Towing with a Honda Accord ?? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-23-2006, 02:06 AM   #1
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I more or less stumbled upon this forum a couple of weeks ago. I used to think fiberglass RV's are ugly and unappealing, but after reading more about them and discovering the passion that owners have about them - suddenly I wan one!
Problem is, I did not purchase my car with towing in mind. I drive a 2005 Honda Accord, 2.4 L, 4 cyl with 5 speed manual transmission. It is a brilliant vehicle, but according to the manual it can only tow 1000 pounds.
I am hoping than someone in this forum can help me understand why the tow ratings are so low in North America. In Europe the Honda Accord is rated to tow 1500 KG (around 3500 pounds!). The European version of the Honda Accord is sold in Canada as the Accra TSX - but here it is rated to tow 1000 pounds - the same vehicle.
I am puzzled because I used to tow a 2000 pound travel trailers all over Europe with a 1982 Toyota Camry - it had 1.8 liter engine, 90 hp, and there was no problem with engine, clutch, brakes or anything else, even in the mountains. Also, Europeans don't have big trucks and Suv's, so they tow with what they have - mainly sedans with 4 cyl engines. You see them everywhere you go in Europe and it is perfectly legal. What is the difference? Why can I not hook a 2000 pound trailer up to my Accord?
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Old 04-23-2006, 02:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Why can I not hook a 2000 pund trailer up to my Accord?
You can do nearly anything you want to do. The question is whether doing so is wise.
  • Hooking up when your owner's manual says not to means you may void your vehicle's warranties.
  • You may also void your insurance coverage if you ignore the manufacturer's written safety warnings should there be an accident. Depending on what happened, the police may weigh your tow vehicle and the towed trailer. If your tow weight ratios are outside of accepted safety standards, you may be at fault.
  • The high probability of litigation should something not go right is something manufacturers try to mitigate when they sell products here. They have to add in a safety buffer to protect themselves from idiots who will push all cautions beyond reasonable constraints.
  • Non-US products may have some difference in their specs from the US version.

Others can supplement my comments. This is one short list. There are other lists, safety and wear and tear on systems for example.
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Old 04-23-2006, 06:44 AM   #3
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Also, Europeans dont have big trucks and Suv's, so they tow with what they have - mainly sedans with 4 cyl engines. You see them everywhere you go in Europe and it is perfectly legal. What is the difference? Why can I not hook a 2000 pund trailer up to my Accord?
Johan,

I have been curious about this difference too - I don't pretend to know the answer, but from what I've picked up, I would suggest the following contribute to it:

- Some North American-spec cars have lower-spec brakes than equivalent EU ones;

- NA-spec cars will nearly always have softer springs and dampers than EU ones;

- EU drivers accept that towing requires great care and must be done at lower speeds than regular traffic, whereas my experience of NA drivers is that they expect to be able to tow at normal traffic speeds - I can't comment on whether they expect to execrise greater care.

- In North America all maunfacturers have larger (and more profitable?) models in their line-up, so there is not much incentive to give good tow ratings to smaller vehicles.

I suspect these are listed in reverse order of importance!

The curious thing about allowing higher tow ratings in Yurp is that these are combined with lower hitch weights - the EU Accord is rated to tow 1500kg (3300lb) but its maximum hitch weight is 75kg (165lb), or 5%.

It's curious but, as you know, the roads of Yurp are not lined with overturned trailers......

Andrew
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:36 AM   #4
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Andrew, being a near-resident of Yurp has a better first-hand perspective than I; however, I have noticed that axle placement on trailers manufactured in Yurp are significanly further forward than those manufactured in North America. That axle placement would cause the tongue weights to be half or less than half of what the same U.S. built trailer would have. The difference in weight distribution might also cause trailers built in Yurp not to behave as well at our freeway speeds. I have been told that most recreational towing driving in Yurp is done at less than 60km/hr (45mph)?

While the Accord may be able to move that much weight, the suspension/unibody may not be up for a 200 lb tongue weight. Further the Yurpeen hitch styles are also signficantly different from what is used in N.A.

Models that look similar by the same manufacturer may, in fact, have wildly varying components. The N.A. spec Ford Ranger pickup alone, for example, is variously rated between 2,000 and 6,000 lbs depending on the drivetrain and equipment.

Towing a 2000 lb trailer in N.A. with a car rated by the manufacturer to tow a max of 1,000 lbs is probably not a good idea.

