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  1. #1

    Default Towing with a Honda?

    So, I have a 2005 Honda Civic. 4cyl. 1.7. I've been looking into getting a jet ski, would my car pull it? I don't know what kind exactly probably a 3-seater Sea-Doo. I honestly don't think it will be a problem. My only concern is maybe the tires spinning when getting it out of the water, with the water weight and such. Thanks

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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    My concern would actually be the unweighting of the front end, and uni-body construction. With the combination of the tongue weight, plus tow weight, a FWD may have a problem, especially as light of a vehicle a civic is. I know there are people that use FWD, uni-body constructed, minivans pulling 20' ski boats, with success. Years ago, I had a three seater Polaris PWC, which I towed with a '96 Nissan 240SX. I had no problem pulling it out of the water, but the front end would push on wet pavement when the wheels were turned. Now that vehicle was small, but larger than a civic, however it was rear wheel drive, and probably weighed more than your civic. Do you know what your civic's tow capacity is? Like I said, guys with minivans do it with success. You would probably be ok, as long as you dont exceed your tow capacity or tongue weight. When I got my uhaul hitch for my 240SX, the guy at Uhaul suggested that I just use the hitch for a bike rack only. Just giving you more food for thought. Good luck!
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    Chief Petty Officer tomdinwv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    I googled the towing capacity for your Honda and what I saw said the Civic is not designed to tow anything. If you want to tow something, I'd recommend finding a vehicle capable of doing the job. Can you tow a jet ski with it? Probably, but doing so may damage your car. The other thing is if you are in an accident while towing, you may be held liable because you were towing with a vehicle not designed to do it.



    As far as tire spinning on the ramp, thats a problem usually expeinenced in rear wheel drive vehicles on wet/slimey/slick ramps. I would think as long as your front wheels are on concrete you would be okay traction wise. With a small front wheel drive car, I wouldn't even think about an unimproved ramp.

    Good luck.
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    Vice Admiral tpenfield's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    R. T. M. (read the manual) . . . Hopefully, it will give indication about towing abilities for the Civic.

    I have a 2006 Civic in my "fleet" and I do not recall much in the rear bumper area to install a trailer hitch.
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    I just looked up tow capacity for your 2005 Honda civic, and the owners manual says that the civic is not designed to tow, period, as per Answers.com. Tomdinwv is absolutely correct. Im sure you could find a cheap Ford ranger, or Chevy s10 for not a ton of money, for a tow vehicle
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    Petty Officer 1st Class Cheetah 210es's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    The U.S is the only country to not list a tow weight for a Civic (and a lot of other compacts). In Europe they are capable tow cars. If I remember right it even won a consumer award for towing campers. I'll check that.
    http://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2005_Honda_Civic.htm the weights listed seem to tie up with this...
    http://www.towcar.info/gebruikservar...da&serie=Civic
    Some will tell you that you need a 1/2 ton just for hauling your cooler, for a single PWC you'll be Ok. Traction on the ramp would be my only concern. CHECK your insurer will cover you towing 1st.

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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetah 210es View Post
    The U.S is the only country to not list a tow weight for a Civic (and a lot of other compacts). In Europe they are capable tow cars.
    ...

    Some will tell you that you need a 1/2 ton just for hauling your cooler, for a single PWC you'll be Ok. Traction on the ramp would be my only concern. CHECK your insurer will cover you towing 1st.
    Because US drivers don't know how to drive! We also lack any sort of actual drivers education here.

    I agree, you are fine to tow. Check with your insurance, but I'm sure you will be fine towing that combination. (used to work in insurance, we would have never denied a claim for a small car towing at PWC. Please post what they say if you do talk to them!) The world isn't quite as scary as iboats sometimes make it seem.

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    Ensign bgc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    I tow a 15' runabout tinny and 50 hp Mercury with an 07 Accord 4 cylinder. I like that I don’t get my drive tires into the slippery algae when launching and even on a wet ramp I haven’t chirped the tires.

    I know several of the folks that do the extreme testing for Honda in central Ohio. If you consider your car is built to have several adults in it and be able to handle driving in the mountains. Watch your tongue weight, don’t hot rod, and keep up on maintenance.

