Can I tow 17'Bigfoot with V6 Honda Van - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-04-2018, 12:12 AM   #1
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Can I tow 17'Bigfoot with V6 Honda Van

Hello Everyone ,
I am new to this forum and appreciate your help.
We have a 2010 Honda Odyssey Van. I am looking to see if we can tow 17' Bigfoot posted as 2000 lbs dry weight....( but likely more for dry weight estimate).
Honda dealership can put in the "tow package"
..hitch . transmission and stearing wheel coolant radiator systems. The TV manual says 4 passengers
gives you tow capacity of 3000. lbs. ( we have 2 adults and 2 kids ...less weight but then with some bikes this would equal 4 persons weight).
I have read all about tow safety. How to load your trailer...tongue weight...total weight distribution. accunt for total gear.etc We wouldn't need water load as going to mainstream campground not boondocking...Is it reasonable to tow a 17 ' bigfoot with a Honda Odessey ( V6) with tow package from dealership?
Many thanks.
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Old 09-04-2018, 12:47 AM   #2
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It's not looking good. Check out Trailer Weights in the Real World for actual weights.
You will find the link here:
Trailer Weights in the Real World
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Old 09-04-2018, 04:08 AM   #3
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Much depends on the age of the Bigfoot, the 17' put on weight as more features were added over the years. My 1980 weighs 2200 lbs. totally empty and it's a Standard model (lacks shower, water heater, oven, awning). Loaded to camp it's near 3000 lbs. I've towed it for 10 years with a V6 Toyota Sienna minivan. That includes trips from home (DFW) to Durango, CO; Dayton, OH; Duluth, MN; Orlando, FL; and many points closer to home with no problems.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:30 AM   #4
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My 1991 Bigfoot comes in around 3000 pounds on the road, I pull with a Chevy Astro van with a V6 in the mountains it has trouble keeping up. Were I driving flat ground it would work fine.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:18 AM   #5
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I have a Bigfoot 17 '1986, and loaded, ready with all the camping gear it weighs 2980 pounds.

I was towing with a 2012 Dodge Journey, with 3.6-liter V6, 6-speed, 283 hp and it was very limited in the steep mountains.

A month ago I replaced our vehicle with a Dodge Ram Echo-Diesel truck with a V6 engine, 3.0 liters and it's excellent.

My book for the 2012 Dodge Journey identified that I could shoot up to 3,500 pounds, but at 3,000 pounds it was limited.

In 2013, the Dodge company replaced the standards for capacity, from 3,500 to 2,500 pounds for the Journey with V6 3.6, and it was the same vehicule.
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Old 09-04-2018, 09:32 AM   #6
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Name: Robert
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Folks who ask questions like this are usually skating close to the edge. My rule is Overkill overkill overkill when it comes to towing. The peace of mind is worth it.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:48 AM   #7
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For what its worth a quick search says the 2010 3.5 liter V6 has 244 hp, 3,500 lb max. towing. It lists a GCWR of 8,210, and a Rear GAWR of 3,197. Front GAWR is 2,833, and payload of 1,349. GVWR is 5,952.

Important for towing there are front & rear cupholders. It doesn't say how many.

Here's a thorough video on how to sort it out.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:57 AM   #8
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Two adults, two kids and their bikes...
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:26 AM   #9
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Yes thankyou. I think it would be taking a chance as it would have almost no margin of safety. We wouldn't be on hills just short journeys around the province.
Does the weight distrubution hitch help the towing capacity at all?
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Old 09-04-2018, 12:27 PM   #10
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A WDH transfers some of the tongue weight onto the front axle of the tow vehicle AND onto the trailer axle. they require WDH rated class III or IV hitch receivers, AND that your vehicle is rated for use of a WDH (full frame vehicles usually are, unibody less likely).

the attached diagram shows how they work...
Attached Thumbnails
faq065_fff[1].jpg  
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:01 AM   #11
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Tow ratings only factor in a driver and sometimes one passenger (varies by manufacturer; Honda includes the passenger). With extra people and (presumably) cargo in the van, make sure you look at the tongue weight chart in your owner's manual. I think you'll find it even more restrictive than the total trailer weight.

A weight distributing hitch doesn't add capacity. In fact, it reduces it by adding its own weight over a regular weight-carrying hitch. It does relieve overloading on the rear axle by shifting weight to the trailer axle and to the vehicle's front axle. But at some point- and I suspect a Bigfoot is close to that point- you run out of wiggle room.

Another issue is the lack of available WDH's suitable for lightweight applications. Most start at around 400 pounds tongue weight.

In addition to weight. consider frontal area. Bigfoot is a tall, wide, boxy trailer. It will add considerable drag at highway speeds, making your vehicle work harder as if pulling a heavier trailer. Tow testing is performed with lower profile cargo trailers (30 s.f. in the 3500 pound weight class). A Bigfoot exceeds that by more than 60%.

