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Old 10-09-2010, 02:30 PM   #1
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Flat Towing a Honda Pilot Newer than 2006

I am considering a new toad for towing behind the motorhome. My wife is not overjoyed with the ride comfort of the Honda CRV. Nowaday, there are fewer toads which can be towed behind a motorhome. I have looked at the 2011 Toyota 4Runner but I am reluctant to go for it would need a drive shat disconnect for towing. The 4Runner is one excellent SUV with all the comfort. However, when it comes to the drive shat disconnect, it is somewhat an unknown in so far as reliabilty is concerned. I would rather go for a Honda Pilot if I knew that RVers have been towing a Pilot newer than 2006 without any problems. I am maybe mistaken but I don't think that the AWD that equipped the older Pilots prior to 2006 were much different than those of today and if one follows the procedure that was in place before 2006, then it should be fine, shouldn't it! According to REMCO, there is no problem towing the Honda Pilot. However, I would be far more confortable if I could hear from people that have the newer Pilot and are towing it behind a motorhome.

Looking forward to reading your responses.
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:55 PM   #2
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The Honda CRV is the only Honda that is approved by Honda for flat towing. The Pilot is not approved which means that it is your gamble and if you have a transmission failure Honda will not covered it, it is your out of pocket expense. Personally I would stick with an approved flat towable vehicle.
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:19 AM   #3
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Have you considered the Traverse, Acadia and Enclave?

We liked our 2004 Pilot but opted for an Enclave this time around because of the lack of warranty on the Pilot.
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:13 AM   #4
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Thanks John for your suggestion. However after owning a Toyota and Honda, I hate to go back to North American products. As I mentionned, according to REMCO there is no need for a driveshaft disconnect on newer Honda Pilot to be towed 4 wheels down.. This is why I am asking if anyone had taken the chance on a newer Honda Pilot and use the same procedure towing as the older model which were warranty by Honda then. I am aware that Honda does not warranty towing on newer models, however is it because of numerous failure in the past due to people not following proper procedures??? Has the drive train of 2004 Honda Pilot and 2010 Honda Pilot so different?
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:25 PM   #5
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We have similar problem, currently we tow a 2005 Acura MDX. We would like to replace it with a newer model but have been told that the Super All Wheel Drive on newer models can not be towed 4 down. On further investigation, our service manager advised that Honda had to many claims from owners damaging their drive systems due improper hook up, forgetting to unlock the steering and improper tow bars to continue warranting due to 4 down towing mishaps.

Can you tow later models, quite likely, does Honda want the warranty issues, clearly not.
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:03 PM   #6
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I agree with you that failures in properly preparing the vehicle for towing has resulted in Honda picking up the tab and ultimately no longer recommending the vehicle for towing. However, I still have some difficulties in accepting all of that as the only reason when you see the Honda CRV and even the Fit being towable with 4 wheels down. I don't believe that drivers of CRV and Fit are better at following procedures than Pilot drivers.

Bleuox is advertising Baseplates for the Honda Pilot up to 2011. It would be nice to know how many are actually on the road and how these Honda Pilot are standing up.
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:51 PM   #7
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You are not agreeing with me, you are agreeing with the service manager's explanation to me. I do not have sufficient knowledge to argue the technical merits or limitations as the same pertain to 4 wheel, all wheel and automatic all wheel drive systems, I am just relaying an explanation offered to me. We have used a Blue Ox system with our MDX for 3 years with out incident but do religiously follow the instructions provided in the owners manual.

You might be perfectly fine flat towing a vehicle (or model year) not endorsed by its manufacturer but right or wrong, fair or unfair, you do so at your own risk.

