Towing with a 2013 Honda Odyssey - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-17-2017, 10:10 AM   #1
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Name: Tom
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Oregon
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Towing with a 2013 Honda Odyssey

Hi Everyone,

My family and I are interested in buying a 16' Scamp Standard Layout 4 with the standard option package. The folks at Scamp say dry weight for this will be 2100 lbs. Other options I'd like to add are a 35 lb furnace, 95 lb AC, and an upgraded fridge which would add 40 lb. This would make my dry weight 2370:

2100 + 35 + 95 + 40 = 2370

The Odyssey towing capacity is 3500 lbs, and we are a family of four. In the Odyssey manual it says after accounting for the number of passengers and 15 lbs of stuff for each passenger, my capacity drops to 3200 lbs.

Here are my questions:

1) I know this varies widely but how many lbs of stuff would a family of 4 typically bring in the tow vehicle and the Scamp? Besides the usual stuff we'd want to bring 4 bikes also.

2) How much would the water and propane weigh?

3) Do you think I can comfortably tow with the Odyssey? Can I tow up steeper grades? I don't want to damage the van.

Thank you,

Tom
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:25 AM   #2
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Name: MURRAY
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Hi Tom
I had the same dilemma.
Be sure to look at the car specs and towing capacity.
My Sante Fe can pull under 1,635 lbs without trailer brakes or a tow pkg.
When you get up to 3,500 lbs of trailer, my car then needs a transmission cooler, bigger rad, and brakes on the trailer. I never like pushing things to the max. Check it out. You could be alright.
Having said that. I bought a 1,200lbs. trailer. Don't hardly know it's there.
I went for the least comforts I am comfortable with to keep the weight down. I have no bathroom. (porta-poti) As soon as you have a toilet, you also have more water, 10lbs./g.,and a holding tank.
Good luck.
You will find what works.
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:33 AM   #3
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For what it is worth, I made a trip to Alaska with friends that towed a Scamp with a Toyota Sienna with the same tow ratings. For much of the trip 3 adults & stuff. The only problems were low ground clearance (rarely a problem) and while there was no problem with grades on main roads, on steep gravel campground roads the front wheel drive ended up with tire spin to the point where they had to start the hill over again. Only happened once or twice.

You probably should spend some time considering how you will carry the bikes. I doubt a bike rack on the rear of the Scamp will work - it didn't take much weight on the back of their Layout 4 Scamp before handling problems cropped up.
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teg_76 View Post
Hi Everyone,

My family and I are interested in buying a 16' Scamp Standard Layout 4 with the standard option package. The folks at Scamp say dry weight for this will be 2100 lbs. Other options I'd like to add are a 35 lb furnace, 95 lb AC, and an upgraded fridge which would add 40 lb. This would make my dry weight 2370:

2100 + 35 + 95 + 40 = 2370

The Odyssey towing capacity is 3500 lbs, and we are a family of four. In the Odyssey manual it says after accounting for the number of passengers and 15 lbs of stuff for each passenger, my capacity drops to 3200 lbs.

Here are my questions:

1) I know this varies widely but how many lbs of stuff would a family of 4 typically bring in the tow vehicle and the Scamp? Besides the usual stuff we'd want to bring 4 bikes also.

2) How much would the water and propane weigh?

3) Do you think I can comfortably tow with the Odyssey? Can I tow up steeper grades? I don't want to damage the van.

Thank you,

Tom
Tom,

It looks like you are taking the time to find the correct numbers. As you note, everything carried in or on reduces the towing capacity. Also consider that the payload capacity of the vehicle includes the driver, the passengers, the "stuff", and the tongue weight of the trailer. So, everything carried in or on also has to be measured against the payload capacity.

Additional to the bicycles, good bicycles racks can be quite heavy, so be sure to factor that in. Placing too many bikes on the back of the trailer can cause instability (sway). Placing bikes on a roof rack can create a lot of "wind resistance".

Water is 8.34 lbs per gallon for either freshwater or the wastewater in the black and gray tanks, so you'll normally want to empty those when leaving a campground. What is sometimes called a "five-gallon" propane cylinder weighs about 16.6 lbs empty, and holds up to 20 lbs of LP gas at about 4.24 lbs per gallon.

I estimate some 800 lbs for our gear because I "think" it's only 600. Escape Trailer's website offers some numbers on their FAQ page under "What tow vehicle is needed to pull an Escape?":

On average, most Escape customers carry about 800lbs – 1,000lbs of cargo with them when they travel and add about 200lbs – 300lbs of options to their Escape Travel Trailer.
Therefore, the
17′ Escape, Plan A with a dry weight of 1,970lbs will travel fully loaded at approximately 2,970lbs.
17′ Escape, Plan B (Bathroom) with a dry weight of 2,400lbs will travel fully loaded at approximately 3,400lbs.
19′ Escape, with a dry weight of 2,950lbs will travel fully loaded at approximately 4,100lbs.
21′ Escape, with a dry weight of 3,210lbs will travel fully loaded at approximately 4,510lbs.
Escape 5.0TA with a dry weight of 3,885lbs will travel fully loaded at approximately 5,185lbs.
Depending on the Escape Travel Trailer you are interested in towing, your tow vehicle should have a towing capacity of between 4,000lbs for the 17′ and up to 5,500lbs for the Escape 5.0TA Fifth Wheel.
Please note these weights can vary depending on several variables therefore we encourage you to allow for a safety margin between the estimated towing weight of any Escape trailer and the towing capacity of your tow vehicle.


