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Old 06-09-2021, 03:00 PM   #21
jcl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVSCH View Post
Don’t freak folks. I have a 2019 22’ Sport (Bambi) that I pull with a Honda Pilot. The Odyssey, Pilot, and Ridgeline all have the same towing specs surprisingly. His picture appears to be the 16’ Sport, which is much lighter than my 22’. For added safety on my end I did opt for the all-wheel Pilot and had them throw in a transmission cooler. It pulls my Sport like it’s not even there. Relax, breath, he’s OK.
It may vary with year of production, but when I looked at the ratings some time back, the three Honda vehicles built on the same platform, with the same powertrain, had different tow ratings. For the Odyssey, Honda spec'd a 3500 lb hitch, while they put a 5000 lb hitch on the Ridgeline. That was likely a marketing department decision, as lighter hitches are cheaper to source, and they likely didn't see the tow rating as a market differentiator, eg nobody really cared. There are lots of options to install a stronger hitch on the Odyssey so as to allow an owner to safely and comfortably take advantage of the built in capabilities of the vehicle.

That is, unless one is fixed on the notion of a hitch receiver rating being an absolute maximum capacity indicator for a vehicle platform.

Let's be clear that strengthening the hitch doesn't change the vehicle factory tow rating. It is just that the factory tow rating is in many cases irrelevant, as long as one is respecting actual engineering ratings (like axle weight ratings, and tire weight ratings).
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Old 06-09-2021, 03:16 PM   #22
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JCL - thank you for sharing the 2012 thread on towing big trailers with Honda
Mini-van.

I am basing my astonishment not on the experienced OP, who has towed big rigs, but the person who he saw towing the 34’ AND some of the comments in that 2012 thread.

I have only been towing AS’s since 2017. In that time I have never seen a mini-van tow a triple axle 34’ on the road, or the hundreds of TV/AS combinations at the various Regional, local and International Rally in 2019 we have attended.

We talked about “voice of the data” a lot at Honeywell after we completed Six Sigma training and that “voice” is telling me there is probably a lot, or all of the max weights exceeded by the Odyssey & 34’!

GCVWR
GAWR-Rear
Payload - 9,000 lb trailer with 15% on the tongue is 1,350 lbs
Tow Rating of 5,000 lbs for an Odyssey - most 34’ AS are at 9,000 lbs or more

2012 thread:
1. one of the comments addressed the potential for a very interesting discussion with the police and insurance companies if involved in any accident while towing a heavy trailer with a mini-van!
2. CANAM added to the thread stating that a properly set up min-van can safely tow these large trailers.

I have seen a Tundra fully loaded bed with topper & three people in the back seat towing a 20+’ AS “ pointing to the sky” with a tremendous squat and bulging rear tire sidewalls. Not sure if everyone thinks that is safe, but as I have mentioned before the driver of this Tundra informed me towing felt fine (as long as he did not drive at night)!

For a chuckle - My F250, affectionately called “Indie”, will take offense at this comment, but here goes - Reading comments & recommendations for towing big trailers with mini-vans encourages me to rig my very dependable, reliable and beloved 2.5L Camry with great gas mileage as an every day driver AND tow my 26’ on our upcoming coast to coast trip along with two Caravans (UP/MI & Ozarks), one in Sep & one in Oct. I would probably put a Hensley hitch on it and a roof rack on the Camry and a bike rack on the front bumper and then brag about my towing MPG and the around town MPG approaching 30 MPG!
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Old 06-09-2021, 03:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVSCH View Post
Don’t freak folks. I have a 2019 22’ Sport (Bambi) that I pull with a Honda Pilot. The Odyssey, Pilot, and Ridgeline all have the same towing specs surprisingly. His picture appears to be the 16’ Sport, which is much lighter than my 22’. For added safety on my end I did opt for the all-wheel Pilot and had them throw in a transmission cooler. It pulls my Sport like it’s not even there. Relax, breath, he’s OK.
And I have a 25' FB Safari that I tow with an Acura MDX (Pilot, Ridgeline, Odyssey, MDX all share the same platform). Looking forward to the 2022 MDX Type S
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Old 06-09-2021, 05:05 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by superChop View Post
JCL - thank you for sharing the 2012 thread on towing big trailers with Honda
Mini-van.

