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Old 01-09-2018, 10:27 PM   #15
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Hence our decision to change vehicles when we bought a trailer.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:08 PM   #16
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I have never seen that limitation of not being able to use a WD hitch on a crossover / unibody SUV. Is that common to other mfrs, or is that just Honda?
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Desert Flyer View Post
I have never seen that limitation of not being able to use a WD hitch on a crossover / unibody SUV. Is that common to other mfrs, or is that just Honda?
The owner's manual for the Pilot states: "A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance." To me that sounds like they are saying we shouldn't use it because we might use it wrong. My feeling is that is more Honda's lawyers talking than their engineers.

I've done quite a bit of reading on this topic at piloteers.org (Pilot owner's forum) and no one can seem to agree on whether or not a WDH should be used. I suppose I can take some solace from the fact that those that do use them don't seem to have problems...
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:42 PM   #18
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Actually, it would seem that a WD hitch should IMPROVE the handling and stability and braking performance! Sounds like Honda doesnít know what to do with towing like the Big 3 and Toyota/Nissan do.
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Old 01-12-2018, 09:00 AM   #19
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The owner's manual for the Pilot states: "A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance." To me that sounds like they are saying we shouldn't use it because we might use it wrong.
To me it simply says do not tow with an IMPROPERLY ADJUSTED WD hitch. I agree with that. But use a good WD hitch that is properly installed and adjusted.

Properly adjusted means you have the spring bars tightened only enough to have 50% to 60% of gross hitch weight remaining on the rear axle, with the rest of the hitch weight evenly distributed to the front and trailer axles. Be sure that not more than 25% of gross hitch weight is distributed to the front axle.
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:22 AM   #20
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It sounds like Honda is saying "We did not build this vehicle for towing, and do not recommend you use it for that purpose". Again, the Pilot is a grocery getting, multi-child hauling, high mileage capable vehicle. The designers never intended for the vehicle to be hooked up to an RV and driven down the road. You can slap a tow hitch on a 1973 Pinto, but that doen't make it a capable tow vehicle. Purchase the vehicle you need for the purpose you intend to use it for. If you want a multi-passenger tow vehicle, buy an Expedition or a Durango with a tow package installed from the factory.
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:33 AM   #21
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I'm wondering if it's because the rear frame rails weren't designed to handle the type of forces that a weight distribution hitch would put on them.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:09 AM   #22
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I'm wondering if it's because the rear frame rails weren't designed to handle the type of forces that a weight distribution hitch would put on them.
A Pilot is a uni-body crossover SUV based on the Accord sedan. It's not a body-on-frame design like American-brand pickups, so it doesn't have frame rails. But your basic idea of the weakness of the area of the Uni-body where the receiver hitch bolts to the body is probably accurate.


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Originally Posted by 2018 Honda Pilot Build&price
Towing capacity can be increased (from 3,500 pounds) to 5,000 lbs on Pilot AWD models with dealer-installed ATF cooler accessory. Trailer Hitch accessory required for towing.
No mention of WD hitch, but does say to see the Owner's Guide for more info on towing.

Apparently, the FWD Pilots are not recommended for towing anything.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:15 AM   #23
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A Pilot is a uni-body crossover SUV based on the Accord sedan. It's not a body-on-frame design like American-brand pickups, so it doesn't have frame rails. But your basic idea of the weakness of the area of the Uni-body where the receiver hitch bolts to the body is probably accurate.

However, the Honda Ridgeline AWD "pickup" is based on the same uni-body platform, and has ē5,000-lb. towing capacity. No mention of towing with a FWD version in the Honda brochure. And no mention of a WD hitch.

I looked, but I didn't find what the * means.
Unibody vehicles do have fame rails. Yes they are different than a full frame vehicle that has two continuous rails that go from front to back but they do have what are considered frame rails that make up the main front and rear structural components to a Unibody vehicle. This is what the structural part of Unibody vehicle's bumper (and in this case a hitch) attaches to.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:13 AM   #24
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The Unibody construction plus the weasel words from Honda made me shy away from deciding to tow with our Pilot. I had visions of a WDH warping the body.

Beyond that, DW hated anything small enough to tow with the Honda. We took the rental hybrid trailer up to Red Feather Lakes the second week of September - it did get below freezing and the pop out beds were way too cold for her. We looked at full hard sides and the longest we could tow with the Honda was about 19 ft and that was pushing it. Most of those involved Murphy beds or convertible couches which was also a non-starter for her.

I miss the Honda, and was just OK with the Armada we got to tow the Passport we ended up with. When she wanted to move up to Class C or A, I was OK with that (we ended up with an ACE 30.1). I got my Mini Cooper S for a toad, which is a whole lot more fun that some giant SUV. Only problem with the Mini is that the right speaker often says things like "slow down", "don't turn so fast" and "why don't they put in a good suspension". Seems so only happen when she is in the car. Mini says they don't warranty such problems.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:37 PM   #25
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:22 AM   #26
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The irony of this is that unibody is substantially stronger than body on frame.

The preferred tow vehicle of the 1960s and 70s were Chrysler. All were unibody. The steering and handling was 25-Years ahead of Ford & GM, and the drivetrain much superior.

Then and now: adjust the WD hitch that the TV front axle comes back to the unhitched weight. A tweak or two at that point would do it.

For any vehicle being considered, need a TARE weight: driver plus max fuel and gear permanently aboard. This is the adjusted empty weight.

Donít use guesses. Use a certified, segmented Scale. Get the CAT Scale phone app.

Show this weight ticket against axle capacity, front and rear.

TW, strictly speaking, is NOT Payload, as only part of it will rest on the rear axle once adjusted.

A 750-lb TW will transfer 25% or more off of the TV altogether. Leaving 560-lbs to be divided on the TV axles. Maybe 280-lbs.

The old rule was to distribute the TW 1/3 per front, rear and TT axles. A slight bias to the TV rear axle.

What will affect any TV is the more aero qualities and suspension sophistication of the TT the better it behaves. Square edged box travel trailers with leaf spring axles are very poor. Slide outs make them worse.

Start at the beginning. TARE weight, and axle capacities. Thatís the working range.

Of the conventional integrated anti-sway WD hitches, the Reese Dual Cam is still the best. Itís downhill from there.
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