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Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Roof Rack and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Saddle Style - Universal Mount

Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Roof Rack and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Saddle Style - Universal Mount

Item # TH898
Our Price: $949.95
Watersport Carriers
This item qualifies for Free Shipping
Shipping Weight: 44 lbs
Quantity: 
In Stock
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Product Expert Kathleen M

Is this right for you? Product Expert Kathleen M says:

Yes, if you:

  • Like the added benefit of being able to get the straps in place while the boat is in the lowered cradles instead of reaching across your roof
  • Have a very difficult time lifting your boat and need something to make it way easier to get it up to the roof
  • Worry about scratching up your car and prefer straps that are designed with some protection

No, if you:

  • Have a factory roof rack - the bars need to overhang the sides
  • Can’t justify paying a premium when there are other cost-effective carriers available
  • Have a narrow roof and two boats that you need help lifting up - this rack takes up a lot of space
This carrier with built-in lift assist takes the strain out of loading a kayak onto your roof rack. Arms with gas struts let you load and tie down kayak at waist level, then easily lift it onto your roof. Tie-downs included. Mounts to most crossbars. Great Prices for the best watersport carriers from Thule. Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Roof Rack and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Saddle Style - Universal Mount part number TH898 can be ordered online at etrailer.com or call 1-800-940-8924 for expert service.
  • All Info
  • Reviews (85)
  • Q & A (0)
  • Photos
  • Why etrailer?

Thule Watersport Carriers - TH898

  • Kayak
  • Roof Mount Carrier
  • Aero Bars
  • Round Bars
  • Square Bars
  • Elliptical Bars
  • Saddle-Style
  • Thule
  • Side Loading
  • Track Mount
  • Clamp On
  • Load Assist

This carrier with built-in lift assist takes the strain out of loading a kayak onto your roof rack. Arms with gas struts let you load and tie down kayak at waist level, then easily lift it onto your roof. Tie-downs included. Mounts to most crossbars.


Features:

  • Kayak carrier with lift assist makes it easy to load a boat onto your roof from the side of your vehicle
    • Allows you to load and tie down your boat at waist level - no need to reach top of vehicle to secure boat to carrier
    • Eliminates the strain of lifting boat over your head to load
  • Folding arms with gas struts reduce strain of loading your boat from the side of your vehicle
  • Adjustable cradles accommodate your boat's hull
    • Top arms slide along a built-in track and tighten down with wing nuts
  • Closed cell foam padding on cradle arms protects your boat and vehicle from scuffs and scratches
  • 2 Tie-down straps with padded buckles secure your boat to the carrier
  • Sturdy steel construction
  • E-coat and aluminum-colored powder coat finish resist corrosion
  • No-drill installation onto most roof rack crossbars
    • Clamp on bars or mount in crossbar channels
  • Lockable with 2 One-Key System cylinders (sold separately)
  • Made in the USA


Specs:

  • Application: round, square, aero, and elliptical crossbars
    • Minimum crossbar spread: 24"
  • Carrying capacity: 1 kayak
    • Maximum kayak width: 36"
  • Weight capacity: 75 lbs
  • Dimensions: 36" long x 6" wide x 16" tall
  • Maximum crossbar space used: 28-1/2"
  • Carrier weight: 39.7 lbs
  • Limited lifetime warranty


Note: Your vehicle's roof must have a load capacity of at least 130 lbs to use the Hullavator.


Thule Hullavator Pro Crossbar Specs

The Hullavator Pro gives your back and shoulders some relief as it helps you lift your boat onto your vehicle's roof rack. And you won't need to stand on your running boards or a step stool to position and tie down your boat. This carrier with lift assist comes down along the side of your vehicle so that you can load your boat and strap it to the carrier at waist height. The arms of the cradle adjust to accommodate your boat's hull, and padding helps protect your boat from getting scratched. Folding arms with gas struts deliver your boat in the cradles up onto your roof for transport.


Thule Hullavator Pro

Installation onto Existing Crossbars

The Hullavator Pro installs on top of your existing crossbars. This system mounts onto square and round roof rack crossbars with included hardware, and it slides into the channels of AeroBlade crossbars. To ensure there is sufficient clearance between your vehicle and the Hullavator when it is lowered, your crossbars must extend between 4" and 8" beyond the feet.


A pivot pin secures the arms of the carrier to the bar mount assembly and allows the rotation necessary to reel your kayak onto your roof rack.


