Submitted: 03-07-2006 by Patrick Stoneking
I originally purchased my Thule rack system in 1985 (for use on a Land Cruiser) and Ďupgradedí in 1990 to the new style Thule racks (for a 4Runner), so I have a fair amount of experience with these racks. Although I have not purchased much new Thule gear lately, all of my 15-20 year old accessories work great. I use the 58Ē bars in the winter to hold my ski carrier and box. In the summer I use 78Ē bars to hold 2-3 canoes or kayaks, plus bikes. Given that most of my gear is so old, it is made of solid aluminum and steel and hasnít given me one failure. Sure, I broke a fairing when I hit a flying rock at 60mph. And, Iíve lost a few of the nuts and nylon bar ends but these were easily replaced. But never have I had a fear of the rack coming off my truck. Iíve even caught a tree with one of my 78Ē bars, which bent the roof of my 4Runner pretty good. Still, the rack did not budge. My rack has spent a lot of time in Alaska and Minnesota winters and rust has never been much of a problem, either.
Last year I bought a Suburban (now I have two racked vehicles) and bought a set of Thule #450 Crossroads to mount to the factory rails. I was little concerned about the rack coming loose. Not that the rack would have a problem, but rather the factory rails would rip out of the Suburbanís roof. Happy to say, after several 1500 mile trips to Maine and Hilton Head my concerns have been but aside. This thing is as rock solid as I was used to.
If I have anything negative to say about Thule it would be that fewer dealers seem to be carrying them than when I bought mine. Sure, I can buy off the internet but I prefer to support my local dealers.
In my honest opinion, you canít go wrong with a Thule rack.