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Old 04-07-2013, 14:52   #1
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Hitch Install on a Sportscar

I have probably been stubborn about making my Honda S2000 a tow vehicle for the Potter 15 that I intend to buy. I had a hitch installed yesterday by a really good installer (according to Yelp) in the Bay Area. Seems to me that the hitch carrier they installed is much too low. First, it drags when i pull my car into my garage. not good. And with the hitch ball arm in place, the ball reaches only 13". When I looked at the only Potter I have seen, it appeared the correct height for the ball should be 16-17". When I asked the installers about it, they said for a 1000lbs trailer load, the diff berween 13 and 17 would not matter.

After googling last night, I saw hitch arms with a higher rise that would bring it closer to the 16-17" I thought I needed. But the carrier diameter is different.

In principal, I am still certain the little S2000 should be able to tow this boat without effort. I am just worried that maybe I do not have the best install for the job.
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Old 04-07-2013, 16:03   #2
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That car is a roadster. It should not towing anything.the whole car is only rated to carry 400 lbs.That includes the people inside.Even the owners manual says no towing.The type of hitch you probably had installed is really for just carrying a bicycle or something similar. While it is a legitimate hitch.And it can accept a draw. bar.Companies make universal hitches now. They just fit almost any car on the road. That doesn't mean you should put one on an tow with it because it fits. Save yourself and your car a lot of grief and take the hitch off. Unless the car is just a beater and it doesn't matter.good luck.
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Old 04-07-2013, 16:37   #3
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

Where are you getting that data, 400lbs? Doubtful. S2000 has a famously rigid frame, plenty of power and excellent brakes. There is no reason to think this car cannot safely tow 1000lbs. Anyone who has been in a sailing area in Europe has seen vehicles towing boats like this with cars 1000lbs lighter and a 1/3 of the hp. As for manufacturers. Most do not warrant towing at all anymore. Liability. Not because late model cars are less tow worthy. Most America boat tow vehicles are gross gas guzzlers. Vehicles I would never own.

Thanks and good luck.
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Old 04-07-2013, 16:56   #4
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The S2000 does not have frame.It is a unibody. Do have an owners manual? Your first post seem like you really needed help. But after your second post. I think you're going to be on your own. Maybe I forgot to mention I work for Honda. By the way, I only drive gas guzzlers, I have an oil well in my backyard I'm from Texas. And you don't have to wish me good luck either. You don't need luck when you're good. good luck to you my friend.
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Old 04-07-2013, 21:17   #5
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

Does fact ever enter into your opinion? The S2000 has a legendary x-frame construction known for it's rigidity. In addition to your confusion about unibody and frames, my post was not about whether to tow the boat. I was looking for help with the height of the hitch. But please, no need to respond. I don't have time for people that make it up as they go. Good luck Tex.
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Old 04-07-2013, 21:41   #6
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You are funny.Are you old enough to drive? Words like "legendary"" Nothing unique about that car that has been. Out of production for years.Get yurself down to the hitch store trailer sailor.
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Old 04-07-2013, 22:01   #7
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

The hitch height for a boat trailer effects the angle of the boat to the water.
Whether 3 inches makes a significant difference is difficult to determine, you will just have to try it. Regarding scraping, my guess is it was installed under the bumper like most all hitches, it might be possible to cut into the bumper and raise it, not many would want to alter their car like that, and would be custom work $$$. Had the same problem when I put a custom hitch on my Prius (which has no tow capacity) to tow my hobie cat. I removed it and used my Jeep.
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Old 04-07-2013, 23:45   #8
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

My 2 cents: you can buy an sizing adapter and then add the L shaped height adapters to elevate the attachment point but bear in mind these pieces are very very heavy and, given where the weight is added, will lower the back end of your Honda even more. In the end (so to speak) the hitch carrier with those attachments is gonna' drag all the way home if you put a bag of oranges in the trunk. I would also add that the S2000's engine needs to be wound up pretty high to deliver its torque which is the opposite of what one would prefer for towing. Seems like a stretch to me.

