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Honda Odyssey is among the favorite family minivans on the market due to its spacious design and versatility.
You can also use the minivan to tow a camper provided it meets a particular weight limit.
How effective are Honda Odyssey models at towing trailers?
Here’s everything you should know about the vehicle’s towing capacity and efficiency.
How Much Weight can a Honda Odyssey Tow?
Honda Odyssey minivans feature a 3.5-litre V-6 engine with 280 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. They also come with a variable cylinder management which makes them easier to handle and gives them more power when you’re out on the road.
Honda odyssey can tow a maximum of 3500 lbs which is good enough to pull small to medium size travel trailers, pop up campers and teardrop trailers.
Having said that, not all models can tow that much; their towing capacity varies slightly based on the year and model.
The 2019 Honda Odyssey EX-L, EX and LX trims can tow a maximum of 3,000 pounds, which is equivalent to the weight of a tent trailer or a small outboard boat. On the other hand, the 2020 and 2021 Honda Odyssey EX-L, EX, LX, Elite and Touring trims can tow a maximum of 3,500 pound. With this towing capacity, you can carry a small airstream or multiple ATVs with you to a campground.
The towing capacity for Honda Odyssey changes with the model year. Models that feature a transmission or power steering cooler have towing capacities upto 3,500 pounds. Consequently, models that lack these options have a towing capacity that is upto 2,000 pounds. It’s advisable to refer to the specific towing chart for your Honda Odyssey model for more accurate information on the towing capacity and requirements.
Honda specifies the towing capacity for Odyssey models based on the number of passengers carried in the minivan, which account to the total GCWR.
If you have several passengers on board, their total weight may take away from your vehicle’s towing capacity.
Most of Honda’s towing charts for the Odyssey models account for about 15 to 17 pounds of cargo weight per passenger and 150 pounds per passenger.
You can get the accurate weight of your vehicle by adjusting these figures if your passengers (including their cargo) weigh less or more.
Campers that Honda Odyssey can Tow
One of the perks of owning a Honda Odyssey is that you can tow a camper behind it. Lets some of the best campers that you can haul behind odyssey.
With 3500 lbs of towing capacity Honda Odyssey is capable of towing travel trailers, pop up campers and teardrop trailers. Odyssey can tow airstream trailers like Bambi and basecamp that weigh within their towing capacity limit.
Here are examples of travel trailer that you can tow behind your Honda Odyssey:
1. Jayco Hummingbird 17RB
The Jayco Hummingbird 17RB is a lightweight camper that comes with a bed (60 by 74 inches), kitchen and campsite dinette. It also features a full bathroom and a linen closet at the rear side. The camper weighs 2,865 pounds and has a 20-foot floor plan.
2. Jayco Jay Flight SLX 195RB
With a floor plan measuring 22 feet and a weight of 2,890 pounds, the Jayco Jay Flight SLX 195RB is a lightweight camper that you can tow behind your Honda Odyssey. It features a rear bath unit, nice wardrobe, kitchen, camp side dinette and queen bed. The camper also boasts a good build quality and is spacious enough for two people.
3. Forest River R-Pod 179
The Forest River R-Pod 179 is a minimalist lightweight camper that’s perfect for long trips or camping getaways. Itveatjrssa prep space, sink and cooktop across the back wall and a U-shaped dinette (measuring 75 by 45 inches) and a refrigerator on the off-camp wall. Other amenities include a wet bath near the camp side wall and a large queen bed at the front side. The camper measures 20 feet in length and weighs 2,756 pounds.
4. Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro 19FD
With a floorplan that measures 20 feet in length and a weight of 2,829 pounds, the First River Flagstaff E-Pro 19FD is a lightweight camper that is towable behind a Honda Odyssey. The travel trailer features a unique layout with a Murphy bed measuring 54 by 72 inches and a 73-inches sofa. It also comes with a camp side dinette, a bathroom at the rear side, an exterior gas grill and a kitchen on the off-camp wall.
5. Travel Lite Aura 21RB
The Travel Lite Aura 21RB boasts a floorpan of 21 feet and a dry weight of 2,840 pounds with a unique layout and quality construction. Its amenities include a good-sized bathroom at the rear side, a queen bed with adequate storage at the front side, a dinette and kitchen at the camp side. You’ll also find a small storage area by the entry door.
As I said, different year model have different towing capacity. Based on which model you have will determine the weight limit. Lets see different model’s from 2000 to 2021 and their towing limit.
Does Honda Odyssey Have a Towing Package?
Honda Odyssey vehicles have a towing package that makes it easier to pull a camper or travel trailer behind them. The tow package may include factory installed accessories or aftermarket accessories. Refer to your vehicle’s owner manual for more information on towing a trailer behind a Honda Odyssey.
What is Included in its Towing Package?
The Honda Odyssey towing package includes a Class II trailer hitch, 1-7/8″ or a 2″ receiver, trailer hitch and an automatic transmission fluid cooler. It also includes a power steering fluid cooler and cooler air duct assist. Discussed below are these items in detail:
Class II Trailer Hitch
You’ll need a Class II trailer hitch that mounts directly to your vehicle’s frame for optimum security, strength and performance when towing a camper.
The receiver size and hitch class usually depends on what your vehicle can handle and the type of load. Class II trailer hitches are quite heftier than Class I hitched and are suitable for use on smaller SUVs and passengers. Their accessories come with long shanks to prevent them from sliding into the receiver and to allow them to enter into the stopper.
