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Hi,

I would like a tow hitch on the Odyssey I am considering purchasing. I have gotten mixed answers from the dealers. I will not tow often, but may tow a boat/trailer 2-3x a year that is around 3500 lbs. Is there any difference aside from aesthetics and the cooling with having an OEM vs aftermarket tow hitch (such as install at Uhaul)? The OEM Honda is anywhere from $900-$1500 vs Uhaul, which is around $300. What have others done?

Same question about roof rails. Should I get them installed at Honda or do it myself? What about the racks? I can probably easily do the racks myself, but the rails may not be as easy.

Thanks!
Why both? I've found roof rails entail a lot of work to keep stuff rain proof, decreases mpg, and lifting. wouldn't a light weight trailer fit the hauling needs better than roof rails?
 

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Hi,

I would like a tow hitch on the Odyssey I am considering purchasing. I have gotten mixed answers from the dealers. I will not tow often, but may tow a boat/trailer 2-3x a year that is around 3500 lbs. Is there any difference aside from aesthetics and the cooling with having an OEM vs aftermarket tow hitch (such as install at Uhaul)? The OEM Honda is anywhere from $900-$1500 vs Uhaul, which is around $300. What have others done?

Same question about roof rails. Should I get them installed at Honda or do it myself? What about the racks? I can probably easily do the racks myself, but the rails may not be as easy.

Thanks!
Granted I own a 2016, but I purchased the transmission cooler from Honda OEM dealer, and had it installed by my favorite mechanic. 60% less than dealer. I ordered the hitch and light kits the same way, and had my body shop do the install-$150. About $900 later, I have all Honda parts installed, beautifully. 2 months later kids in a Toyota do a "Pit" maneuver on us at 75 mph. The van did not roll, the hitch assembly provided the extra strength to the rear quarter. and we drove it home.
 

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Hi,

I would like a tow hitch on the Odyssey I am considering purchasing. I have gotten mixed answers from the dealers. I will not tow often, but may tow a boat/trailer 2-3x a year that is around 3500 lbs. Is there any difference aside from aesthetics and the cooling with having an OEM vs aftermarket tow hitch (such as install at Uhaul)? The OEM Honda is anywhere from $900-$1500 vs Uhaul, which is around $300. What have others done?

Same question about roof rails. Should I get them installed at Honda or do it myself? What about the racks? I can probably easily do the racks myself, but the rails may not be as easy.

Thanks!

EVERY odyssey that gets a trailer hitch installed it must/should be, sadly it's not, a Honda directive to REQUIRE MANDATORY "transmission cooler" installation beforehand to increase the odds of Honda odyssey transmission survival!!! (just Google honda odyssey transmissions for the disappointing lowdown!)
 

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EVERY odyssey that gets a trailer hitch installed it must/should be, sadly it's not, a Honda directive to REQUIRE MANDATORY "transmission cooler" installation beforehand to increase the odds of Honda odyssey transmission survival!!! (just Google honda odyssey transmissions for the disappointing lowdown!)
This DOES NOT apply to the 2018+ minivan...
 

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Why both? I've found roof rails entail a lot of work to keep stuff rain proof, decreases mpg, and lifting. wouldn't a light weight trailer fit the hauling needs better than roof rails?
Tow a small trailer behind the boat? (This was the original issue - towing a heavy boat trailer).
 

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Called my dealer about the hitch and install they said just a shy over $1000 installed...I cant believe it costs so much. So the dealer called and asked about our experience to ensure 10 star rating on the survey honda will send. So I asked about a discount and the price came out to $720.
$720 is too much money. No need to spend more than about $150 for an aftermarket hitch. You may have to find the bolts elsewhere - that might be a problem. I think they are 14mm, but there are different thread pitches. eTrailer.com currently has the hitch for $126 with a Google search, they offer help if you need it, maybe they sell the bolts, but they can tell you what size to get. They also have the wiring adapter for $35. To install the wiring adapter, you will have to loosen and get behind the driver's rear fascia which covers up the rear fuse box. They can help you with that, too. You should be able to find a U-tube video to see what you are getting into.

Or get it all done at U-haul for maybe $300. Then put that $420 you saved into the bank for a rainy day.
 

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Here's what I bought on Amazon.
CURT 13370 Class 3 Trailer Hitch, 2-Inch Receiver for Select Honda Odyssey
$150 free Shipping

Ditto! I installed it in under an hour on a 2014 Odyssey. However, mine is for a bike rack that I put in the hitch. I did not do the wiring, but Curt makes a wire harness as well.
 