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    Petty Officer 1st Class lexer440's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    PWC's are not heavy, I move mine around easily by myself and towing should not be a problem. On ramps people are usually good, in the event you can't get it out someone will assist, by and large I find the boating community to be a very helpful crowd. I have used my vehicle to pull others out more than once and the ramp I currently use will launch and retreive for you for an extra $10.

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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    In UK you can't get provisional licence until your 17th birthday, before you take the driving test you have to sit a theory test with multiple choice, the pass mark is 43/50 (85/100 for trucks and buses). Then you have to sit hazard perception where you watch a video and click mouse when you see a potential hazard, 14 video clips with 15 potential hazards, pass mark is 44/75 (19 clips with 20 hazards pass mark 67/100 for trucks and buses). If you pass those you take the practical part of the test where you drive approx 45 minutes. I don't know if it's been introduced but there was talk of making 18th birthday the earliest you could sit the practical test. If you take practical test in an auto transmission that's all you can drive, Stick shift gives you both. If you get 6 penalty points in the 1st year (after a year the limit is 12 points), you lose it and have to re-sit it all again. few mph over limit is 3 points, a bald tyre is 3 points (each tyre is a seperate offence),talking on cell while driving is 6 points and the list goes on...

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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    If the front end unloads with weight on the back you will be spinning one tire only on a wet ramp.
    There is a reason that sub compact cars are not rated for towing. Get a small truck. They are dirt cheap, even new.

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    Petty Officer 1st Class Cheetah 210es's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    What weight? It's maybe a 1000lb max jetski. Even with 15% tongue weight that's only 150lb imposed weight. I'd rather have engine over drive axle than an empty truck bed.

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    Ensign bgc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetah 210es View Post
    What weight? It's maybe a 1000lb max jetski. Even with 15% tongue weight that's only 150lb imposed weight. I'd rather have engine over drive axle than an empty truck bed.
    What he said....

    I have an F-350 dually 4X4 for my large boat. I know I can get it going forward and stop the forward progression, it’s the backwards in the green slime that scares me....not the case with the Honda (and the small boat)
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    Chief Petty Officer Captain Caveman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    As to the point about European Hondas being rated to tow, can I assume that the European versions are different than the American versions?

    To the OP, you can tow with that Honda. Just be real careful and follow the insurance advice above. If you do lose traction on a ramp (front wheels off the ground), ask someone nearby to sit on the hood. We used to do this all the time when I was a kid, but with all of the trucks these days, not as many people tow with FWD. However, extra weight on the hood will get you by...unless nobody is around to add the extra weight!

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    Petty Officer 1st Class Cheetah 210es's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Caveman View Post
    As to the point about European Hondas being rated to tow, can I assume that the European versions are different than the American versions?
    Other than UK, Australia, Japan, India, Africa (lot's more smaller province's) Which are right hand drive, and minor changes to lighting they're the same.

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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetah 210es View Post
    What weight? It's maybe a 1000lb max jetski. Even with 15% tongue weight that's only 150lb imposed weight. I'd rather have engine over drive axle than an empty truck bed.
    150 lbs over the back bumper, going uphill. I bet the CG has shifted far back at that point. Add a slippery ramp and one wheel drive.
    I'd rather have weight over the drive wheels anyday.
    You can trade your truck for a little car any time you want. I think I'll keep my truck though.

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    Petty Officer 1st Class Cheetah 210es's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    The centre of gravity does not "shift" in a fixed load.
    Wrench.jpg
    A fixed point in a material body through which the resultant force of gravitational attraction acts. The resultant of all forces or attractions produced by the Earth's gravity on a body constitutes its weight. This weight is considered to be concentrated at the center of gravity in mechanical studies of a rigid body. The location of the center of gravity for a body remains fixed in relation to the body regardless of the orientation of the body. If supported at its center of gravity, a body would remain balanced in its initial position.
    I also stated traction would be my concern.
    I'd rather have weight over the drive wheels anyday.
    Isn't that another way of wording what I said?

