Honda Element Owners Club banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may have been discussed already but I cannot find a discussion confined to the following topic. I want to install a simple roof rack on my 2009E. The Honda OEM is fine, it just seems quite expensive considering the cost of the plastic and metal involved. OTOH, I don't want to build a rack from scratch as others have done

I just want something flat and stable so that if need be I can haul some plywood or sheetrock or perhaps a mattress etc. The point is, I don't need anything specialized for bikes, canoes, kayaks etc. Just a flat rack to tie things down

That being said, is the Honda OEM rack the most cost efficient way to go or is there a third party rack that is either cheaper or perhaps superior (stronger/sturdier) than the Honda rack? Many thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
with sales always available online you will probably find that an after market is the same price if not a little cheaper for better quality.

I like the after market because they are easy to take off when you don't need them. I can store my Thule bars inside the E for when I don't need them on the roof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,263 Posts
The fundamental problem with any off-the-shelf rack, given your loads, is the limited spacing between crossbars. All use the 4 mounting points built into the roof, with a maximum front to back spacing of 29 inches (for the Yakima setup). You can, of course, extend that distance with a basket like the Loadwarrior (48" I think), or a custom frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
895 Posts
I've heard that you can have a problem with height on the OEM racks. They sit lower but look cleaner than a Yakima or Thule. So if you are carrying a canoe or something that bends it might rub the roof. I got a Yakima and really like it. It rides very quiet with the fairing. I think I have the 48" bars. The biggest thing that I have hauled is my 17 foot aluminum canoe. Oh and installation was very easy. I did it at night and it took less than a half an hour.

As for aftermarket racks there are several threads around here with info. I did a lot of research between Thule and Yakima and they are both very good; the only difference is design features.

I would say that an aftermarket rack has more options for accessories and the ability to switch it to another car. Plus you can get larger bars for it.
 

·
Registered
2008 Element EX AWD TRP
Joined
·
2,942 Posts
One problem with the standard rack is that it is not flat.

If you only need to move sheets of ply occasionally, at low speeds and 1-2 at a time, the factory rack is OK, use some pipe insulation on the outer ends of the crossbars to level the panels. Tie down the front and rear ends of the panels to the under body tiedown points to reduce upward stress.

The second problem is common to most Element racks. Nearly all the aftermarket rack kits I've checked out are stronger than the OEM in static support, but they use the same anchor points. If you need to drive faster than 30 mph, the upward lift of a 4 x 8 panel can get strong enough to break a roof anchor. The first time I tried moving a sheet of drywall an a roof rack I got careless with my speed. Luckily the front end of the sheet lifted up and snapped before the lift got too great. If it had been a ply sheet on the roof of my Element, it probably would have snapped a weld and ripped the rack off.

If you are thinking of moving a lot of material on a regular basis, you might want to consider getting something like a Thule Goal post. Aside from making it easier getting panels on and off the roof, it extends the effective length of the rack and transfers half the stress down to a hitch mount.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,263 Posts
Plywood and sheetrock are 48" wide. That's the width of the Element roof. The Honda rack is a bit less than this, and the cross bars to not extend beyond the mounts. Yakima takes bars longer than 48, making it much easier to put straps across the load.

The Honda bars have a slight curve, right to left. A thin plywood sheet strapped across them would take on that curve, possibly stiffening it against wind forces. But sheetrock might not like that bend, nor would 3/4" ply.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
895 Posts
The second problem is common to most Element racks. Nearly all the aftermarket rack kits I've checked out are stronger than the OEM in static support, but they use the same anchor points. If you need to drive faster than 30 mph, the upward lift of a 4 x 8 panel can get strong enough to break a roof anchor. The first time I tried moving a sheet of drywall an a roof rack I got careless with my speed. Luckily the front end of the sheet lifted up and snapped before the lift got too great. If it had been a ply sheet on the roof of my Element, it probably would have snapped a weld and ripped the rack off.
I never thought of the rack getting pulled out. You probably saved me some time and money the next time a move sheet rock or plywood with my E.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top