I am basing my astonishment not on the experienced OP, who has towed big rigs, but the person who he saw towing the 34’ AND some of the comments in that 2012 thread.

I have only been towing AS’s since 2017. In that time I have never seen a mini-van tow a triple axle 34’ on the road, or the hundreds of TV/AS combinations at the various Regional, local and International Rally in 2019 we have attended.

We talked about “voice of the data” a lot at Honeywell after we completed Six Sigma training and that “voice” is telling me there is probably a lot, or all of the max weights exceeded by the Odyssey & 34’!

GCVWR
GAWR-Rear
Payload - 9,000 lb trailer with 15% on the tongue is 1,350 lbs
Tow Rating of 5,000 lbs for an Odyssey - most 34’ AS are at 9,000 lbs or more

2012 thread:
1. one of the comments addressed the potential for a very interesting discussion with the police and insurance companies if involved in any accident while towing a heavy trailer with a mini-van!
2. CANAM added to the thread stating that a properly set up min-van can safely tow these large trailers.

I have seen a Tundra fully loaded bed with topper & three people in the back seat towing a 20+’ AS “ pointing to the sky” with a tremendous squat and bulging rear tire sidewalls. Not sure if everyone thinks that is safe, but as I have mentioned before the driver of this Tundra informed me towing felt fine (as long as he did not drive at night)!

For a chuckle - My F250, affectionately called “Indie”, will take offense at this comment, but here goes - Reading comments & recommendations for towing big trailers with mini-vans encourages me to rig my very dependable, reliable and beloved 2.5L Camry with great gas mileage as an every day driver AND tow my 26’ on our upcoming coast to coast trip along with two Caravans (UP/MI & Ozarks), one in Sep & one in Oct. I would probably put a Hensley hitch on it and a roof rack on the Camry and a bike rack on the front bumper and then brag about my towing MPG and the around town MPG approaching 30 MPG!
It has been a while, but I taught process improvement courses, and we used Six Sigma, Lean, Ben Graham, and many others at different times.

In terms of "voice of the data" we should qualify what is data, and what is more a recommendation. Not all weight ratings are created equal. That sounds like George Orwell when I read it.

Tire and axle weight ratings are governed by federal regulations. Manufacturers must establish them, using defined procedures, and must post them on the vehicle on a federally prescribed label. While going over them doesn't mean one is immediately doomed, I think it is a really good idea to follow them. I don't ignore, or use up the manufacturer's safety margin, on these.

GCWR is governed by commercial vehicle licensing and regulation agencies. It matters if you are doing commercial service, and it is used to determine which operator's license you need (eg a CDL), what vehicle license and registration you need, what taxes you pay, and so on. Manufacturers are not required to establish a GCWR all the time. They do it for vehicles that may be used in commercial service, like trucks. The regulations actually say that if the tow vehicle doesn't have a GCWR, then the operator must add together the published GVWR of the tow vehicle, and the GVWR of their hitched trailer, and that is their legal GCWR. In other words, it can be self selected. Want a higher one? Just buy a bigger trailer. It is obviously not a safety standard in and of itself. That doesn't mean it doesn't have value, but I would suggest it is a starting point in the discussion, not a final answer.

Your 15% tongue example is very valid (if one chooses to put 15% on the tongue, and a tri axle is reputed to tow very well, so I think it would be unlikely) for determining the strength requirement for the receiver. It doesn't equate to axle loads (as it isn't applied at the axle) and it has even less relevance to axle loads when WD equipment is utilized and set up correctly.

The tow rating is what it is. It describes what the TV manufacturer has tested the vehicle to, using a standard test protocol in some cases. That SAE test protocol (it is optional, not mandatory) does not lead to determining a maximum capability. In fact, there are holes in it that you could drive a wide body Airstream trailer through. What it does do is provide a basis for comparison between different vehicles. It is consumer information driven, more than safety driven, IMO. If it was safety driven, wouldn't they test the brakes using a real world example?

We can't know why a manufacturer decides on a specific tow rating. But we can see inconsistencies in the ratings they do provide. Like the GCWR, it is a starting point. It shouldn't be ignored, or dismissed out of hand. But in many cases, it doesn't represent a maximum vehicle capability. I think it is much more likely to represent that figure for recent model pickup trucks, which are marketed with tow ratings as a selling feature.

