We're going to a campout Friday, and our son may have to go in our car since his is in the shop this time. The warnings from the Odyssey manual haunt me now and then, and for every person added beyond the 2 in front, the towing capacity goes down 150 lbs. Not to mention all his gear, bicycle, and whatever. Too close for comfort.
Then it occurred to me: we had a Chrysler minivan back in the dark ages and those lead-filled seats were hoisted in and out as needed, usually just before we'd visit the chiropractor, as it turned out. Why not the same in the Ody? Well, the rear seat disappears neatly into the floor so we had never done that, that's why.
So I pulled out my trusty but rarely used shop manual, and lo and behold there were the directions for how to remove the rear bench seat. Except there were not really any directions given. The drawing gave me a clue: it looked like four bolts virtually out in the open, easily accessible, and plain as day. Hmmmmm.........
Sure enough, the carpet pieces on the hinge corners folded readily away and with ratcheted handle and a 9/16 inch socket the bolts were out in a flash. Yanked on the little strap to pull the seat on edge and carted it away. Much easier than I had anticipated. Why......?
The answer came from the bathroom scale: this was not the bench seat from the Plymouth of my youth. It only weighed 72 lbs, and the heavy rubber mat that came out at the same time weighed 19 lbs. Total of 91 lbs surgically removed from the Ody.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I've have been looking greedily at a little 16 lb Kyocera solar panel
to do that last little bit for extended boondocking
. Where to pare the weight
? This is the answer, because not only is the 91 lbs added to the overall towing capacity but it also adds to the rear axle weight
capacity in a way (effectively compensates that much in terms of tongue weight).
The last time someone actually sat in that seat was back during the Clinton administration, so we are going to give it the old college try to do without. More room for stuff if we actually need it, too.
I count it as a minor triumph whenever I find a way to reduce weight
, both to save wear and tear on the vehicles and to save fuel. By the way, the rear of the car ended up 5mm higher off the ground, hardly enough to affect the alignment in everyday driving.
The pictures show the mount and dismount, and the whole process was as easy as 3.14159265
If you tow with an Ody and the weight is creeping up there this may be an acceptable way to save some weight. (Frederick?)
(Aside to Roger: I did not gleefully rush out to Home Depot and buy 91 lbs of Romex, but I thought about it).