General Fit Talk General Discussion on the Honda Fit/Jazz.

Honda Fit and teardrop camper, LOTS OF PICS :-)

  #1  
Old 09-17-2015, 08:59 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: South Carolina
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Honda Fit and teardrop camper, LOTS OF PICS :-)

Hi everyone, I thought I would share some recent success on something that I couldn't find a lot of information on when I first started researching the idea -- using a Honda Fit to pull a teardrop camper.

Here's a little background first. I'm a professional guidebook writer. Specifically, I write Visitors, Recreation and Information guidebooks for county and state governments. Business is booming right now I have to travel a good bit to do research and photography and for a couple years, I've either been staying in hotels or tent camping. I decided I wanted a teardrop camper to move to "glamping," i.e., very comfortable camping.

I ended up purchasing a 2016 Little Guy [email protected] Max. It's extremely comfy with plenty of room for two to sleep, A/C, an entertainment system with TV/DVD, and a full kitchen in the rear. The base dry weight is 1080 lbs. and the way I have it outfitted, it's probably in the 1200 lb. range when towing.

I've now done a number of trips with it and thought I would share my thoughts on towing a teardrop with a Fit:

-- MY CAR: 2008 Honda Fit Base, lots and lots of extras, 5-speed, 107,000 miles. More info on my Fit here: https://www.fitfreak.net/forums/fit-...ext-steps.html

-- TOWING: It pulls it with no problems. I sometimes forget it's back there unless going up a steep hill. I keep my speed right at 60 MPH, never more than 65 MPH, and on the steepest of hills, it does require dropping into 4th to keep it at 55-60 MPH.

-- BRAKING: Braking is fine. I definitely know that 1200 lbs. is behind me. I air on the side of safety and keep plenty of distance between me and the cars ahead. I did order my teardrop with electric brakes and I JUST ordered a wireless brake controller. (And yes, I did have to wire up a 7-pin for the [email protected] electrical/lighting. How many Fits out there have a 7-pin? ) The wireless brake controller + electric brakes should make it just about perfect.

-- GAS MILEAGE: I was really surprised by this. My Fit has a large Yakima rack system on it with a top box and I usually have a kayak or bike on top when I travel. On a good day, if I keep it below 80 MPH on the interstate, I can expect about 27-29 MPG. With towing the teardrop, plus all the crap on top, I'm consistently getting 24 MPG. This really surprised me. I was expecting right at 20.

-- OTHER THOUGHTS/CONSIDERATIONS: As stated, my car is a 5-speed. I really believe this helps the Fit tow the teardrop better. I feel like I have better control over power management and deceleration. By comparison, my girlfriend has a new 2016 Honda HR-V (great vehicle -- she traded her 2010 Fit by the way). We wanted to be able to tow with her car as well, so I installed a hitch and 7-pin. We've already taken a trip with it and even though the HR-V has 30+ more HP, it doesn't seem like there's as much control...could be the CVT transmission.

A couple years ago, I did install the Monroe air shocks and a Progress rear sway bar. These are MUST if towing. I raise the air pressure to 80 psi and the rear of the Fit rides at normal height with the teardrop (check out the first pic below...the Fit is more than level even with all that weight in the back). The tongue weight is right at 140 lbs. with the extras like propane, battery, and all the ancillary things stored in the front compartment.

I've attached a couple pics for your enjoyment.

I welcome any comments, thoughts, etc.























And just for kicks, here's my girlfriend's new Honda HR-V on a trip with the teardrop:

 
  #2  
Old 09-17-2015, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,509
That is a sweet setup you got there! I too have a 7 way trailer adapter. didn't do the wireless brake controller, honestly never knew they existed. Did a search and presto! I hard wired my brake controller and light module in. My 5x8 utility trailer is 875lb dry, and have easily hauled 1700lb gross with my GK. Its acceleration challenged but towing smart is the name of the game.

Those Little Guy trailers are sweet, but flipping expensive for what you get! I've seen smaller companies give you the bare essentials with the various compartments, and adding all the extra non mission critical stuff like entertainment center for cheap aftermarket.













