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Old 11-16-2013, 01:21 PM   #1
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Considering a Honda element

I would like to hear from those of you who tow a Honda Element. I am thinking about buying a used one to tow behind my motorhome. What model and year is best for towing and seat comfort when driving? I am tall, getting older, and I don't like sitting in seats that are too narrow or that have lack of support. Do I need to look at a different make because of my concern about seat comfort?

Also what type of towbar system do you use?
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:30 PM   #2
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Had one and traded it for a CR-V. Element was ok but ours was getting old. It was noisey, rode rough so we dumped it. It has lots of room to store stuff. But repairs were exceeding the cost of replacing.. towed with a BLUE OX bar, ready brake. Honda Cr-V seem or appear to very poplar. Also look at a Honda FIT, but they are small. safe travels... ed
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:12 PM   #3
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I too am looking at the Element down the road. The last year made I believe was 2011. Still too new for my budget. The 2014 CRV is really nice and may keep me in my current toad another 6 or 7 years. By then both should b just broken in.
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:19 PM   #4
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I looked at a 2003 Element EX 4x4 today, with 195K mileage. It was Ok but they were asking $6200. The ride did seem noisy and a little rough, but the seats were OK. I will test drive a used CRV next and compare.
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:08 AM   #5
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We have a (bought new) 2004 Element DX AWD. Blue Ox tow bar. It has over 175000 miles on the odometer driving and 30000 miles towing. Mobil 1 and NAPA Gold filters every 10000 miles, one tune up,wheel bearings, one battery,starter,IAC valve. Tires and just did the struts. The only thing is the internal trans axle filter is having issues (can not be serviced with out opening the case) causing torque converter chuggle now and then. I have replaced the external filter most do not know about.

It has been great from hauling dogs, kayaks and even a scooter this trip to being able to hose it out with the garden hose. But it still is a small utility vehicle not a Cadillac.

There are a few years that can not be flat towed as if you get over 65 MPH it will start rotating the engine causing damage. So verify it can be flat towed.

It flat tows well and has not been an issue.
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:52 AM   #6
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Why do I think you are not supposed to tow an all-wheel-drive? That said, we tow an 03 Element and it is great. We use the Blue Ox base plate and it took me about 3 hours to figure it out and get it on and put back together. The suicide doors make it easy to put nearly anything you want inside, especially with the rear seats folded and hung on the walls (like a mini cargo van) We have towed this thing all over the country a few times and it is still going strong. I bought a Wrangler unlimited to tow, but the Element just keeps on keeping on
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:32 PM   #7
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Mine is one of the years that you can flat tow as an AWD.
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:46 PM   #8
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No Honda other than the CR-V and Fit can be towed four down after the 2004 model year according to Honda. But, if the car is out of warranty you can do as you please.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:03 PM   #9
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Our's is a 2004 and have been flat towing since new.
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:51 PM   #10
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Which Honda Element model years are not towable on all fours? I have seen several used 2005 4WDS that I like. Most are automatic, but a few are manual (which I know you can tow on all fours) but I prefer the 4Wd automatic. If we can't tow an Element, we will just look at the CRVs in the Hondas!
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efstewart View Post
Which Honda Element model years are not towable on all fours? I have seen several used 2005 4WDS that I like. Most are automatic, but a few are manual (which I know you can tow on all fours) but I prefer the 4Wd automatic. If we can't tow an Element, we will just look at the CRVs in the Hondas!
See post # 8 for your answer.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by efstewart View Post
Which Honda Element model years are not towable on all fours? I have seen several used 2005 4WDS that I like. Most are automatic, but a few are manual (which I know you can tow on all fours) but I prefer the 4Wd automatic. If we can't tow an Element, we will just look at the CRVs in the Hondas!
It was either model year 05 or 06 that Honda USA made flat towing the Element "not recommended". This decision was strictly a legal department initiative, had nothing to do with engineering. I know of several '05 through '10s that are being flat-towed without issue. You simply follow the same pre-tow procedure as is printed in the OM through year '04 or '05.

I've towed an '04 AWD for the past 16 months that we've owned since new. It has about 125K miles, plus about 8000 towing. I follow the OM procedure and have had no difficulties at all. I installed a charge line when setting things up, and have never had any battery issues, as have many CRV owners. I use a Roadmaster tow bar setup, and have had no problems at all with connect / disconnect.

I find the Element seats very comfortable. The geometry of suv seating (even small ones) is more upright than conventional sedans, so you're not semi-recumbent like you are in many standard cars. We also have found the astounding cargo room to be very useful at times. Its true that the ride is a bit noisier than some others. This is due to the utilitarian nature of the plastic floor material. The addition of carpet deadens the sound substantially. All in all we find it to be a comfortable daily driver, an easy tow, and an incredibly useful utility vehicle when such a need arises.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:58 PM   #13
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To JFXG, your post was very helpful, and I plan to go look at another Element today (2008 LX 2WD). I now have more options! Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:10 PM   #14
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We towed a 03 for a few years with the Roadmaster tow brackets the seats were as comfortable as any we have towed and a really versital vehicle also noisy as has been stated, we were in Tennessee one year and decided to get a few bushles of apples we bought 14 bushles and when the worker that helped me wheel them out to load he wanted to know where our truck was i pointed to the Element and he said no way would they fit, they did fit with room left over same year we went to south Louisiana and got 15 or 16 bushles of navel ornges they also fit with no problem in the Element. This was one of the better towed we have had.
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