Author Topic: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?  (Read 15001 times)

APBioSpartan

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Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« on: October 19, 2017, 06:44:42 AM »
Hello!

My wife and I (26/25 years old) are interested in moving from North Carolina to Fort Collins, Co - ~1,500 miles

With that being said, does anyone have any tips on how to move cross country in a cost efficient manner?  My wife and I currently live in a 2 BR apartment and about half of our furniture is used from craigslist.  Part of me is thinking that we should stick with the traditional moving truck (about $1,300 base + gas?), but the other part of me is partial to selling most everything and re-buying on the "other side".  Which, got me thinking, would it be stupid to spend $100 on a Class 1 trailer hitch kit for our 2015 Honda fit, install myself, and rent a 5'x8' trailer from uHaul (~$200)?  I am thinking that this would allow us to cart most of our valuables, kitchen items, and small furniture while still having room in the car for our 70lbs Golden Retriever.  Thoughts?  Can 2015 Honda Fit's tow a moving trailer? 

Note: My wife and I are currently rocking the single car lifestyle

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 07:03:06 AM by APBioSpartan »

Fishindude

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 06:56:06 AM »
Bad idea towing anything with that small car.
Rent the truck and a car dolley and tow the car so you are only burning fuel in one vehicle.

APBioSpartan

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 07:02:04 AM »
Bad idea towing anything with that small car.
Rent the truck and a car dolley and tow the car so you are only burning fuel in one vehicle.

How does that work with a wife and a 70lbs dog though?  Think all 3 of us could fit in the front of a uHaul for 3 days?
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 07:03:56 AM by APBioSpartan »

EarthSurfer

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2017, 07:34:44 AM »
The Fit / Trailer path could be a good method to downsize to a 1 Bedroom apartment, and feee up cash for the 'stash.

If you do go the Fit / Trailer route, get a fresh oil change (preferably synthetic) prior to commencing the journey.  If it's an automatic transmission, consider installing a transmission oil cooler.  (I would be hesitant to tow the distance with a manual transmission.)

Finally, the slower you drive, the less wear on the Fit. I would keep to the recommended 55 MPH towing speed from Uhaul. It seems UHaul recommendations exceed the vehicle manufacturer recommendations, and I suspect the lower maximum speed recommendation allows for the higher towing weight.

ixtap

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2017, 08:13:11 AM »
Installing a hitch will void your warrantee on the Fit.

dcheesi

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2017, 08:44:15 AM »
If you decide to go the sell-replace route on your household stuff, just be sure you can actually get rid of the old stuff in time for your move. I didn't think this through properly, and I wound up having to rent a storage unit just for junk I just couldn't dispose of fast enough before it had to be out of the old house. If you have a "Got Junk" type service in your area that makes it much easier; unfortunately, nothing like that seems to operate in the particular locality I was moving from.

bognish

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2017, 01:27:19 PM »
I did a uhaul trailer behind a Nissan Altima from Denver to San Francisco. There are a lot bigger hills and faster highways on that route, and my car did fine in August. If the savings on a truck are $1000, ditch all used furniture  that can be replaced for that price and squeeze into a trailer. Driving a UHaul truck is not fun, and then you also have to deal with towing or driving the Fit.

My big worry on self moving is getting everything stolen when you are sleeping at a hotel. Happened to a roommate once. Stay in a nice place and park by your room.

JLee

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2017, 02:05:52 PM »
I like the downsizing plan. Combination of decluttering and allowing you to acquire furniture that fits your new place.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2017, 02:13:49 PM »
would it be stupid to spend $100 on a Class 1 trailer hitch kit for our 2015 Honda fit, install myself, and rent a 5'x8' trailer from uHaul (~$200)?  .....  Can 2015 Honda Fit's tow a moving trailer? 

Google says that your owner's manual says no.

https://www.fitfreak.net/forums/3rd-generation-2015/82289-can-new-fit-tow.html#post1271400



ChpBstrd

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2017, 02:15:00 PM »
I say do it if you can keep the load under ~1,000 lbs. I tow a 4x8 with a Corolla (admittedly, a 10% bigger car) and have had zero problems even though this feat is supposed to be impossible based on the owner's manual and internepinions.

