Trailer hitch


#1

Our family is getting a popup camper this summer and I was wondering if it is advisible to get an ATF Cooler along with the hitch. I have a 2004 Honda Odyssey. Any advise is welcomed!!!. Where should I get it done? Thanks!


#2

I would advise you get one as light as possible or think of a different tow vehicle. A cooler is always a good idea. Assuming you have close to 100k miles, you now have an older car. If it was rated to safely tow 3500 lbs when new, I would be much more conservative then that when using an older vehicle with higher miles and fwd. You could be on the verge of cv joint replacement as we speak even w/o towing for example.


#3

I would recommend that you get the transmission fluid changed if it has not been done in the last 30k miles. Just have a drain and fill done, don’t ever flush a Honda automatic transmission. Sometimes even Honda dealers will try to sell you a flush even though the Honda service manual warns not to do it.

The cooling lines of the Honda Automatic can be flushed, there is a procedure and recommended fluid for that in the Honda service manual, but don’t flush the transmission itself. Use only Honda ATF or you will have problems.

If you have never had the ATF changed in your Odyssey, then do a drain and fill now, then repeat the drain and fill within 1000 miles.

If you stay within the towing limits and the max GVW, you should not need an external cooler. It wouldn’t hurt though, especially if you are going to do a lot of towing in the mountains.


#4

Thanks alot for the advice!


#5

Do the wiring yourself, fly=by=night wiring places close… leave wires dangling, lights and brakes aren’t all that important =travel inn day, camp into the night [unless your state has it together].
Get a simple flatbed trailer that has multiple uses [pop ups are mostly vinal/“plastic”{pvc is smelly} anyways]. then make a standard tarp structure [like a flea market shade structure + netting] also a rigid wall [wind protection] that folds up with the neting all trim-boarded in to that main wall, add tarp for rain & sun. A 5-day simple ice cooler and a can of beans… is how the old-time campers went.


#6

What is the gross vehicle weight rating of the trailer? As long as it is less than 2,000 lbs, the transmission cooler the Odyssey already has should be fine. With anything over 2,000 lbs, I would look at adding Honda’s towing package to the Odyssey, which includes a better transmission cooler and a more powerful alternator for charging the camper trailer’s house battery.


#7

I highly recommend the tranny cooler.

Any decent RV place that does trailers can help you out. They can do the wiring along with the tranny cooler. And even install the brake-trailer controller.


#8

With the load this puts on trannys, I’d have the dealer put the factory towing package on it.


#9

Since this is a 04…it won’t be “FACTORY”…it may be OEM…but NOT FACTORY.


#10

A transmission fluid cooler is worth its weight in gold even on vehicles that aren’t towing anything.


#11

True, but with Hondas lots of these type of options were always installed by the dealer, so it’ll be as ‘factory’ as they come.


#12

I don’t think that’s true anymore…It use to be with Nissan and Toyota also.


#13

The towing package (Class II Trailer Hitch Receiver, Upgraded Automatic Transmission Oil Cooler, Tow Package Includes Wiring Provisions) is listed as a ‘dealer installed option’ for the 2011 model.


#14

I stand corrected…I didn’t think they were doing that anymore…

Last “Dealer Installed Option” I had was the AC on my 90 Pathfinder.


#15

Brake controllers are going the way of the Dodo bird, as surge brakes on trailers become more popular.


#16

I’ve only seen those on the larger trailers…Pop-up’s still seem to use brake controllers.