Honda Odyssey Towing Question

McMullapMcMullap Posts: 4Member
edited July 10 in Trailer & Towing
I’ve been tent camping for years but since having a family, that has slowed down. My wife has agreed to a camper and I’ve focused on a [email protected] S. Our family of 4 (4 and 2 years old) frequently take trips in our 2017 Odyssey. Im told to never approach the tow rating. Would I have any trouble towing our family, luggage and a [email protected]?  Intend on traveling mostly flat trips within 250 miles. Thanks, Andy


  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,310Moderator
    We tow with a Toyota Sienna - just 2 adults and gear - no problems!
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  • McMullapMcMullap Posts: 4Member
    Sharon_is_SAM Thank you! Is your TV also rated at 3,500#? Thanks!
  • McMullapMcMullap Posts: 4Member
    pthomas745 - Thank you. I’ve read those but they mostly deal with older Odyssey’s. Older Odyssey’s also seem to have problems with both the transmission and brakes. While I know it can “legally,” is it safe with a wife and two small children?
  • pthomas745pthomas745 Posts: 833Member
    You are thinking in the right way.  Every model and year of a vehicle will have different reviews and towing capabilities......

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,310Moderator
    @McMullap, yes our tow capacity is 3500#.  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  • MuttonChopsMuttonChops Posts: 499Member
    McMullap said:
    . . .  take trips in our 2017 Odyssey. Im told to never approach the tow rating.
    . . .  Intend on traveling mostly flat trips within 250 miles. Thanks, Andy

    My Two Cents - - - if even worth that ;)

    Let's look at some worse case numbers.
    First, factory towing capacity:

    So you don't have 3,500# capacity; 2 Adults and 2 small children = 3 Adults. If you also have a large dog or Grandma comes along you're at or above 4 Adults . . . . Tow capacity at sea-level is 3,200#

    Next tow capacity is derated based on altitude at 3% loss per 1,000 feet

    If your hometown and primary camping areas are around 2,000 Ft elevation your towing capacity nearly equals the maximum 320S weight (GVWR)

    At 2,000 feet elevation you will be towing ~ 2,355 pound . . . . 78% of maximum rating

    Suggest you do the above type of analysis for your situation and then decide what % of margin is comfortable for you. Personally, I'm more comfortable towing at 70% or less (lower better) of TV maximum towing capacity or "a margin" of 30% or more.

    Don't Forget:
    Honda OM says you need the factory tow package or at least a Transmission Cooler to achieve the maximum ,3500# rating. They also state on page 402, that Honda does not recommend WDH (most [email protected]'s don't need it) but keep that in mind.

    = = =

    In general Honda has useful towing information in their owners manuals which is true for the Odyssey as well. Compared to a Ridgeline there is not nearly as much information so it could be safe to assume Honda does not consider the Odyssey as a towing platform . . . it can tow but that was not a primary design criteria.

    If you decide the Odyssey is OK for your situation go for it. If the future brings greater distance and longer duration trips a different tow vehicle would most likely serve you better.

    2018 [email protected] 320 Spitched axle, 3020HE
    TV: 2017 Colorado V6 Z71 4x4, Tow Package, Factory Trailer Brake Controller
       Adventures:  19       Nights:   89 
  • McMullapMcMullap Posts: 4Member
    @MuttonChops - Thank you for the detailed information. I was also looking for comfort level, or Margin as you mention. Technically I know that the TV towing capacity is covered. I’m worried about the safety of the passengers and of the TV, and ensuring that it will last for years to come. Your analysis is spot on. I guess I need to figure out if I’m comfortable allowing only 20% of room between the TV rating and the fully loaded [email protected] What do others think? Safe?
    Thanks, Andy
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,310Moderator
    I know Odyssey’s have a history of transmission problems.  If you plan on keeping that vehicle forever, I would not risk the wear and tear.  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  • gooseladygooselady Posts: 133Member
    I happily tow with my Honda Odyssey.  I added the tranny cooler, hitch, and brake controller.  I regularly tow various items including the [email protected], a small horse trailer (1800#), and a flat bed trailer.  It is a 2014 model and has 175M miles on it.  I've not had any transmission problems, though I have read about problems with the pre-2010 models.  Unfortunately, the new models (2018+) have a lower tow rating of 3000#, so when I go to replace my minivan, I will most likely turn to the Chrysler Pacifica, which is rated at 3600#.  I think the [email protected]/minivan is a great combination, both in cargo capacity ( I carry several dogs) and towing flexibility, as I can maneuver in tight places.
  • GeoGeo Posts: 72Member
    @McMullap ; We tow with a '12 Odyssey, actually performs better than our '06 Pathfinder. Very comfortable seats/ride, better mileage both towing and single, much more cargo room. The transmission issues are pre-'10 history as @gooselady said. The most important issue is to add a transmission cooler. Our [email protected] is '04 with surge brakes so no brake controller needed. We are in Virginia so most of our towing is in the eastern mountains, lots of up and down grades.
    I believe you will be very happy with [email protected] combination. . .
    Geo & Liz
    [email protected]
    '04  #100
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