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Old 10-27-2009, 07:56 AM   #1
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1960 24' Tradewind
St. Albans , Vermont
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Tow vehicle for vintage Tradewind

I have to sell my Honda Odyssey to get a TV to tow my 1960 Tradewind. However I have to replace it with an SUV since I belong to a high school car pool schedule (no school bus for outlying towns). It has to get reasonable gas mileage since this will be a well used car. The 1960 Tradewind weighs approximately 3400 pounds so I feel like I should have more options than a gas guzzling Suburban. Have anyone of you towed with something smaller? The Chevy Traverse has a tow rating of 5200 pounds and gets good gas mileage...would this be a good choice? We will not be towing a lot since we both work and don't get a ton of time off, but we absolutely want to be safe!! What do you do when you need the TV 48 weeks of the year to be a commuter vehicle and the rest to be a true TV? Or do we keep the Odyssey and add a "beater" tow vehicle to use? Any help will be appreciated!

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Old 10-27-2009, 08:10 AM   #2
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Don't be super quick on the trigger to get rid of your Odyssesy. There are members here who pull heavier Airstreams with an Odyssey. Properly set-up, you may be OK. Do Your research.


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Old 10-27-2009, 08:24 AM   #3
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1960 24' Tradewind
St. Albans , Vermont
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Thanks moosetags! The towing capacity (if I added the tow package etc. to my base model) for a 2006 Odyssey is 3500 pounds. Since my Tradewinds dry weight is 3400 pounds, I would be nervous about towing it.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:12 AM   #4
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I tow my 1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre with my 2005 Odyssey. It tows VERY well, with plenty of stability and braking capability.

Part of the reason why the Odyssey is limited to a 3500 lb towing capacity is because of the hassles of getting a hitch that is reinforced enough to handle the tongue weight of heavier trailers. Having to span the wide third row seat well makes this a bit difficult. Also, there really isn't any motivation for Honda to spend the money to go through the validation testing to give the Odyssey a higher tow rating, since other minivans tow the same or very little more. In other words, there is more to tow ratings than perceptions of stability (keep in mind that our vans have a very long wheelbase, stability control, and a short rear overhang).

My Odyssey was set-up at CanAm RV ( up in London Ontario. They reinforced the hitch and set-up the weight distribution and anti-sway. They've done this on hundreds of Odysseys, and many owners tow much heavier trailers than my Minuet and your Tradewind. I would strongly recommend contacting them and making the trip - it was well worth it.

Note that you absolutely will need transmission and power steering coolers and a brake controller, but you probably knew that.

Do I wish I had some more power on Vermont hills (all of the trips we've taken with the Minuet have been in Vermont)? Yeah - but I can maintain the speed limit, and I average 14-16 mpg. (Heck, the van has 255hp anyway, and this isn't a high-rev, no-torque V6.) Having the comfort and utility of the minivan far outweigh that one and only complaint with the set-up.

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Old 10-27-2009, 10:26 AM   #5
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The only problem we had when towing our 1977 Argosy 24 (similar to your Tradewind, but heavier) with a 2003 Honda Pilot (similar to the Odyssey) was that the short 102" wheelbase of the Pilot could not control the Argosy well enough in crosswinds or emergency maneuvers. We were using a Reese Strait-Line with dual cam sway control.

The longer wheelbase of the Odyssey may correct this problem, but if not, a Hensley or Pro-Pride hitch will be needed. As mutcht indicated, Can-Am RV in London Ontario is best equipped to consult on this issue.

Power-wise, we were satisfied with the hp and torque of the Pilot, and it was a much nicer daily driver than a pickup truck or full-size SUV.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:10 PM   #6
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Talking Here is what we use.

I have a 07 Ford Explorer Sportrac 4 door with the 4.6 liter motor. It has a towing suspension, heavy hitch, etc. and 18 inch rims. I have used this vehicle to tow our 68 Tradewind which I beliee dry weight is 3900-4000 lbs. We have gone to the Canadian border, into the Rockies and across the flat lands without any problem at this point, The Sport Trac is longer than the regular Explorer. Daily driving will average 17 - 20 stopping and going. Driving down the road we can get 24-25. towing of course goes from 10- to 17 depending on how many hills, etc. This is small but so far works well for us. It is the daily driver for my wife to and from her work which is 30 miles from us. The engine has 3 valves per cylinder and has lots of power to tow with. If I am not careful it likes to go 70-75 with ease, will slow down going up pretty good grades, but over all my wife and I like it very much.

There have been many posts on the forums and everyone has pros and cons for any vehicle. It seems as though your personal preference and towing speed is what matters most of the time. Good luck deciding on your new vehicle if that is what you do. It will be interesting to me if you make a post if you do or do not change vehicle.

Have a great day! Life is good, especially if you are traveling and or enjoy staying at home.
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:19 PM   #7
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London Ontario is a 10 hour trip for me, but I heard CanAmRV has a great reputation in setting up tow vehicles. However since my Odyssey has well over 120,000 miles I am not sure it would justify the trip... The Ford Explorer Sportrac won't seat 6 people so that is out... I am surprised that a lot of the midsized SUVs have such low tow capacities...they are clearly not catering to the trailering crowd!
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:55 PM   #8
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What about an Astro Van. I sold a 64 Overlander to a dealer from KS. Picked up my Overlander in NM. Says he tows with it all the time.
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:03 PM   #9
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Have you looked at the Ford Flex?
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:45 PM   #10
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Why not go "old school"?
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:45 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 2vets View Post
However since my Odyssey has well over 120,000 miles I am not sure it would justify the trip...
Your Oddy is just broken in. Our Nissan Mini Van had 170,000 miles on it when we started to tow our 4,500lb., 23' Safari. Worked great for 3 years towing that Airstream. The vehicle went on to over 260,000 miles and still had a problem free transmission.

It was reported in an earlier post that Can Am had set up over 200 Oddys for towing.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:32 AM   #12
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CanAm has said good things about towing with both the Flex (which could only be better with the now-available Ecoboost turbocharged engine) and the GM Lambda SUVs (Traverse, Enclave, Outlook, Acadia.) Both are comfortable and enjoyable to drive (I've driven them, but haven't towed with all of them) - but they don't have the interior volume of the Odyssey.

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Old 10-28-2009, 09:26 AM   #13
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My wife drives a Jeep Commander with a V8 and 7 passenger seating. The Jeep handles our 5500 lb Bowrider on a tandem trailer excellent. We have owned Jeeps for several years now....I really don't see us without some type of Jeep in the family...ever.
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:59 PM   #14
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Thank you everyone for your great responses! I will keep you all in the loop on what I decide!

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