Interestingly, many of the same cars sold in the US are also sold in Europe, but in the US the owner's manual says "don't tow" but the European versions will say up to 1,500lbs! This is probably more an issue with the lawyers than the engineers. I once saw a Saab wagon pulling a double horse trailer on the autobahn.

Also, keep in mind that towing limits are based on braking ability and the weight of the car. I.e. your Fit could probably pull a 2500lb boat but then it could not stop in a reasonable distance. Be careful in Appalachia not to overheat your brakes on big down slopes, maintain 4-5 seconds distance from the car in front of you, and don't travel in icy weather. Also, ensure the trailer hubs are greased and the tires properly inflated. This advice plus some common sense will get you there just fine. If you are new to towing, get some practice with backing the empty trailer before your great adventure.

mtn

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2017, 02:45:25 PM »
Well first of all, installing a trailer hitch will NOT void your warranty. At worst it would void a claim on a specific part (i.e. if your engine overheats due to towing, it may not be covered under warranty). But they'd have to prove it. I'd recommend that if that particular scenario occurred, you drive into the dealer with your bike carrier attached to the hitch. But that won't happen.

Second of all, absolutely you should tow a small trailer. Make sure the weight is distributed correctly. Also, make sure there isn't too much weight on it. For comparison, the Fit has a tow rating of about 2.5k-3k lbs in Europe for trailers with brakes. Your trailer won't have brakes; I'd say keep it under 1000#. I don't recommend renting the trailer from Uhaul; you'll likely be better off buying one and keeping it around--but that's just me; I really like having a trailer around. I'm not even sure that Uhaul will rent to you with that as the tow vehicle, so proceed with caution on that front.

I've towed with a Miata in the past. Your Fit will be fine. Just be smart, don't drive too fast. When you get to the mountains, be very careful; give yourself a LOT of time to stop, really watch the thermostat.

mtn

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2017, 02:47:39 PM »
Installing a hitch will void your warrantee on the Fit.
Magnuson Moss Act said: In a Consumer Alert issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency confirmed that “The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket part.” The alert outlines key provisions in the law that provides protections to car owners. As defined by the FTC, an “aftermarket' part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer.” “The FTC’s reference to aftermarket parts is equally applicable to specialty parts,” said Russ Deane, SEMA’s General Counsel. “Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the warranty cannot be conditioned to a specific brand of parts, services or vehicle modifications unless those parts or services are provided free of charge.” The alert notes that a consumer has the right to patronize independent retail stores and repair shops for parts and service without fear of voiding the new car warranty. The dealer/vehicle manufacturer has the right to deny a warranty repair but they must demonstrate that the aftermarket part caused the problem. The warranty remains in effect for all other covered parts. The FTC alert may be downloaded using this link: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt192.shtm. The alert was issued in response to an FTC complaint filed last August by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA). Questions? Contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

JLee

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2017, 03:31:48 PM »
Installing a hitch will void your warrantee on the Fit.
Magnuson Moss Act said: In a Consumer Alert issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency confirmed that “The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket part.” The alert outlines key provisions in the law that provides protections to car owners. As defined by the FTC, an “aftermarket' part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer.” “The FTC’s reference to aftermarket parts is equally applicable to specialty parts,” said Russ Deane, SEMA’s General Counsel. “Under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, the warranty cannot be conditioned to a specific brand of parts, services or vehicle modifications unless those parts or services are provided free of charge.” The alert notes that a consumer has the right to patronize independent retail stores and repair shops for parts and service without fear of voiding the new car warranty. The dealer/vehicle manufacturer has the right to deny a warranty repair but they must demonstrate that the aftermarket part caused the problem. The warranty remains in effect for all other covered parts. The FTC alert may be downloaded using this link: www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt192.shtm. The alert was issued in response to an FTC complaint filed last August by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA). Questions? Contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

Given that a trailer hitch indicates use of a trailer (which puts additional load on basically everything in your powertrain, suspension, and brakes)...I would not want to rely on that unless you just want to use your warranty for broken interior bits.

Syonyk

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2017, 03:58:31 PM »
Which, got me thinking, would it be stupid to spend $100 on a Class 1 trailer hitch kit for our 2015 Honda fit, install myself, and rent a 5'x8' trailer from uHaul (~$200)?

Yes.  Very.

