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Old 07-06-2014, 06:58 AM   #1
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Question Four-Down/Dinghy Tow

Need Help....
Which vehicle would be capable of a
4-Down, Flat Tow behind a RV
& which vehicle would
be a better choice??
***2001 Mazda Protege or
***2007 Honda Element SC
Thank you.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:16 AM   #2
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Jerry I'd go to FMCA's website, they do a dingy towing guide every year.
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:18 AM   #3
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You might want to check the RemcoTowing website. It is a comprehensive database of what vehicles can be towed 4-down and what modifications need to be made to others to make it possible to tow them: Store : Remco
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:38 AM   #4
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Four-Down/Dinghy Tow

Did you look at the owners manual under towing behind a recreational vehicle? You first need to know if the car can be flat towed. Don't believe what even the dealer says, read the manual. Don't make the mistake of looking at just "towing" or "towing by a wrecker", which have different meanings and instructions.

I have an '07 Honda Acord, it can not be flat towed, but my '13 Honda CR-V can be flat towed. I had a Honda dealer say that no Honda's could be flat towed. He obviously did not have a clue.

I have even seen that the tow bar manufactures are not up to date on their sites. The actual owners manual is what you need to go by.

I had a '05 Ford Escape, which was able to be flat towed, but any model after '12 could not (if I remember correctly).
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:04 AM   #5
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Roadmaster makes a base plate for both of them.

Remco has no info on the Mazda and say the Honda can be towed as is.
Remco also says Blue Ox doesn't have a base plate for the Honda
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:09 AM   #6
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Neither of those models are factory-approved for 4-down towing if equipped with an automatic transmission. However, the Honda Element shares a drive train with a model that is approved, so probably ok (and Remco Towing concurs with that).

A Honda CRV or FIT would be a better choice than either of those two - simialr sized, factory approved and equipment widely available for them. And lots of positive experience from RVers.
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:10 AM   #7
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Find an owner's manual for the dinghy online or ask to see at dealer. If the manual has specific instructions about how to tow four down/behind an RV, it will be OK. If there aren't instructions and salesperson says it is possible, I would ask for a letter from the factory saying it is OK. Motor Home Magazine and FMCA both have comprehensive lists for the last decade or so. Those lists are 99% accurate based on the few there are retractions published. I don't believe you need to be a subscriber to view the lists.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:31 AM   #8
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Honda Element (Manual)
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:48 PM   #9
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We tow a 2006 HONDA Element and LOVE it we get plenty of space inside, good gas mileage, easy to park in small spaces, and its fun to drive. We use it for our delivery car for our biz and my wife would rather drive that tahn the new Odyssey mini van in the garage... If we could find a deal on 5speed sc we would be all over it. We have towed Honda's for years 2 Odysseys and the element they all tell you to go through the gears special honda thing but we are really going to look for a 5speed on our next one its just easier and less worry.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:15 AM   #10
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Thank you so much!!
I'm so glad to hear this because I, too
Love my Honda Element!!
(2007 Honda Element SC;Manual)
By the way, do you remember where
you purchased your tow bar, plate &
accessories? What's the Brand/
Manufacturer? Estimated cost?
Thanks again~
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:23 AM   #11
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We purchased our towing equipment from PPL Motorhomes. They usually have good and sometime free shipping. We don't have a Honda but they have equipment for all models. Our choice was Demco baseplate and towbar. They work great for us. Good Luck on what you decide.
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:15 PM   #12
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I think we used www.etrailer.com if I used them they were prob the cheapest but now that I think about it I called my local mom and pop camper dealership not the local moho dealer and they matched the price of etrailer and we got it quicker I installed it myself fairly easy and then took it back to mom and pop shop to have them wire it up. If you ever want to sell that sc let me know we are always looking for another element.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:12 AM   #13
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Four-Down/Dinghy Tow

rockwell..... We also flat tow our 2004 Element. My owners manual gives the specific procedure to prep the AT for flat towing. Sometime starting around 05 or 06, as I understand, Honda withdrew the flat tow approval. Several folks in the Element Owners Club checked on this, and concluded that this was strictly a Honda USA Legal Dept initiative, there was no basis for it in engineering. Many have been towing later model Elements with no problem, as long as you follow the prep sequence. We've been towing for two years and about 15K miles with no problems.
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