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Old 10-14-2020, 12:03 PM   #1
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Newbies - Towing With a Honda Pilot

Wife & I are first-timers, considering a smaller TT. The latest we're looking at is a Vintage Cruiser, 3100 mty, 4000 gross, 19'. The tow vehicle might be a 2019 Honda Pilot, V6/AWD, rated to tow 5000 max, with a payload around 1450. As I see it, this only leaves us with a 20% cushion on both tow weight and payload.
We would be using electric brakes and a WDH. I really don't want to have to go to a truck or monster SUV.
To get out of the valley we live in, passes are around 4500' at the south end, 6000' at the north.
Guess I'm concerned about controlling the 4000 lbs on hills. Has anyone here done similar with a Pilot? Thanks.
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Old 10-14-2020, 12:05 PM   #2
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 10-14-2020, 01:14 PM   #3
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I had a Honda Ridgeline, 'had' as in past tense. It could not tow nor control a 4,500lb travel trailer.
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Old 10-14-2020, 01:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMinBako View Post
Wife & I are first-timers, considering a smaller TT. The latest we're looking at is a Vintage Cruiser, 3100 mty, 4000 gross, 19'. The tow vehicle might be a 2019 Honda Pilot, V6/AWD, rated to tow 5000 max, with a payload around 1450. As I see it, this only leaves us with a 20% cushion on both tow weight and payload.
We would be using electric brakes and a WDH. I really don't want to have to go to a truck or monster SUV.
To get out of the valley we live in, passes are around 4500' at the south end, 6000' at the north.
Guess I'm concerned about controlling the 4000 lbs on hills. Has anyone here done similar with a Pilot? Thanks.

We tow a 25í Airstream Safari (GVRW 7300) with our 2011 Acura MDX with a Hensley Arrow hitch and reinforcement of our receiving hitch by CanAm RV and towing. Going on three years now and doing great. Even made a trip from Ohio to the West Coast and back including mountain passes, steep grades, strong winds.
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:12 PM   #5
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Per this link you should not use a WDH on a Honda Pilot, a common situation with unibody vehicles.

https://www.etrailer.com/question-37...%20the%20Pilot.

Personally I think it's too much trailer, but some do it. In addition to the down I'd be concerned about the up. I'm not a big fan of gas V6 engines for towing, and you seem to have a pull every time you leave your area.
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:41 PM   #6
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You need more "truck"
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:53 PM   #7
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You need more "truck" or less trailer.

SteveNdebbie: at more that 50% over the weight limit from Honda, how is the hitch reinforced? On my Odyssey the hitch was bolted through the sheet metal unibody with backing plates. Not denying your experience, just curious how they spread the load out. Thanks.
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMinBako View Post
Wife & I are first-timers, considering a smaller TT. The latest we're looking at is a Vintage Cruiser, 3100 mty, 4000 gross, 19'. The tow vehicle might be a 2019 Honda Pilot, V6/AWD, rated to tow 5000 max, with a payload around 1450. As I see it, this only leaves us with a 20% cushion on both tow weight and payload.
We would be using electric brakes and a WDH. I really don't want to have to go to a truck or monster SUV.
To get out of the valley we live in, passes are around 4500' at the south end, 6000' at the north.
Guess I'm concerned about controlling the 4000 lbs on hills. Has anyone here done similar with a Pilot? Thanks.
Isn’t the pilot hitch receiver on the rear cross member or bolted on the side “frame”?

If it’s part of the rear member or bolted on the rear member, then don’t use a WDH. The torque on the WDH would literally brake your hitch receiver/cross member and your trailer would go free.
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Old 10-14-2020, 03:12 PM   #9
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The Pilot is I assume the same as my MDX in that the 5000 tow rating is only valid IF you have a proper tow hitch AND a transmission cooler. Do you have a cooler?
Now as to towing 4000 pound trailer? I have a hitch on my MDX, no cooler. I tow a 5x8 utility trailer, and when its loaded with yard debris it definitely pushes me around. Personal trying to tow a high wall trailer I fear you will absoletely hate the experience. Are you going to be towing alone and do you weigh 150 pounds or less? Because if you answer no to any of those questions your have failed to subtract anything beyond the single 150 pound driver from the load/towing carrying capacity. If you want to use your Pilot for camping consider a tent trailer, Aliner or something like that.
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbircky View Post
You need more "truck" or less trailer.

SteveNdebbie: at more that 50% over the weight limit from Honda, how is the hitch reinforced? On my Odyssey the hitch was bolted through the sheet metal unibody with backing plates. Not denying your experience, just curious how they spread the load out. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbircky View Post
You need more "truck" or less trailer.

SteveNdebbie: at more that 50% over the weight limit from Honda, how is the hitch reinforced? On my Odyssey the hitch was bolted through the sheet metal unibody with backing plates. Not denying your experience, just curious how they spread the load out. Thanks.

CanAm welded steel supports from the receiver to the rear frame. That had to drop the spare down to add the supports. They also shortened the stinger to help the weight distribute better. Feels very solid and controlledClick image for larger version

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Old 10-14-2020, 09:30 PM   #11
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by nicky8668 View Post
Isnít the pilot hitch receiver on the rear cross member or bolted on the side ďframeĒ?

If itís part of the rear member or bolted on the rear member, then donít use a WDH. The torque on the WDH would literally brake your hitch receiver/cross member and your trailer would go free.

Without reinforcement it could be a lot of stress but the Hensley pivots instead of putting all the stress on a ball. Amazing design!
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 450Donn View Post
The Pilot is I assume the same as my MDX in that the 5000 tow rating is only valid IF you have a proper tow hitch AND a transmission cooler. Do you have a cooler?
Now as to towing 4000 pound trailer? I have a hitch on my MDX, no cooler. I tow a 5x8 utility trailer, and when its loaded with yard debris it definitely pushes me around. Personal trying to tow a high wall trailer I fear you will absoletely hate the experience. Are you going to be towing alone and do you weigh 150 pounds or less? Because if you answer no to any of those questions your have failed to subtract anything beyond the single 150 pound driver from the load/towing carrying capacity. If you want to use your Pilot for camping consider a tent trailer, Aliner or something like that.

In the 2nd generation MDX the transmission cooler was standard. We travel light, just the two of us and minimal items in the MDX. We have 1000 lb tongue weight but the WD hitch puts 200 back into the trailer. Payload is maxed out by the numbers (our combined weight is 270) but we have towed shorter distances with four other passengers with no problem. The Honda Pilot shares the same platform. CanAm has done over 2000 setups on that platform. They also do their own testing of the setups.

Just sharing my experience.

Steve
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveNdebbie View Post
In the 2nd generation MDX the transmission cooler was standard. We travel light, just the two of us and minimal items in the MDX. We have 1000 lb tongue weight but the WD hitch puts 200 back into the trailer. Payload is maxed out by the numbers (our combined weight is 270) but we have towed shorter distances with four other passengers with no problem. The Honda Pilot shares the same platform. CanAm has done over 2000 setups on that platform. They also do their own testing of the setups.

Just sharing my experience.

Steve
The OP has a 2019 Pilot, which is esentially the same as my 2018 MDX. The trans cooler is NOT standard, but can be purchased and added along with the factory hitch platform. Regardless, and I may be mistaken the OP needs to verify he has the stand alone trans cooler or not. Without it his Pilot is rated at 3500 pounds towing
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