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Can a 2018 Ody Touring edition tow 3,500 for long hauls?

  • Yes, no problem factory

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, no problem with tow prep

    Votes: 2 66.7%
  • No

    Votes: 1 33.3%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 2019 Touring with factory tow package. I’m looking to tow a travel trailer/bunkhouse that would average about 3,000lbs. Any suggestions to mod for tow prep? Or would towing something that heavy would not be advised at all?

I have a family of 6 (2 adults, 2 teens, and 2 toddlers) and need leisure options. I really don’t want to buy an expensive SUV or truck to tow a small camper. But if I must...
 

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2020 Honda Odyssey EX-L, Platinum White Pearl on Mocha Brown Leather
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I would suggest installing Timbren SES bump stops. They will prevent the sag and improve handling. Under $300 it's definitely worth it in my book.
Other than that, transmission is rated to tow as is and doesn't require an external ATF cooler.
Make sure your brakes are in good condition.
 

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After years of needing an additional external cooler everything I've seen on the 10 speed indicates no need for that even at 100% of capacity. Your biggest challenge however will be the massive frontal area increase that will come from the trailer you described as well as the rear suspension sag. With all of your passengers, since Honda's towing limit of 3,500 lbs is only with a 150 lb driver, your true capacity is going to be 3,500 lbs less total weight of occupants and cargo + 150 lbs. But like I said, your bigger issue is going to be frontal area. I've towed all over the country at 500 lbs over capacity with a pop up camper, so no additional frontal area. Having towed a U-Haul at 1,800 lbs that was the same width as the van and 12-18" taller I can tell you I struggled more to pull that 1,800 lbs than I did the 3,500 lb pop up.

The bottom line answer to your poll question is "depends". Towing is so much more than just weight.
 

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After years of needing an additional external cooler everything I've seen on the 10 speed indicates no need for that even at 100% of capacity. Your biggest challenge however will be the massive frontal area increase that will come from the trailer you described as well as the rear suspension sag. With all of your passengers, since Honda's towing limit of 3,500 lbs is only with a 150 lb driver, your true capacity is going to be 3,500 lbs less total weight of occupants and cargo + 150 lbs. But like I said, your bigger issue is going to be frontal area. I've towed all over the country at 500 lbs over capacity with a pop up camper, so no additional frontal area. Having towed a U-Haul at 1,800 lbs that was the same width as the van and 12-18" taller I can tell you I struggled more to pull that 1,800 lbs than I did the 3,500 lb pop up.

The bottom line answer to your poll question is "depends". Towing is so much more than just weight.
That's why I suggested the Timbren SES. It fixed our sag considerably even fully loaded.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After years of needing an additional external cooler everything I've seen on the 10 speed indicates no need for that even at 100% of capacity. Your biggest challenge however will be the massive frontal area increase that will come from the trailer you described as well as the rear suspension sag. With all of your passengers, since Honda's towing limit of 3,500 lbs is only with a 150 lb driver, your true capacity is going to be 3,500 lbs less total weight of occupants and cargo + 150 lbs. But like I said, your bigger issue is going to be frontal area. I've towed all over the country at 500 lbs over capacity with a pop up camper, so no additional frontal area. Having towed a U-Haul at 1,800 lbs that was the same width as the van and 12-18" taller I can tell you I struggled more to pull that 1,800 lbs than I did the 3,500 lb pop up.

The bottom line answer to your poll question is "depends". Towing is so much more than just weight.
Thanks! I’m looking at something like a2020 FOREST RIVER WILDWOOD FSX 179DBK
After years of needing an additional external cooler everything I've seen on the 10 speed indicates no need for that even at 100% of capacity. Your biggest challenge however will be the massive frontal area increase that will come from the trailer you described as well as the rear suspension sag. With all of your passengers, since Honda's towing limit of 3,500 lbs is only with a 150 lb driver, your true capacity is going to be 3,500 lbs less total weight of occupants and cargo + 150 lbs. But like I said, your bigger issue is going to be frontal area. I've towed all over the country at 500 lbs over capacity with a pop up camper, so no additional frontal area. Having towed a U-Haul at 1,800 lbs that was the same width as the van and 12-18" taller I can tell you I struggled more to pull that 1,800 lbs than I did the 3,500 lb pop up.

