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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 2019 EX Insight. My wife and I are thinking about buying a small travel trailer. The ones we are looking at have a dry weight of about 1,950 lbs or thereabouts. Question. Can my Insight pull this with no trouble? Some of the ads for these lightweight travel trailers say even a 4-cylinder car can pull them. The second question is this. If the tow weight is not a problem, can a hitch be mounted on the back of my Insight for this purpose?

Any insights (no pun intended) you have on this would be appreciated. We would like to have this by spring 2021. If the Insight is not suitable for this, we will sell it and buy an SUV or a mini-van for this purpose.
 

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Although there are some that have installed a receiver hitch on their Insight, those are primarily used for mounting bike racks. The Insight is not rated for towing. Please don't leave us!
 

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Well... I was going to refer you to the hitch thread, but since you started that it would probably be quite foolish, not that that has ever stopped me. Anywho, will the Honda Insight pull a ton? Absolutely! Will the Honda Insight be able to stop while pulling a ton? Can I be in your will?

For a more official answer. Your max load weight is 850 lbs.
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Now, load and tow are not the same, but you are not going to find a tow weight for this baby. Now if you do what the note says and check out page 652... prepare for disappointment.
6030
 

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This seems a little questionable, but the interwebs claim the current generation Honda Fit can tow 2000 lbs... yet the owners manual says the Fit isn't designed to tow a trailer (FIT OM19, pg 405) and the Fit's curb weight is only 2600 lbs. - Best Trailer Hitch Honda Fit (2015-2020) Review

For perspective, towing capacities for other Hondas:
  • 2019 CR-V (2.4L 4-cyl / 184 hp / 180 lb-ft) = 1500 lb
  • 2019 Fit (1.5L 4-cyl / 128 hp / 113 lb-ft) = 2000 lb (maybe?)
  • 2019 Odyssey (3.5L V6 / 280 hp / 262 lb-ft / 9-speed transmission) = 3000 lb
  • 2019 Ridgeline (3.5L V6 / 280 hp / 262 lb-ft / 2WD) = 3500 lb
AWD cars can tow more, including the 2019 Prius AWD-e (1.8L 4-cyl ICE / 95 hp / 105 lb-ft), but even then it can only tow ~1600 lbs... and the owners manual advises not to use the car for towing. This 1500 lb convertible camper by Camp365 is one that fits within that towing weight range (and fits in garage).
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The Insight ICE (1.5L 4-cyl ICE / 107 hp / 99 lb-ft) has more horsepower but less torque (and no AWD) versus the Prius. But the Fit isn't AWD either and supposedly can tow with hp and torque in the low 100 range. So even in instances where the manufacturer doesn't recommend towing (e.g Fit, Prius... maybe Insight too?) it might still be possible/feasible at your own offline trial/risk (?).
 

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Now, load and tow are not the same, but you are not going to find a tow weight for this baby. Now if you do what the note says and check out page 652... prepare for disappointment.
It looks like the 2020 and 2021 Owners Manuals got lazy... the 2019 Insight Owners Manual lists the following on pg 652:
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Given the curb weights for each trim (LX = 2987 lb, EX = 3000 lb, Touring = 3078 lb) and the maximum allowable gross weight info listed above, the amount of 'extra' weight for occupants, accessories and cargo that can be carried is as follows by trim:
  • LX = 3968 lb GVWR - 2987 lb curb weight = 981 lbs
  • EX = 3968 lb GVWR - 3000 lb curb weight = 968 lbs
  • Touring = 4034 lb GVWR - 3078 lb curb weight = 956 lbs
The weights seem conservative/low, but perhaps that's to account for the 'hybrid' nature where the ICE and electric motors aren't always running simultaneously. But I was just thinking if one runs in SPORT mode, where ICE tends to stay on more to keep the throttle more ready/responsive and HV battery charged up, perhaps that helps mitigate the risk and improve load weight.

The ICE is the weak link, with the lowest hp (107) and torque (99) rating when the ICE is running alone. This is likely why Honda doesn't advising towing a trailer with the Insight (though the same mention is made for their other ICE cars too.) If you can keep the ICE and electric motors running concurrently, you bump up to the highest combined hp (151), which is ~82% of the CR-V's hp listed above. If hp and towing are correlated, this might suggest the Insight can tow 1230 lbs, as 82% of the CR-V's 1500 lb rating (?).
 

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Can my Insight pull this with no trouble?
Honda says you can void your warranties if you tow. The Insight is not designed to tow a trailer.

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I have always towed, and pulled trailers in all my Honda's.
I have an HR-V (also not rated to tow in North America), which won tow car of the year in Europe (rated for 1,500lbs). The ones shipped to Europe are from the same plant in Mexico, so I think it's mainly lawyers.
My 10 foot long aluminum trailer is only 300 lbs, and as a rule, I carry up to 1,000lbs gross (700net)
Excellent for camping, trips to the dump, picking up appliances.
But additional weight puts additional strain on the engine, transmission, braking. So if towing, accelerate slower, coast to stops, and no tail gating.
If you need to carry 700 lbs of blocks its much better then putting the weight in your car, causing springs and such to be loaded.
Travel trailers at 2,000 lbs plus are too much, agree with everyone else. Rent a truck for the week if you need a trailer.

