I have a 2004 Ex that has been the designated vehicle in many self-support kayaking trips for three plus gear. The rear spare tire cover has started to bow upwards on the ends and no longer sits snug in the notch cut-outs so when you go over bumps it ends up making some annoying thumping noises as it moves up and down. I tried using some foam pads to tighten up the fit although the results were ineffective, So I just removed the whole cover and it actually makes the rear a little more useable space as nothing slides around anymore, and it has a couple more inches of space available for storage. It does have a little bit more road noise and the spare tire is now visible but I think that for now I will leave out the somewhat mishapen floor cover. Maybe I will get a light carpet liner to cover the tire in the meantime. Anyone else using the Element with the spare tire cover ?