Search the forum for a post called "trailer weights in the real world". Some Odyssey owners will also likely respond here with some specifics about your tow vehicle.

It sounds like you are putting first things first. Good luck!
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:50 AM   #5
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
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intersting

guys thanks for posting this in my mind a 3500lb rated car will be about to tow anything! Manufactures also under-rate things to cover their butts. I would watch that transmission fluid carefully if it get smelly get it changed filter too. This is serious!

I would also be careful and make sure you lock out overdrive on hills. I don't understand all the mechanics of an a/transmission but I know heat is a deadly enemy!

To whoever posted on the Alaska trip we will be going next early summer been there before flew the first time with our tent. we drove back from Anchorage clear to the Yukon but there is much much more to see!

bob
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:57 AM   #6
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Agree regarding the bikes. Don't know what you had in mind, but two on the back of the trailer is an absolute upper limit, and even then they had better be light. Best would be in the rear of the van, 3rd seat folded, with a fork mount system- don't know if they would fit there or not. But then you'd have to consider the weight as additional passengers, which further reduces the tow rating and tongue weight rating. My Pilot manual has the same chart- be sure to note that the tongue weight rating drops faster than trailer weight as you add passengers or equivalent cargo.

We have a 2011 Pilot 2WD, rated 3500/350#. We travel with 4 people, 3 bicycles (aluminum framed, c.28#, 2 on the back of the trailer, 1 inside the trailer), a 10x10 canopy (c.50#) on the front sofa of the trailer, an ice chest on the floor (c.45#), and our clothes and personal items (c.100#) in the back of the Pilot. We have a basic 13' Scamp- stove, furnace, & icebox, c.1750# fully loaded. We only carry about 3-4 gallons of water on the road for emergencies and one LP tank (c.40#). The Pilot handles it all, but it is clearly working on grades and against headwinds.

Being FWD, I have also experienced wheel spin on steep grades/loose surfaces when towing. It's only happened a couple of times on campground roads, and I learned to disable the electronic stability control. If you don't, any wheel spin causes the ESC to apply brakes and throttle back the engine, bringing the whole rig to a standstill.

I don't have all the answers, but you're asking the right questions! Too many people just look at the 3500# rating and ignore the caveats. The devil is in the details, as the saying goes...

Speaking of details, you do have the optional Honda ATF cooler, right?
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Old 10-17-2017, 12:02 PM   #7
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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amazing

jon you are an amazing tt driver so much stuff so much planning. I do not know how Honda comes up with their rig pulling so much?

I am taking my edge and tt to get weighted soon. what do you think my 13f scamper weighs? we have the same outfits I have no b/room either! I would also like to know your tongue weight!

mine has an a/c on top I would take it off if I could figure out a way also!

bob
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Old 10-17-2017, 03:08 PM   #8
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In addition to brute strength towing by the engine and transmission, you have braking, handling, and emergency accident avoidance figure in. I wish I had specific numbers to offer. I would suggest that going to a truck stop or grain elevator and weighing everything and everybody might be revealing.

If you are not familiar with commercial scales, it is possible to get weights for individual axles by pulling just the front axle of the tow vehicle on the scale, then both. Subtract the weight of the front from the total to get the back tow axle. You can also pull forward so just the trailer is on the scale. They charge about $10-15 to weigh you. I salute your attention to this issue.
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Old 10-17-2017, 03:15 PM   #9
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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[QUOTE=teg_76;667469]Hi Everyone,

My family and I are interested in buying a 16' Scamp Standard Layout 4 with the standard option package. The folks at Scamp say dry weight for this will be 2100 lbs. Other options I'd like to add are a 35 lb furnace, 95 lb AC, and an upgraded fridge which would add 40 lb. This would make my dry weight 2370:]

You will be just fine. We towed our 16 ft deluxe Scamp all over the US and Canada, including the Alaska Hwy, with no problems, except, for adding a sway bar.
You will need a high rise ball mount, and if needed drill a second pin hole in it to move the ball as close as possible to your rear bumper. Add a snubber to reduce play between the ball mount and receiver.

Learn how to downshift on steeper grades, both up and down.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:34 PM   #10
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Name: Tom
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Hi CivilGuy,

Thanks for all the great info. I really like the Escape Trailers. I live in Oregon so I'd be able to pick it up from the factory myself if I were to order one. We would need the 17B option though and it may be a little out of my weight/price class. Interesting though that it said the fully loaded estimate is 3400 lbs. I saw the trailer weights in the world spreadsheet. Generally though weights are fully loaded, right?
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:36 PM   #11
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Thanks Murray. I tend to want to be conservative on the weights too. The last think I want to do is wreck my van. I think if I go without the A/C on the Scamp 16 it could help me out a lot, as it weighs about 100lbs. I think I could also skip the bathroom but my wife really wants one.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:38 PM   #12
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Thanks Jon. I think we could just bring the kids bikes and be fine. Is your bikerack on your Scamp the one that comes with it as an option, or is it after market?
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:42 PM   #13
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Thanks Jon in AZ. No I don't have any tow package on my Odyssey yet. I would make sure I have the transmission cooler though. Ideally I'd have a nice F150, and a new Scamp/Escape/Casita ready to go next summer. Doing all of that is out of my price range though, so I'm hoping my Odyssey can do the job. If I decide I'll use the Odyssey as my TV than I'll probably look into a new Scamp.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:48 PM   #14
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Thanks Tom72. I'll be looking for those scales once I get a trailer.
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