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Towing Pod with Odyssey Minivan

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phmphd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote phmphd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Towing Pod with Odyssey Minivan
    Posted: 11 Oct 2009 at 3:56pm
I am considering buying an R-Pod RP-171 and plan to tow it with my 2008 Odyssey Minivan.  Has any one had experience using this particular combination, especially towing  on steep grades?  I have the proper hitch type installed and will have sway bar on the trailer, but have been told I won't need weight equalizing hitch.  My concern is overburdening the engine/transmission. I have had the proper transmission cooler installed also.  I have towed a lighter trailer (T@B camping trailer) and I could sure tell it was there and the Tach showed the engine was working harder Cry.
 
Any experience anyone has with this would be appreciated! 
PHM--Returning to RV-ing after all these years
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kotasnana View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kotasnana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2009 at 10:51am

I tow my 175 with town and country minivan but I am going to purchase a truck when I get my van paid off because I do not feel comfortable towing up steep mountains.

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phmphd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote phmphd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2009 at 11:59am
Thanks for your reply.  I was suprised when towing the lighter trailer (T@B) that even small hills would kick the engine up to about 4K rpm, which was higher than I had ever seen it go when not towing a trailer.  Have you towed your Pod on any grades such as you would see in the Colorado Rockies?  Not that I would plan to do Pike's Peak or anything, but you do  climb some pretty steep grades, even on the western interstates.
PHM--Returning to RV-ing after all these years
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kotasnana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2009 at 12:41pm
I live in the Appalachian mountians so it is all pretty steep grades, but we are trying to keep to the 4 lanes and interstates until we buy something with a little more power, not to say that the van couldnt tow it, but it seems a little hard on it. We are wanting to go to cherokee nc but it is straight up and we will not attempt that with the van. It doe's much better than I thought it would though. not sure if this helps but good luck.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gepaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2009 at 12:50pm
I am towing my 175 with a 2008 Sienna. It has 25 more HP (and the same torque) as your Odyssey. It struggles going over a 3000 foot pass in the Cascades, but gets the job done. (That is the highest pass I have gone over so far.) Most of the climb I was able to maintain 50-55 mph in 4th gear. During the steepest part, if I insisted on maintaining 50-55, it would downshift to 3rd and the rpm's would jump up to 3500. I didn't like that so I slowed down to 45 (with emergency flashers on) and was able to keep it in 4th gear at about 2600 rpm's. (Our 175 weights 3100 pounds packed for camping plus probably another 700 pounds in the Sienna - including driver and passenger.)
 
A strong sales point for us was that we would be able to tow the R-POD with our Sienna. We really like the Sienna for a variety of other uses and did not want to trade it for another tow vehicle. However, the jury is still out in our case. Next year we are going to Yellowstone, and that trip will decide if we get another tow vehicle.
 
Yes, the Sienna can tow an R-POD (and probably so can the Odyssey). But there is a difference between just barely being able to get the job done and a V-8 that would be able to really tow the R-POD at "highway speeds". Time will tell for us.
Gene & Linda - 2007 Escalade - 24-Foot Keystone Cougar TT- Life is not just about gas mileage!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gepaine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2009 at 12:57pm
PS: If you decide to tow with the Odyssey, be sure to have an auxilliary transmission fluid cooler installed. It will help protect your transmission.
Gene & Linda - 2007 Escalade - 24-Foot Keystone Cougar TT- Life is not just about gas mileage!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote kotasnana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2009 at 1:07pm
I don't know anything about RPM's but being able to tow with our minivan was a strong selling point also, we have the stow and go seats and it is very handy, can also be an extra bedroom with air mattress, I have no problem going 55-65 on 4-lane or interstate but I am afraid that towing will damage my van if I try too steep a grade. towing in 3rd works much better for us.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote retired Roxy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2009 at 1:55pm
I did the grapevine in CA recently which I mentioned in other posts. For those who are not famiiliar with it it is the only pass between LA and the central valley through the local mountains. It is a non stop steep climb for miles. I stayed in the the truck lanes and could barely pass the semis (but did) in V8 5.2 liter engine.    Haven't tried the road to Big Bear in the SanBernadino MTs. It is one of those roads built during the Works Progress Admin. and twists and turns, only two lanes and climbes to 7000-8000 feet.

Bigbit did it. He mentioned it earlier.

My take on this is that when pulling a trailer ya just go slower when climbing! Figure out where your car performs the best and keep it there.

Roxy
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J233 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote J233 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Oct 2009 at 12:12pm
Originally posted by phmphd

Thanks for your reply.  I was suprised when towing the lighter trailer (T@B) that even small hills would kick the engine up to about 4K rpm, which was higher than I had ever seen it go when not towing a trailer.  Have you towed your Pod on any grades such as you would see in the Colorado Rockies?  Not that I would plan to do Pike's Peak or anything, but you do  climb some pretty steep grades, even on the western interstates.
 

I towed a 19’ hybrid extra light TT with a 2003 Odyssey for about 4 seasons. Here are my 2 cents:

 

First of all, yes you will need a weight distribution hitch, even for an rpod. The rear suspension is very soft and it will sag. You need a light WD version, smth up to 350 lbs limit – anything higher won’t do the job as the rpod’s tongue weight is low. Honda requires a WD setup for any trailer over 2000 lbs – this is what my manual said.

 

Secondly, yes it should work OK with an rpod and if you watch how you pack (essentials only) but your tranny will complain sooner or later. The gears are not set for towing but are optimized for best mileage. I was always torn between towing on “D” or D3’ so it was D3 to accelerate and then D while towing. Even if you change the tranny fluid more often than the book says I don’t think your tranny will last long, especially if you intend to tow in the mountains.

I never noticed any issues with the engine and my friend who tows a pop up trailer with his 2007 Ody watches the computer for oil change religiously – there is no difference in intervals whether he tows in the season or goes solo for 5 months in the winter. Honda engines love to rev and I would not worry about this part – of course, a fully synthetic oils is a very wise investment.

 

Thirdly, I am not sure why but with time, I noticed some stress on my rack and pinion, some strange noises although my Ody was factory equipped with the power steering cooler. I think the extra weight on the front transferred from the trailer by the WD setup put an extra stress on the steering components.

 

You should have no problem with sway at all as the Ody is a long wheelbase vehicle and the rpods are relatively short so the combo will work to your advantage. From this perspective, my towing experience was always great – a very solid combo.

 

We loved our Ody but I can say that towing a trailer took a toll on it. It is a great people hauler but you need to remember that it is a “soft” vehicle, not a truck so there is a imit to what it can do for sure.

J233

 

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PodPatrol View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PodPatrol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Oct 2009 at 5:51pm

Are you using a Honda now J233 ???

 
HAPPY PODing !!!
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