Lift Assist with Gas Struts

Gas struts eliminate the majority of lifting required to mount your kayak onto your roof rack. Cradles roll out and down to a vertical position along the side of your vehicle so that you can load your kayak - cockpit out - into the carrier at waist height.


Thule Hullavator Pro PartsThule Hullavator Pro Parts

To lower the cradles, remove the release pins and squeeze the handles. The arms will unfold to lower the cradles down to the side of your vehicle.


To adjust the cradles, loosen the knobs and slide the upper arms of the cradle along the built-in track.


Squeeze the handles on both arms and lift your boat in the cradles straight up to roof height. The gas struts will assist you. Rotate your kayak onto the roof and gently lower the cradles onto the roof assembly. Pull the handles so that the arms snap into place for transport. Secure the Hullavator on the roof with the pin and clip.


You can add 2 One-Key System locks (sold separately) to secure the basket to your roof rack.


Padding and Tie-Downs

Thule Hullavator Pro Side Load

Tie-down straps with buckles are included for securing your kayak in the cradles. You can tie your boat down when it's at the side of your vehicle, so you don't have to reach up or throw the straps over the roof. Loop these straps through the arms of the cradles and around the hull of your boat. The straps have padded buckles that let you tighten the straps and secure your boat.



898 Thule Hullavator Pro - Lift Assist Kayak Carrier

Installation Details TH898 Installation instructions



Customer Satisfaction Score:


Customer Reviews

Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Roof Rack and Lift Assist w/ Tie-Downs - Saddle Style - Universal Mount - TH898

Average Customer Rating:  4.8 out of 5 stars   (85 Customer Reviews)

This carrier with built-in lift assist takes the strain out of loading a kayak onto your roof rack. Arms with gas struts let you load and tie down kayak at waist level, then easily lift it onto your roof. Tie-downs included. Mounts to most crossbars.

by:

2018 Ram 2500, wanted a way to travel with 2 sit on top kayaks, With my wife and i in our late 60's it was taking a LONG tome to get the kayaks on the roof of the bed cover. With these i can do it with a short stool. Also carrying the kayaks upside down keeps the top cleaner and stops the water from getting trapped in the kayak (and raining down on me when I unload them).


Comments
Update.. after one year still working great, lets this old man get 2 kayaks off the top off a very high truck.
Harold - 10/02/2022


by:

Bought a pair of these to go on 59" rhino rack bars on our Outback Wilderness and am really pleased. I left the bars full width - they are not a head banger on the car - and mounted the Hullavators as far outboard as possible which means the kayaks clear the side of the car and wing mirrors without folding them in. I did have to modify one Hullavator to make the Hobie Lynx fit (36" wide Lynx = 36" max Hullavator width)




by:

The hullavator is the only way I can get my boat on and off my SUV by myself, which gives me much greater freedom to paddle. We loved my hullavator so much that we bought another one so both boats would be easy off/easy on and we would not have to do the lift off/lift on dance everytime we went paddling. This required longer bars, but those are easy to get. I was having a minor problem with the hullavator and contacted Thule to find out that they will not provide support for cars with 2 hullavators on them because some cars roofs cannot handle all the weight (the hullavator is a beefy rack). My Ford Expedition is rated to hold the weight of the rack/hullavators/kayaks, but that didn't matter, since they don't recommend 2 hullavators, they won't support it. So just a warning there. But I still love my 2 hullavator system and more importantly do not know how I would boat alone without it (or even with a short friend. My husband is 6'3" and together we can get boats out of J racks on the Expedition roof, but this is SO much easier).
We have 2 Delta 14' kayaks on the racks.
I have included pictures, one with me for height reference. I am 5'7" and the boat comes down low enough for me to lift it off (boat is 45 pounds).




by:

These cradles are great, but will admit for someone my age at 68yrs and a woman they are heavy at about I believe 40# each. Also it would be nice if they came down lower as I have to lift my kayak a little over waist high for me. I’m only 5’1”. So still a bit of a way to lift it for me. Sometimes it takes some effort to get them going back up loaded as you have to stretch your arms out and do both at the same time to get them going up onto roof. If these things could be made easier it would be perfect for someone as short as I am and of my age.




by:

