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Old 09-13-2008, 06:09 AM   #1
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Hello, I'd like to get input from you that are towing regularly. Here's my situation.
I bought a 2008 Honda Pilot ex-L 4wd last year before I went back out on the road fulltime. This cannot be flat towed or 2 wheel dolly. I have looked at trading it in, taking the loss and buying a small car and towing it with the new towbar equip. etc. I like the SUV and it can last for 10 years for me easily.
I've found a nice equipment trailer(car hauler dovetail) for 2000 that weighs 2000 Lb empty. with and 8000 lb carrying capacity (10000 GVW).
I own a Monaco Caymen with the 325 hp Cummins, allison 6 speed automatic. it's rated to tow 10000 lbs.
I'm worried about buying too much trailer and not being powered enough to run down the road. I travel cross country about every three-4 months and then sit in one spot.
I've been a driver, trailer towed equipment for 20 years so the backing and hauling doesn't bother me that much. I realize that hooking and unhooking will have to be done, but I have to do that now with my motorcycle trailer. By the time I take all the loss and set up the new one, it seems the cost of gas difference will nearly be a wash. I get around 9mpg pulling a 6x10 enclosed trailer with a 800 lb harley now. And the gas mpg doesn't seem to change running without it either.
MAy I have your thoughts ? And there is no current way to tow the Pilot, I've researched it hard. By the way, the Pilot weighs 4500 curb weight.
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Old 09-13-2008, 06:09 AM   #2
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Hello, I'd like to get input from you that are towing regularly. Here's my situation.
I bought a 2008 Honda Pilot ex-L 4wd last year before I went back out on the road fulltime. This cannot be flat towed or 2 wheel dolly. I have looked at trading it in, taking the loss and buying a small car and towing it with the new towbar equip. etc. I like the SUV and it can last for 10 years for me easily.
I've found a nice equipment trailer(car hauler dovetail) for 2000 that weighs 2000 Lb empty. with and 8000 lb carrying capacity (10000 GVW).
I own a Monaco Caymen with the 325 hp Cummins, allison 6 speed automatic. it's rated to tow 10000 lbs.
I'm worried about buying too much trailer and not being powered enough to run down the road. I travel cross country about every three-4 months and then sit in one spot.
I've been a driver, trailer towed equipment for 20 years so the backing and hauling doesn't bother me that much. I realize that hooking and unhooking will have to be done, but I have to do that now with my motorcycle trailer. By the time I take all the loss and set up the new one, it seems the cost of gas difference will nearly be a wash. I get around 9mpg pulling a 6x10 enclosed trailer with a 800 lb harley now. And the gas mpg doesn't seem to change running without it either.
MAy I have your thoughts ? And there is no current way to tow the Pilot, I've researched it hard. By the way, the Pilot weighs 4500 curb weight.
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Old 09-13-2008, 09:12 AM   #3
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If you have patience for the hills, there should be no problem. My signature coach and engine are about the same as you. I tow a 5074 # vehicle. The street weight of the vehicle, motorcycle and trailer would be about 7300-7500 #s. Mechanically (hitch, frame, etc.) you are well within the limits of the coach.

Like you, I see a miniscule difference in MPG when towing vs. not towing.

My first sentence of having patience is based on my coach's performance. The coach is not the slowest "truck" up the hill. However, there is a strain on the engine with the temp rising to 220 degrees on really long and steep grades. On occasion, I do pass slow moving trucks, on hills. RPM is kept at 2K and the speed is whatever the gear I'm in will deliver at 2K RPM.

If I were you, I go for it. The real question is, are you going to paint the trailer to match the coach?
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:06 PM   #4
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Will your Harley fit too? If so, what the heck Harley and SUV, can't beat that. The only issue might be finding a place for the trailer in a smaller or older RV Park.
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Old 09-14-2008, 05:17 PM   #5
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Just make sure you aren't exceeding the GCWR, but you probably are not. You won't be the first to the top of the hill, but there is always somebody faster anyway.

