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Old 08-21-2018, 07:01 PM   #1
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Question 2018 Honda Odyssey to tow a 17'B?

Hi everybody, I am planning to use my 2018 Honda Odyssey EX-L to tow a Escape 17'B. The vehicle has factory tow package installed and rated at 3000lbs/300lbs. I would like to hear any advice on that. If anybody had the experience of towing with a minivan, please give me some heads up. Thanks ahead.
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:08 PM   #2
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The GVWR for the 17 is 4000#, so you may have a problem.
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:14 PM   #3
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The published dry weight on a manufacturers website can be misleading. Remember that this weight is for a completely stock trailer with no options of any kind, unloaded and dry - just as it came off the factory floor. There's a spreadsheet that Jon Vermilye maintains called "Trailer Weights In The Real World", and it can be enlightening. I've seen Escape 17Bs range from 2700 lbs on the lighest end, up to 3400 lbs on the heaviest end. Also, the 2nd generation Escapes are slightly heavier than this.

http://lakeshoreimages.com/spreadsheets/Weight.xls

I would personally not tow a 17B without at least 3500 lbs of towing capacity, but 4000 would be better. Keep in mind also that it's not just towing capacity that is of concern. There's GVWR, GCWR and the all important payload capacity of your tow as well.

You will see lots of advice on RV forums about all this - some of it good, some of it bad, and some that is downright dangerous. It's never a good idea to exceed the published capacities, even if others claim they can do it "no problem".
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The GVWR for the 17 is 4000#, so you may have a problem.
Thanks for the quick reply.
The total dry weight for 17'B is 2400lbs. I am thinking to load no more than 600lbs to keep the whole GVWR under 3000lbs. Is that practical? The reason I seem to want to push the Odyssey to the limit is I really want to thoroughly consider all the possibilities before I have to buy a new tow vehicle.
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
The published dry weight on a manufacturers website can be misleading. Remember that this weight is for a completely stock trailer with no options of any kind, unloaded and dry - just as it came off the factory floor. There's a spreadsheet that Jon Vermilye maintains called "Trailer Weights In The Real World", and it can be enlightening. I've seen Escape 17Bs range from 2700 lbs on the lighest end, up to 3400 lbs on the heaviest end. Also, the 2nd generation Escapes are slightly heavier than this.

http://lakeshoreimages.com/spreadsheets/Weight.xls

I would personally not tow a 17B without at least 3500 lbs of towing capacity, but 4000 would be better. Keep in mind also that it's not just towing capacity that is of concern. There's GVWR, GCWR and the all important payload capacity of your tow as well.

You will see lots of advice on RV forums about all this - some of it good, some of it bad, and some that is downright dangerous. It's never a good idea to exceed the published capacities, even if others claim they can do it "no problem".
I totally understand what you were talk about. After I saw everything about this place in London, Ontario called Can Am RV centre. They sounds different.
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salmon View Post
Thanks for the quick reply.
The total dry weight for 17'B is 2400lbs. I am thinking to load no more than 600lbs to keep the whole GVWR under 3000lbs. Is that practical? The reason I seem to want to push the Odyssey to the limit is I really want to thoroughly consider all the possibilities before I have to buy a new tow vehicle.
A clarification. GVWR isn't what your trailer weighs loaded, it's the maximum weight rating of the trailer and contents. In other words, a 17B should never weigh more than 4000 lbs. It's actually quite easy to get a 17B up close to the 4K maximum, once you add options such as a larger fridge, or solar, or dual 6V batteries, and are carrying a tank of water, camping gear, and food for example.

If you plan on a 17B with zero options, totally stock, and plan to load no more than 600 lbs into it, it would theoretically weigh less than 3000 lbs, and your Odyssey would be within the published capacity. Cutting it too close for my blood.
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Old 08-21-2018, 07:27 PM   #7
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I tow my 17B with a RAV4 with 3,500 lb. tow / 350 lb. tongue capacity. Have been using the combo for 10 years with no problem, but, it I were replacing my RAV4, I'd move up to a vehicle with 5,000 lb. tow / 500 lb. tongue.
I'd do so for the extra margin and to put less stress on the tow vehicle.

Of course, I'd then have to buy a 19' to restore the equilibrium.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by salmon View Post
The total dry weight for 17'B is 2400lbs. I am thinking to load no more than 600lbs to keep the whole GVWR under 3000lbs. Is that practical?
My own trailer runs about 600 to 700 pounds over the dry and empty weight when travelling, so this can be practical... but the 600 pounds would have to cover:
  • all options
  • all water/waste and fuel (propane)
  • everything you carry in the trailer
That's either a very basic trailer, or a very lean packing job, or some combination.

The greater problem would likely be that even at 3000 pounds loaded, the tongue weight of an Escape 17' will likely exceed 300 pounds.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:03 PM   #9
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After I saw everything about this place in London, Ontario called Can Am RV centre. They sounds different.
Can Am RV blatantly exceeds tow vehicle limits, and have granted themselves permission to do so based on their own inflated view of the abilities, and the piles of towing equipment which they want to sell you. I would take any statements from them with an abundance of caution.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:04 PM   #10
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A couple of experiences of experiences to inform your decision:


1. I have towed a pop up trailer with a borderline tow vehicle (met all the numbers but little margin). I did it for 1-3 hours from my house, and while it was safe it inspired no confidence and even the temperature gauge regularly reminded me I was borderline.


