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Old 12-03-2015, 11:04 AM   #1
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Default 1989 HiLo 21FLL Can I pull with 2005 Odyssey Van

I have a 2005 Honda Odyssey Van. Looking to buy a 1989 Hi Lo 21FLL, which I believe has a dry weight of 2600 lbs. (Not positive on that, correct me if you know) Honda Manual states that the Total Trailer Weight with driver is 3500 lbs. It is recommended that I have a weight distribution hitch, sway control, brake controller, and transmission and power steering cooler.
I have 900lbs margin between the trailer and the max allowable tow weight, which is about 75%. Allowing for gear, additional passenger, stuff etc. I'm thinking an additional 4-500 lbs., or 85 to 88% of max.
Is this advisable? Am I going to be lugging down my Odyssey and risking damage to drive train? Is it realistic to hope my van will handle this load?
Your help is appreciated.
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by rickabilly View Post
I have a 2005 Honda Odyssey Van. Looking to buy a 1989 Hi Lo 21FLL, which I believe has a dry weight of 2600 lbs. (Not positive on that, correct me if you know) Honda Manual states that the Total Trailer Weight with driver is 3500 lbs. It is recommended that I have a weight distribution hitch, sway control, brake controller, and transmission and power steering cooler.
I have 900lbs margin between the trailer and the max allowable tow weight, which is about 75%. Allowing for gear, additional passenger, stuff etc. I'm thinking an additional 4-500 lbs., or 85 to 88% of max.
Is this advisable? Am I going to be lugging down my Odyssey and risking damage to drive train? Is it realistic to hope my van will handle this load?
Your help is appreciated.
Welcome to the forum. That dry weight doesn't sound right. Kinda sounds low. Here's the tow guide for 2005.

http://www.trailerlife.com/wp-conten...Guide-2005.pdf

Here's the link to the brochuers. Remember to add the options to the dry weight.

Hi-Lo Brochure - Hi-Lo camper travel trailer forum
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:08 PM   #3
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My 2001 21 footer weighs around 4200 lbs with batteries and propane filled and some stuff in it. Tongue weight is in the 750 range. The gvwr sticker on your Honda door is the total weight of the vehicle, people, stuff in it ( including gas), and whatever is attached to the bumper like the trailer hitch. So..... I bet you would be close. Tow rating is the weight of the trailer itself. I think the older fun lights were bit lighter but not THAT much lighter. Do the numbers but I bet you'll be on the edge if not a little over.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:19 PM   #4
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Yes I am pretty close. I have checked with a number of people including the local Honda dealer, a car mechanic knowledgeable on towing and travel trailer owner himself, 3 different transmission shops. The mechanic and 2 of the 3 transmission shops told me they did not recommend I try pulling this HiLo with my van. Even with the coolers, sway bar, weight distribution, brake controller etc.
Since they stood to gain by saying yes do it, and yet gave me their best advise to do the contrary, leads me to believe I need to think of getting a larger vehicle with a tow package.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:21 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. Nice to have those brochures. The closest to my 1989 was the 1993 and a lot of changes had happened by then. the 21FLL not even offered.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:54 PM   #6
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In your original post you mentioned the following: "Total Trailer Weight with driver is 3500 lbs. ", in terms of what you say the manual is telling you. This makes me wonder if you are mixing/matchinging some designations.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum weight the vehicle is meant to sustain. This includes the empty "curb weight" of the vehicle itself, passengers, luggage etc and the weight of the hitch pushing down on the back of the vehicle. You are likely to find that this number is more limiting in selecting a vehicle than the "tow rating", which is , of course, the maximum recommended weight of whatever you are towing. I have had vehicles that had a tow rating that EXCEEDED my trailer weight by 1200 lbs or more but, when I loaded my self, my wife, my dog, and groceries in the back of the truck and added the weight (tongue weight) to the hitch, I was over my GVWR by as much as 500 lbs. or more. This is a common mistake people make in matching vehicles and trailers and I have made it a couple of times myself. Also- published "trailer weights" are quite often way under the actual accessorised weight of a trailer. Things like awnings, air conditioners, cabinets, leveling devices, are not included in those published weights so it doesn't take much to add 500 or more lbs to whatever they say it weighs before even putting anything in it. Most advice here will be that you buy as much "extra truck" or whatever as you can rationalize when looking at towing. You can't buy "too much" vehicle.

Good hunting

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Old 12-04-2015, 03:41 PM   #7
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Hilltop,
I am a little confused by the GVWR which includes the vehicle, all contents, and the tongue weight of the towed vehicle. Is there a rating for the vehicle, the towed vehicle and contents of both?

Oh I just figured that out: it is the Gross Combined Weight Rating(GCWR).

My GVWR is 5,952 lbs, the GCWR is 8,410. Nowhere on the vehicle label or in the manual do I find the "dry weight" of the vehicle with nothing in it.

