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Old 06-07-2013, 09:32   #16
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

Bikes would be fine on the hitch. I too have spent a fair amount of time in Europe and if you have a large by their standards engine (2.6 L) then your into caravaning. However their small cars and engines are much different than the high winding S2000 engine and because of that will tow decently. Find a dyno printout on your engine, except for motorcycle engines, no other cars have such high rpm hp and torque peaks. But as you said, nothing lost if it doesn't work.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:16   #17
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

sf-
Perhaps you own a manual with the car?

I've seen comments on honda forums that the manual says NO TOWING and the entire payload capacity of the car is 400 pounds. Which is not surprising since old riceburners built as 4-5 seaters often had a gross load capacity of only 750 pounds.

What happens when you exceed those capacities? Well, I have a friend who broke the rear shocks in his Accord by loading in too much garden mulch.

So, now you hook up a thousand? pound trailer rig to a car whose suspension parts can only take half that weight....Forget about whether there are frames, subrframes, or a unibody (trademark of Fisher and GM, by the way, not Honda) assembly.

Sure, you can probably get away with it if you are gentle and the gods kind. But when the manufacturer says "Thou shalt not tow!" it usually is for a good reason. The whole drivetrain and suspension are designed for limited loads. Just think about what can happen when something breaks.

I'm not saying you can't tow with it--just that Honda apparently expects the average driver will break the car if they do.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:41   #18
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

Well, I appreciate all the car advice. But I know the S2000 pretty well and it's power curve. The vtech motor is essentially two different motors. Before and after 6k rpm when vtech kicks in. I cannot imagine any scenario where I would ever drive the car in vtech with a trailer. Actually, no one ever really needs to be in it anyway, unless making a dramatic freeway entrance or carving up a country road. Below 6k, the torque curves are similar to normally aspirated Fiat 500's, Mini's and most small cars in Europe. All of which are commonly seen pulling the damdest loads. On top of it, the S2000 has a super rigid frame and has far greater braking capacity than those cars.

I never said driving the S2000 like a sports car would work with a trailer attached. But I remain convinced that it can safely pull this small sailboat if driven sensibly. Time will tell. The trailer hitch height not withstanding.
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Old 06-07-2013, 10:47   #19
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

Honda, like many manufactures, do not warrant towing even on identical cars that they once warranted. It is liability. I know I can wreck my car with a trailer on the back. A lot of owners probably have. I doubt I will.

All will be revealed, in time.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:09   #20
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

As others will verify on this forum, I do know cars. Ignoring the fact that the S2000 doesn't produce peanuts for power below 2000 rpm, insurance companies have histories of denial of claims in this situation. Think about your exposure in the event of an injury accident.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:53   #21
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

You may know soemthing about cars, dunno. But you do ignore that none of the small cars we have seen in Europe produce power at ANY range. Yet they tow trailers routinely. The S2000 can gen power but as I have said repeatedly, I does not need to. It is easy to stay under 6k.

As for liability, that is a separate question. These days, if left to manufactures, everyone should buy a Yukon and even then, you need the "towing package". This is typical in the American car market since most believe they need a 2 ton four wheel drive truck to get their kids to soccer practice safely.

I'll give it a go. Not like I will ever go far with the trailer. In fact, I may wind up in dry storage at a marina until winter.
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Old 06-07-2013, 13:23   #22
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

It is a uniquely American attitude that you need a big pickup truck or SUV to tow anything. An attitude fostered by the car companies' desire to sell highly-profitable large vehicles.

You'll often find that a car sold in the US says "no towing" in the manual, while exactly the same car sold in Europe will be rated for towing 1000kg.

In Europe they tow with family cars all the time. Frank Dye towed his Wayfarer all over the UK with a Renault 4. This car had 40hp.

So there are a few issues to be answered :

1) Is the hitch (incl. the mounting to the car) strong enough? If is is class 1, it should be good for 2000 lbs. More than enough. I suggest you contact the place that installed it and find out the rated load.

2) Does the item being towed exceed 50% of the car's weight? I doubt it.

3) Is the car capable of towing without the engine overheating or the brakes failing? Almost certainly. A major plus is a manual transmission. No overheating fluid to worry about.

Final consideration : Will you be able to get back up a slippery boat ramp? This might be your main issue.

I towed my Wayfarer with my Jaguar XJ8 (now that was a classy combination!) and the only issue I encountered was with traction once on a boat ramp at low tide that was all slippery. But lots of people with 2wd pickups and big boats have the same issue.

