Has anyone tried towing with their Clarity?

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

  1. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Also, if you're not used to driving when towing at trailer, then drive cautiously. Practice in an empty parking lot until you can properly steer when backing up; it does take a bit of practice. Never forget you're towing a trailer. Many or most States have a lower maximum freeway speed when towing; pay attention to that lower limit and observe it. Accelerate and brake more slowly; you've got more mass (weight) to slow or speed up. Maintain a longer following distance behind another vehicle on the highway, because you'll need more stopping room. Try not to steer sharply around a corner, or if you do, then do it at a slower than normal speed, and swing wide because you'll need more cornering distance to prevent the trailer from riding over a curb or otherwise going off the pavement.
  2. Landshark

    Landshark Active Member

    Then go ahead and tow. Your name may be appropriate for the situation. And there will be plenty of other like-minded folks out there to join along.
  3. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    Maybe a little hard, but good advice. I wouldn't tow with a car that the manufacturer had said "no towing". If you ever had an accident, liability might be a real problem. Doubt it would ever cause warranty issues, but there is that as well. I'd buy another car if I needed to use it for towing rather than to take this risk. But maybe I am just too risk averse. I think it is fine to use it to haul bikes and to use a trailerless platform, but I'd be careful not to put more than a hundred or so pounds on it. There is a reasonable amount of leverage if load isn't close to the hitchpoint. Again, I am probably too risk averse for some here...
  4. Landshark

    Landshark Active Member

    That’s twice you’ve posted the same picture in this thread.

    I’ll bet it won’t be rated to tow and if you do the range will be destroyed. Best of luck.
  5. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Oops. Thanks for the reminder. I deleted the post.
  6. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Wow! Why the hostility?

    Certainly the EV range will take a major hit when towing. The rule of thumb for towing with a Tesla Model X is that you can expect roughly 50% loss of EV range when towing even a modest sized trailer at highway speed. Fortunately, with the Clarity PHEV, you can always run on gas after the battery pack is depleted.

    But nothing is going to be "destroyed"! It's not like the reduction due to towing is going to become a permanent part of the car's performance.

    In my father's generation, putting a 3rd party tow hitch on a sedan was an everyday occurrence. I think my dad put a tow hitch on every single car he owned... even his classic VW Beetle, altho I certainly wouldn't recommend towing anything at highway speed with such a light car!

    I really don't get the reluctance -- and in that post, outright hostility -- to Amercans towing with a car that's not tow-rated. People do that all the time. I understand the reluctance among Europeans; they are legally required to get a car individually inspected and certified to tow if it's not given a tow-rating from the manufacturer, or at least that's been claimed in posts on the subject. So I get the reluctance from Europeans... but not Americans. As long as you take care, don't try to drive as if you're not towing anything, and don't try to tow anything that overloads the car, you should be fine.

    Walt R likes this.
  7. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    It may be (probably is) advisable to check with your car insurance agent to see if you need a towing rider on your insurance. But people, or at least Americans, tow with cars that aren't tow-rated all the time. Heck, anybody can rent a bolt-on tow bar from U-Haul... altho those may not fit modern sedans and hatchbacks that don't have projecting metal bumpers, as older cars do.

    It puzzles me to see the opposition to this practice expressed here.

  8. Landshark

    Landshark Active Member

    This is a thread that should have been finished at post #2.

    I’m done. Now off to modify my ignore list.
  9. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    My point is not that you may not be able to get a towing rider on your insurance. I doubt that the insurance company would dig into the car to make sure it is recommended as a towing vehicle. It is that you knowingly towed a trailer with a vehicle for which the owner's manual said not to tow. If you ever had an accident (say due to not being able to stop in time or from loss of control of the vehicle that could be argued to have been caused by the trailer), then it is very possible you could be successfully sued for negligence.


    Similarly, even if you had a vehicle which was designed to tow, if you knowingly (or carelessly) overloaded it, causing an accident, I think you would be open to a negligence suit.

    But I am not a lawyer. I am an engineer and am often too logical with my thinking for the real world...
  10. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    This is absolutely ridiculous. I challenge you to find any case, anywhere in the USA, where anyone has used that as the basis for a successful lawsuit.

    I mean really, dude, if that was possible, then would U-Haul be renting bolt-on tow bars to anyone who wants them? Critical thinking appears to be lacking here.

    I am often shocked and astounded at how our litigious American society has made cowards of us all, afraid to take even the slightest risk, on the basis that somebody just might sue us for negligence or whatever. Sadly, your comments seems to indicate you actually agree with that self-defeating philosophy.

    Be bold! Live large, Gentle Readers. Illegitimi non carborundum.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
    Walt R likes this.
  11. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    Can't believe everything you read on the internet, but a quick search yielded this:

    "Manufacturer Towing Capacity
    Vehicle manufacturers designate a number of capacity limits; Payload, (total weight the vehicle can carry in the bed of a truck or in the interior of a vehicle), Gross vehicle weight rating , (total weight of vehicle , passengers and cargo), tongue weight (total weight applied to the vehicle’s hitch), and Towing capacity, (with and without weight distribution). Understanding the difference between “weight-carrying” and “weight-distributing” maximum towing capacities is essential; a “weight distributing” maximum is the most you can tow with an appropriate weight distribution hitch. “Weight Carrying” maximum load is is the most you can carry without a weight distribution hitch.A Weight distribution hitch is recommended when the trailer you are towing exceeds 40% of the vehicles weight.

