Thule Hullavator Pro: After being placed in the cradles, kayak wants to tumble out

No one asked what type of vehicle it was on or how far apart the cradles are. When the cradles are too close together, boats do tend to try to fall out. I had the opposite issue as I had mine too far apart and it was tough to get it off the cradles. After some testing, I found that anywhere form 40" to 50" separation seemed to work best for most boats, your hull may vary.

If your hooks are not large enough get a cheap carabiner not for climbing and snap it around your bar and then you will have something to hook the bungee to.

Interesting. Have the cradles spaced 34" apart. That puts the straps in front & back of the coaming of the Tempest 165 Pro. And the Hullavator Pro is on a Subaru Forester.

Will definitely keep the idea of moving the crossbars farther apart, but want to,

  • Check out mowog73’s thought about confirming that the car was level.
  • Try the bud16415’s bungee idea.

Looking at my daughters 2021 Forester, it looks like 40" is about as wide as you can go if you have the factory rack.

REI did 1m, which is just over 39"; almost the limit of spacing using the factory rails. 40" is the probably the max crossbar spacing on a Forester.

I just checked. I’m at 44" (110 cm) on a 2015 Forester.

I havent measured, but i doubt l am more than 40 inches. Probably less. Whatever you are stick with for the Rav4 slots for the FitKit.

You probably don’t have much choice the to use a bungee or a rubber radiator strap to hold it steady. You should also be able to adjust the cradles so there are snug against the hull, if you have not already.

Im sorry I didn’t read all that.

  1. I don’t understand why you cannot just lean an arm against the boat and put a atrap on it.

  2. Unless you had the “arms” of the craddles in the wrong positions. See pic…note the length of arms.

Peace-of-mind rules in this situation. Did a battlefield test, doing my first paddle since Nov 2013,

  • Even what I thought was level ground at Lake Nockamixon (eastern PA), the kayak still wants to come out of the cradles.
  • bud16415’s bungee idea served me well.
  • Could I have threaded the straps, while body bracing the kayak? Yes, but the bungees still make it easier.
  • Downside to the bungee straps: If you are not careful, they will snap back at you.

Biggest headache was attaching the rear cradle to the rack. Took 4 attempts, and resulted in the process of loading the kayak taking 45 to 50 mins. (As measured from after the garage door was opened, to when the Hullavator cradles were locked.)

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I don’t know what you’re driving, but wonder if standing on a step-stool would make it easier to attach the cradles.

Consider spraying lubricant on the H thingies to make them slide thru easier. Not every time but once in a while helps.
The cradles also have to be a little pulled out for fully clear the hole. Which is why I am on a short stool to have me at eye level with them.

I’m probably missing something here, but have two sets of Hullivators (for sale!) and am wondering why you would ever remove the cradles? Seems like a ton of unnecessary work.

Better gas mileage w/o the cradles and I see no reason to keep them on when I’m not carrying my boat.

Easy peasy to install and remove. Takes me maybe two minutes for each cradle. Each cradle weighs only 15# and rests comfortably on my shoulder between my house and car.

Aha. I see. I think of the cradles as the two pieces that actually support the boat. I thought we were talking about removing those from the actual Hullavator itself.

For the rear hullivator I run my straps under the deck rigging, seems to secure the kayak better.

I am lazier than many about removing them, but no reason to take the mileage hit if the boat is not going to be up for a while. Plus without them up I can use the self-serve car wash. With the cradles up it gets too tall.

Thanks Celia. Will try that the morning of my next trip.

Rookie, it SHOULD be easy to attach the cradles, since despite the weight, they sit supported without the pin. And on Monday, when I did a test run of the process (minus the removal of the kayak at a local lake), there was a little frustration getting the cradles attached, but NOTHING like what I experienced 24 hours ago.

Know there are some tricks to attaching the pin,

Cradle assembly needs to be perpendicular to the rack.
Pin needs to go in, rotated a certain angle.

Also wondering if the incline of my driveway is causing grief? (Severe enough that I use the parking brake a lot.) Or maybe I have a bad Hullavator Pro?

Looks like the I’ll get a trip in this weekend. Thanks to everyone who replied.

The pin hole metal gets bent some times. I have had to put a phillips screw driver in one side as a hole liner upper/pin guide to line up the holes then put the hulivator pin in pushing the screw driver out.

I use a two step ladder to get to the area.

Good idea Overstreet,

Have a little stubby that should do the trick.