Your biggest concern is going downhill - make sure the trailer has good brakes and install a good brake controller, such as the Tekonsha Prodigy.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:12 PM   #6
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Nothing says you must load the trailer to GVW, just keep the weight as low as practical and have fun, assuming your GCWR is observed. Last summer I saw a diesel pusher MH towing what appeared to be a 24' stacker trailer. There is a website devoted to such setups for racers selling a "dolly" under the hitch to absorb hitch weight.
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:04 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I own a Monaco Caymen with the 325 hp Cummins, allison 6 speed automatic. it's rated to tow 10000 lbs. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Lenny,
You may want to double-check the trailer hitch rating on your Cayman. According to monaco, the 2008 Cayman boasts a
"7,000 Lb. Hitch Receiver with Dual Connector 4-Pin or 7-Pin"
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Old 09-15-2008, 06:42 AM   #8
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You're right, SacsTC. The hitch plainly has a 10000 lb sticker on it but on the other side and in the manual it clearly states that Monaco rates it at 7000 lb. I'm looking at the ordinary 7000 GVW trailers this week instead of that heavy one. It had a small hum & haw session when I asked about the title! I was just wondering if the Caymen would pull the max GVW all right or not. I'm not in any hurry really going anywhere. Just don't want to be way under powered. I did try to get Cat to let me go get a Dynasty or Diplomat with the 400 hp but she's not buying the story!
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:21 PM   #9
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The sticker on the receiver is the rating for the receiver itself, not the whole motorhome. If your 10k receiver is bolted to a 7k piece of steel frame, you better observe the 7k rather than the 10k figure. My guess would be that the GCWR only allows for 7k towing capacity, regardless of receiver rating.
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:20 PM   #10
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Here's my experience and a couple thoughts. I've towed a 20 and then 24' trailer for well over 100,000 miles with my 1993 monaco dynasty. I race a top fuel harley and we drag the bike, trailer, 20 gallons of nitro methane and a shop full of tools plus one or two other bikes all over the place. the current trailer is a 24' wells cargo rated for 10k pounds. Its about 8500 going down the road.

One issue is brakes. Equalizing the brakes between the motorhome and trailer can be a problem. I'm constantly battling overheated brakes on one or the other, glazing the shoes and having to replace or bead blast them to make everything good again. I have a PAC brake but the combined weight really overwhelms the unit. I'm on both brake pedals whenever I'm going down hill.

Another issue is lights. Unless you've got LED's in everything, you end up putting quite a load on circuits and I've had to replace several failed wires, solonoids, relays, connectors etc. Just something to watch for.

You can absolutely beat the tar out of stuff in the trailer, especially stuff in the rear. The big overhang on the motorhome allows it to really work the hitch on the trailer. I've had more then one thing come loose over the years. If I put one of the street bikes in the back of the trailer, it will pound hard enough so that the hydraulic lifters on the bike will partially collapse!!! the race bike doesn't move so much, but street bikes are a different story. I use at least 4 straps, and sometimes a fifth, around the back tire, just to be certain. I've tipped my street bike over using less.

Most 24' trailers have waaaay more tongue weight then 20' models, primarily because most of that extra 4 feet is in front of the axles. When loaded, my tongue weight is about 1600 lbs.

While I never have engine heat problems, I do have to watch the transmission temps.

I can pretty much cruise at 70, although obviously slower up or down grades. Just crossed the continental divide on a trip back and forth to edmonton with no particular problems. While I can't dispute other's mileage claim, I've seen about a 2 mpg difference between running empty and the 24' trailer.

My earlier 20' trailer took a real beating. So much so that the body of the trailer started to come loose from the frame. That happend to be a haulmark. I fixed it, but a pain nontheless.

Make absolutely positive that all of your tie downs are through bolted, if you're not using E trac.

Since you've pulled a trailer before, none of this may be new to you, but thought I'd share my experiences.
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:06 PM   #11
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I tow a 24' enclosed 12K GTWR trailer with any one of 3 vehicles inside - max GTW is about 9600#. I've got a reinforced factory 10K hitch on my C7 / 350-powered Vectra, and run with an equalizer / anti-sway setup. We normally run I-540 from Ft. Smith, AR to Fayetteville loaded. Other than slowing, up the mountains, it's never been a problem. I run the exhaust brake and keep the trailer brakes groomed carefully. Mileage is in the mid-6's.
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