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Old 10-16-2006, 11:43 AM   #1
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Red face Odyssey Tow Vehicle

Hello all,

I am new to the forum and am contemplating purchasing a new Bambi that will be towed by my 2006 Honda Odyssey. The weight limitations are pretty close to the Honda specs and I was wondering if there is anyone out there towing a New Bambi (it weighs a bit less than the older Bambis) with one.
Any input that you can provide would be most welcome.

Thanks,

Judy
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Old 10-16-2006, 03:29 PM   #2
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Ummm.. I'd reconsider...

Judy-

Welcome to the Forums...

You can now search for "honda" and "Tow" and other search terms using search feature in blue bar above, and maybe find some discussions involving Odyssey as a tow vehicle...

According to Honda, Odyssey has max tow rating (including passengers and luggage in the van..) of 3500#.. According to Airstream, the lightest 16' Bambi's (Safari or CCD) have GWR of 3500#. Honda only permits loads that heavy with transmission and pwr steering coolers, plus WD hitch. So with you sitting in the van, you're over the limit, if the trailer is fully loaded..

Many posters here recommend not exceeding 85 to 90% of tow capacity with trailer GVWR, for a variety of reasons.. Throw in soft suspension, front drive V6 and you are not likely to find other folks doing what you planned. There are a number using Sequoia Pickups to tow Bambi's, but they have stronger frame and rear wheel drive and higher tow capacity...

FWIW, an older Bambi (narrower..) is lighter, and so you might make it work with Vintage Bambi or Caravel from 1970's or earlier...

John McG
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Old 10-16-2006, 04:25 PM   #3
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Ditto John's comments......
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Old 10-16-2006, 04:38 PM   #4
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Hello Judy -- and welcome to the Forums!

Honda's website, Edmunds & Kelley Blue Book do not list the GVWR or payload. Curb weight of this tow vehicle (4384# to 4678#) plus the payload (a.k.a. load capacity) equals GVWR. Your owners manual should have the proper numbers. Within that payload you must be able to fit all of the following: weight of passengers, weight of other luggage in tow vehicle, added hitch receiver equipment plus the tongue weight. This is relatively true even with the mandatory weight distributing hitches. Airstream's website lists the tongue weight of an empty 16-footer at 390-430 pounds. The same number for 19 foot models are 480-510 pounds. Real life loading with weight distribution gear on the A-frame, propane in the cylinders, and any modest personal gear aboard the trailer would easily put the tongue weight at 150# more than at empty.

Could it tow it? Conceivably. Safely? Not likely. I believe you'd feel the vehicle was taxed to the max if you tried to tow a large pop-up camper. You'd really like to invest in an Airstream you won't change out of every time you buy a different tow vehicle -- which is a costly proposition. Look at the Airstream that fits your family and usage plans (a 16-footer has notoriously little useful load!). Then plan for the next potential tow vehicle change. This doesn't always yield handy commuting vehicles (eg, Suburbans or trucks), but you are doing right by asking. Keep at it!
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:53 PM   #5
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towing

Remember there are more facteras then just pulling power, how about down a steep hill, in wind and rain with a semi passing you. I would never wat to be in an honda with those conditions. You will need wheel base, to maintain safe control also brake power my Polaris 4 wheeler has bigger break pads then most of those cars. Good luck and be safe
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:14 PM   #6
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Pop Up/Tent Trailer would work

Judy-

Just to confirm, the Honda Motors Website does list in specs the "Towing Capacity" of 3500#, with coolers and hitch mods, but that does total does include cargo in the van, as it does with most other manufacturers...

I'd say it would be quite possible to enjoy camping with a pop-up or tent trailer, and have seen a number of them on the road behind Honda and Toyota Minivans, as well as Chrysler Minivans, so you could use the Honda for camping... Most tent trailers have lower tongue weights, lower total weights, and lower centers of gravity as well, making them easier to tow.. If you search historical threads, you'll find many owners here started with VW Campers or Tent Trailers, and many still have "interesting" memories and stories to tell from tent camping days...

