Perhaps one of the biggest things that Thule is known for is its vehicle mounting systems. When travelling by car, we often see people going out on adventures carrying Thule branded equipment. This comes at no surprise because Thule products are made with high quality materials and are carefully designed. Thule mechanisms fit so wonderfully that it is even fun to put together all of the pieces.
In this review, we will be covering all that you need to know about the Thule 480 and the Thule 480r. In fact, some of the information out there in regards to the Thule rack mount lines can be a little confusing. Before we get into the differences between the Thule 480 vs Thule 480r, we will be explaining some of the accessories that are necessary to get these to work for your vehicle.
What Are The Thule 480 And The 480r?
These 480 models are the Traverse Foot Packs that go along with your mounting system. They can be found at both ends of the crossbars. These foot packs come in packages of four; one for each corner of the roof of your car.
480 is the model number for the Thule Traverse Foot Pack, while 480r is the model number for the Thule Rapid Traverse Foot Pack. Some other Thule accessories will need to be purchased in order to make your whole mounting system work for you. For example, the crossbars do not come with the foot packs.
The crossbars are the bars that you will be laying parallel to each other on top of your roof. At each end of the crossbars, you’ll be attaching your foot packs. You will also be needing to purchase Thule fit kits so that your foot packs can properly fit onto your car.
The particular fit kits and crossbars that you purchase will be dependent on which model foot pack you actually get. We will show you where you can purchase the fit kits, crossbars, and foot packs in a moment. But first, we’ll be going over what makes the 480 and the 480r different from each other.
Thule 480 vs 480r Differences
You may already know of the benefits of the Thule foot packs. In fact, the 480 and the 480r are almost identical in design. Below are some of the key design elements of both of these models.
- Accommodates locking mechanism: With both, you can purchase a special locking mechanism separately. The 480 and 480r will you allow you to insert a special keylock into each of its foot packs. This allows you to use a single key to unlock all four. This is completely optional, but it will increase the security of the contents of your vehicle roof.
- Torque indicator: Inside each of the feet of the set up is a green labelled torque indicator. This torque indicator lets you know when the rack is safely and properly attached to your vehicle. This happens when the outer grey section lines are completely aligned.
- Easy installation: Compared to their competitors, the 480 and 480r models require half the time for installation.
- 12% greater force: 12% greater force is applied upon locking the mechanism to your car as compared to competitors.
So What Makes Them Different?
The Thule 480r Traverse Foot Pack includes all of the features of the 480 foot pack. However, it also gives the ability to mount Thule’s rapid era load bar. It also gives the ability to mount Thule’s AeroBlade bars. Thule offers many different types of AeroBlade bars. The main appeal of these bars is the fact that there very aerodynamic. This means that you will get fuel efficiency, as well as more quiet while driving. Some of these bars are made of aluminum, while others are not (but they are highly durable). Some of these bars are designed to enhance stability by being able to carry a heavy load.
And there you have it; the Thule 480r as the more advanced model of the two, as it allows you to attach bars that have a more advanced design.
Thule 480 vs 480r Price Comparison
Comparing the prices between the Thule 480 and the Thule 480r can be done on Amazon. Below, we give you links to the best Amazon prices for these foot packs:
If you want amount system that is more aerodynamic and can carry more year, the Thule 480r is the best option. It accommodates for Thule’s AeroBlade bars, which are more aerodynamic and save on fuel costs. If you want a quieter ride, the 480r is the best option. But if you would like to opt for something that is slightly lower priced, the Thule 480 is also an excellent way to travel.
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