Honda Odyssey Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What is the most weight that anybody has towed with an Odyssey? Has anybody towed a hard-sided travel trailer with their Odyssey? How did your van do? How much payload did you have in the van when you towed?
I've been toying with the idea of getting a travel trailer for vacations, but with 3 kids under the age of 5 I'm not sure a pop-up gives us enough playroom, and the smallest hard-sided trailers are dangerously close to the max towing capacity of the Odyssey, especially with luggage in the van also...

------------------
Richard
2002 Granite Green EX-L
Splash Guards, Cargo Tray, Weathertech Mats

[This message has been edited by pearsonrj (edited 01-31-2002).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Check out:

http://www.odyclub.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000444.html

It's an unrelated thread, but they mention getting a hard sided trailer. I don't think they've used it yet, though.

------------------
D Schaefer
99 Odyssey EX
93 Escort LX
60 Thunderbird Conv.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
There has been some discussion of towing over here: http://www.odyclub.com/ubb/Forum17/HTML/000662.html , with some of the luckier folks actually having something to tow and the leisure time to do it. It would seem that, with a weight distributing hitch, you could go all the way to the Odyssey’s 3500lb rated tow weight, and knowing Honda this figure is probably on the conservative side. Here is a good link to some popup RV information: http://www.popuptimes.com/ , with links to manufacturers at the bottom of the page.

We used to do a lot of popup camping when I was a kid and I have, as an adult, looked into the possibilities a few times over recent years. I too have 3 children, and mine are all under the age of 6, so were in nearly the same boat ... err, camper. My estimation is that you’d get more, not less, space in a popup per pound of towed weight than a hard-side camper. I know there are some hybrid campers that are sort of in between the two designs: a hard-side that pops up and, I believe, a hard-side that has pull out bunks, but I would think that the structural components that support the hard-side are going to weigh more than the aluminum tubes and canvas of the traditional popup.

And you can get a LOT of room in a popup these days, what with king sized beds at both ends, and sitting areas, shower/commodes, and cooking areas that pull out to the sides leaving your floor space less cluttered. There are even some that claim to sleep 9 (may depend on how friendly or young your bedmates are) and claim 150+ sq. ft. (have no idea how they measure this).

For me, popup camping is the best. The perfect compromise between hiking/tent camping and Airstreaming it, and with little children you’d be hard pressed to do the former very far from the trailhead. Popups are close enough to “real” camping, but can be had with heaters and air conditioners, depending on your tolerance levels. Soon as the Clearing House van pulls up to my door, I’m gonn’a get me one. Till then I’ll continue to rent them.

------------------
  • ’90 SR5 4Runner – been great, but lacking for a family of 5
  • ’02 GG EX-L-RES Odyssey – my new, best friend
TNUCKELS

[This message has been edited by tnuckels (edited 01-31-2002).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,382 Posts
I agree with tnuckels, pound for pound you'll get a lot more camper, and therefore space, in a pop-up.

We used to camp with a group of about 6 families. We had the smallest camper, a Bethany 560 whose box was only 6' wide by 10' long. It comfortably slept 4. I think this trailer weighed in at about 1000-1200 lbs. The largest camper in our group, a hard-sided pop-up, routinely slept 5 (mom, pop, 3 kids, toddler to teen-ager) and had a capacity to sleep about 8. I think it went about 2200 lbs. Its box was about 6.5' wide and I'd guess about 14-16' long.

I haven't looked at campers for quite a while so I can't offer current model advice. However, in addition to your space and convenience needs I'd be particularly concerned with ease and speed of setup (I still remember setting up in a pouring rain in Calgary) and tire size. Larger tires, both diameter and cross section, are, IMO, desirable. Larger diameters pull easier and are easier on wheel bearings; replacing wheel bearings at a campsite isn't fun (guess how I know; not on my trailer but on a friends).

Happy camping,
Mel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
I realize this isn't exactly an unbiased opinion, as I am a pop-up owner, but I also believe you could get a much roomer pop-up for the weight than a hard-sided trailer. We have a Coleman Sea Pine, which is only the 10' box and weighs 1650 empty. I have three boys, ages 7, 3 and 1.5, and it has plenty of space for the occasional rainy day. If you go to one of the larger models with the 12' box and slide-out, they are really huge. Colemans are typically heavier than some of the other brands.

I think you'd be fine pulling either one on flat or hilly terrain, but I'd be cautious of the strain put on your van if you tried to pull a pop-up or hard-side in the mountains, especially in the summer. Just my opinion.

I think I posted this in the forum before, but go to www.google.com and do a newsgroup search on "pop-up". There's a newsgroup there that has tons of info on towing and pop-ups in general. They probably can direct you to a group for hard-sided trailers as well.