Given pricing of Honda Odyssey, it's worth mentioning that in these days of still high fuel prices, you can buy an adequate Chevy Tahoe or Ford Expedition Tow Vehicle for a Bambi for about the price of tax on the Odyssey, or less than $5K.. (mid-90's, 1/2 ton models, with tow pkgs..) If you had place to park it, it would be fine reserve vehicle and pull the Bambi... ANother way to rationalize would be to buy a 2004 or 2005 model Airstream, and use the savings to buy a dedicated tow vehicle... We own Ford Excursion which earns glares from environmentalists, but only drives 4 to 10K miles/year, and always with either 7 people inside or with 6700# trailer attached to the rear... CA registration and insurance cheap on older full sise SUV's or Vans...

John McG
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Condoluminum
We own Ford Excursion which earns glares from environmentalists, but only drives 4 to 10K miles/year, and always with either 7 people inside or with 6700# trailer attached to the rear...
John -- I am a very active member of the Sierra Club and own a 3/4-ton Duramax. Go figger. I do feel it is necessary to feed life's passions. I pick my fights elsewhere and tread softly on our common earth in other ways.

With aloha,
Bob
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:44 PM   #8
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Odssey Towing Vehicle

Hi everyone

Thanks for the replys. We went to the RV Show in California yesterday and Was looking at the Bambi CCD 16' and the specifications read:UBW 2825lbs and the GVWR 3500lbs. So according to the sales person we can tow with the Odyssey. But what I would like to know is there anyone doing that. Thanks again for the reply and happy RVing. Judy
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:03 PM   #9
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hi judy and welcome to the forums and potentially to airstreamn'

2 things...

1. sales people sell things. they often do not understand towing specifications or mis interpret them.
2. the honda minivan will be OVER capacity towing a new bambi.

so back to #1 use the search feature and search for honda...

you will find a few posts from people towing with hondas...

specifically the ridgeline...see toasty's dad and his experience.

i think he is statified with his combo but the ridge line is based on the beefier suv fwd platform...a step up from the minivan

next search odyssey here and see how many hits and what they contain.

not many or anyone towing that posts here with your minivan.

on 2 point 2....

the 3500lb rating for the honda is basically with it EMPTY...
contact a honda dealer and ask them for better details
but that 3500lb capacity goes DOWN
when the family, dog, trikes and lawn chairs are loaded into the minivan...

you can likely tow the ccd,
but i wouldn't want to do that in traffic, down hill, around curves, uphill, is foul weather, anywhere near a semi, at night, or with a blowout....and so on.

the bambis are cute and loads of fun. towing with less than an adequate t.v. is not.

the sales person was only technically correct. mostly the answer was misleading...

why not ask him/her IF THEY HAVE TOWED with your minivan?

or here is an idea...

call the salesperson and ask them for the name/contact info, of ONE customer towing with your minivan....

again welcome here and get a bigger horse!

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:12 PM   #10
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Judy,

I have towed my 2001 19ft Bambi with a 2000 Odyssey, putting over 30,000 miles with the combo over five years. See the old picture on www.mswartz.com , which I have not yet updated. Last year I purchased a Honda Ridgeline to replace the Odyssey for towing.

Based on this extensive experience, I would urge you not to tow the Bambi with the Odyssey for many of the reasons listed on this thread.

Marshall
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:13 PM   #11
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Judy,

mswartz used an Odyssey to tow a 19' bambi. do a search on his postings and you might find out his experiences with this Honda.
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:28 PM   #12
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hi marshall!

forgot you used the minivan before the ridgeline...

hows your cruck holding up? pretty well i bet.

come back and post again!

cheers
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:45 PM   #13
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Thanks 2air',
The '06 Ridgeline has been outstanding as a tow vehicle and as a utility vehicle, but since I've been sidelined with the frame corrosion problems discussed elsewhere on this forum I haven't had the Bambi on the road since July 2005.
Marshall
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:28 PM   #14
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See the OdyClub Forums for a lot more about the Ody and towing.

The weight ratings debate is one of those I do not recommend joining unless you have full flame gear and the appropriate attitude.
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