Help-still have questions about towing & weight!!

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by johando, May 25, 2018.

  1. johando

    johando New Member

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    I know this question has been asked before....I have read many threads, but I still have questions.

    We own a 2008 Honda Pilot 4WD. The towing capacity states 3500 for trailers and 4500 for boats.
    Our trailer is a 2010 Coleman bayside. The dry weight is #2650. The GVWR is 3500.
    Can the 4500 towing capacity rating work for a pop up trailer since it is low profile or is it truly only for boats? Why or why not?
    We have been trying to get adequate answers from dealership about adding the tow pkg. dealer says all we really need is trans cooler and ps cooler is not necessary? Is that what you have found?
    We live in CO.
    Is the 4500 why limit for trailer, all gear and passengers? Does the weight of our trailer sound safe to pull as long as we have a trans cooler? We DO also have a trailer brake and anti sway bar. 4 people in fam plus dog! Just trying to understand and be sure we have what we need. We have struggled to get answers from dealerships.
    Thx for your help!
     
  2. CampStewart

    CampStewart Member

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    I have never heard of a different max gvw for different types of loads. The only thing I can imagine is it is due to wind resistance. Your pop up is low but wide. Since it us under the 3500lb limit I would not be concerned. I would look into adding a transmission temp gauge so you can see how hot the trans fluid is getting. Heat will kill a transmission faster than anything else. I would like to see the literature stating the different gvws for different loads if you could post it. With such a load of people and gear you may want to look into the max gvw for trailer and loaded rig combined, known as the GCWR
     
  3. mstrbill

    mstrbill Active Member

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    You can just google it, it's a known limitation of the Pilot, however IIRC the newest Generation Pilot doesn't have that limitation.
    I think also has something to do with the difference in tongue weight and setup of a boat trailer vs a trailer hauling "cargo"
     
  4. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Does the Pilot have the factory tow package ?
     
  5. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Frontal area makes a big difference. A TT will have a larger area than a pup. A pup will be about the same as a boat. Several vehicle mfg.'s specify the max sq. ft. of frontal area.... This is why the different weights for a boat and aTT
     
  6. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Just an FYI. I have a Fleetwood Utah a sister to the Bayside and loaded with gear my camper weighs just around 3,000 without water tanks. My worry is the tongue weight for you. If you have the double propane and front trunk, your tongue weight is going to be higher than any dry numbers you have.
     
  7. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    One problem is your using dry weight, stop using that.. if you dont know the actual weight you have it at loaded for camping, then use the GVWR..
     
  8. Dingit

    Dingit Active Member

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    4500 is the limit for trailer (or 3500, depending on if you decide it's a boat or not.)

    The gear (in the car), passengers, and tongue weight of the trailer have to be under your car's payload and that is what usually actually limits towing.
     
  9. mstrbill

    mstrbill Active Member

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    Don't forget there is the Cross Combined Weight Rating(GCWR), for which the loaded weight of the trailer and the loaded TV weight must be kept under. There are some TVs that if you load them up you can't pull the full trailer weight rating.

    And there is the axle weight rating, you need to particularly watch the rear axle.
     
  10. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Active Member

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    Your probably fine as long as you add the tow package bits. Definitely add the transmission cooler. If it was me, I’d do the power steering cooler too. Honda is the only one that uses such a thing as part of their tow packages, so there must be a reason why.

    The best thing you can do is find the GCWR of the Pilot. It is the maximum capacity of the TV + trailer + anything in or on either. Then subtract the curb weight of the TV from the GCWR and you know what your towing capacity is with an empty car(though may still be limited by other factors). Anything you add in the TV (people, cargo, etc) subtracts from that number.

    You’ll also want to check on the payload. That one is easy. There is a sticker inside the driver’s door that will say something like “passengers and cargo cannot exceed X lbs”. Add up the weight of all passengers and cargo. The remaining payload is what is available for tongue weight.

