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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 148 Extended High Roof van and I am curious about the rack options, specifically Thule's offerings.

1) Does anyone have experience fitting Thule racks on an extended transit van? For reference, here are the bars that Thule's site suggests.

2) Do the Hullavator bars drop down enough to make loading a kayak onto a high roof possible? I am not all that interested in putting a kayak on a roof rack of the van via ladder, etc. I realize it will require an overhead lift, but the next kayak I buy will be sub 70lbs, so no issues.

Anyone out there with experience with the racks and/or the Hullavator?
 

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I have a 148 Extended High Roof van and I am curious about the rack options, specifically Thule's offerings.

1) Does anyone have experience fitting Thule racks on an extended transit van? For reference, here are the bars that Thule's site suggests.

2) Do the Hullavator bars drop down enough to make loading a kayak onto a high roof possible? I am not all that interested in putting a kayak on a roof rack of the van via ladder, etc. I realize it will require an overhead lift, but the next kayak I buy will be sub 70lbs, so no issues.

Anyone out there with experience with the racks and/or the Hullavator?
Unrelated: OMG price! These bars had better were made of gold.
 

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I bought this 4-bar rack for under $400 that works pretty well. Added a Thule hull-a-port, let me tell ya getting the boat up there is sketchy as heck. Also, for a while I only had two crossbars on the front two mounting points (due to Thule box) and the boat was not secure on the highway. Now that I have 4 bars, I can space the rack arms further for better support. Still haven't figured out a safe way to get the boat up there.
 

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I bought this 4-bar rack for under $400 that works pretty well. Added a Thule hull-a-port, let me tell ya getting the boat up there is sketchy as heck. Also, for a while I only had two crossbars on the front two mounting points (due to Thule box) and the boat was not secure on the highway. Now that I have 4 bars, I can space the rack arms further for better support. Still haven't figured out a safe way to get the boat up there.
I am also curious about accessing things on the roof rack. Been thinking about a roof box for dirty and wet outdoor stuff, like... packrafts :) At least my boats are light :)
 

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The roof box is great for gear we don't want underfoot in the living space, we keep the camp chairs and folding canopy, fishing poles, bike helmets, etc. up there. I'd get another one if I didn't need to put the boat up there.

I have one of those telescoping ladders to access, it stows easily inside the van.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I bought this 4-bar rack for under $400 that works pretty well. Added a Thule hull-a-port, let me tell ya getting the boat up there is sketchy as heck. Also, for a while I only had two crossbars on the front two mounting points (due to Thule box) and the boat was not secure on the highway. Now that I have 4 bars, I can space the rack arms further for better support. Still haven't figured out a safe way to get the boat up there.
Is it sketchy because it is still a very tall lift? Or something else?

Any pics of the kayak in the "down" position?

What is the weight of your kayak and would you say you can comfortably lift it for launching, etc, or are you "maxed" as it is?

Thanks!
 

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The Hullavator MUST use the Thule square bar (or an aftermarket square bar of same dimensions) in order to mount. I have Yakima "Core" bars on my van, and use the Yakima "Showdown" kayak system. Yes, there are folks here who have pics of the Hullavator on the High Roof. (Mine is Medium Roof) - The Yakima Showdown is doable, but difficult if you are a person with limited strength because you have to lift the entire boat up level with the platform and slide it in to lock. The Hullavator has Gas Filled Shocks, and does the lifting for you. Yes, they extend low enough for someone of average height to put the boat into the cradle and strap it in. I'm still trying to figure out a way to use my Yakima Showdowns with a gin pole / pulley type arrangement so that one person can raise and lower the boat easily. I'll figure something out...
 

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Is it sketchy because it is still a very tall lift? Or something else?
Sorry, should have been more clear. The Hull-A-Port doesn’t have a lift mechanism, it’s just a kayak rack. Hull-A-Vator has the lift. I think the Hull-A-Vator would make it quite manageable.

So, yes it is sketchy because I’m 6 feet up on a ladder trying to wrangle a 70 lb boat. Can’t do it without help, we have gotten better at it which involves leaning the boat on the back of the van then sliding it up and over...it’s **** on the paint but beats a broken neck. I plan to put a roller on the back for this.
 
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