Good luck and let us know what you decide!

------------------
hoping for an Ody!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I tow a 21ft bowrider to and from the lake, 3700lbs with full tanks
and supplies. My 2000 Odyssey EX did fine, my new 2002 EX is
very impressive. I've got brakes on the trailer and that coupled with the new Odysseys' disks all around make stopping very secure.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
esnoll said:
I tow a 21ft bowrider to and from the lake, 3700lbs with full tanks
and supplies. My 2000 Odyssey EX did fine, my new 2002 EX is
very impressive. I've got brakes on the trailer and that coupled with the new Odysseys' disks all around make stopping very secure.:)
Is this with a weight distributing hitch?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
We tow, a couple of times a year, a "Bigfoot" hardside trailer, about 17' long, +/- 2400 pounds or so. 2 adults and a 10-year old in the Ody. Weight distributing hitch and electric trailer brakes. Transmission cooler. No real problems noticed so far.

You'll need add-on mirrors, even for a pop-up. We got a pair which mount on the Ody mirrors with stretchy rubber straps.

You'll become very careful about driving places where the slope changes abruptly, like driveways -- the low-in-the-tail Ody gets even lower when it has a trailer to pull.

The Bigfoot is a fiberglass unit; rather like a "Scamp" but just a bit bigger in several places that make a lot of difference. We bought ours used; not sure if they're still being made new or not (manufacturer is in BC, Canada). Ours could sleep 5, but with just 3 it is easier to get around inside!

One thing to think about is that as those kids grow up, they'll begin to push the passenger weight of the Ody upwards. When you look at the chart in the Owner's manual for the combined weight capacity of Ody (passengers and gear) and trailer, plan for the future -- think in terms of lighter weight trailer, rather than heavier.

Have Fun!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Sylvain,
No, I don't use a weight distributing device, just
the factory receiver hitch. The tongue weight on
boats is much lighter than on conventional trailers and a WD hitch would cause trailer sway.
I can lift the tongue with some effort, so it must
be less than 200lbs. One thing I have noticed (I
haven't had a chance to verify though) is that the
redesigned suspension, while smoothing out the ride some, does seem to sag a bit compared with my
2000 model. All in all, quite an impressive tow
vehicle. I may try a pop-up camper this summer,
although many do not have brakes. I am a big believer in trailer brakes. -Eric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Question for esnoll.

Have you towed with the 02 enough to compare the 5sp transmission with the 4sp? I'm particularly interested in whether the 5sp stays in 4th more of the time rather than constantly shifting between 4th and 5th.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
fcatwo,
No, I haven't logged many miles towing with the '02 yet. I do, however, intend on towing in D3,
just as I did in the '00. The general rule of thumb is: drive in top gear, unless the transmission hunts. If the tranny hunts, then select the next lower gear. First gear is noticeably lower which, combined with the increase in torque, makes towing less of an effort than before. Top gear is taller, however, so I have no
illusions of traveling in D4 with the new one. Note that the transmission selector has not been changed, it still only reads to D4 even though there is now a fifth gear. Actually, I believe it
is not really a fifth gear as much as a split 2nd
gear. Upshifts are at one ratio, downshifts are at another ratio. Quite effective and other manufacturers are doing the same. I also like the
wider tires on the new one. 225-60-16 vs. 215-65-16. By the way, the new Accord coming out this Sept. is getting the 3.5 240hp engine. Weighing in 1000lbs lighter than the Odyssey, it should be a real rocket! Base engine will be a 2.4 180hp. Regards - Eric
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Thanks for the info Eric.

You mentioned towing in 3rd gear. I plotted the 5sp gear ratios against the 4sp and found that 3rd in the 5sp is about 10-12% lower than 3rd in the 4sp. Here are the specs:

Four Speed Five Speed
Final drive 3.941 4.2

1st gear 2.534 2.563
2nd 1.502 1.552
3rd 0.947 1.021
4th 0.608 0.727
5th 0.520

Fourth gear in the 5sp would be great for flatland towing if Honda had given us control of it. We'll be towing a Trailmanor hard side pop-up that weighs about 2,500 lbs dry and should go around 3,000 when loaded. I guess I'll spin along in 3rd most of the time like you plan to do.

Frank
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
My previous post

I had the 4sp vs 5sp specs carefully aligned in three columns when I sent it in but the system jammed everything to the left margin. Anyone interested can sort it out.

Frank
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
We tow a Coleman pop-up tent trailer with a GVW of 2300 pounds and TW or 260 pounds with a 2001 Ody Ex. The trailer is great for our family of 5 (oldest is a teen). Like one of the contributors suggested, you must plan for the future as your kids will get bigger so keep the trailer to a minimum. The Ody has done well with one major exception - that is the sagging rear end with the trailer and loaded van. I have a Drawtite after market hitch that is bulky and bottoms out regularly. I am now considering replacing the hitch and adding some form of air shocks. If anyone has any suggestions with this I would love to hear from you.

