Has anyone tried towing with their Clarity?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Casey Martin, May 1, 2019.

  1. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    The Clarity needs something like the RubiCam SUV rock-crawling camera (jump to 1:50 mark) to help prevent curb-inflicted wheel-rim rash.
  2. ShepherdWalker

    ShepherdWalker New Member

    I have not found any information on wiring for a trailer.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Inside EVs mobile app
  3. Tomrl

    Tomrl Member

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  4. AlanSqB

    AlanSqB Active Member

    Yes. Despite all the hand wringing about manufacturers specifications, warranty voiding and insurance liabilities, the Clarity would probably pull that just fine.

    It’s really a neat trailer but Little Guy tends to be on the pricey side so I’m sure it’s going to be speedy.
    Pushmi-Pullyu likes this.
  5. Casey Martin

    Casey Martin Member

    I decided to get a trailer hitch for my wife's MDX instead of the Clarity. It wasn't because I was afraid the Clarity couldn't handle towing the jet ski. It was simply because the hitch for the MDX was less than half the price of the one for the Clarity. :)

    If I end up having to switch cars with her often then I will pick up a hitch for the Clarity as well.
  6. Tomrl

    Tomrl Member

    I got an EcoHitch for the Clarity, now I man up and install the thing.
  7. sassnak

    sassnak New Member

    For what it is worth (IANAL) when I had my Fit I did a lot of research on how installing a hitch on a car that the manufacturer says can't tow anything affects the warranty. Honda also says the Fit can't tow anything but it was easier to figure out that it actually could since they say the exact same car is capable of towing, just in other countries. In the USA they want to sell SUVs and so like to say cars can't tow anything.

    What I ended up determining was that they can't go after you for having a hitch installed. You can have a hitch installed and use it for things other than towing (bikes, etc) so they can't assume you are using it to tow. I installed one on my Fit and my dealer never questioned it. I will say that when my Fit was totaled earlier this year, the insurance company refused to give me any money for having the hitch installed as they said it didn't add any value to the car. It sounded like if it had been on a car that "allowed" towing, they would have given me something for it. And they didn't cover it as an accessory, although they might've if it had been within a year of purchasing the hitch. They didn't care that it was installed for general insurance purposes though.

    For warranty reasons, Honda can't deny you warranty coverage unless they can determine that the damage was specifically caused by you towing something. If it can't be related to towing, they can't contest it and will have to cover it. If your door lock breaks, for instance, it is obviously unrelated and will be covered by your warranty regardless of if they decide you've towed with the car or not. If it could possibly be related to towing, I think they'd only be successful in denying coverage if they could prove it couldn't have happened with normal usage. If you are towing responsibly, it should never be an issue.

    I decided the risk was worth it for my Fit and towed small things with it fairly regularly and never had a problem. I haven't considered putting one on my Clarity, but as our other car is a Sonic I would pick the Clarity over the Sonic for towing as I doubt the Sonic has the power to tow anything at all lol.
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  8. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    BMW just staged a stunt with its upcoming all-electric Mini Cooper S E towing a 150-ton Boeing 777F cargo plane a few feet down a level, flat runway. It will be hilarious if the company later tries to tell owners of they can't tow anything with this car.

  9. A bit similar to what was posted above... I had a 2007 Honda Fit Sport. I put a hitch on it (very easy install, by-the-way.) I purchased a trailer from Harbor Freight.


    It came in two boxes. I put the puzzle together, built a stake-wall assembly for it (instructions are included.) Put a floor on it, bolted it all up with quick-disconnect cotter-keyed bolts everywhere so I could assemble if from folded up in storage to a trailer with a stake-kit in about 5 minutes.

    I moved 30 miles away with this setup from one house to another. ZERO issues with Fit or trailer.

    I was told that it was rated for pulling 1,000 lbs in other countries.
  10. ShaunHicks

    ShaunHicks New Member

    A towing capacity rating is based on the maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) (the weight of the fully loaded vehicle or trailer, including cargo and passengers) thevehicle is designed to carry. Exceeding it can not only damage your vehicle, but it also puts your life and the lives of others in jeopardy.
    towing service wauwatosa
  11. Richard_arch74

    Richard_arch74 Active Member

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  12. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

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    ANDY NGUYEN New Member

    Please keep us posted Steven B! I'm considering doing the same for bikes.
  14. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    Can someone comment on powering a Curt Trailer Wiring Harness from the fuse box rather than directly from the battery?

    Most of Curt Custom Trailer Wiring Harnesses instruct you to run the "black wire" up to the 12V battery. I'm trying to understand whether it is equally safe to route this black wire to the nearest fuse box and splice the black wire to a fuse tap such as this: https://www.amazon.com/Nilight-NI-FH02-Circuit-Adapter-Warranty/dp/B07T8LRSH7

    @Kyle’s Clarity did this to power a dashcam: https://insideevsforum.com/community/index.php?threads/experience-hardwiring-viofo-a129-dashcam.5068

    Based on his description, it sounds like I would want to insert this tap into fuse slot 18 so that the lights would be powered without having acc on, such as when only the flashers are activated.

    Just trying to understand if there is any disadvantage. The advantage is obviously that I don't have to route the wire into the engine compartment to the battery.

