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Hello, I thought I'd share some pics of our camping trip this past weekend -- I've never posted pics here, so bear with me if I end up making a couple posts to get it right. There's an album on my profile...

We went up to Gerle Creek Reservoir, which is near Lake Tahoe, CA. It was the maiden voyage for our trailer, which we purchased (used) last fall. I installed the Honda wiring harness a few months ago along with a Hidden Hitch (Class3) from eTrailer. Everything worked fantastically, and the Element pulled it fine into the mountains. There were a few times my speed dropped to about 45mph in second gear, but mostly it was able to pull the trailer in third gear and maintain 60mph. Considering the 6000 feet of elevation gain, I was happy with it's performance.

Surprisingly, the gas mileage wasn't much worse than my city mileage (18mpg)...I"ll know for sure once I fill up, but it looks like I got around 17mpg on the 200 mile trip. Since I rarely ever get above 22mpg on the highway WITHOUT a load, I'm pretty surprised that the heavily loaded trip was efficient as it was. Keeping my speed below 60 I'm sure helped...

In all, a GREAT weekend!



 

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Its nice to see other Elements up in the mountains doing what they're best at!!:) I also just got back from a 4 day trip up in the Sierras and to my surprise, only passed 1 other E on the road!!

Did you notice any out of the norm oil consumption after pulling the trailer?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
oil consumption...

In the 5 hours of driving (2.5h each way) up Hwy50 and back, I saw only a few Elements, and none were towing. I rarely see them pulling anything, which is why I wasn't sure how well it would do in the mountains with a *very* full load. The hardest part of towing with the E (I think) is getting up to speed on an onramp -- it seems to do okay once up to 55-60, but GETTING there takes patience. Also, I wasn't pushing it very hard, so I was trying to keep the rev's below 4k for most of the trip.

As far as oil consumption, I haven't checked. We got back Sunday night, backed the trailer into the garage, and I haven't been out there since (our cars stay parked most of the week since I have a home office and my husband takes the bus). I'll go get gas later this week, check the mileage, and check the oil while I'm at it...FWIW, I checked it before we left and it was fine. I'll let you know if it used any oil.

Cheers,
Brian
 

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mpg update...

Thanks, Sarah! I *love* the rack design on this car -- the entire rack unbolts and can be on and off in less than a minute...definitely the best roof rack I've had. Our kayak is a tandem model and weighs a TON...it's significantly heavier than our friends' single-person kayaks. Still, it's super stable on the roof and doesn't budge once it's tied down.

So I finally got around to filling up after the trip -- 15.7mpg for the 200 mile trip. Since the trip took us from sea level up 6000' into the sierras, all while lugging a full load, I suppose that isn't too bad. Our friends who camped with us have an 05 Kia Sorrento and only managed 13mpg over the same trip, but their trailer weighs twice as much as ours. Still, we were all impressed that the Honda's 4cyl engine was able to keep pace with traffic for the most part and not feel too strained or burn any oil.

Brian
 
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