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· Registered
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to see what thoughts are on towing with a Honda Odyssey.

Tracking that the user manual states that all models can tow up to 3500 Lbs, though this depends on the occupancy of the cabin. 3500 includes two persons of 150LBs and 17.6Lbs each in the cargo area.

I've got some children and looking to purchase a light travels trailer similar to an older Lance 1575.

In preparing for towing, I bought some items which advertised to be for a 2020 Honda Odyssey:
1. Transmission Cooler
2. Power Steering Fluid Cooler

I received the parts and removed the front bumper, there are no obvious areas where I can install either. On further analysis it appears that the van does not have the ability to install these items. Is this true?

· Registered
838 Posts
Hopefully you can return these, because you don't need a power steering or transmission cooler.

The power steering is electric and there is no fluid.

The van is rated for it's towing capacity without any modifications. I believe others have looked into this, and there is no way to add an external transmission cooler. If you could add one, it might actually do more harm than good. Modern transmissions are designed to operate in a tight temperature window, which is regulated by the vehicle's coolant system. Any additional coolers might result in the transmission not operating at the correct temperature.

· Premium Member
8,901 Posts
Below is the type of coolant-to-ATF heat exchanger Honda uses on that 10-spd A/T. The Odyssey uses one similar to these mounted to the Civic and Fit CVT's.

This example actually has a custom machined and O-ringed sandwich plate to allow ATF flow to a cooler (note the hoses that don't yet have clamps on them). This would fall into the "way more trouble than it's worth" department, just to add to what @bandit400 said.
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Most older spec'd ATF's need about 100°F to break that "knee in the curve" for fluid pumping power loss. So far, I don't think any of us have figured out what that would be for these newer A/T's, but I can't believe it'd be any cooler if the transmission has this type of heat exchanger.


· Registered
2019 Odyssey EX
171 Posts
Welcome to the forum!

As mentioned by others, transmission coolers and PS coolers are not required (or recommended) for a 5th gen Odyssey.

A Lance 1575 is a lot of trailer for an Odyssey. It is not just the weight - also the aerodynamics. A 2,700 lb popup (low) trailer? Totally doable with the right setup. A 2,700 lb travel (high) trailer? That will be a tougher pull due to wind resistance, plus it will get blown around on the highway.

Is this your first time towing?

Figure out actual ltrailer weights (both axle and tongue), not advertised (empty) weights - they typically do not include any options (AC, water heater, etc) or propane or battery on the tongue.

You will want a trailer brake controller - consider the Redarc Liberty
You will want a weight distributing hitch with sway control - consider the Andersen Hitch
You will want a HD receiver that is rated for weight distribution - normally I would recommend one of the "hidden" receivers but in this case I'd consider the Draw-Tite 76171
You will want a suspension upgrade to limit rear sag - consider Timbrens
You will want to remove as much weight from the rear of the van as possible - consider removing the 3rd row seats (will save you ~150 lbs of payload)

I tow a lot with my Odyssey (about 1/3rd of my total mileage) so feel free to ask any additional questions.
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