2. I then towed with that 3.5L engine and a Honda Odyssey. I love that van and still own it. We towed a 13' Scamp (~2000 lbs?) with kids in the van all over the USA. It was satisfactory and we had a great time. I could maintain 45mph always on freeways with high revs in the mountains and usually much better than that. On some steep smaller roads it was more questionable. On one steep road, I could not even get out of first gear no matter what I did with the gas pedal.


I considered a 17' with Odyssey but the Odyssey didn't have enough power and tow capability. I prefer 55mph always on a highway and 30mph minimum power on steep back roads into national parks. I didn't want a heavier trailer and the associated less performance than the 13' scamp. So we went with a bigger tow vehicle (and a bigger trailer). We just put on 7500 miles on the last trip and are very happy with our decision.



Good luck and I hope you build great memories. YMMV.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:53 PM   #11
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Harry,
We have a 17A, and tow with a 2011 Honda Pilot 2WD.
Similarities:
Honda 3471 cc engine, 17' Escape, 2WD.

Differences:
Your engine has 10% more HP and torque (w/premium fuel).
We have a 5 speed trans, you have 9 or 10.
Our Escape is 2000 lb. dry, so we are typically at 2600 lbs. on a trip (full water tank, full propane tanks, our gear and food. The two of us also have 100 of gear in the Pilot. I will bet that you are a capacity all the time.
Our tongue weight is 350-375 lbs. (The Escape 17 is 12 feet from hitch ball to axle). I have to take care loading to maintain and not exceed that. Your tongue weight will easily be that; well over your tow's 300 lb. max.


Also, if you have 3 or especially 4 people and their stuff, you will be over the gross combined weight rating.


Comment: regarding performance. We have traveled and camped all over the mountain West, and have been well satisfied with our Honda. Our steepest climb is out of Bishop @ 4000 ft., where we climb 5000 ft. in 17 miles to go fishing. That is 4400 RPM in second gear if the fish are biting.
2WD causes some care to be taken on dirt, gravel, or slippery conditions.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
Also, if you have 3 or especially 4 people and their stuff, you will be over the gross combined weight rating.
It is certainly advisable to check Gross Combined Weight Rating, but the 2018 Odyssey manual says that with five occupants the vehicle still has 3,000 pounds of trailer towing capacity (without exceeding GCWR) assuming:
  • Occupants fill seats from the front of the vehicle to the back,
  • Each occupant weighs 150 lbs (68 kg), and
  • Each occupant has 17 lbs (8 kg) of cargo in the cargo area.
This isn't surprising to me, as our van can take half a ton of people and cargo without cutting into the 3,500 pound trailer weight. Don't underestimate vans.
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Old 08-22-2018, 09:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericw View Post
A couple of experiences of experiences to inform your decision:

1. I have towed a pop up trailer with a borderline tow vehicle (met all the numbers but little margin). I did it for 1-3 hours from my house, and while it was safe it inspired no confidence and even the temperature gauge regularly reminded me I was borderline.

2. I then towed with that 3.5L engine and a Honda Odyssey. I love that van and still own it. We towed a 13' Scamp (~2000 lbs?) with kids in the van all over the USA. It was satisfactory and we had a great time. I could maintain 45mph always on freeways with high revs in the mountains and usually much better than that. On some steep smaller roads it was more questionable. On one steep road, I could not even get out of first gear no matter what I did with the gas pedal.

I considered a 17' with Odyssey but the Odyssey didn't have enough power and tow capability. I prefer 55mph always on a highway and 30mph minimum power on steep back roads into national parks. I didn't want a heavier trailer and the associated less performance than the 13' scamp. So we went with a bigger tow vehicle (and a bigger trailer). We just put on 7500 miles on the last trip and are very happy with our decision.

Good luck and I hope you build great memories. YMMV.
Towed a 2001 16' Scamp side bath for six years that weighed 2,900#'s+ loaded and our 2007 Casita Spirit that weighed 2,400#'s loaded for five years with our 2003 Honda Odyssey with a four speed transmission and 3,500# stated tow rating. We had NO problem pulling at 65 mph, including the mountains. We still own that Odyssey and it currently has 265,000 miles.

For a year we also owned a 2008 Odyssey and pulled our Casita into the Rockies on a trip. That Odyssey just played with our 2,400# Casita. We sold the 2008 when we purchased our F150, but kept the 2003 for our work truck while I'm building our condo.

