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Old 02-26-2016, 09:53 AM   #1
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Honda Pilot, Jeep or something else?

My wife's Honda CRV is about to hit 200k miles. So, we know should be on the lookout for a replacement. We are also looking to get our first RV and keep switching from a trailer to a motorhome and back again.

We like the Honda Pilot, but I'm reading it is not really a good tow vehicle. This would be my wife's car and she does not want to drive a huge truck or SUV. She is used to her CRV and I'm trying to only go as big as needed.

We are looking at ultra-light trailers that are 5k or less in weight - and also adding in the junk we will throw in it + the people and stuff in the vehicle.

We plan to make a few LONG trips each year (Texas to Florida) or (Texas to Washington) and about a dozen short trips (400 mile round trip).

I get the impression that the Honda Pilot would be okay for the shorter trips, but we would be pushing it to use it for a 3,000 mile round trip.

The other option would be to get her a small car (Smart, Fiat, Mini-cooper) and get a Class C or small Class A.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-26-2016, 02:33 PM   #2
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If your wife doesn't want to drive a full size vehicle (which is what you need for towing) then the small car and motorhome idea will be your best bet.
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Old 02-26-2016, 02:58 PM   #3
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Get a motorhome and Jeep Wrangler. #1 combo.
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Old 02-26-2016, 03:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 4x4 View Post
Get a motorhome and Jeep Wrangler. #1 combo.
ditto!
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:21 PM   #5
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I would suggest Jeep Grand Cherokee, Durango not older than 2014. Of course, nothing is better than ML, Touareg, Q7, Cayenne etc. Yes, they are expensive, but worth it, and a good certified used deal may be well comparable to a new Pilot. I pull about 6000 lb and love it, would not go for a puckup unless decide to get a way bigger TT or fiver one day. I would stay away from FWD crossovers, they are essentially cars on bigger wheels
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justafordguy View Post
If your wife doesn't want to drive a full size vehicle (which is what you need for towing) then the small car and motorhome idea will be your best bet.
Probably this ^^

Remember that many cars CAN NOT be towed "4 Wheels Down", and that all the necessary gear for a toad (Towed Vehicle) can amount to 3 to 5 THOUSAND dollars. Do lots of research before making your final choice.
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:48 PM   #7
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Well sir, I don't know who gave you what information on the Honda Pilot, but I'll gladly give you my first hand experience with actually using and towing one.

Our Honda Pilot has been the absolute most reliable vehicle we have ever owned. I don't care for some things about it, such as the layout of the dash, the ride is a little 'spongy' for some people's tastes, and there's more tire road noise than some people like. But as far as reliability is concerned, it has been hands down absolutely the most reliable vehicle we have ever had anything to do with.

We bought it because it was towable, and it certainly is. It tows easily, behind our DP we don't even know it's there.

The odometer in our Honda Pilot currently reads 260,000 km, and there's another 60,000 km of towing that is not reported on the odometer. That makes a grand total of 320,000 km. The vehicle still looks and runs as new.

Jim
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:50 PM   #8
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According to Honda NONE of the Pilots after 2004 are towable four down. Of course they also said that about our '05 Odyssey and we've towed it about 40,000 miles so far.
After getting it in writing on Honda letterhead we asked about getting a '05 Pilot to tow, Honda said it was also not towable four down and any manuals that said it was were printed in error.
But, as we have found with our Ody and others as well as Pilot owners they are in fact towable.
Our Ody only has 105,000 miles and early this month I had the 105,000 mile service down. Expensive at almost $3,000 but we'll keep it another 10 years. But, if I do need to replace it I'll probably get another Jeep GC since the new CR-V's are not towable due to the CVT transmission.
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Old 02-28-2016, 10:08 AM   #9
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We are looking at ultra-light trailers that are 5k or less in weight - and also adding in the junk we will throw in it + the people and stuff in the vehicle.
I have an "ultra-light" trailer. According to the brochure, its 3400 lbs. Empty, dry, without the propane tanks or battery, it still scaled over 4000 lbs once it had "options" like A/C, awning, microwave, oven, water heater, etc. Wet and loaded, I'm past 5000 lbs. No small lightweight SUV is going to tow that comfortably.

A Grand Cherokee is about the only option (besides its longer twin the Dodge Durango) for a slightly less-than-full size SUV that can tow over 5000 lbs and yet be flat-towed.

