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Old 10-17-2017, 07:36 PM   #1
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Towing my 19 with a Honda Element Not on Public Streets

OK, I know the Element is vastly under-rated for my 19. Here's what I need to do:

I can get the trailer into my rear yard with my F150, tows it fine. My problem is once in my back yard getting it into my carport. Because of limited space and a hill, I need something a lot shorter than my F150 to get the trailer into my carport, or I need to spend serious $$ on additional grading to improve access.

My F150 is 20 feet long (Super Cab), with a 12 foot wheelbase. The Element is 14 feet long, with an 8 1/2 foot wheelbase (approximate figures).

My Element has a hitch weight limit of 150 pounds, 1500 pound tow rating. Clearly I will be way over these figures. It also just has a four wire plug.

The area I will be backing the trailer into is flat, its the rest of the lot that is not flat. I will only be backing the trailer up 50 feet or so.

I kind of/sort of got the trailer backed in with my truck, although the truck ended up into the side of the hill and the trailer is not square into the carport. Carport is 18 x 25.
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by NCBill View Post
OK, I know the Element is vastly under-rated for my 19. Here's what I need to do:

I can get the trailer into my rear yard with my F150, tows it fine. My problem is once in my back yard getting it into my carport. Because of limited space and a hill, I need something a lot shorter than my F150 to get the trailer into my carport, or I need to spend serious $$ on additional grading to improve access.

My F150 is 20 feet long (Super Cab), with a 12 foot wheelbase. The Element is 14 feet long, with an 8 1/2 foot wheelbase (approximate figures).

My Element has a hitch weight limit of 150 pounds, 1500 pound tow rating. Clearly I will be way over these figures. It also just has a four wire plug.

The area I will be backing the trailer into is flat, its the rest of the lot that is not flat. I will only be backing the trailer up 50 feet or so.

I kind of/sort of got the trailer backed in with my truck, although the truck ended up into the side of the hill and the trailer is not square into the carport. Carport is 18 x 25.
Ever consider a front hitch for the truck? It makes moving into tight areas easier.

Years ago I used to bring a 21 foot boat out of the back yard of a property I owned through the side by the house and up front with a rider lawn mower. Had to do that since the deed restrictions said I could not store it up front and it did not fit in the garage. The restrictions said nothing about the back so I told them to stuff it when they tried to stop me.
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:32 PM   #3
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I hadn't thought of a front hitch. It would be interesting having the steer axle of the truck so close to the trailer.

Yes, to below. From reading up on front hitch, its better on a trailer you can see through or over, like a flat open trailer or boat. Seeing along side the trailer without mirrors is pretty difficult.

I've already moved so much dirt on this backyard just creating a flat spot for the carport.
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:38 PM   #4
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I've asked in the past, if you use a front hitch, how do you see around the trailer, which is a few feet in front of you. It's like holding your thumb in front of your eye. You can cover the sun.
Shot this picture of the view from the driver seat of my RAV4, if it had a front hitch. There are two steel posts, one either side of the driveway ( behind the trailer ). A gate is there too, and it's closed.
Anyway, you can try it out in your situation, before buying a front hitch.
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:49 PM   #5
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You have a point, but that is how I see them moving around the trailers at the big dealer nearby, granted it is more of a fork lift then a RAV4.
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I've asked in the past, if you use a front hitch, how do you see around the trailer, which is a few feet in front of you. It's like holding your thumb in front of your eye. You can cover the sun.
Shot this picture of the view from the driver seat of my RAV4, if it had a front hitch. There are two steel posts, one either side of the driveway ( behind the trailer ). A gate is there too, and it's closed.
Anyway, you can try it out in your situation, before buying a front hitch.

You would need a spotter, but you should have one when backing in tight quarters anyways. The steering axle up front helps the trailer into spots that would be extremely difficult backing into.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:13 PM   #7
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ETI uses a forklift, but do it all day, all the time. A well-trained spotter would be an asset.
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Old 10-17-2017, 09:35 PM   #8
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Turns out a front hitch for my F150 is relatively cheap, with 500 pound tongue weight, 5,000 pound trailer rating. $120. Supposedly, no drilling, 45 minute job, you have to cut a piece off the plastic front lower arm dam. Also could be useful for a bike rack out front.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:17 AM   #9
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I bought a small old garden tractor to maneuver our 19' into a rear yard carport. The F150 just couldn't back it in all the way in once the truck was almost 90 degrees to the trailer. More fun and less expensive than a powered trailer dolly that won't work on a gravel surface.

