Towing with a Honda Accord ?? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-24-2006, 12:28 AM   #15
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Your Astro should have the 4.3 V6 if it is a passenger version. Very few of the Astros had 4 cylinders.
I have no problems towing my 16' with a 3.9 V6 Dakota.
Best of Luck!
P
My Astro is a 4.3L V6 passenger van. It is the shorter version of the Astro. The engine seems to be in excellent shape, it runs like new, uses no oil, does not smoke and has no leaks anywhere. The transmission may need attention before I tow anything with it. I think it could shift a little smoother under load, altohugh I have no experience with these vehicles when new - I have only driven 10,000 km in it myself.
I usually drive the vehicle around full of barbecues since that is my line of work and it handles it very well.
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Old 04-24-2006, 07:48 AM   #16
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Johann, I towed a 1961 Airstream Bambi 16' trailer with a '98 Astro AWD 4.3l v-6 auto. When properly equipped, the Astro is just about the perfect tow vehicle for small trailers. Make sure you have the tranny cooler installed, and you may want to consider a weight distributing hitch as the rear suspension tends to be soft on the Astro and will sag with not much weight on the hitch. You'll also want to make sure that your Astro has some stiff-sidewall tires on it and air the rears up to max. Soft sidewall tires on the Astro make the ride really plush, but they also allow a trailer to drag the van over the contact patch giving a very squirrelly ride while towing. NOT fun! I'd also strongly recommend that you use trailer brakes, especially with the short version of the Astro. When bad things happen towing, they happen fast and even faster in a short wheelbase tow vehicle.

Good luck!

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Old 04-24-2006, 05:34 PM   #17
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Hello,

I was in Europe this winter. I went to a small unofficial gathering of travel trailers and slept in an "Eriba Troll".
I can bring a few comments regarding some points mentioned in this thread.

> I have been told that most recreational towing driving in Yurp is done at less than 60km/hr (45mph)?

I hear often this kind of comment, meanwhile, I have no idea where in Europe they tow at that speed.
My understanding is the towing speed limit is around 80 - 90 km/h depending the country.
When I asked the drivers at what speed they usually tow, the answers were between 80 km/h and 130 km/h (on freeways), which is more or less between 55 and 80 mph (130 km/h is over legal speed limit, I think everywhere).

While it is correct they tow often with smaller cars, they seems to tow faster on flat road, freeways, etc. and slower on mountain road.

> In Europe the Honda Accord is rated to tow 1500 KG (around 3500 pounds!).

It may not be the same in every country. Countries with mostly mountains, usually have a lower towing rate than flat land countries, but I have no idea for your specific model if it is the case or not.
Same for travel trailers, some trailers models are sold in a few countries, but the models have different specs.
A silly example would be like if Casita, Scamp or Trillum had a 17 ft with similare beds and kitchen location, but the model for Florida would have different brake than the model for Colorado, then some states could simply not buy this model but a special one might be available or not for them.

> US really has more to do with driving conditions, statistics and legal reasons.

I seem to agree with the last part, "legal reasons"...
Lawsuits are like a new industry, it almost does not seems to exist yet, at least at the private citizen level.

Regarding your Astro Van, I knew somebody that was towing with one (California), he seemed happy with its towing capability.

I tow with an Aerostar, I added a transmission cooler for peace of mind, it does help a lot.
On mountain roads, I just tow at slower speed, to prevent overheating, especially in the desert areas.
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Old 04-24-2006, 09:00 PM   #18
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One reason that some people need a V-10 Ford F350 to pull a 13-16' frailer is the amount of "STUFF" they put in their trailer. My 13' Love Bug weighs 980 lbs with a full lp tank and a spare. Ready to travel it weighs about 1100 lbs. I don't carry alot of permenant stuff. In my single life, I did most of my traveling by motorcycle so I am good at packing very light. I can actually pull my Love Bug with my Geo Prizm if needed. I increase my following distance and keep the speed below 55.

My preference is to tow with my EXT AWD Astro with tow package. It is rated for 5400 lbs and does not know that the Love Bug is there. The Astro is a great tow vehicle. It has tranny cooler, oil cooler, power steering fluid cooler (the brakes are not vaccum boost, they are run by the PS pump), and a 15 qt radiator. That thing was build to work.

