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The Thule 897XT Hullavator is more robust, user-friendly latch mechanism that ensures carrier stays down when loading/unloading, and securely on roof for transport. The lift height required to load and unload your kayak has been reduced 40% and Fits Thule square, Xsporter, Aero and Yakima round load bars.
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Average Overall Rating:
|Reviewer:||the costa mesa store -Joe|
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|Comments:||if you dont want to lift your kayak way over your head to load it up.. why not load it up from the side.. the best assist kayak rack in the market.|
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|Comments:||I've seen many video clips on the net introducing this product (search youTube) so I will skip the functions of it. Lifting my 17' kayak onto my CR-V roof is not something enjoyable, so I bite the bullet. I had to abandoned my factory cross bar and installed the Thule Aero Rapid bars (Thule square and Yakima round will also work but the Aero bar looks much nicer) to accommodate that. This is needed for the load bar to extend 4 to 8 inch beyond the foot, my factory bar will not do that. So after sinking in about $700 I got this going. The installation was not difficult; they even included a DVD with installation instructions. It seems the Hullavator is designed with the square bar in mind. The adaptation to the Aero bars looks like an afterthought. They gave you 4 thin plastic clear films per arm to protect the contact points. A square bar would fit nicely under the mounting bar. But for the Aero bar there were just 4 contact points; I don't even want to tighten the screws too much because of that. I know before hands that the added height to my CR-V will not clear my garage door; so keep that in mind. The shorter cradle can barely makes it; the bottom taller cradle just simply won't. Now Thule has the Hull-a-port PRO which has a cradle/carrier that will fold, you would think they could have that feature on this $440 product, right? That will sure let me drive my CR-V into my garage without taking it off. The DVD suggest that you take the whole arm assembly off when entering a low clearance garage and states that it is easy.. Ah, it was not that easy, the arms are heavy and putting and removing the pivot pins through the holes can be tricky. I think I will just take the cradles off for now. Another thing is the Aero bars are nice looking but this Hullavator is not; two big gray boxes without much aero dynamics are sitting on my car roof.. They did pack a lot of mechanisms in there so I guess there is not much room for improvements in that regard. Oh, also be careful not to hit your head, it sticks out just enough to get you. on the other hand it was a good thing that it leave more space on the rack for other things. I moved the front cross bar to in between the front and back doors to avoid it. I can see some other car may not have that choice. Enough whining I guess the benefits are exceeding the shortcommings so it is a keeper for now.|
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|Comments:||I have two on my Ford Expedition to load our two sea kayaks. Were suggested to us by Alder Creek Kayaks in Portland, Oregon. My wife and I have no problem loading and unloading from top of the SUV. We're over 60 years young. These lifts make us feel even younger. Great for Seniors.|
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