Where to invest $1000

I inherited a 18’ Hobie Cat and trailer. It’s 100 miles to the lake and I don’t have a hitch on my 2003 Honda Pilot. The dealer says its $900 for the hitch, installation and cooling units. Would it be better to find an old pick up to haul it for around $1000 or invest in the pilot? Even though I would like to get rid of the pilot, gas prices make it unmarketable. I can see reasons for having a “hauling junk” truck. What does everyone think?

Don’t get the hitch installed at the dealer-- it should be a fraction of that installed by a good independant trailer shop and having the cooler installed by an independant mechanic.

I also think you’re wrong about the Pilot’s marketablility. SUV’s aren’t as popular amongst the general public right now, but people who actually need one are going to be interested in the somewhat more fuel-efficient models like the Pilot. If you do a lot of driving other than to the lake with your boat, buying an older truck to haul the boat and buying a more efficient car to commute with might make some sense.

What does the owner’s manual say about towing? I’m guessing the cat weighs about 400 lbs (wikipedia), and the trailer adds another 250 lbs. Total tow weight (guessing, remember?) about 650 lbs. Not really that much. You can have a tow hitch and trans cooler added at an independent garage for far less than $900. A trans cooler costs about $100 with adapters and hoses, and the hitch about $150 max. A couple of hours of mechanic’s time at $80/ per hour, and your ready to tow for about $400 to $500. Consider that.

I really think there is nothing to a Hobie Cat, weightwise. I can’t believe any vehicle towing one needs cooling units, but maybe they do, especially where it gets hot. Do you know the weight of boat on trailer? I pull a Sea-Doo PWC (my owners manual says it’s 461 pounds) on a double aluminum PWC trailer, with a 150 hp., 2.4L 4cyl. Dodge Caravan with no special equipment. The van is designed for 7 passengers. The van doesn’t even notice the trailer compared to the drag when I used to pull dirt bikes with a 53 hp Beetle. The hitch (I think class 1) for the van was around $100 and it just bolted on in my driveway!

Do you know how much weight you’re trying to tow? I think if you knew the weight of boat and trailer, by getting it weighed at a local grain and feed or someplace that has a scale, or if somebody reading this post knows, you can get help here. Did you consult your owners manual or Honda service dept. for towing specs.?

There has to be some Honda Pilot experts reading this and they would maybe know if they can pull anything or know if they can tow something light without modifications. They must know how easy/difficult a hitch installation is, too. How about it?

That $1000 truck will cost you forever in insurance, registration fees, repairs, maintenance etc.

Your Pilot addition of a hitch costs you no more than you already are spending.

Get the hitch…but don’t get it through the dealer. Find a independent that specializes in installing hitches. Places that sell RV’s and or trailers are a good place to start. Look for a Reese or Draw-tite hitch. A competent place can install the hitch…tranny cooler and all the wiring.

Agree this is the way to go. Don’t forget the tranni cooler; it’s a “must have item” on any vehicle towing a traler. I’ve installed a number of them myself over the years.

If towing the Hobi-Cat is all you are going to tow, you can CERTAINLY get away without the tranny cooler. Having a hitch installed is a $350-$400 deal, including the wiring adapter.

I’ll agree with that. Don’t really need the tranny cooler unless you start towing a LOT MORE WEIGHT…OR for much longer periods of time or going up a lot of long hills while towing.

Do not go to the dealer! This is a very easy hitch to install, Honda already has weld nuts in place on the frame. All it takes is lowering the muffler at the hanger, removing the tow hook, then raising the hitch into position and installing the bolts. Some of these even have a quick connect wire harness that requires nothing more than a plug and play. I work for uhaul (don’t think I didn’t see that uhaul bashing thread a few days ago, lol), the hitch is a 155 dollar part and the quick connect is 25, both come with all instructions and hardware included. If you don’t want to bust your knuckles and have a hitch center near you, fully installed with lifetime warranty should be less than 300. Even if you don’t have/don’t want uhaul, Curt or Drawtight likely supplies similar hitches. I also agree with Caddyman, if your only occasionally hauling a few hundred pounds you can get away without a cooler, tho its never a bad thing to have. Much cheaper than maintaining another truck.

Curt or Drawtight likely supplies similar hitches

UHaul hitches use to be made by Draw-Tite. Draw-Tite is now owned by Reese.