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Old 05-04-2015, 09:39 PM   #1
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Tow Dolly and a 2014 Honda Pilot

We used to flat tow our manual VW. It has died. We purchased a tow dolly that we use with our Sebring (1999). It works out fine. However, I would like to consider using the tow dolly with the Pilot. Can I? Does anyone tow their late model Pilot?
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Old 05-04-2015, 09:48 PM   #2
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If AWD then in a word NO!
If front wheel drive only then it is towable on a dolly if the dolly is big/heavy enough for it.
Only the 2004 and older Pilots were towable although some 2005 owners manuals say they can be.
After the 2004 model year the only four down towable vehicles were the CR-V and Fit. Now only the Fit manual trans is.
All front wheel drive Honda's are still towable on a dolly.
The Pilot has AWD and can't be towed four down or on a dolly.
HOWEVER, there are people doing it with no trouble, just be aware that Honda can void your warranty on the drive train.
On our '05 Ody they tried to void my radio antenna wiring over the light wiring I put in for four down towing.
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:24 PM   #3
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Thank you. You were very informative
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:37 PM   #4
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The reason I've kept up with Honda is that we've owned only one non Honda vehicle since 1988 and we went through the four down towing problem with Honda Legal dept on our '05 Odyssey. Got a letter from Honda on their letterhead in Sept 2004 stating that the '05 Ody was towable four down. Bought ours on Dec 26th 2004. Took it to RaodMaster where they used it to test fit a bracket. Started towing it but only went about 300 miles (one trip) before I started seeing post about Honda changing their minds about it. After some "negotiations" involving the WA, OR and CA AG's offices Honda paid us $2,200 for our towing gear expenses. We bought a KK-460 dolly and used it for several years but we were seeing the Ody being towed four down and the owners reported no problems so we went back to towing it four down and have had no problems.
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:36 PM   #5
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In August of 2014, we purchased a 97 class A Winnebago Adventurer w/ Ford engine (W/only 22k miles). I know it's old, and apparently, not being driven much is why each time we took it for a short weekend "test" trip, it has meant a trip to the mechanic for repairs. Fuel pump, cracked Manifold, radiator hoses, heater core, and a few minor things. We are hoping to be able to really USE it soon and I have the job of researching towing. Someone in the beginning told us our 2007 Honda pilot was "too big" to tow so we started looking for smaller 4 wheel down toads. At the last RV park, our neighbor said that this motorhome should be able to pull that Honda with no problem. After almost getting talked into a 2014 CRV at a dealership yesterday, today I am on a mission to get input from experts and hopefully start looking for most appropriate tow dolly. Since I do not drive the beast, but hubbie does not go on the internet, it is a bit of a struggle. All help is welcome
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Old 05-10-2015, 01:43 PM   #6
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Is the Pilot AWD or front wheel drive only? That's the first question you need to answer. If AWD then it can't be towed on a dolly, only four down. It's out of warranty so any damage is going to be on you to pay for too.

As to the size/weight: It is pretty large/heavy but not as bad as some I've seen. Will the RV tow it? Well you need to find the towing rating of your RV. It could be only 3,500#'s and the Pilot will be close to 5,000#'s.

We tow a '05 Ody but then our MH weighs 50,000#'s and has a 15,000 hitch rating.
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:44 PM   #7
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Our Honda is FWD. I need to read the motor home manual again to see what that says. The pilot is about 4300. The Remco site says it can be flat towed. I am surprised to see that. Think it would be a better bet to use a dolly regardless. That way we could change vehicles easier. Literature & Info : Remco
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:25 PM   #8
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Thanks, Mr. D. The GCWR of our MH is 25,000. The GVWR is 17,000. Still looking for the "tow rating".
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Old 05-10-2015, 09:43 PM   #9
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There's a lot of confusion about towing Honda Pilots, a lot of it caused by Honda.

Regarding the AWD Pilot, don't put it on a dolly.

There's a specific start of trip procedure to follow to be able to tow a Honda Pilot 4 down. Follow that and all will be good.

Our Honda Pilot is 2005. Our owner's manual gives us instructions for 'start of trip' procedure for towing. Yet, I understand Honda has rescinded those instructions and has decided to state that the 2005 Honda Pilot is not towable.

