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Honda Odyssey Towing/Trailer Hitch Questions



  • kshorttkshortt Posts: 1
    I am reusing a U-Haul hitch (model #36279) that was previously installed onto the same make and model vehicle. (2K HO)

    I was given not kit with fasteners. I found the install instructions on line at

    The hitch has 6 holes (3 per side). Two of them on each side are 12mm bolts that thread into welded nuts (already in place.) After buying a tap to clean out the nuts, I easily (well...a little effort) managed to get the bolts fastened and tightened to 75 ft. lbs. (per the spec).

    My problem lies with the remaining carriage bolts. These are required to be fed from the inside of the frame with the nuts on the underside. Getting this accomplished will required more work and hassle as the wholes in place do not allow for the size of my carriage bolt head. Are the carriage bolts required?

    I have searched and found other installations that only require the four bolts and nothing further. I believe it was a draw-tite hitch that I viewed.

    Any thoughts on the whether the additional bolts are necessary?

    FWIW...we typically will use this for a bike rack and small loads/trailer if any at all.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.

    Thank you.

  • bernikenberniken Posts: 18
    I added a 3rd party hitch to my 2000 Ody and only six 12 mm bolts were required, all up into threaded nuts already inside the frame members. There were no positions for the extra two you refer to, and I expect you may ignore them. If Honda had required, they would have provided the welded-in nuts in the frame.
    I pulled a 3000 lb trailer with above.
  • Which model number hitch was it and/or what Class (II or III)...I was about to buy a U Haul hitch for my 2006 Odyssey for a trip that we are taking this weekend...ugh!
    Thanks, Mike
  • bernikenberniken Posts: 18
    It was Class III. Can't recall the mfr name, and I'm now into a 2007 Ody so 2000 records are gone. Allow a day to fiddle with fit (round file to expand bolt holes in the hitch, for example, as I found a bit of hitch distortion on 3 brands I tried until I got one with minimal problem).
  • 2000? Did you install the UHaul hitch on a 2000 or a 2006 (I thought it was 2006). Did you re-install it on your 2007? I have a 2006 and was worried about the bolt holes not matching up after I read your e-mail...almost makes me want to re-consider the OEM (which costs more but looks better). Thanks for the info.
  • i have odyssey 2007 ex can someone please give an estimate for a hitch
  • Hi,

    I have absolutely zero experience with hitches. I have done a little hauling but not a lot. Now it looks like I am getting a small boat (19'). With the trailer, it is just under 3000 pounds. I have a 2006 Odyssey, no tow package, no hitch. The trailer has a 2" ball.

    I don't foresee hauling the boat more than about 5 miles at a time, ever, and it's all local roads so I won't be going faster than about 30mph. And it's all flat as a pancake.

    What do I need to have installed? Any suggestions on outfits that can do the work well, for a reasonable price? Is Sears still reliable for their Auto stuff?


  • yeah hey well first off u need to get a tranny cooler because odysseys are not pick up trucks so they are not made for hauling but if you put trailer hitch and tranny cooler it will work perfectly....
  • Where did you get your air shocks from? Who is the manufacturer? I will be pulling a 16 ft. Funfinder trailer with an '07 Odyssey that I am purchasing on Saturday. We usually pull the trailer w/ my Jeep Wrangler. I want to eliminate the rear sag in the van so that we can go on a long distance trip. I can't seem to find air shocks to fit the Odyssey.

    Thank you.
  • bernikenberniken Posts: 18
    As an alternative to air shocks, consider a load distribution hitch to keep the Ody level. I have one for my 2007 with my 300 lb tongue weigh tailer and it works very well. This will probably be less costly, and certainly offers no longer term maintenance issue, such as replacing a pair of shocks should the bladder fail on one of them.
  • This is an old question but I wanted to answer for others that may need this info in the future. I researched this on my 2007 Odyssey EX and it may apply to other years as well. I am a former race car fabricator and driver so this stuff is kinda fun for me.

    I had the same need for a backup light on my trailer. On the passenger side the wiring harness exits the deck lid door and comes down under the rear panel. To remove the panel you must first pop out the rear panel as it overlaps the side panels. Remove any finger nuts that hold in the rear panel and the one finger nut on the passenger side panel. Lift the rear panel out at the bottom to pop the 4 buttons and the pull up to pop the top buttons. After that is out you can use a pair or diagonal wire cutter to gently remove the buttons that did not come out nicely and put the back in their slots for reassembly. Once that rear panel is pulled out you can pull loose the passenger side panel at the rear (the panel need not be completely removed) about 6 inches you should be able to access a bundle of wires coming down from above. On my van this bundle also included the rear windshield washer hose. In that bundle there is a green wire with 2 small silver bands on it. That band pattern is repeated every few inches. That is the backup light wire that connects to the lights in the deck lid. I used a wire tap clip to attach to it and it works fine. I'm not a big fan of those clips but there is so little wire slack that this is the best choice for this particular task. I routed the wire over to the driver's side where my other trailer wiring was and exited to the bottom of the car. If you are only dealing with this one wire and need a way to easily exit under the car make note of the left hand most bottom clip hole. Drill a hole 1 inch to the right of it (towards the center of car) and exit the wire. Use a grommet, wire loom covering or wiring putty or something so the wire is protected against any sharp edges of the hole. This hole exits into the bumper cavity and when you feed the wire out the hole it will come out underneath in the area near your trailer wiring harness and plug.

