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I'm about to tow our 1600# camping trailer with our recently purchased '04 odyssey. I've installed both coolers (thanks to this list for recommendations and insight). When pulling the trailer with my departed Windstar, I would turn off the overdrive (there was a button to do that). The Ody doesn't have that--the only option is to drop to D3 which puts the van into 3rd. No way to drive in 4th gear? So should I follow Honda's recommendation and drive in D (5th gear) and only shift to D3 on hills or when the trans is shifting back & forth a lot?
Thanks for any advice.
Jim
 

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I've done a lot of pulling of a camper that is about 2800 lbs. On the flat, you will not have a problem just keeping it in 5th. It should pull along just fine with the cruise on and not downshift. If you get into some hilly areas or against a strong wind, then I usually operate without the cruise control and just allow the vehicle to slow down going up hills. You will know whether you have to do that by how much, if any, the vehicle downshifts while pulling. With the light rig you have, if the road is relatively flat, you should just be able to tow just like you regularly drive.

If there is a lot of hunting between 5th and 4th, then you should slow down, or operate in 4th (which you can't manually do).
 

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When I bought my boat and went to start towing my first step was to contact the Honda dealer and get the hitch etc put on. They told me I couldn't tow my boat. They also told me I don't have a replaceable filter on my tranny, so I took what they said with a grain of salt.

What I did next was get on the phone with North American Honda. After a couple of forwarded calls I was on the phone with an actual Honda Engineer. This is what he told me.

Tow the whole time in D3. These engines make the most torque over 4000 RPM, and this is where they are the most efficient when under load. He said the more torque will also help the tranny and to just keep the RPMs high.


5 years later same tranny I still head his advise, towing mostly in the 60-70 MPH range.

Also, I don't sweat the high RPMs because even with the RPMs that high for the majority of the trip I still get better gas mileage than I do if I tow with my Explorer, and I definitely am using less gas that the big F150, F250, and Silverado's that look down at me and laugh.
 
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