Towing through the Rockies - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-12-2018, 12:36 PM   #1
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Towing through the Rockies

Hello I am new to the Escape forum. We are shopping for an Escape 17b. We have a Honda Odyssey 2011 minivan. By weight loaded it should be doable by the Odyssey's tow specs. But does anyone have experience with towing with a van with comparable weight through the Rockies?
Thanks.
Lynn
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:13 PM   #2
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Bozlouie: My rule of thumb is you won't want to tow anything that weighs more than about 70% of your tow vehicle's rated towing capacity. So... If the Odyssey has a towing capacity of 3,500 lbs, you want your AUW (all up weight) to be around: 2,500 lbs.

We owned a Scamp 16'er with an all up weight of 2,600 lbs and towed it 40,000+ miles to 47 states and 5 Canadian provinces over 11 years with a Chysler mini-van with 3,500 lb towing capacity with no problem. Up the steep grades we'd be in with the slower trucks, but, hey, we were never in a rush!

(And about the Rockies... Note our home location... :-)

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Old 10-12-2018, 02:24 PM   #3
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My rule of thumb is to accept the rated towing capability as stated by the manufacturer rather that choose some arbitrary number.
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:56 PM   #4
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I towed my 2011 17B that weighed 3010 pounds and a tongue weight of 340 pounds all over the rockies, including to Leadville, CO a number of times with a 2010 RAV4 rated at 3500/350.

While I liked the size of the combination and used them together for 85,000 miles, I eventually replaced the RAV4 with a Tacoma when the RAV4 hit 140,000 miles. While the RAV4 did the job, the Tacoma did it better. Biggest complaint about the RAV4 was the small gas tank & low ground clearance.
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:58 PM   #5
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Not quite the Rockies, but...17 kilometer run with grades up to 8 per cent to get to the Coquihalla summit.
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
My rule of thumb is to accept the rated towing capability as stated by the manufacturer rather that choose some arbitrary number.
I googled "how much does a thumb weigh" and it turns out that a standard thumb weighs about 0.22 lbs. Considering that my FJ has a towing capacity of 5000 lbs, my rule of thumb is that I can tow about 22,700 thumbs before reaching my FJ's towing limit!
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Walter View Post
I googled "how much does a thumb weigh" and it turns out that a standard thumb weighs about 0.22 lbs. Considering that my FJ has a towing capacity of 5000 lbs, my rule of thumb is that I can tow about 22,700 thumbs before reaching my FJ's towing limit!
But a ‘tow’ weighs more than a thumb.....
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:56 PM   #8
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I vaguely recall something about Honda lowering the Odysseys specs after the fact so I'd suggest checking into that. (Not lower in future models, but sending a letter to tell people it was lower in their own model.) However someone on Fiberglass RV towed with one for years, not sure how the weights of what they towed (which I forget) compares to a 17b.

I"m with Glenn on believing what the manufacturer tells you (as a minimum; they are likely erring on the side of caution in passenger vehicles) but remember that you also have to consider the weight of the stuff you carry.
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:56 PM   #9
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That's great to hear! Gives me more confidence about it.! Yes We're not in a hurry to get anywhere either don't want to miss the trip.
Thanks.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:02 PM   #10
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Yes thanks! I've been doing a lot to looking into weights and with this combination we'd be packing light.! Especially bikes can weight alor.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:04 PM   #11
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That's great!!
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:05 PM   #12
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Awesome scene!
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:07 PM   #13
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Good to know! We would be getting the Honda tow package for starters. So we can start out still using our van ...but I've that from other folks also that the move up in TV made a big difference.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:40 PM   #14
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Awesome scene!
Bozlouie: Hit quote at the bottom of the box with which you are replying to. Helps people understand what you are responding to. Then it will look like this does. Especially important the longer the thread gets.
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:20 PM   #15
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There are very specific guidelines in the towing book. Look under the section marked rule of thumb.
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:42 PM   #16
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My rule of thumb is to accept the rated towing capability as stated by the manufacturer rather that choose some arbitrary number.
Agreed. They already factored in all the parameters. Sometimes performance can be affected a bit, but with properly set up trailer brakes, safety is not a concern.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:10 PM   #17
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I have found, a rule of thumb, is great for measuring thumbs.
I have found it never works for anything else.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:35 PM   #18
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In 2005 we purchased our 2003 Odyssey with 90,000 miles. We towed our 2001 Scamp side bath, that weighed 3,200 pounds loaded, for six years and our 2007 standard Casita, that weighed 2,700 pounds loaded, for another four years. One year we had a 2008 Odyssey with factory hitch. We took at least six trips in the Rockies with the 2003 and one with the 2008. Up steep grades we dropped a gear and had no problem pulling up 5-7% grades at 45 mph with the 2003 and at 50 with the 2008.

We sold the 2008 after purchasing our 2015 F-150, but the 2003 is still going after 268,000 miles and runs like a top. I would have no problem pulling an Escape 17, and would get the factory hitch. It distributes the weight further forward than the aftermarket Rease we have on our 2003.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:19 PM   #19
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Thankyou Perry. Sounds like you have a lot of experience and lots of wonderful trips. We"d like to be able to keep our Odyssey and put in the factory tow package from Honda. It's a great van!
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Old 10-13-2018, 01:10 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Walter View Post
I googled "how much does a thumb weigh" and it turns out that a standard thumb weighs about 0.22 lbs. Considering that my FJ has a towing capacity of 5000 lbs, my rule of thumb is that I can tow about 22,700 thumbs before reaching my FJ's towing limit!
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