The U-Haul 5x8 trailer specs:

Max load: 1,800 lbs.
Gross vehicle weight: 2,700 lbs. max.
Empty weight: 900 lbs.

Worth noting: That trailer has no brakes.  It doesn't have the (awful, but better than nothing, barely) hydraulic surge brakes.  It's all on the car's brakes to slow that combo down.

Your Fit's tow rating: 0.

Towing 500 lbs would probably be fine for short distances.  Towing 1000 is really iffy with a car that small.  Towing the empty trailer cross country is a bad idea.  Towing the trailer, loaded, across the country, is somewhere between supremely stupid and suicidal.  Oh, and don't forget that you'll have the car loaded down with stuff too, so you'll likely be well over gross vehicle weight counting the hitch weight.

You don't have a tow vehicle, and the people saying that you could get away with it clearly don't have any idea what that trailer weighs, and probably have zero cross country towing experience either.  The question isn't, "Can you move it on flat ground?"  The question you should be asking is, "Can you maintain control of the combo, safely, coming down a mountain?"  Loaded, that trailer weighs as much as your car, and house stuff is heavier than you estimate by a lot.  You can overload a U-Haul trailer easily if you're not paying attention.  You cannot safely tow a trailer that heavy with your car, period.  This should not even be a point of discussion.

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Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Either rent a U-Haul with a tow dolly and tow the Fit behind the truck, or if you can't all fit that way, put the dog and one of you in the car, and the other drives the truck.

Interestingly, many of the same cars sold in the US are also sold in Europe, but in the US the owner's manual says "don't tow" but the European versions will say up to 1,500lbs! This is probably more an issue with the lawyers than the engineers. I once saw a Saab wagon pulling a double horse trailer on the autobahn.

The legal requirements for towing are different in the US and the UK based, heavily, on how trailers have to be loaded for stability at speed.  And I believe the trailer brake requirements are different as well.  The speeds are also much slower for trailers over there.

Just because you can drag a trailer doesn't mean it's safe or wise, and I sure wouldn't want to be trying to explain to a judge how, yeah, it has no tow rating in the US, but it's rated for 1500 lbs in Europe, so I thought I'd be fine with 3000 lbs in the US, after I injured or killed someone else losing control of the trailer or cooking the brakes on a downhill.

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If you are new to towing, get some practice with backing the empty trailer before your great adventure.

If you're new to towing, I have better advice: don't tow an overloaded combo across the country with an inadequate tow vehicle.  Because if you're not new to towing, this isn't a question you'd be asking.

This forum gives awful advice about towing and vehicle loading.

Syonyk

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2017, 04:00:11 PM »
Second of all, absolutely you should tow a small trailer. Make sure the weight is distributed correctly. Also, make sure there isn't too much weight on it. For comparison, the Fit has a tow rating of about 2.5k-3k lbs in Europe for trailers with brakes. Your trailer won't have brakes; I'd say keep it under 1000#. I don't recommend renting the trailer from Uhaul; you'll likely be better off buying one and keeping it around--but that's just me; I really like having a trailer around. I'm not even sure that Uhaul will rent to you with that as the tow vehicle, so proceed with caution on that front.

The trailer in question is 900lb empty, 2700lb gross weight, and has no brakes.  Shouldn't be a discussion of "Maybe" with that set of specs.

And what would you buy as a trailer for cross country work?  An open Harbor Freight unit?  o.O

sequoia

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2017, 12:03:35 AM »
The trailer in question is 900lb empty, 2700lb gross weight, and has no brakes.  Shouldn't be a discussion of "Maybe" with that set of specs.

And what would you buy as a trailer for cross country work?  An open Harbor Freight unit?  o.O

Totally agree with the advise above from Syonyk. There is a reason Honda said you can not tow. Those engineers at Honda are not dumb people. They know the limit of the car better than anyone.

The main question that most people focus on is pulling the trailer. The focus should be stopping the trailer without killing the driver or anyone else on the road. Pulling anything is easy. I bet that Honda Fit can pull 10K trailer on flat road. The focus should be stopping the trailer + the car itself safely, in shortest distance possible and in straight line. The car need to be able to "control" the trailer safely.

OP, I understand you like to save cash. This is MMM, so I get it. But your safety, and everyone else safety on the road should be a higher priority vs just trying to save cash. 

« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 03:58:07 PM by sequoia »

mtn

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2017, 08:58:56 AM »
Second of all, absolutely you should tow a small trailer. Make sure the weight is distributed correctly. Also, make sure there isn't too much weight on it. For comparison, the Fit has a tow rating of about 2.5k-3k lbs in Europe for trailers with brakes. Your trailer won't have brakes; I'd say keep it under 1000#. I don't recommend renting the trailer from Uhaul; you'll likely be better off buying one and keeping it around--but that's just me; I really like having a trailer around. I'm not even sure that Uhaul will rent to you with that as the tow vehicle, so proceed with caution on that front.

The trailer in question is 900lb empty, 2700lb gross weight, and has no brakes.  Shouldn't be a discussion of "Maybe" with that set of specs.

And what would you buy as a trailer for cross country work?  An open Harbor Freight unit?  o.O

Oh, I forget that Uhaul trailers are stupidly overbuilt. But I was under the assumption that he was talking about the open trailer anyways, so why not spend $500 on a 5x8 from Lowes/Tractor Supply/Northern Tool (HF I believe is out of the trailer game for now)? Then sell it or keep it when he gets there. Empty weight is only 400lbs; loaded up about 1000lbs.

The US has a ridiculous view of what can and cannot tow. Which is why there are soccer moms running around in Suburbans, because the vehicle tows their 18 foot boat twice a year on vacation.

nemmm

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2017, 10:42:45 AM »
Something else to consider is liability in case of an auto accident- it is not likely, but if you are towing something that is rated over the limits by Honda, you almost certainly will be held accountable regardless of how the accident was caused. It is negligent to put others at risk by towing over capacity.

I do agree that the US ratings are ridiculously low compared to the same vehicles\powertrain in other countries, but having been through a major accident and seeing how quickly bills stack up over 100K, spending 2K to do this safely and legally is a small price to pay.

Syonyk

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2017, 11:21:26 AM »
The main question that most people focus on is pulling the trailer. The focus should be stopping the trailer without killing the driver or anyone else on the road. Pulling anything is easy. I bet that Honda Fit can pull 10K trailer on flat road. The focus should be stopping the trailer + the car itself safely, in shortest distance possible and in straight line. The car need to be able to "control" the trailer safely.

Hah, I'm just imagining our church trailer bolted to the back of a Fit.  I think the tongue weight would smash the rear of the Fit into the ground and pop the front wheels in the air.  If not... there wouldn't be much traction left up front to move things with.

If we loaded it differently, we could get the weight balanced over the wheels, which is NOT where you want it for stability, and then the Fit could probably move it, but that trailer would absolutely destroy the Fit's brakes on a slight slope if the trailer brakes quit (I've seen trailer brakes quit for all sorts of weird reasons - I don't recall if it's this trailer or a different one that has a glitchy connection below -10F - bit hard to troubleshoot).


Oh, I forget that Uhaul trailers are stupidly overbuilt. But I was under the assumption that he was talking about the open trailer anyways, so why not spend $500 on a 5x8 from Lowes/Tractor Supply/Northern Tool (HF I believe is out of the trailer game for now)? Then sell it or keep it when he gets there. Empty weight is only 400lbs; loaded up about 1000lbs.

600lbs of homestuffs is nothing when you're talking about carrying small furniture.  Plus, I wouldn't want to tow stuff I cared about from inside a house across the country in an open trailer - even tarped, it'll get plenty wet if you have to go through a few hours of rain.

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The US has a ridiculous view of what can and cannot tow. Which is why there are soccer moms running around in Suburbans, because the vehicle tows their 18 foot boat twice a year on vacation.

https://oppositelock.kinja.com/tow-me-down-1609112611/1609771499 goes into some of the differences in determining tow rating, specifically between the US and the UK.  Also, worth noting, the UK is basically flat compared to the US - they don't have much in the way of mountains, and the mountains they do have barely qualify by US standards.  So handling a long downgrade is a bigger deal in the US.

sequoia

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2017, 03:51:18 PM »
The main question that most people focus on is pulling the trailer. The focus should be stopping the trailer without killing the driver or anyone else on the road. Pulling anything is easy. I bet that Honda Fit can pull 10K trailer on flat road. The focus should be stopping the trailer + the car itself safely, in shortest distance possible and in straight line. The car need to be able to "control" the trailer safely.

