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Old 07-17-2018, 03:19 PM   #1
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Honda 2011 Pilot AWD towing concerns

The wife and I found a good deal on an awesome Lance 1685 camper with a dry weight of 3950lbs. We've confirmed our Honda Pilot towing capacity is 4500lbs. I'm hesitant about purchasing the Lance because the dry weight is so close to the maximum towable. Does anyone here tow with a Pilot? Has anyone here towed a trailer that close to their max towable weight? We sure could use some seasoned advice.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:58 PM   #2
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I towed with a Honda Ridgeline. The Honda Pilot twin.

The Ridgeline towed a 5,000lb camper locally for 2 years ok. As long as I did not exceed 55 mph the Ridgeline was ok. Not great, but ok. I could not tow at highway speeds as the rig became unstable.

It was not until we decided to travel further distances that I realized I needed a bigger truck. Traded the Ridgeline in of a F-150 which towed this same trailer much much better and faster. Easily towing slightly over highway speed limits.

Now the Lance is a more aerodynamic trailer than I had. With the right WD and sway control there is a better than 50/50 chance you will be ok. The money you save on the great deal on the Lance should be used for good WD/Sway control.

Look for responses from SmokeyWren. Often times he will list the very best devices to control sway.

WD and sway control tie the trailer to the truck better so they act and feel more as one unit.
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:27 PM   #3
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Thanks Tuffr2.
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:29 PM   #4
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I'd recommend great caution. Considering the trailer's dry weight and then adding on the weight of a battery, propane tanks, and then all the stuff you want to take camping, you'll likely be right at or maybe a bit over your Pilot's towing capacity. You'll also want to looking into your payload capacity. Figure in about 13% of your trailer's total weight (fully loaded), your passengers, and anything you'll take with you in the Pilot. Even with a good WDH, your Pilot could be in over its head.
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:44 PM   #5
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There was another point a while back that Honda specifically says do not use a WDH setup with the Pilot, I believe due to the uni-body design, you can not throw weight forward to the front to level. The Pilot isn't a tow vehicle, it was not designed to be one. Can you get by with it? Maybe for a while. Will you enjoy the experience? Nope. If I hooked anything to one, it would be a super-light pop-up or a Rpod.
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I towed with a Honda Ridgeline. The Honda Pilot twin.

The Ridgeline towed a 5,000lb camper locally for 2 years ok.
With all due respect when you have a vehicle with a 4,500 pound towing capability and you tow 5,000 pounds then you are operating outside the legal performance envelope for the vehicle.

That's not to say that everyone will have a problem doing this, but if you had an accident you would be starting from a position of not being in compliance with the capabilities of your vehicle.
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:51 PM   #7
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Never look at the dry weight. The GVWR of that Lance is 5500lbs. You're way over your tow capacity right there.

We had a Durango with a 5K tow capacity. Our 24ft Aerolite (GVWR 4400lbs) was a smidge under 4k loaded. Even with it being well within our SUV's tow capacity, we got a lot of wag-the-dog & push when passed by larger trucks. The suspension just wasn't beefy enough for even that weight of TT.

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Old 07-17-2018, 07:18 PM   #8
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If you were one of my kids I'd tell you don't do it. Way too much trailer for your Honda, I don't care what the specs claim.


The problem comes in during an emergency maneuver or a full on panic stop. Not safe.
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeEvans View Post
The wife and I found a good deal on an awesome Lance 1685 camper with a dry weight of 3950lbs. We've confirmed our Honda Pilot towing capacity is 4500lbs. I'm hesitant about purchasing the Lance because the dry weight is so close to the maximum towable.
Yeah, there is that. But that's probably not your limiter. Your payload capacity available for hitch weight is probably your limiter as to how heavy a TT you an tow without being overloaded.

Payload capacity available for hitch weight = GVWR of the Pilot minus the wet and loaded weight of the Pilot. "Wet" means full of gas. "Loaded" means the SUV is loaded with everybody and everything that will be in it when towing. People, pets, tools and jacks, cooler full of cool, whatever will be in it when towing. So yes you need to load the Pilot with everybody and everything that will be in it when towing, drive to a truck that has a certified automated truck scale, fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded Pilot.

Divide the payload capacity available for hitch weight by 13% and the answer is the maximum weight of any TT you can tow without being overloaded. I'll bet it's less than 4,500 pounds.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:05 PM   #10
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The 1685 is a great trailer. Was a top seller for Lance for many years, until it’s bigger brother 1995 came out. Which is the same floor plan but a walk around bed.

Owners have reported tongue weights on their 1685 between 570 and 650 lbs. This is the loaded and ready to go weight.

Many owners tow a Lance 1475/1575 with their Pilot, but I agree that a 1685 is too heavy.

The Lance 1685 and longer trailers are built will thicker insulation. Double pane windows, and 4 seasons option. The 1475/1575 are built to be more in line with your Pilots capabilities.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:38 PM   #11
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The Ridgeline had a towing rating of 5,000lbs. So my rig was maxed out.

Not sure why the Pilot is only 4,500lbs when the Ridgeline is still 5,000lbs
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:09 PM   #12
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Honda 2011 Pilot AWD towing concerns

Due to all the seats and sheet metal/glass in the rear, an SUV does not have the rear axle available payload capacity of a truck. At the beginning of this forum is a “sticky” that has towing calculators. I suggest you download a couple of them and play around. You will learn the various weight capacities and nomenclature.

As an example, my 06 Ford Explorer (old style body-on-frame) has a towing capacity of 5,400 lbs according to Ford but only an available Payload capacity of 1,282 lbs according to the yellow sticker on my driver door frame. Yet, when I go through the calculators taking into acount my family, dogs, more cargo, rear axle capacity, and what I would likely put in the trailer, it turns out I should shop for a TT that is between only 3,200 and 3,500 lbs max for so-called “dry weight”.

A vehicle that has only a 4,500 lb towing capacity CANNOT tow a TT that is 4,000 lbs “dry” as its loaded weight in reality is likely closer to 5,000 to 5,500 lbs dry. Also, the longer the wheelbase, the better for stable towing. The full size crossovers Ford Explorer, Chevy Traverse/GMC Acadia, Dodge Durango/Jeep Grand Cherokee size vehicles would be better and still not ideal for that much weight. For that much TT, you really need a large, body-on-frame SUV like Suburban or Expedition, or pickup. With the Pilot, you need to set your sights on a “dry weight” TT much less than 4,000 lbs.
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:02 PM   #13
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The 1685 does not require a full size truck. Many owners are towing theirs with mid size trucks. Lance is very spot on with their dry weights. You can go to their website, and build your trailer, and it will calculate the increased dry weight as you add in options. The dry weight posted on the trailer includes propane, but not batteries. Built my Lance online and the trailer arrived 220 lbs less than I was expecting.
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Old 07-18-2018, 05:31 AM   #14
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Found this on another forum for a 2011 Pilot (taken out of the owner's manual) -

Honda specs.
Receiver: Max. trailer weight = 4500 lbs. (4WD)
= 3500 lbs. (2WD)
Receiver max. tongue weight = 450 lbs. (4WD)
= 350 lbs. (2WD)
From the manual: “A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance.”

I'd say that by the time you load it you'll be over your max tongue weight.
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