Can I tow this boat?
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Thread: Can I tow this boat?

  1. #1
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    Can I tow this boat?

    I have a 2001 with 115,000 miles on it.

    I have a 1977 Century boat. 18' long, dry weight 2900lbs PLUS the trailer (not sure of the exact weight but I'm gonna estimate it at 500lbs. unless someone has a better guess). I have a C3 hitch. Am I safe towing this boat short distances, a couple of times a month?

    Thank you in advance for your responses!

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  3. #2
    Registered User SnowmanPA's Avatar
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    Rolling the dice?

    Randy,

    In my humble opinion, I wouldn't recommend it. This forum is chock full of postings by hundreds of owners who have had at least one, and sometimes several transmission failures.

    Having said that, I can tell you that I did tow my 92 Saturn on a tow dolly for about 100 miles over some small mountains in central PA. I was pretty nervous about doing it, but my Honda is my only vehicle with a hitch.

    Since you are talking about towing over short distances, on an occasional basis, you may be alright. If you do decide to tow, you should follow that advice given elsewhere in this forum to stack the odds in your favor.

    1. Make sure the transmission has an oil cooler installed. Most owners will recommend that you install a larger aftermarket oil cooler even if yours already has the factory cooler.

    2. Install a magnefine filter in the transmission oil line. The Honda transmission does not have a factory filter.

    3. Be sure the transmission fluid is replaced regularly. The interval is subject to differing opinions, but I think there is a general concensus that 15,000 miles is about right.

    4. Use the genuine Honda ATF-Z1 transmission fluid.

    By following this advice, you have at least given your transmission a fighting chance. Good luck!

  4. #3
    Registered User odcouple2's Avatar
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    Nope! Just heavy for a Ody. Not safe at all. Yes, it can do it, but not a good idea.
    I once pulled my camper with the Ody, now my camper pulls the Ody!

    2000 Ody EX

  5. #4
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    Are you planning on launching it with the ody?

  6. #5
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    Smile Re: Rolling the dice?

    Originally posted by SnowmanPA
    Randy,

    2. Install a magnefine filter in the transmission oil line. The Honda transmission does not have a factory filter.

    Actually it does, its just that no dealer know about it since its not a normal maintenance item...

    I also run a magnefine but mostly for the addition of that magnet rather than the filter portion...

    Here are the details of the OEM filter

    Meet your Honda AT Filter


    And a large number of odycluber's have also replaced this one as well but it can be a little bit of a challenge.
    I plan on doing mine when i hit 50,000 miles...

  7. #6
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    Re: Can I tow this boat?

    Originally posted by mailmanrandy
    I have a 2001 with 115,000 miles on it.

    I have a 1977 Century boat. 18' long, dry weight 2900lbs PLUS the trailer (not sure of the exact weight but I'm gonna estimate it at 500lbs. unless someone has a better guess). I have a C3 hitch. Am I safe towing this boat short distances, a couple of times a month?

    Thank you in advance for your responses!
    You'll be "safe" towing it short distances (meaning under...say...60 miles?) with no coolers or special equipment. Dont let others scare you. You are within the limits (or right at the limit) of your van. But I am assuming you've maintained and changed the ATF fluid among other items on the van.

    The question of tranny failure is a valid concern. Its tough to say if a few towing expeditions will "make it fail". With 115k on the van, I doubt it would suddenly fail while towing, but it could speed the process. Towing is hard work.

    Also, not ALL fail for gen Ody, just more prone. I see as many 99-04 Ody's towing as I do 05+, and I have yet to see one on the side of the road, broken down.

  8. #7
    Registered User 0dyfamily's Avatar
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    Towing that sort of weight will result in ATF temps rising a lot, even over only a 20-mile stretch with small hills, mostly flat going.

    Our 2002 EX with factory coolers sees over 220-deg F under very careful driving towing about 2,600-lbs. (hull, motor & jackplate, full fuel, 1/4-ton of steel boat trailer, no other gear). That's measured using a K-thermocouple setup, during the cool part of our summer days here, driving only 20 miles or less to the boat ramp, and I insulate the probes to prevent underhood air turbulence from giving an unrealistically cool reading. I'll note that at no time did the ATF temps give me any indication that they were stabilizing; i.e., they were continuing to climb, albeit very slowly.

    This same setup, towing nothing on a warm day, again with careful driving, and pushing hard on the gas just once to merge with interstate traffic gives ATF temps jumping to around 200-deg F.

