Towing a Trillium 4500. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-21-2017, 09:24 AM   #1
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Name: Marjie
Trailer: Trillium 4500
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Towing a Trillium 4500.

Hi folks.
In the distant past we towed a boler, then a scamp (13') with our Honda Element. Then we got our Trillium (15') and a Honda Pilot. We have towed the Trillium once or twice with the Element with no problem, but usually use the Pilot. Now we need to get rid of a car and I want to keep the Element because it is smaller, and cuter .
According to the towing info., we shouldn't use the Element, but then I also remember that people have said that the towing ratings are really not that accurate and cars are often under valued in regards to towing abilities.
So, my question is, what is your opinion?
The Trillium has brakes.
Thanks, Marjie


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Old 06-21-2017, 10:11 AM   #2
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If you really like your Element, you won't subject it to abuse, like towing over its rating.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:25 PM   #3
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The element has a large 4 cylinder naturally aspirated engine and a regular automatic (ie non-cvt). It has an arbitrary 1500 lb tow rating and the 4500 weighs about 1500lbs. You will be fine. If you're not sure try it, see if the Element seems taxed, pack light, add a transmission cooler if you will be in hot or hilly areas.

The Pandora's box that you've opened though, is asking this question on a forum, any forum. Many naysayers will insist that you need a diesel dually to tow a boler so as not to exceed a tow rating and risk being sued.
Happy Camping
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:38 PM   #4
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Thanks Glenn, and Phil. I would also like to add that the Element is a manual transmission. As I mentioned, we have used it with the Trillium, but only for short (i.e., under five hours) trips. On relatively flat terrain, that is, the east coast. We have to get rid of one vehicle though, as we are getting an electric car. Decisions decisions....


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Old 06-21-2017, 05:40 PM   #5
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PS...I love a Pandora's box....


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Old 06-21-2017, 05:53 PM   #6
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My suggestion is to take your Trillium loaded to camp to a public scale and weigh it. Scales can be found at transfer stations and truck stops. Then you can make an informed decision. When we first got our Trillium it weighed about 1700 pounds. Recently we discovered it had gained 100 lbs. We're guessing too much Ben and Jerry's Raz
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:57 PM   #7
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I vote to keep the Pilot, subject to a thorough mechanical inspection. If your travels take you further afield you will appreciate the extra power and payload.

Both are great vehicles (we have an '06 CR-V, same drivetrain minus the stick shift, and an '11 Pilot). We tow in some pretty demanding conditions- elevation, grade, wind, and heat, often all at once!- and the Pilot gets it done. For a long day's drive on the open road, the Pilot is a lot more comfortable and requires fewer fuel stops. Of course, in the city the CR-V/Element wins hands down. Tough decision.

I agree about checking the actual loaded weight of your T4500.

Be aware that tow ratings only assume the driver and one passenger, but no additional passengers, pets, or gear. Because we travel with four people and gear in the back, we've never even considered towing our 13' Scamp with the CR-V.

Best wishes!
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil 4500 View Post
The element has a large 4 cylinder naturally aspirated engine and a regular automatic (ie non-cvt). It has an arbitrary 1500 lb tow rating and the 4500 weighs about 1500lbs. You will be fine.
I suspect the "about 1500lbs" is on the light side. Based on the Real World Weight thread, as well as knowing a few folks who have owed 4500's I will probable weigh in closer to 2000lbs than 1500lbs once loaded up.
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Old 06-22-2017, 08:52 AM   #9
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Yes, I have thought about getting it weighed. Can anyone stop at those truck weigh stops? I thought they might be for commercial trucks only. Do they laugh at you when you pull up with a teeny tiny trailer?


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Old 06-22-2017, 09:21 AM   #10
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Not the weigh stations run by the highway department you can't (at least not in the states I know). But there are certified private scales at truck stops, grain & feed lots, waste disposal sites, recycling centers, sand & gravel yards, to name a few. Since they're private, you can look them up and call to ask about whether they will accommodate you and what they charge.

Ideally you will take two weights, axle only, hitched, and whole trailer, unhitched. Some may even give you an axle weight for every axle (rear axle overloading could be an issue with the Element, especially if you carry extra people, pets, or gear in the vehicle). Most important is to, as much as possible, load vehicle and trailer as you normally do for camping including food and clothes.
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Old 06-23-2017, 03:44 PM   #11
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Name: Marjie
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Thank you all for your suggestions. We will be staying with the Pilot for towing. I will also look for a local place to weigh the trailer. All good suggestions!


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Old 06-23-2017, 04:02 PM   #12
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Cuteness loses to capability. Good call.
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:54 PM   #13
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We own an Element and it barely handles its own weight. While it has a CRV drivetrain, aerodynamically its dramatically different, pushing a big square box down the road.

All that being said we love our Element! They are getting harder to find and people routinely approach us to buy it!

So if you do sell it just realize its going to hard to find a good one if you ever change your mind.

Now when it comes to towing we use our F150.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:34 PM   #14
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I've never really understood the mentality that says 'go for it' when a tow is clearly not a match, or that the manufacturers towing ratings are arbitrary. They're based on engineering studies and standards. The numbers either work or they don't. It shouldn't be a contentious subject at all, but it almost inevitably is.

It's also an exaggeration to suggest that those who advise to follow the published capacities are somehow advocating a diesel monster to tow a lightweight trailer. I've never seen that. What I have seen is the suggestion to use a tow that is rated adequately for the trailer. I fail to see what's controversial about that.
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