Hah, I'm just imagining our church trailer bolted to the back of a Fit.  I think the tongue weight would smash the rear of the Fit into the ground and pop the front wheels in the air.  If not... there wouldn't be much traction left up front to move things with.

If we loaded it differently, we could get the weight balanced over the wheels, which is NOT where you want it for stability, and then the Fit could probably move it, but that trailer would absolutely destroy the Fit's brakes on a slight slope if the trailer brakes quit (I've seen trailer brakes quit for all sorts of weird reasons - I don't recall if it's this trailer or a different one that has a glitchy connection below -10F - bit hard to troubleshoot).

I did not say that 10K weight is not going to do some damage. I am saying that Fit will be able to pull it hehe... but I think we both on same page :)

https://oppositelock.kinja.com/tow-me-down-1609112611/1609771499 goes into some of the differences in determining tow rating, specifically between the US and the UK.  Also, worth noting, the UK is basically flat compared to the US - they don't have much in the way of mountains, and the mountains they do have barely qualify by US standards.  So handling a long downgrade is a bigger deal in the US.

Just to add here, every car manufacturer built a car with same name for different countries, but usually there are differences. So Fit in US is probably different than Fit in UK.  Fit in UK may have larger springs, brakes etc, and with being relatively flat terrain, then yeah it can probably tow something light safely.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 03:57:14 PM by sequoia »

Syonyk

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2017, 04:00:16 PM »
Yeah, it could probably move it. 

Just a really funny image because that's what we've decided the church trailer weighs. Give or take a bit.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2017, 07:53:27 PM »
Well, if one has enough weight on the tongue of the trailer that it mashes down the back of the car, then one should probably redistribute the load so that it is less weight on the front. Otherwise the trailer will swing back and forth violently on the interstate.

I do agree that we're talking about a small, mesh-floor lawn trailer, not something you'd haul a bobcat tractor or yard of concrete with. Mine weighs maybe 250#. Also, you're probably looking at 4x8 instead of 5x8 so that you could haul enough weight to keep it worthwhile. E.g. I could pack 750# on my trailer before hitting 1000#, but on a bigger 500# trailer, I could only pack 500#.

With those qualifications, I have a question: What would count as evidence that this is doable?

Could we show that the European and US Jazz/Fit have the same part numbers? Dig up and/or translate the owners manuals from countries with different norms? Could we make a video where the Fit stops a 1000# load from a certain speed at a certain distance? Does it help to reason that the Fit has 5 seats, and that having only 2 people plus a dog leaves about 500# of unused capacity that can count toward the trailer load? I ask because there's no need for the OP to do a bunch of research if opinions are "dug in".

Smokystache

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2017, 08:01:21 PM »
And if you end up renting a truck, go with Penske, NOT u-haul. Penske uses newer trucks and then sells them before they get too old. U-haul doesn't .... that's why you see u-hauls dead beside the road with the poor people thinking, "How am I going to get my stuff out and on a new truck when I smushed it into this one?" And the trucks are much, much better .... as in I had the 2nd largest one and I could accelerate up the mountains on I-40 in Tennessee & N. Carolina with a full load. U-haul trucks cannot do that.

If you rent with Penske, play around with the reservation system and try a few different pick-ups and drop-offs (as in, check the 2-4 closest places to pick it up/drop off, even if it involves you driving a few more miles to pick up or drop-off the truck). My parents moved from Iowa to Florida and they saved several hundred dollars by dropping it off 15 minutes further away from their destination. Just depends on where they need that truck and then they don't have to pay a driver to move it around empty. Good luck.

Syonyk

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2017, 08:39:44 PM »
Well, if one has enough weight on the tongue of the trailer that it mashes down the back of the car, then one should probably redistribute the load so that it is less weight on the front. Otherwise the trailer will swing back and forth violently on the interstate.

Eh?  Generally, the more forward loaded the trailer, the more stable it is.  Unless you're overloading the tow vehicle.  A trailer evenly balanced over the wheels is going to be a lot more prone to get into swaying on the interstate than one loaded forward, though I admit I don't know what happens when you severely overload the tongue.  I've got a 15000lb receiver rated for up to 1500lb of tongue weight (with the balls to go with for big trailers), so it's not something I actually worry about... mostly, my concerns relate to matching my unloaded ball height with the other guys who tow so I don't have to crank the trailer up or down a lot to get it hooked up.  Stuff around the property is light enough that it's not a big deal to toss a handyman jack on and lift it up if needed.