A 1-⅞-inch or 2-inch Receiver
You can choose between a 1-⅞-inch or a 2-inch receiver to support the camper you intend to carry to your trip. Your vehicle’s towing capacity, the trailer ball hole diameter and the coupler’s size will determine the size of the trailer ball required for towing.
The trailer ball diameter should match the coupler’s size and the shank diameter should fit the ball hole. A 1-⅞-inch diameter is ideal for light-duty towing while a 2-inch diameter is suitable for medium-duty towing.
The trailer hitch for your Honda Odyssey should include a retaining clip, retaining pin and draw bar. You’ll need to attach this device to your vehicle’s chassis to facilitate towing. It helps prevent the trailer from swaying or hoping when you’re moving it to or from a campground.
A trailer hop is likely to jerk your Honda Odyssey. You can count on the trailer hitch to distribute the weight of the load evenly across your Honda Odyssey. In this case, you’ll mount it on your vehicle to distribute part of the camper’s weight from your car’s rear axle to the front axle to make the towing process more effective.
Automatic Transmission Fluid Cooler
An automatic transmission fluid (ATF) cooler minimizes the effects of wear on your vehicle’s transmission while towing a camper. It also allows you to effectively shift gears when you’re on the road and uses an automatic transmission fluid to cool down.
Your Honda Odyssey’s transmission is likely to wear out faster if it gets overheated for extended periods.
Vehicles have different towing capacities to prevent their transmissions from overworking and overheating. Your car is likely to overheat when you tow heavy loads or drive aggressively. An ATF cooler will keep the transmission in a good shape provided that your camper meets your car’s towing capacity.
Power Steering Fluid (PSF) Cooler
A PSF cooler helps your Odyssey operate at peak performance even when the demands for towing increase. It also eliminates beat and puts your car at a lower risk of developing power-steering system problems.
You’ll need a PSF cooler to keep the system running cooler for the engine components to last longer and the vehicle’s performance to remain consistent. Power-steering coolers significantly decrease the fluid temperature by increasing the time taken by the fluid to flow back to the pump.
Specifically-designed Cooler Air Duct Assist
Your Honda Odyssey needs a cooler air duct assist to direct air flow over its cooler when towing a camper. The device works by ducting heated air around the fins to cool it down.
It uses an air-blending system to turn the heated air to the right temperature. The air-bending system includes a heat-sensitive valve for keeping the temperature at a comfortable and steady level for your passengers.
2018 to 2020 Honda Odyssey vehicles have a maximum pull capacity of 3,500 pounds. This limit applies to Touring and Elite models. All of the other models that Honda availed at that time have a towing capacity that ranges from 0 to 3,000 pounds.
Honda Odyssey vehicles that don’t fall under the Touring or Elite model have an overall passenger of 2 to 5 people. This limit doesn’t change when towing a camper. However, the limit changes if you’re looking to tow a camper behind Touring and Elite models.
Honda Odysseys made between years 2011 and 2017 have a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. The maximum towable trailer weight depends on the number of passengers the minivan carries. In this case, the vehicle’s towing capacity reduces when you increase the number of occupants.
There’s no difference in the total pulling power for the 2011-2017 Odyssey models unlike the 2018-2020 models. The 2002-2010 Odysseys required a power steering cooler and factory installed transmission to tow a RV. With the 2011-2017 models, you can use aftermarket options instead of the factory installed transmission to improve your vehicle’s towing efficiency.
Honda Odysseys manufactured from 2008 to 2010 have a towing capacity that ranges from 650 to 3,500 pounds. With eight occupants in the minivan, your vehicle can move a trailer of up to 650 pounds. This limit applies to the Canadian LX, Touring, EX-L and EX models.
Just like the 2008-2010 models, the 2005-2010 models have a towing capacity ranging from 650 to 3,500 pounds. The number of passengers in the vehicle will affect its towing capacity. Furthermore, you’ll need a power steering fluid cooler and transmission cooler for 2005-2010 Odysseys to tow a camper.
Honda Odyssey vehicles built from 2002 to 2004 have a towing capacity that ranges from 650 to 3,500 pounds just like those made from 2005 to 2010. However, the difference between the two model years is the effect the passengers’ weight has on the towing capacity. Though they are scarce in the market, 2002-2004 Honda Odysseys are unable to tow most modern campers due to their outdated specifications.
The 2002-2004 models had a passenger capacity ranging from 2 to 7 people unlike the 2-7 passenger limit that 2005 and newer models had.
They have a maximum towing capacity of 3,000 pounds, which varies depending on the number of passengers. These vehicles could only tow a camper when equipped with both a power steering fluid cooler and transmission cooler.
The 2000-2001 models had a towing capacity ranging from 850 to 3,500 pounds and a maximum passenger capacity of 7 people. They had two different towing capacities that depended on the towing packages.
One range was for models fitted with a powerful transmission fluid cooler. The other one was for models that didn’t have a transmission fluid cooler installed.
The 2000-2001 models that had a transmission fluid cooler installed had a towing capacity that ranged between 850 to 3,500 pounds. On the other hand, 2000-2001 Odysseys that didn’t have a transmission fluid cooler installed have a towing capacity ranging from 850 to 2,000 pounds.
Honda Odyssey vehicle delivers an incredible blend of efficiency and power when towing a camper thanks to their cutting-edge specifications. You should always consider your Odyssey’s towing capacity before attaching a camper behind it. The vehicle should also have a powerful towing package installed for the best results. Seek professional help if you’re unfamiliar with the technical aspects of towing.