Thanks,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
What's needed to tow a boat?

I'm looking at the possibility of getting a boat to tow behind my (okay, so my wife's) 2000 Odyssey EX. However before I go and do anything foolish, this time I'm trying to find out what I need to do ahead of time so I don't kill her van. Currently the van is just the stock EX model off the dealer lot with no other extras, so we're really starting from scratch here. As for the boat, I've been told we're looking at about 2600 lbs when loaded with food, gas, drinks, supplies, etc. I live in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, so summers are mild compared to the rest of the US, and there is usually a good-sized lake nearby so travel distances will generally be short. I don't believe the trailer has breaks (ouch!), so that may be something else to consider.

From what I've read, my basic requirements are (1) transmission cooler, (2) power steering cooler, and (3) the hitch. Not being very mechanically inclined, I was thinking about having my dealer take care of these for me, but that's where some of my questions come in.
1. Is the standard towing package from the dealership sufficient for my needs or would going to a Draw-Tite or other 3rd party package be better for the hitch? How about noticeably cheaper?
2. Is the dealer hitch a low-riding hitch that's going to scrape all the time? Should I be prepared to beef up my shocks?
3. According to esnoll's post earlier (thanks!), he's able to tow fine without a weight distributing device. That being the case, at what point would one be useful?
4. Am I really going to have as many problems lifting out of the water as people say I am? The kids are too small to sit on the front end and give it weight, and I've been married long enough to know not to infer that my wife could help in that situation.

Thanks for any tips you can give. The decision whether or not to get the boat is really nagging at us will determine whether or not we should be making vacation plans this summer. We'd also like to make our decision before the snow starts falling again, which could be any day now up here.

-Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Towing et al...

Frank and Molly,
Get yourself some air bags. Ones for the Odyssey are made by Air Lift corporation. They are available at your local auto parts store or over the internet. Check out their site at www.airliftcompany.com. For occasional use, you can pump them up yourself. For more frequent use, you can get the on board compressor.

TConway,
The hitch package from Honda is top quality and if a warranty issue would arise you're covered. You can get a quality install for a lot less money at your local U-haul dealership, however. Pulling out at the ramp depends on the steepness of the ramp and how slippery it is. In the few years I've been pulling my 3700lb load up local ramps I've only spun the wheels once. My wife forgot to raise the outdrive before pulling out. The skeg
dug into the ramp and even the TCS couldn't help out with that little blunder. No harm, no foul!
Just experiment. It may make you feel better to have a friend with a full size pickup and a tow strap standing by.

Good Luck Guys, Eric :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Links to my camping photos

We took our "new" used 1999 Trail Lite Bantam 17' trailer for a test run last weekend before heading to the Maritime provinces in July. Dry trailer and tongue weights are about 2000 lbs & 140 lbs, respectively, but we had enough loaded ahead of the wheels that it felt more like 200 lbs + when I tried to lift it. Electric brakes are standard, but we don't use a weight distributing hitch. Except when we go over big bumps or railway tracks, I can't even tell the trailer's back there!

A sampling of pictures can be found here. Sorry I don't have any of it hitched up - maybe after our long trip.


Mike

P.S. The problem with the link has been fixed.

:dammit:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Tom,
I have never towed with the Odyssey, but I have towed boats before and do plan on towing with the Ody some day. As far as your questions go, my opinions are:
1). Yes - factory should be O.K., but I'd go aftermarket with a Hidden Hitch and tranny cooler - it'll save you $$. (I personally don't have much use for the PS cooler, but that's open for debate)
2) Any hitch could scrape in this vehicle if you load down the back end with a heavy tongue weight trailer and a load of "stuff" you're taking to your destination. The weight of the boat isn't so much a factor as the tongue weight. On many trailers this is adjustable by moving the boat back. Too little, and your trailer sways back and forth. Too much and the a$$ end of your van rides real low. Make sure your dealer sets it up right.
3) I'm not sure on this one. You should be fine as long as the tongue weight is set properly.
4) Lift out is going to be a factor of tongue weight, gross weight of the boat, motor, trailer, as well as ramp incline, surface, etc. I don't know what kind of boat your buying but if it's not aluminum, it should be. A lighter boat means less horsepower needed to push it, and a lighter combined weight for your rig. Good quality aluminum boats (Alumicraft, Crestliner, MirrowCraft, Lund) ride as nice as glass and offer huge weight savings when engine size is factored in.

Maybe a little less boat and your worries decrease proportionately. Good luck.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top