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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thinking of purchasing a 10' flat water kayak this summer. Can I haul a kayak INSIDE of my Element? For instance: if I folded both rear seats up and lay the front passenger seat all the way flat and open the clam shell rear hatch - would it fit? Could I slide the kayak all the way to the glove box and leave the lower rear clamshell down, but close the upper rear clamshell - has anyone tried this?
 

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I did that once. Resulted in a cracked windshield. Folded down the front passenger and both rear seats and had it on the dash going out the tailgate with the top hatch closed. When we went inside (hadn't even started the car) the kayak wasn't touching the windshield and there was a towel between the two, came back outside and somehow the kayak moved "uphill" and cracked the windshield. My point here is if you try and do this, use a little more common sense then me, and don't let the end of the kayak go above the dash.
 

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We just picked up a Thule 'stacker' yesterday... it's cheap and seems to do the job. My wife and I are excited to head to the lake today for our first foray into the water with our Craigslist obtained kayaks (they were nearly as cheap as the Thule, but we're beginners and for our purposes, I think they'll suit us just fine).

 

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Yes you can stick a kayak inside the Element. No it is not a good idea. The most likley outcomes are:
1) Damaged windshield
2) Damaged tailgate shocks
3) Moving violation because you forgot to properly flag the kayak sticking out the back

Just save your pennies and get a decent roof rack. The Element is a wonderful car with an easy on/off system for mounting.

If you need a cheap method of hauling now, go with a pool noodle roof rack. Buy 2 pool noodles and at least 2 cam straps (or rope if you are good with knots and really cheap). Run a strap through each noodle. Lay noodles on roof. Tighten each strap inside Element. You now have a cheap roof rack. Just be sure to properly tie down the kayak and be careful not to damage the roof.

Cheap straps from Lowes http://www.lowes.com/pd_5763-37340-2CLS12_0_?productId=1093217&Ntt
World greatest strap vendor (pretty colors) http://www.strapworks.com/
 

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I haven't tried it yet, but I plan to try. Once when I had two on the roof of my old, and tiny, Rav4, I fit one inside that, and the Element is way bigger inside. Like JPeaslee I managed to crack the front window too. But in the E, there is about 6 feet of floor to the rear hatch, and if that is down that is another foot or so of support, so you have about 3 feet of boat hanging out the back. There are nice tie downs near the rear on the floor, so tie it down securely there and give it a try. My kayak is longer than 10 ft, so at some point the boat is too long and it won't work (so it may not work for me).

I have a roof rack and will use that for any long trip, and would certainly not drive far or on the interstate with one hanging out the back, but for a short quick trip, I would think a 10 ft boot could work fine.
 

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I used to fit my 9 foot Ocean Kayak in mine with the hatch closed.
It'd sit from the left rear corner on top of the rear seats to the right front just over the dash.
I usually just tossed it in the bed of my old truck though.

A rack is definitely a better way to go though unless you like nasty lake schmeg in your E.
 

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Last summer I hauled my 12ft kayak around inside (and hanging out the back) of my E. In June I got myself a new windshield because I cracked it and then I got a roof rack before the end of the summer. Just a couple weeks ago I got folding Thule racks...they are the best!!!!!!!!
 

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X 3 on 'tried it, cracked it'!!!

It fit so nicely, but when I shut the rear hatch, it bounced ever so slightly and that was it. Now, it was November, so no point in replacing the windshield with winter road sanding coming.

Luckily, I had a new inspection sticker an hour before it happened!!!
 

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My Kayak is Inside the ELEMENT

A good deal of my life folds up---just like the interior of the Element. My Kayak is a FOLBOT Edisto. It folds up into two bags. The Edisto is somewhat of the Element of folding kayaks. It can be an open boat--or it can have front and/or rear decks like a sea kayak.

I usually am traveling by myself...but there is always a folding bike, a tent and the FOLBOT in the car when I am out.

Perhaps folding boats are an acquired taste, but to me it fits in the same way of thinking as buying an Element in the first place.
 

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I was looking at the Folbots but with 4 hardshell kayaks already, we didn't want to spend that much money. I just ordered an Innova Helios II inflatable. Not as efficient as a hard boat but packs in 1 bag that is sized to be within the airline carry-on limits. We will now be able to drive our Miata to go kayaking. :grin::grin:
 

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I do like that my two Old Town Otters will fit in the back of the E when I'm overnighting in urban locations. :)

By the way... I just got back from driving 760 miles at 75mph with my kayaks held atop using the Thule Stacker. They held firm all the way! I think the Stacker may be among the most economical options out there... and works great!
 

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I just strap my two to the top rack. The smaller of the two on the bottom. I have tried the stacker and the newer j hooks. Did not like either. I do have a stacker and two (sets) j hooks that i could sell. The j hooks were only used for one trip to North Carolina and only for the trip up not back.
 
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