Class I Hitch Design/Strength Question - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-29-2009, 06:20 PM   #1
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We're about to start hauling a 13' Scamp with our 2003 Honda Element. A local RV repair shop installed a type of class I hitch that attaches by two bolts through the spare wheel well and one bolt through the loop at the rear/center of the frame. Just now doing my research, we more often see class I hitches for the Element that attach to the frame with multiple bolts at two points on the rear frame and at the loop in the center. B


My question is: Is this simple, wheel-well attached class I hitch (and that loop on the frame) beefy enough for a 1000# trailer? Karin
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:23 PM   #2
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You may find that your 1000# trailer weights more than that. I can only speak for myself, but that set up you have may not be sufficent to do the job. I would look into it more.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:20 PM   #3
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that sounds... fishy.

I towed a 13 ft Burro with an Element and class 1 hitch. My hitch came from Etrailers and I installed it myself.. it wasn't hard to do, no special tools needed.. Honda put all the holes in the right place for a hitch.

scrool over the links at the top, it will show how it should be installed. EZPZ

No, I don't think the install as you describe it is sturdy enough for Element of Trailer.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:04 AM   #4
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Class I hitch scare me to dead... If I was you I find a class II or a class III if possible! I Prefer to be safe then sorry! Take a closer look to the link Gina give you ,I found 4 good alternative there. (I like the Curt ) Like chester already tell you a 13' 1000 Pds trailer is almost a myth... Of course there is "some exception".

http://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2003_Honda_Element.htm
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:13 PM   #5
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This look familiar?

If that's the hitch they put on, I'd find something else to tow with. The sheetmetal into the spare tire section is not strong enough for the back for forth jerking that may result from trailer towing, not to mention the up and down that may result from it pivoting on the tow hook, and you're putting a lot of weight down on the tow hook. The hook should be able to handle the back and forth, but I'd be REALLY worried about continued jerking motions (Potholes)
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:02 PM   #6
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I'd take a look at the Honda authorized hitch, and if it was not too expensive I'd buy it. If it was too expensive, I'd start looking for similar aftermarket hitches.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:29 AM   #7
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While it's not my preferred design of hitch, Draw-Tite makes excellent products, and it has the necessary Class I rating. That hitch will work just fine up to, and beyond, the Element's 1500lb tow rating. Don't second guess yourself to the point it stops you from taking that Scamp out camping.

If, in the future, you still feel you want a different hitch, you can put on one of the various other receivers such as the Hidden Hitch, Valley, Curt, or Draw-Tite. I personally went with the Valley as it was the only 2 inch receiver made for an Element at the time.

Couple questions though: What vehicle wiring harness did you go with? Was it the Honda factory designed kit? Do you have trailer brakes?
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Old 07-06-2009, 06:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
While it's not my preferred design of hitch, Draw-Tite makes excellent products, and it has the necessary Class I rating. That hitch will work just fine up to, and beyond, the Element's 1500lb tow rating. Don't second guess yourself to the point it stops you from taking that Scamp out camping.

If, in the future, you still feel you want a different hitch, you can put on one of the various other receivers such as the Hidden Hitch, Valley, Curt, or Draw-Tite. I personally went with the Valley as it was the only 2 inch receiver made for an Element at the time.

Couple questions though: What vehicle wiring harness did you go with? Was it the Honda factory designed kit? Do you have trailer brakes?
Thanks for the feedback! Wiring? A local RV dealer wired the Element, with 7-way power, as the Scamp has the 7-way plug/system. I doubt that it was a Honda factory kit, but to be honest, I don't know. We did have the brake controller installed, but do not yet know of the condition of brakes/axle/etc. on the Scamp. We have an appointment at the RV dealer Wednesday to clear all that up.

(We decided to install a Class III from Draw-Tite.)
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:25 AM   #9
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Element owers club meet, most towing trailers.

http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=30825
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:18 PM   #10
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Just towed a 13' Scamp I bought in Phoenix to Seattle with my 2003 Element EX via Utah, Idaho, Montana, Idaho again, to western Washington (actually west of Seattle). Towed great with a type 1 hitch like you described up to 8,000 feet 3 times and a cruncher pass between Missoula and Spokane. Wasn't comfortable with the sway action and how it eventually would effect the hitch mounts however. So tommorrow I'm having a Curt type 3 (2" receiver) installed and next week I get Electric Brakes installed. Most likely will upgrade brakes on Element too. The Element was a star on the mountain passes by the way.

