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Hello, fairly new Element owner and new to EOC. I need a roof rack for my Element but I am concerned about fitting in the garage. I intend to put on low profile cargo basket too. Does anyone know what crossbar settup has the lowest profile? OEM, Yakima, Thule, etc?
 

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Try searching through the racks, hitches & towing sections. There's a ton of information on the variety of rack setups in there. From what I've seen the TPS Lizard rack has the lowest profile.

Welcome to the EOC
 

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You can always get the Yakima or even the OE racks and set up your basket under the Bars, that's what I did on mine, still pretty high for me, but then again my ride is sitting low. :roll:
 

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Though the Element is under 71" high, and a standard garage opening is more than 80" vertical, I had a similar concern, which was one of the reasons I built a custom rack (the main one is that I'm cheap :)). Total material cost was under $75, no welding required, including 4 crossbars.

The plane of the lower surface of my 1" diameter crossbars is within 1/2" of the high point of my roof. The plane of the upper surface is just high enough to clear the open skylight. I can position the bars anywhere along the lateral rails using 1" conduit clamps screwed into the rails, though usually they are bolted through the rail ends ends to carry lumber. They are just short enough that I can stow them in the cargo area between the "notches" just forward of the tailgate.
 

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Without actually measuring them, I'd guess that the Honda rack is lower than Yakima or Thule, though probably not by more than an inch or two.

As for baskets, the Loadwarrior is something like 6" deep. Lower cost ones tend to be more like 4". A Yakima Basketcase is a bit shallower.

Another option is to get Yakima or Thule, and mount the rack only when you need it. The empty brackets only add an inch to the roof height.
 

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lowest rack pics

This is side grab bar, less than 4 1/2 inches off the plastic roof trim.
I also like the simple bar and box designs. That is a great job of refitting the covers around the rack mounts. I tried a couple of times could not make it work, now i don't even seee the missing covers.
I think the E needs a rack to complete the look. I never take mine off.
 

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... That is a great job of refitting the covers around the rack mounts. I tried a couple of times could not make it work, now i don't even seee the missing covers.....
While I have regular Yakima rack now, I had a custom mount for several years. I bought an extra set of covers from my Honda dealer, and used a sheetmetal nibbler to cut an opening to fit my custom 'feet'.
 

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RdE_Rnr,

Does the yakima basket case actually fit the element? Yakima says it doesn't. Having just got the E, I haven't tried yet, and don't really use the basket much anymore.

The yakima rack with control towers works great, and comes on and off very easily. It looks to be about 4.5" at most tall on the roof. It is possible to install the basketcase under the rack, so that it doesn't add any height. However, in order to do that the bar spread needs to be just right (you give up the ability to adjust the spread on the bottom.

My basketcase is 29" wide on the small side, it could maybe bend a bit smaller. My yakima bars are about 28.25" on the inside between them. So I don't think that fits in between. However, it may be possible to jam one side up on the outside and one on the inside, and bolt the snap arounds that way. Yakima wouldn't approve, but that could work.

TPS Lizard's custom rack looks nice, but costs more, and is harder to remove, and this would be as low a profile as that if it worked.

edit: people in this thread clearly say it fits between. My basket is 8+ years old, so the mounting brackets may be slightly wider then they are now.

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54162
 

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The TPS rack is great but more than I can spend right now...
IMO it would be worth the wait to save up to get the TPS Lizard rack. Not as expensive as you first might think, because you will not have to buy a basket. I use mine several time a week. While I got it to carry kayaks, canoes and long bikes (recumbents and tandems) it is a work horse on trips to Home Depot, Lowes, furniture stores etc.
 

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Regarding the fit of the Basketcase (mine is an old one, though I don't think it has changed):
-it appears that the person who put it between the bars, bent the mounting tabs in a bit to make it fit.
-I mount mine front to back on top of the bars. This way it takes up about half the width, leaving me room for a Thule Sidekick box.
 

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RdE_Rnr,

Does the yakima basket case actually fit the element? Yakima says it doesn't. Having just got the E, I haven't tried yet, and don't really use the basket much anymore.

The yakima rack with control towers works great, and comes on and off very easily. It looks to be about 4.5" at most tall on the roof. It is possible to install the basketcase under the rack, so that it doesn't add any height. However, in order to do that the bar spread needs to be just right (you give up the ability to adjust the spread on the bottom.

My basketcase is 29" wide on the small side, it could maybe bend a bit smaller. My yakima bars are about 28.25" on the inside between them. So I don't think that fits in between. However, it may be possible to jam one side up on the outside and one on the inside, and bolt the snap arounds that way. Yakima wouldn't approve, but that could work.

TPS Lizard's custom rack looks nice, but costs more, and is harder to remove, and this would be as low a profile as that if it worked.

edit: people in this thread clearly say it fits between. My basket is 8+ years old, so the mounting brackets may be slightly wider then they are now.

http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54162
Mike,

I am currently have the Thule 696 Cargo Basket, its a 62.2" L x 39" W, its bigger than what you have and it works just fine on my OE racks with Yakima mighty mounts, before it was set up with Yakima round bar type, set up underneath it for lower look and durability but I changed it back, so I don't see why Yakima Cargo Basket types like Load Warrior Med size 44"x39" or the Mega 52"x48" be an issue, I could be wrong cause i really never have the Y Cargo Basket type, and I am sure someone here will correct me, now of course Yakima is not going to allow/approve it, to set it up underneath the bar, but is not like it can't be done.
 

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After reading a number of threads referring to a "TPS Lizard Rack" I googled the term and only came up with references to this forum.

Can someone please provide the direct link to the "TPS Lizard Rack" as I can't seem to find it. Thanks.
 
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