Honda Odyssey Owners Manual: Towing Preparation

Towing Load Limits

Your vehicle can tow a trailer if you carefully observe the load limits, use the proper equipment, and follow the towing guidelines. Check the load limits before driving.

■ Total trailer weight
Do not exceed the maximum allowable weight of the trailer, cargo, and everything in or on it shown in the table.

Towing loads in excess of this can seriously affect vehicle handling and performance and can damage the engine and drivetrain.

Each weight limit is calculated based on the following conditions:
• Occupants fill seats from the front of the vehicle to the back
• Each occupant weights 150 lbs (68 kg)
• Each occupant has 15 lbs (7 kg) of cargo in the cargo area

Any additional weight, cargo or accessories reduce the maximum trailer weight and maximum tongue load.

Exceeding any load limit or improperly loading your vehicle and trailer can cause a crash in which you can be seriously hurt or killed.

Check the loading of your vehicle and trailer carefully before starting to drive.

Check if all loads are within limits at a public scale.

If a public scale is not available, add the estimated weight of your cargo load to the weight of your trailer (as quoted by the manufacturer), and the tongue load.

Break-in Period
Avoid towing a trailer during your vehicle's first 600 miles (1,000 km).

Never exceed the gross weight ratings.

Gross weight information

■ Tongue load
The weight of the tongue with a fully loaded trailer on the hitch should be approximately 10% of the total trailer weight.

• Excessive tongue load reduces front tire traction and steering control. Too little tongue load can make the trailer unstable and cause it to sway.
• To achieve a proper tongue load, start by loading 60% of the load toward the front of the trailer and 40% toward the rear. Readjust the load as needed.

Towing Equipment and Accessories

The hitch must be of an approved type and properly bolted to the underbody.

Weight distribution hitches
A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle.

An improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance.

■ Safety chains
Always use safety chains when you tow a trailer. Leave enough slack to allow the trailer to turn corners easily, but do not allow the chains to drag on the ground.

Make sure that all equipment is properly installed and maintained, and that it meets federal, state, province/ territory, and local regulations.

Consult your trailer sales or rental agency if any other items are recommended or required for your towing situation.

The lighting and wiring of trailers can vary by type and brand. If a connector is required, it should only be installed by a qualified technician.

■ Trailer brakes
Recommended for any trailer with a total weight of 1,000 lbs (450 kg) or more: There are two common types of trailer brakes: surge and electric. Surge brakes are common for boat trailers, since the brakes will get wet. If you choose electric brakes, be sure they are electronically actuated. Do not attempt to attach trailer brakes to your vehicle's hydraulic system, as it will lower braking effectiveness and create a potential hazard.

■ Trailer light
Trailer lights and equipment must comply with federal, state, province/territory, and local regulations. Check with your local trailer sales or rental agency for the requirements in the area where you plan to tow.

Your trailer lighting connector is located behind the left side panel in the cargo area.

Each pin’s purpose and wiring color code are shown in the image.

When using non-Honda trailer lighting harness and converter, get the connector and pins for your vehicle from a dealer.

■ Sway control
Recommended to use if your trailer tends to sway. Consult the trailer maker for what kind of sway control you need and how to install it.

■ Automatic transmission cooler
Install an additional ATF (automatic transmission fluid) cooler to help prevent the transmission from overheating, and damaging. You can get the additional ATF cooler at a dealer.

■ Trailer mirrors
Many states, provinces and territories require special exterior mirrors when towing a trailer. Install special mirrors whenever you cannot clearly see behind you, or if the trailer creates a blind spot.

    Towing a Trailer

    Driving Safely with a Trailer

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