The only reason I pull with the Prizm is when we need the pop-up and the Love Bug for the weekend. We sometimes have alot of extra kids along. We never say no to friends of our kids, we adopt everyone. Sometimes we have an extra 10 kids for the weekend. Finding a spot is no problems because my parents own a Tree Farm that we camp at. Sometime we have 30 or 40 people there for holiday weekends.
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:30 PM   #19
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My Astro is a 1994, it is the short version and only has RWD with no locking differential. I would think that the short version is not at any disadvantage at towing as the difference in lenght is entirely behind the rear axle. As far as I know the wheelbase is identical, but the short version has vary little overhang behind the rear axle. That should only be an advantage, if I remember correcty. I believe the 94 has less hp than newer versions, it does not seem particularly powerful up the hills, even without load. Although the van drives very nicely and shows little sign og wear, I am concerned about the mileage - over 280,000 km. Does anyone tow with vehicles that have accumulated that kind of mileage?
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Old 04-24-2006, 11:57 PM   #20
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My GMC Safari, Chevy Astro twin, has more than 100,000 miles, approaching 150,000 miles on it and its still towing. At this point my confidence in it is dwindling. That is more due to the abuse its received than anything.
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Old 04-25-2006, 05:59 AM   #21
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One reason that some people need a V-10 Ford F350 to pull a 13-16' frailer is the amount of "STUFF" they put in their trailer.
Bob... you mean like THIS?


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Old 04-25-2006, 07:36 AM   #22
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Speaking of towing with a V10 Ford...

I've posted this before (pre-hack), but I think it's worth repeating... It's pretty obvious that when it comes to towing, I'm solidly in the longer-and-heavier is better camp. Let me tell you why...

In April of 2004, I was bringing home a fiberglass RV that I'd bought in NW Iowa. My red short-bed 4WD 4cyl Toyota pickup that had so admirably towed the UHaul was dying of a sucked intake manifold gasket, and all I had to tow with was my Excursion. As I was driving eastbound on U.S. 20 just east of Webster City, Iowa, I hit a particularly rough portion of highway that caused the entire rig to porpoise.

Unbeknownst to me, the coupler spoon was worn badly enough to allow the coupler to jump off the hitch ball with that kind of pitching. Fortunately, I had safety chains installed properly. I felt something odd going on with the trailer before I saw it. Then I watched the trailer start to dance around like a drunken sailor on the deck of a destroyer in 20 foot seas. I instinctively reached for the brake controller to bring the trailer back in line (no sway control) and it did nothing as the pitching of the tongue had pulled the pigtail out of the socket. The trailer continued to dance and jerk the back of the Excursion around. Fortunately, it's 1500 lbs couldn't exert enough pressure on the rear axle of the 7,000 lb Excursion to move it. I watched in fascinated horror as it hopped on one wheel and then back to the other swaying out eight or ten feet with each oscillation, knowing that at any moment the trailer was going to roll. It was probably the longest 45 seconds of my entire life.

Fortunately U.S. 20 is a four-lane divided highway and there was no traffic in either direction at that moment but me. I was able to slow the trailer gradually until it settled down on it's wheels, and I brought the entire rig to a stop smoothly. After I uttered a brief prayer of thanks, I wobbily got out of the driver's seat and checked the damage. The only damage was that the pigtail had pulled out of the socket and the cord had been ground half-way through by contact with the roadway. One safety chain had ground through and fallen off as I came to a stop, and that was the only damage!

I returned to Webster City RV (only two miles away at this point) and had a new coupler, chains, and pigtail installed as well as the rest of the frame and running gear examined for damage. Fortunately, there was no other damage to the trailer at all.

Were it not for the 7000 lbs of the Excursion being able to withstand the 1500 lbs of fiberglass trailer wildly tugging away at the rear end, this story probably would have had a MUCH different ending. Had I been towing with the compact Toyota truck, I'm sure that the trailer would have rolled and taken the Toyota and me with it.

