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Honda manual is very clear about adjusting trailer load based on vehicle weight.
I think you need to up your budget and get a sequoia or Tahoe/burb. Chevy wins big time on space.
Acadia/traverse: 2013 onwards only WITH factory installed towing package that lifts towing capacity to 5000lbs.
 

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My experience FWIW.

My '06 had the OEM tow package from day one, and we pulled a ~1,500 lb pop up camper (loaded) every summer with home being central Ohio. Trips to the east coast were our primary destination. I did 3X trans fluid drain/fill every 30K miles with Honda Z1. Then came the upgrade to a 3,500 pop up. I did a 4X trans fluid drain/fill and switched it to Mobil 1 just before a trip to Yellowstone. The van had about 120K on it when we left. By the time we arrived in Livingston, MT the trans was at the low mark on the stick, so I added a 1/2 quart of Mobil 1. It was still full when we arrived home. The next summer was a trip to San Diego. Again, a 4X Mobil 1 drain/fill before the trip, but this time no fluid loss the whole trip. The only conclusion I can draw is that the small bit of Z1 left in the case the first trip burned off and once that was gone the Mobil 1 was stable. The van had 140K on it when we left for San Diego and exhibited no signs of trans issues prior to its demise at 166K.

Now this 3,500 lb camper causes us to be over the GCVRW by 500 lbs at 8,900 lbs, but being low profile makes all the difference. I am otherwise properly equipped with a brake controller and weight dist. hitch. You do have to watch taking all the sag out of the rear end because you will overload the front axle. It is a delicate balance and there isn't much capacity left of the rear either, so scaling your rig is paramount. Also, I highly recommend the Reese single bar 400 weight dist. hitch as it is adjustable on the fly, unlike most other models.

The bottom line for me is I would never overload any individual axle, and the only reason I considered going over on the gross combined rating was because the same gen Pilot is allowed 9,600 for the same drive train. IMO if you equip properly and use synthetic trans fluid it is doable, but watch out for pop ups that don't allow a WDH. Those without a frame reinforced for it are at risk for getting bent using a WDH.
 

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towing with my 2010

I see this thread is several years old but has great information. Wanted to add my 50 cents... Please don't bother replying with some statements from the owners manual. I have one in the glove box of the van which is a 2010 Touring

I recently bought a 20ft Crownline Bowrider with a Mercruiser 5.7 and a Bravo one outdrive. Weight of the boat loaded with a full tank of gas, ice, drinks ect is around 3500 lbs. Weight of the trailer it sits on ( VIP tandem axle with surge brakes ) 1200 lbs so that brings the weight of boat and trailer to around 4700 lbs. I have a family of 5. I installed a Hayden 678 tranny cooler and a Hayden 676 for the PS cooler. My hitch is a Reese class three standard hitch. ( No weight dist system) I also installed a set of Airlift 1000's and find those things to be about best $68.00 I have ever spent. Last weekend I took a 575 mile round trip to Norris Lake TN from Cincinnati Ohio. So a family of 5 plus luggage and supplies for a long weekend in the van and the boat on the back. I ran my rear tires at 44 PSI and the fronts at 40. Airlifts at 35 PSI. Boat Trailer tires at 50 PSI. The van pulled Fantastic and had no problem maintaining highway speeds (70-75mph) to include the foot hills of the mountains. I left it in D3 and set the cruise control. Tire pressure went up about 4 psi from cold which is normal. Once off the interstate on onto the hilly and winding roads getting to the lake was no issue either the van pulled that boat up any hill I asked it to with out issue or drama. When stopping for gas (11.5 mpg) the tranny fluid level was in the normal range on the dip stick.

In closing, any need I felt to buy a truck to haul that boat has vanished. The Ody is a fine towing vehicle. On a side note I use Valvoline Max Life ATF. I find it to be superior to Honda ATF. (crisper shifting) My 02 Ody had 178000 hard miles on it before I got this 2010 and no issues.
 

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A single successful trip towing way above what it says in that little book in your glove compartment means nothing. Even multiple successful trips won't mean much.

Will you come back when your tranny eventually says "OK, that's enough. I'm done." and admit that you should have followed the recommendation in the manual?
 

