Crossbar Length with Hullavators - 2008 Subaru Outback

I’ve offered to help a friend set up a new roof rack with Thule square bars and Hullavators on a 2008 Subaru Outback. The Thule configurator comes up with 47 inch bars as the “standard” configuration for the Outback but I’m wondering if my friend should get longer bars to work best with Hullavators? Does anyone have experience to share? Thank you.

I’ve never regretted getting longer bars than specified.

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Just one concern, Thule advises that the cradles mount no further than 8 inches from the tower or foot for the cross bar. When you assembke it you will see why.

You also want at least a few inches available from that point

So on the Hulluvator side, you want to leave between 4 and 8 inches of overhang beyond the support towers.

Overall rail length then preserves that without leaving inappropriate overhang on the other side. I don’t know where that length works out between those criteria and the car roof width. But easy enough to figure out.

The Hullivator adds a different wrinkle than w other mounting devices.

Sent you a message. Might make things easier if l showed up w mine so you can see some of the operational details that go to the measurements.

What’s the foot mounting situation? Thule Podium or Crossroad? Modern bars/feet or older style? Your answer it It Depends.

I haven’t seen the setup yet. I only know it’s factory roof rails and Thule hardware to mount the square bars to the factory rails. She learned that another friend with Hullavators on an oldr Outback has 51 inch bars and based on that she’s going to return the bars she has and get 53 inch instead.

I was thinking on that length after our last exchange. Yes, 47 inches has to be too short. Glad she did that.

The Hullivator will want to hang down from the end of the bar in the loading/unloading position and hopefully not hit the body of the car straight down from the end of the bar. …

As Marshall mentioned above, you need to find out if these are the newer style bars or the older style bars and what foot or tower system you are using. The newer style bars have channels at the ends where the towers fit onto. If the bars that you get are too long, the end channels won’t extend deep enough at the ends of the bars to accommodate the towers. Ask me how I know… I have a set of 53” new style bars collecting dust.

If we are in fact talking about the newer style bars and the fit calculator is recommending 47” bars, you may be able to do 50” bars. 53” bars will most likely be too long.

If these are the older style bars that are solid and do not utilize end channels for tower mounting, then the 53” bars will be fine

The rack is being purchased new from LL Bean, and the Thule “Fit My Car” guide only shows the newer Evo bars as options. So unless Bean’s has some old stock fit kits for the non-Evo setups, she’s likely getting the Evo bars with the slots. I too thought about the length of those slots limiting how long the bars can go.

I hope to actually see what the whole setup looks like in the next couple of days. And fortunately, LL Bean is an hour away in case something has to be exchanged.

If that’s the case, then the 50” bars may work. The Evo bars as well as the new style square bars both utilize the end channel mounting system. What I ended up doing was I pushed my 47” bars all the way to one side, the side with the the Hullavator mounts. Doing that allowed enough clearance for the Hullavator arms in the down position (side view mirror folded). While the crossbar spacing isn’t symmetrical, pushing the bars to one side ended up providing just enough clearance for the Hullavator installation.

I just deleted my prior post. Had forgotten about the newer cross bars w the slot. My bad. So the mounts also need to be the newer ones.

As to allover length, the bars basically just have to not extend way beyond the body of the car for managing things like parking on a street under overhanging trees. Even w an older Rav4, 50 or 53 inches should be within the range of the side view mirtors. That model year is narrower than newer ones.

But the issue of that slot not being flexible enough to handle either a 50 or 53 inch cross rail when adding the Hullivator… simply had not occurred to me. I could make a comment about Thules thought process…

Part of my concern was the possible lack of overhang on the other side if the rails were minimally short. It just seems structurally unwise not to have some.

Anyway, apologies if l was misleading!

LQT…mounting the boat on the passenger side like you did is recommended by our local ACA instructor. Says it is best when stopping alongside a road.

Of course if you carry two boats or park on a narrow edge of road in the trees overlapping that side that might not work.

I don’t have any new updates, but I believe my friends husband went and got the 53 inch bars today. To me, it’s worth a shot to see if they work as I think a little more overhang over the door frames is preferable. If not, somebody (not me) gets to take a drive down busy Route 1 to Beans to exchange for the 47 inch bars.

If an exchange is necessary the get th 69” Thule ProBar and trim to your own length. The slot on the bottom runs full length.

Thanks! That’s good to know.

The rack is installed and here’s an update. The feet used were “710405 Thule Evo Raised Rail Roof Mounted Railing Foot Pack”. Those use the newer slotted bars. Bean’s insisted she needed 47 inch bars, but let her take both 47 and 50 inch bars. The slots were not long enough on the 50 inch but the 47 inch worked great. Credit to LL bean - they were right. She was comfortable operating the Hullavators with a crossbar spacing of 28 inches - almost the max you could go with factory roof rails.

We tested the Hullavator out using a 10 foot recreational kayak that weighs a bit over 40 lbs. With the kayak dropped down beside the car door, the Hullavators don’t touch the doors. The rear one has about an inch clearance at the slightly bulging wheel well. That might be less with her touring kayak that weighs around 50 lbs.

Thanks to everyone for the advice and guidance. Looks like we have a happy new Hullavator user here.

By the way, I didn’t realize Thule has 50 inch bars. Obviously, the 53 inch wouldn’t have worked either.

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Sounds great, though l suspect she will have to invest in new cross bars when she gets into a newer car. The older Rav4s have a narrower wheelbase than any of the more current equivalents.

If there is an inch of clearance unweighted, it is possible that the bottom of the cradles will be resting against the car w 50 pounds of boat in it. Those arms wiggle around some.

Plus there is the act of adjusting the boat once it is in the cradles, the angle or shifting it forward ot back if she got the original placement off. The arms could wiggle and could hit the car there.

That is why there is rubber backing down there. But l am still a fan of a car blanket dropping down from over the door to be sure.

She’ll figure this stuff out. As to the dead lift from the ground, she may want to set up sawhorses so she can just move the boat from there to and from the cradle. Takes accurate parking but serious savings on the back.

This is Maine, land of the practical and frugal. The 2008 Subie is the newer car she just bought. :smiley: