Submitted: 04-13-2009 by hankp88
Now that I have had the Hullavators for a couple more years since my original review--August 2006--I'm still satisfied with the product and the functionality/service it has given.
I agree with most of the other reviewers that on occasion one of the the supports/cradle arms will release and spring up on its own; but only rarely and never has it caused a problem for me. I recently spoke to a Thule rep at a kayak expo here in NJ, and was reminded that if EVER there is a problem of any kind with the product, there is a lifetime warranty on parts and/or the entire unit and that I could send/bring it back to where it was purchased for a replacement.
Just a couple of more thoughts for potential buyers: these units weigh about 40 lbs.--PLUS the weight of the load bars--so be aware of the load limits of your vehicle's roof. By my putting two Hullavators and two kayaks on my 2005 Ford Escape's roof, I'm probably "pushing it" as far as the total weight on the roof goes. (In fact, I sometimes carry a third boat between the two Hullavators by using Hullaports on the factory crossbars!) I believe most car manufacturers recommend the weight to be carried on factory racks be limited to 125-150 lbs., so the load I carry could cause a problem.
I have had no problem with the Thule system at all, and would recommend the products to anyone. I usually paddle with my son, and we can mount the racks and then load and secure our two boats in 12-15 minutes. (I don't keep the load bars on my rack all the time; I just leave the foot pack(s) mounted in the factory tracks and capped with the TKCAPs. We snap in the load bars on which I have permanently mounted the Hullavator supports; then attach the four cradle "arms"; then load and strap down the boats. We usually also use the bow and stern ratchet tie downs, unless we're just paddling locally.)
Overall, I'm still very pleased with the product and would definitely recommend it. Actually, I think the biggest drawback to the product is its price. It is a very expensive system (as is most everything else that has anything to do with kayaking!)