    Then there’s the GAWR’s, which should also be on a sticker at the door. The only way to check those is to hit a scale.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  11. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Active Member

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    I've been looking at the older body style Ridgeline as a TV candidate which is nothing more than a Pilot in truck clothing. They both use the Odyssey transmission which has been problematic especially for towing. Low profile should put you in the boat rating and I would definitely get the tow package upgrades. Probably do fine on flatter ground but will work pretty hard in higher elevations like the Rockies. The Ridgeline has a slightly higher tow rating at #5000 however that includes weight of passengers, gear etc. Reading on a Honda forum the consensus is round down the capacity to #3500-4000 pounds for the RL. Most agree that the Pilot and Ridgeline should not be used for towing a TT, rather boats and popups.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  12. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Yes we are supposed to go over dry weight but NOT the max weight.
     
  13. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and with Tow Package, Pilot can tow popups like my Explorer with Tow Package does (5000 lbs). It is surprising to find that an Explorer without Tow Package can only tow 2,300 lbs. The thing is that if you want to upgrade Pilot with tow package, you may need to change for bigger radiator, sway control, tow button to activate the towing, suspensions for towing, tranny cooler and engine cooler. Isn't it better to find the vehicle with factory tow package?
     
  14. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Active Member

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    Honda does tow packages differently than most. On the Pilot and Odyssey the tow package used to be a dealer installed option. It looks like now you can order it with some components from the factory on new ones. I’m not familiar enough with the Ridgeline to know if it was the same. Their tow package was literally just an external transmission cooler, a power steering fluid cooler, the hitch and wiring. Anybody could buy the exact same OEM parts from a dealer or other official parts retailer and add them after the sale. It actually makes it really easy to shop for them since you don’t have to find one that had a certain box checked on the window sticker.
     
  15. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Ah I can now see the difference between Ford and Honda in regards with Tow Package.
     
  16. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    page 220 of the manual
    "The weight that the tongue of a fully loaded trailer puts on the hitch should be 5 to 10 percent of the total trailer weight for boat trailers, and 8 to 15 percent of total trailer weight for all other trailers. (See page for limits for your towing situation). Too much tongue load reduces front-tire traction and steering control. Too little tongue load can make the trailer unstable and cause it to sway."

    Look at max tongue weight on page 223, it varies by passenger/cargo load.

    Assume 450lb, @10% the boat could be 4500lb if it does not exceed other ratings.
    Assume 450lb, @15% the trailer could be 3000lb "
    Assume 450lb and 12.5% tongue weight, 3600lb and that's about the trailer rating.

    I usually use either 12 or 13% to estimate towing, ie a 350/3500 tow rating ends up 350/.13 = 2700 lb towing capacity, so if you stay 350lbs below max vehicle weight you could add a 2700lb trailer with its 350 lb tongue.

    Boats generally have the axle farther back than a PU leading to lighter tongue weight for the same trailer weight.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  17. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    [QUOTE="Boats generally have the axle farther back than a PU leading to lighter tongue weight for the same trailer weight.[/QUOTE]

    Are you sure? PU axle is about exact middle of the box but if its further back which result that the tongue is heavier.
     
  18. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    mine was 1 foot rear of the center of the box and made for normally weighted tongue (>10%) when empty.

    Boats cg is farther back due to the large(r) mass near the rear, the axle is certainly rear of the cg but the 'tongue' (distance from axle to coupler) would be longer (less % TW as mentioned by Honda). Now take your PU and extend the tongue and the TW will be less the farther from cg you extend.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
  19. CampStewart

    CampStewart Member

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    It is foolish to make blanket statements regarding boat trailers and their weight and balance. If they have a bow mounted gas tank the tongue weight can very quite a bit from a full to empty tank. Throw a few coolers full of ice and drinks in the bow will also really increase the tongue weight. Is Honda considering any of that with their tow ratings?
     
  20. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    I believe Honda is including what boat/trailers makers recommend, this % of TW is generally for all loading conditions. Just like a PU, proper load placement is required to end up with desirable TW %. Empty or packed to the max.
     

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