The 2,000 lb rating from CURT is for their hitch (a piece of steel), does not mean the the car is rated to tow 2,000lbs
 

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I have always towed, and pulled trailers in all my Honda's.
I have an HR-V (also not rated to tow in North America), which won tow car of the year in Europe (rated for 1,500lbs). The ones shipped to Europe are from the same plant in Mexico, so I think it's mainly lawyers.
My 10 foot long aluminum trailer is only 300 lbs, and as a rule, I carry up to 1,000lbs gross (700net)
Have you used the Insight and your aluminum trailer to tow yet? If so, what was the weight and experience? Or is that the 1000 lb gross example mentioned above?
 

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Towing with an Insight is less of an issue of weight capacity pertaining to suspension but rather more of a concern with engine/transmission and braking. Add in the fact the Insight has regen braking and it adds a whole new angle to what you can damage. As someone earlier mentioned in this thread, it's probably best to keep the Insight ('cause it's awesome) and rent something capable of pulling a travel trailer when needed. If it's only a few times a year, that seems to be the way to go. If you're caravanning every weekend, a replacement vehicle would probably be warranted.
 

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Towing with an Insight is less of an issue of weight capacity pertaining to suspension but rather more of a concern with engine/transmission and braking. Add in the fact the Insight has regen braking and it adds a whole new angle to what you can damage. As someone earlier mentioned in this thread, it's probably best to keep the Insight ('cause it's awesome) and rent something capable of pulling a travel trailer when needed. If it's only a few times a year, that seems to be the way to go. If you're caravanning every weekend, a replacement vehicle would probably be warranted.
Based on prior posts, @ronnie makes 2 long, cross-country trips each year. I'm guessing the idea of travel trailer is to facilitate those long road trips (?).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Based on prior posts, @ronnie makes 2 long, cross-country trips each year. I'm guessing the idea of travel trailer is to facilitate those long road trips (?).
Yes, good memory insightfully. My wife and I take two long nearly cross country trips from Washington state where we live to Ohio, Texas, and throughout the Midwest. And we plan on extending our trips in the next few years to the East Coast, up into Canada, etc. perhaps up to 10-12 weeks long. The idea of a small travel trailer is appealing.
 

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Be advised the trailer's tongue weight would add towards the total payload capacity of the Insight. The door sticker on my EX states this is 850 pounds. When you factor in passengers, luggage and the extreme amount of junk-food required for a long-distance drive, that doesn't leave much for the trailer :( That, and you could forget doing 85mph towing any trailer!
 

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Be advised the trailer's tongue weight would add towards the total payload capacity of the Insight. The door sticker on my EX states this is 850 pounds. When you factor in passengers, luggage and the extreme amount of junk-food required for a long-distance drive, that doesn't leave much for the trailer :(
I can't tell where Google is sourcing the data from, but when I search "2019 Honda Insight payload" it returns 956 to 1047 lbs. I calculated payload at 956 to 981 lbs above, based on Honda's stated GVWR and curb weights. So maybe there's a "little" cushion for a few extra snack bags (?).

That, and you could forget doing 85mph towing any trailer!
Unless it's downhill both directions, LOL :)
 

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Nice trailer, but I would not try 1825 lbs.
I just searched, and saw a decent one in Canada, only 590 lbs!
Roulotte: Suite | Roulottes Prolite

That's like 3 big people in the car with you, so I would think that could be doable.
Wow, that's impressive weight-wise, and good for basic eating/sleeping functions. It looks less house-like than the ~1900 lb travel trailers, but losing the plumbing brings down the weight significantly.
 

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Just a quick little bit of advice:

If you DO try pulling a trailer with your Insight and wind up damaging your car, disconnect the trailer and hide it, then ask a moderator to remove this forum thread before you call Honda and say, "I have no idea what happened! It just broke down!"

But seriously, I would advise against pulling a trailer with an Insight. If it doesn't directly damage the car, it will most certainly work towards shortening the life of the drivetrain and brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks everyone for your advice. I will definitely not be pulling a trailer with my Insight.
 

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it will most certainly work towards shortening the life of the drivetrain and brakes.
You definitely should not do anything you feel is unsafe.
My last Honda Civic with a 1.6engine, I used my 10 foot trailer maybe 5-10 times every year. Camping, garbage, building supplies, etc.
Watch the tongue weight, and total weight. Accelerate, brake slowly.
That was our only family vehicle for 22 years. Zero engine, transmission issues, regular brake pad replacement.
And after the 22 years, it still ran fine, just sold it.
 
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