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With those qualifications, I have a question: What would count as evidence that this is doable?

From my perspective, which is a blend of technical reasons but also "I want to be able to defend my decisions before a court," there is no such thing for a cross country move.  If the car has no tow rating, towing with it is highly unadvised.

If you want to stand before a judge and try to explain how, in Europe, with totally different testing standards and license limits and road conditions, your car can tow XYZ, so you felt it was fine to do here, and that's totally unrelated to the accident, be my guest.  The testing standards are different.

And, again, in this context, we're talking about a cross country move, which means interstates and mountains.  Not just towing a trailer to the hardware store and back.

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Could we show that the European and US Jazz/Fit have the same part numbers? Dig up and/or translate the owners manuals from countries with different norms? Could we make a video where the Fit stops a 1000# load from a certain speed at a certain distance? Does it help to reason that the Fit has 5 seats, and that having only 2 people plus a dog leaves about 500# of unused capacity that can count toward the trailer load? I ask because there's no need for the OP to do a bunch of research if opinions are "dug in".

And none of that matters with the different testing environments.

Well, my opinion is pretty well dug in, though I'll certainly admit that being a private pilot has something to do with that - the NTSB (accident investigation) pretty much lays into pilots if they're in a crash and are loaded outside the envelope.  Unless it's a loading I'm quite familiar with (solo, two in the front, two in the front and kid in the back), I pull out the spreadsheets and do a weight & balance before flying.

But as for the unused capacity, I think you badly overestimate the load limits on small cars.

A 2015 Fit has a max payload capacity of around 850lb, minus fuel (so about 800lb usable).  If you've got a pair of small adults in there, a light dog, and basically nothing else, you'd have 450-500lb left to work with, but that's not how people move.  There's not going to be much left for the trailer tongue weight.

Look, you can be a test pilot if you want, and explain it to the judge.  But it's a pretty stupid idea, and towing a U-Haul 5x8 trailer cross country behind a Fit, with a driver who has either never towed or only rarely towed, is a good way to the Darwin awards.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2017, 09:07:28 PM »
When I've moved longer distance by driving, I've had the car jammed full to the roof. I'm sure I had the car beyond max weight simply with the stuff in and on it - without any trailer attached.

Don't Honda Fits use CVT transmissions too? Those don't have a great reputation for durability when towing.

IMHO, just not worth the risk of accident or damage to the car. Rent a truck, tow or drive the car.

sequoia

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2017, 11:20:21 PM »
With those qualifications, I have a question: What would count as evidence that this is doable?

 I ask because there's no need for the OP to do a bunch of research if opinions are "dug in".

From my perspective, which is a blend of technical reasons but also "I want to be able to defend my decisions before a court," there is no such thing for a cross country move. If the car has no tow rating, towing with it is highly unadvised.

There is no evidence that this is doable. The car has no tow rating. There is a reason why Honda said it has no tow rating, and their engineers are not dumb. That is the evidence. 

This got nothing to do with opinions that are dug in. It is following the recommendation from manufacture of the car. My opinion is OP need to follow Honda recommendation. There is no need to do research. If Honda said it can tow 10K lbs, then OP should go for it :)
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 11:25:11 PM by sequoia »

ChpBstrd

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2017, 08:44:11 PM »
With those qualifications, I have a question: What would count as evidence that this is doable?

 I ask because there's no need for the OP to do a bunch of research if opinions are "dug in".

From my perspective, which is a blend of technical reasons but also "I want to be able to defend my decisions before a court," there is no such thing for a cross country move. If the car has no tow rating, towing with it is highly unadvised.

There is no evidence that this is doable. The car has no tow rating. There is a reason why Honda said it has no tow rating, and their engineers are not dumb. That is the evidence. 