Have the wife drive one. If its too big for her, a motorhome is your only realistic option. If you go that route, your options are vast. Google "2015 dinghy tow guide" to download this PDF file for all the factory-approved options.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:15 AM   #10
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:19 PM   #11
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I tow a 25' 6000lb TT behind my VW Touareg TDI. There are times I don't even know the trailer is back there. There are times I pull out my wife's Audi Q7 TDI to tow it, but mostly the Touareg. I love this little German perfection in engineering. I was a Jeep man (owner more than 12 of them) for ever, but hung my Jeeps up.

The Touareg isn't that big, and I think your wife will love it.
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Old 05-19-2016, 11:21 PM   #12
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I have a 22' Minnie Winnebago trailer that dry weights 3830#. I towed it well over 3000 miles last year with a '15 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. It is designated as a 4500# max tow vehicle. Worked like a dream. Towed in mainly mountainous areas. Just a matter if this trailer would be large enough for you....my gal and I find it perfect. Large shower, queen bed with access to both sides, couch, no dinette. And, it's a beauty!
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfcentral View Post
We are looking at ultra-light trailers that are 5k or less in weight - and also adding in the junk we will throw in it + the people and stuff in the vehicle...

I get the impression that the Honda Pilot would be okay for the shorter trips, but we would be pushing it to use it for a 3,000 mile round trip.
2016 Honda Pilot:
Towing Capacity for 2WD: 3,500 lbs
Towing Capacity for AWD: 5,000 lbs
2WD = Two-Wheel Drive AWD = All-Wheel Drive
2016 Honda Pilot - Specifications - Official Site

That's the tow rating. But tow rating is not the limiter on most SUVs - payload capacity for people, stuff and hitch weight is the limiter. So use that 5,000 pound tow rating at a maximum and then only if you don't; haul a bunch of people and stuff in the SUV.

I'm a Toyota fan. I've owned Toys since 1986, and love my 2013 Venza as my family car (not as a tow vehicle). But a Pilot is not enough tow vehicle for your needs. Properly-optioned Jeeps and Durangos can do the job without being overloaded, but they have awful reliability histories, so I wouldn't buy one.

47drive's recommendation of the VW Touareg TDI (and siblings from Audi and Prosche) are good ones if you can afford the high price of these "luxury" small SUVs, and provided VW begins selling the TDI again. Same for the Mercedes-Benz small diesel-powered SUVs. But I have sworn off of German vehicles after Audi charged me several times the price for a similar replacement part from Chevy or Ford.

There are very few TTs with wet and loaded weight of 5k. My itty bitty 2012 Skyline Nomad Joey 196S is 22' long from tip to tail, and the model number indicates the actual box is less than 20' long. No slide, but otherwise all the aminities of a self-contained RV trailer. Walk-around queen-size bed, roomy restroom with shower, AC, reefer, stove&oven, microwave, etc. GVWR is 5,600 pounds and my wet and loaded weight on the road is about 4,900 with 650 pounds tongue weight. But the Joey 196S was discontinued, and the near-identical floor plan replacement is heavier, with GVWR of 6,200 pounds.

So the Pilot is not strong enough, and the Touareg costs too much, both now and when it needs replacement parts down the road. And history has shown that a Jeep or Durango will probably spend a lot of time in the shop. So I would say an SUV is off the table. Toyota half-ton crew-cab pickups are your best compromise if you want to tow 5,000 to 6,000 pounds of wet and loaded TT with a reliable tow vehicle without being overloaded.

I chose a Ford F-150 SuperCrew pickup over the Toy pickup because the Ford 3.5L EcoBoost drivetrain is superior for towing compared to the regular Toy V8. But granted, Consumer Reports says the Ford is not as reliable and trouble-free as the Toy, although my 2012 F-150 with 57k miles has never seen a shop for any reason except tires and to replace the shocks at about 50k miles.

Quote:
We plan to make a few LONG trips each year (Texas to Florida) or (Texas to Washington) and about a dozen short trips (400 mile round trip).
Similar to our trips to GA and WA. But trip length doesn't matter. Whether going 10 miles or 3,000 miles, you don't want to tow with an overloaded tow vehicle.
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Old 05-22-2016, 06:24 PM   #14
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A Honda Pilot or the Ridgeline which are great people movers and the Ridgeline is great to pick up mulch or tow a bass boat it really can not tow a 5,000lb. trailer. I know...I tried it. What a white knuckled exoerience. Bought a F-150 which match the trailer much better.

After owning a Honda Ridgeline, which I really liked as a daily driver that also got in the garage I would recommend it or the Pilot for any teardrop trailer like the T@B, or any pop-up or A-Liner type trailer.

For the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot type vehicles I would try to stick around the 2,500 to 3,000 lb. range. You will want something that is easy to tow.
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