Hullavator on Buick Enclave

I have a 17’ Pygmy Arctic Tern and drive a Buick Enclave. Loading and unloading are really tough, especially if there isn’t a curb, and especially loading after a long paddle. I’ve thought of the Hullavator, but the Thule website says it won’t fit. Has anyone installed different crossbars on an Enclave that work? Any other ideas? I’m currently using the Thule Hull-A-Port. Wondering if a different carrier would be easier. Thanks.

I use an older system that is similar to what is now the Thule DockGlide to load the same kayak on a Subaru Forester (and previously a Jeep Liberty). The rear cradles are felt lined to allow the kayak to slide up from the rear. Currently, I just lay an old floor mat on the rear hatch to initially rest the hull on but you might want to look at the Thule WaterSlide as an option. Another thought is to use Stackers - Easier to get the kayak up on the bars than into J-racks like the Hull-a-Port.

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I’d go visit a Thule dealer and have them take a look as their website may not be up to date. One of the possible reasons given for the Thule cross bars (that the Hullavators mount to) not fitting your vehicle could well be - quoting from their website - “Your vehicle is new to the market and we are working on a solution.

What are you Hull-A-Ports currently connected to?

It’s a 2010 Buick Enclave, so hardly new. It has 250k miles and I plan on replacing it next fall. Next vehicle will be easier to load.

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I have Yakima crossbars with a Thule Hullavator. The cross bars must stick out from the rack far enough, but other than that either Thule or Yakima will work. Can you find a Yakima setup for the crossbars?

I have transferred the Yakima setup from an earlier vehicle to the current car, both Subarus - so not the same as your Buick.

I had a Hullavator on round Yakima bars at one time and you could not get them tight enough on the bar so always be leaning on way or the other just slightly and could bind when you tried to put the boat up. They would also not always lock into place easily. I would try to stick with Thule or the newer style Yakima bars.

The rear spoiler on some tall SUV’s further complicates the use of a mat to slide up the kayak into the rear saddles.

I’m going to try the DockGlide. I don’t have a spoiler, but a rear antenna. I think I can work around that, however.

I’d wait. You can spent $1,000 on a Hullivator system (s) if you have to put additional racks on the roof.

It might be a result of a sea change Thule made in 2017. I just had a hellacious time trying to reuse my Thule cross bars on a 2020 Toyota Rav4.

The issue is most likely the third one, " * Thule no longer produces the fit kit for your vehicle. Please see a local authorized Thule retailer if they still have stock."

You might be able to find the part you need in old stock from a kayak dealer of a seller on EBay if going Thule. I have seen the Hullivators mounted on round Yakima bars and suspect you won’t love living with it.

Might be best off just waiting for the new vehicle.

One note, if you do happen to score the old square Thule rails without a channel in them to accept the newer podiums that are set to lock into that channel, you could be unable to find a podium that works with them. After some frantic digging, it is possible a friend and myself found the last two that one vendor had.