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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 9:30 am 
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My wife and I are recovering from permanent shoulder injuries. Loading and unloading an Oasis on and off my Ridgeline pickup top could be a tough task without help.

There are a couple of people in this area who have the Thule Hullivator on the roof tops of their large SUVs. I talked to one guy whose shoulders are worse than mine and he loves the Thule Hullivator for his Ocean Kayak. The other owner is a small woman who loads her kayak by herself with the Hullivator on a GMC SUV. I haven't talked to her yet, but she makes it look simple with her kayak wheels to get close to her SUV.


I have the bars from a Yakima rack for skis and have ordered and received the other gear to get the bars up and steady on the Ridgeline.

Before I order a Thule Hullivator, I wanted the opinions of those who have had them or know about them.

Thanks

Dave

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:14 am 
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Location: Washington DC/Chesapeake Bay
I've known folks to use them and love them. I also know a vet who chose a trailer instead as he can back it right into the water where he lets in and that way the trailer and the water essentially do all the work. He loves it. Food for thought.

Good luck and have FUN!

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 Post subject: Re: Thanks
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 10:29 am 
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Jman6631 wrote:
I've known folks to use them and love them. I also know a vet who chose a trailer instead as he can back it right into the water where he lets in and that way the trailer and the water essentially do all the work. He loves it. Food for thought.

Good luck and have FUN!



I have basically a new 13' trailer that I had for a fly fishing pram, which I sold.

The problem even with a fly fishing pram on the trailer, driving here in Wino country is having people tailgating :shock: on the trailer license plate trying to force you over so they can drive 70-80 mph instead of the speed limit.

If that happens with a good size pram, I shudder to think what these OCD drivers would do re tailgating a little kayak.

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:00 pm 
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I just got Hullavators last week. I have a hernia... It's so much easier, like you died & went to Hobie Heaven...Used them twice this week...Now loading & unloading is a piece of cake....Now I have to add a few additional handles...& it will make it that much easier.Well worth the investment, I'm 61...170 lbs, throwing my 2010 Outback on top of my SUV was a little demanding, even with my Thule Slip Stream,Outbacks are Widebodies. Good Luck, Sully60


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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 2:44 am 
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Location: Point Lookout, Maryland
We used Hullivators on the top of our Prius all last year and they work as advertised, once the yaks are loaded in them. Lifting the yak from the lower position takes about 10 to 15 pounds of effort and - once in motion - is smooth and effortless in the follow through to the top position. Lowering them is just as easy and smooth.

My only issue in using the Hullivators is the transition from the cart to the cradle itself - not so bad with the Sport, but the extra weight of the Outback eventually caused me to throw my back out in late July and that was the end of the season for us. Oh, and be aware that your gas mileage will plummet with all that added mass on top of the vehicle; our Prius went from 56 MPG down to 31 while we had the yaks on top.

This year we decided to go with a trailer, and looking into that alerted us to the TI, so now we'll have a bigger, faster yak as well as the means to get it into the water without strain. We used the trailer for the first time last weekend (both days!) and it really takes ALL the strain out.

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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 7:52 am 
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I understand about the drop in mileage with the Hullivator on top.

There will probably be less impact with a Ridgeline. Our Ridgeline actually gets better hiway mileage, when we have the hidden trunk loader and the rear part of the cab loaded to the gills.

As I noted, I have a 13' trailer I had for a pram and for a couple of hundred dollars I can get a Kayak set of crossbars to load the Oasis on if we want to go that way.

A lot of my fishing with a pram in the Napa/Sonoma wino counties as noted gets a little nerve wrecking with bad drivers trying to go 80 mph in 55 mph zones. It is even worse on I80 when you drive at the Speed limit for trailers in the so called slow lane.

Even with a good sized Jon Boat that my son and I co own for the Napa River, the tail gaters try to run you over and that driving is in the city limits.