This got nothing to do with opinions that are dug in. It is following the recommendation from manufacture of the car. My opinion is OP need to follow Honda recommendation. There is no need to do research. If Honda said it can tow 10K lbs, then OP should go for it :)

OK, here are Honda engineers' recommendations for the same car in the UK, except with a 1.3 liter gas engine instead of the more powerful 1.5 liter gas engine sold in the U.S.

http://www.honda.co.uk/cars/new/jazz-2016/specifications.html

Quote
Max. Towing Weight (kg) braked   1000
Max. Towing Weight (kg) unbraked   450

Per google, 450kg = 992 lbs. I admit I was wrong, the Fit won't tow 1000 lbs. It'll tow 992.

The Australian Jazz is a more fair comparison to the Fit sold in the U.S. It comes with the 1.5 liter engine. Here are the specs for it:

https://www.honda.com.au/cars/hatchback/jazz/specification.html

Quote
Towing capacity (kg)
trailer with brakes (manual)   1000      
trailer with brakes (automatic)   800      
trailer without brakes   450

So Honda engineers agree that the 1.3L and the 1.5L can both haul a 992 pound unbraked trailer.
FWIW, I don't think Honda sells the Ridgeline or the Pilot in the UK or Australia. It's not the physics.

Syonyk

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2017, 09:11:41 PM »
Quote
So Honda engineers agree that the 1.3L and the 1.5L can both haul a 992 pound unbraked trailer.

And that's entirely irrelevant to the thread at hand, which is a cross country move with a heavy trailer. :)

I get it - if the question were, "Can I tow a 300lb Harbor Freight trailer around town at city speeds to pick up a washer/dryer from someone on the other side of town?" - as much as I'm for listening to tow ratings, I probably would tell them to keep it light, be careful, and stay on the slow side of the speed limit.

But that's not what's being discussed - a cross country interstate moving trip.  I know how moving packing goes, and you're almost certain to be overweight in a trailer.  Not a big deal with a proper tow vehicle, a big problem with a non-tow-rated vehicle.

sequoia

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2017, 10:40:40 PM »
I do not think Uhaul would let anyone rent a trailer to be used on Honda Fit because then they are on the hook if accident happen. When I rent Uhaul trailer, they always check out my SUV before I can take the trailer out.

@ChpBstrd - It is irrelevant that same car can tow outside of US. OP is wanting to tow in the US.

I think that if OP is driving his Fit on interstate in the US with any trailer (small or big, light or heavy loaded), OP is going to get stopped by police. Do you think if OP is getting stopped by police, your argument is going to fly?

"But officer, Honda Fit in Australia can tow 992 lbs... "

I am not participating on this thread anymore. If you think Honda Fit can tow safely, that is for you to believe. I now realize who I am discussing this with. We have gone thru something similar in this board (see link below). You and I obviously has very different standard on what is considered safe vs dangerous and illegal.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/pikachu-corolla/

Laura Ingalls

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2017, 11:46:37 AM »
Is there Amtrak connections between your two locations?  Maybe one person drive taking the dog plus a roof rack of stuff.  The other could ride Amtrak and take a bike and several big suitcases.  You can care quite a bit on Amtrak for your fare and more if you pay some extra. 

I would not tow anything with a Fit more than a couple of miles and only if I could pick a low traffic time to do it. 

GetItRight

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2017, 08:15:52 PM »
As others have said, rent a box truck and a dolly. Towing anything other than a pedalcycle or a cooler on a hitch mounted rack with that car is negligent and blatant disregard for other people's lives and safety. Take it as an opportunity to downsize. Less is more, don't re-purchase anything you don't really need after the move. If in doubt, throw it out.

Personally I'd look at buying a used 24'+ enclosed trailer and selling once done with it (unless I got a really good deal). Trailers are not cheap used and they hold value well. I'd be evaluating the used trailer market at my destination to see if I could make a few bucks. I have a suitable tow vehicle though. Just a thought based on prices a friend mentioned a couple years ago to rent a truck one way cross country... Even the cheaper rentals would go a long way toward a trailer.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Moving Cross Country/Towing with a Honda Fit?
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2017, 10:34:02 AM »
I recently bought a Honda Fit and love it. I looked into the possibility of a tow hitch and researched this extensively on FitFreaks as well as with the manufacturer. Without rehashing everything stated above, I think it is very unwise to try pulling a trailer, unwise due to danger/risk to both the cars occupants and all other vehicles around your car. Furthermore, the legalities of defying the manufacturer could potentially have severe consequences. Not worth it to save a few bucks, no way.