As to police and insurance companies, I suspect that you live in a more litigious jurisdiction that I do. I can't speak to your local conditions. But our insurance company here is a provincial monopoly, a crown corporation. They are very closely tied to our vehicle registration department. They are very clear on what is legal and what isn't. And some of the items you mention aren't legal issues. A LEO can still decide that you are operating unsafely, whether you are over or under your various ratings.

Your Camry example, while tongue in cheek, doesn't appear to consider axle loading limits. If you can put all that stuff on a Camry and still respect tire and axle weight ratings, then more power to you. CanAm use a Jaguar sedan to tow up to a 34, as well as various Chrysler 300 models, and a Ford Taurus. Those are approximately the same size and weight as the Camry, I suspect. But they meet regulated numbers for things like tire and axle loads.

I have been here for over 10 years. This very same discussion has been going on longer than that. And people continue to tow comfortably and safely with what some of us describe as very appropriate tow vehicles; what some others describe as non-traditional tow vehicles; and what still others describe as inadequate tow vehicles.

The lesson (IMO) should be that setup and operation matter more than equipment specification.

This is usually when we get a Yugo example, and a picture of a person on a bicycle towing an Airstream many decades ago. ;-)

Cheers

Jeff
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Old 06-09-2021, 05:37 PM   #25
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I have to agree with ”Let the kids have fun!” We started with a Mercury Villager and a Palomino 19’ semi pop-up. All within spec (back in ‘94), but too light for a family of four, especially on the uphill runs (V6 w/ 150 HP as I recall). Ratings nowadays are much more realistic. It was a gateway drug for us, but if it works for Moe_Wave, more power to them!
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Old 06-09-2021, 10:03 PM   #26
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I like to post about MrUKToad and his 2011 Can-AM modified Sienna towing a 28' International. You need to visit their very interesting website for all the specifics.
https://www.toadsoftowedhaul.com/

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Old 06-09-2021, 10:44 PM   #27
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Its All In The Attitude

Wow, towing with an Odessy sure worries some but mastering the rig setup was conquered long ago using a BMW Isetta.
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Old 06-09-2021, 11:20 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by jcl View Post
This is usually when we get a Yugo example, and a picture of a person on a bicycle towing an Airstream many decades ago. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeMore View Post
Wow, towing with an Odessy sure worries some but mastering the rig setup was conquered long ago using a BMW Isetta.

Close enough.
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Old 06-09-2021, 11:41 PM   #29
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Thank you, jcl, for that excellent commentary on vehicle tow capacities. I wish we could have more intelligent discussion here about towing with smaller vehicles. In Europe and Canada they have vehicles that are the same as we have, but are rated differently. Now someone might say that Europe balances their trailers differently, which is true, but Canada doesn't seem to, and that still shouldn't change the tow capacity of the vehicle. This is a topic of particular interest to me because I have a VERY light trailer, and I still have trouble finding reviews of smaller tow vehicles, which are often drowned out by the 'BUY A TRUCK' crowd.

I watched this video recently of Can Am Andy setting up a Tesla to tow and it was fascinating. I was amazed by how much time he took to get it set up just right. In this video he explains everything he does and why/how he does it. I think I would feel pretty confident in towing a trailer with a vehicle they set up.

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Old 06-10-2021, 02:04 PM   #30
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I watched this video recently of Can Am Andy setting up a Tesla to tow and it was fascinating. I was amazed by how much time he took to get it set up just right. In this video he explains everything he does and why/how he does it. I think I would feel pretty confident in towing a trailer with a vehicle they set up.
We have a 23' AS because that's the maximum we can tow, according to our 4Runner's specifications. However, after seeing the setup that Can-Am did for MrUKToad I would seriously consider going up to a 27'. Our 4Runner behaves very well with the 23' and while I'd like to have the 5.7L, the 4.7L we do have manages quite well in the mountains of KY, WV, TN and even out west. I think it could handle more, just not as fast.

With problems at home, the pandemic and all the new TTs and RVs on the road we're just going to stick with what we have and be thankful if we can get back to traveling. I would love to stay in Florida for the winter again.
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:56 PM   #31
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Andy at CanAm has been setting up mini-van combinations since 1998. Check out these highway speed runs (over 55 mph) demonstrating stability:

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Old 06-11-2021, 07:11 AM   #32
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Towing with a Honda Odyssey

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveNdebbie View Post
Welcome to the forum! I think what you’re doing is great. If you want an interesting read check out my thread called “Acura MDX Towing” under the towing and tow vehicles category. Andy Thompson and Can-Am are very knowledgeable and helpful and our vehicles share the same platform.

