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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to purchase a used 18' Stingray bowrider which weighs in at 2100 lbs. dry. I'm guessing the trailer is another 600 - 800 lbs??? The trailer has surge brakes. I've been scouring this forum and have come to the conclusion I am conflicted as to whether this is a good idea. My vehicle is an '05 with 69,000 miles and I have a family of four (me, my wife, two small kids). It seems I would be well under the 3500 lb max load... but I want to be safe too.

I would need to get a hitch installed. Help me understand all of this. I'm gathering i need a type III hitch with weight distribution. Correct? A local hitch company is pushing me towards Reese brand.

Please advise on all of this. Appreciate it.
 

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If you buy a hitch you will want a class/type III hitch. I'm sure a weight distribution hitch would be nice but probably not necessary. But you will also want/need a power steering fluid cooler along with an extra auto trans fluid cooler and wiring harness. If the trailer has brakes you will more than likely need a brake controller as well.

Most if not all after market hitches tend to hang lower than a factory hitch once installed. Some folks are more cosmtically minded than others (I fall into this category). The trade off is the after market hitches are less expensive. The after market fluid coolers and wiring harnesses normally are less expensive than their Honda alternatives as well. I don't think Honda offers a brake controller. I have a Prodigy in Sequoia and it performs well. After all that, depending on how low your Ody sags when hooked up to your boat/trailer you may need to fit air bags in the rear to level her back up.

I installed Honda's Class III hitch, their PS and ATF coolers for around $600-$700 with an after market wiring harness and no brake controller. Otherwise you could be North of $1,000 to buy all of Honda's components and have some else do all the work. Installing a factory hitch on these pigs is realitively straight forward as Honda provides reasonable installation instructions (mind you they do not come with the parts themselves you have to find them and print/download them seperately) with minimal tools.

FWIW I have a 19' I/O bowrider w/o trailer brakes and have never even considered pulling it with my Ody. Granted I also have a Toyota Sequoia in my inventory for towing purposes. I just don't think towing a boat of this size would be a good combination for our Odys. But to each their own. I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts and opinions, as mine is just one.
 

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Just buy a beater pickup to tow the boat. The Ody tranny is frail enough without towing :D

You need to factor fuel,gear.ice etc when you calculate the weight for the boat also.
 

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I've owned a boat before as well (18'), and i've never needed a load dist hitch. I think it all depends on how long you're travelling with the boat? A short jaunt to the launch, or going on a week long trip driving 4 hours at a time in various terrains. a tranny cooler is a must and also remember, the boat will never be at dry weight - the fuel, a kicker engine maybe, all the crap inside the boat as well (negligible i know). Rear air bags are great as well (I used them for drag racing), but again, for short little burns down to the water, let the rear end sag a little. to coin a phrase, the two best times about a boat are when you first buy it, and then sell it.....need more info please......
 

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Ho about this? haha... He was next to me at Dana Point harbor a few yrs back... Swears it tow great~

Looks like a Cabo 216... w/ hydraulic surge bakes (electronic braks aren't ver common for trailer boat use)


Looks like he flipped the ball hitch to rise... and it makes up for the suspension sag, yet keeps the trailer level... haha




My MDX before the Ody...
 

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72triple and wusthof got it right. To tow anything with an 05 Ody, you'll need the hitch and coolers for sure as well as airlifts. That guy in the photos is nuts. There's just no way he's not killing his tranny, suspension, and tires. The hitch/ball is set like mine--with a rise, because the OEM receiver will set the hitch way too low for most trailers. Other non-OEM setups appear to be even lower.

I've got an 05 ODY and a 16.5 ft V-hull--weighs about 2100 or so with trailer. During my first season with it, I ruined a set of rear tires (feathered the treads), because even less than 200 pounds of tongue-weight made the rear end sag (the car's, not mine) and messed with the camber. Adding airlifts helped, but the Ody still is not a sufficiently powerful tow-vehicle. I spent almost all the drive time in D3.

And remember, the 3,500 lbs tow limit includes the weight you're going to carry IN the Ody too.

I added a 2011 Pilot (Class III hitch and accessories come standard) to my fleet and it tows the boat with much more ease and power.

Good Luck...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the feedback so far. I'm looking to tow no more than 60 miles at a time. I'm in Michigan so we're talking pretty flat roads. No mountains. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thought I'd update this thread. Maybe it will help somebody in the future.

I went ahead and had a hitch installed and purchased an 18' Stingray 180LS bow rider. Boat weighs in at 2150 lbs. Trailer is probably another $600 lbs or so I imagine.

I had a Draw-Tite Class III installed with 5-pin wiring. My trailer has surge brakes. 5th pin connects to the reverse lights on van to deactivate brakes when going in reverse. $329 installed with wiring, riser, and 2" ball.

Boat tows absolutely fine. Frankly it seems like the Ody barely breaks a sweat. Engine stays cool with no gear shuffling on normal highways. I'm in Michigan with not really any serious climbs. With the surge brakes it's almost as if the Ody slows better than on it's own. Not really I'm sure but the point is I feel very confident driving with this set up.

To date I've not invested in extra coolers. I don't see a need to yet.
 

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Interesting timing. I was just checking in tonight to report that my 255 mile, hilly trip from central CT to northern Vermont was sooo much easier and more enjoyable with my boat hitched to my Pilot this year. While we love our ODY, it just was not cut out to be a long-haul tow vehicle.

Good luck with your Ody; it's a great vehicle. Keep an eye on the tread wear and suspension...and I'll just sit back and wait for others to chime in on the coolers. There are many threads on the need (or not) for tranny and PS coolers.
 

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Nice... Thanks for the update.

Maybe the steering cooler could be skipped at the moment, but an ATF cooler is still good insurance... but that's just my opinion.
 

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I just towed a 2,000 lb pop-up trailer with a full load in the van on a 2,800 miles trip across the Rocky Mountains and was impressed with how the Ody handles a trailer. I did install a 2007 style cooler to the trans and the Power steering cooler. These are really required for towing any load. The coolers definitely ran hot and I'm glad I stalled them. DW-1 fluid should also improve heat related performance.

I did flip the ball mount to level my trailer but did not notice excessive sag when I got the right weight distribution.

I think you'll be fine especially with average trips of 60 miles. Don't try and set any land speed records and I don't think you'll have issues.
 

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No need for additional transmission or power steering cooler unless you are in the mountains. I tow a 17' Glassmaster with camping gear, wife and 3 kids on trips in WI and have gone from Fond du Lac to Superior to Praise du Chien and the transmission topped at 205* in
90* weather.

I think the guy with the boat above could use a suspension upgrade but should be fine.
 
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