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The element has a towing capacity of 1500 pounds, so we need to keep tongue weight at 150 pounds? Is that correct?
 

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I'd be careful with that

I just had a 2" Draw-Tite installed so I could use one of these http://www.etrailer.com/pc-CC2~59110.htm Rola carriers. Its capacity is 250lbs. So is it not safe to use it to full capacity then?
The Rola cargo carrier specs say it's intended for use with a class III hitch receiver. A class III receiver is for a <= 5000 lb trailer. I'd be concerned about the attachment points for the hitch being strong enough to take the load. Also note that the E has a pretty low Gross Vehicle Weight Rating even though it has a lot of room to pack stuff. IMHO a cargo carrier on a roof rack might be a better way to go. You still have to watch the weight of the stuff you put up there, but the weight would be in a better location than hanging out behind the rear bumper. We use a Thule rack system on our 2008 EX, and we have a box that goes on the Thule bars. We didn't buy it for the E though, we've had the box and the Thule gear for much longer than we've had the E. The only drawback is that you need a stool or something to easily reach the box on the roof because the E is so tall.
 

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Just wanna let you guys know that I bought the Rola hitch carrier, had the class III hitch installed, loaded up the E with my dog, presents and the carrier was stuffed. I doubt there was more than 250lbs. on the hitch all together including the weight of the carrier.

I drove from Ststesville, NC to Syracuse, NY, to Rochester and had Christmas so there were a lot less cargo by then. Then I drove to Niagara Falls to visit my Mom then back to NC.

I am so glad I bought this set up. I also got it with the anti-rattle, locking hitch pin. I would recommend this to anyone that wants more space and not want a roof carrier (like me). It just looks like the roof ones are a pain to load and unload. Also, when the carrier is attached, you can still open the hatch on the E. There is not enough room for the tailgate to come all the way down though.

I know it's a little pricey but for the convenience, it's worth it to me,
 

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Just wanna let you guys know that I bought the Rola hitch carrier, had the class III hitch installed, loaded up the E with my dog, presents and the carrier was stuffed. I doubt there was more than 250lbs. on the hitch all together including the weight of the carrier.

I drove from Ststesville, NC to Syracuse, NY, to Rochester and had Christmas so there were a lot less cargo by then. Then I drove to Niagara Falls to visit my Mom then back to NC.

I am so glad I bought this set up. I also got it with the anti-rattle, locking hitch pin. I would recommend this to anyone that wants more space and not want a roof carrier (like me). It just looks like the roof ones are a pain to load and unload. Also, when the carrier is attached, you can still open the hatch on the E. There is not enough room for the tailgate to come all the way down though.

I know it's a little pricey but for the convenience, it's worth it to me,
We've done this a few times ourselves...Statesville is actually our halfway point on our way to Florida.

This is the 3rd time we've used a big cargo box on the rack, and this year we added a Thule Sports bag on top of the box with our big suitcase in it. The whole thing - rack, loaded box, and bag were easily pushing 300 lbs. We've never had any problems with this setup (except for those driveways with a steep incline coming off the road) and with the big suitcase out from behind the rear seats everyone was much more comfortable and able to recline all the seats...

I really need to take pictures of this sometime...
 
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