We have a 2011 2WD Honda Pilot with the same drivetrain and the same 3500/350 tow rating. We also travel with four people, bikes, etc. Last time I did the math using the charts in the manual, a lightly-optioned Scamp 16, weighing no more than 2500 pounds (and more aerodynamic than the Bigfoot) would max out its ratings. Based on my real-world experience towing a 13' Scamp, that sounds about right.
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Old 09-06-2018, 07:12 AM   #12
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Nice answer, Jon. But yours are always top notch. You are not alone here in posting well thought out replies.
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Old 09-06-2018, 08:41 AM   #13
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Towing with Odyssey

Quote:
Originally Posted by bozlouie View Post
Hello Everyone ,
I am new to this forum and appreciate your help.
We have a 2010 Honda Odyssey Van. I am looking to see if we can tow 17' Bigfoot posted as 2000 lbs dry weight....( but likely more for dry weight estimate).
I have towed with a Honda Odyssey for four years, We have 100,000 miles on our Odyssey and about half are tow miles. We tow a 2600 pound Scamp 16, tongue weight 200 pounds.

We have had no problems towing the Scamp. The Odyssey has plenty of power and is relatively economical towing and very economical in normal driving. We love the Odyssey because it's comfortable, economical and has a huge volume.

We do have the factory transmission cooler and factory hitch, the transmission cooler is huge. At 100,000 miles we changed the transmission fluid and it looked fine. As all the Honda's we have owned, its been totally reliable; our Honda CRV towed for 10 years without a single repair and covered 250,000 miles all over the USA and Canada towing our Scamp 16 and other similar trailers.

We have a friend who has an Odyssey and tows a Shasta Oasis that he recently purchased. He did not want to buy a truck to tow it so he took the Odyssey and Trailer to Can AM RV (in London, Ontario) where they made a rather small, but clever, modification to the Odyssey to allow it to tow the Shasta by allowing the addition of a weight distribution hitch to the Odyssey. They simply increased the stiffness of the Odyssey frame through the addition of one custom member welded in place. I was impressed. Our friend said it towed beautifully.

Can AM has been providing this class of service for decades, particularly for their Airstream customers. They have a good website and publish a magazine about towing and RVing.

I will add our friend formerly towed a Scamp 13 with his Odyssey. Of course just about anything can tow a Scamp 13.

We went to see his Shasta 18QF, a 22 foot long stick built trailer with a full bath and walk-around queen bed, a very impressive layout.

Interestingly he wanted to purchase the trailer in NH where he lives but the dealer shockingly would not sell it to him, saying his Odyssey was too small, so he drove to MI and bought the Shasta there and drove up to Can AM RV for a modification. He was clearly impressed by Can AM. Following is a link to his trailer.

Oasis 18FQ Travel Trailers by Shasta

Hope this helps.
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2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:06 AM   #14
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Name: Lynn
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Thankyou.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:08 AM   #15
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Name: Lynn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilles View Post
I have a Bigfoot 17 '1986, and loaded, ready with all the camping gear it weighs 2980 pounds.

I was towing with a 2012 Dodge Journey, with 3.6-liter V6, 6-speed, 283 hp and it was very limited in the steep mountains.

A month ago I replaced our vehicle with a Dodge Ram Echo-Diesel truck with a V6 engine, 3.0 liters and it's excellent.

My book for the 2012 Dodge Journey identified that I could shoot up to 3,500 pounds, but at 3,000 pounds it was limited.

In 2013, the Dodge company replaced the standards for capacity, from 3,500 to 2,500 pounds for the Journey with V6 3.6, and it was the same vehicule.
Thankyou for this information. Yes I think the TV will not be suited for the 17' Bigfoot. I'll be looking at sticking with a 13 ft.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:11 AM   #16
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Name: Lynn
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Thankyou for this information. If you don't mind me asking what are front and rear cupholders.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:18 AM   #17
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: Currently shopping
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
A WDH transfers some of the tongue weight onto the front axle of the tow vehicle AND onto the trailer axle. they require WDH rated class III or IV hitch receivers, AND that your vehicle is rated for use of a WDH (full frame vehicles usually are, unibody less likely).

the attached diagram shows how they work...
Thankyou very much for this information. I will keep in mind the need for a class III hitch and the tongue load recommendation. After reading all the experienced replies to my question I think I will go back to looking for a 13 ' trailer (as much as I would love a 17 '). Sounds not favourable. Do you think I would need a WDH with a 13 ' fiberglass trailer with a real world weight of say 1600 lbs ,plus 2 adults 2 kids, light weight bikes (in the van) and light camping gear.? Many thanks,
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:20 AM   #18
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Name: Lynn
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Also is a minivan like a Honda Odyssey a full frame vehicle or a unibody.?
Many thanks for your information.
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:25 AM   #19
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: Currently shopping
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Tow ratings only factor in a driver and sometimes one passenger (varies by manufacturer; Honda includes the passenger). With extra people and (presumably) cargo in the van, make sure you look at the tongue weight chart in your owner's manual. I think you'll find it even more restrictive than the total trailer weight.

