Let me preface this by saying up front that I am an Electronics Engineer, I have worked over 30 years in the business, so yea I kinna know my way around an electron...
That said, I have to disagree wholeheartedly with your summation. There are those of us that recommend the Honda Harness for good reason. There are those that recommend the aftermarket harness for good reason too - typically low cost
Without mentioning names (do a google search if you're that interested)
of the companies that re-sell the after market harnesses for the Element does anyone actually think these are designed for the Element? Come on now, what is the actual market for any Element parts ?? What are the overall sales of the Element? As much as *we*
know how great the vehicle is - the truth is it has a very limited apeal to people. The proof of that is in the numbers of vehicles sold....
Yes, the aftermarket guys do offer parts, I'm not saying they don't
- but what I am saying is that the parts available are NOT
designed for the Element. Yes, there are some available that are a better design than others, and a very few that might actually hold up in the long haul. But, far and above the ones available are mass produced, poorly engineered, pieces of crap.
I recommend a Honda Harness for anyone wanting to add the trailer lighting to their E, not because I feel bad about spending the money to buy one - more because it works
. It's nothing to me to cut into a wiring harness, I don't break out in a sweat at the though of it, and I could have just as easily built an interface for my E if I wanted to, but I bought the OEM one too.
I have seen first hand what kind of damage these poorly designed peices of crap do to the electrical wiring. But I digress, the bottom line is there are aftermarket harnesses out there that are beyond amaturish in design - without adequate protection - to the point of actually being a safety concern. Most of these designs can (and have)
kill your entire lighting circuits when something goes wrong. Personally, to me I just don't really relish the thought of driving down the road at night and suddenly - no lights... (regardless of having a trailer connected or not)
But again, it's nothing to me. Everyone is free to do as they please. But I stand by my recommendation of the OEM harness - not because I bought one either.