What I can conclude from this is that I just need to go to a scale and weigh the vehicle and the trailer with nothing in them, then figure out how much weight I can add in terms of passengers, cargo, water, food, etc. Keep the tongue weight 10-15% of the loaded trailer, and stay within the GVWR and GCWR. Sound about right?
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:49 PM   #8
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You might also find a rating which is the Grosss Combined Vehicle Weight rating which is the grand total for everything . That is usually hidden in the manual somewhere. The GVWR is often listed on the door.

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Old 12-04-2015, 04:03 PM   #9
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Hilltool,
I edited my previous entry and you replied to the unedited version. Ck out my previous entry.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:00 PM   #10
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You pretty well got it. You might be able to deduce "dry weight" of vehicle if there is a "payload rating" but that is usually based on a driver of 150 lbs. payload is GVWR minus curb weight so reverse it and you have empty truck weight (sort of). So yes---the scale is the best way to go. You can try various combinations but what I do is weigh my tow vehicle ( a pick up) with just me in it. Then I hook up the trailer and pull back on the scales with just the truck wheels on the scale. I subtract the original weight from the new weight and the difference is my "tongue weight". Then I pull the rest of the trailer up there with me and I get the Gross Combined Vehicle WEight. Subtract the original weight of the truck by itself from the combined weight and, of course, I have my trailer weight. Those are great numbers to have and you can calculate things from there on out as you add stuff to the tow vehicle and/or trailer.

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Old 12-04-2015, 05:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickabilly View Post
Hilltop,
I am a little confused by the GVWR which includes the vehicle, all contents, and the tongue weight of the towed vehicle. Is there a rating for the vehicle, the towed vehicle and contents of both?

Oh I just figured that out: it is the Gross Combined Weight Rating(GCWR).

My GVWR is 5,952 lbs, the GCWR is 8,410. Nowhere on the vehicle label or in the manual do I find the "dry weight" of the vehicle with nothing in it.

What I can conclude from this is that I just need to go to a scale and weigh the vehicle and the trailer with nothing in them, then figure out how much weight I can add in terms of passengers, cargo, water, food, etc. Keep the tongue weight 10-15% of the loaded trailer, and stay within the GVWR and GCWR. Sound about right?
See if this helps.

Travel Trailer Weight Calculator
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:52 AM   #12
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Rockabilly, I have a '90 21ffl. Dryweight for trailer listed as 3050 lbs. So if GVWR is 3500 you will be cutting REALLY close to safety margin of 85-90% of GVWR.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:27 AM   #13
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Default Towing with Hondas

For most people, I'd highly recommend being careful about towing with a Honda, especially with high miles.

I own a Ridgeline (best light truck out there, in my opinion, though needs more HP), and have owned Hondas before. Grew up in a car shop (father owned 3), so I've worked on everything under the sun, maintain my own vehicles (only work I farm out is alignments - we do our own engines and trans jobs).

Like I said, I LOVE my Ridgeline, which is largely the same drivetrain as the minivan (same engine/trans). The problem with Hondas and towing is the transmission is designed for compactness - Honda uses smaller diameter clutches than other larger vehicle transmissions (these are essentially FWD vehicles). This generates more heat for the trans fluid to dissipate. They compensate by having a separate transmission cooler, and limiting tow capacity.

Since the transmission is the weakest point when towing, do NOT push a Honda automatic when towing, or you'll pay the price.

That said - here's my honda towing story that sort of flies in the face of this advice. With over 150k on my Ridgeline, I hooked up a box trailer, loaded it, and towed it 2600 miles from Richmond, VA to Denver, CO (passing through West Virginia with it's hills!). Found out later that the loaded trailer was actually about 20% over the tow capacity of the Ridge (which has more capacity than the minivan). The trailer had brand new electric brakes - a requirement in my book.

I drove VERY gently (top speed 60), and changed the trans fluid before I left and when I got here. She did fine, now has 200k miles on the same trans. Got 9-12 mpg. Would I do it again? No way! Would I recommend anyone be so stupid? No way!

Just pay attention to the tow capacity, and don't go over. (I'd be careful about getting close). Drive gently. Change the fluids on time.

One final thought - part of towing capacity is determined by the weight of your towing vehicle. A trailer can't weigh more than the towing vehicle or it will push it under deceleration/braking (this is essentially what happens with jackknifing trucks - momentum of the trailer overwhelms the tractor). So a trailer must weigh less (when loaded) than the tow vehicle.
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Old 08-17-2016, 07:06 AM   #14
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Minivans are usually 4400 lbs giving you 4000 for everything else. Given your gcwr. That triler is way more than 2600. A 16 footer is 2600. Gcwr allocates 150 for the driver. Add up your extra, passengers, gas, luggage and anything you put in the trailer and you'll be exceeding your gcwr rating by 1000 to 2000 lbs potentially and the tow rating by more, assuming the trailer is 4200 lbs dry. Anything in the vehicle over a 150 lb driver subtracts from tow rating or any other rating. Weight is weight. I believe you're in full size suv or truck range.
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