    Curt makes no mention of routing this power to the fuse box instead of the battery.

    Attached Files:

  15. ClarityBill

    ClarityBill Active Member

    I'm sorry that no one is the expert on trailer wiring... I was planning to buy the Curt system, on your recommendation. I already have the EcoHitch installed, and love it for the Harbor Freight rack.

    Do the connectors match up to the Clarity tail lights?

    This extra wire to the battery does not sound like 'plug and play'.

    Just for discussion: The isolating box of the Curt trailer lights is to limit the load on the lighting circuit, and because trailer lights are notorious for shorting out, and wrecking electronics. I suppose the Curt is running all the way to the battery, to completely isolate the car's electronics from the trailer problems. If you 'never' have trouble with your trailer electrical, the fuse box would be great: The fuse box would probably be fine, for 99% of installations...
  16. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    Just spent a while getting the wiring installed and should have held off on the full install until making sure the Curt harness would function.

    Curt 56284 connectors match up to the Clarity. However, at the trailer contacts, I'm currently only getting brake activation and left turn signal activation. Voltages here from multimeter:

    To Curt Converter Box: 14V
    All three pins with Lights on: 0.56-0.60V

    Brown Left Turn on: blinking 14V
    Yellow Left Turn on: 0.60V
    Green Left Turn on: 0.62V

    All three pins with Right Turn on: 0.56-0.60V

    Brown Braking: 14V
    Yellow Braking: 14V
    Green Braking: 0.60V

    It seems that coming out of the Curt converter, the signals are not correct per the standard for four-pin wiring.

    Attached Files:

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  17. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Thanks for keeping us informed of your progress! Here's hoping you figure out how to fix the malfunction. (Fingers crossed!)

  18. Landshark

    Landshark Active Member

    Towing capacity is either specified by the vehicle manufacturer, for instance; 5000lbs, 7200lbs, 10,000lbs etc. or is determined by the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR) and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). Subtract the GVWR from the GCVWR to determine towing capacity. Honda does not provide a GCVWR figure for the Clarity. Why? Because it is not designed, engineered or rated to tow anything.

    Can it tow? Will it tow? Probably. It won’t go into vapor lock if a hitch is installed and a trailer connected. Should you tow? That’s a personal choice. We’re supposed to read the owners manual and follow the recommendations provided by the manufacturer. Knowingly towing a trailer on public roads with a vehicle not rated to tow, may not be the wisest decision one could make.

    This topic comes up frequently on RV forums. “Can I tow a 12,000lb trailer even though my truck is only rated to tow 8700lb? I’ll only be going about 50 miles a couple of time a year and I really don’t want to buy a new truck.” People do things like this all the time. Accidents don’t just happen, they are usually preceded by some level of stupidity.

    Here’s some insight on RV’s. 60% are overloaded. Either the truck, camper or both, or the motorhome.

    Casey Martin made the right decision by choosing to tow a trailer with a vehicle that is suitable for the job. Here’s to others following his lead.
  19. Personally, I installed a hitch primarily to haul bikes or misc in a hitch carrier. I do not plan on actual towing, except in an emergency, and have other vehicles tasked for that. As such, I did not worry with installing a wiring harness.
    Robert_Alabama likes this.
  20. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    There are different issues involved here. A tow rating is a least partly a rating of how much weight the rear bumper or rear suspension of the vehicle can safely support. If you're towing a single-axle trailer that's too heavy, it may weigh down the rear axle of the towing vehicle so much that it's not safe to drive it, either because the rear suspension is overloaded or because the front wheels are lifted so much they don't provide proper traction for steering.

    Also, since the Clarity PHEV is (at least from what Mr. Google says, so correct me if I'm wrong) a front-wheel drive car. So weighing down the rear axle will also reduce the traction the car gets on the road, making the problem with traction when towing even worse.

    For two-axle trailers, there may be a problem of sheer mass. To give a very clear example, a Chihuahua couldn't properly handle a normal dog sled even if it was going downhill. The tiny dog simply doesn't have enough weight/mass to be able to steer the sled, nor enough power to slow the sled if it starts running too fast downhill. Precisely the same thing occurs for a large, heavy trailer towed by a car or small truck, if the trailer is significantly more massive than the tow rating. At highway speed, it may not be possible for a small vehicle to change the angle at which the trailer is traveling, or the vehicle may not be powerful enough to drag the trailer up a steep hill... or even more dangerously, not stop it from accelerating when going down a steep hill.

    If the vehicle has no tow rating, then use common sense. A small car can't safely tow a big heavy trailer at highway speed, regardless of any tow rating it may or may not have. Limit the size/weight of the trailer to a reasonably small fraction of the size/weight of the car, and you should be okay. Overloading the rear bumper or rear suspension should be pretty obvious by how much the rear end sags under the weight of the trailer. If the front of the car is obviously being lifted, then you've obviously overloaded the car, even if the wheels are still on the ground.

    A relevant quote:

    How much your car can tow depends on the type of vehicle and the options on the car or truck. A general rule of thumb for a front wheel drive car or small SUV is 1500 pounds, a mid-size all-wheel drive SUV or pickup 3000 pounds and a full size SUV or half-ton pickup truck 5000 pounds or more.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019

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