Sad to get old...

I can’t believe it, but I just forked over cash for the Thule Hull-a-vator to go onto my F150’s Yakima racks. I have been resisting buying these for about a year now as I feel pretty strong at 52, but just lifted my truck 6" and am having doubts when I get ready to load my boat up there 7 feet above ground.

Hate getting old, but it beats the alternative.

Have any of you other “not quite senior citizens” been swallowing your pride as of late? I would like to know I am not the only one!


Old? Hell no!

– Last Updated: Oct-04-06 8:52 AM EST –

I bought my Hullavator so that I could reclaim my Subaru Outback's hatch. And to make loading the hatches with gear easier. And to make it simpler to install a cockpit cover.

Making the lifting effort easier NEVER occurred to me.

Jim, 56

EDIT: Seriously though, before the Hully I was loading some gear into the cockpit, one foot on the rear door's sill and one on the wheelwell when my wet foot slipped off the well. Luckily I had a good hand hold which prevented me from falling. ANd putting the cockpit cover on with one hand was a royal PITA. The Hully really does simplify solo activities.

Interestingly, the DVD included with the Vator features short women and expecting short women loading their boats on SUV's.

…but that doesn’t mean I fail to realize it’s coming…

sooner or later Father Time whips up on us all.

height, not age
I am 5’2" and at any age I couldn’t reach the top of my F150 4x4. Comparing being younger to now - well, back then I couldn’t afford a new truck AND an old wagon just for the yaks AND another car for fun PLUS a company car. Hey, she with the most toys wins, right?

Of course, wouldn’t we all like to have youthful bodies but keep our years of experience?

I’m 52 next month and still grunting the 60+ lbs of plastic on top of the extended topper of my Ranger. My knee tricks sometimes, my back gets cranky, and my body is acting like a human barometer with the weather change today. I am NOT getting my families typical arther-itius. Vitamin I cures all! Push on and damn the pain.

BTW does that Hulivator work pretty good? (Or what ever the heck you call the darn thing.)

I’m fighting it…
54 now, but I feel in better shape now than ever before, excepting my teen years and early 20’s. I work out, paddle hard…and easy too. I try to eat healthy and in moderation. Started riding a bike recently after a very long hiatus. I’ll never be Mr. America but am pretty pleased with the results of the work outs so far.

My back has always been my weakpoint, I’m carefull when I load a boat onto the top of my SUV. The excercise has helped my back and I don’t feel the strain anymore. But I’m still carefull.


I don’t know how good it works…
…as I just ordered it. I will post when I get it and try it out though.

The funny part of having a lifted F150 4x4 is that not even paddler buddies can help load it up as they can’t get close to lifting the ends high enough.

Also, the ability to put the boat up waist high to tie it down and get it ready for the road is also tempting though.


Taj: It works well, but can be

Hmmmmm…Sounds like my last performance evaluation!

Mine is mounted on Yakima round bars, so it is impossible to keep the mechanisms from rotating a bit. This results in the parallelogram linkage shifting and requires some jiggling to get the system to completely close. I can live with it.


Why lift the truck then ???
How will you get in IT ? : 0 LOL

I’d say if you can lift your truck 6"
then you sure don’t need to worry about the aging process! lol!

Thanks guys, you took me serious where it was intended. There is a rack shop across town from my home. I may check one out just to see what it looks like. I don’t need any help, just stand back and watch how it’s done, ouch dagnabbit. I’m OK…i think

Original Hullavator is replaced by Thule
The original Hullavator had several design problems that were recognized by Thule and they replaced it with the “XT” model. Contact them through their web site if you have problems with the original model. The original model failed to hook in the down position as well as in the closed position. Its locks would not work. And the padding on the longer arm was too small. They sent me the new model for nothing.


On the contrary, aging is a gift…a blessing. You have wisdom gleaned from a life of experiences. You get to use all that information to make wise and informed choices. The key to making this work for you is to maintain a sharp focus on health and wellness so you can pursue your passions.

I am not a boomer…been there, done that. I am a joyous “senior citizen” with the time, money and inclination to aggressively pursue adventures of all kinds. This year I have snow shoed in Montana, trekked the High Sierras, white water kayaked the Klamath River and explored several technical slot canyons in Utah. Next year’s adventure calendar is already in place…with new and challenging endeavors.

I am happy to be 68 years young!

52 in November
Paddle 15-30 miles nearly every week from March to November. Do 10-15 rolls every time out. Ride a bike 15-20 miles per day Monday - Friday. Lift weights Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 30 minutes. Ski downhill and backcountry every Saturday and Sunday from November -March. 3 knee operations,so far. LIFE IS GREAT!!! But I too am concerned about getting the RM Chatham 16 on top of the Jeep in the not too distant future. Beginning to look for a new vehicle to replace my '97 Cherokee now, and roof height is a definite consideration! Too cheap to spend the required funds for a Hulavator!

"roof height is a definite consideration
So why have big SUVs and high trucks?

We’ve been using station wagons for years for transporting our boats - up to three Brit boats at a time (probably 4 boats at a time this coming summer.)

Our next big decision is which station wagon, of the few decent size ones made, to replace the older of our two Sable wagons.

BTW Both my wife and I are in our 50s.

Roof height does matter!

Hmmmm - I guess you could say…
…I am not exactly out of shape, weak, or short at 6ft 2in but at the end of a long paddle I just lack the ability to lift my boat up that high, especially in a breeze of any kind. The boat is about 53# or so, but once above my head is difficult to control and must also step up on a narrow step with my usually wet/sandy/muddy paddling booties.

Yeah, I lift weights a bit, play tennis and am still pretty fit, but am old enough I suppose to know its just not wise to put yourself into a position like that when you are tired, as that is when you are most apt to get injured. Sort of like doing “just-one-more-ski-run” when the lifts are getting ready to close and your tired ankles feel like noodles…just an accident waiting to happen.

Besides, now that I am not going to be killing myself lifting my boat so high I will have the energy to lift a Bass Ale once I get somewhere warm!!

And Patrick - hopping up from the ground to my front seat is quite fun and easy though my passengers never seem to share my sentiments so suppose a part of me will never get old. (or grow up) LOL.

Can’t wait to get that Hull-a-vator!


my solution…
… is lighter boats and lower cars…

This is what car-topping has done
to me:

Bruce- 56

Some aspects of aging are not nice. I am a retired Presbyterian clergyman; and have been with and for hundreds of old people in their last years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds.

Observation: as we age, we get SLOWER, STIFFER, COLDER and DRYER. Period. And there is nothing we can do about it. It happens slowly at first, and then with alarming acceleration!

HOWEVER, “Use it or lose it” is still operative!

My adjustments have included: outfitting a small trailer for my kayaks and canoes; I only lift a foot or two off the ground! And knowing when to take a day off from physical training.

Have goals! I’m gonna race the West Yellowstone 25km Classic again in March. I’m gonna paddle in the Peaks-to-Prairie (22 miles). Last year I was 39th out of 91 boats. And I was the oldest!

George in Cody, age 67

P.S. When ya get really slow, stiff, cold and dry… they bury you!

Tall trucks
for tall rocks. I know, many SUVs, and especially Hummers are no more than grocery getters. My truck actually sees off-highway operation on what we used to call “jeep roads.” Not to be confused with “off-roading” which refers to red-neck drunks with macho trucks that make their own trail across fragile terrain tearing it up in the process.