I installed the Hullavater on my 2002 Toyota Tacoma's canopy that has 2" tubular rails. I couldn't find any cross bars to fit so I custom made the cross bar from scrap square tubes. It also lowers the high by about 4" compared to stock cross bars. Assembly is simple. I went online to download the English version instruction instead of the one in the box. Installing the loaders on the base bars is just a simple one pivot pin each. It depends on your vehicle's high, I have to climb a little to line up the holes to pin them. Maybe after frequent use, I will perfect my method.
I first installed the cross bars too close together. When I strapped the kayak down, it put tension on one of the carriers made it difficult to snap lock in place. Realigned the cross bars, now it works as design.
One down side is they sit very tall on top of my truck so I have to install them outside and remember to remove them before I back into my garage. I wish they can be folded down. I would give them a five stars. I read some complains about the bases get rusted easy. I sprayed them with rubber paint before I installed them. So far they look ok under Seattle sky.
Although they are a little pricey, I really like that I don't have to climb up to strap my kayak not to mention it is easy on my back when load and unloading.


Comments
Its been a year. So far so good. the only complain I have is the rubber pads left black marks on bottom front of my kayak. It is very narrow in front even the bars are adjusted down to minimum, the bottom of kayak is rested on those rubbers leaving black marks.
Anthony - 12/07/2019


by:

I have used Rhino Fokding J Racks, Malone Seawings...added a Rhino Rack Universal Side loader. Still can be a workout. Finally decided to invest in a rack that will make loading and unloading easier and less likely to cause injury. THULE Hullavators!! Now I only have to lift the kayak about chest high...and can attach all the steps while standing flat on the ground. Nor more climbing, reaching g and twisting. I am excited to have a rack that will save us time and energy that we could out to better use kayaking.




by:

The hullavator makes it possible for us to continue kayaking. We only need to be able to lift the kayaks halfway and the hullavator does most of the work from halfway to roof by lightening the load. An awesome product!




by: 03/19/2021

Oh. My. Goodness! This is a stellar solution for kayak loading and transporting!!
The story: My first thought had been, "I'm not spending so much money for a kayak carrier." I ordered a different rack at 1/2 the cost. When the first rack arrived, I quickly realized that while it was well made, getting a kayak into that rack on top of my tall SUV was going to require a step ladder and lots of acrobatics. Without opening it, I sent the rack back and ordered a Thule Hullavator. Hint 1: Watch the online videos on how to install or have a professional help you; the included instructions are horrible. Still, I did it myself, and you can, too. Once installed, the Hullavator Pro is sheer genius! You'll appreciate this amazing rack every single time you use it. Every. Single. Time. The gas struts really do so very much of the lifting lift for you!
Hint 2: the hand release on one of my cradles seemed to stick and I had to squeeze the release with both hands before it would lift. I despaired. Then by accident almost, I discovered that anytime this happens, I could use the hand grip to gently push that entire assembly a few mm towards the car. Poof! Both struts easily, smoothly begin lifting my kayak. Thule's Hullavator really is a bargain considering how quick it is to load/unload a kayak and because of the work it does for you!
I HIGHLY recommend the Thule Hullavator and etrailer!




by:

Weather is nice again and I finally installed my (somewhat) newly purchased Yakima 60" Jetstream rack system with RidgeLine Towers along with Thule Hullavator TH898 to my 2016 X5. I hope to start some finishing real soon here in NJ.




by:

I've had the Thule Hullavator system on my RAV4 for one year now and am totally satisfied! I kayak alone so I needed a system that would allow me to get my kayak on top of my vehicle. As I am almost 70 this system helps me out a lot and I appreciate it every time I load the kayak! Makes loading/unloading "easy peasy". Still works great one year later!




by:

I recently upgraded from a 2017 Ford F-150 to a 2019 Ford F-350 and the height difference between the two over the bed with a Leer cap was substantial. The Hullavator kayak carrier system seemed like a good way to save my back while towing our travel trailer and having the kayaks go with us. This is not an inexpensive why to get the kayaks on top of my F-350's cap but it is the safest way. The carrier arrived on time and most importantly not damaged or missing parts. The carrier appears to be built to last and the fit and finish is well thought out. The instructions made the assembly and installation fairly simple to accomplish. I have not as yet traveled with it but I have loaded a fishing kayak on it. I loaded a 32 inch wide fishing kayak on it in both the upright position and upside down. I do not anticipate any problems while traveling in either configuration. I have given it 4 stars because of the high price which is Thule's problem and not Etrailers. Etrailer's representatives were very informative and helpful in my decision to purchase this item.




by:

The Hullavator is one great invention, especially for someone who is older or otherwise less capable to safely lift a vessel up onto a rooftop rack. It works flawlessly and makes kayaking possible for me at this stage in my life.




