Towing with a Honda Fit

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by chicopeejim, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. Jughed

    Jughed Member

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    I don't care about the lawsuits and liability - that's an issue that will come about after the fact.

    I care about preventing the issue in the first place, and keeping the roadways safe for us everyone around us.

    Just because you have been OK so far doesn't mean you are giving out solid advice. Nor are you fully considering the potential issues that WILL happen on the roads. And at some point, bad stuff will happen. Not if, but when. And no, your Jetta

    I cringe every time I see a vehicle towing at or above its max, pickup trucks included... I know that minivan or sedan wont be able to handle situations when they arise, and the outcome is easily predictable.


    No matter how you spin it - telling someone to tow a pop up with a Fit isn't good advice.

    Sorry for the rant - but we are driving next to you on the freeway...
     
  2. rjhammetter

    rjhammetter Husband, Dad, Engineer & Camper

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    So far we have...
    • 1 vehicle manufacturer (Honda) who says "this vehicle is not designed to tow a trailer."
    • Plus another 17 members (eoleson1, kitphantom, PopUpSteve, 87ColemanLaramie, yetavon, rjhammetter (me), Tom Biasi, Halford, Beecoach, Snow, MsMac, Idlerockfarm, Featherfam, bldmtnrider, sgip2000, colorado_camper and Jughed) who in one way or another alluded to it being a bad idea.
    • With our engineer compatriot bldmtnrider saying that litigation would be a slam dunk if anything ever happened while doing this.
    Then there are...
    • 2 members (Minimalist and mcbrew) who say "screw everything you read in the Owner's Manual and online and go for it - it can handle a trailer."
    I personally think we were being trolled by OP. No responses. No input. Just riling us up. Anyone who owns and drives a Fit would know better than to try this.

    What boggles my mind are things like these:
    Umm, except when the manufacturer admits it the text of the Owner's Manual that it absolutely cannot. Have you ever riden in a Fit? This type of commentary makes you look like an Ugly American, not an educated, opinionated forum user.

    Umm, no. Insurance Companies pay Claims Agents a lot of money to investigate accidents. They go to accident scenes, read police reports and study wreckage after incidents. Insurance profits by rejecting as many claims as they can. Towing with a Fit is a clear violation of the maximum load and vehicle capabilities. Your liability will not be covered.

    PS your Jetta is a much more competent tow vehicle than a Fit. I have no problem with what you're doing. But to tell someone else that European ratings vs American yada yada... try explaining that to the police, insurance company or lawyers after you've killed your passengers or other drivers on the road. They will say, "This isn't Europe." End of story. I mean, do you think before you talk?
     
  3. mcbrew

    mcbrew Member

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    This is an argument that nobody can win. People who DO tow with these cars are doing great, but that doesn't count because others are SURE that they are about to kill a bus full of Boy Scouts. The FACT that Honda -- the manufacturer -- DOES rate the car for towing in other countries doesn't count for whatever reason the haters want to give.

    Yes, it is true that almost all car manufacturers list a lower or nonexistent tow rating in the U.S. vs other countries. Some people believe this is because the U.S. is more litigious. Some believe it is because trucks are more profitable than cars, and Americans buy trucks, so they have no reason to make cars look like capable tow vehicles. Some believe it is because in the U.S. We tend to tow at faster highway speeds and for longer distances than other countries.

    One thing is for sure: this will not be solved today. None of the haters will change their minds and none of the people already towing with cars will be convinced to stop.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. Jughed

    Jughed Member

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    Not haters - realists.

    I've towed with a Dodge Colt (home made trailer - 2 4 wheelers and a dirt bike), Jeep, Pilot and 2500... in that order. And every step of the way I told myself I was just fine. And every step along the way I realized I was kidding myself. Now I've towed multiple items - from that 4 wheeler, uhauls, boats, and campers up to a 26' TT, for well over 15k miles - and I can say without a doubt - you can't understand what towing safely is until you actually tow safely.

    And, I owned a Subaru, put 175k on it - great car. Best car I've ever driven in bad weather, drove past many stuck SUV's and pick up trucks - that is what they are good at.

    They may pull a small camper down the road - but they are in no way good at it.