My son and I both keep our trailer hitches on with the ball to protect our truck's rear bumpers without a boat. Each of us has left a tailgating luxury car on the side of the road with a hole in their radiator due to their inability to stop when you have too. Our bumpers were protected by the hitch and ball, and their radiators look like they took a five inch shell. My wife's Lexus is on its third rear bumper due to tailgaters unable to stop in town and even in a parking lot. We carry a disposable camera to take pictures of these clymers after they hit us from the rear in both vehicles.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 5:14 am 
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Location: Point Lookout, Maryland
Grampa Spey wrote:
My son and I both keep our trailer hitches on with the ball to protect our truck's rear bumpers without a boat. Each of us has left a tailgating luxury car on the side of the road with a hole in their radiator due to their inability to stop when you have too. Our bumpers were protected by the hitch and ball, and their radiators look like they took a five inch shell. My wife's Lexus is on its third rear bumper due to tailgaters unable to stop in town and even in a parking lot. We carry a disposable camera to take pictures of these clymers after they hit us from the rear in both vehicles.

Wow! I've seen some wild driving here in the DC area, but no tailgating like what you describe out there. Unreal!

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 9:52 am 
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Location: CT
I have a Hullivator for my Revo that is used for a Jeep Liberty. I like it but there's still a good amount of effort required to put it on top of my Jeep. Additionally, my Hullivator doesn't stay in the lock position when loading it on the unit. I read on the interent there's a locking problem with it. I tried all the suggested solutions and it still comes up a couple of inches from the locked position. Putting it on top can be tough at times. Maybe mine is broken. It doesn't just go up. I have to wiggle and push it up. Requires a good amount of strength. Getting it down is easy but done with caution. I got the Hullivator because I am too short for putting it on top. I am in shape to lift in above head. All in all, it's nice but does require good amount of effort.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 3:42 pm 
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"Wow! I've seen some wild driving here in the DC area, but no tailgating like what you describe out there. Unreal!"

We seem to be following the LA driving patterns about 10 years later.

There is fast moving traffic 24/7 on most roads in the San Francisco. All lanes on interstate are like driving in a Nascar race.

Up here in wino country, many of those who handle growing/harvest problems and set up watering and production lines apparently are paid by each job. So they are like the old drivers of lumber trucks and dirt haulers. They get right on your tail to force you to get over so they can pass as they go from job to job.

It has become a custom on many of the two lane roads for people to put up crosses and flowers where people have been killed. Roads in some areas resemble driving on a cemetery road because of the crosses.

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Last edited by Grampa Spey on Wed May 19, 2010 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Not a great report
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 3:44 pm 
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John have you taken the Hullivator back to where you bought it or complained to Thule?

popeye wrote:
I have a Hullivator for my Revo that is used for a Jeep Liberty. I like it but there's still a good amount of effort required to put it on top of my Jeep. Additionally, my Hullivator doesn't stay in the lock position when loading it on the unit. I read on the interent there's a locking problem with it. I tried all the suggested solutions and it still comes up a couple of inches from the locked position. Putting it on top can be tough at times. Maybe mine is broken. It doesn't just go up. I have to wiggle and push it up. Requires a good amount of strength. Getting it down is easy but done with caution. I got the Hullivator because I am too short for putting it on top. I am in shape to lift in above head. All in all, it's nice but does require good amount of effort.

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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:41 am 
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Location: EL CAJON, CA
One other thing I wold like to mention. I used a hullivator for a year
and found a bed extender much easier. The one problem is if your
parking in a parking lot remember that you have to have enough
room to load and unload to the side of your truck. Most of the places
I fish in SoCal I'm in a parking lot so I needed a parking space on the end
of an isle so no one would be next to me.


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 12:11 pm 
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Location: Houston, TX
I put in a plug for Malone whenever I can. I absolutly love the Telos side loader:

http://www.maloneautoracks.com/loading-systems.php

With the Telos, you still have to manually lift the boat, but you lift one side at a time and it locks in place as you go. I weigh about 150 and have no issues getting my Revo ontop of my Yukon even in strong wind. I looked at all the side loaders. The Malone system is substantially cheaper than the Hullivator. I bought my entire setup in Febuary of this year and have logged around 15 trips with it and each time I go I seem to be able to load the boat faster. I additionally bought a step ladder to help get the boat all the way into the saddles and tie it down. The only issue I've had with it is that on a couple of trips I tried to load the boat with sand on the bottom - the sand gets stuck in the arms and makes it hard to load. Simple solution though - Get the sand off the boat before you start! :D

