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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I have a 2014 mdx awd Tech pkg .
Going on a 7hr road trip each way ... with people.

Need a small trailer for carrying baggage.

What's the smallest, cheapest way to rent one for a week... drop off same location?
I do have OEM hitch.

I see Uhaul has a 4x8 footer.

Any tips on driving with trailer?
Thx...
Kris

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Roof box is a popular option, but the 3rd gen MDX is a challenging endeavor for roof boxes if you have the OEM roof rack/cross bars. Thule roof boxes must be made of gold for what they ask for them, Yakima has always been my choice. Here is a good thread, I think the useful details start around page 13 or so.

http://www.mdxers.org/forums/94-thi...present/53394-factory-roof-rack-concerns.html

One of my favorite ironies on this forum is people complaining that Acura designers only care about aesthetics when they design the roof rack, but then the same people complain about the aesthetics of how the roof box sits (pointed too high in the front), ha!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks much ... forgot to mention I don't have a roof rack....!

I guess Uhaul is an option...

Lemme ask my friend if he has a trailer to lend.
Thx

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If you've never towed before, there is a big learning curve. It changes everything when it comes to parking, backing up, changing lanes, fuel mileage, drive thru (if that is your thing), etc. The fact that you don't have an OEM roof rack sort of opens up more options. Look at that thread, you'll see some alternate solutions. Or get a hitch mounted carrier, I think you'll find both options more livable than a trailer.
 

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Do not get a bigger trailer than you need. Especially, do not get a taller trailer than you need, because if it sticks out above the tow vehicle, it will destroy fuel economy. Practice around town a bit before you commit to the open road, especially if no one in your group has towing experience. Consider renting a big honking SUV or passenger van as a backup plan.

Backing a trailer is an acquired skill; avoid doing it if you don’t have to. If you do have to back up, take it slow and do not be afraid to have someone spot for you outside the vehicle. Make sure you can see and hear your spotter!

Sharp corners are a hazard because the trailer turns a tighter radius than the tow vehicle. You might hit curbs, or worse, on the inside of the turn. Go slow and use your mirrors!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all.

I booked that uhaul 4x8. Total for a week comes to $15a day plus 50 insurance plus
134(wiring and install charges for brakes lights and signals) and a ball towing adapter for like 10 dollars.

Question:

OEM hitch has a required 3500lb tow capacity right? That's what uhaul said.

Also how much will gas mileage suffer..We're not packing it to full capacity...Say an extra 30% in gas ?

Is letting them to install wiring safe for the Acura?



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If you have the OEM hitch you very likely have the OEM wiring harness which will appear as a round 7 wire plug on the left side of the hitch. All that should be required to connect the Uhaul trailer is a simple adapter plug that will connect the Uhaul 4 pin plug to the factory 7 pin. If your MDX is FWD then you towing capacity will be 3500lbs. If you have sh-AWD and the factory transmission fluid cooler then your towing capacity will be 5000lbs.
As was previously mentioned, get the smallest/lowest trailer you can as this will make pulling it very easy.
 

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If the only thing you expect to tow is a U-Haul or similar utility trailer, a 4-flat connection is all you need and U-Haul should be able to install a simple kit. They do it all the time and it should be perfectly safe. Modern kits have custom connectors for the vehicle.

Acura sells a more complex RV-style wiring harness that is designed to provide a 7-pin round style receptacle at the OEM hitch ( about $200 from a local dealer ). It would require an inexpensive 7-round to 4-flat adapter for the U-Haul trailer ( $10-15 ). I have installed this wiring harness after the hitch is in place, but it requires either temporarily lowering the hitch ( as Acura recommends ) or wrestling to pull the bumper cover away from the hitch so you can install the receptacle. I did the latter. If you're not comfortable with messing with vehicle trim and electrical connections, it's probably best to have an Acura dealer install the Acura kit, which is at least an hour of labor, so that solution will probably cost $300 or more.

Vehicle is rated for 3500 pounds with the OEM hitch. If the vehicle is AWD and has the accessory ATF cooler installed, rating goes to 5000 pounds ( but it's exactly the same hitch ). 3500 pounds will be plenty for a small U-Haul or utility trailer.

With a small trailer lightly loaded, fuel economy may drop into the high teens at Interstate speed. Stiff crosswinds could drop it into the mid teens. If you're willing to slow down a bit, the impact will be less.
 

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Have you thought about just putting the excessive baggage up on the roof in a roof box or roof bag on a roof rack (but I don't know if you have a roof rack)? It eliminates the hassles of a trailer. Don't forget - when you load the flat 4x8 trailer with baggage it means your baggage is just sitting there whenever you stop at a restaurant or other places along the way - i.e. it's not very secure. It's also a hassle parking and backing up with a trailer - especially if you're not used to it.

