The CRV is an excellent choice for a "toad". We have towed ours for going on three summers with no problems. You need to get base plates installed so you can connect your vehicle to the towbar. Blue Ox and Roadmaster are popular brands for this application. You will also need lights and a towbar. I recommend a supplemental braking system. You can read more than you want to on this subject on the forum but my recommendation is to get one; we have the Brake Buddy and are very happy with it.
The owner's manual has specific instructions for preparing the CRV before each tow. Follow the directions EXACTLY as they are stated and you will have no problems. All of this assumes you will be towing four down which I believe is the only way a CRV can be towed.
We bought our 05 CR-V about 1 month ago. We had the Falcon 2 towbar & baseplate professionally installed. The tow equipment cost approx. $1,300 installed. We towed it about 3,000 miles on a two week trip to the Black Hills and over to Wisconsin. We had no problems with the toad on our trip. To prepare it for towing, do the following:
Start it up.
Shift down to 2nd gear
Shift to 1st gear
Shift to Drive
Then to Neutral
Let the engine idle for 3 minutes in neutral
Then leaving the CR-V in neutral, turn to key to the first position which turns off the engine. The wheels should be unlocked. Be sure to release the parking brake before towing.
We bought our 05 CR-V EX model for approx. $22,300.
We tow a 2004 Element with automatic and 4wd, which is has the same drive train as the CR-V. This is what our owners manual says:
Shift Procedure - Automatic Transmission
Do the following every day immediately before you begin towing. Follow the procedure exactly. Otherwise, severe automatic transmission damage will occur.When preparing to tow your Element, make sure the transmission is full of fluid. Do not overfill. Start the engine. Shift to D, then to N. Let the engine run for at least three minutes, then turn off the engine. Release the parking brake. Leave the ignition switch in ACCESSORY (I) so the steering wheel does not lock. Make sure the radio and any items plugged into the accessory power sockets are turned off so you do not run down the battery.
Extended Towing - Automatic Transmission
If you tow more than 8 hours in one day (including stopping time), you must stop and repeat the Shift Procedure above. You should repeat the procedure at least every 8 hours. (When you stop for fuel, etc.)
The steering system can become damaged if the steering wheel is locked. Leave the ignition switch in Accessory (I), and make sure the steering wheel turns freely before you begin towing.
Failure to follow the above procedure exactly will result in severe automatic transmission damage. If you cannot shift the transmission or start the engine, your vehicle must be transported on a flatbed truck or trailer.
SEVERE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION DAMAGE WILL OCCUR IF THE CAR IS SHIFTED FROM REVERSE TO NEUTRAL AND THEN TOWED WITH THE DRIVE WHEELS ON THE GROUND.
If you tow an Element with automatic transmission, the transmission fluid must be changed every two years or 30,000 miles (48,000 km), whichever comes first.
10SBUM - Yes, the 2004 user manual says to pull the fuse, but it really isn't necessary. I just returned from a 4000 mile trip with my 2004 CRV and never pulled the fuse and had no battery problems at all. I talked to several campers that I met along the way that were also towing CRV's. None of them pulled the fuse, and none have had any battery problems. Several of those I talked to were towing the 2004 model. Most didn't even know of the user manual recommendation. I beleive Honda puts it in their manual just to cover themselves.
Dallam--- Thanks for the information. That would make it a lot simpler as pulling the fuse and replacing it is a little irritating. I recently met a fellow camper who had Honda install a switch on the dash that he used so he wouldn't have to pull the fuse. Great idea.
I really hate to bring this up but for 2005 Honda actually recomends pulling TWO fuses for "extended" traveling. Extended traveling is defined as pulling a CRV for multiple days without unhooking.There are systems in the 2005 CRV's that are active when the key is in the accessory position. A Brake Buddy is just one source of battery drain when towing. A friend of mine towed for four consecutive days and faithfully followed Honda's towing instructions but did not pull the fuses. On the fifth morning he had a dead battery!
We have been towing our 2005 CRV SE in the southwestern states for about 12 weeks and I have been running tests to see what,if any, battery power was used on a typical day's driving by hooking a 10 amp battery charger to the CRV battery at the end of the day and timing how long it took for the battery to be fully recharged. 8 hours driving required about 80-90 minutes to fully recharge the battery. To my simple mind this tells me that 10 amps times 1 1/2 hours is 15 amp-hours used in a single day! Incidentally, when traveling on interstates the Brake Buddy rarely comes on.
My next step is to pull the recommended fuses and repeat these tests.