    I can't tell you how hot it will get towing almost a 1/2-ton more than I do over a 60-mile stretch without any cooling (even that insufficient Honda OEM ATF cooler is some help), but safe to say, you stand a good chance of cooking your ATF.

    OF

    Edited for: incorrect peak temps. I had it over 240-deg F, when it was actually over 220-deg F.
    Last edited by 0dyfamily; 08-04-2009 at 07:36 PM.
    2003 Ody EX-L RES 103.5k OEM fogs & hitch, bbylon5 screen mod, chuck k fog mod#2, cnn 82C t-stat mod
    2002 Ody EX RES 96.0k OEM fogs & hitch, chuck k fog mod#1
    1998 Accord LX174k. DIY: Haynes 676 ATF cooler; T & acc belts & tensioners.
    1982 Ebbtide DynaTrak bass boat, 200hp Merc, DIY re-fit 2006-07: CMC jackplate, Teleflex Canada Steering, Torque-Shift 14-26 vari-pitch SS prop
    SNAPPER mower 5.5hp Honda


  9. #8
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    Smile Re: Re: Can I tow this boat?

    Originally posted by RinconVTR
    You'll be "safe" towing it short distances (meaning under...say...60 miles?) with no coolers or special equipment. Dont let others scare you. You are within the limits (or right at the limit) of your van.
    You are only at the limit IF it is equipped with the towing package..

    From the owners manual in the towing section. The 3500 lb limt only applies if.........

    "You must also have a transmission
    fluid cooler and a power steering
    fluid cooler installed. These coolers
    are available only from your Honda
    dealer."

    The experience here is that the ODY transamission runs hot even without towing. And many of us that don't tow have added coolers.

    Not a good idea recommending something that if the transmission goes while towing this boat the dealer can refuse warranty coverage (or even goodwill coverage) if they see a trailer hitch with no coolers...
    Last edited by bbylon5; 08-04-2009 at 03:28 PM.

  10. #9
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    I routinely tow my 17 foot sea hunt...sometimes going on 1000 mile round trips with it behind my 04 van. I don't know the weight of this package, but I would assume between 2500-3000 pounds.
    I do have a nice aftermarket tranny cooler and a honda power steering cooler installed. Now my trans was replaced at 75K under warranty....no one even mentioned the tow hitch and the coolers, so I assume...what I did was well with the capabilities of the van.


    Now if I could figure how to get better gas mileage when towing...I average about 13mpg...but then I do go 65-70 on the interstate.

  11. #10
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    Originally posted by echelonphoto
    I routinely tow my 17 foot sea hunt...sometimes going on 1000 mile round trips with it behind my 04 van. I don't know the weight of this package, but I would assume between 2500-3000 pounds.
    I do have a nice aftermarket tranny cooler and a honda power steering cooler installed. Now my trans was replaced at 75K under warranty....no one even mentioned the tow hitch and the coolers, so I assume...what I did was well with the capabilities of the van.

    My point exactly.

    May be the coolers helped, may be they didnt. 75k is a pretty typical number I've read for those years. Seems like those years had a good number simply doomed to fail regardless of what the owner did.

    Honda's cooler recomendations have nothing to do with the vans towing "ability". The Ody will tow its max weight without the extra coolers. The question is, for how long!

    The OP here is FAR out of warrenty, so thats not a condsideration. And so far out that at that point, IMO, why put hudreds in for coolers until towing becomes common and for longer distances.

    BTW - Have there been any posts about tranny's failing while towing? I havent found one, or read a mention of one.

  12. #11
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    Smile Just becase you can doesn't mean you should...

    Originally posted by RinconVTR


    Honda's cooler recomendations have nothing to do with the vans towing "ability". .
    They may not have anything to do with the ability but according to Honda they have everything to do with the capacity..

    The towing chart lists as follows

    Capacity with 2 occupants 3500 lbs "When equipped with transmission cooler and power steering cooler"

    The previous note has his transmission replaced under warranty. The dealer could indeed have confirmed that he had the correct coolers installed when the saw the hitch and thus allowed the claim. I am sure they could quite easily have rejected it if they saw a hitch and no coolers..

    Lots of odyssey owners have had their transamission repaired as part of "goodwill".. Not having the coolers would be just the excuse they would need to deny this as well.


    Even a vehicle that is designed to tow (say a ford f150) will have different towing capacities depending of how its equipped.

