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maximum cargo capacity?

I have searched high and low but can't find a dedicated thread for this subject so here it goes.

Why in the world is the cargo capacity of the Element only 675 lbs?

The Honda Fit has a capacity of almost 900 lbs. What the heck is going on?

If there is a thread where this has already been discussed (as there probably is) please redirect me.
 

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I never use the standard search, only the advanced, but even so haven't found a way to make the engine search for phrases only. For example if you search for "weight limit" you get every thread that contains either word, making for a potentially useless pile of choices. So I try to limit the search to a single, preferably unusual word (though sometimes it has to something as generic as "weight"), and often limit it to thread titles rather than post contents.
 

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I found this in the 2010 owners manual. I don't recall seeing it in any earlier versions:
Thanks for the chart. :grin:

Is there an example #4 where there are 4 200lb men in the vehicle and a bone saw and 6 or 7 severed limbs laying outside the vehicle?

Seriously though. What I get from reading all of those posts are that this is a liability issue that Honda doesn't want to tackle.

Does anyone have an unofficial towing capacity that they are confident in?

EDIT

Nevermind

<towing capacity> site:elementownersclub.com :)

I'm taking this info over to the ROC. They'll appreciate it as much as I do. :)
 

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Does anyone have an unofficial towing capacity that they are confident in?
ya Chris...
My pop up trailer, loaded, is about 2300 lbs....
we've pulled it pretty much all over the northeast, including thru the virgina's with no problems at all
 

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I confess to towing in the above mentioned range :lol: . No problems at all. I launch a boat that weighs in with the trailer around 2500lbs. A little strain at first when pulling the boat out of the water but not really a big deal.

My guess is with the higher center of gravity Honda lowers the weight limit so they are not responsible if someone flips it when they load something in that is top heavy and offset the balance.

I have exceeded the limit in many ways and have been trouble free. The shocks and struts are do for a replacement but I also have over 90k miles;-)
 

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I would hazard a guess that at least part of the weight limit settings are due to the light weight of the vehicle. To handle more weight, you would need (at least in part) stiffer shocks, springs, and struts, but that would make the vehicle's ride uncomfortably harsh. But as much as we can speculate, the logic behind it is still a mystery...:?

I have (obviously) also gratuitously and flagrantly exceeded the weight limit in many and creative fashions (400+ pounds on the roof, 1000+ pounds of concrete patio tile in the back, 3000+ pounds towing, etc.) and have not seen any ill effects.

Bear in mind that when we were in Ohio a few years ago we got to speak with the designers and test engineers who all said they regularly exceed the weight limits with no worries. Again no I don't have it on tape or on paper, so try at your own risk. But if you do damage something, I expect pictures! :lol:



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Very true. If you have ever driven an empty dodge cargo van (pre sprinter) you would know what stiff suspension on a light vehicle feels like but as soon as you load it up it rides much nicer.
 

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We've been pulling our trailer, pretty regularly for the past few years, and had to replace the struts last year, and the rears are due this year....but I'm pretty sure that has more to do with the 260,000 km, than the weight...

As to the design limits, and Honda's rating and specs....we we're in Ohio on the first tour, and asked the same questions, with the same answers. The design engineers have said that the capacity of the E is much higher than the stated specs...which leads me to believe that Corporate sets the limits, not the engineers. And they ain't saying why, and never will...

That being said, we've owned our 03 Element since new, and I know what it can, and can't do, and that's good enough for me.
 

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That weight limit is far too cautious. I've loaded up my 2004 EX with 1800+ pounds of landscaping bricks and it does just fine (as long as I don't try to stop too quickly). I've even hauled topsoil for my raised gardens, maybe 1600lb at a time, and it's handled it well - No bottoming out, no major engine strain, no scary noises, no surprises. I wouldn't recommend doing it very often, but I noticed no ill effects other than really crappy mileage (from 21mpg to 14mpg).

I've never towed anything with my E, but I would bet that it can handle a small boat or a jet ski OK.
 

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If you have ever driven an empty dodge cargo van you would know what stiff suspension on a light vehicle feels like...
I've known about the 675# weight limit for the year we've had our E.

Today I started researching the types of things I could do to improve the carrying capacity: (1) rear springs, (2) rear shocks, etc. I read through this entire 7-year combined thread to seek answers.

Bottom line? DON'T TRY. The E is just designed that way.

The few times I've had our AWD E at or close to the payload limit, the rear springs were squished down, lifting the front and making the car handle very sloppily on the Parkway at 75 mph. (It only takes an inch or so of attitude adjustment to make the E's underbody start to act like a wing.)

Also, the OEM brakes aren't designed for a heavier load -- in my experience, 675#, or 4 adults, is really about the most you'd want to throw against that braking system.

So the order of upgrades I would TRY would be (1) better brake pads at replacement time, (2) heavier duty shocks in the rear. Beyond those two items which you're going to be replacing anyways under a maintenance regime, there isn't much you can do.

Incidentally, this same E drove 750 miles with a kevlar canoe on top (Thule rack), and it handled like a dream. The whole issue here (in this thread) is mass/weight. There's just no good "fix" for the weight issue, on this generation of Elements.
 

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I was just looking around at other car manufacturer sites and noticed that Dodge has 2000lbs towing limits for it's smallest cars (when properly equipped).

Just food for thought.
 
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