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The car registration number will normally enable quick identification of the original year of first registration. Please be aware that although this will indicate the approximated date of vehicle registration it will not necessarily be the actual model year of the vehicle. If you are in doubt as to the correct model year, the vehicle’s chassis number should be checked with your garage before placing an order for a roof rack system.
I have been a long time fan of Thule racks and accessories. Then at sixty Mph my two week old Kayak departed the rack still attached to a new pair of Thule Hull-a-ports. Thule make a bomber rack system and the Hull-a-port is a great concept but why the plastic clamps?. The kayak landed safely in a snowbank but I worry about what might have happened.
If you’re looking for a serious overland adventure or #vanlife upgrade, the Aluminess Roof Rack is the only way to go. It handles any gear and cargo you can think to throw up there. Moreover, outfits like Main Line Overland can customize it to fit A/C units, solar panels and satellite TV. “A full-length Aluminess Mercedes Sprinter Roof Rack is highly customizable and provides a massive amount of storage capacity. The optional side ladder makes it easy to mount the walk-on roof for strapping on loads and enhancing your perspective at roadside stops. You could probably even host a Bushwick rooftop party on one of them.”
Be careful with Wingbar Edge. They are supposed to be quieter than 961 bars + 753 foot pack but they are probably not. I both wingbar edge for BMW 5er Touring, with 4022 kit. Plastic cover, covering foot and kit (and securing the rack with the lock) does not fit tight, there is a 2-3mm slot. I suppose this is a reason of whistling, with high frequencies. With box on roof rack I was not hearing that, there was heavy noise coming from the box. After removing the box whistling was so annoying that I removed front bar from the roof on the gas station – I was not able to drive with it on the roof!
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Dear Phil, I have read over the reviews you sent us regarding the Thule Hull-a-Port. Being the manager in charge of returns, warranties, and exchanges at the Rack Warehouse I have had some experience with the problems noted in the reviews. The problem of the plastic mounting hardware breaking has happened before, but it is not at all common. Since we have sold the Hull-a-Port, we have had two sent back to us for warranty of this problem. Both of these racks came back last year (the first year this product was available), and this year's Hull-a-Ports have not been any problem for us. We have sold hundreds of units this summer, without one call about this problem. Usually people get back to us right away if there are problems with the system we sent them. I suggest the Hull-a-Port as an option for many people because of its ease of use and flexibility. If you are worried about the mounting brackets, I would suggest following one of the reviewer's advice and secure the boat down to the bar as well. I always use the load bar to secure my straps because the bars are always stronger than the accessory on top of them. Also, both the box the rack comes in and the instructions tell you that the bow and stern strap is required. To be on the safe side and ease your mind, use the bow / stern straps. Please call me if you have more questions or concerns. Thank you, Mary S., The Rack Warehouse 800-272-5362
Anti-Sway Cages – There are a few different ways that racks can be designed to minimize sway, but an anti-sway cage is the most widely used. In particular, you’ll find these on rack designs that hold the top tube, but rear mounted designs that lock the wheels can also benefit from built-in anti-sway tech. In essence, it’s just going to help to keep the bike stable in the rack as you drive. This has the dual benefit of not allowing the bikes to affect vehicle handling (especially at highway speeds) and also stops the bikes knocking into each other.
I contacted Thule's tech services and was told that the aluminum mounting clamps would not hit the field until March 2003 and that it might be late March at that. They will still have the capability to clamp to bars up to 2.5" wide. They will still ship with 50mm and 60mm screws. They also stated that some (maybe all?) of the saddle type carriers would get a four position locking set-up that would allow them to lock nearly vertical for a shell on down to flat for a windsurfer.
Solid square load bar for kayak/canoes. It fits my 9.5 ft kayak along with my 14 canoe old town next to each other with additional space left over. It would not fit 2 kayaks and canoes flat. It does not stick out any further than mid part of side mirrors on my yukon. It is compatible with the load bar from thull. Only complaints that I noticed is that the coating is not very durable as I have a huge gash across one of the bars (not sure if from the rounded part of canoe bolt end or from combo of heat/pressure); also the rack will make a whirling noise when traveling on highways (55mph and up) which is very noticeable unless radio is on; I remove the racks during off seasons so it does not bother me at all but I can see when you may consider their additional part that blocks the wind for it from thull. I know some mentioned end caps may fall out but I have not had that issue although I put silicone (same stuff for plumbing or pool o rings) around the inside part to keep out moisture which may have helped that issue.
Shortly after we bought the rack, our little mazda 2 was rear ended by a texting idiot. Before the car was repaired, I decided to try and test the rack to see if I could damage the tailgate with the rack. I tightened it up really hard and grabbed the mounting arms and shook the car around on it's suspension and it did not bend or damage the tailgates panel edges at all.

I've had the J racks since getting our two Old Town Dirigo's a few years ago. They have performed perfectly. Just completed 4200 mile trip with them with no problems, but you should be aware of a few things and use common sense. I had concerns about stability and wind resistance for the long trip. The Dirigos are beamy and not super light (45# +). The Js held up to the task just fine and at hwy speeds.


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The Thule brand was established in Sweden in 1942 and ever since then, they have helped countless customers transport anything you care for with Thule roof bars, roof boxes and bike racks, easily and in style so that you are free to live your active life. Whatever your passion, whatever your pursuit. Wherever you're going, whatever you're bringing. With Thule, you're free to live your active life to the fullest.
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