What you might need to do is something most people seem to have forgotton how to do : drive with some anticipation and car sympathy.

Finally, to fix your height problem, you should be able to buy a whole range of ball adapters for your hitch. Check the receiver size (should be 1 1/4") and then look at this site :

The Hitch Store, Trailer Hitches Online

I wonder if this is the hitch they installed?

Class I Trailer Hitch Receiver (1.25 inch) 11212 [11212] - $171.76 : The Hitch Store, Trailer Hitches Online
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Old 06-07-2013, 13:27   #23
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

BTW, this is how all boats should be towed :

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Old 06-07-2013, 13:33   #24
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

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Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
As others will verify on this forum, I do know cars. Ignoring the fact that the S2000 doesn't produce peanuts for power below 2000 rpm, insurance companies have histories of denial of claims in this situation. Think about your exposure in the event of an injury accident.
Could you explain to me the difference in safety between a Honda S2000 towing a 1000lb trailer, and a pickup towing a 10,000lb trailer?

What would be the basis for denying a claim when using a commercially available hitch, designed for the car, within it's recommended load range, while towing a trailer that's 1/3 of the weight of the car?
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Old 06-07-2013, 13:46   #25
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

According to the West Wight website, the boat weighs 475 lbs and the trailer 350 lbs, for a combined weight of 825 lbs. The boat should be sitting on the trailer such that the tongue weight is 10% of that, or 82.5 lbs (if not then adjust the winch post and mounts so that it is). If the maximum load for the car is 400 lbs, then when towing the rest of the weight in the car should be less than 317.5 lbs, which may include the weight of the fuel. This is being a bit over-precise, but you get the idea. With this in mind, it is usually better to put any gear in the boat as only 10% of the weight ends up on the car's suspension.

Edit: My point is that the weight is within the suspension's capabilities. Personally I would feel comfortable towing this package with 2 adults in the car, even though it may slightly exceed specifications. I would not, however, carry other heavy items in the car: put them in the boat.

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Old 06-07-2013, 13:52   #26
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
BTW, this is how all boats should be towed :

With the mast stepped???

Otherwise, cool...

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Old 06-07-2013, 13:52   #27
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The hitch installer should have these adapters or be able to get them. Walmart even has these..maybe check there.
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Old 06-07-2013, 14:00   #28
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The hitch is not designed for the S2K roadster. There are just a buch of universal hitches out there.They are really just recievers for bikes or maybe a wheelchair.Since I work for Honda.I can tell you that Honda offers hitch and wiring harnesses for several of there cars.But not for one that has a carrying capacity of 400 lbs. You are on your own when you don't read the owner's manual or take sound advice from experts.A hitch shop will put one on anything you can drive in there for a buck.can you blame them.Since the boat will be used for fresh water I believe. That should be interesting. Since a lot of fresh water boat ramps are covered in green slime.I say lets put on some mud tires and air shocks and get this show on the road.
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Old 06-07-2013, 14:23   #29
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

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BTW, this is how all boats should
I am once again, suffering from Jaguar envy! A condition that has followed me around for about 40 years. Combined with that gorgeous sailboat, you might be my new hero.

And beyond the class factor, you have also given most reasoned post on this thread. I did check the hitch manufacturers load spec for my car. 2000lbs. I would not dream of approaching that limit. But for a package weighing close to 900lbs, hard to imagine that there will be significant liability issues. Now a 3" difference in hitch height, I dunno.

Without ever pulling a boat out of a ramp, the spinning wheel scenario was intuitively my biggest worry. I always run the softest compound Michelins, but prob wont help on a slimey ramp. I intend to do a lot of testing on like inclines before actually trying it tho.

As a Jag guy, maybe you saw last seasons Mad Men? Without giving anything away, it occurs to me there might be a second reason to worry when launching a boat with a Jag. Lol.

Thanks for your post Mark.

SF? San Francisco?
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Old 06-07-2013, 14:23   #30
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

I never said the suspension and brakes weren't up to the task, but now that spraygun is onboard, the S2000 engine has more characteristics of a motorcycle engine than an automotive engine, wouldn't you agree?

After some research I stand corrected. The S2000 engine will in fact marginally have enough torque below 2500 rpm to pull itself and an additional 900 lbs up a boat ramp. But you will be doing it with less than 50 hp and 90 lb/ft, not much of a margin, but doable. When I'm wrong I'll say so. This engine does have better low rpm numbers than what I expected, but still marginal.
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