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The ODY Heat Exchanger Is actually on the 10 Speed transmission. It runs transmission fluid through a coil and antifreeze on outer jackets of the transmission cooler and enclosed in a aluminum casting. It is located on the left side of the transmission (towards the radiator side.) You can actually see the antifreeze hoses (2) running to it. This is a device that really needs nor service or Preventative Maintenance done to it, other than replacing the hoses for antifreeze many years down the line. This heat exchanger warms the transmission fluid so it will be the same as the engine antifreeze temperature, as a end result the Engine thermostat for antifreeze controls the temperature. As you drive your ODY, the tranny fluid and antifreeze will be the same temperature. Adding on a external tranny cooler will effect the transmission fluid temperature. Herein the manufacture (Honda) designed the tranny and made it so it DOES NOT NEED ADDITIONAL COOLING, or it will effect the transmission operation and also effect the efficiency of the transmission. This design the use in the heat exchanger I think they copied from the Heat/Air-Conditioner system of the past 8 years of so, In the chiller bundle outside with the condensing unit, using a water based system to transfer the water on the outside of the refrigerant tubing in a copper cooling exchanger. Very efficient, and quiet. ODY's have aluminum units, and HVAC uses copper. As you know copper cost more so Honda uses aluminum.
View attachment 154313
 

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Whether you need additional cooling strongly depends on your towing conditions. If you tow in average conditions, three times a year, not in the mountains, not in prolonged heavy traffic, mostly on the highway, for even hundreds of miles, transmission mostly in lockup mode - not to worry if you have the newer external cooler. .

The issue with transmission cooling is how high is the fluid temperature gets, and for how long it stays there. Fluid temps over about 200 degrees progressively deteriorate the fluid - the higher the temperature and the longer the period of elevated temperatures, the more the degradation. Synthetic fluid tolerates higher temperatures, maybe 10 degrees higher, than the old stuff.

Stop and go traffic raises the transmission fluid temperature significantly and fairly quickly, as does driving in soft sand, or going slowly up steep hills. If you tow a boat on the highway on relatively level ground, where the transmission locks up (bypasses the torque converter) that won't affect the fluid much if at all. With the external cooler, as the temperature of the radiator fluid climbs (in traffic, up hill, etc.), so will the transmission fluid temperature rise. With a Scangauge II you can read the actual engine cooling fluid temperature, which can normally range from 170 degrees to well over 200 degrees, and this is not shown on your dash gauge.

Consequently, there is no specific answer to the issue of transmission coolers in the real world - only on forums and in owners manuals. On my 2000 Odyssey there was no lower limit for transmission fluid temperature, and I didhn't even think of worrying abouyt this. I added a cooler anyway, because I traveled heavy, canoes on top, and sometimes in the mountains.

Now, there may be a minimum fluid temperature, because the this temperature could be an input to the PCM (the engine and transmission computer). There are add-on thermostats for use with add-on coolers to keep the fluid temperature at 180 degrees (which may or may not be higher than is needed).

The only way you are going to lower your transmission fluid temperature with the new external cooler is to additionally cool the radiator fluid going into the cooler. That means adding an in-line cooler to the exit fluid from the radiator. That could be technical and complicated. And expensive. And probably quite unnecessary.

Instead, keep tabs on the condition of your transmission fluid and perhaps change it more often. Compare your fluid with new fluid - how it smells, whether the color darkens, check it before and after each tow - get to know your fluid. Or just change it once a year or every 15K or every second oil change.
 

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The ODY Heat Exchanger Is actually on the 10 Speed transmission. It runs transmission fluid through a coil and antifreeze on outer jackets of the transmission cooler and enclosed in a aluminum casting. It is located on the left side of the transmission (towards the radiator side.) You can actually see the antifreeze hoses (2) running to it. This is a device that really needs nor service or Preventative Maintenance done to it, other than replacing the hoses for antifreeze many years down the line. This heat exchanger warms the transmission fluid so it will be the same as the engine antifreeze temperature, as a end result the Engine thermostat for antifreeze controls the temperature. As you drive your ODY, the tranny fluid and antifreeze will be the same temperature. Adding on a external tranny cooler will effect the transmission fluid temperature. Herein the manufacture (Honda) designed the tranny and made it so it DOES NOT NEED ADDITIONAL COOLING, or it will effect the transmission operation and also effect the efficiency of the transmission. This design the use in the heat exchanger I think they copied from the Heat/Air-Conditioner system of the past 8 years of so, In the chiller bundle outside with the condensing unit, using a water based system to transfer the water on the outside of the refrigerant tubing in a copper cooling exchanger. Very efficient, and quiet. ODY's have aluminum units, and HVAC uses copper. As you know copper cost more so Honda uses aluminum.
View attachment 154313
Whether you need additional cooling strongly depends on your towing conditions. If you tow in average conditions, three times a year, not in the mountains, not in prolonged heavy traffic, mostly on the highway, for even hundreds of miles, transmission mostly in lockup mode - not to worry if you have the newer external cooler. .