    Towing in excess of the vehicle manufacturer’s weight limits could not only prove dangerous, but could even be considered negligent. In the event of an accident with an overweight personal vehicle, you could be held responsible for higher awards in a lawsuit for damages to other people, vehicles or property."

    Also stumbled on this:

    about pickups and liability for towing, but some quotes:

    "Unfortunately the majority of pickup owners/drivers never pay attention to trailered weight, tongue weight, or for that matter, any of the manufacturer’s requirements needed for the pickup they are driving to be properly-equipped.

    Such drivers believe as long as the truck’s front wheels touch the ground and it can accelerate and come to a stop, all is fine.

    Accident attorneys looking to pick deep pockets love that kind of thinking.

    An accident caused because the truck doing the trailer towing wasn’t being used in accordance to the manufacturer’s specifications is a huge liability issue, not to mention general saftey of the driver and occupants.

    It doesn’t matter what the salesman says, or anyone else. In a court of law the vehicle manufacturer’s stated limitations and requirements for the vehicle being properly equipped to tow a certain load is a hard fact.

    Smart attorneys looking to dig deep into corporate pockets for their client know this fact well.

    What the manufacturer requires in the vehicle’s owner’s manual, data plates and stickers on the truck, and trailer guides opens any company to legal liability in the event of any incident where the vehicle involved found to be towing outside those requirements."

    I'm pretty sure that towing with a vehicle that has manufacturer's statement of "Your vehicle is not designed to tow a trailer." might be a little problematic. I won't do it with my Clarity. But do as you wish. Lawyers need work, too.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  12. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Apologies if this is nit-picking, and I'm not trying to be argumentative here, but I'm guessing this isn't really what you intended to write. Perhaps you meant "...limits any company's legal liability in the event..." ?

    Surely the manufacturer can't be held legally liable for the customer exceeding the tow limits specified by that manufacturer?

  13. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I just quoted (copy and pasted) the article. The author was referring to a towing company, I believe, not the manufacturer...
  14. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Okay, thanks!

  15. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    I have the Curt 56284 wiring harness working with the Clarity. Basically, it was necessary to butcher the Curt harness wiring to correctly match the pinouts on the Clarity tail lights' wiring. This was because I did not know whether I could successfully disassemble the Curt wired pins from the white connectors without damaging the pins or connectors (no idea what this connector p/n is). They didn't look easy to take apart so I opted to cut the Curt T-harness wires and splice back together with butt splices.

    On the vehicle left side:
    Black: Ground?
    Blue-White: Left Turn
    Green-White: Brake
    Red: Tail Lights

    On the vehicle right side:
    Red-White: ?
    Green-White: Brake?
    Brown-White: Right Turn
    Black: Ground?

    On the Curt Input Side:
    White: Ground wire
    Brown: Tail lights
    Yellow: Left turn
    Red: Brake
    Green: Right turn
    Black: 12V power lead

    It gets confusing when you are doing it. Some tips: 1) Buy extra butt splices to allow for mistakes, 2) Have the Honda connector inserted into the Curt connector when you begin the clipping process, 3) keep the Honda connector and the Curt connector that will plug into the tail lights oriented the same to make it easier to get the pin-to-pin wires matched, 4) Clip the Curt harness wiring at the midpoint of the wire segments to give you the most flexibility, and 5) In the run of black power wire, leave a foot or so looped up in the trunk area so that if the Curt converter goes out and you need to wire another adapter down the road, you've got some extra handy (I only left a few inches looped there).

    Items to buy:
    Butt splices (at least 10)
    Zipties (4") pk of 30+
    Fuse splice w/ 10amp fuse
    RTV (recommended)

    Here are photos of the wiring and routing. The two most important photos in next post.

    01_FuseBox.JPG 02_L_Driver_Fl_Dash.JPG 03_L_Driver_Floor.JPG 04_L_Driver_Post_Floor.JPG 05_L_Rear_Psngr_Fl_Post.JPG 06_L_Rear_Psngr_Floor.JPG 07_L_Rear_Wheel_Well-to-Floor.JPG 08_L_Rear_Interior_Wheel_Well.JPG 09_L_Rear_IntoTrunk.JPG
  16. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    Final three pics including the necessary splicing of the Curt 56284 harness to match the Clarity pigtails.

    10_L_Rear_Elect_Harnesses.JPG 11_Lt_Light.JPG 12_Rt_Light.JPG
  17. DzSmith

    DzSmith New Member

    In case you choose to do it I found a towing set-up available. Plus I've always found the Uhaul people will always install set-up quickly for a reasonable price. https://torkliftcentral.com/honda-clarity

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