Honda Element Owners Club banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Is there a reason why the E does not have a track on which we could adjust the location of the roof rack? We've been locked into a fixed width opening that may not work for all attachments, baskets, etc. Would also like to be able to move the rack to the after part of the car.

Would love to see this improved.

Frederick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I would like to see another rearward set of mounts so that crossbars could be spaced farther apart. The factory postion is no doubt welded to the roll bars but they are too close together to carry kayaks, canoes and some roof boxes with out using front and rear tie downs. Optimum cross bar spread for kayaks is 48 to 60 inches. The current spacing is 28 inches which is fine for bikes/skis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,959 Posts
I carry my 17 foot sea kayak all the time without tie downs when I'm travelling locally. On the other hand I don't recommend this, you should always use front and rear tie downs. They are only for safety after all. No one wants to be speared through the chest by a 50lb 17ft boat launched off of the top of a car travelling 70mph. No one that I know personally anyway...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
The Element needs an adjustable track and greater weight capacity. I used to carry two 53 pound kayaks and two mountain bikes on my Olds Bravada using Yakima 5' bars with no problems. Now a 35 and 53 pound kayak seems too much for the racks. I have to carry the bikes on a trailer hitch carrier.

The Element racks are two close for kayaks and the rear bar is to far from the rear to make rear loading easy.

This best in class vehicle needs a truly great rack that works with either Yakima or Thule systems. An solid track is the way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,275 Posts
Don't forget that the folks in marketing had something to do with the eventual design of this vehicle. I'm not saying that's a good thing, but by giving the Element a proprietary roof rack, they hope to sell you Honda branded accessories to attach to it (and Honda isn't the only brand to do this). Think "profit motive". But also remember that this is the "baby" end of the SUV segment, and though it may look like a hauler, it ain't no monster truck in terms of actual carrying capacity. We can hope that Honda listens to our legitimate concerns, but I wouldn't hold my breath. So long as they're selling all they can build, it still looks "right" to them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
[quote:d9b4b98962=" "]I carry my 17 foot sea kayak all the time without tie downs when I'm travelling locally. On the other hand I don't recommend this, you should always use front and rear tie downs. They are only for safety after all. No one wants to be speared through the chest by a 50lb 17ft boat launched off of the top of a car travelling 70mph. No one that I know personally anyway...[/quote:d9b4b98962]

Woth all due respect then why don't you use tie downs? :?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,959 Posts
[quote:1c0b266924=" "]
Woth all due respect then why don't you use tie downs? :?[/quote:1c0b266924]
Uhhh...I'm only going 10 miles at 35 mph?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
I gotta agree that it's a questionable rack for kayakin', from bitter experience. I and a friend were loading my kayak in the rain. Me in back, him in front. The yak is a little to far forward after he let go. When I try to pull it back a tad my hands slip off (it's wet) and it bounces off the roof, onto the hood and down to the sidewalk. Nothing like standing behind your E and listening to a large object pounding about on it. Dented/scratched the roof and hood. $750 in damage because the whole roof has to be repainted. If the racks were adjustable to space the bar farther apart the kayak placement wouldn't be nearly as critical.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,263 Posts
I thought the all time best boat carrying car was a Tarrus stationwagon - long roof line that was low enough that you don't need a step ladder. Roof damage would be less likely if you didn't have to reach over your head to hold the boat.

A third rack mounting point near the tailgate would be nice, but due to the curvature of the roof, it would be hard to find an aftermarket set of racks that would give you a straight alignment. About the only cars that allow more than 2 cross bars are ones with straight raingutters.

The Element borrows a lot from the current CRV, including the style of roof garnish, and the roof rack mounting points. Does Honda have a track system on any of their cars? How would a track system work on the curved roofline?

Another question is whether Honda would want to encourage owners to put large, multi boat loads on such a tall car? They worked hard at keeping the center of gravity of the Element low, despite its height. My guess is that the Pilot is a better car if you really want to haul a bunch of toys on the outside. Admittedly it is quite a bit more expensive.

Brand loyalties aside, what is the best boat hauler in the $20,000 range?

paulj
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Well... the forester I traded in was a better kayak hauler in some respects. Lower roofloine made loading easier and I could pre-load it in the garage and be readty to drive out the next day. I can't put a kayak in my garage on the E. Something to consider. As noted before, non-adjustability of the rack inhales continuously (sucks). What do you want to put up with to accept the E's unique position in the style market?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,263 Posts
Has anyone used rack extenders or cradles? Around Seattle I've seen a number of small sedans and hardtops carrying kayaks. Some use a custom cradle made from 2x4's. Yakima and Thule have 'short roof line' adapters.

While the Element has fixed rack mounting points, they are very easy to use. All you need is a rack foot about 5 inches by 1 1/2 inches by several inches high, and 2 6 mm bolts. I made my feet from 1 1/2 inch angle aluminum, though I can easily imagine making a rack out of 2x4's

Some time back a hang glider showed his custom rack on the hondsuv site. His rig included an extension that bolted to the tiedowns under the front fender.

The Element's roof also feels stiff enough that using foam cradles directly on the roof is not out of the question.

paulj
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top