The bottom line answer to your poll question is "depends". Towing is so much more than just weight.
I’m looking at something like this
158181
Travel trailer Product Vehicle Transport Trailer
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would suggest installing Timbren SES bump stops. They will prevent the sag and improve handling. Under $300 it's definitely worth it in my book.
Other than that, transmission is rated to tow as is and doesn't require an external ATF cooler.
Make sure your brakes are in good condition.
Do you think I would need different tires and more frequent transmission servicing? Or a weight distribution hitch?
 

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Thanks! I’m looking at something like a2020 FOREST RIVER WILDWOOD FSX 179DBK


I’m looking at something like this View attachment 158181 View attachment 158181
You are going to be SIGNIFICANTLY OVERWEIGHT with that trailer. The specs say that the unloaded vehicle weight is 3,455 lbs and the tongue weight is 502 lbs. You will end up more than 1,000 lbs over the gross combined vehicle weight rating of 8,800 lbs. I believe the Ody is more towing capable than a lot of people give it credit for, but that trailer isn't even close. Sorry. You need to stick with a trailer that weighs around 2,300 lbs empty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You are going to be SIGNIFICANTLY OVERWEIGHT with that trailer. The specs say that the unloaded vehicle weight is 3,455 lbs and the tongue weight is 502 lbs. You will end up more than 1,000 lbs over the gross combined vehicle weight rating of 8,800 lbs. I believe the Ody is more towing capable than a lot of people give it credit for, but that trailer isn't even close. Sorry. You need to stick with a trailer that ways around 2,300 lbs empty.
Ok cool, this is a good number I need to look into then. I love my Ody and don’t want to look into a SUV just yet. Maybe I can get a 4 person trailer and give the teens the option to use a tent when we set up camp. The trailer would be more of a convenience to cook and keep my toddlers in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You are going to be SIGNIFICANTLY OVERWEIGHT with that trailer. The specs say that the unloaded vehicle weight is 3,455 lbs and the tongue weight is 502 lbs. You will end up more than 1,000 lbs over the gross combined vehicle weight rating of 8,800 lbs. I believe the Ody is more towing capable than a lot of people give it credit for, but that trailer isn't even close. Sorry. You need to stick with a trailer that weighs around 2,300 lbs empty.
This is what I can find at the moment. It’s about 2,700 dry.
158191
 

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This is what I can find at the moment. It’s about 2,700 dry. View attachment 158191
Please consider spending some time on RV Itch or Pop Up Portal. They are forums with many helpful members like here, dedicated to camping, and will have people who have tried or are doing what you are thinking of doing.

Based on your reactions/responses I'm guessing you have not camped much if at all at this point? A travel trailer type of camper (tall) has one major strike against it to begin with for the Ody with the added frontal area. It's one thing to do local trips with a trailer like that, say 50 miles, and a whole other to go 500+ miles that way. The 2nd strike is over weight. I've towed my pop up all over the country living in the mid west and been to both coasts. I sure as heck wouldn't want to do it and I already exceeded the recommended weight, just wasn't taller than the van. And if you haven't camped any/at all you don't have any clue on what they stuff you'll want to take with you weighs. It adds up in a hurry. Members getting anywhere close to their max ratings often weigh literally everything that goes into either the van or the camper. I loaded up and went to a truck weigh station, which is why I know where you are headed. And I only had my wife and one child. Have you added up the weight of every one of your passengers? Keep in mind four of them are still growing. And I don't know about you, but I don't weigh 150 lbs which is the allowed driver weight for the 3,500 lb tow rating. Look, I'm not trying to spilt hairs here or be a buzz kill, but another thing you should know is the RV manufacturers are known for listing their lightweight campers under the real world weight leaving off such things as the battery and propane tank to list as low of a weight as possible. And I know I said 2,300 lbs and 2,700 lbs seems "so close", but is actually nearly 20% over the 2,300 lb number. 2,300 lbs is the absolute max IMO. And even then if it is a tall trailer you risk not being happy with how it performs. You could easily get on the road and find in nearly impossible to hold 60 mph on flat ground, or less with a head wind. A few states have speed limits for vehicles towing trailers at 55 mph which is silly IMO, and dangerous as the rest of the traffic flies by you at 70-75 mph, but 55-60 mph is no fun on a 500+ mile day. A mini van is tailor made for a pop up and I cannot recommend that enough. A 12' unit sleeps 6 fairly comfortably and tows so much easier. Take a look.
 