Roger
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Old 04-23-2006, 08:08 AM   #5
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Seems funny that both Australia and Europe have it wrong. My suspicion is that the low tow ratings in North America (unfortunately Canada gets their tow ratings from the US) have more to do with the litigious nature of our society than physics.
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Old 04-23-2006, 08:23 AM   #6
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Cam, who has it wrong? I doubt either is "wrong". I suspect it's just different towing "atmospheres", and there are signficantly different laws to be adhered to. Perhaps the weight of the airbags, safety glass and other 'stuff' required in N.A. lowers the tow rating? Perhaps it's a max 100lb hitch weight which allows for a 2,000 lb trailer in Yurp but only a 1,000 lb trailer here... who knows? Conjecture about the differences, however, don't change the manufacturer's ratings.

For whatever reason, if the N.A. Accord is rated by Honda at 1,000 lbs and you knowingly tow a 2,000 lb trailer and have a failure, from a legal perspective, you're toast.

Roger
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Old 04-23-2006, 10:55 AM   #7
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Hi Johan!

The voice of stupid here. I did tow my egg home from North Carolina and on one trip to south GA with a 2001, 4 cyl, Toyota Corolla. It is doable, but........ not easy and so very not smart. As soon as I could I bought my Toyota Tocoma 6 cyl.

We all have to learn. I was lucky with no wrecks, no vehicle destroyed.
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Old 04-23-2006, 12:09 PM   #8
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My Honda CR-V can tow twice the weight in Australia! Same car, same motor, same suspension...

And every country have its rationale behind their standard... I would not be incline to consider the Australians or Europeans as uncounscious and more dangerous people than North-Americans...

My own conclusion is that there are no really reliable figures.
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Old 04-23-2006, 12:28 PM   #9
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The same rating differences from oz and the us applies to my Element.

As Roger touched on, one of the biggest differences I can see is interstates. We tow farther and faster than any countries in the world. Altho I suspect much of the ratings have a LOT to do with lawyers, there is that one undeniable factor of speeds towed at.

The only State I have been in, however, that does not limit your tow speed to 55, is Arizona. I haven't towed in any State other than the Western ones, so I am sure others allow a 70mph tow as well. I still won't do it.

Having been a lifetime Honda owner, an Accord being on my list of past cars, I would have a tendency to feel the car is more durable than any other car in it's class, but I still would avoid towing with it. There just isn't enough bulk there. I like my trailer to stay behind me, not on my roof should there be a quick stop, or on it's side should I need to make an evasive manuever.

I certainly don't want to sit in a courtroom for months on end either.
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Old 04-23-2006, 02:13 PM   #10
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Any Aussies out there that can comment on the local towing practises?
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Old 04-23-2006, 03:12 PM   #11
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Johan, the reasons for lower tow limits is not really mechanical differences between Euro spec. and U.S. spec cars. Transportation systems are typically designed to 1.5 X worst case. If they say 1000lbs you can probably go to 1500 with no problems. The difference in the US really has more to do with driving conditions, statistics and legal reasons. We like to sue, so manufactures typically tend to be very conservative in this country. Don't tow with your Accord. Sell it while it is still new and then get a Pilot or even a little Element.
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Old 04-23-2006, 07:00 PM   #12
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Thank you to all of you for your valuable input! I am extremely impressed with the level of though that went in to the replies you gave me. The warranty of my vehicle did not concern me too much as I will be passing 60,000 km within the next couple of months and that ends it anyway. What really made me change my mind and give up on the idea was the comment about the insurance - I would never want to drive around with no insurance coverage.

I guess I will have to see if my 1994 Chevy Astro is still up to towing. It has 280,000 km on it but seems to be ig great shape. It aldready has the hithch and controller for electric trailer brakes. I have never towed with it and neither did the previous owner. The only concern I have is that the van does not seem to have a lot of reserves in terms of power.
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Old 04-23-2006, 09:45 PM   #13
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It probably has a 6-cyl in it? As long as your astro is in good mechanical shape it should easily tow a 13-16ft fiberglass trailer. With everything you mentioned it sounds like your van is ready to go. Small fiberglass tailers are very easy to tow even if you have never towed anything before. Just practice a little, you'll be fine.

Quote:
Thank you to all of you for your valuable input! I am extremely impressed with the level of though that went in to the replies you gave me. The warranty of my vehicle did not concern me too much as I will be passing 60,000 km within the next couple of months and that ends it anyway. What really made me change my mind and give up on the idea was the comment about the insurance - I would never want to drive around with no insurance coverage.

I guess I will have to see if my 1994 Chevy Astro is still up to towing. It has 280,000 km on it but seems to be ig great shape. It aldready has the hithch and controller for electric trailer brakes. I have never towed with it and neither did the previous owner. The only concern I have is that the van does not seem to have a lot of reserves in terms of power.
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Old 04-23-2006, 11:18 PM   #14
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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!
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