The moral of this story is that you can't count on your trailer brakes in a sway situation as they aren't always effective, especially if they're disconnected (this trailer didn't have an on-board battery, and therefore no break-away switch... which was actually good as I'm sure that had the brakes locked on, the trailer WOULD have broken the chains and rolled); A severe sway condition CAN be controlled if the towed weight to tow vehicle weight ratio is insignificant enough, even if the trailer is only connected by chains; and that if you keep your head, have a plan, are properly equipped, and do the right things in the right order you can control your trailer in the worst of circumstances. Let the physics of having a heavy tow vehicle work for you instead of against you.

These are some of the reasons that I earlier said that towing a 2000 lb trailer with a car rated for a thousand pounds isn't a good idea, particularly when the car probably only weighs 3500 lbs itself.

Roger
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:48 AM   #23
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These are some of the reasons that I earlier said that towing a 2000 lb trailer with a car rated for a thousand pounds isn't a good idea, particularly when the car probably only weighs 3500 lbs itself.
I think this is very much a case of different strokes for different folks.

To put your comment in a Yurpeen perspective, Roger, the weight recomendation for trailer towing in the UK is:
- Novice and regular drivers may tow a trailer with a maximum laden weight (ie, GVWR-equivalent) up to the tow vehicle manufacturer's limit, or 85% of the tow vehicle's kerb weight, whichever is lower.
- For very experienced towers, that 85% can be increased to 100%, if it's within the manufacturer's limit.

In the case of Johan's Accord, the manufacturer's tow limit is almost exactly 100% of kerb weight - which is often the case here.

The freeway speed limit for trailers is 60mph/100kph in most of Yurp and that's about the speed most trailers travel at. I think you could make a good argument for saying trailers are used 'harder' in either Europe or North America, depending on which way you were personally inclined - I don't think there's a clear-cut case either way.

Andrew
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Old 04-26-2006, 12:56 PM   #24
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Gee Whiz,

I wish I had the link to the short clip of a small car towing a trailer in England...the car comes roaring up the hill, misfiring and trying it's best to pull the trailer up...it passes by...more misfiring from the engine and then as horrified spectators watch the car gives up the ghost and down it goes pulled by the trailer...as the clip ends the trailer flips and the car is following it...

I'm with Roger on the size thing.

R.:-)
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Old 04-26-2006, 05:41 PM   #25
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I wish I had the link to the short clip of a small car towing a trailer in England.
There you are: Google Caravan clip That caravan (TT) probably has a GVWR-equivalent of 1900kg (4200lb) and the old Renault 5 (Le Car in US) had a tow rating of maybe 900-1000kg - so that was around twice the safe towing weight for that car in the UK!

And to show there is some relevance to FGRV, the same search of Google Video will give you The Romini - a moulded fiberglass trailer made briefly in the UK, that makes a Scamp look big. It has a body that's all of 7 or 8 feet long! Google Romini clip I can only find poor photos of it - see below.

Andrew
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:58 PM   #26
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Johan,

The kicker with your Accord is manual transmission. Most, if not all, vehicles have a higher tow rating with an automatic transmission - somewhere around 1.5 times to 2 times that of a manual transmission, if memory serves me right. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the owner's manual states the Accord with an automatic transmission and a trailer with brakes would have a tow rating of 2,000 pounds.
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:18 PM   #27
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--><div class='quotemain'>
Johan,

The kicker with your Accord is manual transmission. Most, if not all, vehicles have a higher tow rating with an automatic transmission - somewhere around 1.5 times to 2 times that of a manual transmission, if memory serves me right. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the owner's manual states the Accord with an automatic transmission and a trailer with brakes would have a tow rating of 2,000 pounds.
[/quote]

I thought the opposite is the case. As far as the european Honda accord
goes, the tow rating is exactly the same for automatic and manual
transmission. I would think manual is better as it is not prone to over heat?
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Old 04-29-2006, 10:30 PM   #28
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With many domestics and Japanese cars, the weak spot in the manual trans is actually the clutch. I had an '87 Bronco with a Mazda transmission that had a 2,000 lb tow limit. The same truck in an auto was rated at 5,000 lbs. Small clutch plates equal small tow ratings.

Roger
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