Submitted: 06-29-2010 by Andyd
I bought the original version of the Hullavator on sale for $275 in August 2005. It was great for the next few months but the following spring I began to experience the problem with the arms not locking and springing up whenever they felt like it, which made loading and unloading an interesting challenge.
I spent the next 3 YEARS trying to get Thule to respond to my complaint and honor their guarantee. I had given up all hope until I ran into a Thule representative at a paddle sports show last year in NH. Very dismayed at the lack of customer service response, he actually came out to my car with me, checked out the racks and agreed that Thule had redesigned the system due to the problem I was experiencing. Then he told me he was not actually a sales rep, but the engineer who did the redesign! Within 3 days and 2 emails from Thule I received a complete new rack system with a prepaid voucher for the return of the old one.
I am so happy with the new system. I no longer take my life in my hands while unloading my kayak. Somehow I became immune to the whistle while driving, but at times it does make passengers crazy. I do have the problem with the load arms twisting and not latching easily if I forget to place them in a neutral position after the kayak is loaded.
Without this system, I would not be able to kayak as I am too short...and old... (even with a Subaru Outback)to pick up a 48 lb boat over my head to load it. I have driven, kayak overhead, all over the northeast for countless miles. I have never had a problem (even at 75 mph) with my kayaks shifting or wobbling with them fully secured, front and back included.
The Hullavator has enabled me to get into a sport to which I would otherwise not readily have had access.