The other option was mentioned earlier - a hitch cargo box. It won't hold as much as a trailer but it easier on the towing/hauling.

I've rented U-Haul 4x8 flat trailers a number of times, it's much less expensive than owning a pickup for the occasional need, and found them to be inexpensive and never had a problem with the U-Haul place installing the wiring adapters but I always had factory wiring harnesses in place for my hitches.

Of course, people can also just bring half the baggage they'd normally bring and do fine with it and possibly eliminate many of your problems.
 

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I'm assuming the 4x8 trailer you reserved is an enclosed one (the smallest UHaul rents). My experience was towing a 5x8 enclosed UHaul trailer from NH to Boston to NYC a few years ago to move my son, with my (then) 2013 MDX. The experience was painless, and the MPG's only dropped about 2-3 from what I'd normally get. That's a very light trailer and pulls with ease. Just make sure you check the road requirements and don't make the mistake I did and get on the Merrit Parkway and have to get back off again :) . I'd do it again in a heartbeat. But if you haven't towed before, do make sure you practice when picking it up in areas like a parking lot, especially backing up. As others have said, it's an acquired skill that's not hard, but you don't want your first experience to be when you're loaded and on the road.

What do you have on your MDX to start - any hitch at all? Or any wiring? on my '13 MDX I had uhaul install a Curt aftermarket hitch and their connector-based adapter for wiring - and it went well and was inexpensive. Others will say the OEM setup is better, but unless you're towing a big trailer a lot, the aftermarket options are more than adequate. on my new '17 MDX I put the Curt aftermarket on, taking about 20 minutes to install, and then plugged the aftermarket Curt wiring option into the box connectors in the rear of the MDX - took about 5 minutes to install. Cost me total about $150 vs the ~$400 for the OEM setup, just for parts.

Good luck!

andy
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thx all.
Mines an awd mdx 2014 tech pkg.

I can open the trunk with that uhaul 4x8 enclosed trailer attached, right?

Driving from pa to chapel hill nc...soon.

The McD and Wendy's have trailer parking right? Lol...assuming...only if we have to go to non rest area restaurants.


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I find the aero dynamics of the trailer affects fuel economy the most. Towing a big box will definitely hit the MPG. A really heavy short box hardly has effect on fuel economy.

There's not much to towing a trailer when driving forward as long as you remember that it's there.
Double check all the towing connections before driving. Check all the lights and brakes everytime you hook up.
Be very cautious if you ever need to slam on the brakes. Release brake and hit the throttle slightly if you ever encounter instability/sway.

Be safe.
 

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I can open the trunk with that uhaul 4x8 enclosed trailer attached, right?
[...]
The McD and Wendy's have trailer parking right? Lol...assuming...only if we have to go to non rest area restaurants.
Opening rear hatch will be no problem.

Truck stops have plenty of trailer parking. :wink:

Otherwise, you might have to be a pig about parking spaces, but the 4x8 U-Haul isn't very long. The trick is to pull through if there are spaces front to back ( but if you have to do it at an angle, remember to swing wide before you enter, and watch side clearance with your mirrors! ). Or park along a curb at the outskirts of the parking lot, or on a street. Or drop someone off and have them get take-out while someone stays with the vehicle, and take shifts on rest room breaks. It just adds to the adventure. :grin:

In dire need, the advanced technique is to pull into a row crosswise, then turn hard left and get the vehicle pointed back out, so if someone parks in the next space in front of you, you can still get out!
 

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Remember to load the trailer properly with more weight forward than aft or else the trailer can become unstable and start bouncing around.

Also - I can't remember if the U-Haul 4x8 trailers normally have a spare tire but you'll want one of those and know how to change it if needed since you'll be driving it non-locally.
 

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None of the U-Haul trailers I've rented have come with spare tires. However, if you get a flat on a trailer tire you can call U-Haul and they will send roadside assistance to you to take care of it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Remember to load the trailer properly with more weight forward than aft or else the trailer can become unstable and start bouncing around.

Also - I can't remember if the U-Haul 4x8 trailers normally have a spare tire but you'll want one of those and know how to change it if needed since you'll be driving it non-locally.
I think this connector came with the oem hitch....

I'm kinda worried it's secured by a pin! And not a screw and nut...is this ok?

The steel ball tow adapter thingy that I'll buy from uhaul will screw into this I think.


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That cotter pin is the correct way to attach the tow bar into the receiver. A nut/bolt would be incorrect.
 
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