A weight distributing hitch doesn't add capacity. In fact, it reduces it by adding its own weight over a regular weight-carrying hitch. It does relieve overloading on the rear axle by shifting weight to the trailer axle and to the vehicle's front axle. But at some point- and I suspect a Bigfoot is close to that point- you run out of wiggle room.

Another issue is the lack of available WDH's suitable for lightweight applications. Most start at around 400 pounds tongue weight.

In addition to weight. consider frontal area. Bigfoot is a tall, wide, boxy trailer. It will add considerable drag at highway speeds, making your vehicle work harder as if pulling a heavier trailer. Tow testing is performed with lower profile cargo trailers (30 s.f. in the 3500 pound weight class). A Bigfoot exceeds that by more than 60%.

We have a 2011 2WD Honda Pilot with the same drivetrain and the same 3500/350 tow rating. We also travel with four people, bikes, etc. Last time I did the math using the charts in the manual, a lightly-optioned Scamp 16, weighing no more than 2500 pounds (and more aerodynamic than the Bigfoot) would max out its ratings. Based on my real-world experience towing a 13' Scamp, that sounds about right.
Yes thankyou for this information. As lovely as the 17' Bigfoots are inside, I can see that the "boxyness" of the frame factors in behind a van. I will be looking for Bigfoot 13', or the Scamp 13'. ( here in Canada less come up for sale, but I'll keep looking everyday).
Thankyou.
Lynn
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:45 AM   #20
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: Currently shopping
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
I have towed with a Honda Odyssey for four years, We have 100,000 miles on our Odyssey and about half are tow miles. We tow a 2600 pound Scamp 16, tongue weight 200 pounds.

We have had no problems towing the Scamp. The Odyssey has plenty of power and is relatively economical towing and very economical in normal driving. We love the Odyssey because it's comfortable, economical and has a huge volume.

We do have the factory transmission cooler and factory hitch, the transmission cooler is huge. At 100,000 miles we changed the transmission fluid and it looked fine. As all the Honda's we have owned, its been totally reliable; our Honda CRV towed for 10 years without a single repair and covered 250,000 miles all over the USA and Canada towing our Scamp 16 and other similar trailers.

We have a friend who has an Odyssey and tows a Shasta Oasis that he recently purchased. He did not want to buy a truck to tow it so he took the Odyssey and Trailer to Can AM RV (in London, Ontario) where they made a rather small, but clever, modification to the Odyssey to allow it to tow the Shasta by allowing the addition of a weight distribution hitch to the Odyssey. They simply increased the stiffness of the Odyssey frame through the addition of one custom member welded in place. I was impressed. Our friend said it towed beautifully.

Can AM has been providing this class of service for decades, particularly for their Airstream customers. They have a good website and publish a magazine about towing and RVing.

I will add our friend formerly towed a Scamp 13 with his Odyssey. Of course just about anything can tow a Scamp 13.

We went to see his Shasta 18QF, a 22 foot long stick built trailer with a full bath and walk-around queen bed, a very impressive layout.

Interestingly he wanted to purchase the trailer in NH where he lives but the dealer shockingly would not sell it to him, saying his Odyssey was too small, so he drove to MI and bought the Shasta there and drove up to Can AM RV for a modification. He was clearly impressed by Can AM. Following is a link to his trailer.

Oasis 18FQ Travel Trailers by Shasta

Hope this helps.
Dear Norm and Ginny,
Thankyou for this information. I was needing information on whether the Odyssey could be fitted for WDH. I am new to this. I do like our Honda Odyssey and we are not looking to buy a truck as we have 2 seven yr olds, and a "family van" works for us. It sounds like either a 13 or 16' Scamp can work, and I'm going to stop looking for the 17' Bigfoot as I think it would make for unsafe towing. I have now been looking for a Bigfoot 13,and now a Scamp sounds good too. I will look up Can Am RV and get familiar , as we have relatives in London Ont. and if necessary could make the trip. The previous post informed me about how the WDH works. at the very least we are planning to have our van upgraded with the Honda towing package which includes the transmission and power steering radiators. It is pricey but we'd prefer to have the dealer install this, but I like to be informed, as safely is the biggest priority. ( did you have a WDH installed for your towing your Scamp 16', and also sway bars and brake controller?)
Many thanks,
Lynn
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