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I often get the "you can't do that" look when pulling the boat filled with everybody else's coolers, full tanks of gas, and 6 people on board the Odyssey as I pull into the boat ramp parking lot. I back down the ramp, disgorge the passengers, then launch Moby Dick. Once tied up at the dock, several hundred pounds of coolers make their way off the boat to the dock for the other boaters in our day party convoy to pick up....or I just launch and beach the boat with the coolers, though even with a variable pitch prop pushed by a 200hp Merc V6 it's tough to get on plane with an extra quarter ton up towards the bow. :D

The only tough item is I absolutely have to add some length to the trailer tongue to keep from submerging my exhaust pipe. :eek:

For those who don't think an intelligently set up minivan can't do the work, here's Andy Duess's rig: Triple Axle Airstream



I will admit that Mr. Duess did accomplish the equivalent of a mechanical engineering study on this rig to put it all together.

Keep on "truckin'", Renew! :cool:

OF

P.S: I'm not the only one using one of these monsters. It's about the size of the radiator that was on my Honda CRX from way back:



Yes, we use a thermostat.
 

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No sir. If that time comes I'll drop $3000 on a new transmission and still come ahead than if I had bought a truck. So for now I'm just going to beat the hell out of the thing for next 10 years hauling around my family and boat making great memories that are priceless. Have a good evening.
 

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No sir. If that time comes I'll drop $3000 on a new transmission and still come ahead than if I had bought a truck. So for now I'm just going to beat the hell out of the thing for next 10 years hauling around my family and boat making great memories that are priceless. Have a good evening.
I wish 2 things for you:

1 - A timeframe that lasts anything close to 10 years.
2 - That the tranny says "Enough" at time other than when you are hundreds of miles from home trying to pull the boat out of the water. That memory would surely be priceless. :)
 

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Brother you need wish me nothing. I have never seen or heard so much fear and loathing in the litter box when it comes to a vehicle transmission. There are folks (maybe you) that obsess over their transmission to the point that they change the fluid four times a year and worry that the wife is going to put more than two gallons of milk in the back when going to the grocery cause they fear the transmission will fail. After all of the that the transmission goes out anyway. Why I bet you treated your 04 LX like a prized possession only to have it stuck down by an act of God. ( Now that's a priceless memory) So with that I raise my beer mug to you with a toast " In life, here's to no guarantees." The Ody is great tow vehicle that can EASILY tow the same 5000 lbs that its platform mates ( Pilot, Ridgeline, Acura MDX ) with the exact same engine and transmission do when one takes the steps to enhance the suspension, and transmission.

Feel free to have the last word. In fact if you tow with your ody, write about it here. That is what the thread was all about in the first place.
 

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Search these forums and you'll find that I do (and did) tow with my Ody.

Search these forums and you'll find that I replaced the tranny on my ’04 at about 110K and clearly stated that I don't know if it was due to towing or not.

Search these forums and you'll find members with a lot less attitude than you. I don't know what got under your skin, but I hope, for your sake (and ours) that it clears up.

Why do I doubt that you'll let me have the last word as promised?
 

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Thought I’d give another example.

We have 03 that dealer replaced trans and ECU at 80k. didn’t tow or change the fluid until 145k when we bought a popup.

At that point, put on big 12x12 trans cooler all by itself (doesn’t use radiator as well), flushed with Honda’s newest fluid 3x and off we went.

Phoenix to rocky point Mexico isn’t much up or down. We’re about 1100 feet and we get to 2000 just before the border and then down to ocean in RP. Everything very gradual. But hot, hot, hot. Summers here and there easily 100 degrees. Even though we have biggest jayco they made in 99 (2 kings and slide out dinette) I think it’s <3000 pounds.

First trip uneventful but noticed front tires worn on outside edges. Next trip got higher hitch. Same thing. Next trip, air bags inside the rear coil springs. Wow, what a huge difference. We were still tongue down and nose up, but the stability was 10x better. Still thought it was wearing front tires though. 4[SUP]th[/SUP] trip got adjustable height hitch that went to 8” lift. This was the ticket. Drove same but fronts didn’t look scalloped more.

Next trip is what you want to hear about. We bought 4200 pound dry Rockwood hybrid. I got new front tires (previous were Chinese with really rounded shoulders, these BFGs are square and look all of the 225 they are). 45 psi front and back and 40 in the bags. Even with 8” hitch lift, we’re tongue down again.

But going from posts here, we decided old blue could do it, even at 150k miles. Flushed trans again (4 trips on it you know) and did premium gas this time.

Around town, it was nothing different. Crazy, but true. On the freeway though, that brick behind us was undeniably “back there”. It was easily 2’ taller than the van.

