Can a Honda SUV Tow a Trailer? (Answered)

SUVs have benefits that trucks don’t but they can’t haul like a truck. Even though they can’t tow as much as a truck or other utility vehicle, they can still tow some weight. 

A Honda SUV can tow a small trailer. While Honda’s SUVs are not designed to tow heavy trailers or campers, they can tow up about 3,000 pounds, so they can tow small trailers as long as it doesn’t weigh more than the towing capacity of the Honda SUV. It can tow a small utility trailer with no issues.

The exact towing capacity of your Honda SUV varies based on the model and the trim. Before you start towing anything double-check what the towing capacity is. If you want to know how much each Honda SUV can tow, keep reading.

My SUV’s Towing capacity

Towing capacity is the maximum weight your vehicle can pull. Honda has determined the towing capacity for each of their SUV models and has stated what is a safe amount of weight to tow. Following these weight guidelines will help keep your vehicle in good shape and prolong its life.

The weight capacities of each Honda SUV model are included in the table below:

Honda SUVTowing Capacity
Honda CR-V 1,500 lbs
Honda Passport5,000 lbs
Honda Pilot5,000 lbs
Honda HR-V1,100 lbs
Honda Odyssey3,500 lbs
Honda Fit2,000 lbs
Honda Tucson2,000 lbs

With any vehicle, you must have all the proper towing equipment. Without the right equipment and proper installation, you may damage your vehicle or damage and lose the trailer when you start towing it as it won’t be properly connected to your car.

Towing Equipment

If your SUV came with a towing package, you should have everything necessary to tow already installed on your vehicle. You may need to attach towing equipment to your Honda. 

You’ll need a trailer hitch receiver, ball mount, trailer hitch ball, pin and clip, and a wiring harness before you start towing a trailer or small camper. 

The receiver attaches to your vehicle’s frame, underneath, in the back. The ball mount attaches the receiver to the trailer hitch ball. The hitch ball is what the trailer will attach to and the pin and clip lock it into place. The wiring harness allows you to hook up trailer lights to your vehicle’s electrical, so the brake lights and blinkers work on the trailer. 

When getting your towing equipment, be sure to check the ball size. Each trailer coupler is designed to fit a specific ball size. The standard size for light-duty towing is 1 ⅞ inches. The towing capacity for this size is 3,500 pounds. The next standard size is 2 inches. 

Once you have all this installed, you should be able to safely haul a load. Make sure you follow the installation instructions that come with the towing equipment.

How Much Do Trailers Weigh?

To determine if your vehicle can tow a trailer, you’ll need to take a look at the dry weight of the trailer and the weight of the load you are adding to it. Your load should never exceed the towing capacity of your vehicle. When purchasing a new trailer, you can find out the dry weight, but if you purchase one secondhand you may have to estimate the weight. 

In the table below you can find the average weights for each type of trailer. Trailers can range in weight, so it’s a good idea to keep your estimated weight under the towing capacity as much as you can, just in case. You may also be estimating the weight of your load, so the less weight you expend on your trailer, the safer you’ll be.

Dry Weight of Trailers

Types of TrailersDry Weight of Trailers
Large Flatbed3,000 lbs
Small Enclosed Trailer1,000 lbs
Small Open Utility Trailer700 lbs
Pop-up Tent Trailer*2,000 lbs
Motorcycle Trailer500 lbs
Jet Ski Trailer300 lbs
Canoe or Kayak Trailer200 lbs
*A pop-up tent trailer varies massively in weight, so be sure to check your specific product for weight specifications.

What Happens If I Exceed the Vehicle’s Towing Capacity?

If you exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity, you could damage your SUV and shorten its life and durability. Towing more than your SUV can handle will put excessive strain on your engine, transmission, and chassis. This could shorten the life of your vehicle.

Your vehicle will also experience increased temperatures due to friction which can also cause damage. Increased temperatures can soften the metal and cause your frame to bend or even break. 

In addition to the wear that your vehicle will take, your driving will be affected. Because of the extra weight, braking will be more difficult than usual. If you aren’t able to brake quickly in an emergency, you may cause an accident and harm those around you. The extra weight and length also affect your handling. Decreased handling can be dangerous.

Staying under your towing capacity will decrease the risk for accidents and maintain the lifespan of your car.

Alternative Cargo Space Options

You may not need a trailer if your load is small enough. If you need a little bit of extra space but aren’t bringing enough to warrant a trailer you can look into a hitch cargo carrier. These attach to the hitch ball and provide additional cargo space.

They sit at the hitch level and extend out up to 4-5 feet. Each model has a different weight capacity, but some can hold up to 400 lbs. However, the more weight you put on your hitch, the bigger the hitch ball you’ll need, so make sure your cargo carrier and hitch ball are compatible. 

You could also opt for a hitch bike rack. These attach to your hitch the same way as a hitch cargo carrier and are designed to carry bicycles. They are simple to use and keep your bike safe while traveling, but they only work for carrying bikes. 

With these cargo options, you will still need towing equipment. They attach to the hitch ball, so you will need everything mentioned beforehand except the wiring harness. 

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