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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all!

I've done some reading about the towing capacity, but what are people's thoughts on towing a pop up tent trailer with a higher milage E? My 2003 E has 400,000KM (248,500 miles) and is a MANUAL transmission. I've had the car for almost a year now. I have done the brakes, changed out the transmission oil, and the rear struts.

I just purchased a tent trailer which I have been wanting for quite some time. So the question remains, would my E hold up? I'm not too sure if it's a factor, but the transmission does grind when I shift into second unless the revs are low or I give it a bit of gas before shifting into second.

I feel like I'm at a point where I need to decide if I should hold on to the car or get something with lower milage. The tires are well worn and need to be replaced shortly as well.

Thanks!
Dan
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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I think the weight of your trailer and it's tongue weight are the major factors to consider. (Even more so than how many miles are currently on your E.)

Also how far and how fast you want to drive, and if you are going up and down steep terrain is a consideration as well.

Let us know this and the many members here with experience in this area will help you out.

Having a manual trans can be a plus; but that would depend on the condition of your clutch! With a well worn clutch, you may want to reconsider this entirely! (Or replace the clutch before towing.)

Let us know! : - )
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey thanks for the reply!

I haven’t picked up a hitch yet, but I would pick up a class 3. Clutch feels good? No slippage.

Distance would typically 40 miles and not very hilly. My friends, partner and I have a camping spot that we usually hit up along the ocean. But it would be nice to take it around B.C. and into the Rockies ?

I don’t know the actual specs until Sunday when I pick it up. I looked up the models online and they have a model that is 950 and 1400lbs.

this is a tough decision on if I should keep the element. If I keep it for towing, I’ll need the hitch, new tires and I don’t know if I’ll have the confidence that it won’t break down out on a trip somewhere. (We’re also expecting this summer). Any insight is greatly appreciated.
 

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2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
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1,103 Posts
Hey thanks for the reply!

I haven’t picked up a hitch yet, but I would pick up a class 3. Clutch feels good? No slippage.

Distance would typically 40 miles and not very hilly. My friends, partner and I have a camping spot that we usually hit up along the ocean. But it would be nice to take it around B.C. and into the Rockies ?

I don’t know the actual specs until Sunday when I pick it up. I looked up the models online and they have a model that is 950 and 1400lbs.

this is a tough decision on if I should keep the element. If I keep it for towing, I’ll need the hitch, new tires and I don’t know if I’ll have the confidence that it won’t break down out on a trip somewhere. (We’re also expecting this summer). Any insight is greatly appreciated.
Well, the 950 pound version sounds better in this case. Elements (if I remember correctly) are rated to carry or tow up to 1500 pounds and 150 pounds of tongue weight. So, if you start out with the 1400 pound version, it doesn't give you much room for your extra people and gear to exceed the recommended rating! Ouch!

But, I can't help but think you would be OK on a just 40 mile trip, even if you are somewhat over-loaded.

Here's a recent thread on this subject:

 

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I noticed how you keep stressing that you're getting a "class 3 hitch". Remember that no matter which hitch you buy, the actual capacity is no greater than the vehicle you bolt it to. A bigger hitch won't allow you to tow anything more than the greatly over-priced factory version - but it will give you a 2" mounting which is nicer for accessory mounting.
 
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