Since you say you have shoulder problems, the Hullivator might still work better since it has the gas assisst. If you haven't bought yet, I would go to a local dealer that sells both - rig both of them up and attempt to load your boat. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 11:41 am 
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Grandpa,
I did mention to my dealer about the locking problem. He told me it was common for the pin to bend. I'll probably complain more at the end of the season. I don't want any down time from fishing. I use a bungee cord to keep it locked.

john

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 9:06 pm 
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I've been using the Hullivators on my Nissan Armada for a couple years now with my former Dirigo 140's. They were about the same weight as the Revo I just bought today. It just so happened I ended up providing a demonstration for the folks at the Kayak Connection in Santa Cruz where I bought my Revo. As always it performed as expected with little effort needed from myself once I lifted the kayak up to the rack. I'm 52 in average shape and I can easily lift the kayak up high enough to reach the rack which is about waist level. I find it easier to place it on the rack cockpit up them rotate it over so its bottom up to transport. While the kayak sits in the rack it won't fall out, and you can take your time strapping it in. I discovered today that the Revo is flatter than the Dirigo 140's and will require a foam block to provide a little extra bulk under the strap. Lifting requires you to almost get on your knees to get low enough to release the handles for lifting. Once you release the rack for upward motion you don't have to squeeze the release. The spring/hydraulic assist makes the lift fairly easy then once its at the top you let it fall with some control down on to the top of the rack to click in place. Well worth the cost for larger vehicles or folks with limited strength.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 11:08 am 
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whosyerbob wrote:
We used Hullivators on the top of our Prius all last year and they work as advertised, once the yaks are loaded in them. Lifting the yak from the lower position takes about 10 to 15 pounds of effort and - once in motion - is smooth and effortless in the follow through to the top position. Lowering them is just as easy and smooth.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Without going into detail our Ridgeline wouldn't work with the Hullivator. So we went with the Thule Sliding extending rack mounted on Yakima Frames on top of the Ridgeline.

The Thule did a good job getting our new Oasis home. Due to the short bed ie higher angle, we had the yak slide off when we tried to remove it. :evil: Getting it back on was a real problem and getting it off again more hassle. :evil:

So we traded the Thule rack stuff for a Malone Sports trailer, I would have preferred the trailer designed for Hobies, but one wasn't available. We were told by the dealer to buy the foam pads and put them on the Malone's cross racks and to latch the yak, upside down on top of the racks.

I wasn't comfortable with that concept, and a younger relative who has owned various boats for decades that have been trailered, said, "Don't do that!"

He recommended installing the Thule combo slide and load racks on the Monroe's cross bars, to get the yak up and then secure it across, then forward and aft and throw on a couple of other straps to secure the yak besides the straps that came with the Thule combo.

We did the above and latched the yak on top. We did some test drives around where we live with hills, curves and typical roads needing repair. The straps held the Yak tight.

We got the Thule combo pack on sale at REI, and I installed them with no problem on the Malone's cross racks. We had bought the wide track little Hobie wheel trailer and with it in the rear trailer holes, the yak went on and off the Malone, fairly easy.

I made a 10' bow line with a snap hook to attach to the bow. My wife helps to guide the Yak off and on the Thules and trailer with the bow line. I put the little wheeled trailer in and lock it when I can, to get the Yak off and to the water.

The little trailer worked well at a local lake where we had to transport the yak over a hundred yards over rough terrain to the lake and back to the parking lot. We loaded the Yak easily with the trailer and my wife using the detachable bow line.

A trailer is the way to go for this second childhood couple. :D

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My only issue in using the Hullivators is the transition from the cart to the cradle itself - not so bad with the Sport, but the extra weight of the Outback eventually caused me to throw my back out in late July and that was the end of the season for us. Oh, and be aware that your gas mileage will plummet with all that added mass on top of the vehicle; our Prius went from 56 MPG down to 31 while we had the yaks on top.

This year we decided to go with a trailer, and looking into that alerted us to the TI, so now we'll have a bigger, faster yak as well as the means to get it into the water without strain. We used the trailer for the first time last weekend (both days!) and it really takes ALL the strain out.

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