Towing Questions
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Thread: Towing Questions

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Apr 2017
    Location
    WA
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    Towing Questions

    After doing a lot of reading and was pleasantly surprised that the van with the 'glass transmission' actually got good reviews for towing. We just picked up a 12' Jayco, which weighs about 2150 emtpy. The Ody is rated for 3500 so it is well within the towing range as I understand it. However, I have a lot of questions. Hopefully someone can set me straight.

    My dilemma. The wife would like for us to be able to hook it up in time for next Sat. I am at square one. I can find a basic class 3 hitch for about $130 (CURT). I am sure I can find a wiring kit - this trailer has surge, not electric brakes. That saves me from having to wire up the trailer brake system. Does the factory Ody have a connector buried in one of the back panels if it did not come with the towing package? Or am I going to have to get a kit that goes into one of the brake lights?

    I am getting a tranny oil cooler and will put that on. There were some questions raised about mounting that though. The parts guy didn't suggest using the zip-tie kit - too much chance of messing up the radiator. And he says there could be some heat exchange between it and the radiator if it is jammed up against it. He suggested hanging it somehow and securing the bottom somehow. I am not much of a fabricator so I don't have many other options (if we want to leave in less than 7 days).

    Many posts suggest a PS cooler as well. Which is strange because it looks like it has a factory one and the replacements look pretty much identical. Are they really better? That part looks like a PITA and if it is really NOT necessary....well.... Then again I am going to be back there anyway

    I think my rear shocks are worn. We get some bounce on dips on the highway. I can't really 'bounce' test the corners - they seem tight and I don't get excess rebound when I try but what do I know? Since I know I will be towing I figure I might was well go for some heavier duty shocks - Monroe Load leveler or ?????

    That brings me to the $10K question - weight distribution kits. Am I really going to need it for a trailer 2/3 of the max capacity and with new shocks? That is the most expensive piece of this puzzle at $350 and up. My wife has done some reading and thinks we need weight bearing/sway control. If I decide to try it out gently on a short trip am I going to have problems with just the hitch/new shocks? I am willing to spend the $$ if it is necessary but what are the odds of us just getting through next weekend without it. Maybe some bouncing, swaying - worst case? If it looks bad visually that is one thing but if it doesn't is there something I can't see waiting to bite me?

    Thanks for any suggestions from anyone who has done this.

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  3. #2
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    WA
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    02 Odyssey..

  4. #3
    Registered User
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    Jan 2005
    Location
    MN
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    293
    I have towed a very similar camper with my former '01 Ody (a 2001 Jayco 12 UDST) for years. I will be towing it now again with a 2003 Ody. The Ody is a capable tow vehicle. Teh 4 pin trailer connect is plug and play - look at Etrailer.com it takes about 15 minutes max to install it. On the hitch side, I highly highly recommend that you chase the Ody hitch attachment points with a tap before trying to install the hitch (if there has not been one installed already / before. You will need a tranny cooler as noted. I attached mine with the zip tie approach(lasted nine years until the van was totaled in an accident). PS cooler - skip it. Rear suspension. Monroe load assist, or rear air bags. Take you pick and install them. You will sag too much without them. The Jayco requires a ball height of 17", so your hitch will need about a 5" lift on the receiver (that is what I use) to tow level. If you can keep your loaded trailer weight to less than ~2800 lbs you will be just fine. Make sure you adjust the triler surge brakes with the star wheel so they are working correctly. I would not bother with a WDH for that camper. I have never used one for mine and no issues at all.

    So, in summary, you are on the right track, just finish it off and you should be all fine. May want to change the tranny fluid with Valvoline Maxlife ATF if you have not done so.

    I'll be towing our in WA later this summer with my '03 and Jayco as part of a 21 day camping trip - looking forward to it.

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  6. #4
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    May 2007
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    Rochester, NY
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    I have been towing with our '02. The PS cooler is to deal with higher than normal engine RPM's, mostly due to towing up hills, mountains, etc. Not as important for flat land towing, IMO. Anyway, I did put on a Tru cool ATF cooler and a PS cooler, since my tow is 1400 miles each way up and down the US Atlantic coast. I don't like the zip-tie installs; the tru-cool has decent sets of brackets that work well. Take off the bumper, rotate the stock PS cooler out of the way, and the process is smooth. Some minor drilling. Tru-Cool 4544! If you do want a ATF filter, this is the time. I didn't, but I wouldn't argue against one! Valvoline Max-Life, now is the time. Buy 3 gallons, and replace 1 qt at a time out an open cooler hose, refill that 1 qt, repeat.
    Last edited by diver dave; 05-14-2017 at 10:31 AM.

  7. #5
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    WA
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    I can answer one of my own questions. Yes, there is a connector next to the RR tail light. I bought a T-Connector set to hook up to it. The Jayco has a 6 square plug that has running lights, right turn/brake, left turn/brake, ground and charging. I don't see a power wire from the ODY connector so I will just use the 4 wire flat for now.

    According to a post by Dad New Van the Ody wiring should be:

    Grn/Blk: Back-up lights
    Black: Ground
    Yellow: Brake (although the wire colour is yellow to the Brake Lights Failure Sensor, the wire colour after this is Green)
    Green/Blu: Left Turn Signal
    Green/Yel: Right Turn Signal
    Red/Blk: Taillights

    The T-Conn kit has a converter that blends the turn and brakes?
    Last edited by djailer1; 05-18-2017 at 09:57 AM.

  8. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    140
    U Haul, and others have a plug and play trailer harness. You need the electronics within to combine the turn and brake lights for the trailer.

    btw; i used a connector left rear. No "T" connectors! they are pretty horrible.
    Last edited by diver dave; 05-19-2017 at 10:59 AM.

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