Thule Products

I’d just like to say that Thule needs to make their parts more accessible. God forbid you lose a bolt or a knob…you’ll never find one in a hardware store and Thule doesn’t always have what you need which can leave you with a useless rack. Try finding a metric carriage bolt that they use in their kayak racks. Impossible.

should be able to find it here
if I loose something metric I have no problems finding it at my local hardware store, but that’s coz I live in Australia :slight_smile:

You should be able to find it here:

Broke the bolt that tightens the foot onto the roof rails. Couldn’t get just the bolt. Oddball piece. Had to buy a new foot for about $35.

Their hardware plane old sucks !
I had to replace all their hardware on four of their J cradles with stainless steel bolts nuts and washers, because theirs all rusted up.

Also they climed that they would be compatable with Yakama bars, and they are not.

As you tighten their straps up against the bars, all that happens is the straps bend.

Jack L

Did you try contacting your local Dealer? Chances are that if the install they have a box full of odds and ends that they would be happy to part with.

I just rearranged the Rack Wall with a new shelf system and out of the old bins I’ve now got a pile of Thule bolts, fittings, feet and assorted wingdings that seem to be a waste to just throw out. I’m sure that I’m not the only one that runs into this.

Bolts anyone?

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc

Hyde Park, NY

I just bought a new set of J-carriers a few weeks ago and the first thing I did was replace their shitty black mounting bolts with stainless steel carriage bolts. I found them at the local Ace hardware store around the corner.

"theirs all rust up"
I came here ready to defend Thule, because I’ve been happy with their product for the most part. But yeah, what’s up with that? Rust on kayak rack parts?! Like it never occurred to them that somebody might take a kayak rack near a marine environment?

If you have a NAPA store in your area check with them.

They have a large selection of metric nuts and bolts.

Lowes and Home Depot both have parts drawers in their hardware aisles with odd parts, including a drawer or two of metric parts, but they are usually on the small side.

A good old hardware store
Will have what you need in SS. ACE or True Value might have the bolts. But it’s good to have a good ‘go to’ place that stocks lots of nuts and bolts, even if it’s not close, or more expensive(a few cents at most).

But back to Thule. IMHO Thule and Yakima are simply overpriced. shop around and you can find a rack that will fit your needs for less.

But here is what really turned me off Thule: I picked up a Thule bike rack from Free-cycle. Great, a nice rack to replace an old POS. But it had two screws missing to make it work, it was free. So I went to the Thule website to find out how to get parts. I needed the model number. There were some numbers on the rack, but none match anything I could find on the web site. Ok there is an 800 number. I called, apparently this was an older model, and the CSR couldn’t find the model number either, could I send them a picture of the numbers via Email. I send the pic of the numbers, and emails go back and forth for about two weeks. The end result was; Sorry, we can’t find that rack so we can’t tell you anything about it, or provide parts, so you have to buy a new rack. Seriously?!? I know it’s an older model, but I think any company worth its reputation would still have data on its’ older products. Specially one that is supposed to be the top of the line. If I ever do have to buy a new rack, it certainly won’t be a Thule.

Sorry for the rant, thanks for reading.

different experience here

– Last Updated: Sep-29-10 9:19 AM EST –

Thule and my dealer, EMS, have been good to me. I had a set of aero feet for my Subaru that had one bolt where the head of the bolt seemed to have a crack going from the center to the outside. I brought it into EMS, they called Thule and Thule wanted a picture sent to them. I got the email for the rep, sent it to him and two days later I found out that Thule was going to send me a whole new fit kit, not just a replacement bolt. Their reasoning was that if one bolt was bad, potentially others could be as well. They weren't, but it was nice to have back up parts. Now this was on a fairly new kit, it was probably on the car for 2-3 months before I noticed it. As for rusting, I've never had their hardware rust on me. I have had the tubes on my hull-a-port pros drip rust on my car. Not happy about that, but oh well. I live in the rust belt and remove all but the base rack from the car in the winter and don't have issues with the rack rusting.

That’s Why
I only use Yakima Racks. I still have hardware from my original Yakima set up that I purchased in 1985.

Between The Rack Warehouse and Rutabaga never any problem with parts. As for durability, I still have the rack and parts from mine bought in 1998. Been meaning to get a new set of bars since the wife bent them on a tree 2 years ago, but still using the bent set. Have replaced foot kits with vehicles, but the Tracker II attachments and racks are now 12 years. Keep your Yakima, I’ll keep my Thule. I can take my rack off or put it back on in 20 seconds, haven’t found a Yakima that will do that! WW

McMaster Carr
Have you tried here?

Probably have it and cheaper too.

Odd !!!
Just about a hour ago, I put my Yakama bars on my truck.

Pick up rack and place on landing pads. I am not sure if I beat you by a second, or you beat me by one

Jack L

echo that
The rack warehouse has shipped me numerous replacement parts. The last shipment was on them!

I call B.S. on the claims that yakima products are significantly better than thule, or vice-versa. I’ve owned both (and yes, I’ve had thule mounts on yakima crossbars).

Thule reputation
Had a problem with a saddle at one time and Thule more than stood behind their product and more than honored their warranty. Bolts and nuts will get rusty with age, especially in SW Florida, but I also have stainless steel hardware on my power boat that shows signs of rust. Ace Hardware and West Marine should both be able to supply SAE and Metric nuts and bolts. My Thule stuff was purchased in 1998 at REI.

I had their J-cradles and, aside from the fact that they did not fit my boats well, aside from the fact that the foams were too small so that bare metal rubbed against hull,

the plastic hardware pieces were crap. Could never tighten adequately to prevent the cradles from moving.

Overpriced crap!

I had a somewhat similar Yakima
experience. When my racks were off my car, one of the little transluscent rubbery pads on which the towers rise was lost. I needed it that morning or I couldn’t mount the racks and paddle. I went to my dealer, REI, and found the only way to get another pad was to buy another set of clips for the car. That’s right, a major dealer had no replacement pads available separately. I had to shell out for the entire set of clips to get the pads.

When I contacted Yakima about the problem, they said, “Oh, we designed them that way so that they would be easy for owners to replace.” Why would an owner ever need to replace one? Because they fall off too easily. Why not have dealers stock them…?

All the rack companies dealers are independant, they have no factory dealers. They carry what they want to pay for. The company can’t require an independant dealer to carry anything.

Bill H.

Which places the blame on REI.