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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have experience with towing vintage campers long distances? How should I prepare my 2003 Honda CRV? What’s the average gas mileage while towing? I understand not to exceed the 1500lbs tow capacity. Any tips? Advice? Etc?
150005
 

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2007 Accord EX 2020 CR-V Hybrid EX
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Welcome @Heawi !
I moved your post to "Racks, Hitches and Towing", probably get more responses there.
 
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Have pulled a camper from "Austin to Boston" several times. What type of roads will you be traveling on?

Will second getting the bearings replaced. Also, take a good look at your tires & spare [if you have one]. Not much more fun to be had than changing a trailer tire on the side of the highway. :cautious:

Gas mileage will suffer. The front end of that trailer will act like a drogue parachute, holding you back. Not to mention the effect of crosswinds. Don't want the tail wagging the dog.

Do some PM on your tow vehicle, especially your braking system & transmission. Maybe new fluids for both systems.

Have you ever towed that trailer? Regardless of the combination, adding a trailer to a vehicle changes all sorts of vehicle handling characteristics. Starting, stopping, & turning are all greatly affected. Get some local practice in before starting your trip.

If you know that all your parking places on the trip will be pull-throughs, you should have no problems. However, it doesn't hurt knowing how to back up with the trailer attached. Find a large parking lot - mall, football stadium, etc & practice. Obviously the size of it limits your rear vision, so take your co-pilot with you to standardize your communications when backing up.

Finally, is the trailer structurally sound? Waterproof?

I'm sure others will have more to say.

Have a safe trip. Let us know the results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Have pulled a camper from "Austin to Boston" several times. What type of roads will you be traveling on?

Will second getting the bearings replaced. Also, take a good look at your tires & spare [if you have one]. Not much more fun to be had than changing a trailer tire on the side of the highway. :cautious:

Gas mileage will suffer. The front end of that trailer will act like a drogue parachute, holding you back. Not to mention the effect of crosswinds. Don't want the tail wagging the dog.

Do some PM on your tow vehicle, especially your braking system & transmission. Maybe new fluids for both systems.

Have you ever towed that trailer? Regardless of the combination, adding a trailer to a vehicle changes all sorts of vehicle handling characteristics. Starting, stopping, & turning are all greatly affected. Get some local practice in before starting your trip.

If you know that all your parking places on the trip will be pull-throughs, you should have no problems. However, it doesn't hurt knowing how to back up with the trailer attached. Find a large parking lot - mall, football stadium, etc & practice. Obviously the size of it limits your rear vision, so take your co-pilot with you to standardize your communications when backing up.

Finally, is the trailer structurally sound? Waterproof?

I'm sure others will have more to say.

Have a safe trip. Let us know the results.
The trip is relatively central United States, Utah to Tennessee, with a stop to Chicago area as well. I know how to back trailers, but I just bought a hitch for my CRV 2003 I am going to practice with. Unfortunately i can’t afford a vehicle that might enjoy hauling better than my ‘03 at the moment. However, I believe it just may be able get the job done. I just need to go through that list of inspections and check off a few projects beforehand for safety. Thanks for the tips. I guess I just need to plan out slower arriving times to destinations, and double my budget for gas spending money.
 

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Assuming the V is in good mechanical spec. For the trailer, new proper trailer tires, wheel bearings, and a spare. You don't mention if the V is a manual or auto trans. Either way avoid OD in hillier areas as it will cause the auto to be constantly downshifting and a manual to be shifted frequently. The K24 doesn't have the torque output to maintain speed for the vehicle alone and especially with a trailer. Maintaining momentum as best as possible is everything.
For me, I used my 13 V to pull a small cargo trailer from Iowa to Colorado to Iowa once, I wouldn't do it again. The K24 is a very durable engine but I didn't like the revs it was constantly turning.
 

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If the trailers tires are kind of old consider replacing both with new ones. Or get 2 spares.
Make sure all tires are inflated to the right pressure. Too much air and you can have problems at highway speeds. Same if pressure is low.
A while back I was transporting an suv truck on a car trailer(from u-haul) and one of the 4 tires was low in pressure, that thing would sway from side to side everytime we passed someone or a big vehicle went by us. Even when the road was slightly uneven. At one point I really got scared and we decided to pull over, that's when we saw the tire low in pressure.

