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Honda Odyssey towing question

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7:12 pm
September 25, 2012



posts 3


I am new to the group and have a towing question.

I have been searching, talking to mfg, dealers and fellow campers trying to get an answer regarding towing with a Honda Odyssey  van.all have said yes and no. so I am still confused.

I have the tow package gvwr 3500 gcwr over 8k, hitch weight 350, family weight 400 (yes small kids and wife and kkids will grow)- do not take a lot of gear or drive with tanks filled except propane))

I have seen a post about  a Honda Odyssey and 14rb which helped.Though  I wanted to know if there are any odyssey owners that towed a trailer weighing with options 2800 pounds with gvwr of 3500.

Some comment i was told:


the numbers are there for a reason not as a recomendation

numbers do not jive

vehicle not strong enough

there will be safety issues

calculate gear and family

tranmission will go

wont do the hills


Honda engine strong enough numbers are guidelines but not accurate

it is a comfort thing

just do maintenance more often

flush transmission fluid yearly

trailer has brakes

go by gcwr not gvwr

weight distribution hitch will help

there are more but these are the ones that i remember now.

I like the kz 18rbt or the starcraft launch 16 rb. but both have gvwr 3500

I do not know who to believe anymore but i am curious as mentioned if there are any campers out there pulling with the Odyssey and what there feedback is.

Thank you

2:13 pm
September 27, 2012

Mike M

SE Massachusetts


posts 88

Yep, GCWR, GVWR and payload are all important.  The Odyssey can do it, but I'd recommend the 16RBT. 

Odyssey GCWR is around 8K+ pounds.  Typical wieght of van+fam is about 5K pounds.  Dry weight of 16RBT is 2.4K pounds.  This gives you room for 600 pounds of camping gear in the trailer and you're still 500 under the 3500 TT GVWR. 

You'll have to use WD hitch @ the 350lb tongue wieght.  I've installed Honda's hitch, harness and trans cooler in my brother's van and they are well done.  I don't know if they sell a brake controller, but if they do I'd use it. 

Good advice to change the tranny fluid every year, especially on a Honda, but don't be afraid of it.

The motor will hardly strain on most hills.  It's got plenty of balls.

You'll probably find this thread and site interesting:…..ility.html

My opinion would be do it.  Just don't expect to be blowing over the hills with the big rigs.  It's about the good times together.  Give the Honda a chance.  My bet is it shows you a good time.

Remember the old 70's Honda motorcycle ads…you meet the nicest people on a Honda?  You could be the ambassador for "you meet the nicest people in a Honda".   Laugh

Mike M.

2012 190 pulled by a 2011 F150 Supercab 3.7 2wd.

9:20 pm
September 27, 2012



posts 3

Hi Mike,

Thank you for the input much appreciated.

The dealer gave me a decent price but his mark up on the orientation, start up package pre inspection and 2 other things were a little high (1400) so still working on him.

Irequested a test tow but the dealer was against it due to liability. Though i would like ot tow it to see how the van reacts.

i think i am leaning to getting it, but the weight issue still bothers me. though i am getting more positive feedback

I did join the Honda forum but most replies were the van can not do it. There was also attitude.

I did get the tow package which includes both coolers, and I have the 7 pin connection already. i saw the 16 rbt but i like the floor plan of thhe starcraft better. i was considering the kz 18rbt because same layout but the starcrat is 16 feet. prefer the 16 footer

i do not expect to whiz overthe mountains but i do not want to drop to 50km on the hills and go below the legal min speed either.

yup all  about time with the family but i do want to get to my destination as well :-)

have a nice weekend

8:27 am
September 28, 2012




posts 54


I once towed a 2200GVWR popup with a 3.0L 88 Dodge Caravan with only a 2000 tow rating.  There wasn't a hill that I couldn't climb. 

However, I had two runaways going downhill while in the Smokey Mountain area. I never took that rig out West.

Today, I tow a 2700GVWR, 2010 14RK with an 04 GMC Safari with 5000 tow rating and there is no hill where I can't stop,!



2010 14RK , 300W solar

4:08 pm
September 28, 2012

Mike M

SE Massachusetts


posts 88

Post edited 11:22 pm – September 28, 2012 by Mike M

Older Caravans couldn't stop themselves, never mind being coupled to a trailer.  That was very daring indeed.  The newer ones are better, and the SXT version with 4 wheel disc has a halfway decent brake package.

The Odyssey has a robust brake package.  Honda engineering took into account the potential weight of the vehicle, and an appropriately sized trailer with properly functioning brakes won't overburden the system.

Mike M.

PS – Hope you stick around even if you buy a Starcraft. 

2012 190 pulled by a 2011 F150 Supercab 3.7 2wd.

9:39 am
October 9, 2012


Denver, CO

New Member

posts 1

We have an 07 Odyssey what we tow a 2012 19sbt with. 

It does great here in Colorado. Took it on a 2500 miles trip this summer no issues.

We also took several trip up the mountains and back down with no problems.

4:06 pm
May 26, 2013



posts 3


I have not been on for a while so thank you for all the replies. I bought a starcraft 16 rb launch.  my  real test is in a few weeks in Vermont. but so far so good.  Gas milage sucks but it was expected. From London Ontario to Montreal a full tank was 350km. with then tent trailer i was able to get 800km.  The van was reving at 3rpm and dropped to 2.5 sometimes. But will see if a wind deflector helps a bit.

happy camping

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