    The towing package on that vehicle reads as follows

    Trailer Tow Package
    Includes Class IV trailer hitch receiver, 7-pin wiring harness and upgraded radiator and auxiliary transmission oil cooler. (Required for towing over 5000 lbs.).

    Notice the mention of over 5000lbs (even though the vehicle already has a cooler this one increases its size)...


    So I suppose you could tow over 5000lbs without it but you are taking your chances and a towing package is a lot cheaper than a new transmission...

  13. #12
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    towing with the ody

    We are contemplating getting a 17 foot speed boat and pulling it with our van, but we're concerned about the towing capacity. We plan on putting the coolers on, but is it ok to launch and pull up out of the water with the ody.
    The boat & tailer would be under the tow capapcity...I think about 3300 lbs.

    Any ideas would help We're getting the boat for free, but we don't want to waste the money putting on the coolers if it's not going work.

    Thanks

  14. #13
    Registered User 0dyfamily's Avatar
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    Well, I had six medium sized kids sitting in my boat on a steep ramp last weekend, and the Ody pulled them and Moby Dick out just fine...and the ramp was wet. It was busy. Total of about 3,000 lbs. GW would be about what I had.

    In fact, steeper ramps are a good idea. On a boat ramp with a very shallow approach, the exhaust pipe ends up getting submerged (at least for my setup).

    OF
    2003 Ody EX-L RES 103.5k OEM fogs & hitch, bbylon5 screen mod, chuck k fog mod#2, cnn 82C t-stat mod
    2002 Ody EX RES 96.0k OEM fogs & hitch, chuck k fog mod#1
    1998 Accord LX174k. DIY: Haynes 676 ATF cooler; T & acc belts & tensioners.
    1982 Ebbtide DynaTrak bass boat, 200hp Merc, DIY re-fit 2006-07: CMC jackplate, Teleflex Canada Steering, Torque-Shift 14-26 vari-pitch SS prop
    SNAPPER mower 5.5hp Honda


  15. #14
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    see page 263 of owners manual about wts and towing.

    We are contemplating getting a 17 foot speed boat and pulling it with our van, but we're concerned about the towing capacity. We plan on putting the coolers on, but is it ok to launch and pull up out of the water with the ody.
    The boat & tailer would be under the tow capapcity...I think about 3300 lbs.

    Any ideas would help We're getting the boat for free, but we don't want to waste the money putting on the coolers if it's not going work.
    Marginal to not recommended depending on load, weight. The limit is 3500 lbs with 2 occupants but drops to 3200 with 4 occupants and 650 with 7 occupants based on weight. Here is page 263 of the owners manual.

    Tongue Load: The weight that the tongue of a fully-loaded trailer puts on the hitch should be approximately 10 percent of the trailer weight. Too little tongue load can make the trailer unstable and cause it to sway. Too much tongue load reduces front-tire traction and steering control.
    Towing a Trailer
    Maximum Total Trailer Weight
    *Number of Occupants Equipped with transmission cooler
    and power steering fluid cooler
    2 3,500 lbs (1,580 kg)
    3 3,350 lbs (1,520 kg)
    4 3,200 lbs (1,450 kg)
    5 3,050 lbs (1,380 kg)
    6 2,900 lbs (1,310 kg)
    7 **650 lbs (295 kg)

    *: Including driver. Based on 150 lbs (70 kg) per occupant.
    **: Weight limited to avoid exceeding rear GAWR (see page 264 ).
    To achieve a proper tongue load, start by loading 60 percent of the load toward the front of the trailer and 40 percent toward the rear, then re-adjust the load as needed.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by baseball; 08-06-2009 at 10:18 PM.

  16. #15
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    I have gotten away with towing a 19ft Baylinar and a 5.8m beach catamaran on very short trips to the launch site and the cat on one interstate trip without the coolers or a Magnefine. I am also at 140k+ miles on my first AT.

    I consider myself very, very lucky.

    I now have rather large AT and PS coolers, a Magnefine and an ATF temperature gauge. The temperatures and worse, the temperature behavior have convinced me that an oversized cooler, not the little toy Honda "tow package" cooler, is required even when not towing anything! Get down to the DIY forum and read the ATF cooler thread, the ATF temperature gauge thread and the AT temperatures thread and judge for yourself based on facts.
    '02 Redrock Pearl EX
    ATF cooler: Tru-Cool LPD 4589 | PS cooler: Tru-Cool LPD 4451 | Magnefine filter | Glowshift Tinted 7 ATF temperature gauge | Scangauge II

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