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Old 01-09-2011, 06:52 PM   #15
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I built a "rack" using 2"x4" lumber, 8 sets of fasteners (bolts, washers, nuts), and some pipe insulation for our 14' kayaks. Basically, I built an open box that sits in the truck bed and extends the roof line of our cab 8'. The kayaks ride on top of rack, and I secure the kayaks by straps to the rack. The rack provide a good place to attach the paddles and an 8' stepladder underneath the kayaks, using stretch cords or straps.

When we we return home from camping, I disassemble the rack and store it until next usage. Assembly and installation takes 10 minutes, less to remove and knock down. About $30 to build.
Tim, Do you have any pictures of that rack?
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:38 PM   #16
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Tim, Do you have any pictures of that rack?
I will look. I probably have a photo of the whole setup, which would probably work for seeing the general idea.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:25 AM   #17
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Airbiscuit--not to hijack this thread, but the Thule rack I purchased is the exact match Thule recommended for my truck and it sucks.
Did you call and talk to their customer support? Was it installed on a factory rail system already in place or did you do the gutter assembly?

Pearl66, do you already have a rail system on the top of your tahoe? (rails are the factory rack running from front to back parallel to the vehicle)
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:32 AM   #18
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This is what I will probably get to carry the kayak on my Tahoe. When I looked the Hullavator up online, it gave a price of about $5oo. Do you have to purchase special bars for the vehicle carrier as well? Thanks, Kelly

The Thule Hullavator attaches to Thule square mounting bars. These bars are standard Thule fare which mount to the Suburban's roof rack.

Yes, the Thule Hullavator is expensive, but it works really well, and is a lot less expensive than back surgery.

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Old 03-22-2011, 10:29 AM   #19
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Kayak Racks

We have two 16' kayaks--weight about 50# each--that we carry on our Suburban using Yakima racks. I think the Thule are pretty much the same. It's a "religious war" centered around round vs square roof bars. Ours are configured with hully rollers on the rear and saddles--can't recall exact names--on the front. The rollers make it pretty easy to load the kayaks, but it's still a bit of a pain and we have to disconnect the Airstream to get them on and off. The whole rack system cost around $700, about 1/2 the cost of the hullivator.

If you opt to carry the kayaks on the roof of any RV, you're going to have a real pain lifting them up that high.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:54 AM   #20
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what about opening the window in the front or back and just sliding it through and setting it on the floor?

I have a 64 overlander, seems like it would work on mine.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:50 AM   #21
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what about opening the window in the front or back and just sliding it through and setting it on the floor?

I have a 64 overlander, seems like it would work on mine.
Seems like it would get really old haveing to replace the screen in that window every time you carry a kayak.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:59 AM   #22
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There are options to the Hullivator lift-assist systems. We use a Thule Slipstream 887XT (on top of Yakima crossbars). It is a platform that goes on the roof and slides back for loading. The rear has a little roller - put the bow of the kayak on the roller, push it up on top, and then slide the whole assembly forward.

This is a bit fussy, but it does two things for us. We don't need to lift the boats (16' plastic sea kayaks, about 55 lb a piece). It also moves the boats forward on the roof about a foot, giving us welcome extra clearance from hitting the Argosy's endcap with the stern of the boat.

There are other options. Oak Orchard Canoe has a slick roller that goes in the rear hatch seam (or Velcro or magnet to the roof) that lets you slide the boat up on the roof from behind. With a set of cradles that let you slide the boats on the roof, it could work well.

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Old 03-22-2011, 01:57 PM   #23
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Seems like it would get really old haveing to replace the screen in that window every time you carry a kayak.
or you could just take that screen out altogether. I have 8 other windows, door within a door and 3 roof vents.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:14 PM   #24
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or you could just take that screen out altogether. I have 8 other windows, door within a door and 3 roof vents.
Yes, you could do away with the functionality of the window, and stumble over the kayak any time you go into the trailer, or you could just put a rack on the tow vehicle.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:49 PM   #25
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Yes, you could do away with the functionality of the window, and stumble over the kayak any time you go into the trailer, or you could just put a rack on the tow vehicle.
I must not have the right picture of this camping thing. I have 2 kids, and figured I'd take stuff out when I reached the campsite, but I guess there are stops along the way. When I was growing up, we were pretty poor, so we'd stop on that horrible long trip from Michigan to Kansas and eat at the picnic table rest stops. It took forever to set up, and we were constantly waving the flies away. I guess with the AS, I can stay in the parking lot and eat in the air conditioning if I wanted. The last time I used a trailer, it was a SOB, and I borrowed it to stay in while I worked on my father in law's house. I put all my tools on the floor and then unloaded when I got there, but I guess if I was using it alot, that would have been a hassle.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:03 PM   #26
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I have a set of Yakima Hullyrollers for the top of our F250 and we carry dual kayaks. They work well, but it's a bit tall getting on top of the roof. I like the Hullavator that Moosetags uses... Tahoe height wouldn't be quite as bad, but still warrants carrying a small folding step stool to make things easier. I'll sell you my kayaks and roof rack so I can buy a SeaEagle!
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:37 PM   #27
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Forget the need for kayak racks altogether. We have recently pruchased inflatable kayaks and they fold into duffle bags and can go in the truck or the camper. They inflate in about 15 minutes and are strong enough for up to class 3 rapids. They are SeaEagle 330 - check the website!!
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:19 AM   #28
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Loading thru the window. Hmmm, 50+ pounds, awkward lift, slip a bit a punch thru a wall or scratch the heck out of the bottom of the kayak. Sand and/or river bottom mud on the floor.... I'd get a rack and save repairs on my rig, my back, and my kayak.

My $.02
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