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I'm a new 2011 Insight owner. I have a small sail boat which I take to the local lakes on a trailer. Total weight for both is approx. 500lbs. Anyone have good or bad experience with a tow hitch? I know the maual says it is a no-no.
 

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I'm a new 2011 Insight owner. I have a small sail boat which I take to the local lakes on a trailer. Total weight for both is approx. 500lbs. Anyone have good or bad experience with a tow hitch? I know the maual says it is a no-no.
500 lbs is really not too heavy....It may depend on what else you are bringing with you in terms of how many people and cargo....

If it is just you and perhaps one other person with light cargo, should not be much different compared to 4 full sized adults, some cargo without the trailer / boat combo.

Plus the weight of the hitch and if there is a good strong place underneath to attach it. ( I almost forgot about that part )

JoeCVT = Just your average CVT owner
 

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The trusty owners manual

I saw you question and I thought just for the heck of it I would look and see what the owners manual said. It's not what I expected:

Towing a Trailer

Your vehicle is not designed to tow a
trailer. Attempting to do so can void
your warranties.

334


That's not the short version. That is literally all the manual says. At least my pdf version.

Be careful...
 

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Thanks, JoeCVT. U-Haul has a hitch package with lights for about $275.00 installed. Always safer to have a professional do the job.
 

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Thanks. I did see that in the manual. Why would "they" make a hitch for this vehicle if it isn't designed to tow? U-Haul and other on-line dealers.
 

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Towing a 500 lb trailer couldn't be any worse than going uphill in a headwind. I wouldn't worry about it.

Sam
 

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"They" don't care if you void your warranty.

"They" don't care if it does damage to your car.

"They" figure people are going to do it anyway, so why not make a few bucks off of them.

"They" don't have a package designed for the 2011 Insight. You don't really think "they" got a 2011 Insight, designed a kit for it, and tested it, do you? What "they" have is a small car kit and minimum wage employees creative enough to hook it up to most small cars.
 

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Towing a 500 lb trailer couldn't be any worse than going uphill in a headwind. I wouldn't worry about it.

Sam
Did you mean for those words to come out like that when you typed it?

The forces that a trailer put on a tow vehicle don't begin to compare with with static weight inside the car or a car by itself in any condition.
 

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Originally posted by Jayemtee
The forces that a trailer put on a tow vehicle don't begin to compare with with static weight inside the car or a car by itself in any condition.[/QUOTE]

Jayemtee is right. I wouldn't do this under any circumstances.
 

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I hung out on the Prius forums prior to getting my Insight (I was leaning that way for a while prior to seeing the light) anyway you should have heard the story and seen the pictures of what those guys tow with that car. As an example, small fishing boats, tandem axle U-Haul trailers, one picture showed a Prius owner with a small race car behind his Prius. That said I probably wouldn’t do it with an Insight, it’s not finding a strong point to attach to that worries me the most as the CVT does.
 

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"They" don't care if you void your warranty.

"They" don't care if it does damage to your car.

"They" figure people are going to do it anyway, so why not make a few bucks off of them.

"They" don't have a package designed for the 2011 Insight. You don't really think "they" got a 2011 Insight, designed a kit for it, and tested it, do you? What "they" have is a small car kit and minimum wage employees creative enough to hook it up to most small cars.
What he said. Don't do it!
 

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Why would "they" make a hitch for this vehicle if it isn't designed to tow?.
There are other accessories that require a hitch besides toweing

examples - bike rack - cargo carrier.

I am thinking about getting a hitch only to use a small cargo carrier:

Custom Trailer Hitch Products, Custom Receiver Hitch, Heavy Duty Towing, Curt Manufacturing

I would use if for a large cooler, or maybe something that I did not want to put in back.

I plan to talk with the service department before I purchase the hitch and carrier.

Tim
 

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Did you mean for those words to come out like that when you typed it?

The forces that a trailer put on a tow vehicle don't begin to compare with with static weight inside the car or a car by itself in any condition.
Yes, I meant exactly what I said. A 500 lb trailer would have about 50 lb tongue weight. We've all heard of people overloading their cars way worse than this. Assuming the hitch is mounted correctly, I would be more concerned about the lack of power that we deal with, and I just don't see a problem.

I come from the Miata world, and our Miatas aren't supposed to tow anything either. I have a friend who towed a 2000 lb trailer over 3,500 miles. It wasn't much fun, but the car is alive and well many years later. I just don't see a big deal towing this boat to a local lake. I would do it without a second thought if I felt like it. And if I actually had a boat to tow.

Sam
 

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Tim, have you looked under your car to see the layout of the structural components?
I am taking delivery in a few hours so I have not looked under it.

I am hoping that a hitch will be able to go on it - I thought I read on this site that someone installed one for a bike rack with a 1 1/4" x 1 1/4" reciever.

The link I provided above sells a cargo carrier with maximum weight rating of 300lbs this size reciever.

I only plan on putting 100 to 150 lbs on the carrier-

Maybe this is a bad idea -

If I cant install a hitch on it I will make due, just would be nice for transporting a few things I dont really want in the back -

Tim
 

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One final clarification from me, and y'all can justify it all day long if you want. It is wrong on many technical, design, and engineering levels.

You buy your car, you do what you want. I just wanted to inform, not enforce.

Will it work once? Probably. Twice? Maybe. 3 times? 100 times? Just be aware that you are exceeding design limitations of several factors including structural, load distribution, and drive train. I do hope that innocent people are not injured if/when it fails.
 

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It is wrong on many technical, design, and engineering levels..
Your input is appreciated but I am not so sure you can take such a strong position on this topic for a bike rack.

I agree 100% about towing, but for me I need to do some research before I completely disregard a bike rack or a light cargo carrier.

I am not looking to be confrontational, just trying to fully understand your concerns.

I did take delivery yesterday and looked underneath - you are not kidding - I dont see any structure to attach too. But I have been surprised by the creative configurations from a credible hitch manufacture in the pas.

Tim
 

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Are there bolt points to attach the hitch? ...or how does the aftermarket hitch attach?

I'm used to the cars I've driven, all of them except for my 1st Gen Insight(only has enough power to carry its own 1900 pounds up a steep hill) have bolt holes to mount the hitch with. My 95 Geo Prizm, a small car with a 1.8L engine has three bolts on each frame member directly in front of where the rear impact car is attached, its about the strongest area in the rear of the car that I could put a 2000lbs trailer(200lbs tongue) hitch on.

If the 2nd Gen Insight has that, I see no issues other than the standard stuff like whether or not the engine, brakes, suspension, and weight balance will work out. You don't need a tank of an SUV to tow a boat. Growing up as a kid, my family towed a ski boat with 4 people in the car and a bunch of luggage up north with a 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix. We wouldn't have gone across the country with a setup like that but it worked just fine and was within the ratings.

...so the question is, how does the 2nd Gen Insight hitch mount?
If you want to carry a bike on the back, you don't need a trailer hitch, they make cheaper options for that that don't require a hitch. If you aren't pulling anything with the car it shouldn't matter but if you are towing a 500 pound boat, be sure that you are confident in the mounting points and their ability to support a full-on brake slam with 500lbs multiplying to a tremendous amount of weight beyond 500lbs of force.
 

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If the Insight didn't have a CVT, but rather had the normal (fragile) Honda automatic transmission, I would be more likely to want to tow something with it.

With the CVT? Not a chance.
 
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