 
  #3  
Old 09-17-2015, 10:15 AM
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Hey Bassguitarist1985, thanks! You're right about the [email protected] being pricey. I wanted something a little simpler, like a Runaway Camper, but my girlfriend wanted the comfy of the [email protected] She's camping with me more than half the time. I can try to blame her, but I'll admit, I am enjoying it A LOT! It's very easy to setup and there's nothing to add but linens and small kitchen items.

Just curious....what brake controller did you hard wire? I did lots of searches and couldn't find a brake controller specific for a Fit. The RV dealer recommended the wireless one, but it's expensive at over $300. I haven't installed it and I'm not beyond sending it back!


-
 
  #4  
Old 09-17-2015, 11:06 AM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Connecticut
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Originally Posted by scottbikesalot View Post

Just curious....what brake controller did you hard wire? I did lots of searches and couldn't find a brake controller specific for a Fit. The RV dealer recommended the wireless one, but it's expensive at over $300. I haven't installed it and I'm not beyond sending it back!
-
CURT Manufacturing - CURT Venturer Brake Control #51110

I installed this one above. I made a video of the installation too. I didn't show me doing the wiring but I state which wires to connect it to for the GK. Its the light green wire for the brake pedal integration.




Now your $300 wireless unit looks great! Easy install and little to no labor wiring it up. Its also inertia based, not time based like the controller I have. if you want inertia based, this unit is not that more expensive, I may eventually upgrade to this actually.

CURT Manufacturing - CURT TriFlex Brake Control #51140


I tow my trailer every other week for projects. I do want to go camping with it. I can easily add one of the popup tents meant for an 8ft pickup truck bed. Air mattress, lights, all easy and fairly cheap to the wallet.









 
  #5  
Old 09-17-2015, 11:29 AM
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Thanks for all the great info Bassguitarist1985. I'm going to watch your videos and seriously consider the same installation.


And I think the truck bed tent on a trailer is a really cool idea to get you off the ground when camping.
 
  #6  
Old 09-17-2015, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,509
Originally Posted by scottbikesalot View Post
Thanks for all the great info Bassguitarist1985. I'm going to watch your videos and seriously consider the same installation.


And I think the truck bed tent on a trailer is a really cool idea to get you off the ground when camping.
I agree! I'd like to get at least one more camping trip in before the winter here. One thing i need to add to the trailer is some nice LED floodlights. Great for lighting up the entire camp site! I got a popup canopy 12x12 to keep the rain and sun off the tent too.

Yes hope the wiring videos help you!
 
  #7  
Old 09-17-2015, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bassguitarist1985 View Post
I'd like to get at least one more camping trip in before the winter here.

:-) I had to chuckle about the winter comment. I'm in SC and I we're still blasting the A/C. And camping is year-round here
 
  #8  
Old 09-17-2015, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by scottbikesalot View Post
:-) I had to chuckle about the winter comment. I'm in SC and I we're still blasting the A/C. And camping is year-round here
I have a friend that just moved to Moore, SC. CT is about 83F today, but its borrowed time to say the least. Lived in CT all my life, never will get used to the cold weather!
 
  #9  
Old 09-18-2015, 07:50 AM
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I am jealous. I keep toying around with the idea, but haven't done it yet. Little guy is luxury, the runaway is basic and what I "need" but the tent platform is need and I can build my own.

I'm so jealous.
 
  #10  
Old 10-08-2015, 05:39 PM
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Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan - USA
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I own the same year (2008) and always wanted to haul a Tear Drop trailer with it! Everyone told me it was impossible. It's good to know that you actually can do it.

Will the 2016 models still be able to, do you think?
 
  #11  
Old 10-09-2015, 05:29 AM
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Seriously cool stuff - I may go get a trailer hitch!
Thanks for sharing!
 
  #12  
Old 10-16-2015, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Cassandra Tiensivu View Post
I own the same year (2008) and always wanted to haul a Tear Drop trailer with it! Everyone told me it was impossible. It's good to know that you actually can do it.

Will the 2016 models still be able to, do you think?
Yeah, I think the 2016 would tow it, but I'd recommend a manual over the CVT. As I stated, with my g/f's CVT-spec HR-V, which has more HP and overall just feels beefier, I still think my Fit has more control over the trailer and tows it better.

I would also REALLY recommend at a minimum installing the Monroe air shocks. As you probably know, any weight on the rear of a Fit causes it to squat.
 