Largely due to my technical limitations we will be replacing our MDX with a vehicle endorsed by its manufacturer for flat towing.
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:26 PM   #8
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This is an interesting Post;; Here's What I Heard..;;; A friend of a friend"""""" From Honda and a Transmission shop. Most automatic transmissions with a rear pump built in to the transmission are towable.. His example was if you can push start a car thathas an auto it most likely can be towed; Because the pump circulates the oil through the transmission. Now The Honda And I make this clear It was A FR OF A FR>> ETC: Honda for a long time were listed Towable. The towing was stated And had to be followed Exactley. When you hooked the honda Up to the motorhome, IT Must be shifted from Park into drive With engine running Left in drive I allways left Ideling For about 3 minutes Put IT IN NUTERAL turn ignition off and go. Now isn't that simple. I think so. Will what was Happening Was the Guy that hooked the car up new better then the Honda Factory And after Hooking The car up He pulled it from Park through Reverse into Nuteral Therfore Not engaging the rear pump in the transmission, Resulting In transmission failure; Honda was doing a lot of Repairs Because the Jirk Didn't fallow the directions. Now I was going To purchase A Ridgeline Honda, which I was told was the same Platform As the Pilot Also the Fr'''of a fr;;;Said it could be towed The same as the old accord, Transmission had to be put in nuteral to drive ,idle to ingage the rear pump, When towing It must allways BE from drive To Nuteral; I hope I didn't bore you all.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:11 AM   #9
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Wow! This is very interesting.

Now if we could get a Honda tech who could confirm that the Pilot transmission is built with a rear pump and would provide lubrication to the transmission when being towed as long as one has followed the procedure described by Batchler. This procedure is the procedure found in the Honda CRV manual.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:29 AM   #10
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If your already looking at a 4 runner why not check out the competition? Jeep has an all new Grand Cherokee and jeep's are some of the easiest vehicles around to set up for flat towing.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:58 AM   #11
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I had Chrysler and GM vehicles over my life and spent too much time at the garage for various problems. I had a 2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited which was just an outstanding vehicle. Oil, tires and brake pads were the only things on this SUV. However, I could not tow it and had not heard of the Remco Drive Shaft Disconnect, so I sold it. I bought in 2007 the Honda CRV which has been great but the confort on trips over 400 miles leaves somewhat to be desired. I want peace of mind so reliability is what sells me to Honda or Toyota and let's not forget about resale value.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:58 PM   #12
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I've had the opposite experience. Every Chrysler product that I've owned was trouble free. My one and only Toyota was a nightmare.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:07 AM   #13
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On the Remco driveshaft disconnect, I've had one on our 98 Blazer since new with 0 problems. Although I don't tow it very much anymore, still do occasionally. Use of these open up the field of towables immensely. A Nissan Pathfinder is on our short list of SUV toads as is the 4-Runner.
I posted on another forum about the newer Pilots that we've got several members of our FMCA chapter who tow newer Pilots with no problems and they travel a lot. One is a 2010 model bought this past summer. This guy's son is the Service Mgr. at a local Honda dealer who has taken the drawings of an earlier tranny vs. the current ones and can't find any differences.
Yes the 4WD Jeep Grand Cherokee is a good option as a toad and is probably one of the easiest to set up. Transfer case in neutral, Tranny in park and go, no speed or mileage limit. "But" it's still a Chrysler product and the one we have has a squirrely electrical system.

Good Luck
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:17 PM   #14
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Thanks MCDDY for your feedback on the newer Honda Pilot being towed without problems. I wish we could get more people to tell us about their experience towing their Pilot 2009 thru 2011.
The U.S. News & World Report is an excellent source of information when you are in the market for a new vehicle. If you want to know about performance, interior and exterior features, safety and reliability then this is a very good place to start. Reliability is no doubt one important factor when you select a toad. Here are the J.D. Power & Associates predicted Reliability figures (out of maximum of 10) reported by US News for some of 2010 vehicles:

Nissan Pathfinder: 5.0
Mazda Tribute: 5.0
GMC Acadia: 5.0
Ford Edge: 7.0
Honda Pilot: 6.0
Honda CRV: 9.0
Toyota 4Runner: 9.0
Toyota Highlander: 9.0
Jeep Grand Cherokee: 6.0
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