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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    it's a jet ski. the honda will hardly know it is back there. my friends and i used to tow a 18' bow rider with a 4cyl 5sp beretta. it got us to the ramp and back home hundreds of times. in fact it did better than any truck we ever used. v6 auto s10 blazer needed to be towed out. both the 1500 chevy and a early 80s diesel chevy(not sure of the size) needed lots of extra weight in the bed and would still slip. i currently own a ford ranger and have thought about putting a hitch on my wife's mazda3 because the ranger is a horrible tow vehicle. while on a double ramp pulling said boat out with said car. i almost got hit by a guy who couldn't manage to get his jet ski out with a f350 dually.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    The Honda is an anemic little vehicle as far as towing is concerned. Use it for that purpose knowing that the Owner's manual says not to is opening yourself up to a lawsuit should you have an accident.

    Trade it in for an American car with a 1000 lb. towing capacity and you'll be better off.
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetah 210es View Post
    The centre of gravity does not "shift" in a fixed load.
    Wrench.jpg
    A fixed point in a material body through which the resultant force of gravitational attraction acts. The resultant of all forces or attractions produced by the Earth's gravity on a body constitutes its weight. This weight is considered to be concentrated at the center of gravity in mechanical studies of a rigid body. The location of the center of gravity for a body remains fixed in relation to the body regardless of the orientation of the body. If supported at its center of gravity, a body would remain balanced in its initial position.
    I also stated traction would be my concern. Isn't that another way of wording what I said?
    When you point any vehicle uphill you shift the weight rearward. Then the rear tires load up. We actually winch the front ends of our crawlers to the front axle to prevent the front from unloading and an even bigger shift which reduces front end traction.
    In this pic my buddies 40 has nearly no traction on the front even with 800 lbs of 2F over the front axle. But since all the weight is on the rear tires due to the shift in weight, traction is no problem.
    The problem with vehicles is that they can load and unload the front or rear through braking or acceleration. Or uphill or downhill and the point of max traction is far from static.

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    Petty Officer 1st Class Cheetah 210es's Avatar
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    Half fill your boat with water then back it down the ramp, when its run to the back of your boat THAT changes your centre of gravity because the mass has moved. Tilting a solid load or even turning it upside down does NOT alter centre of gravity.

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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimS123 View Post
    The Honda is an anemic little vehicle as far as towing is concerned. Use it for that purpose knowing that the Owner's manual says not to is opening yourself up to a lawsuit should you have an accident.

    Trade it in for an American car with a 1000 lb. towing capacity and you'll be better off.
    As stated in my 1st post CHECK your insurer will cover you towing 1st.

    How exactly are you better off buying an american car with 1/2 the towing capacity?

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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheetah 210es View Post
    Half fill your boat with water then back it down the ramp, when its run to the back of your boat THAT changes your centre of gravity because the mass has moved. Tilting a solid load or even turning it upside down does NOT alter centre of gravity.
    Maybe I should have said weight transfer. Point a vehicle uphill or accelerate on level ground and you will transfer weight to the rear.
    Accelerating uphill obviously reduces front end traction even further. And I think boat ramps point uphill. Add front wheel drive (which is actually one wheel drive unless you have an LSD in the transaxle) and its even worse.
    As a mechanic for over 20 years I wouldn't recommend anyone towing with a Honda Civic.

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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    actually the center of gravity does shift..... Gravitational pull is in relation to the mass and the center of the Earth, shift the mass on an incline and the center shifts....(I'm an engineer)

    Having a both LARGE american made F-350 4 door 8' bed dually, built in Kentucky truck, and a small American made (BUILT IN OHIO) Honda Accord......If they made the Accord with 780 foot pounds of torque and bigger brakes, I wouldn't have the truck....
    IMG_0577.jpg
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    Default Re: Towing with a Honda?

    Quote Originally Posted by bgc View Post
    actually the center of gravity does shift..... Gravitational pull is in relation to the mass and the center of the Earth, shift the mass on an incline and the center shifts....(I'm an engineer)

    Having a both LARGE american made F-350 4 door 8' bed dually, built in Kentucky truck, and a small American made (BUILT IN OHIO) Honda Accord......If they made the Accord with 780 foot pounds of torque and bigger brakes, I wouldn't have the truck....
    IMG_0577.jpg
    Thank you sir!

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