Steve
Hi Steve,
I have bought two Airstream trailers from Andy at Can-Am. My first AS was 1997 25’ Safari and when my wife and I viewed the trailer with Andy, he had it connected to a Ford Taurus. I was really surprised and took photos of the rig.
We test drove the car and trailer and it towed quite well. However I personally did not feel comfortable. At the time we were driving an Acura TL and Andy assured me the TL could tow the trailer. The owners manual clearly said the vehicle could not tow anything and to this day I have never seen an Acura towing a trailer.
I bought an F150 V6 Ecoboost with the Max Tow Package and it got the job done with an excellent fuel economy etc. We sold the rig as I became ill.

After I had surgery, we bought a tiny T@B 320 and we were driving a Honda Pilot AWD and it towed the tiny trailer effortlessly. We upgraded to a T@B 400 and same result.

Then last year we purchased a 2019 Airstream 23’ FBQ and Andy advised me the Pilot would tow the trailer again I did some research and the Honda was rated at 5000lbs with a transmission cooler and the GVW on the 23’ Airstream was way above that raring plus I had to consider my Tongue weight and whatever I may have loaded into the Pilot.

It would be interesting to know what the GVW of the Bambi is and what the Odyssey can tow. I would bet the Odyssey is rated at 3500lbs or maybe 5000lbs.

Having dealt with Can-Am and with Andy, I agree he is very knowledgeable and offers excellent advise. My concern is that in some cases the advise may not be really proven in real world situations. I could not imagine towing a 23’ Airstream with my Pilot in the mountains of BC or Colorado. I could however have towed the trailer around here but would have greatly exceeded the manufacture tow rating and thus voided my warranty and be liable in the event of an accident.

Regards,
Keith S.
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Old 06-11-2021, 04:37 PM   #33
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I’ll check it out.
Thanks
Wondering if you [OP] are still following along here, and whether you will be posting more details about your rig's data?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moe_Wave View Post
The Honda Odyssey is rated to pull 3500 lbs. I use a anti sway hitch. Tow package includes trans cooler. The size of the breaks on the van look big the tires are 16”.
I will dig a little deeper.
. . .
Have a good weekend all.

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Old 06-11-2021, 11:03 PM   #34
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Hi Steve,
I have bought two Airstream trailers from Andy at Can-Am. My first AS was 1997 25’ Safari and when my wife and I viewed the trailer with Andy, he had it connected to a Ford Taurus. I was really surprised and took photos of the rig.
We test drove the car and trailer and it towed quite well. However I personally did not feel comfortable. At the time we were driving an Acura TL and Andy assured me the TL could tow the trailer. The owners manual clearly said the vehicle could not tow anything and to this day I have never seen an Acura towing a trailer.
I bought an F150 V6 Ecoboost with the Max Tow Package and it got the job done with an excellent fuel economy etc. We sold the rig as I became ill.

After I had surgery, we bought a tiny T@B 320 and we were driving a Honda Pilot AWD and it towed the tiny trailer effortlessly. We upgraded to a T@B 400 and same result.

Then last year we purchased a 2019 Airstream 23’ FBQ and Andy advised me the Pilot would tow the trailer again I did some research and the Honda was rated at 5000lbs with a transmission cooler and the GVW on the 23’ Airstream was way above that raring plus I had to consider my Tongue weight and whatever I may have loaded into the Pilot.

It would be interesting to know what the GVW of the Bambi is and what the Odyssey can tow. I would bet the Odyssey is rated at 3500lbs or maybe 5000lbs.

Having dealt with Can-Am and with Andy, I agree he is very knowledgeable and offers excellent advise. My concern is that in some cases the advise may not be really proven in real world situations. I could not imagine towing a 23’ Airstream with my Pilot in the mountains of BC or Colorado. I could however have towed the trailer around here but would have greatly exceeded the manufacture tow rating and thus voided my warranty and be liable in the event of an accident.

Regards,
Keith S.