by:

Great product! Quick shipping! Easy ins tall.




by:

First thing. The service and communication from etrailer was great. Best shipping tracking I have ever seen. The Hullavator install was pretty easy and it allows us to get our kayak on the roof of our camper. A big thanks to etrailer and the crew. Also best price I could find. This isn't my first order from them and I keep going back.




by:

Perfect solution! I usually need to load my oversized paddleboard by myself. I get comments an looks almost every time I use them at the beach. etrailer shipped fast, great service.




by:

I ordered my Thule Hullverator on a Friday and received the following Friday. My son-in-law helped install it on Mother’s Day. Everything was included in the boxes. I ordered from you instead of Thule because you offered free shipping. Otherwise it was the same price. Very easy to order and prompt. Thank you.




by:

The hulivator is fantastic. Every kayaker should have theM




by:

"Ultimate kayak carrier." Hi, we love kayaking. We can kayak all day long. But the moment we (more like me), has to lift the kayaks high over our heads to load on the roof, takes a lot out of me. The Hullavator helps alot. Helps lift, helps strap kayak at a comfortable level.
This is my setup needed to install Hullavator on 2022 Honda Odyssey:
-Thule Hullavator
-Thule one key system (set of 4)
(I chose Yakima round bars system because of its length 78")
-Yakima round bars 78" (cut to 62" for minimum requirements to properly operate Hullavator)
-Yakima Round Bar SL adapter (comes with 4 endcaps)
-Yakima TimberLine Towers
-Yakima SKS Lock cores(set of 4)
-Honda roof rails




by:

Must have for a heavy kayak, and/or for taller vehicles. I installed it on Thule areoblade 54cm on a 2018 Honda Pilot. It fits but barely. I would probably recommend 60cm ars if you want to pair it with another Hullavator.

Installation note: in order to meet the 4" clearance from the footpod of the rack, I had to install the bars slightly asymmetrical (they stick more on one side of the vehicle than the other). Not enough that it is noticeable.

With the 54cm bars, I can pair the hullavator with a Yakima Jaylow, or a Yakima 16 cu in roofbox.

I am also able to carry a fishing kayak that is 35" wide but it's tight (the carrier is rated for 36").

A couple of usage tips for what it is worth:

- when you lower the boat, make sure to keep the boat level (don't lower one side more than the other). Failing to do so may result in contact between the boat and the car. Don't forget to fold your side mirror too.

- When you strap the boat, I find it useful to strap one side lightly, strap the other side, and then tighten things down. It ensures the boat seats properly on the cradles. If I tighten things right off the bat, and the boat isn't perfectly seating on the cradles, I get an issue locking the once the boat is flat on the roof (not sure if that makes any sense, but if you run into the issue, you will know what I mean).

- Once setup, it takes less than 5min total to put the cradles in or off the bars (i.e. if you need to park in a garage and clearance is an issue).

I hope this helps. In any case, this is an awesome rack.




by:

Now I don't have to stop kayaking because it hurts my back to lift the kayaks on to the top of the car! Love it! Easy to use!




by:

It works like it was advertised, We are very happy with them.


Comments
it works great,I am 72 years old and would not be able to load them without it.
James - 11/23/2022


by:

Excellent way to lift the fishing kayak onto the top of the car. Expensive, but worth it to prevent injury to your back and shoulders.




by:

Amazing! I’m 5’3” and have a Grand Cherokee and I needed no stool or assistance loading my kayak! Wish I had gotten this years ago.




by:

Very happy with this. It was a gift for a friend who was limited because of the difficulty of loading a kayak alone. It's been a great success! Also very happy with the communication from etrailer. Like so many recreational items during the pandemic, this item was out of stock. The folks at etrailer kept me informed and ended up delivering before the projected date.




by:

I recently ordered 2 heavy Hobie kayaks and need to be able to carry them on top of my truck so that I can tow a Fifth Wheel. The Hullavator Pro carriers seem much sturdier than competing brands, and the lift assist will make loading on top of my F350 much easier. They were easy for me to assemble and install. (I purchased 2 sets). They are expensive, but it’s not worth losing a kayak in traffic in order to save a few bucks. I have had other Thule carriers, and have been very happy with the strength and longevity.


Comments
One year later it still works great. I transferred the rack to our SUV and it is even easier to reach. I would definitely buy again.
Thomas - 12/03/2020

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