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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone tried installing the roof rack? Is it even possible to do it yourself? A local dealer wants to charge $975 for the roof rack and installation. Seems a little overpriced given that the Honda web site says it is $310 installed.
 

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rwcraig,

While I have not installed the roof rack myself, I have seen the instructions for it. It does not seem that hard to do, if you are handy.

If you do it yourself, please let us know.

If you want to check out the installation instructions, please let me know, I will give you the website
 

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I've installed a few roof racks in my day. They are pretty easy to install and, if you know what you are doing, it only takes about 15 minutes. If you don't, it will just take you a little longer. Just make sure you have the correct tools and you follow the installation instructions.
Helpful tip: When you are removing the caps from the vehicle, be careful not to scratch the cladding. You may also want to hold on to the caps in case you ever decide to remove the roof rack (however unlikely that may be).
 

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Gee I wonder if they offer a course on floor mat installation?

I had to laugh at my dealer for the bungee cord installation for the back of the seats, he is giving them to me free, but he gave me a price, and i had to laugh! Really you are kdding right?

I did get things like the roof rack, security system & keyless entry installed so they are also convered under warranty.. last think i want is a leaky roof, or a blown something.. so no biggie and the price was not bad plus i got a discount too.. nice dealer i have, smiles!

so for me it was worth it, but yeah so many things are overpriced and installation ha, get real!

good luck!
 

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Just picked up my Element three days ago and I'm definitely in love! I did have the roof rack installed at the dealership for a total cost of $225. But what I'm concerned with is that the max weight for the rack to handle is 75lbs per Honda. I've talked to reps at Thule and Yakima because I want to put a cargo box on top and they say 75lbs is very low and unusual! They insist almost all SUV's support 120-150lbs. Does anyone know anything about this!
 

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looking at the actual Honda site.. it states for the Element Roof rack: 30 kg. (66 lbs.) load capacity
which is even less than you mentioned.

Part of that might be due to the sunroof, I am not sure that is a stab. But the overall vehicle weight limit is low. I did not get it with the intention to haul heavy loads, and this vehicle is not meant to.

I did get the roof rack, one cause it does look nice, but cause you can strap some awkward size (not too heavy) items up top (like skiis and such) but for the top I might get the storage basket instead of the roof top box. The basket weighs less (with it mainly just being a net of bungees, to secure things)..

I hope this helps a little, i would love to hear what info others have on this!
 

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Thanks for the input...yeah, I was surprised to see (actually on the roof rack itself) 75lbs as opposed to 66 lbs on the website. I'm really hoping I can get a Thule box up top so I can leave my Toyota Landcruiser (and it's 13mpg) at home for weekend ski trips! I'm hoping that Honda is just being super conservative on it's estimate. I may get a box and take it on and off everytime I use it for ski weekends. I'm not much of an engineer but I've been told that the capacity is tied to how the roof rack connects to the frame.[/url]
 

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that is a good point to be made, that the weight limit for the roof rack is tied to the frame.. and with the element not having the support between the front and back door that could be the difference.

the other thing i was thinking was perhaps the hieght might also be a problem, of alot of things on top of the element, since it is a higher vehicle and has the warning plastered on the visor of roller over risk.. perhaps that might have a little to do with it.

just be careful not to hurt your lil element in the weight challenge! :) Yeah it will be a nice (mpg) change from the Land (guzzler) cruiser.. though those are nice vehicles.. just not ont he wallet.

Good luck!
 

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You can rest assured that the frame is what you have to worry about when it comes to load capacity. I am sure that the roof rack itself can hold much more than 75lbs, but once you load on enough wait to damage the frame, it is going to cost more than a new roof rack to have it fixed. I wouldn't worry too much about the center of gravity being raised and increasing the chances of flipping. Those folk at Honda do as good a job as any at preventing their vehicles from flipping.
 

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I'm not an Element owner yet, but in May-June I plan to order up my Shorline Mist AWD 5-speed EX. This particular thread is interesting to me, as I easily have 90-100 lbs of Canoe/Kayak I will be hauling with my E. I can't believe Honda is marketing this as an adventure vehicle when it's rack only holds 75 lbs! There are many applications where I could see easily going over. My hope is that it is the design of the OEM racks that limit their rating. If they clip directly into the rail, it's the rail that cannot support the weight. However, aftermarket folks (Yakima, Thule, etc) might produce racks that have feet that rest on the roof edge, then are simply held in place by the rail. I will keep an eye out, and update when I have more info. If the aftermarket folks fail, I know a good custom welding shop, any buyers?! :)
 

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welcome KeyMonkey.. and hey you sound like you are a great resource, I will look forward to hearing alot from you!!
 

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The rails are aerodynamic and quiet but they do have quite a bit of flex. There is little question that the attachment points are stout. The biggest problem for watercraft (like my 18' + rowing shells) is that the distance between the bars (28" centers) is too short requiring long loads to tied bow/stern to stabilize. These mounting points will be problem even with system racks!
 

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wayland do you have the option of hauling such an item on a trolley behind the element (towing)?
 

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Hi Gypsy

I do have the Honda Hitch for towing a shell trailer (750#) loaded and for launching a catamaran (under 2000 lbs) after a two block tow from my shop. I haven't towed yet but I'm confident it will be just fine.
 

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cool. wayland I am glad to hear that you sound very set!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
[quote:cca0780852="Todd Brown"]Just picked up my Element three days ago and I'm definitely in love! I did have the roof rack installed at the dealership for a total cost of $225. But what I'm concerned with is that the max weight for the rack to handle is 75lbs per Honda. I've talked to reps at Thule and Yakima because I want to put a cargo box on top and they say 75lbs is very low and unusual! They insist almost all SUV's support 120-150lbs. Does anyone know anything about this![/quote:cca0780852]

For what it's worth, I looked on the Thule web site at their Cargo box. It looks like Thule makes the Honda Element Cargo box but based on the pictures it appears that the Thule box is not as deep as the one the Honda branded one. So that means the Honda cargo box would hold more and weigh more. Seems like the 75 lbs is too low but worth watching as we users get more actual experience and info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
[quote:91fedaf216="RML"]rwcraig,

While I have not installed the roof rack myself, I have seen the instructions for it. It does not seem that hard to do, if you are handy.

If you do it yourself, please let us know.

If you want to check out the installation instructions, please let me know, I will give you the website[/quote:91fedaf216]

Thanks, I am planning on installing it myself. My E should get here in about 10 days. I'll let you know how the Rack order and installation goes.
 

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my friend and i installed many of the accessories on my element today and experienced no problems. the roof rack was quite easy as everything lined up perfectly and went smoothly. the scariest thing to install was the rear air deflector because you have to drill holes in the body to install it. still, that process went great and all of the accessories improved the look of the vehicle immensely. we did roof rack, side steps, front and rear air deflectors and floor mats. :D
 

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one other way of carring your kayak or other water craft, that weighs a little more is to use a trailer hitch support. you might be able to find them where kayaks are sold. (REI)
 
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