Well, for a vehicle that is not towable, our Honda Pilot has been towed for about five trouble free years.

Our Pilot has been such a wonderful durable, trouble free vehicle, and such a great toad, our next tow vehicle choice may well be a newer Honda Pilot, although Honda no longer states that the newer Honda Pilots are towable. That's OK. According to Honda, our 2005 Pilot is not towable, although the manual in the car says it is.

EXCEPT: The 2015 Honda Pilot has the CVT transmission. NOT TOWABLE!

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Old 05-12-2015, 07:26 AM   #10
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I found in the Winnebago manual where it says the hitch has a 3500 pound limit. I think the Pilot weighs about 4300 :(


Papa Jim, your 1995 Monaco is a diesel, right?
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:24 AM   #11
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Yes. Our '95 Monaco Dynasty is a diesel pusher. The hitch is rated to tow 10,000 lb. I believe the Honda Pilot is close to 4500 lb. We carry about 500 lb of equipment in the Pilot, so we're towing about 5000 lb. So, we're OK.

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Old 05-15-2015, 11:22 AM   #12
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It is correct that there is a lot of confusion over Hondas in general whether they can be towed or not. I can speak for the Pilots (which also applies to the CRV and Oddessy, and possibly the Element.) They are all based on the same drive train, whether AWD or front drive. Either one can be towed four down/flat towed, but the AWD can NOT be towed on a dolly.

Any of these models can be towed four down, model year 2014 or earlier. 2015 models now have CVT transmission and can not towed at all. As stated there is a specific procedure that has to be followed, see below.

All the confusion comes from Honda changing its mind repeatedly about whether they will warrant these cars or not. Apparently, too many idiots did not the follow the towing procedures exactly and ruined their transmissions. So Honda decided that they would pull their towing endorsement on all but the CRV. Nothing has changed on the drivetrains, just Honda doesn't want to deal with the failures. So if something happens, regardless of whether it was towed or not, Honda can deny the claim and you're stuck with the bill.

So, what's the procedure? Here it is:

1. Start the car. With your foot on the brake, run gear shift through all gears down to 1st.

2.Slowly move gear shift back up to D, leave in D for at least 3 minutes (5 would be better.)

3. Shift into Neutral and leave it there for another 3 minutes.

DO NOT SHIFT INTO REVERSE FROM HERE.

4. Turn engine off, leave the key in the ignition so steering wheel can turn freely.

5. Make sure all accessories are off and you are ready to go.

If you do shift into reverse accidentally, repeat the entire procedure.

Do not exceed 65 MPH when towing, passing and short downhill periods over 65 are okay, just not for extended periods of time.

I think it is recommended to repeat the procedure if you tow for more 6 hours straight or if you stop for more than a couple of hours.

We've towed our 2005 Pilot more 5,000 miles so far with no problems and there are a lot more people who tow their Hondas many more miles than that with no problems either.

The only problem I have encountered is the battery dying when towed for more than two full days without disconnecting (make sure to repeat above procedures before starting off on the second day!) Fixed that by running a charge wire from MH to the toad.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:29 AM   #13
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Ahma, our Pilot was 4700 with 4 kids bikes in it. It looks like your MH is rated for a higher tow rating than your hitch. If your mechanic thinks the MH drive train can handle it, look into upgrading the hitch. They are only about $150 online and are usually pretty easy to install. Of course, come to think of it, Winnebago may have down-graded the hitch rating because of frame extensions on the MH. How long is your MH? Have the mechanic check that too. Good Luck!
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Old 05-16-2015, 07:07 AM   #14
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Thanks Percival6, the Motorhome is 35 feet. We found a nice 2007 Honda CRV this week and bought it. It seems to be in really nice condition, even though it has 157,000 miles on it! (Now we have to decide what to do with our Pilot and our 1989 GMC pickup that we only drive about twice a year!) Next challenge will be deciding on the best tow bar and braking equipment (hopefully, used at a good price). Seems like Ready Brute Elite with surge break would be good choice, but I am searching the forums for comments and welcome all input.
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