We've run into three 19' Escapes being pulled by mini-vans: 1) pulled by an Odyssey of our series, 2) a newer Dodge Caravan (both pre-2016 Escapes), and 3) a newer Toyota Sienna pulling a new series 19'. I asked and all said they had no problems towing at 65 mph, and right or wrong, knew they were probably over the stated capacity of their vehicles. There obviously was something wrong with your Odyssey if you couldn't pull a 13' Scamp weighing 2,000 #'s.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 08-22-2018, 11:34 AM   #14
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Towed a 2001 16' Scamp side bath for six years that weighed 2,900#'s+ loaded and our 2007 Casita Spirit that weighed 2,400#'s loaded for five years with our 2003 Honda Odyssey with a four speed transmission and 3,500# stated tow rating. We had NO problem pulling at 65 mph, including the mountains. We still own that Odyssey and it currently has 265,000 miles.

For a year we also owned a 2008 Odyssey and pulled our Casita into the Rockies on a trip. That Odyssey just played with our 2,400# Casita. We sold the 2008 when we purchased our F150, but kept the 2003 for our work truck while I'm building our condo.

We've run into three 19' Escapes being pulled by mini-vans: 1) pulled by an Odyssey of our series, 2) a newer Dodge Caravan (both pre-2016 Escapes), and 3) a newer Toyota Sienna pulling a new series 19'. I asked and all said they had no problems towing at 65 mph, and right or wrong, knew they were probably over the stated capacity of their vehicles. There obviously was something wrong with your Odyssey if you couldn't pull a 13' Scamp weighing 2,000 #'s.

Enjoy,

Perry
Hi Perry, would you mind to share your towing setup with me?
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Old 08-22-2018, 12:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
There obviously was something wrong with your Odyssey if you couldn't pull a 13' Scamp weighing 2,000 #'s.

Perry,



Thanks for sharing your experiences. I like hearing about those.



I don't think anything was wrong with my Odyssey. I agree I was able to do 65mph on many passes through the Rocky Mountains but there were a couple of times on interstates in mountains where it went to 45mph. I was speaking of the rare exceptions not the 99%. The same with my comment on the back roads and not leaving first gear. That was the rare exception. As I said, the Odyssey was a very satisfactory tow vehicle.



However, given my experiences with those exceptions and not wanting those "exceptions" to become more frequent with a heavier trailer given our type of travel, I wanted a bigger tow vehicle when we went to bigger trailer.



I think all of us sharing our experiences is valuable. Sorry if I wasn't clear.


On the note of Odyssey's and exceeding your vehicles specifications, I took this picture while sitting under my awning


20160729_174827.jpg
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Old 08-23-2018, 03:20 PM   #16
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Hi Perry, would you mind to share your towing setup with me?
In 2006, we purchased our 2003 Odyssey, with 90,000 miles, from a couple in their 80's. They drove five miles into town to get grocery's and 60 miles to Fargo to shop. All their children lived on either the east or west coasts. Rarely did others ride in the van. The van looked brand new! Just the kind of vehicle everyone dreams of purchasing.

I ordered a hitch and wiring from Etrailer and spent a few days on the wiring, but only a couple of hours installing the hitch. Not only did the wiring work perfectly, I could recharge the camper battery at a decent rate. Our 2003 Odyssey had done 90% of the Scamp/Casita towing.

In early 2015 we purchased a 2008 Odyssey with only 54,000 miles (but kept the 2003 Odyssey). I knew that the factory Honda hitch was quite an improvement over the Etrailer hitch and had Honda install the factory hitch and wiring for around $1,400. The factory Honda hitch mounted further towards the front on the frame and the van barely went down in back pulling the Casita. The dealer did a perfect job. We probably hauled the Casita at least 5,000 miles with this setup, including in the mountains. The 2008 had much more power than the 2003 and just played with the Casita, including going up mountain passes. The 2014 was sold in 2016 because we had purchased our 2015 F150 for towing a larger camper.

If I was going to install another hitch on another Odyssey I'd go with the factory setup, even though you choke on the price. I felt it was the perfect setup!

Last time I visited Honda they informed me the maximum recommended towing weight had gone down from 3,500#'s to 3,000#'s. That's a shame, since both were such wonderful towing vehicles.

Hope this helps,

Perry
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Old 08-24-2018, 10:57 AM   #17
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I agree with Jim. In addition, I am never for getting near even 70% of gvwr for many, many reasons. My Nissan had a 6 cyl. with 250lbs of torque.......towing a 3,000lb trailer (I think it was rated for 5,000) it hunted gears, got 10 mpg, and just wasn't up to it. My F 150 with a V8 gets 17mpg towing a 5.0TA and is a joy to tow. Just my .02 worth. Please keep in mind that I often travel over 1,000 miles for trips.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:12 PM   #18
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... I am never for getting near even 70% of gvwr for many, many reasons. My Nissan had a 6 cyl. with 250lbs of torque.......towing a 3,000lb trailer (I think it was rated for 5,000) it hunted gears, got 10 mpg, and just wasn't up to it.
I assume that you meant GCWR, not GVWR. Vehicles are often at 70% of their GVWR when they are empty.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:50 PM   #19
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My SIL tows a small tent trailer with his Honda Odyssey . The kindest thing I can say is that
it get his trailer from point A to point B
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