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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up one of these from my local REI for $160 started installing it this evening and found that the tailgate hits the top of the fixed portion of the rack.

Yakima don't seem to pubish any tech-specs to show the dimensions to work out if any of their other racks would get around this problem so I figured I'd ask on here for other people's experiences? From looking at pictures it must be fairly close on all their racks?

Thule don't appear to publish tech-specs either and it looks like their similarly priced models are far more basic than the DoubleDown?

I guess another option would be slightly shorter cables for the tailgate that stop it short of the rack?
 

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The picture of the Thule Ridgeline 4-bike (on the REI site) shows it on an Element. It does not show it with the tailgate lowered, but the fixed upright does appear to be lower than the DoubleDown. But that's not the same as comparing them in person.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The picture of the Thule Ridgeline 4-bike (on the REI site) shows it on an Element. It does not show it with the tailgate lowered, but the fixed upright does appear to be lower than the DoubleDown. But that's not the same as comparing them in person.
Well spotted that man, but having looked at this video I don't think there's that much difference between the two?

I'm leaning more towards getting some shorter cables for the tailgate, but I've no idea where I might get them!?!?!
 

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Well spotted that man, but having looked at this video I don't think there's that much difference between the two?

I'm leaning more towards getting some shorter cables for the tailgate, but I've no idea where I might get them!?!?!
Shorter cables would then make your tailgate all but useless if you ever have to load anything heavy that needs to be slid inside.

What about adding a cushion to the bike rack where the tailgate would come in contact?

Edit Just checked the REI site and that Ridgeline rack on the Element would also get smacked by the tailgate. But that rack has the feature of removing a pin and laying the rack down so you can open the tailgate. This is a feature that many of this style rack comes with. The Doubledown offers this as well, but has the pipe sticking up which might hit the tailgate as well. I would get something else, other than the Doubledown.



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The printed fitting guides that I've seen at stores like REI, are in the form of tables. Rows for different car models, columns for different racks, with checks where they work together. There are also footnotes noting special limitations for each combo. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a note for the Element and the DoubleDown to the effect 'tailgate cannot lowered without contacting the fixed upright'

The installation instructions for many Yakima and Thule products are available on line. They may or may not help with this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Shorter cables would then make your tailgate all but useless if you ever have to load anything heavy that needs to be slid inside.

What about adding a cushion to the bike rack where the tailgate would come in contact?

Edit Just checked the REI site and that Ridgeline rack on the Element would also get smacked by the tailgate. But that rack has the feature of removing a pin and laying the rack down so you can open the tailgate. This is a feature that many of this style rack comes with. The Doubledown offers this as well, but has the pipe sticking up which might hit the tailgate as well. I would get something else, other than the Doubledown.
If I ever needed to load something that was sufficiently heavy/sized that it needed the tailgate to be completely horizontal I'd have to remove the rack so I could quickly switch the tailgate cables over....

Just to be clear, the issue is that fixed portion of the rack that actually mount to the hitch is an inch or so too tall meaning the tailgate hits it before it is fully opened. It's not by much, but enough that if you dropped the tail it would probably do some damage so shorter cables would solve that....
 

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If I ever needed to load something that was sufficiently heavy/sized that it needed the tailgate to be completely horizontal I'd have to remove the rack so I could quickly switch the tailgate cables over....

Just to be clear, the issue is that fixed portion of the rack that actually mount to the hitch is an inch or so too tall meaning the tailgate hits it before it is fully opened. It's not by much, but enough that if you dropped the tail it would probably do some damage so shorter cables would solve that....
I would get a different rack before even thinking about shortening the cables.



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Discussion Starter #8
I would get a different rack before even thinking about shortening the cables.
Just to be clear, I'm talking about getting shorter cables, not shortening the existing ones. That way I can simply switch them back when I need the extra inch or 2 of tailgate travel....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The printed fitting guides that I've seen at stores like REI, are in the form of tables. Rows for different car models, columns for different racks, with checks where they work together. There are also footnotes noting special limitations for each combo. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a note for the Element and the DoubleDown to the effect 'tailgate cannot lowered without contacting the fixed upright'

The installation instructions for many Yakima and Thule products are available on line. They may or may not help with this problem.
The fitting instructions don't feature any 'technical drawings' that show the dimensions/clearances etc... I'd have thought this might be standard info as it would presumably be very useful to potential buyers?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I know what you said and what you meant. You're still shortening the cables, by replacing them.
So why would you recommend against it then? Any load on the tailgate would still be borne by the proper points on the vehicle and when I remove the rack for the winter/moving big items I can switch back to OE cables in a couple of minutes!?!?
 

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So why would you recommend against it then? Any load on the tailgate would still be borne by the proper points on the vehicle and when I remove the rack for the winter/moving big items I can switch back to OE cables in a couple of minutes!?!?
I think that you would be limiting the use of the vehicle by limiting the tailgate in that manner. There are racks that will fully swing out of your way so you wouldn't need to go with shorter cables, if any actually exist in the first place. It's your vehicle, do what you want. But to me why have the tailgate limited for half the year.

It's probably a 15+ minute procedure to swap out the cables, but that's just a guess.



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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
The biggest concern is dropping the tailgate and watching the bike rack punch a nice 2"x2" hole straight through the plastic!

I went back to REI today and spoke to the guys there about it. They had 3 Yakima and 3 Thule racks out on display and the only one that looked like it might have the clearance is the Thule Revolver, but it's $200 more than the DoubleDown!

It's only out by couple of inches which is the most annoying part. The tailgate opens 90% of the way but meets the rack before it gets fully flat hence why I'm not too adverse to putting shorter cable on because it would only be very rare occasions when I need the full height of the trunk....

EDIT - A pair of OEM cables would be sub $20 it's just whether someone could adapt them!?!?

2nd EDIT - Google produced a company not far from me in NH who manufacture parts and fabricate steel cables. Looking at the cables on the Element the tailgate end appears to be a bespoke fitting so it might be better to order a pair of OEMs and get this companing to swag the new eyelets on one end?
 

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It's only out by couple of inches which is the most annoying part. The tailgate opens 90% of the way but meets the rack before it gets fully flat hence why I'm not too adverse to putting shorter cable on because it would only be very rare occasions when I need the full height of the trunk....
As I said above, if you need to drop the tailgate then simply pull the pin and remove the rack. That should be a lot easier (and cheaper) than installing shorter cables.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As I said above, if you need to drop the tailgate then simply pull the pin and remove the rack. That should be a lot easier (and cheaper) than installing shorter cables.
But that doesn't prevent the tailgate resting on the rack in day to day use and potentially getting damaged!

I've only just noticed a square imprint on the tailgate which is obviously from the previous owners hitch mounted rack!!!
 

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That's why if I don't put the bikes inside I put them on the roof rack. One can easily access all the doors that way.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One thought I've had is whether my hitch is mounted too high? I've seen pictures of Es fitted with Yakima Fullswings etc... with no tailgate issues, but when I looked at the Doubledown and the Fullswing side-by-side there was no discernible difference in height?

My hitch is flush against the underside of the rear fender so I'm wondering if it's too high? If the hitch was a couple of inches lower I wouldn't have a problem?
 

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My hitch is flush against the underside of the rear fender so I'm wondering if it's too high? If the hitch was a couple of inches lower I wouldn't have a problem?
Fender? My U-Haul touches the rear bumper. The Honda hitch sets a bit lower but it has only a 1.25" receiver.
 
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