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In the '90s, I towed a pop up with an S-10 and a Dakota. No problem. I tried to just bring home from...oh, 300 miles an overweight 27' with a Tacoma and had to call a friend to come get it. I was going to wind up in a ditch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Please consider spending some time on RV Itch or Pop Up Portal. They are forums with many helpful members like here, dedicated to camping, and will have people who have tried or are doing what you are thinking of doing.

Based on your reactions/responses I'm guessing you have not camped much if at all at this point? A travel trailer type of camper (tall) has one major strike against it to begin with for the Ody with the added frontal area. It's one thing to do local trips with a trailer like that, say 50 miles, and a whole other to go 500+ miles that way. The 2nd strike is over weight. I've towed my pop up all over the country living in the mid west and been to both coasts. I sure as heck wouldn't want to do it and I already exceeded the recommended weight, just wasn't taller than the van. And if you haven't camped any/at all you don't have any clue on what they stuff you'll want to take with you weighs. It adds up in a hurry. Members getting anywhere close to their max ratings often weigh literally everything that goes into either the van or the camper. I loaded up and went to a truck weigh station, which is why I know where you are headed. And I only had my wife and one child. Have you added up the weight of every one of your passengers? Keep in mind four of them are still growing. And I don't know about you, but I don't weigh 150 lbs which is the allowed driver weight for the 3,500 lb tow rating. Look, I'm not trying to spilt hairs here or be a buzz kill, but another thing you should know is the RV manufacturers are known for listing their lightweight campers under the real world weight leaving off such things as the battery and propane tank to list as low of a weight as possible. And I know I said 2,300 lbs and 2,700 lbs seems "so close", but is actually nearly 20% over the 2,300 lb number. 2,300 lbs is the absolute max IMO. And even then if it is a tall trailer you risk not being happy with how it performs. You could easily get on the road and find in nearly impossible to hold 60 mph on flat ground, or less with a head wind. A few states have speed limits for vehicles towing trailers at 55 mph which is silly IMO, and dangerous as the rest of the traffic flies by you at 70-75 mph, but 55-60 mph is no fun on a 500+ mile day. A mini van is tailor made for a pop up and I cannot recommend that enough. A 12' unit sleeps 6 fairly comfortably and tows so much easier. Take a look.
I appreciate the honesty! And yes this will be my first camper. Thanks for the references this will be super helpful.
 

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JLDavis, Glad you were smart enough to ask Before doing it. Too many people overweight their vehicle and end up in a ditch (if lucky) or in a wreck. That's the real buzz kill for RVing.
Save and get a truck to tow or go a different route, in my opinion. Good luck and enjoy your family and traveling !
 

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Do you think I would need different tires and more frequent transmission servicing? Or a weight distribution hitch?
If you're towing I think most of us here would agree to change your ATF at 30K intervals. (Drain & Fill only).
 

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Personally giving the quality of Honda transmissions, I will not tow anything with the van. If you want to tow, better get a body on frame SUV / Truck. Honda Ody is more for family hauling imo, weekend kids shuttling and taking grandparents for outings, even long family road trips.
 

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Personally giving the quality of Honda transmissions, I will not tow anything with the van. If you want to tow, better get a body on frame SUV / Truck. Honda Ody is more for family hauling imo, weekend kids shuttling and taking grandparents for outings, even long family road trips.
Judging from your join date back in 2001 your reaction is understandable, however the transmissions since 2007 are easily up to the task. In fact the Pilot gets a minimum of 4,500 lbs (properly equipped) since 2007 and since 2018 5,000 lbs with the same transmission(s) offered in the Odyssey. There are more concerning issues than the transmission if one is considering exceeding the rating.
 
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