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View Full Version : Is anyone towing with a Honda Pilot?



FoxHunt
04-16-2012, 08:58 AM
Greetings!

My wife and I are seriously considering taking the plunge and leaving the world of pop-ups and moving into a 183.

We have a 2010 Pilot (4500 tow rating/450 tongue weight). I understand the hitch weight (dry) is around 341lbs.

What do you find your hitch weight is when loaded to camp...also, what does your trailer weight when loaded?

We won't be carrying any water to or from, so I'm not concerned with that extra weight.

I have read in several places that Honda does not recommend a weight distribution hitch... any idea why?

If anyone is towing with a Honda Pilot, I would love to hear from you. Also, is anyone using a WDH with the Pilot? If so, how well is it working out?

Thanks in advance for the replies, we are very excited about the potential purchase and I want to make sure the Pilot is up to the job.

Best,
Brad

jimtoo
04-16-2012, 09:19 AM
HI FoxHunt,

Welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum and soon to the family. We have a great bunch of people here with lots of information and all willing to share their knowledge if needed.

Hopefully we will have some other MPG owners in soon and can help with your question.

Enjoy the forum.

Jim M

CliffP
04-16-2012, 07:10 PM
Welcome to the forum Brad! We have a 2005 Pilot with similar towing specs. Last camper was a 22 Thor Tahoe Lite - dry weight 2730 lbs. Used the Pilot to move the (empty) camper around in the yard. I'm not sure what the Tahoes tongue weight was but no way we'd have tried to pull it with the Pilot. Not sure about with a weight distribution hitch if you could get one. We had a truck to pull it with so gave up on trying to pull it with the Pilot.

Rick.
04-16-2012, 08:35 PM
Hi Brad. I just purchased a 181 mpg, had to tow it 1200 km. home, my tv is a dodge magnum, with an equalizer hitch. It towed great. I had to stop to avoid two moose and The hitch made all the difference. Glad I had installed it. Not the same tv. But mine is only rated for 3800 lbs and it pulled the trailer. I strongly recommend the hitch.

Sumo
04-16-2012, 09:31 PM
I've had 2 tongue pull trailers, started with a spring bar equalizer hitch. It worked Ok, not something I would recommend. The Spring bar helped with the weight, but did nothing for trailer sway.

I did up grade to a Equal-i-z-er Hitch made in Provo Ut. Best $600.00 I ever spent.
We had a tire blow out on our way to Helena Mt. I was pulling the trailer at about 70 mph and didn't feel any difference in the trailer at all. I'm embarrassed to say it took about 5 miles to figure out the rubber I was seeing in my side mirror was from my tire.

I personally wouldn't pull any tongue pull travel trailer without a equalizer hitch.

Don't know anything about towing with a Honda Pilot.

PeternLiane
04-16-2012, 10:32 PM
Greetings!

My wife and I are seriously considering taking the plunge and leaving the world of pop-ups and moving into a 183.

We have a 2010 Pilot (4500 tow rating/450 tongue weight). I understand the hitch weight (dry) is around 341lbs.

What do you find your hitch weight is when loaded to camp...also, what does your trailer weight when loaded?

We won't be carrying any water to or from, so I'm not concerned with that extra weight.

I have read in several places that Honda does not recommend a weight distribution hitch... any idea why?

If anyone is towing with a Honda Pilot, I would love to hear from you. Also, is anyone using a WDH with the Pilot? If so, how well is it working out?

Thanks in advance for the replies, we are very excited about the potential purchase and I want to make sure the Pilot is up to the job.

Best,
Brad

I hear that Honda is worried about all around weight. Truthfully, only an idiot would tow a tongue pull trailer without a weight distribution hitch and sway control. Yes, trucks and other TV's can tow without the WDH and SC but these people are idiots. You'll see the trailers swaying everywhere. The WDH and SC stabilize the trailer and help you keep control. There was even a Heartland owner who described an accident. They started swaying and could not control it. They did not have sway control nor a WDH. They just had everything replaced. They also have a WDH and SC. I'll see if I can find the thread.

So a WDH and SC is a must.

PeternLiane
04-16-2012, 10:41 PM
Here's the thread. It was a Honda Pilot too. You can pull the MPG easily but use a WDH and SC for safety.

//heartlandowners.org/showthread.php/28768-Scary-end-to-first-big-trip

buckeyebob
04-17-2012, 05:09 AM
here is my 2 cents worth.buy a bigger camper,and the right truck to pull it.in a few years you are gonna want a bigger camper and then your tow vehicle will be undersized.why spend all of your time driving white nuckled,looking in both mirrors constantly waiting for the accident that eventually will happen.i would never pull anything unless i was at least 2000 lbs under tow limit.its like the cart pushing the horse,the smaller the tow vehicle themore trailer sway. good luck, buckeyebob.

TandT
04-17-2012, 11:40 AM
I agree with buckeyebob. I would get a decent truck and you won't be sorry.
When I think of "tow vehicles", a Honda Pilot does not come to mind. Trace

Smokieshiker
04-18-2012, 11:06 PM
Brad, I tow my MPG 181 with a 2009 Honda Pilot and have had no problems. The dealer installed a WDH, but a local dealer told me that he didn't think we needed it. On our rear Honda tires, the distance from the top of the tire to the frame remains about 4 inches, with or without the MPG in tow-- reason enough to abandon the WDH according to him. I've been on a few 300-ish mile trips without them and it's been fine. We haven't transported any water in tow. Hope that helps. I don't have any hitch weight figures unfortunately.

