I have a 2013 CRV and a 1500 lb trailer I would like to tow with it. I live in the Sierra Nevadas with high elevations on the highways of up to 9000 ft. Will the trailer significantly affect my fuel economy and cause my engine to overload and bog down?
There's a section in your Owners Manual on Towing a Trailer.
The CR-V can tow a 1,500 lb trailer, if the 1,500 lbs includes the weight of the trailer and everything you pack into or onto the trailer.
That section in the Owners Manual for my 2014 CR-V starts on Page 231.
Also note the section just before the towing section on Maximum Load Limit.
It talks about people and cargo weights.
Remember that whatever the tongue weight for your trailer is has to be included in the "cargo" weight amount.
The curb weight for your CR-V is about 3,500 lbs.
Asking your engine to move an additional 1,500 lbs will significantly decrease your fuel mileage and acceleration.
It will also significantly increase your stopping distance, so please take that into account while driving.
Towed a pop-up camper for many years. Have several pieces of advice regarding trailer towing & mountain driving.
1.] If possible, take the trailer on a short spin just to acquaint you with the different handling characteristics between towing & no towing. Practice securely fastening your trailer to your V. While looking funny, a loose trailer causes a great deal of problems, not only for you but all the other folks sharing the road with you.
2.] When approaching the crest of the hill, don't "floor it" to get over. You'll just have to get rid of that extra speed when you start going downhill. Gravity can change your 30 into 45 before you are aware that it is happening.
3.] Don't ride the brakes when going downhill else you might not have any brakes left when you really start going fast.
4.] Be sure to press the button on the gear shift lever to drop down into D3 when going downhill. That allows the engine compression to regulate your descending speed.
5.] Nothing beats using your Mark 1, Model 20-20 eyeballs to anticipate things a lot farther down the road than you normally would if not pulling a trailer.
That 1500 lbs of towing capacity only applies with only driver and passenger.
Anything extra in the vehicle takes away from the amount you can tow.
You CANNOT just judge towing by the weight. You cant tow a huge box trailer just because it's within weight. Trailer should be no larger than the CRV itself.
Do not tow in the mountains without at minimum having a transmission cooler installed. you WILL fry the transmission in short order pulling up them if pushing max weight limit, Honda CRVs are not meant to handle that much load for long periods.
Also best since you are here asking this questions that you do not tow without trailer brakes.
Under skilled drivers and towing more than a vehicle can handle are a huge cause of accidents on the highways in the mountains. You ca not just jump in and go. You need to learn how to tow and practice doing so on regular roads before trying to get up to 9000' up into the mountains.
Just a note, There are no Sierra Nevada mountains on the Mid-west ?