The issue with transmission cooling is how high is the fluid temperature gets, and for how long it stays there. Fluid temps over about 200 degrees progressively deteriorate the fluid - the higher the temperature and the longer the period of elevated temperatures, the more the degradation. Synthetic fluid tolerates higher temperatures, maybe 10 degrees higher, than the old stuff.

Stop and go traffic raises the transmission fluid temperature significantly and fairly quickly, as does driving in soft sand, or going slowly up steep hills. If you tow a boat on the highway on relatively level ground, where the transmission locks up (bypasses the torque converter) that won't affect the fluid much if at all. With the external cooler, as the temperature of the radiator fluid climbs (in traffic, up hill, etc.), so will the transmission fluid temperature rise. With a Scangauge II you can read the actual engine cooling fluid temperature, which can normally range from 170 degrees to well over 200 degrees, and this is not shown on your dash gauge.

Consequently, there is no specific answer to the issue of transmission coolers in the real world - only on forums and in owners manuals. On my 2000 Odyssey there was no lower limit for transmission fluid temperature, and I didhn't even think of worrying abouyt this. I added a cooler anyway, because I traveled heavy, canoes on top, and sometimes in the mountains.

Now, there may be a minimum fluid temperature, because the this temperature could be an input to the PCM (the engine and transmission computer). There are add-on thermostats for use with add-on coolers to keep the fluid temperature at 180 degrees (which may or may not be higher than is needed).

The only way you are going to lower your transmission fluid temperature with the new external cooler is to additionally cool the radiator fluid going into the cooler. That means adding an in-line cooler to the exit fluid from the radiator. That could be technical and complicated. And expensive. And probably quite unnecessary.

Instead, keep tabs on the condition of your transmission fluid and perhaps change it more often. Compare your fluid with new fluid - how it smells, whether the color darkens, check it before and after each tow - get to know your fluid. Or just change it once a year or every 15K or every second oil change.
[/QUOTE]
 

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Whether you need additional cooling strongly depends on your towing conditions.
As long as you stay below the maximum towing capacity, no additional/aftermarket coolers are needed. It doesn't matter if you tow over the river and through the woods.
However, I would consider changing the tranny fluid often if towing regularly at the max capacity, but I also would guess that the maintenance minder would catch on to this and recommend earlier fluid changes.
 

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Hi,

I would like a tow hitch on the Odyssey I am considering purchasing. I have gotten mixed answers from the dealers. I will not tow often, but may tow a boat/trailer 2-3x a year that is around 3500 lbs. Is there any difference aside from aesthetics and the cooling with having an OEM vs aftermarket tow hitch (such as install at Uhaul)? The OEM Honda is anywhere from $900-$1500 vs Uhaul, which is around $300. What have others done?

Same question about roof rails. Should I get them installed at Honda or do it myself? What about the racks? I can probably easily do the racks myself, but the rails may not be as easy.

Thanks!
If you plan on ever buying and using the Honda Tent accessory , the roof rack option is handy for attaching the tent snorkel to the van . I have racks and tent for my 2007 Touring . But , I enjoy camping ( and have saved the price of both on just one long trip by avoiding hotels ). Otherwise , the roof rack just adds a tiny bit of drag on your gas milage , unless you really have a use for it .
 

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Just a heads up, I purchased and installed that hitch from eTrailer. The receiver tube wasn't welded quite square, so any accessories mounted to it sat at an angle. They shipped a replacement which didn't have that defect, but I still had to remove the old one and install the new one, which ate up another hour of two of my time. Just something to look for BEFORE you install it. Otherwise it fits great, and the installation is pretty straightforward. I didn't need to lower the exhaust, but it could be helpful to get some extra room to tighten the bolts on the passenger side.

View attachment 154337
View attachment 154338
Omg, my OCD is screaming in my head right now! Glad etrailer made it right! I ordered the "heavy duty" hitch and T-one wiring harness from them and they've been fantastic products.
 

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DrawTite makes a 3,500lb hitch with a "concealed" crossbar similar to the factory option. It requires some minor trimming to the bumper that's not visible (I assume the OEM option does as well). You'd still need to do something for the wiring, and relocate the tailgate foot sensor if you've got that option.
I bought this one too and it was pretty easy to install and looks awesome, can hardly notice it under the bumper. The videos are essential to follow.
 
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