My day job is a tuner. I have a dyno and do hp stuff. I know what an engine is doing like you know when you’ve got to go the bathroom. Brought a good scanner and here’s what I found.

D3 was just too much rpm, I didn’t like it. Nearly 4000 to hold 60 and it would but seemed stupid. If I managed a steady throttle (about 35-40%) it would stay in 4[SUP]th[/SUP] with the convertor unlocked. This let me hold 60 at about 2850rpm. Down side was it was in full power enrichment (not closed loop) despite the low throttle. The map reading (the computer’s main load input) was 75-90%. Result was 10 mpg. No joke, 10 mpg. At one point we were seriously worried about making it to the border. We hadn’t expected this. There was really no need for it but I can’t change the programming on this Honda computer. Slowing to 45 let it go back into closed loop and a much higher air/fuel ratio and thus mpg. But who’s going to go 45?

Reality is, the ody is awesome. Tried the truck scale in Gila bend, but it was closed. I’m sure the rv was 4600 pounds with all our crap in it. In the van, it was just wife and two 9-11 year old kids. Maybe 450 pounds as we put all cargo in the rv and behind the axle.

Last trip was not summer, but thanksgiving, so temps WAY lower. About 60, not 100. computer showed coolant a steady 198 and trans 220. not sure how it would do in summer with this load and heat and a/c running in the van.

I also wanted to get a weight distribution hitch but it was just a ton of money to get one with low tongue weight (<500 pounds) like you’re supposed to do. If we keep up with this, I will though because there was a lot of tugging from the trailer. Never unstable, but always made you aware. Surprisingly enough, the new front tires had zero outside wear despite a near 1” rise from stock.

Here’s my conclusion. Other Hondas say 5000 pounds towing and I think that works across the board. But you need to do other things to safely do it. I think there’s no substitution for the air bags (less than $125!) and good tires. You need a big boy trans cooler, the OEM one is a joke. As well, I checked p/s fluid with an infrared and it had NO heat. Glad I didn’t do that cooler too. 3000 rpm just doesn’t really heat it up. Suppose if you had to do D3 for really long periods, it might.

Talking with others the weight distribution hitch with properly matched tongue weight is also huge benefit. Like I said, if another trip, I’ll have that.

Other thing I noticed was that premium gas was no benefit. Used it on the way there and 87 way back. Scanner let me watch ignition timing and if there was any knock retard. Timing same both ways and never any knock. Likely all the fuel it was using for power enrich mode kept any bad things away.

So now conundrum is keep van or get truck. I think the utility and 7 passenger capability of the van is unsurpassed. It gets 18-21mpg and a truck would get best 15 in town and don’t really know towing. Maybe 13 since <5000 isn’t a big load for a 1500 truck, but given 98% of our miles would be in town, it’s trading about 19mpg for 15mpg all the time. Is that cheaper than 10mpg for a 500 mile round trip a few times a year? Guess I need an excel sheet….

So that’s my 2 cents. Your mileage may vary (literally!).

Probably won’t check this forum again, so if you have questions my email is caenews at hotmail. Put ody towing in the subject so I’ll notice it even in my spam folder.

tk
 

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ownercarry, major caution point on your 4,200 lb hybrid application is individual axle weights. I found that with a 3,500 lb pop up, 3 adult passengers, 3rd row folded down and loaded with luggage, etc., that my approx. 400 lb tongue weight had the rear axle within 100 lbs of being overloaded. Engage the WDH and bring entire rig to level and the front axle is overloaded by 100 lbs. My solution was to adjust the WDH where the rear sagged slightly to bring both van axles to within the factory rating. The trailer was then about 70 lbs under rating, so all axles within their rating and the only place I was over was the rated gross combined weight of 8,410 lbs. It was right at 8,900 total combined. I have to think your setup blows away at least one of the van axle ratings as well as the gross combined by another 700 lbs depending on how the van is loaded. The first gen pilot (basically same platform) got a gross combined rating of ~9,300 lbs IRRC, so you are very likely over that too.
 

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likely all true and that's why i wanted to hit the scales but they were closed. given front-end up, don't think over weight there. rear, yah. but the helper airbags all the difference. and so that makes the rear tires the weak point. they were 2 years old and at 45 psi, zero problem. WDH in future if we stay with the ody like i said. the van had minimum weights in it on purpose so that the big weight was the trailer itself. we went to great efforts to put everything behind the trailer's rear axle to bring the van rear up and front was <1" up so it worked.

like i said, i think things are under rated but if you're going to push limits you better know all about it and do things like i did or just get yourself a half ton truck.
 

