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Old 03-17-2015, 09:18 PM   #1
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Default Any Honda Odyssey owners? Hoping to find...

Hi, I have been searching for a year to find a TT that my Odyssey can find; so far no luck. I came across the T160 model tonight and it looks like a possibility. Anyone else having luck pulling the smaller model? I live in FL and I'm looking for a trailer that I can go back and forth in to CA and OH. I hate to give up, but I'm starting to get discouraged. I cannot trade in my van. Long term goals is to live in an RV after kids are gone, but for now, would like to get started so I can make some great memories with my kids! Thanks.
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:01 AM   #2
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I am sorry to give you discouraging news -- but an Odyssey does not have a very high tow rating. Have you looked into a pop-up trailer, instead of a hard sided trailer?

There is no doubt that an Odyssey will pull an ordinary trailer on flat ground. The issues are braking and transmission. Can the van safely stop the weight of the trailer? Can it deal with engine braking on long downgrades without transmission failure?

I wish I could say "just do it." But safety is a key concern. Good luck!!
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:37 PM   #3
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The Honda Odyssey is conservatively rated to tow 3,500 lbs. I've towed boats with them and know several people who do the same. Many of these boats weigh about 3,500 lbs and the drivetrain and brakes seem to handle it.

Since the dry weight of a T160 is only 2,080 lbs, I'd say the Odyssey would handle it as long as you didn't load it down too much. Aside from the sheer weights involved, the flat sides and frontal area of the travel trailer would make more demands on the suspension than towing a boat would so you'd have to definitely keep the weight down.

Normally I agree with people like Dan who try and discourage people from using under powered (and rated) vehicles for towing as there are lots of people who do and put more than themselves at risk. I just know that the Odyssey has a decent history as a towing vehicle. The maximum capacity of the T160 is 3,680 lbs which is definitely dangerous to pull with the Odyssey.
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:02 PM   #4
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Gosh, Neil, I guess it depends on what sort of terrain you are in and what sort of tolerance you have for pushing the limits of your vehicle. In the mountainous West, where we have monster downgrades (6 or 8 percent for 10 miles, let's say), you do not want your transmission or your brakes to overheat.

Tow vehicles with higher tow ratings, with beefy brakes and transmission coolers, are better equipped to handle those demands. There are various "percentage of capacity" theories -- some people tow up to 100 percent of a vehicle's capacity, while some opt for a bigger cushion. The general rule is about 80 percent of rated capacity. Everyone can decide for him or herself how much of a margin of safety is enough. I am notoriously risk-averse.
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:32 PM   #5
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I agree pretty much with you Dan and tend to be on the conservative side as well. The western states do have much more dramatic terrain in terms of grades and elevations, while some mid-west states like Kansas have unusually high winds. It comes down to "picking your battles" so to speak.

I know that no one is more conservative than American Honda when it comes to rating their vehicles and if they say the Odyssey is rated for 3,500 lbs than you can bet the chassis, drivetrain and brakes are in agreement (same engine and chassis almost as the Ridgeline and Pilot).

I wouldn't hesitate to pull 2,500 lbs with it anywhere and I'd pull more than that knowing the conditions ahead of time. This video shows a friend who tows this boat up and down the east coast. It's pretty much at the 3,500 lb limit and as you can see the Odyssey is riding perfectly level. He's never had any issues.



I do agree with you however in general terms, I just feel that the Odyssey is a slight exception and is a valid contender for the T160 if it isn't loaded down very much. I guess, as a retired Honda engineer, I just feel comfortable about the Odyssey as a sound vehicle for towing. Before Honda had the Pilot and Ridgeline, all the Honda Marine reps used Odysseys to pull all kinds of boats around the country with very few problems. Using the 20% safety margin, I think 2,800 lbs is a practical limit.

The other important rating other than the towing capacity is the payload capacity since this is the total load that the vehicle can carry, towing or otherwise. This has to account for the weight of all the passengers and their gear, fuel and water etc. When towing, it also has to account for the several hundred lbs of additional tongue weight. The Odyssey has a payload capacity of 2,258 lbs which should also handle the trailer demands equally as well.
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:23 PM   #6
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That is a good point about Honda engineering -- an Odyssey is not an ordinary van. Here is what I think of Honda -- my wife has a new Fit, both sons have Fits, my mother has a Fit, her significant other has a Fit, and my sister in law has a Pilot. All of them are happy customers!
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by profdant139
That is a good point about Honda engineering -- an Odyssey is not an ordinary van. Here is what I think of Honda -- my wife has a new Fit, both sons have Fits, my mother has a Fit, her significant other has a Fit, and my sister in law has a Pilot. All of them are happy customers!
Preaching to the choir here Dan I will say that the Fit is one of the few Hondas I haven't owned. We've always had at least one Honda between the two of us (sometimes two) and haven't been without one since I went to work for them in 1980. Currently have a 2010 Accord EX which we long ago named "Awesome" simply because he is

Some years ago after telling someone that story, they said, "so after so many Hondas, can you tell me what the most common problem was that you had with them ?". I had to think long and hard and answered as truthfully as I could, replying "well, I've had two flat tires"

And as an aside, I did outboard motor testing back in the middle 1980s and had an 18 foot Gregor Seahawk with 3 BF15s on the back (that was the biggest engine they had at the time (15HP). I pulled this 1,400 lb combo back and forth to the Colorado River every weekend (from Gardena) for two years doing testing with a little Civic Hatchback rated currently for 1,000 lbs towing. I kept log books for expense reporting and logged over 100,000 miles doing this. This amounted to almost a hundred trips up and down the Cajon Pass which I'm sure you're familiar with.

It was a company car and it didn't cost me a dime out of pocket so I drove the heck out of it and it never once let me down
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