Quote:
We're about to start hauling a 13' Scamp with our 2003 Honda Element. A local RV repair shop installed a type of class I hitch that attaches by two bolts through the spare wheel well and one bolt through the loop at the rear/center of the frame. Just now doing my research, we more often see class I hitches for the Element that attach to the frame with multiple bolts at two points on the rear frame and at the loop in the center. B


My question is: Is this simple, wheel-well attached class I hitch (and that loop on the frame) beefy enough for a 1000# trailer? Karin
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:52 PM   #11
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I remember going through this discussion at home when we bought our first trailer. We went with the class III. In retrospect, I'm very glad we did. We can go back and forth with arguments about what sort of hitch is up to what sort of job, but the deciding factor for me is this: There's a lot more assorted hitch accessories made for class III recievers. There're also more common so you're much more likely to be able to find class III stuff at small stores in the middle of nowhere (when yours breaks), garage sales - heck even WalMart.

Nothing above is meant to diminish the "it's beefier and therefore safer" argument. It's just a win-win.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:43 PM   #12
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Unhappy

Our Trillium 1300 weighs 1700#.

All you people can tow what you want with what you want, but the fact is: If you have an accident, your fault or not, where someone is severly injured or killed and you are towing over your weight limit, it is the end of your life as you know it. Police will do a thorough investigation, including weighing your rig and reading your owner's manual. You will lose your house, you will be owned by someone else and you may even end up going to jail. Don't do it.

Class I Hitch Rating: Hitch rated to handle up to 2,000 pounds.
Class II Hitch Rating: Hitch rated to handle 2,000 to 3,500 pounds.
Class III Hitch Rating: Hitch rated to handle 3,500 to 5,000 pounds.
Class IV Hitch Rating: Hitch rated to handle 5,000 to 8,000 pounds.
Class V Hitch Rating: Hitch rated to handle 8,000 to 10,000 pounds.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:10 PM   #13
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Name: Darral
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Why in the world cant a 13' trailer (1350 lbs max) be pulled from a "Step bumper'?? This is what I intend to do with a Nissan Frontier '99. It certainly looks healthier than ANY Class I hitch I've reviewed.

Darral

Quote:
Our Trillium 1300 weighs 1700#.

All you people can tow what you want with what you want, but the fact is: If you have an accident, your fault or not, where someone is severly injured or killed and you are towing over your weight limit, it is the end of your life as you know it. Police will do a thorough investigation, including weighing your rig and reading your owner's manual. You will lose your house, you will be owned by someone else and you may even end up going to jail. Don't do it.

[b]Class I Hitch Rating: Hitch rated to handle up to 2,000 pounds.
[b]Class II Hitch Rating: Hitch rated to handle 2,000 to 3,500 pounds.
[b]Class III Hitch Rating: Hitch rated to handle 3,500 to 5,000 pounds.
[b]Class IV Hitch Rating: Hitch rated to handle 5,000 to 8,000 pounds.
[b]Class V Hitch Rating: Hitch rated to handle 8,000 to 10,000 pounds.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Why in the world cant a 13' trailer (1350 lbs max) be pulled from a "Step bumper'?? This is what I intend to do with a Nissan Frontier '99. It certainly looks healthier than ANY Class I hitch I've reviewed.

Darral
The primary reason would be that the top of the ball needs to be about 16" off the ground in order to tow a newer 13 at a reasonably level attitude. it is even less with a 1200lb leading arm axle like on the older Scamps.
The secondary reason is the tow capacities on newer step bumpers have been reduced compared to older trucks.
Of course, the good news is , a Class III hitch can be bought for around a hundred dollars and can be installed usually with ordinary hand tools in minutes without modifying the truck. This provides a good safety margin and much greater flexibility.
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