    Like I said before in other threads - I've had my boat just about take out my Pilot and everyone around us, and I've had my little pop up just about take out my 2500 - blown tire on the freeway, Pup jumped sideways and actually pulled the truck with it - a Subaru would be toast. It's not a matter of if it will happen, its a matter of when.

    It's not really an argument - its a case of "I've been fine, so whats the problem".
     
  5. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Lets hear from the OP.
     
  6. R00

    R00 Active Member

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    The reason for differing tow ratings between EU and NA is because NA requires a lot more crumple zone technology be installed. This means more sheet metal and bracing.

    For example, the hood on my Nissan Frontier weighs almost half again as much as the EU counterpart, the Navara.
     
  7. R00

    R00 Active Member

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    Also, it's not about whether your vehicle can pull the trailer so much...it's about being able to stop it, and to a lesser extent, control it when things go wonky.

    Pulling over your limit will wreck your ride. Trying to stop over your limit can wreck people's lives.
     
  8. mcbrew

    mcbrew Member

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    This may be one factor, but not the only one. There are cases I know of where the body is the same from EU to US, and still the tow rating is lower here.

    I've been having this discussion online for about 20 years on various forums. It will not be solved here.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    I assume the OP is just trolling and has gotten the response they wanted.
     
  10. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    That has entered my mind. :)
     
  11. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    The OP registered yesterday morning, made two posts - this one and a review of a campground. He was on the Portal again this morning, so I assume he's read the responses - so maybe we frightened him off.
     
  12. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    hello!

    We are a family... we don't want one of our family member hit one of us because of negligence in following car/truck manual.

    I read some of your response... nothing happened to me when I towed something with a small car. You must have some kind of luck of Irish with you but it never last. You might have been driving 35 in 70 MPH which explains that nothing happened to your small car. At first you WILL not notice any damages to your small car but it becomes evident at half of your car lifespan. Plus the brakes of ANY small cars are not designed to stop a small cars with extra weight, nor can the transmission last long. Engineers of small cars had in mind when they designed small cars with passengers and few hundred pounds of cargo... that's it. Had they had camper in mind, the engineers will add bigger brakes, transmission cooler, stronger motor, stronger transmission, stronger suspensions, stronger frames and bigger gas pedal.

    Why ruin your small car.. just get used vehicle that has tow package. One day you will appreciate your stronger TV, not having to jump out of small car with camper/trailer and push it uphill.

    Sure that you see trucks and SUVs on side of road - manufacturer defects, maintenance negligence or abuses. You can't use Ford Rangers, S-10, most SUVs without tow package to tow highwall popups. You gonna need to change transmission fluid often to prevent burn transmissions after towing often.

    Overall just use common sense and follow the car manufacturer manuals. I am pretty sure our comments will be in the heads of small car drivers trying to tow something. As Forest Gump would say, "Stupid is as stupid does". I applaud those who read this and stop practicing anything dangerous. It was foolishly done before but never do it again.
     
  13. upstate family

    upstate family Member

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    I am so thankful for these types of conversations. Why? Because before I bought my pup and read them and learned. When we looked at campers my husband and I could make a good decision and not buy something that would be unsafe to tow with our TV. He knew this information but I didn't and it was helpful that he didn't have to educate me when I fell in love with something too big for us to tow. On our first trip we saw someone with a small pick up towing a huge travel trailer. I took one look and told my husband to get as far away from her as possible. I was shocked realizing people actually try this stuff and endanger everyone around them. Even without the knowledge I gained from this site is was obvious she was out of her league. I still can't figure how the PO of our Pup towed it with a Subaru. We tow it comfortably with our mid-size truck but up the Adirondacks it made a difference.
     
  14. fix_it

    fix_it Member

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    So...

    Assuming a car from Europe would be rated to tow 2000 lbs there, but the manual here says it's not designed to tow...

    If someone bought the car in Europe and then brought it here, which rating would they need to follow? Is the car less capable now that it has been relocated?

    Does something not being designed to do something automatically make it incapable?

    Don't get me wrong here. I have never driven a Fit. I have no idea what it may or may not be capable of and would not want to encourage something unsafe. I just wonder sometimes what actually make things tick.
     
  15. West Coast Canuck

    West Coast Canuck Jumped to the dark side ......

