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This summer I will be temporarily moving across the country for a few months (literally east coast to west coast) but I'm taking passengers along so I will likely need extra space outside of the vehicle. I have the 2010 Element and I bought it with the Honda roof rack already on it.

I've looked at the luggage basket and soft cargo bag on Honda's website but I figured there are probably better priced and better quality options out there. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

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Hiya! Funny you should ask.....I just put on a Rola cargo basket-I believe the model's called "Vortex-" and I think it looks good. Use the "search" thingy at the top of the page and plug in "rola cargo" or something like that- there are some pictures of some folks with the Rolas on their Elements in there, lots of good info as well....here's where you can buy one-http://www.etrailer.com/p-59504.html OR you can perhaps do like I did and find one on eBay slightly used. Also got a Rola Platypus carrier...giant backpack thing that straps on top for luggage, whatever it's called. Looks like it will do a good job but I guess a lot of folks have had the understanding it's waterproof and it apparently actually isn't.

Anyway, the Rola basket is a snap to put on(perhaps a 2-person job depending on your size and strength as it weighs 35 lbs and is kinda bulky to lift up to the roof) and once it's on it's rock-solid. No rattles, no wind noise, and nobody's reported a difference in gas mileage that I know of.
If someone knew what they were doing they could have a rack like this off your car in literally two minutes- you don't need tools. So I bought a decent cable lock and secured the basket to the OEM roof rack.

Anyway, I haven't used mine yet but I'm very sure it will do a fine job. Hope this helps!
 

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If you've got a hitch installed or need an excuse to get one, you can use a hitch mounted cargo basket as well. I picked up one from Harbor Freight a few years ago and use it all the time to haul luggage and kids stuff when I go on trips with the family. Can hold quite a bit if you pack it right and it keeps the center of gravity low and doesn't add to the drag of the vehicle which means less impact on your fuel mileage.
 

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I was wondering wither to get a roof rack or a hitch mounted cargo basket.
Also will have some long distance traveling to do soon.

How do you keep the stuff from walking away(stolen) in the cargo basket? When you stop over night and you don't want to lug every thing in the hotel with you.
 

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For theft protection your best bet is a hardshell box. The long ones were originally developed to securely carry skis. Even then I wouldn't put anything valuable up there. Items up there are also exposed to the weather, both rain and heat from the sun.
 

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I don't think there's any safe way to leave valuables in a soft-sided cargo carrier. You can generally put a lock on the zipper but clearly that's not very secure- O.K. for pit stops, etc. but for an overnight stay, not so good.

I don't know if other people do, but I even keep my Rola rack secured to the Honda rack with a bicycle cable lock, since anyone could undo the Rola rack in about a minute and a half and leave me somewhere with a bunch of luggage and no rack.

I don't think it's good to leave anything valuable visible inside the car, either- or anything NOT valuable for that matter- my last car was a convertible and some moron slit the top to get a book bag which had some notebooks and stuff in it- totally worthless to anyone else, but I guess it looked enticing to the vermin. Out of sight, out of mind.........
 

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Normal shopping, when I do go to town, I don't leave anything in the E.

Having the E packed for a cross country trip, there is no way I could bring everything into the Hotel room. Electronics, food and cats will be about it.
Would just have to park next to my room and have the alarm on.

I know they have the hard case lockable hitch carriers. Thule makes a nice one.
Sure would make it easier to haul a few extra items, like clothes and such.

Because along with everything I need to eat, two cats, clothes for a week and so on.. inside the E is going to be packed!
 

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Sounds like a safe bet. Thule makes good stuff. Good luck on your trip, when you go.
 
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