    The only gotcha on our Odysseys is the backup fuse is 7.5 amps. Depending on the size of the backup light or lights you have, this could easily blow that fuse. What I plan to do is to put a 20 amp relay on my trailer that uses the incoming trailer power lead. This is the one that charges my trailer battery when my car is running. That way the power from the green wire will be used to trip the relay and it will handle the power to the backup light so there is no chance of overtaxing the Odyssey's 7.5 amp fuse or wiring. Alternately, you could go up slightly on the fuse size but this would be at your own risk. The backup wire is pretty small and you would not want to use a huge fuse and a huge light as you could damage the harness with a wire meltdown.
  • dsguydsguy Posts: 2
    I plan to tow my classic car with an open car hauler using my 01 Odyssey. Total weight being towed is 3580 lbs., and I will be driving about 925 miles. My van has a distributed weight Type III hitch, and will have a transmission cooler installed prior to this trip.

    I would think that extra 80 lbs. will be OK if I drive conservatively, but wanted to get the wisdom of the CarSpace forum first. TIA for your knowledge.
  • We drove from California to Canada and back this summer with our Ody towing a 16ft travel trailer with electronic brakes and air bags on the rear axle of the Ody. By the end of the trip, we realized that we also needed an additional sway bar (2 total). Several times during the trip we had the "tail wagging the dog".
  • I have a 2008 Odyssey with trans cooler and rear suspension airbags. The problem you are going to have is that 10-12% is recomended tongue weight and that would definitely push you over the weight the Honda recommended number. As far as the brakes - if the trailer has electric brakes that would be best. I just think you are really pushing the edges of the envelope. Also, if the terrain is flat that may be doable but is hilly I would say lookout.
  • dsguydsguy Posts: 2
    THanks for the expertise!
  • I would like to put a tow hitch on my Honda Odyssey to tow a small trailer with a motorcycle. Never more than about 1500 pounds. The dealership say that I must put a Trans cooler which significantly raises the cost. How important is this?
  • You can have a trans cooler installed by an independent trailer hitch installation shop. Mine on my 2007 Odyssey ran about $200 installed. The dealer wanted at least twice that.

    In reality you probably do not need a transcooler for this light load. However if you are under warranty and are concerned this could impact your warranty it could if the trans burns out. A dealer could refuse to honor it as a warranty item if you have a trailer hitch and have not installed a trans cooler. They won't care if you were towing only 1500 pounds. So if you have a warranty on the car I would get an independent shop or mechanic to install it. Also remember that these cars are known for trans issues.

    If you don't have a warranty it is probably not an issue and you could get away without it.
  • I am looking at purchasing a 2011 Odyessy with the towing package. My boat and trailer weigh 2600 lbs. I have never pulled it with anything but a truck or SUV. My question is whether or not there will be difficulty towing the boat, getting the boat out of the water,etc, or will the odyssey pull like my current SUV that also has a 3500 lb towing capacity? Thank You in advance for answers, we will probably decide on the purchase within the next couple of days.
  • You are probably pushing the edges of the envelop of what the Odyssey can handle. I'm towing a small T@B travel trailer at 2000 pounds and think that is getting near the upper limits of what the Odyssey can handle. In your situation you have the additional issues of needing the power to pull up a steep boat ramp and I'm not sure the Odyssey can be counted on to do that. The current Odyssey models like my 2007 all have known transmission problems and motor mount breakage problems. How the new one perfroms in those areas is unknown. If you decide to get the Odyssey don't get the dealer installed tow package. It is way overpriced and rated for less weight than the third party ones. You will want a good quality hitch, a trailer wiring convertor with a powered adapter, air bags installed on the rear suspension and a transmission cooler. You can get this installed at an independent trailer hitch installer shop for about 1/2 of the dealer pricing.
  • Hi,
    I am planning to move from Atlanta to Denver.
    I have Honda Odyssey 2010 EX-L.
    Like to know how much weight I can place in the Car and How much weight I can place in the Hitch.
    I have browsed UHaul and came to know that I can hitch 1500LB cargo weight.
    Like to get advice from people what trail to use and what is the right weight in the van and the trail.
    Advices are appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
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