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    My truck is a very capable cummuting vehicle, but the amount of gas that the
     
  16. ScoobyDoo

    ScoobyDoo New Member

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    I'm not going to endorse towing with anything small, un-body, or front wheel drive. But I would vote for a law that required working brakes on a trailer, and a law that required the driver to pass a safety knowledge test before towing one.
    The one thing on this thread that got my attention, that I have always wondered about.

    I have built a few trailers, for my own use. One, wanted to haul car with a old half ton pickup, so I built it light. If I put a good car on it, just chained down enough to keep trailer under the car, about 40 was as fast as it could be controlled. But a car going for scrap, throw chains over hood and trunk and boom it down, trailer towed great. Difference? All I could see was hauling scrap, the stiffness of the car stiffened the trailer. How stiff is the frame of a RV trailer?
    I built 3 full trailers to haul material. I used a ladder tongue, mounted to the front of the trailer so it could move up and down, but side to side was restricted. On the back of the TV/front of tongue I used a pintle hitch and eye. Side to side movement same as ball and coupler, but more room for up/down. (And much more weight capacity) Empty or loaded those trailers tracked like on rails. TW? Not sure, I could lift it but used a jack, could not move truck or trailer when holding it up. MT weight on the lightest one was 8,600 lbs. GVWR? Never stamped one on, but both the axles where rated at 24,000 each. And with the axles 10 feet apart you could see tire wear on the pavement from both trailer and drivers if I had to turn tight [:D]
     
  17. Ryanm

    Ryanm Member

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    I tow with my Fit.

    Curt, Reese, Draw-tite and Sportframe all make hitches for the Fit, and Curt and others make wiring harnesses as well. Did they see what some high school kid knocked together with a welder he got at a yard sale and copy the design? Are they shady, fly-by-night companies that are out to get people killed? U-Haul will even sell me one and put it on for me. When I went to U-Haul to buy a ball mount with as much rise as they had the guy asked what car I was using. I told him a Fit and he didn't look anything up, he just went over to his shelves, got a box and said "this is the one we use for Fits."

    Ratings, warrantees and legal liability are all fine and good, but you have to understand that even things carved in stone were carved by regular people with their own priorities. If my hitch falls apart while I'm driving I'm not a maniacal killer, I'm a very dissatisfied Reese customer. If my radio dies, the presence of a hitch doesn't magically void the warranty. Most importantly, car companies don't make their money from their cheapest offerings and a $15k Fit that tows will cost them a lot of $25k CRV sales... so in our market the Fit doesn't get rated for towing. Conversely, if I overload my trailer or car all the warrantees and owners manuals in the world aren't going to make things better.

    No, the Fit can't tow much, but it's only our culture of "needing" a full size truck or SUV to haul groceries that makes anyone think that a Fit can't tow at all. In countries where the top three selling cars aren't full size trucks, Fits are rated for towing... and multiple hitch companies have several offerings for it that they're willing to sell here in the US even though the Fit lost its ability to tow when it crossed the border.

    Getting down to practical details, the QuickSilver 6.0 is smaller than my utility trailer and I'd consider towing it with the Fit. I''d want to see one first, but I'd seriously consider it. I'd never do it with an automatic transmission and I wouldn't load it much, but Livin Lite does say:

    It looks like a good little rig. It's not for us, but I like it. I'm not going to say "sure, a Fit can handle it," but it'd be worth looking at.
     
  18. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    I'll add that liv-n-lite is not in the tow automotive business, but in camper sales. So what would we expect them to say?
     
  19. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    there very few honest people in uHaul business, and would not try to sell everything off stock. uHaul is not the supreme authority for towing non uHaul trailers and I wouldn't listen to most of the employees there. Talk to the mechanic who work on your car or dealers. I had a good share of dealers who tell me that my 94' Ranger could not tow 3500 lb popup... I either listen or ignore dealers or the handbook.

    Salespeople who work for camper are sometimes honest. Some are not so they can earn commission for the number of camper they sell a day/week/month.

    If your handbook says "do not tow", it is at your risk and risking the lives of drivers/passenger in front of you (or side of you) when you tow something.

    When a small car tow something, the life of the car will be VERY short and you are helping the economy by buying another car.

    But overall, think again.
     
  20. Flying Labs

    Flying Labs Member

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    You heard it here first folks. You can't tow a popup with anything less than a 3/4 ton truck. Trying to pull it with anything less is attempted manslaughter.


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