Thule Roof Rack and Kayak Hull-A-Vator - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 12:45 PM
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Thule Roof Rack and Kayak Hull-A-Vator

For those who are interested, 50" thule load bars are long enough for the Hull-A-Vator to work properly on a Rav4. The Hull-A-Vator sure does make loading/unloading a kayak by yourself a breeze!

Tom



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#2 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 08:35 PM
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Beautiful kayak. Must be custom made or possibly a kit. Does the Hull-A-Vator lock to the crossbars to deter theft?
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 09:26 PM
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Thanks; the kayak is Chesapeake 16 built from a kit.

The Hull-A-Vators attach to low profile mounting plates that in turn bolt onto the load bars.

The Hull-A-Vators come on and off the mounting plates very easily; it takes less than a minute to put them both on or off. Once the Hull-A-Vators are attached the vehicle, they can be locked closed using Thule core locks.

Once locked, the mounting plate hardware is concealed so the hull-a-vators can't be removed.

When I'm not actually using my kayak, I take the Hull-A-Vators off and leave the mounting plates attached. Since the mounting plates are rather low profile and are absolutely uninteresting looking, I don't worry about anyone taking them.

Tom
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-28-2009, 12:13 PM
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What do you tie the front of your kayak to?
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-28-2009, 05:36 PM
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Looks great!

To The BlackMobile!!!
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#6 (permalink) Old 08-29-2009, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAFEman
What do you tie the front of your kayak to?
I've been hooking the bowline to a hole in a solid metal brace accessible from front grill. This puts pressure a pretty flexible piece of bumper, so I don't think it's ideal.

I'd really like to have some front tow hooks bolted onto the RAV4 for this purpose, perhaps in the same area that I've seen people on this board bolt bull bars and brush guards onto.

I see that people also the screw-in tow eyelet for tying off bowlines, but I don't want to mess around with taking those bumper covers on and off and then screwing and unscrewing the eyelet all the time.

Does anyone know if bolt-on tow hooks for the RAV4 exist? I might also consider a discrete looking bull bar.

Tom

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#7 (permalink) Old 08-31-2009, 01:20 PM
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BTW, Nice job on your kayak.
I use the threaded towing sockets behind the bumper. Removing the little panels is not difficult and when you're done your car looks stock. (Better for appeasing the boss in the house.)
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#8 (permalink) Old 09-04-2009, 08:52 PM
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I'm currently looking for a "load-assist" type kayak carrier solution for my Rav. Did you evaluate other Thule or Yakima products before settling on the Hull-A-Vator? The Thule Slipstream looks reasonable and is less expensive. Just wondering how you settled on the choice you made.
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#9 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atroder
I'm currently looking for a "load-assist" type kayak carrier solution for my Rav. Did you evaluate other Thule or Yakima products before settling on the Hull-A-Vator? The Thule Slipstream looks reasonable and is less expensive. Just wondering how you settled on the choice you made.
My second choice was spilt between either the 1) thule slipstream or 2) the load bar extender that both thule and yakima sell. I just didn't like the appearance of the slipstream and the apparatus itself didn't look easy to take on/off the vehicle. The loadbar extenders still looked like a PITA to me. The hullavators cost an awful lot, but I don't regret buying them at all and would do it again.

I routinely arrive back at the dock after kayaking myself and another pair of kayakers will be loading their kayaks back onto their vehicle. Every time, I'm able to go get my car, load my kayak and drive off before the other folks are even close to being finished. I find myself kayaking more often because of how easy it is to load and unload with the hullavators.

Tom

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#10 (permalink) Old 10-13-2009, 10:02 AM
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Couple more questions: what product did you use to mount the Thule bars to the factory bars - Yakima Mighty Mounts, Thule Clamp-On, ...?

Does this rig add so much height to the RAV4 that you can't get it through the garage doors (I have 7' doors)?

Thanks!
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