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Old 12-11-2014, 11:02 AM   #1
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Opinions on 2013 Honda CRV-EXL

We are considering a 2013 Honda CRV-EXL with 27,000 miles. Have there been any problems with this model that we should be aware of?

Is there a problem with battery discharge when towing?

Any comments will be appreciated!
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:11 AM   #2
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We have an 2011 and its a good vehicle. Except riding in it for a long distance. The passenger seat is very uncomfortable. I weigh 175# and found I needed to add a 1" chair pad to make it tolerable. Drivers seat is OK. Gets great mileage 30+ on the highway. The newer models will get better.

I have the SFI and have a fused wire running to the battery when connected. Pretty simple and fast to hook up.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:15 AM   #3
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If you drive at 65 mph or less you will be all right. I believe the factory says no pulling over 65 mph. There is a fuse to be pulled, but you can put a switch mod. that cost around $50.00 that is a easy install and will take care of that problem.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
We are considering a 2013 Honda CRV-EXL with 27,000 miles. Have there been any problems with this model that we should be aware of?

Is there a problem with battery discharge when towing?

Any comments will be appreciated!
We bought our CRV new. It has about 10K miles on it now and has never given any problems. As for dead battery, the OEM battery IMHO is undersized. It went dead on me while leaving the lights while filling with fuel. Honda tested the system and said it was good. So I think I will just replace it with a more robust battery.
That said, I have a charge wire that runs from the MH Engine cut-off switch, through a 30A fuse to the 1 o'clock pin on the 7 pin connector. Then at the car, I have a wire that runs to the battery through another 30A fuse.
Per the manual, you need to leave the Ign in the Aux position when towing. To accomplish this, I use the dummy key that came with the car. This way, I can lock and unlock the doors when we are parked say for lunch without having to go through the rig a ma roll of turning the switch on and off.
No need to pull fuses. You will hear others with more technical solutions but this is the least expensive and does the job very well without fail.
You won't be sorry buying a CRV. Great toad.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:29 AM   #5
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I think I read that the CRV was re-designed in 2012, not sure what changes were made
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
I think I read that the CRV was re-designed in 2012, not sure what changes were made
We were looking at the 2012 CRV until we saw the 2013. For US the biggest improvement was the fold down seats were pretty darn flat for hauling our 2 GSDs. I don't think there were any other body/style/amenity changes that really made that much more of a difference to us.

As to the battery discharge we don't use a charge line. We opted for a fuse disconnect switch that we installed into the coin change cubby hole to the left of the steering column. Works great with our Air Force One system that doesn't draw any measurable current from the battery system. A charge line might make some more sense with other systems that require use of a 12V power source to run.

The starting and set up for towing is pretty darn simple. Here is what we do:
  1. Set Park brake.
  2. Using the valet key, start and run it for 3 minutes. (We turn on the radio now if it is off.)
  3. During that 3 minutes shift it through all the gears. I start in the low gear and let it run for 1 minute then shift up to second for 1 minute and then to drive for 1 minute. Shift from Drive to Neutral when done! Do NOT shift from reverse to Neutral unless you want to replace the transmission.
  4. When shutting down the engine go one click past run to the "accessory" position. You should still hear the radio.
  5. If you use the fuse disconnect switch, activate it which will then kill the radio.
  6. After all of that we do our hookups and RELEASE THE PARK BRAKE!
  7. Lock care manually with key if desired.

REPEAT after 8 hours regardless of whether that was 8 hours of towing or sitting.

BTW...if you drove the car for any amount of time before you hook up, you can disregard the 3 minute run up but don't forget the 8 hour rule. Generally, that means we can run some place to breakfast, come back, complete our tear down and hook ups without going through that.

The tow speed limit is 65 MPH. Yes, you can exceed that on occasion but that should by far be the exception. Since I cruise at 62 MPH I will set the exhaust brake to ON while in hilly terrain which activates the exhaust brake at 65 MPH. With big down hills you still need to practice good speed control brake usage...at least in my coach I do.
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Old 12-12-2014, 09:50 AM   #7
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We have been towing a 2012 for about two years now and no issues. Pretty much same as the 2013. I agree that the CRV has a puny battery. I ran a charge line from the coach and we've not had issues.

We like the car overall.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:58 AM   #8
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No problems with 2013 CRV EXL AWD. Ran a charge line. Great all around vehicle. Easy to tow, lost of room, comfortable.
Honda quality and reliability.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:23 AM   #9
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07 CRV-EXL AWD 65K with another 37K behind tow different RV's.

Yes, we went with the US Gear braking system, and also ran a power line from the coach to the toad to maintain the battery.

We stop at least ever four hours, to let the dog out, and I walk the rig and run the CRV thru the gears at that time.

I also change the transmission fluid and differential, based upon total combined miles. The odometer may not reflect it is needed, and I have to specifically ask the shop to do the maintenance per my request.

The car has been very reliable, just keeps going and going!

Some modifications over the next two minor model changes after 2007, but I'd SWAG he 2007 is still 95% the same as the 2014 and earlier (2015, as most probably know, is no longer four wheel down tow able...).