Hi Keith,
Initially I read on a forum about someone else’s experience towing a 25’ FB Safari with a second generation MDX. Their trip was a cross country trip from eastern Canada to British Columbia. Set up was done by Can Am who has done over 2000 set-ups with the Odyssey/Pilot/Ridgeline/MDX platform. Granted I am sure that the majority were not with the 25’ FB. When we were looking at a 23’ rear bed they said we would not need reinforcements but recommended it with the 25’ due to the heavy tongue weight. We bought our Airstream in Traverse City Michigan and towed it to London, Ontario before the reinforcement after Philip at CanAm assured us we would be fine. Since we wouldn’t encounter any steep grades. This was my first time ever towing a travel trailer and funny thing is that the stinger with it’s 2 inch drop was put in upside down and the trailer brakes were not set right and our MDX was doing most of the stopping itself! I remember saying to my wife “boy, it sure feels like we are being pushed down the off ramps.”

None-the-less, we made it to CanAm that day and the following day they reinforced our receiving hitch on the MDX and re-did the set-up for better weight distribution. Then Andy rode along with us on a test drive and gave me some towing and maneuvering advice as well.

Our trailer came with a Hensley Arrow hitch and I can’t say how it would tow our trailer with another hitch, but 4 years later and 12K-15K miles towing including a 6000 mile trip from Ohio to the Oregon Coast, down 101 into Northern California and back, we have had no problems with our MDX. Just routine maintenance but a little more often (fluid changes) and we are close to 150k miles. We are above the 5000 lb GVWR and the 500 lb tongue weight so those numbers may only reflect the capabilities with towing on a ball hitch or be a bit conservative. Not really sure, but our set-up works great for us.
And if your set-up works great for you and towing is comfortable, then that is all that matters. Get out and enjoy

Steve
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:16 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveNdebbie View Post
Hi Keith,
Initially I read on a forum about someone else’s experience towing a 25’ FB Safari with a second generation MDX. Their trip was a cross country trip from eastern Canada to British Columbia. Set up was done by Can Am who has done over 2000 set-ups with the Odyssey/Pilot/Ridgeline/MDX platform. Granted I am sure that the majority were not with the 25’ FB. When we were looking at a 23’ rear bed they said we would not need reinforcements but recommended it with the 25’ due to the heavy tongue weight. We bought our Airstream in Traverse City Michigan and towed it to London, Ontario before the reinforcement after Philip at CanAm assured us we would be fine. Since we wouldn’t encounter any steep grades. This was my first time ever towing a travel trailer and funny thing is that the stinger with it’s 2 inch drop was put in upside down and the trailer brakes were not set right and our MDX was doing most of the stopping itself! I remember saying to my wife “boy, it sure feels like we are being pushed down the off ramps.”

None-the-less, we made it to CanAm that day and the following day they reinforced our receiving hitch on the MDX and re-did the set-up for better weight distribution. Then Andy rode along with us on a test drive and gave me some towing and maneuvering advice as well.

Our trailer came with a Hensley Arrow hitch and I can’t say how it would tow our trailer with another hitch, but 4 years later and 12K-15K miles towing including a 6000 mile trip from Ohio to the Oregon Coast, down 101 into Northern California and back, we have had no problems with our MDX. Just routine maintenance but a little more often (fluid changes) and we are close to 150k miles. We are above the 5000 lb GVWR and the 500 lb tongue weight so those numbers may only reflect the capabilities with towing on a ball hitch or be a bit conservative. Not really sure, but our set-up works great for us.
And if your set-up works great for you and towing is comfortable, then that is all that matters. Get out and enjoy

Steve
Hi Steve,
We did consider towing the 23' FC with the Pilot but opted to get a truck again.
I really miss the Pilot as it was probably one of the best vehicles I have owned. Several years ago we had an Acura TL and I cannot say enough good things about that vehicle either. We sold the TL when we purchased the 25' Safari and bought a new F-150. Ecoboost. It had the 10,000lbs tow package and hauled the 25' Safair effortlessly over the mountains in Colorado.
In fact we passed a guy hauling a fairly large travel trailer on Wolf Creek Pass and we pulled over at the top for a break on the side of the road. He also pulled over and asked me what engine my truck had. He was pretty surprised when I told him it had a 3.5 litre V6.
Andy called me before we bought the 23' FC and assured me the Pilot could do the job. However we went back to a truck as we usually carry other items with us and so far so good.
Regards,
Keith Stamper
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