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Open Roads Forum  >  Hybrid Travel Trailers

 > Towing with a minivan

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kbroadnax

San Antonio

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Posted: 04/03/12 08:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You'll be fine if you are careful. Add the transmission cooler, Gabriel air shocks, brake controller and change transmission fluid frequently. Used to tow with my 97 Dodge Grand Caravan all over the place. Towed a 18ft runabout fiberglass boat and a 21ft Aerolite trailer. Longest trip was from San Antonio, Tx to Santa Fe, NM and enjoyed it. Just take your time and do not make it a race. Balance your weight and calibrate the brake controller. My rig was stable and stopped on a dime as one unit. Oh and we still have the van, my wife uses it as her daily driver now and we have not had any transmission or major engine work done.


2004 F350 6.0L 4x4 Powerstroke King Ranch Diesel Dually (Have Hitch Will Tow)
2010 31ft Forest River Flagstaff 831FLSS
2001 20ft Starcraft Aurora 2009 Fish-n-Ski Deck Boat w/ 200hp Mercury


kzescape18rbt

Michigan

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Posted: 04/03/12 09:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldnt pull longer than say 1.5 hours just cause I can use my dads truck he pulls his 5th wheel lift. I have it when I need it so why not use it why put the strain n the van if it doesn't need it..

bikendan

Napa, Cal.

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Posted: 04/04/12 11:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

kodiakcanuck wrote:

The number of vans and small SUV's towing hybrids here in Canada seems to outway the number of trucks recently. Gas prices is obviously the factor. I am surprised at the size of some of these trailers that are getting towed by vans, double axle and at least 20 feet, and often passing me on the interstate

I am sure they will tow the trailers fine (not in the mountains) I just wouldn't want to own one after it's been used for towing for a couple years.


Canadians seem to be more willing to tow with maxed-out minivans, than Americans appear to be. of course, this is a generalization.
fuel costs are surely a huge factor.
out here in the West, our many mountains are a big factor in needing adequate tow vehicles.

a company like Can-Am, that promotes ignoring manufacturers' specs, couldn't exist in the U.S., probably because of our lawsuit-happy culture here.


Dan- Firefighter, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever(RIP), 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LS, 2007 Rockwood Roo 23SS w/Equalizer and Prodigy, and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes


kodiakcanuck

Ottawa, Canada

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Posted: 04/04/12 10:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The number of vans and small SUV's towing hybrids here in Canada seems to outway the number of trucks recently. Gas prices is obviously the factor. I am surprised at the size of some of these trailers that are getting towed by vans, double axle and at least 20 feet, and often passing me on the interstate

I am sure they will tow the trailers fine (not in the mountains) I just wouldn't want to own one after it's been used for towing for a couple years.


2011 Kodiak 240KSSL
Husky Center Line WDH
2010 Dodge RAM 1500 4x4, 3:55, 5.7L - at last, a HEMI
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rustycopperballs

Four Corners

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Posted: 04/04/12 10:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Let's here from the weight POLICE!!!

TowHaul

Ontario

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Posted: 04/04/12 10:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here's the thing - you've already got the van, and now you've found the trailer you like. Technically, you can pair the two. In time you will realize that a more capable TV will make for a nicer towing experience but until then, just be careful.
I used to tow my 4000 lb trailer with a van rated for 5,000 - it was "okay". what spurred us to change was the trip up a steep hill in the rain. The van was front-wheel drive, and even with a WDH the front end was too light and the wheels spun - not fun. we made it up the hill but that was the last trip for that van.
If it had been RWD we might have kept it until the tranny went.


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Trailing Away... our travel blog


jonaz

Southern California

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Posted: 04/04/12 04:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

You can probably pull it but don't forget to budget for a rebuilt transmission about every other year.


I dont know about this. I think I have the same transmission in my 2003 Honda Pilot, and its been rock solid for 148,000 miles. I change my own transmission fluid with HONDA transmission fluid once a year (its very easy to do). As far as the original question about towing a 3500 GVWR trailer, I think he would be OK, just not sure about the tongue weight. I beat the******out of my Honda towing, and I live in the mountains, so it gets a good work out. My old Exploder blew its transmission at 100k miles, and my Pilot never had a check engine light come on for anything (all my Fords had check engine light issues), and Im a Ford guy.

One more thing. Your gas mileage is going to stink. Coming back from Calico Ghost Town this weekend, we got about 7 or 8 mpg towing into a head wind. Usually, I get about 10 mpg. You might do a wee bit better with your Odyssey, but not by much.


2003 Honda Pilot
Prodigy brake controller,Weight Distribution Hitch
2000 17' Kiwi Hybrid Trailer UVW 3090lbs

r3rjr

Ohio

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Posted: 04/06/12 07:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3rd season with an 04 Kia Sedona & 09 17' Palomino Stampede. Of course the flat land of Ohio makes towing a breeze. Hope all works out for OP.


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Jayco25E

PA

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Posted: 04/04/12 11:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just make sure you do your math or you will end up like this guy.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyXgMal3C1U


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Jetta03

Alberta Canada

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Posted: 04/04/12 06:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 2007 and up honda odyssey has the same engine/transmission as the honda ridgeline which is rated at 5000lb towing. I believe the early 2000's vans did have some transmission problems but later years improved. If you have 2007 or newer you shouldn't have to worry.

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