Also, if the water tank is full and one removes the dual batteries and propane tanks, the tongue weight is significantly reduced - enough that I can lift the tongue with a little effort.
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:59 AM   #10
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Here's a picture of our 2012 SCREW F150 with the front hitch, and a bike rack in it. Technically, I think the hitch I bought was for an ecoboost ( egoboost ), but it fit great on our V8 F150 without cutting the air dam. Very happy with it, and it will stop you from bumping into walls,as it hits before the bumper, with the rubber cap in it!
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:15 AM   #11
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I use one of these on my tractor to move my cargo trailer and flatbed trailer around the property and will also use it when I get my Escape. Works great. This is for a 3 point hitch but they make them for smaller garden type tractors too. I believe there are two different 3 pt hitch models.

https://www.amazon.com/Titan-Attachm.../dp/B00CNUUU5A
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:59 AM   #12
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Keith I have one of those also - works great. And just ordered one of these for the tight fit into the shed. https://www.palletforks.com/clamp-on...QaAoxuEALw_wcB

I have a hard time getting my neck around far enough to see what I am doing with the tight fit on both side into the shed.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:15 PM   #13
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I'd like to put one on my Ram but can not seem to find one, they really make a big difference and imagine the cg stares when you come into the site pushing your trailer.......
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCBill View Post
OK, I know the Element is vastly under-rated for my 19. Here's what I need to do:

I can get the trailer into my rear yard with my F150, tows it fine. My problem is once in my back yard getting it into my carport. Because of limited space and a hill, I need something a lot shorter than my F150 to get the trailer into my carport, or I need to spend serious $$ on additional grading to improve access.

My F150 is 20 feet long (Super Cab), with a 12 foot wheelbase. The Element is 14 feet long, with an 8 1/2 foot wheelbase (approximate figures).

My Element has a hitch weight limit of 150 pounds, 1500 pound tow rating. Clearly I will be way over these figures. It also just has a four wire plug.

The area I will be backing the trailer into is flat, its the rest of the lot that is not flat. I will only be backing the trailer up 50 feet or so.

I kind of/sort of got the trailer backed in with my truck, although the truck ended up into the side of the hill and the trailer is not square into the carport. Carport is 18 x 25.
For moving the trailer very short distances around the yard on relatively flat ground, I would not worry too much about exceeding the towing capacity and hitch weight of your Honda. Just go for it.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:48 PM   #15
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( I feel the need to chime in. ) Depending on how the hitch mounts to the car, you could actually bend, buckle, or tear it up with a high tongue weight. Some uni-body cars have no hard points for hitch receivers, so mounting them is a "compromise". I know that the mercedes ML we looked at actually had bolts going thru sheet metal under the spare tire, so I skipped that. I also have a friend that ripped/crinkled up her Mazda carrying a heavy load on a hitch ( too many bikes !) . Just an FYI...
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:05 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by thiggins View Post
Depending on how the hitch mounts to the car, you could actually bend, buckle, or tear it up with a high tongue weight. Some uni-body cars have no hard points for hitch receivers, so mounting them is a "compromise". I know that the mercedes ML we looked at actually had bolts going thru sheet metal under the spare tire, so I skipped that. I also have a friend that ripped/crinkled up her Mazda carrying a heavy load on a hitch ( too many bikes !) .
Yes, and some vehicles have perfectly good places to attach a hitch which are not used by the cheap junk receivers which are sold in North America. I have not towed yet with my Mazda3, but if I want to a proper hitch for that car replaces the bumper support bar and ties solidly into the bumper mounting points; this is the Mazda-approved system which is used in Europe. Unfortunately, Euro hitches are expensive here, and it is difficult to get them a with a two-inch ball.

Of course many unibody vehicles - such as our Toyota Sienna - do have mounting points specifically for a hitch, which are used by both OEM and aftermarket receivers.


There is at least one hitch for the Element which I wouldn't even use for a bike rack:
Draw-Tite Class I Sport Frame Receiver Hitch
Other readily available receivers (from Cequent and Curt) still don't use Honda-designed mounting points, but at least attach reasonably to the frame rails. I don't know if there is a proper Euro towbar for an Element (it's an obscure model) but they exist for a CR-V, and are of the bumper bar replacement type.
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:38 PM   #17
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Yes, and some vehicles have perfectly good places to attach a hitch which are not used by the cheap junk receivers which are sold in North America. I have not towed yet with my Mazda3, but if I want to a proper hitch for that car replaces the bumper support bar and ties solidly into the bumper mounting points; this is the Mazda-approved system which is used in Europe. Unfortunately, Euro hitches are expensive here, and it is difficult to get them a with a two-inch ball.

Of course many unibody vehicles - such as our Toyota Sienna - do have mounting points specifically for a hitch, which are used by both OEM and aftermarket receivers.


There is at least one hitch for the Element which I wouldn't even use for a bike rack:
Draw-Tite Class I Sport Frame Receiver Hitch
Other readily available receivers (from Cequent and Curt) still don't use Honda-designed mounting points, but at least attach reasonably to the frame rails. I don't know if there is a proper Euro towbar for an Element (it's an obscure model) but they exist for a CR-V, and are of the bumper bar replacement type.
Yeah, that's exactly what I'm talking about:

"Drilling is for two mounting holes through the trunk spare tire pan; you do not need to drill into the vehicle frame. Drilling required for installation , Trunk access required for hitch installation"

A pretty inferior installation IMHO. It gets "mounted" by drilling holes into sheet metal (spare tire pan) and an attempt to reinforce it with a couple of large washers. No thanks.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:47 PM   #18
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Well, if I do any damage to my wife's Element, I would be in BIG TROUBLE! Looks like I will be ordering a front mount hitch. The ones I saw have 500 pound tongue weight, 5,000 pound trailer limit.
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