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Old 05-26-2013, 08:09 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Hill, NC
Posts: 51
Jerking/Chugging/bucking while towing--help?

First time out with toad:
32' Sunseeker 3170DS (class C)
Toad= 2003 Honda Odyssey
4 wheels down
Roadmaster Sterling All Terrain tow bar
Roadmaster EZ Baseplate/Bracket
Blue Ox Patriot Braking system
Van in "N" key to ACC

When we first felt the bucking we thought it was from bumpy roads. Then we thought the brakes were being applied to the van as light came on for just a few seconds (on the inside controller). We turned it down to a 2 and then a 1 and bucking continued.
Somewhere in there we realized that we didn't have the "towing/haul" switch on the end of the gearshift depressed so we did that.
When we were on level ground bucking continued.
This was a trial weekend trip but we are leaving cross country in 5 days and are now concerned.

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Old 05-26-2013, 08:36 PM   #2
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Sorry you're having difficulty. First, what does the owner's manual for the Odyssey say about towing? I looked at the 2003 FMCA Towing Guide and I did not find the Odyssey listed as towable 4 down.

Do you know the weight of the toad, and the towing capacity of your motorhome?

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Old 05-26-2013, 08:51 PM   #3
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First off which is causing the chugging and jerking the van or the RV

Second are you doing the correct gear run thru on the Odyssey?

Third if you are not going thru the gears or don't know how to do it I will send you the directions we tow an Odyssey 4down no worries
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
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Location: New Hill, NC
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you're right but Honda also issued a statement telling exactly how to tow the Odyssey. I've also seen that many people are towing without a problem.

We are within limits on towing weight too.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:38 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Hill, NC
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camping fan,

Good question; it may be a chicken and egg problem but we feel that the RV is jerking.
And, yes we are going through the gear process as Honda has issued in their letter, but thanks for the offer :-)
No problems towing it? That's good to know!
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:17 AM   #6
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I would check the tow bar to make sure it is locking properly. You will get some feel thru the bar on rough and uneven roads, but at a constant highway speed it should be fairly smooth.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:57 AM   #7
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Just a thought. Our daughter had a Mazda MPV that they initially thought had the transmission going out due to the bumping feeling when under load. The dealer finally put the van on the computer and drove it. Some of the coils (coil on plug) were not firing under load.

Have you have a through diagnosis run on the unit?

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Old 05-27-2013, 08:10 AM   #8
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Chugging and Jerking. Is this a Ford V10? First we'd need someone to tell us if this is engine missing versus something else going on with the toad or driveline.

Does it do it all the time? Part throttle? Full throttle?

Ford V10s are smooth, but when they lose 1-2 cylinders, they'll start to miss and you'll feel it. Ford V10s before 2005 have OBD-II, but they don't set a check engine light until the misfire count gets really high. To find the cylinders that are misfiring you need a diagnostic with "mode 6" access that can read the Ford-specific misfire count.

On my V10, the first problems were under high load (up a steep grade) - it would start to cut out, likely similar to towing load. IF that's the case, find a shop that can do a mode 6 Ford diagnostic and let them look. It takes about 10 minutes (or less) to read the misfire count. Again, a normal "engine scan" will not give misfire count.

Plugs on the V10 require someone paying attention to replace them. 2001-2003 vehicles are sensitive to correct torque on the plugs otherwise bigger problems show up.

Also replace the fuel filter every 20k. IT needs it as it uses a lot of fuel.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:17 AM   #9
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I believe TXiceman (Post #7) may really have the answer.

The easiest way to determine if its the blue ox supplemental brake unit is to unhook it and still tow and then see if you still have the symptoms.

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