Element Question: Bikes on top vs trailer- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    to pedal or not to pedal
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    Element Question: Bikes on top vs trailer

    I'm considering a 2000 mile trip in my 08 Element. We will be hauling 8 bikes. My first thought was 4 on back and 4 on top. However, I'm wondering if a small trailer might be a better option. So my questions are: Will the factory roof rack support 4 bikes? Any real world experience in what it would do to my already sucky gas mileage?

    Also, I haven't pulled a small box trailer much with it. Anyone have any experience with those on fuel mileage? (It will have aprox the same wind profile as the Element).

    Thanks in advance for the help.

  2. #2
    gran jefe
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    I think having 4 on top would be worse for gas mileage than pulling a little trailer. I'd much rather do the trailer myself.

  3. #3
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    I pull a 5x8 open utility trailer often with my Element and have no problems... The biggest load I've carried on it was two street bikes (motorcycles) that weighed approx 1000 lbs combined + trailer on a 400+ mile trip and it did OK.. Acceleration was slow and brakes were notably underpowered.. If I remember correctly, I got around 16mpg on that trip.. Towed at 70-75mph.

    Just remember to give yourself plenty of braking room and you'll be fine.

  4. #4
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    Concur

    With both of these guys. Roof rack is great, but it knocks your mileage down. I would pull a trailer too. We have an 07 SC and when we put bikes on top it cuts the gas milieage. Not to mention, if your trailer is enclosed, you have security.

    Have a good trip!!

  5. #5
    gran jefe
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    And, if times get hard, you can sleep in the trailer.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    And, if times get hard, you can sleep in the trailer.
    Ha. For me, sleeping in the trailer would be an upgrade! Thanks all. The more I think about it, the more I like the trailer option. Security and the thought of peeling bikes off the top by attempting to go under something I shouldn't put the trailer first choice.

    I've also been cooking up an idea for a roadside solar shower. It would fit on a trailer roof much easier than the Element

  7. #7
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed523 View Post
    Ha. For me, sleeping in the trailer would be an upgrade!
    That's what I figured, since I often find myself in the same boat.
    Quote Originally Posted by reed523 View Post
    I've also been cooking up an idea for a roadside solar shower. It would fit on a trailer roof much easier than the Element
    A few carboys painted black with Krylon Fusion, set in the sun for a bit; a piece of viton tubing from home depot; a stool to sit on when you rinse your head. Leave one white, and dump a bag of ice in it when you can, and use it for drinking water. Good to go!

    Post some sort of epic account of your trip and post the link here...

  8. #8
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    Hey, Bill in Houston, I once traded for an ST1100 that came from Houston. If memory is correct, guy had the same forum name as you. Was it you by chance?

  9. #9
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed523 View Post
    Hey, Bill in Houston, I once traded for an ST1100 that came from Houston. If memory is correct, guy had the same forum name as you. Was it you by chance?
    What's an ST1100? I use this name in a few places, but I don't think I have ever done anything with an ST1100. I'm new to bikes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
    What's an ST1100? I use this name in a few places, but I don't think I have ever done anything with an ST1100. I'm new to bikes.
    oh well, figured it was a possibility. ST1100 is an old Honda Sport Touring Motorcycle. The perfect tool for seeing the countryside at 100 mph instead of 15.

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