Honda Element? | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Honda Element?

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Heep

Rank 0

Contributor I

60
California, USA
First Name
Chris
Last Name
Syracuse
The Element is pretty rad. I bought mine last year at 220k+ so it's interesting to see comments about the reliability. You will find the exact opposite sentiment on Element forums where there are plenty of 500k plus E's. I'm finally building my sleeping platform and hopefully taking it on some trips soon.

The awesome thing about the Element is that you really don't need a bunch of racks and stuff since it has so much room inside already. The guts are all completely below the floor, so the COG is low compared to how tall the roof is. Rear seats come out or fold up against the walls with a lever and all 4 seats fold flat to make a (kinda lumpy) bed.
You can easily fit a sleeping platform and all the essentials inside without buying one of those 5k+ roof top campers. It's definitely not a rock crawling beast but it's basically ready to go the day you buy it and you can find them for cheap. Mine was $3.5k
 
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Jet9RDO

Rank I
Member
Adventure

Traveler I

233
Greensboro, NC, USA
First Name
John
Last Name
King
Member #

26473

@Jet9RDO did you use Hub Center Adjusters on your wheels with the Wildpeaks? Or did the wheels have a offset you liked?
The offset was good for us, we were looking for a clean look, not sticking out too much. So we did not use spacers. I did just upgrade the suspension big-time after a trip to Colorado and back. It needed a lot bigger springs to hold all the weight. Put BC coil overs with 30 K springs in the rear and 12 in the front. I get it back from the shop Monday and it is going for stage two of the supercharger engine build. Then I will finally be done for a while hopefully taking some trips with this beautiful fall weather. I’ll DM you so we can stay in touch.
 

Jet9RDO

Rank I
Member
Adventure

Traveler I

233
Greensboro, NC, USA
First Name
John
Last Name
King
Member #

26473

The Element is pretty rad. I bought mine last year at 220k+ so it's interesting to see comments about the reliability. You will find the exact opposite sentiment on Element forums where there are plenty of 500k plus E's. I'm finally building my sleeping platform and hopefully taking it on some trips soon.

The awesome thing about the Element is that you really don't need a bunch of racks and stuff since it has so much room inside already. The guts are all completely below the floor, so the COG is low compared to how tall the roof is. Rear seats come out or fold up against the walls with a lever and all 4 seats fold flat to make a (kinda lumpy) bed.
You can easily fit a sleeping platform and all the essentials inside without buying one of those 5k+ roof top campers. It's definitely not a rock crawling beast but it's basically ready to go the day you buy it and you can find them for cheap. Mine was $3.5k
Hey Heep! It’s great to hear from you. I’m in Central NC and have really expanded on the build since I posted here. I think the Element is a fantastic platform especially for forest roads and dispersed camping.

Let me know if there’s anything that comes up that you need help on with your Element, and I will do the same.
 

CR-Venturer

Rank VI
Member

Member III

3,316
Telkwa, BC, Canada
First Name
J
Last Name
S
Member #

16340

I owned an Element for 10 years. I loved it but.... while we are not supposed to judge what a valid "overland" vehicle is I would trust that thing on anything but graded dirt roads. I also wouldn't trust non-true 4WD to keep me out of trouble.
I can address this to a certain extent from personal experience, because I own an RD1 CR-V, and the RT4wd in the element is nearly identical, but better in several respects. Just the upgraded version. In fact, I plan to drop in the rear diff unit from an Element as an upgrade to my CR-V when I have the money.

My assessment of the effectiveness of RT4wd comes with one caveat, namely that I'm speaking purely of the system itself and how well it works, notwithstanding things like approach, departure and breakover angles, weight distribution, ground clearance, transmission gearing etc etc which all have a big effect on performance off road. The CR-V is near perfect in these respects, especially with my lift and tires, so that's a factor that obviously doesn't necessarily apply in the Element.

This version of the RT4wd system is actually pretty amazing, and it will generally keep out out of trouble and get you through things you wouldn't imagine it can. I've taken my CR-V through things you might not believe if you didn't see it. It's biggest limitation is lacking a low range gear box, followed by the less-significant-than-you'd-think disadvantage of not being able to toggle it on or off at will, hence the "Real Time" aspect of RT4wd.

It isn't a jeep, but the system is excellent given its design parameters, and it will do a lot for you, especially if you are a skilled driver.
 
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