For full disclosure, I have a hitch on my Saab cabrio with which I often carry 2 very light bikes, and still scrape often when exiting/ entering driveways and such. It's worth it to me to be able to take the vert on summer vacations with my bikes, but neither would I recommend it given the drag problems.

I'm glad I don't live in Texas.
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Old 05-07-2013, 00:59   #9
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

Back in my welding days, we were taught that 16 to 16 1/2 inchs from the ground to center line of the ball. This sets the trailor towing angle so it will tow right. No matter if your car will haul it or not, ya need to do some fixing on the ball hight, or that trailor will tow real nasty, and may whip your car and all into a ditch! Just a sugestion
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:17   #10
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

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Originally Posted by Sfkjeld View Post
Seems to me that the hitch carrier they installed is much too low.
This is just the nature of "universal" hitch receivers. They are always mounted low, they always hang down, they never look (or, in fact, are) well integrated into the rear of the vehicle. If you want one tucked up nice and tight, you will first have to buy a car that is used for towing by enough people that custom designed receivers are available.

Either that, or pony up a sizable amount of cash to get a custom built receiver made.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:06   #11
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

This receiver looks lower than it has to be. It is prob 2" below the bottom of the bumper cover. But you are probably right, that is how all the aftermarket trailer hitches attach. The good news for me is that I don't care about the appearance. This is only a Honda, not a Ferrari. No concours events in my future.

But I need to do something about the height. I suspect I need a different receiver. The larger ones support the longer L bracket I need to bring it up to 16".

I have pulled plenty of trailers. With care (low speed and way early braking) towing the trailer will not be a prob. But Brob2 brings up the other issue I am concerned with. The S2000 power curve. Could be dicey pulling the boat out of the water. I think lots of dry practice. If I am not comfortable with it, I will have to beg my wife to let me put the hitch on her new Jetta Wagon. Will not be a pleasant conversation.
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Old 05-07-2013, 21:47   #12
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pirate Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

Gents please. This a forum for bigtime sailors. Round-the-world sailors with Swans n ****. Not scaredy-cat wussies. Are you "dudes" from St. Pete? was it windy today? Have you no soul? Get with the program, please.
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Old 05-07-2013, 23:07   #13
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

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Gents please. This a forum for bigtime sailors. Round-the-world sailors with Swans n ****. Not scaredy-cat wussies. Are you "dudes" from St. Pete? was it windy today? Have you no soul? Get with the program, please.
. . . he said, tongue planted firmly in cheek.

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Old 05-07-2013, 23:51   #14
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

You can get many different heights from the hitch unit that slides into your receiver but as others have mentioned, the S2000 is probably the worst car to use to tow anything larger than a trailer a motorcycle would tow. That engine only produces 153 lb/ft, and that number comes in at 7500 rpm, not the less than 4000 most engines produce their peak torque. With clutch out in 1st gear pulling out of a boat ramp, you just won't have enough torque, forcing you to slip the clutch every time you pull the ramp. It can be done, but the cost of constant clutch replacements sure doesn't make economic sense. I've driven a number of S2000, they move out nice with their 2800 lbs, but to move quick your shifting at 9000 rpm. Just not a tow vehicle.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:02   #15
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Re: Hitch install on a sportscar

An S2000 is not a Jeep, will grant that. But I have spent many summers in Europe and have seen far too many really small cars pulling heavier loads than this. I understand that it will be an anomaly in the SUV crazed US, to see a small car towing anything at all. We will see. I will know pretty quickly whether i can get the boat out of the water without slipping the clutch excessively. i have lived in SF for almost 40 years and know something about pulling out of stop signs on steep hills. I doubt it will be a problem.

If i am not comfortable with it, nothing is really lost. I can use the hitch for my bicycles. Tho I am certain there are those that would caution about that as well..
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