So don't forget to inspect every tire when ever you pull over for food or gas.
Check fluids on your V as well.
Inspect the trailers wiring and make sure all lights work.
Our trailer had no tail lights, and we only found out around 2am while driving in a road with no light posts, a big a$$ pick up truck almost rear ended us, we stopped at gas station and I had to fix the trailers wiring dark at night and raining.

Which reminds me, get spare fuses specially for tail light and brake lights, not to mention extra light bulbs for the trailer. And flash light with fresh batteries as well.

Be safe
 

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You need to test tow it if you haven’t already and consider adding a set of air bags to the rear suspension - though I don’t know what can be fit to a CRV. We had a Pilot and found that the tongue weight on the rear unloaded the front suspension and raised the front. That made it extremely light in the front and difficult to drive. The Pilot and CRV can’t use a weight distribution hitch so the only thing to do is help the rear. We were looking at air bags such as Firestone. Perhaps a set of Timbren‘s might do the job if there is a set to fit the CRV.
 

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You need to test tow it if you haven’t already and consider adding a set of air bags to the rear suspension
Things are getting a bit overkill. It's a lightweight trailer. My friend brought a 4000+ lb caravan from the UK behind his Gen4 and it was perfectly fine for a pan-European towing trip.
 

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I'd be more concerned with the mechanics of the trailer, especially considering its vintage. Unless they are only a couple years old I'd replace the tires. And the u-bolts that hold the axle to the springs. Don't ask how I know about those. And replace and grease the wheel bearings, of course.
 
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I would check the manual to see what it says regarding the transmission and towing. If it's an automatic, I'm pretty sure they recommend driving in D3 (thereby keeping the overdrive disengaged), which will help prevent it from overheating. As stated above, the K-series engine is fine for transportation but it doesn't have the torque for towing, so you'll be at a disadvantage. Take 'er easy and you should do fine. Load the trailer properly so you get a proper 150 pounds tongue weight--too much rearward weight in the trailer will lift the rear of the CR-V, and too much weight towards the front will increase the tongue weight to where the front of the CR-V may lift up and cause handling/steering issues.

You might try SumoSprings for the rear springs--they are rubber blocks that insert into the springs which will help a little with sag.

And good advice above, also, on the bearings. Cleaning and packing with fresh grease, or even replacing the bearings with new ones, might be a good idea if you don't know their condition. New cups and cones (Timken or NTN preferably--avoid the offbrands, and always replace both the cups and cones), and new seals front and back should not cost that much, and packed with fresh grease, you'll be ensured you don't have anything overheat. (Trailer bearings tend to be a handful of common sizes, and the rear seal should have a larger ID than the front seal. Little tips I remember from selling these decades ago.) Fresh tires as well, if you don't know how old they are. Tires are only good for six or seven years--beyond that, they dry rot and become dangerous.

Sorry we're all spending your money here. 😁 But we'd rather have you be a few dollars lighter than ruining your CR-V or becoming a statistic.

If you're driving from Utah, you will have a heck of a struggle getting over the mountain passes in Colorado (my '09, a generation newer, can barely keep up with traffic on I-70 over the various passes with the accelerator all the way to the floor). I'm thinking it's probably easier on you and the CR-V if you avoid I-70 (especially with the recent landslides near Glenwood Springs--I-70 could close again at a moment's notice), and perhaps use I-80 through Wyoming, or go as far south as I-40 and go straight to Tennessee, or head to Chicago once you're past the Rockies.
 

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BTW, if you don't yet have wiring for the trailer, visit the etrailer.com site and see what they offer that fits your CR-V. I bought a harness for my '09 that plugs into the factory harness in the rear cargo area. (Requires removing a panel to get at it.) That is much better than splicing into existing wiring. Pretty sure my wiring adapter was made by Curt, the same company that makes the hitches.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
BTW, if you don't yet have wiring for the trailer, visit the etrailer.com site and see what they offer that fits your CR-V. I bought a harness for my '09 that plugs into the factory harness in the rear cargo area. (Requires removing a panel to get at it.) That is much better than splicing into existing wiring. Pretty sure my wiring adapter was made by Curt, the same company that makes the hitches.
This is all really good stuff! Thank you!
 
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