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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We're about to start hauling a 13' Scamp with my 2003 E. A local RV repair shop installed a type of class I hitch that attaches by two bolts through the spare wheel well and one bolt through the loop at the rear/center of the frame. Just now doing my research (Valley, H and A), I more often see class I hitches for the E that attach to the frame with multiple bolts at two points on the rear frame and at the loop in the center. Both types are found made by Draw-Tite at http://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2003_Honda_Element.htm and in the photos I've tried to attach. (...new to the forum, thanks for your patience.)

I'm well versed (thanks to this great forum, FiberglassRV's, and my owner's manual) on weight limits, towing dangers, keeping trailers light, bearing's packed etc.

My immediate question is: Is this simple, wheel-well attached class I hitch (and that loop on the frame) beefy enough for a 1000# trailer?
 

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We're about to start hauling a 13' Scamp with my 2003 E. A local RV repair shop installed a type of class I hitch that attaches by two bolts through the spare wheel well and one bolt through the loop at the rear/center of the frame. Just now doing my research (Valley, H and A), I more often see class I hitches for the E that attach to the frame with multiple bolts at two points on the rear frame and at the loop in the center. Both types are found made by Draw-Tite at http://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2003_Honda_Element.htm and in the photos I've tried to attach. (...new to the forum, thanks for your patience.)

I'm well versed (thanks to this great forum, FiberglassRV's, and my owner's manual) on weight limits, towing dangers, keeping trailers light, bearing's packed etc.

My immediate question is: Is this simple, wheel-well attached class I hitch (and that loop on the frame) beefy enough for a 1000# trailer?
No! Please do not use that hitch. Go back to the RV dealer and demand a refund. Then order a class III from Etrailer.com.
That hitch is not safe for anything more than a bike rack.
I have a class III Hidden Hitch on my E and a class I Hidden Hitch on my wife's E both from Etrailer. Their price, shipping and service are second to none.

Here is a thread about our RVing adventures so far.
http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55454

The class I has one through frame bolt on either side and the class III has two on either side. The class III has a 2" receiver tube so you have more drawbar and accessory options also.
I pull our 12' 1500lb Sidekick travel trailer with no problems but I would not hitch it up to the class I on my wife's E unless it was just to move the trailer from one side of the driveway to the other. She has pulled our 5'x10' utility trailer a few times with loads under 1000lbs just fine too.

Please be safe and enjoy your E and your Scamp and most importantly post lots of pictures.:D
 

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One owner reported problems with this type of hitch. I think he was using a bike rack on it. If I'm not mistaken, the Ubolt got a little loose, and the hitch started twisting, and damaging it the wheel well mounting point.

If anything a bike rack would be worse with this hitch than a trailer. The trailer load is simpler - mostly pulling back, without much twist. This style has been used for years on the Honda CRV.

Based on reading, but not experience, I'd say that this hitch, if properly installed should do ok with a 1000 lb trailer. But if you have the option of replacing it with one that bolts to the frame rails on either side of the wheel well, go for it.

Most of the load is probably carried by the Ubolt at the backend of the wheelwell. But the frame rail mounting points provide a wider support against twisting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to both of you for the replies. We are still undecided, but I'm leaning towards a Class III. (My local Honda dealer plainly stated that they couldn't mount a class III on it. The forum seems to disagree, in droves.) One vendor rates that hitch for 200# tongue weight and a 2000# trailer, but I assume those ratings are pretty general and do not take into account the actual vehicle they're used on.

Love the forum. Thanks for the replies.
 

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It is likely that the Honda dealer will only mount a Honda hitch. That is classed as class 1, more because it has a 1 1/4" receiver, than because any weakness in the hitch or its mount. Plus Honda wants you to limit the load on the car as whole to 150/1500. A Honda dealership may have little to no experience with hitches manufactured by others.

The class III, by Valley has a 2" receiver, and fits in the same place as the Honda. You can install it yourself, or have a hitch shop install it. Uhaul shops install the same, but with their name on it. The 2" receiver is of more value if you want to use bike racks or cargo platforms. For a small trailer, either size receiver should be fine.
 

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Wheel well / loop hitch !

This is a class 1/2 hitch. IMO suitable for carrying a single bike on a rack and little else.
 

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This is the broken one that I had in mind.
the bolt that hooked the hitch to the little tow ring came out, dropping the cargo platform to the ground, at 60Mph.... I knew it wasn’t the best hitch, but I didn’t think it was going to be that bad. Though once it dropped I think that’s where the tearing began. We cargo strapped the hitch on until we found a hardware store.
In fairness to the hitch, it appears that the start of the problem was bolt that connected the hitch to the tow loop. The rough roads probably had something to do with it working loose. Since all hitches attach to this tow loop, such a loss would cause damage to the other mounting points. None are designed to support the load without this tow loop bolt. This, though, is clearly more vulnerable when this loss occurs.

One other difference that is apparent in the photo at the start of this thread. This hitch uses a straight bolt with plate washer to attach the hitch to the tow loop. The others all use a U bolt - with 2 nuts. Properly tightened, the U bolt may be more resistant to loosening.

If you stick with this hitch, keep an eye on that tow loop bolt. The steel plate 'washer' appears to have a tenuous grip at one corner on the tow loop. If it slipped just a bit, it might start to wobble.
 

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I would be very cautious with the tongue weight with your trailer and that style hitch. I would also be worried with the side forces with that hitch as well. More so on uneven terrain where you are making tight turns and the trailer is no longer just being pulled straight behind you.

I have jack knifed a time or two backing up on complex terrain and the stress at the hitch can be pretty high.

just guessing though I would say that hitch would probably work just fine if you stay below the rating. It wouldn't hurt to call the place who sold it to you and see if they will take it back so you can get the class III or the class I factory style.
 

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Also, the one that ripped out was carrying one of those cargo platforms that puts a massive amount of twisting back and forth. The poor thing was never intended to carry anything like the abuse they gave it, but on the other hand? The poor thing is hardly intended to carry a trailer hitch either. It only fastens to a couple of thin pieces of sheet metal and the tow loop so what would I feel safe with it? One of those tiny plastic bodied luggage trailers and a couple hundred pounds of cargo maximum.

The worst part is that they had to drill holes in your spare tire well to install it and now you'll have to deal with those after it's removed and have a safe hitch installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
To all who have replied, I am very thankful for the feedback. Deciding to take what appears to be the safer route, a class III hitch is on the way as I type, and I guess I'll be plugging the holes in the wheelwell sometime this weekend.

I'll post a photo or two on this thread when all is installed and we're ready to go.
 

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does someone make a class II hitch for the E , just because I have two tongue pieces with a 1 7/8 and a 2' ball already from my old vehicle , and the bar size is for a class II receiver ... :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Long time, no post - but I said I'd put a picture here. We went with the Class III hitch from eTrailer, and judging by the pulls, tugs, etc., especially on the bumpy roads we tend to find ourselves on while camping/hiking in remote areas, I cannot imagine using that Class I "stick" that was bolted to the spare tire well.

Thanks for all the advice, the good discussion of pros and cons.

BTW, the E pulled this little 13 foot Scamp without a cough. (Maybe 5 mpg less than normal, but I guess that's expected.)
 

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You lucky!

jwc--thanks for your questions and picture! I am just now starting my search for a Scamp or Burro and now I know what hitch to get. Your Scamp looks great! Let us know all the mods you start doing to it!

How did you find it? I'm on the Fiberglass RV site all the time, ebay (they sell high!), craigs lists, and Fiberglass Campers For Sale (or something like that.)
 
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