Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Carrier and Lift Assist Review

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Review of the Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Carrier and Lift Assist


Today, we're going to be taking a look at the Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Carrier and Lift Assist with Tie-Downs, part number TH898. The Thule Hullavator is a great product for helping you lift your kayak up on your vehicle without putting any additional strain on your back. It uses gas struts to help you lift it up, enabling you to actually put this onto your rack, and it helps you lift this or take it back down. Since it loads to the side, it gives you the advantage of tying this down at waist level as opposed to trying to reach up over the roof. The two kayak cradles up at the top are adjustable to fit different-sized kayaks but can only fit a kayak up to 36 inches max. All tie-downs needed for the kayak are included with the kit. The cradles also have this closed cell foam padding, and this is going to make sure that your kayak doesn't get scratched up once it's installed.

This will be on both cradles. To adjust the cradles, you simply loosen up the wing nut here in the center, and that will enable you to move it to where you need it to be. Also at the ends here on both cradles, we have these spots here where you actually can put in the Thule lock core system, part number TH512, so once this installed, you can actually secure it to your roof as well. This is made from a solid-steel construction and coated with an aluminum-colored powder coat which will resist corrosion. This will fit round, square, aero, elliptical, and most factory crossbars. This fits around your crossbars by two ways; it either will clamp onto your crossbars, or like in this situation, it'll fit into the channels as well. Now that we've gone over some of the features of this, let's go ahead and show you how you load up a kayak. Now, before I lower the arms, I'm going to go ahead and fold in the side mirror if possible just to make sure that the kayak doesn't hit it while I'm trying to load it.

Next, I'll go ahead and fold out our arms. You come to the front here. It has this very convenient handle that you pull towards you, and you push the front end up and then pull it out, doing this slowly to make sure as you pull this out you don't hit the side of your car, till you hear the click. We'll do this with the other side as well. With our arms folded down, then we can go ahead and put our kayak in place, setting it down onto the arms. Now, when you place the kayak onto the arms, you want to make sure it's put on evenly as possible to distribute the weight.

Once we're satisfied with the placement of the kayak, we'll come to the inside here, loosen up these knobs, and push this pad up against this side of the hull. Then we'll go ahead and tighten it back up. We'll do the same for the other side. Next, we can start tightening the kayak to the actual rack. To do that, we have these straps here with the rubber ends. We'll take our one end and put it through the bottom loop, bring it around to the top, put that through as well.

Now, you want to make sure you go around the edge here; you don't want it over the actual cockpit. Go ahead and feed it through our cam buckle and tighten it down. Then we'll put our rubber protector over that so it doesn't scratch up the actual kayak. We'll repeat this for the other side as well and put our protector over it. Now we can tie up our excess. Now we're ready to go ahead and lift our kayak back up into the position on top of the vehicle. We'll come down, grab it by both handles, squeeze towards you, lift it up, and you're going to feel it helping you lift it back into position. Now once you get it up here, you want to make sure that you're holding onto it because you don't want it to slam back down into place. All right, now we'll go ahead and attach our bow and stern tie-downs. Our black strap here we'll wrap through our point at the top. Then we'll attach our carabiner to the other end. Then we'll attach this hook underneath the car to a tow hook or some other point. Then we'll pull this in till it's tight. We'll repeat this for the other side as well. Once you're satisfied with how tight it is, we'll go ahead and tie up the excess on both sides as well. There you have it for the Thule Hullavator Pro Kayak Carrier and Lift Assist, part number TH898.


Questions and Comments about this Video

Sue A.

i having problem with align bar up. very lose. how to i get it to fit so hold Its a pro bar, has channel. very lose 71247

Reply from Chris R.

Are you referring to the bar mount that secures to the roof crossbar itself? If so, make sure you are using the 4 included 35mm bolts and square nuts to attach it via the integrated channels on the ProBar. This portion of the setup is explained starting on page 8 of the linked install manual. Please let me know if this isn't what you're talking about or if you have followed these steps and the connection is still really loose. 58109

Info for this part was:

Installed by:
Zack K
Video by:
Andrew K
Video by:
Chris R
Video Edited:
Dustin K
Test Fit:
David F

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