  #13  
Old 10-17-2015, 09:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,509
Originally Posted by scottbikesalot View Post
Yeah, I think the 2016 would tow it, but I'd recommend a manual over the CVT. As I stated, with my g/f's CVT-spec HR-V, which has more HP and overall just feels beefier, I still think my Fit has more control over the trailer and tows it better.

I would also REALLY recommend at a minimum installing the Monroe air shocks. As you probably know, any weight on the rear of a Fit causes it to squat.
+1 this. Well worth the upgrade. My signature has the step by step tutorial for the GK. I'll always drive a manual till my legs no longer work! Screw the CVT! Cheers!
 
  #14  
Old 10-20-2015, 09:12 PM
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Thanks for posting this.. It is something I hope to get someday and am really glad I am looking at the right car for me.
 
  #15  
Old 02-22-2019, 09:12 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: SANFORD, FL
Posts: 1
Update

Originally Posted by scottbikesalot View Post
Hi everyone, I thought I would share some recent success on something that I couldn't find a lot of information on when I first started researching the idea -- using a Honda Fit to pull a teardrop camper.

Here's a little background first. I'm a professional guidebook writer. Specifically, I write Visitors, Recreation and Information guidebooks for county and state governments. Business is booming right now I have to travel a good bit to do research and photography and for a couple years, I've either been staying in hotels or tent camping. I decided I wanted a teardrop camper to move to "glamping," i.e., very comfortable camping.

I ended up purchasing a 2016 Little Guy [email protected] Max. It's extremely comfy with plenty of room for two to sleep, A/C, an entertainment system with TV/DVD, and a full kitchen in the rear. The base dry weight is 1080 lbs. and the way I have it outfitted, it's probably in the 1200 lb. range when towing.

I've now done a number of trips with it and thought I would share my thoughts on towing a teardrop with a Fit:

-- MY CAR: 2008 Honda Fit Base, lots and lots of extras, 5-speed, 107,000 miles. More info on my Fit here: https://www.fitfreak.net/forums/fit-...ext-steps.html

-- TOWING: It pulls it with no problems. I sometimes forget it's back there unless going up a steep hill. I keep my speed right at 60 MPH, never more than 65 MPH, and on the steepest of hills, it does require dropping into 4th to keep it at 55-60 MPH.

-- BRAKING: Braking is fine. I definitely know that 1200 lbs. is behind me. I air on the side of safety and keep plenty of distance between me and the cars ahead. I did order my teardrop with electric brakes and I JUST ordered a wireless brake controller. (And yes, I did have to wire up a 7-pin for the [email protected] electrical/lighting. How many Fits out there have a 7-pin? ) The wireless brake controller + electric brakes should make it just about perfect.

-- GAS MILEAGE: I was really surprised by this. My Fit has a large Yakima rack system on it with a top box and I usually have a kayak or bike on top when I travel. On a good day, if I keep it below 80 MPH on the interstate, I can expect about 27-29 MPG. With towing the teardrop, plus all the crap on top, I'm consistently getting 24 MPG. This really surprised me. I was expecting right at 20.

-- OTHER THOUGHTS/CONSIDERATIONS: As stated, my car is a 5-speed. I really believe this helps the Fit tow the teardrop better. I feel like I have better control over power management and deceleration. By comparison, my girlfriend has a new 2016 Honda HR-V (great vehicle -- she traded her 2010 Fit by the way). We wanted to be able to tow with her car as well, so I installed a hitch and 7-pin. We've already taken a trip with it and even though the HR-V has 30+ more HP, it doesn't seem like there's as much control...could be the CVT transmission.

A couple years ago, I did install the Monroe air shocks and a Progress rear sway bar. These are MUST if towing. I raise the air pressure to 80 psi and the rear of the Fit rides at normal height with the teardrop (check out the first pic below...the Fit is more than level even with all that weight in the back). The tongue weight is right at 140 lbs. with the extras like propane, battery, and all the ancillary things stored in the front compartment.

I've attached a couple pics for your enjoyment.

I welcome any comments, thoughts, etc.























And just for kicks, here's my girlfriend's new Honda HR-V on a trip with the teardrop:

Since posting this how have things been going? I am looking to retire soon and am looking at seeing what I can tow with my 2016 Honda Fit EX. Thanks for sharing.
Sandy
 
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