Last post on Oct 24, 2013 at 11:57 AM
You are in the Honda Odyssey
What is this discussion about?
Honda Odyssey, Towing, Van
#113 of 130 Can my odyssey handle the weight?
Dec 29, 2011 (12:56 pm)
I have a 2007 Honda Odyssey EX, with no towing package on it at this time. I plan to be towing some ATV's that we just purchased on various trip lengths of one hour on flat ground to 4-5 hours on hilly terraine. Wtih the ATV's and trailer, the combined weight will be around 3000lbs, and we will have two adults and 3 children in the van with luggage as well...probably around 650lbs of weight in the vehicle. Before I invest in a towing package for this vehicle, do you think it my odyssey can handle this workload without having major engine problems?
#114 of 130 One-time towing?
Jan 24, 2012 (8:31 am)
I have a 2006 without the tow package. We are moving and I would like to install a hitch to pull a
small trailer only once to our new place, to carry items we will need until the movers deliver our stuff. After that I would use the hitch only for a bicycle rack. Anyone think I'll be ok with just a hitch and no tranny cooler?
#115 of 130 Re: Can my odyssey handle the weight? [tnkhoury]
Jan 24, 2012 (9:09 am)
First, sorry for the delayed response.
Your engine will be worked but should not be a concern much there. It is the transmission that you should be more concerned with. It will be at the limit of the capacity for sure, but i tow nearly that amount with our little camper and three kids and the Odyssey does fine with it. Uphill climbs are a lot longer and more challenging than without anything behind you, but slow and steady wins the race here. I like to try and get a little extra momentum going downhill to aid in the next uphill when possible.
A few things you should definitely have with that much weight behind you:
- a trailer with brakes that are connected to your braking
- upgraded transmission cooler (required if any part is still under warranty and you are concerned about using said warranty)
- load distributing hitch with anti-sway bars. I have the Equal-i-zer hitch. There are others, but this one works nice for me. I barely feel anything when passed by a semi. Of course wind gusts are a little more evident than not towing, but not as bad as they would be. I think it does a real good job.
- upgraded power steering cooler is recommended. I have one, but not sure it is completely necessary.
#116 of 130 Re: One-time towing? [rmeronemo]
Jan 24, 2012 (9:22 am)
It really depends on how much you are planning on towing and where.
With a 2006, I would guess that your warranty is pretty much done, so you do not have to worry about nullifying that (Honda requires a tranny cooler when a hitch is present or the warranty is voided). If you are only looking at the amount of material that I would consider typical luggage for an extended trip (you must include the weight of the trailer too mind you), then you may be okay. I am by no means a transmission expert, but do have some mechanical inclination. Bikes for sure you don't need one for, but if your weight is getting up into the 1000+lb range with the trailer weight and supplies, you may start to consider one. It is not worth losing the transmission over for sure. The total towing capacity is 3500 lb for the Ody, which includes passengers (driver excluded), luggage, trailer, hitch, and trailer load. So you must consider all of that.
Think of it this way...The Ody seats 7 passengers (excluding driver). At an average weight of 150 lb, that is 1050 lb, throw in luggage at say 50lb per person you are at 1400 lb. That would be standard operation for the van on a trip with a large family. You would not use a transmission cooler for that without towing anything, so that may be a guide. These are just some numbers I threw out there.
Considering that, plus the trip length, and geography (flat, hilly, mountainous), perhaps you can make a judgement call for your situation.
#117 of 130 Weight distributing hitch?
Sep 04, 2012 (9:45 am)
#118 of 130 Weight distributing hitch?
Sep 04, 2012 (9:48 am)
I have the full tow kit on my 06 Odyssee. I use it to tow a pop-up camper. Every thing seems ok, except that it makes my van squat badly. So badly that the front wheels sometimes have trouble getting traction on gravel.
How much real difference would a weight disti uting hitch make?
#119 of 130 Re: Weight distributing hitch? [jmarsch]
Sep 05, 2012 (6:37 am)
A weight distributing hitch, if set up correctly, would make quite a bit of difference, IMHO. First off, if you are driving where your front wheels lose traction, that would seem unsafe, and it could cause an accident. The weight distributing hitch will take some of the load and push it back through the frame allowing the tow vehicle to equalize.
Imagine that you put a lot of weight on the very back of your camper. This would push down the back of the camper thus pushing up the tongue. This, in turn, lifts the back end of the tow vehicle which puts more weight on the front end of the TV pushing it down (i.e. weight distribution)...thus giving more traction to your front (pull) tires. This is what the WD Hitch does. It lifts the tongue and back of the TV allowing the weight to distribute throughout the entire package (TV and camper).
I use the Equal-I-zer. Equalizer Website There are others that are just as good though, I just like this one. It also is an anti-sway. For all WD hitches, there is some adjusting that needs done initially and a small learning curve to set them up each time, but pretty straight forward.
Hope that helps.
#120 of 130 Re: Weight distributing hitch? [steelhedr]
Oct 12, 2012 (5:08 am)
Just read a message you posted regarding towing.
We were wondering what you tow on your Odyssey? We have a 2010 and had a tow ball attached thinking that it would be more than capable of towing our little pop up caravan that weighs in at 1200kg / 2650lbs...but when we checked out it's specs we accepted that our Holden sedan was going to have to be the camping car, as we didn't want to take the risk with the Honda!
We are now considering upgrading our suspension to help with the load, so that we can use the Honda, but it doesn't like you did that. Are towing a reasonable size caravan/camper?
Any more advice for someone who would really like to use their Odyssey a lot more!!
Thanks for your time.
#121 of 130 Re: Weight distributing hitch? [ramahan]
Oct 12, 2012 (7:46 am)
I'm not sure what the capacity for the 2010 is (is that a different model year?). My camper weighs 1950LBS according to the coachmen site. Suspension is the biggest problem -- it squats badly, and that can cause traction problems going uphill on gravel (no weight on the front wheels). On the highway it does fine -- at 65mph, I get 14-16mpg. It noticeably increases stopping distance, so leave plenty of space.
One other thing -- you mentioned the hitch ball, but do you have the heavy transmission and power steering coolers (they are add-ons)? I wouldn't try towing without those, from what I've read, the transmission really won't tolerate towing without the heavy cooler.
#122 of 130 Re: Weight distributing hitch? [ramahan]
Nov 05, 2012 (11:15 am)
I tow a TrailManor Bifold Camper. It is about 2600 lb I think. The rating for my Ody is about 3400 total i believe (gear, people, tow). Our kids do not weigh too much, yet. So we can use it fine for a while. jmarsch is correct about the squatting, but with a load distributing hitch you can shift that weight quite well and eliminate (or significantly reduce) the squatting. I highly recommend that. As for pulling, it does great. I did get the heavy duty coolers installed. Ody trannys are not something you want to mess with too much, so the extra cooler is certainly worth it. I get the same mileage that jmarsch does when pulling (13-16 mpg). Of course that is in the Appalachians. Probably better on flatter ground. Oh, and get the electric brakes installed. It greatly helps with the stoppage. Some states require them, like mine, but it is about safety and a must for me.
Honestly, I am very surprised with how well the Odyssey handles things with the right hitch. Very good tow vehicle. Now if I were camping year round every weekend it may be a bit much for wear. Unfortunately, we are probably going to have to upgrade in a couple years or sooner since our family has added a couple more additions, and with them growing larger, that adds weight. That is a good thing though. So a bigger camper, and a bigger TV?$?$?$ IMHO, there just is no other minivan, so we will keep it for day trips, etc.