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likely all true and that's why i wanted to hit the scales but they were closed. given front-end up, don't think over weight there. rear, yah. but the helper airbags all the difference. and so that makes the rear tires the weak point. they were 2 years old and at 45 psi, zero problem. WDH in future if we stay with the ody like i said. the van had minimum weights in it on purpose so that the big weight was the trailer itself. we went to great efforts to put everything behind the trailer's rear axle to bring the van rear up and front was <1" up so it worked.

like i said, i think things are under rated but if you're going to push limits you better know all about it and do things like i did or just get yourself a half ton truck.
Doesn't too much weight behind the trailer axle increase the risk of swaying?
 

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Doesn't too much weight behind the trailer axle increase the risk of swaying?
Correct. The basic rule is minimum 10% of the trailer weight to be on the tongue, so a 3,500 lb trailer needs 350 lbs on the tongue to avoid sway.
 

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As well, I checked p/s fluid with an infrared and it had NO heat. Glad I didn’t do that cooler too. 3000 rpm just doesn’t really heat it up. Suppose if you had to do D3 for really long periods, it might.
Friend with a 2001 asked about max towing...so I searched and led him to this thread.

That led to the question: "He used an IR gun to read the power steering fluid temp? Does that work?" Hmmmm. Searched, and dug up this gem from the past: watt-man's instrumented run up Loveland Pass in his 2001 Odyssey

For any of you who ride any water-cooled Kawasaki's, watt-man is the engineering genius behind durably manufactured cooling system upgrades for KLR's and Ninjas.

In short, his use of a K thermocouple in the PS reservoir in direct contact with the fluid for a "real time" indication trumps an IR thermometer read from up front or from inside the engine bay (a lot of IR "noise").

Just to make sure all understand, 3rd gear in a B7TA 4-speed transmission is a great towing ratio with comfortably lower revs than 3rd gear in the BYBA 5-speed transmission, so it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. Also, it only took 7 minutes for the PSF to reach 210F, and would have gone higher were it not for him cresting the pass. D4 in the 6-speed would also do the same in terms of less revs than D3 in a 5-speed.

Food for thought.

OF
 

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Lots of good info in this thread.

We have a 2014 Honda EX-L and I installed an aftermarket tow package a couple of months ago. Reese class III receiver/hitch, Derale 9000 plate cooler, Etrailer wiring kit, and also put in a prodigy P2.

We bought a boat a week ago and took it out this weekend. Its similar to a Sport Nautique. Boat weighs 2,600# and trailer is 1,300# with tandem axle and surge brakes. Towed it 4+ hours home on hilly interstate. If it hadn't been for the gas gauge dropping I might have forgotten I had the boat behind me. It handled pretty well except on the up and down concrete slab sections of interstate. No sway, breaking was a little harder but not bad. the motor is in the middle of our boat and the I've heard the tongue weight is closer to 150 or 250 lbs. I need to get it to a scale and get the actual axle weights.

Took the boat to the lake this weekend. Launched easy of course. Pulling the boat back out was a bit more difficult. Once I got the boat out of the water and the Ody accepted the full towing weight the front tires began to slip. the boat ramp has a medium slope and it was raining, so..... I thought this might happen so I brought a tow strap and we had a friend with us. Hooked up the tow strap and he eased forward giving me the little that I needed to make it up the rest of the ramp.

So I'm guessing I need to air lifts on the back or a WDH. I have surge brakes and if you know what that is I don't think I can do the WDH, so that leaves me with the air lifts. Any suggestions, tricks, solutions, etc. to give me the weight back to the front tires and get the car up the ramp next time?

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Transport Minivan
 

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Any suggestions, tricks, solutions, etc. to give me the weight back to the front tires and get the car up the ramp next time?

View attachment 92754
This may sound simplistic, but is the back of the van and/or front of the boat loaded when you are trying to get up the ramp? Is there any "internal" (van or boat) weight distribution that you can play with? I know it's long shot, I'm just tossing it out.

(Many years ago I had a Dodge Ram B2500 Conversion van. Rear wheel drive of course. We ended up on an icy, uphill entrance ramp to the interstate. Vehicles were negotiating the ramp one at a time to make they sure didn't have to stop if the person in front of them slowed or stopped. When my turn came I sent all 4 kids and SWMBO to the back of the van. The wheels spun and we did a bit of a sideways slide - almost kissing the guardrail - but we eventually made it up the hill.)
 
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