A few negatives:
-Has never seen the smallest hill, that it will not downshift for
-Very soft on sound proofing. Wheel and wind noise is at best 'average'. (Drove the Acura RDX of 2007, and much quieter. Honda did their best to separate RDX from CRV, in someway stepping down the CRV.)
-The backseats are quickly uncomfortable for anyone other then children.
-AWD gets it done, but is not to be confused with an off road vehicle.
-For us, MPG has been disappointing:
75% easy highway, 25% local residential roads = 20.5-22MPG
25% easy highway, 75% local residential roads = 17.5-19MPG
100% highway at 65 and below, 27-29MPG.

The above was with me driving the car to and from work (the 75% highway/25 weekend local runs). Not stop and go, and cruise set at 62 MPH. We are not 'lead footed' drivers. And, this was with a tires that were good for MPG and set at 36PSI.

The positives:
-Reliable
-Good rear seat fold down options
-Rear view camera
-Acceptable stereo for OEM, with XM
-Good navigation
-Though I mentioned the AWD as a non real Off Roader. I will give it a positive for easy to moderate dirt roads, with stock size and for highway tires. Slow and easy, and it will get do you well. (A bit weak in soft sand, but no worse then any other AWD.)
-Before our Alaska trip this year, I went with a set of Plus One Yokohama Geolander(SP?). This raised the car by 1". We do see lower MPG, and much greater tire road noise as a result of this change. But, it gives the car a bit more of a safety edge for off road (dirt roads) exploring.

We bought the CRV for what I expected to be less then 4 years, because it had the best resale of any of the smaller size AWD SUV's that we had considered.

Now going into 2015 soon, we'll probably keep the CRV for another few years. I want to see how a few years of the Dodge 1500 Diesel, or Ford F150 Aluminum Models do in the real world. We'll change out Toad over to one of these in 4X4, Extended Cab, 8' beds (if available), with shell. Or, a distant 3rd on the list is the Diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee.). We want to retain 4X4, and I prefer the truck with shell - to allow a bit more storage capacity while on extended trips.

Lots more info then you asked for! But in a one sentence: The Honda CRV makes a great all around toad!

Best to all,
Smitty
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post
...

I also change the transmission fluid and differential, based upon total combined miles. The odometer may not reflect it is needed, and I have to specifically ask the shop to do the maintenance per my request....
OUTSTANDING REVIEW!

Just a note...per the owners manual tranny fluid must be changed every 2 years or 30,000 miles. Adding your MH miles to the odometer will give you that info.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:54 PM   #11
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Thanks to all of you for your comments!

Are you saying that the transmission change mileage should include all miles when in tow behind the MH? I had never thought about that!
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty77 View Post
07 CRV-EXL AWD 65K with another 37K behind tow different RV's.

Yes, we went with the US Gear braking system, and also ran a power line from the coach to the toad to maintain the battery.

We stop at least ever four hours, to let the dog out, and I walk the rig and run the CRV thru the gears at that time.

I also change the transmission fluid and differential, based upon total combined miles. The odometer may not reflect it is needed, and I have to specifically ask the shop to do the maintenance per my request.

The car has been very reliable, just keeps going and going!

Some modifications over the next two minor model changes after 2007, but I'd SWAG he 2007 is still 95% the same as the 2014 and earlier (2015, as most probably know, is no longer four wheel down tow able...).

A few negatives:
-Has never seen the smallest hill, that it will not downshift for
-Very soft on sound proofing. Wheel and wind noise is at best 'average'. (Drove the Acura RDX of 2007, and much quieter. Honda did their best to separate RDX from CRV, in someway stepping down the CRV.)
-The backseats are quickly uncomfortable for anyone other then children.
-AWD gets it done, but is not to be confused with an off road vehicle.
-For us, MPG has been disappointing:
75% easy highway, 25% local residential roads = 20.5-22MPG
25% easy highway, 75% local residential roads = 17.5-19MPG
100% highway at 65 and below, 27-29MPG.

The above was with me driving the car to and from work (the 75% highway/25 weekend local runs). Not stop and go, and cruise set at 62 MPH. We are not 'lead footed' drivers. And, this was with a tires that were good for MPG and set at 36PSI.

The positives:
-Reliable
-Good rear seat fold down options
-Rear view camera
-Acceptable stereo for OEM, with XM
-Good navigation
-
Quote:
Though I mentioned the AWD as a non real Off Roader. I will give it a positive for easy to moderate dirt roads, with stock size and for highway tires. Slow and easy, and it will get do you well. (A bit weak in soft sand, but no worse then any other AWD.)
-Before our Alaska trip this year, I went with a set of Plus One Yokohama Geolander(SP?). This raised the car by 1". We do see lower MPG, and much greater tire road noise as a result of this change. But, it gives the car a bit more of a safety edge for off road (dirt roads) exploring.

We bought the CRV for what I expected to be less then 4 years, because it had the best resale of any of the smaller size AWD SUV's that we had considered.

