovery options on your 5th Gen Toyota 4Runner, they are not “ideal” and could be vastly improved. The Factor 55 HitchLink 2.0 gives you a great recovery point to hook a strap to in the back of your 4Runner and provides many advantages for anyone wanting to get recovery gear.
In comparison to purchasing an off road bumper, you are saving hundreds of dollars, weight, and maintaining your factory vehicle look. Of course, you do not get the added protection of an off road bumper, but maybe you do not need an off-road bumper and just a good recovery point that an off road bumper offers. The HitchLink 2.0 provides just this.
Quick Overview of the Factor 55 HitchLink 2.0
The Factor 55 HitchLink 2.0 utilizes your 4Runner’s rear receiver hitch to provide a recovery point. The HitchLink 2.0 is basically a solid piece of aluminum that has been cut to fit into your receiver hitch and has a hole by which you can attach a shackle to. The design is simple, but highly engineered.
Here are a few highlights of the HitchLink 2.0:
- Weighs 1.9 pounds
- Rated to pull 9,500 pounds (breaking point at 51,000 pounds)
- CNC machined 6000 series aluminum
- Fits your 4Runner receiver hitch and other 2-inch receivers
- Fits most 3⁄4 inch shackles / D-Rings
- Anodized or powder coated for protection
- Made in the USA!
- Removable and not permanent
HitchLink 2.0 Design Points Worth Discussing
One of the most important aspects of recovery gear is reliability and strength. I can’t imagine you feeling very good getting stuck and hooking up your recovery gear only to have it break. The HitchLink 2.0 can pull 9,500 pounds which is basically two times the weight of a stock 4Runner, so you shouldn’t run into this problem, especially when you consider the breaking point of the HitchLink 2.0 is 51,000 pounds.
The HitchLink 2.0 is very lightweight in comparison to some steel options which can weigh up to 8 pounds. Although 8 pounds isn’t much weight either, each component adds to the weight of your vehicle and any time you can save some weight while achieving the same end goal, you are much better off.
The HitchLink 2.0 is removable, which is a huge advantage, as this would be an easy item to steal unless you installed a locking pin. Even then, your attached shackle could easily be stolen in a very short amount of time. Being removable, you can store the HitchLink 2.0 in your vehicle and only put it in your receiver hitch when needed or before heading out on the trail.
Lastly, the Factor 55 HitchLink 2.0 is made in the USA! Any time you can support the USA you have an advantage.
How the HitchLink 2.0 Works
Using the HitchLink 2.0 is very simple and straightforward. The first step is to put the HitchLink 2.0 in your receiver hitch and secure it with a pin and clip. A standard pin that you would use with your trailer hitch will work great, but if you have a locking pin or would like to get one that is another great option for added security.
After you have your HitchLink 2.0 in your receiver hitch with pin and clip installed you can go ahead and put on your shackle. You can utilize a 5/8 inch or 3⁄4 inch shackle, of which I prefer the 3⁄4 inch shackles. Most shackles work identically so all you have to do is remove the screw pin from the shackle, position the shackle with the holes aligned with the HitchLink 2.0 and then put the screw pin back in place and tighten the screw pin snug. Now you are ready to use your HitchLink 2.0 if needed.
You will need to buy a shackle and recovery strap, as these are not included with your purchase of the HitchLink 2.0.
In the scenario you are stuck and already have your HitchLink 2.0 installed, you will want to get your recovery strap ready and hook this up appropriately to the HitchLink 2.0 and shackle. It is best to try and pull in a straight line with your vehicle for recovery, and the same applies if you are recovering someone else’s vehicle, the same applies. You will put minimal stress on all components when pulling in a straight line and have maximum force to be recovered or to recover someone else.
HitchLink 2.0 Tips and Advice
Although the HitchLink 2.0 is pretty straightforward to use and simple in design, there are some tips that could help you out.
The first step is to buy a quality shackle and recovery strap. The HitchLink 2.0 is a high-quality piece of equipment and you want to match it up with some good gear to complete the package.
I suggest removing the HitchLink 2.0 any time you are not using it. Although I do think it adds a certain rugged look to your 4Runner, it would be a super easy item to steal. If you have a locking pin, that will eliminate the possibility of the HitchLink 2.0 being stolen, but not your shackle. I suggest storing your HitchLink 2.0 and shackle inside your 4Runner in the cargo area.
The last point of advice I could give is to get a HitchLink 2.0 as soon as possible. You never want to venture out on a trail and be in the bad situation of not having the right gear with you. Putting a little money towards the HitchLink 2.0 could very well be some off road insurance you will need.
Final Thoughts on the HitchLink 2.0
Although the 5th Gen 4Runner is an incredible off road vehicle, it can still get stuck. The Factor 55 HitchLink 2.0 gives you a relatively inexpensive option for a rear recovery point on your 4Runner. I can guarantee that if you happen to get stuck and don’t have the HitchLink 2.0 you will wish you did.