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Towing a little kayak trailer&kayak 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid

The 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid was listed as tow-capacity 1000lb. Iwould like to buy the '09 Civic Hybrid - but have been told by 2 different Honda Service folks towing nor recommended, and by a Sales Mngr. that you can tow with a Civic Hybrid. I don’t want to risk any warranty issues. What is the REAL anwsr. I only tow my kayak about 6 times in the summer… Thanks a bunch.

The owner’s manual should be the authority here. If it says, “no towing,” or “towing is not recommended,” then you can’t tow with the 2009 Hybrid. If it says, “towing capacity 1,000 pounds,” then you can tow light loads.

How much does your kayak and its trailer weigh?

DO NOT, under any circumstances, take a sales person’s or sales manager’s word on this. What they say means absolutely nothing.

Read the manual.

As far as warranty is concerned, the answer is in the owner’s manual - not in the mouth of any salesman or manager. If the manual says towing is OK and upto a certain capacity, then it is ok to put a hitch on the car. If the manual says no towing, then putting a hitch on the car will void your warranty. How much or how little you use the hitch is not the issue, it is either there or it isn’t.

The Civic Hybrid does not have very strong acceleration and adding a trailer even a small one may deteriorate performance, this includes braking and handling, to a point that the mfg deems unsafe. If that is the case you get very good mpg with a standard Civic and you may need to stick with a convention gas engine.

The 2009 Civic Hybrid is different than the 2006. Honda has changed a number of key components including a different transmission and different power for both the gas and electric motors. Perhaps the new system does not handle the extra stress of towing as well as the older generation hybrid. Mpg performance depends a lot on weight and saving weight on drivetrain parts often makes them weaker and not as able to handle high “load” factors. Even a light trailer will send much greater “shock” loads through the drive train upon starts, stops, and as the trailer hits bumps in the road. Whether to allow towing or not is up the mfg.

The Rack & Roll KD65 lists Trailer wt. = 150lb: 11 feet long.

We need someone with a 2009 Civic Hybrid to go to their owner’s manual and report what it says about towing.

The Rack & Roll KD65 Specs list: Weight,Trailer = 150 lb. The kayak weighs about 45-50 lbs. There is no one else in the car but me… The trailer is 11’ long, and the kayak extends about another 3’ off the trailer. Thanks for you replies!

It probably can tow it…And I agree…DON’T listen to the salesman or sales manager. They usually are clueless.

I also have to ask…why are you selling the 06. People usually buy hybrids to save money…by selling after only 3 years…you just lost any possibility of saving money.

There is no towing capacity listed on the Honda Civic Hybrid website. That doesn’t mean the car can’t be used to tow light loads, it just means you’re going to have to check the owner’s manual.

The weight you want to tow is not much, but that doesn’t matter. If the manual says “towing not recommended,” then you can’t tow anything without voiding the warranty, and you don’t want to do that.

Make them show you the manual at the dealer. See what it says about towing.

No Honda Civic, not even the hybrid, was designed to tow anything. If you want a tow vehicle, get something that is designed for towing. If you have to make any warranty claims, you better not show up with a trailer hitch installed on the vehicle. Your warranty will be voided.

If your car develops a powertrain issue, and they spot the trailer hitch, (assuming you can find a hitch) they will use that as an excuse for refusing to repair it under warranty…

I agree towing with a Civic is NOT a good idea…HOWEVER…if the trailer and kayak weigh more then 300lbs I’d be very surprised.

I would too. Fortunately, a Civic can handle a kayak (weighing less than 110 lbs.) on the roof, making a trailer unnecessary.

Yea…that’s the way I would go…Far easier and better just getting a Thule or Yakama roof-rack system. Try to back up a trailer you CAN’T see.

I can’t comment on the warranty issue, but a 200 pound trailer and kayak weighs less than your Mother-in-law and old Uncle Fred, and there’s no rule against them in your car, so the load is not an issue worth discussing. If Honda says “No” then it’s No. Or live without your warranty.

The chances are so low of hitting a warranty issue I would not fret much. If you do state you use your hitch to carry around a hitch mounted bike carrier.

I do not have an '06 HOnda. Was using for towing capacity data I could find on the net. Bottom line- I am looking to buy the MOST fuel efficient vehicle at the MOST affordable price- that will allow a hitch, to tow about 200 pounds. Thanks and I will keep looking for everyone’s thoughts. I have to make up my mind in a week. ( Mid May)

Fine if you are a “guy”- but a 5’2" female already tried that roof rack option. I cannot lift 14’ of 50pounds of weight over head. The Kayak trailer works like a charm. Love it. Again, the trailer weighs 150 pounds (Manuf. Specs) and kayak 50 pounds.

My main concern would be what happens if you have to slam on the brakes? Is that 200 pounds going to swing around and bite yor Civic? 15 feet off the back probably puts the Cg at about 8 feet from the pivot point the bumper, and 200 pounds may not be enough to hold it down.

Is a roof rack a possible solution?

I have a 2003 Honda Civic (not a hybrid) that I’d feel perfectly comfortable towing the type of kayak trailer you describe. I went to my owner’s manual to see what it said about towing.

“Towing a Trailer
Your car is not designed to tow a trailer. Attempting to do so can void your warranties.”

It didn’t say it would void your warranties, but it could. So, Honda is saying don’t do it. If you had any motor problems and transmission problems (they are the biggies) they would not cover the repairs under warranty.

I expect the Honda CRV would allow towing.

Perhaps you should consider a good low mileage car that is out of warranty. Take your chances on a car that has depreciated a bit.

Before buying any car check on the availablity of a hitch for it and the costs to install it. Most trailers have lights and there is wiring to hook up that needs to included in the costs if your kayak trailer has lights.

If you have to have a new car, then you have to check the owner’s manual for that specific car to determine whether towing is allowed and how it impacts the warranty. The statements of salespeople do not count, what is in writing as per the manual is the definative word on the issue.

I get all that, and I stand by my advice. If you insist on towing, get a vehicle that is designed for towing, even if it is only 200 pounds.