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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone come across a trailer or trailer-kit that could be used to pull a canoe behind an Insight? Does Harbor Freight or any place like that sell something I could get registered and put a plate on?
 

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while on the topic, does anyone know if it would be possible to tow a motorcycle with our lovely little car? (hope im not thread-jacking)
 

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I ran across a link for a single canoe trailer a while back. It seams to combine the features you where asking about. It looks like the type of trailer that Harbor Freight carries with an extended tongue and some bolsters for the boat. If you are at all handy I bet it is not too hard of a modification.

http://www.glen-l.com/designs/trailer/canoe-bt2.html
 

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With my roof rack I only lose about 5-7mpg with the CVT.

Unless you have a wooden canoe, might want to consider the roof rack option. It took some arm-twisting (the local Saris dealer had to track down the guy at Saris who knew they made the roof rack model I'd identified from an old fitting guide) but I'm actually pretty impressed by the Saris, even as a devout Thule user.
 

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Well,

I guess you already know that there is no "easy" point under the car for a hitch. Nor it there one manufactured, it will be a custom job. And that the Insight is NOT designed to "tow" anything. The addidtional load (depends on how much and how far) will unbalance the IMA control algorythms and you'll likely and unaviodably depleate its SoC. Running down the road the pattern of forced charge :arrow: SoC depletion would continously repeat. Not good for the IMA batteries. If yours is a CVT _rapid_ damage to the belt (compression link chain) will result _if_ the loads cause too much additional "slippage". Read, total transmission failure.

With that in mind there are a couple of Insighters that have sucessfully added hitches (mainly for hitch type bike racks) and mini trailers. i.e. the motorcycle variety, without incident.

I'd suspect that the canoe trailer would be quite heavy and be pushing the envelope. For me, my 19' Winnona is also an aerodynamic nightmare when roof racked on our Civic Hx. I can't imagine any long distance travels with it on an Insight.

HTH! :)
 

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As far as IMA and so on go, I don't see how pulling a trailer (particularly a very light one) would be any different than extended hill climbing. I regularly climb 5-6% grades of several thousand feet in my 5 spd. The stock IMA algorithms don't really handle this well (gviving too much assist & rapid SOC depletion), but I manage by going to a lower gear at part throttle, so assist doesn't come on. I don't know about CVT, maybe "sport" mode?

You also have to consider the draw weight of the trailer. A very light one, like the bike/kayak one I linked to, shouldn't add much load at all. I wouldn't want to take use it for long drives at freeway speeds, but for local roads I'd think it would be fine.
 

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james said:
As far as IMA and so on go, I don't see how pulling a trailer (particularly a very light one) would be any different than extended hill climbing.
Precisely my point. But as long as the trailer is attached its analogous to driving up hill both ways (continously). Yes, SoC depleats and or the charge / discharge cycle causes thermal management to kick in. Try driving around with the extra load and no assist. :shock: Yes, on downhill slopes SoC would recharge, only to be rapidly sucked down again.

Its _official_ the Insight is _not_ ment for trailering anything. Nor have all the safety and wear / tear consequences been discussed. But with a car that can _easily_ be overloaded with a passenger and related cargo the next step up of a trailer needs to be carefully considered.
 

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James,

You should install a clutch switch, this will disable IMA on hill climbs, I go up a 7% grade every day, and I disable assist on the way up, I only use it when it's needed.

See the thread "How to disable Regen/Assist"
 

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The clutch switch is a good idea if you have a 5 speed and if it works. Apparently some of the newer 5 speed Insights don't accept this mod.

I have pulled some assinine trailer loads in my distant past, like an upright piano with a cast iron frame 250 miles at night on back roads in a converted lightweight boat trailer with a small engine Honda. I survived a blown tire and didn't destroy the car, but that didn't mean it was a sane idea. :oops:

Pulling any trailer requires a more professional driving attitude, but if you feel it is worth the risk and effort, just be sure to do it right and drive conservatively. ;)
 

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"But as long as the trailer is attached its analogous to driving up hill both ways (continously)."

That depends on how long your "both ways" is going to be. In my case, it can be about 70 miles of pretty constant uphill, from near sea level to about 8500 ft. I do most of it in 3rd - the Insight is perfectly happy in that gear at freeway speeds.

So if you're going to be pulling a light trailer with a MT, just downshift :) But the key word here is light. Honda, like most if not all automakers, puts a lot of things in its user manual for defensive reasons. When they say no trailers, they're aiming at the sort of person who'd try to tow a power boat or 30-foot camping trailer, then claim warranty repairs.

People need to use a little common sense. If the draw weight of the trailer is low enough that it can be towed behind a bike, you're probably going to be putting less load on the engine than you would putting the canoe on a roof rack, since that'd create mucho aerodynamic drag while a trailer would be in the Insight's wake.

Personally, the only thing that stops me from getting one for my sailboard and the kayak I wish I had is that I just haven't had time for sailboarding or kayaking lately :-(

"You should install a clutch switch, this will disable IMA on hill climbs..."

Actually I should just get my MIMA install finished. Haven't had time for that, either, though maybe sometime this month.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, the canoe only weighs about 60 pounds and even if it were in-front of the car probably has a better aerodynamic coefficient of drag than the car does. The trailer I'm hoping for shouldn't weigh more than 100 lbs or so. In reality it should not present any appreciable additional load on the engine and may even help smooth-out what little slipstream the Insight creates. An extended tail so-to-speak. It's a 5-spd by the way.
 

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160 pounds sounds quite reasonable to me, a lightweight efficient car pulling a lightweight efficient watercraft. 8)
 
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