Quote:
Now going into 2015 soon, we'll probably keep the CRV for another few years.
I want to see how a few years of the Dodge 1500 Diesel, or Ford F150 Aluminum Models do in the real world. We'll change out Toad over to one of these in 4X4, Extended Cab, 8' beds (if available), with shell. Or, a distant 3rd on the list is the Diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee.). We want to retain 4X4, and I prefer the truck with shell - to allow a bit more storage capacity while on extended trips.

Lots more info then you asked for! But in a one sentence: The Honda CRV makes a great all around toad!

Best to all,
Smitty

Smitty, I really appreciate all your comments! It is my understanding that the new 2015 CRV's cannot be towed because they changed the transmission, but I'm sure you know about that.

A big reason we are getting the CRV is for the AWD. When we went out west in 2012 there were places we wanted to see that were way out on poor desert roads where I was afraid to take our Accord. For example, I think Monument Valley was one of those. Do you think we will be OK for those type things?
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:26 PM   #13
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Joe, a caution on using the CRV on roads with a really high crown, especially if there are ruts and rocks. It is not ideal for that.

We were exploring out of Buffalo, WY this summer and left the highway to drive into Crazy Woman Canyon. The road got rougher as we traveled and, in spite of my best efforts to maneuver around them, I bottomed out on some rocks in the road a few times. We just decided to abandon the effort and came out before seeing all to see. I did notice all the other folks going in and out were either in Jeeps or 4WD trucks.

Maybe, as Smitty noted, if you put the biggest tires that would fit on the car to get a bit more clearance, you could do that. We really like the CRV otherwise but IMO it is a fairly poor choice for some unimproved roads.

In fact we are pondering getting a Ford F150 toad so we can haul our golf car in the bed and also be able to drive on some of those roads we saw out West.... including Monument Valley. I took my 2008 Ford Explorer into Monument Valley a few years ago and the CRV would certainly not have been able to go in some of those places.

If we get the F150, we plan to keep the CRV as a secondary toad since there are times when we will not want to take the GC along.

Just something to consider.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Smitty, I really appreciate all your comments! It is my understanding that the new 2015 CRV's cannot be towed because they changed the transmission, but I'm sure you know about that.

A big reason we are getting the CRV is for the AWD. When we went out west in 2012 there were places we wanted to see that were way out on poor desert roads where I was afraid to take our Accord. For example, I think Monument Valley was one of those. Do you think we will be OK for those type things?

We have driven both the Valley of the Gods, and also paid to drive in do a self tour on the reservations portion of the Monument Valley. The reservation portion of Monument Valley was a much rougher ride then the Valley of Gods. But I suspect that could change year by year. (Made me laugh as I looked in the rear mirror to see a cloud of dust coming up fast behind us, and I knew it was not one of the higher profile trucks with bench seats for the tours. As it went by us at about 30MPH, it turned to be new Camero Convertible with low profile tires. I could see it scraping the front lower bumper as it came along side us, and really don't understand how it did not lose a muffler as he was dragging his underbelly over many parts of the road as i watched him pull away from us. We ran into him later at a gas station filling up, and in a brief conversation he commented 'It's a rental, so who cares.' It was a good refresher on why to really be careful when buying a car out of a rental fleet!!!) (And sorry for the side story, but it was one of those things you just had to see...)

When we did this, and many, many other dirt road rides of various difficulty, this was usually a stock size All Season High Performance tires, geared mostly for freeway travel, and bought based upon resistance to hydroplaning and dry traction, over mud/snow conditions.

Even with AWD for an extra edge, I've felt that I've been in a few locations that I was happy to get back out of. Sometimes backing up until I could turn around. I do feel the extra 1" of road clearance is a big help, and these Yokohama Geolander(SP) are much more suited to dirt roads.

When we go out on dirt roads that we don't know, we first ask people in the area about their opinions on the roads. We also check the weather forecast, and if any concern about rain/snow ahead, we wait for a different day.

In summary, if you are talking about really hitting some of the back country roads or possibly BLM land traveling beyond roads. And older well cared for Jeep Liberty that is Trail Rated, maybe a better choice. Or, a newer Jeep Wrangler. BOth of these have real 4X4 and Low Gear available to them. Higher ground clearance, and better angle of approach/departure. And both of those will have a penalty of less ride quality and lower MPG, except the older Diesel in the Liberty. I did not mention the Grand Cherokee here, but many feel very comfortable taking these off and about. And I've talked to owners with the V6 options that were quite pleased with their choice.

For having the ability to get out and explore, and more importantly having the reserve safety to be 'get back' during unusual weather or road conditions, I'd rate them this way:

1) Wrangler
2) Older Liberty
3) Grand Cherokee
4) CRV

First three all true 4X4, and very little penalty going to the Grand Cherokee over the Liberty (and a bit better ride on the highway, and more space).

For us, in a few years, we are interested in being able to have that extra reserve off road capability coupled with a bit more space for carrying a bit more when we're on extended trips. Thus the 4X4 1/2 Ford or Dodge trucks, or possibly the Grand Cherokee.

If you are planning on dirt roads like at Monument Valley, the CRV will take care of you. And for sure, has an edge over non AWD's.

Best,
Smitty
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