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alright... the element is my first car larger than a honda civic or my old bmw 325i and i have the slightest clue about racks and boxes.

i was able to snag an oem roof rack off of ebay for cheaper than the yakima or thule racks that seem to be preferable amongst the fellow members here.

what kind of box would be compatible with the oem rack that's on the cheap?
the oem box looks great but looks like it'll set me back an arm and a leg.

the only reason i need this is because we're having another kid, need the extra space and i don't want to sell the e.

please help!
 

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All boxes should fit as their manufacturers know that to sell product it has to be able to fit a variety of rack styles. Honda sources their rack pieces from Thule but Yakima will fit also.
 

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Both work

Both roof boxes will fit the OEM rack. The issue lies in the weight limits of the OEM rack (75lbs total, I think). Be sure to watch your weight. FYI: the Thule roof box is a bit lighter than the Yak. I sold the OEM rack and bought the Thule rack due to the weight limit issues.
 

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Thule roof rack/box mounting

"Both roof boxes will fit the OEM rack. The issue lies in the weight limits of the OEM rack (75lbs total, I think). Be sure to watch your weight. FYI: the Thule roof box is a bit lighter than the Yak. I sold the OEM rack and bought the Thule rack due to the weight limit issues."

I have a 2003 Honda Element. I'm in the middle of making an order with Thule for a roof box. I'm also not happy with the load restrictions that the OEM honda rack has. In trying to make sense of what things I need to get from Thule to build the rack on which the roof box will be mounted to. Their order sheet is very confusing. Can you tell me the shopping list for the Thule roof rack?
 

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I have a 2003 Honda Element. I'm in the middle of making an order with Thule for a roof box. I'm also not happy with the load restrictions that the OEM honda rack has. In trying to make sense of what things I need to get from Thule to build the rack on which the roof box will be mounted to. Their order sheet is very confusing. Can you tell me the shopping list for the Thule roof rack?
Go to thule.com
Navigate to the appropriate country
Click on "Fit Guide" - this will tell you what to buy
The only choice is whether you want Aero bars or standard bars. Either work.

Pretty much all of the major online rack supplies have the exact same fit guide built into their web site.

PS: If you are only going to haul a roof box, then the suggested bar width will be fine (50 inch). If you plan to haul additional items with the box (such as a bike mount, kayaks, or surfboards then go with a wider bar. I have 65 inch bars on mine.
 

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the only reason i need this is because we're having another kid, need the extra space and i don't want to sell the e.
You know, a person could take this particular line the wrong way. Of course that is one way to keep the kid from bugging everyone in the car.
 

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i was able to snag an oem roof rack off of ebay for cheaper than the yakima or thule racks that seem to be preferable amongst the fellow members here.
The main reason that the Thule or Yakima racks are "preferred" is because they can support more weight than the stock roof rack.
 

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Check out Karrite roof boxes if you haven't already made your choice.

Much cheaper than Thule or Yakima and equal in quality (they're made by Thule).
 

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Thule or Yakima racks ... can support more weight than the stock roof rack.
Not sure that's so. It might be that Honda's lawyers are more conservative in setting the weight-limit spec than Yakima's and Thule's. I put a lot of weight on my Honda rack, well in excess of rated capacity, and never had a problem.
 

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I jst picked up a karrite cargo box on the cheap but I now find the 'feet' in the molded plastic don't line up with my cross boars...am I okay to only have the rear feet on the rear bar and just the bottom of the cargo box on the front bar. Also, can I just tie the box down with ratchet straps or do I need to pickup mounting hardware?
 

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I jst picked up a karrite cargo box on the cheap but I now find the 'feet' in the molded plastic don't line up with my cross boars...am I okay to only have the rear feet on the rear bar and just the bottom of the cargo box on the front bar. Also, can I just tie the box down with ratchet straps or do I need to pickup mounting hardware?
I am also in the same situation. I have a box that a friend sold me but the molded feet do not line up with the OEM racks. Will this be an issue?
 

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I am also in the same situation. I have a box that a friend sold me but the molded feet do not line up with the OEM racks. Will this be an issue?
The Karrite boxes (at least the ones I have seen) are "universal fit" - i.e. they have multiple sets of holes for the mounting hardware. Some of the holes are hard to see - they were taped over when I got my box - but they should be there. The Element has a very narrow spread for the roof bars but I was able to mount my box without a problem.

The mounting hardware is just threaded U bolts, reinforcing plates and wing nuts. You should be able to find that at most stores that sell cargo boxes.
 

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Unfortunately I have the non adjustable factory roof rack so I cant slide my rails to match the feet. I found the 'U' mounting hardware at C-Tire so the question comes back to: Can I drill holes in a different spot and mount to the bottom of the box instead of the feet? I tried to mock up a diagram.

mounting feet
-\_/---------\_/---
____/\______/\___
roof rack
 

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I didn't have an OEM rack so I got a Thule rack with aluminum bars which can hold 150 lbs. I went with the 20 cubic ft X-Cargo Sport from Sears (pic included) for our vacation to FL. I got my Thule rack from ORS racks for a cheaper price and I love it!
 

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I didn't have an OEM rack so I got a Thule rack with aluminum bars which can hold 150 lbs. I went with the 20 cubic ft X-Cargo Sport from Sears (pic included) for our vacation to FL. I got my Thule rack from ORS racks for a cheaper price and I love it!
Very nice looking. Question for you. Is the rear loading setup dificult? Or would you rather have gotten a side loader?
 

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I have three different cargo boxes for my E. Two Thules and a Sears, which is made by Thule. They all fit well and carry anything I want to put in them. I also carry a kayak and the narrower Thule box. No problems at all.
 
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