Crazy_Legs

Thule Hullavator Questions

18 posts in this topic

With less than 24 hours of kayak ownership under my belt it's already become abundantly obvious that getting the boat on and off of my truck is a challenge.  My research has led me to the Thule Hullavator, however I have a couple of questions that I can't find the answers to online so I thought I'd pose them to the group.  

 

The empty weight of the Hobie according to spec is 85 lbs, and the spec weight limit for the Hullavator is published at 75 lbs.  This limitation doesn't seem to be stopping anyone, so what's the deal?   It's clear that the Thule system can support the weight of the boat, however I'm concerned that if there was ever a problem, I'd be out of luck warrantee wise, and worse if the roof rack ever failed while I'm on the highway - and damaged someone else's vehicle (I live in NJ, and let's be honest, our state isn't the cram of the crop when it comes to driving skills and good road manors) I would find myself in a world of legal hurt.

 

Second Question: Can I mount the cross bars to my OEM Toyota 4Runner rack?

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Do you have a hobie outback? I heard their was doe issues with the  new. Outback fitting the thule hullivator?  Maybe someone who owns one will chime in?

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Must be 1000s of Hullavators out there transporting yaks everyday ... never heard of a failure on the road (doesn’t mean it’s never happened) so it’s probably safe to say that the odds are on your side.

 

I’ve been using a Hullavator (bought used) on a Rav4, carrying a Hobie Adventure and various Outbacks for over 5 years. 
 

Without a doubt worth it if you can’t load into your SUV/truck at hip height

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21 hours ago, Crazy_Legs said:

With less than 24 hours of kayak ownership under my belt it's already become abundantly obvious that getting the boat on and off of my truck is a challenge.  My research has led me to the Thule Hullavator, however I have a couple of questions that I can't find the answers to online so I thought I'd pose them to the group.  

 

The empty weight of the Hobie according to spec is 85 lbs, and the spec weight limit for the Hullavator is published at 75 lbs.  This limitation doesn't seem to be stopping anyone, so what's the deal?   It's clear that the Thule system can support the weight of the boat, however I'm concerned that if there was ever a problem, I'd be out of luck warrantee wise, and worse if the roof rack ever failed while I'm on the highway - and damaged someone else's vehicle (I live in NJ, and let's be honest, our state isn't the cram of the crop when it comes to driving skills and good road manors) I would find myself in a world of legal hurt.

 

Second Question: Can I mount the cross bars to my OEM Toyota 4Runner rack?

I have Thule cross bars mounted to OEM 4Runner rack, no problem at all.  I have Hullavator mounted on them, running a few years with '18 Outback, no problems at all.  Only reason went with Hullavator is that damn "fin" or whatever its called on back of 4Runner flexes A LOT with weight and felt like was about to snap it off when car topping.  I think I do remember hearing something about new Outbacks not fitting well with Hullavator??  Hopefully someone will chime in.  For concerns about weight, local Hobie dealer stated all the weight ratings are lower than accurate and they had no concerns about '18 Outback with Hullavator.  I cant imagine an extra about 10 pounds would be cause for concern and as others have said, never heard of a failure, for whatever thats worth.    

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23 hours ago, CC Rider said:

I have Thule cross bars mounted to OEM 4Runner rack, no problem at all.  I have Hullavator mounted on them, running a few years with '18 Outback, no problems at all.  Only reason went with Hullavator is that damn "fin" or whatever its called on back of 4Runner flexes A LOT with weight and felt like was about to snap it off when car topping.  I think I do remember hearing something about new Outbacks not fitting well with Hullavator??  Hopefully someone will chime in.  For concerns about weight, local Hobie dealer stated all the weight ratings are lower than accurate and they had no concerns about '18 Outback with Hullavator.  I cant imagine an extra about 10 pounds would be cause for concern and as others have said, never heard of a failure, for whatever thats worth.    

Well now C!

Update: I bout a Hullavator and it works great.  Moving the boat on my own on top of the 4Runner. I also bought Thule cross bars and mounted it the same way.  I realized as long as the boat is secured to the car independently of the rack, should the rack fail, I'll be fine.  I'm just thinking in a absolute worst case situation.  I'm sure the rack will hold up fine.

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I’m using Hullavator with a 2020 Outback.  The hull won’t fit in the Hullavator without modifying it.   It involves cutting away some plastic so that you can spread out the cradles further.  I have a truck and the only tricky thing that I ran into was the distance between my load bars made it difficult to grasp both handles at the same time and pull on the lock releases to raise it.  I now just use a strap on each to hold down the lock release and now I can push in the hull to raise it up.  

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The biggest issue with the hullavator and heavy yaks is getting the damned thing off the roof. Getting it on is only a little difficult as it wants to slam down, and once it's up there's no worry at all(you should away run a safety line from the nose to the front bumper and tail to the back bumper) 

 

Over time the pistons lose their power and it becomes difficult to handle

Takes two people to get my 15" Ocean Trident down

 

After 10 years I now need to replace my pistons, Thule is no help with that as they will only sell you the entire piece. $100's to replace $30 worth of pistons (told them where they can stuff that)

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Had one, sold it.   Was using it to transport my Hobie Mirage Oasis Tandem kayak.   Hull weight was about 93 lbs.    Hull on this kayak is pretty wide and that was my biggest issue fitting it in the craddle.   Also loading a 93 lb kayak by myself even with the Hulavator was a challenge. Swinging it up and down wasn't a breeze and a bit of a pain so all in all I quickly gave up and sold it.   Bought a Microsport kayak trailer and no looking back.    

 

HT

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3 hours ago, Mike S said:

 I now just use a strap on each to hold down the lock release and now I can push in the hull to raise it up.  

Tennis balls :th:

 

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Just now, Sudsy said:

Wait... what ???

Huh ?

To raise, jam tennis ball/s into the area where you squeeze the “lock release” ... then you don’t need to do the sumo squat and wrist contortion to lift :th:

 

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12 hours ago, Africaster said:

To raise, jam tennis ball/s into the area where you squeeze the “lock release” ... then you don’t need to do the sumo squat and wrist contortion to lift :th:

 

brilliant!

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