I’m tempted to get one but would like to hear a yeah or nay from a paddle.net member
i had one and i literally threw it away after less than one year. for starters, they had these incredibly lame, relatively thin, allen bolts that you could not tighten securely without stripping the top. so, they always rotated around my round bars and fell back when not in use. the foam paddling that it came with was complete garbage- i had duct taped them in less than 2 weeks. then, the entire unit started to show signs of rust after less than 1 year. also, they had this lame plastic bracket that broke at speed for a number of people (i tied to my bars so not an issue for me, at least).
i have a pair of malone autoloaders now and they are a vast, vast improvement. somewhat shorter, extremely beefy all plastic body, incredibly rugged metal bracket that does not rotate at all, all held on by massive stainless bolts that use solid nuts you can get a good sized c-wrench on and really tighten (this thing is NOT coming off, no how). integral rubber padding that will never rip. i’ve heard a couple of people mention it could use more padding- i don’t see the need for it, and have never had any problems. carries a q700 and a 21’ surfski just perfectly.
Rip and Rust…
I had the early version and had the same rip and rust problems, mine lasted six weeks and I too bought Malones and they have been fine. Thule has since changed the pads and brackets, just p*ssed me off that were trying to unload the old ones rather than recall them… They were still selling the old ones to the dealers when the new ones were available… not nice. GH
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
First, the GOOD; I’ve had them almost 3 years and they’ve held up. They’ve carried kayaks, including a 54 lb OT Loon, for thousands of miles over interstates, country roads, and gravel without failure (and our gravel roads are not much more than old “Wagon tracks”). The padding on mine is still intact. It has worked serviceably. The BAD, they are a pain in the keester to take on and off, so I just leave them on. I have a Thule Tracker II rack, so it takes LITERALLY seconds to attach or remove my rack anyway. If I had another kind of rack that DIDN’T come off so quickly and easily, it wouldn’t be on my rack because it sticks up and gets in the way in some parking garages and carwashes, etc. Now for the UGLY; I don’t like the plastic bottom attachment that held the old version on the rack. Triplehexxx machined some metal attachments and sent them to me to replace the plastic ones and I somehow lost metal brackets and have had to make do with the “Stock” brackets. They haven’t failed, I just worry they one day might break when putting a boat on. So, after 3 years, I would give the rack about a “5.” I wouldn’t buy another, but I have gotten my money’s worth out of this one. Hey Phil, you got any more of those brackets, I promise not to lose them if you send me some more (LOL)! WW
what do the newer versions look like
compared with the older. Is it the whole plastic bracket thingy that attaches to the “J” and bolts to the top of the bar? I’d be interested to know if I was sold the older, complaint riddled version.
Thule’s Hullaport or Hullavator?
Thule’s Hullavator is due out this Spring. Do you mean the Hullavator?
I think the newer one doesn’t have black coating, not sure if the attachment is different on newer version, but old IS plastic. WW
I meant the Hullavator…sorry, and yes the Hullavator is already on sale in certain stores.
From what I understand they work ok but are very expensive and sound like a freight train on your car when your on the highway. Seems like there has to be a better way than this gizmo.
Agree with the first response. What crap (I had the older version). It just gets me how thule and yakima can price what they make so high when much of it is junk.