David

MPG 181 in Nashville

marc515
04-19-2012, 06:58 AM
While I don't know the Honda Pilot capabilities, I would continue doing the research you're doing and asking the questions you're asking.

When we were looking at tow vehicles for our MPG181, I wasn't fully comfortable with vehicles with a 5,000LB towing capaciy.

Our MPG-181 has a dry weight of 2,820 Lbs, and GVWR of 3,800 Lbs. While we may not load to the 3.800Lbs, my guesstimate is we are running about 3,300Lbs as I actually weighed everything (well mostly everything) that went into it for a typical trip. I would venture to say that many of us are well on our way to maxing the gross vehicle weight rating, especially if you are carrying water in the tanks. Simply put, "STUFF" adds up., and we have a tendeccy to add more "STUFF" as we go on.

I read in a tow guide that the tow capacity is computed with a 150Lb driver, and once you add passengers and cargo, the tow capacity goes down! There are several sites where you can put in your vehicle and trailer weights, and it will compute what is safe. When I entered the data on a 5,000Lb vehicle, we were what I would consider as borderline safe on the 5,000 vehicle. **For calculations purposes I used myself, my wife, our dog, 300Lbs of cargo in the tow vehicle, and the 3,800 GVWR of the MPG.

So we ended up with a vehicle with a 6,000Lb tow capacity, and I now feel relatively safe.

Here is a good web site which has a worksheet so you can plug in your numbers; you might be surprised how close you are:

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-trailer-weight-tt.shtml

As for the WDH; there are many references which note that if the trailer weighs more than 50% of the tow vehicle's weight, you should be using one.

So, the bottom line here is to be sure you capture all weights when looking at the towing capacities. I think in some cases, RV dealers are misleading folks when they indicate smaller vehicles can tow these trailers. Yes they can tow, but pushing the capacity limits is not the safest thing to do.

Always error on the side of caution; you can't take back an accident once it happens. There are too many folks out there towing with marginal vehicles and pushing the safety envelope.

Please don’t anyone take offense; my only aim here is to share some of the insight I gained when doing research for our tow vehicle., and I am far from an expert.

PeternLiane
04-19-2012, 10:07 PM
While I don't know the Honda Pilot capabilities, I would continue doing the research you're doing and asking the questions you're asking.

When we were looking at tow vehicles for our MPG181, I wasn't fully comfortable with vehicles with a 5,000LB towing capaciy.

Our MPG-181 has a dry weight of 2,820 Lbs, and GVWR of 3,800 Lbs. While we may not load to the 3.800Lbs, my guesstimate is we are running about 3,300Lbs as I actually weighed everything (well mostly everything) that went into it for a typical trip. I would venture to say that many of us are well on our way to maxing the gross vehicle weight rating, especially if you are carrying water in the tanks. Simply put, "STUFF" adds up., and we have a tendeccy to add more "STUFF" as we go on.

I read in a tow guide that the tow capacity is computed with a 150Lb driver, and once you add passengers and cargo, the tow capacity goes down! There are several sites where you can put in your vehicle and trailer weights, and it will compute what is safe. When I entered the data on a 5,000Lb vehicle, we were what I would consider as borderline safe on the 5,000 vehicle. **For calculations purposes I used myself, my wife, our dog, 300Lbs of cargo in the tow vehicle, and the 3,800 GVWR of the MPG.

So we ended up with a vehicle with a 6,000Lb tow capacity, and I now feel relatively safe.

Here is a good web site which has a worksheet so you can plug in your numbers; you might be surprised how close you are:

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-trailer-weight-tt.shtml

As for the WDH; there are many references which note that if the trailer weighs more than 50% of the tow vehicle's weight, you should be using one.

So, the bottom line here is to be sure you capture all weights when looking at the towing capacities. I think in some cases, RV dealers are misleading folks when they indicate smaller vehicles can tow these trailers. Yes they can tow, but pushing the capacity limits is not the safest thing to do.

Always error on the side of caution; you can't take back an accident once it happens. There are too many folks out there towing with marginal vehicles and pushing the safety envelope.

Please don’t anyone take offense; my only aim here is to share some of the insight I gained when doing research for our tow vehicle., and I am far from an expert.

Every weight calculator comes up with a different answer. The differences in what they say can vary from 1lb to 4000+lbs. So you have to take them with a grain of salt. According to this calculator we'd all have to get out and push our vehicles.

The truth is the trailer you're looking at is ok. Do your research. You'll be ok with the 183 if you use a WDH and SC and don't over load. If you go any bigger in trailer you'll need to go bigger in TV.

CliffP
04-20-2012, 12:22 AM
Every weight calculator comes up with a different answer. The differences in what they say can vary from 1lb to 4000+lbs. So you have to take them with a grain of salt. According to this calculator we'd all have to get out and push our vehicles.

The truth is the trailer you're looking at is ok. Do your research. You'll be ok with the 183 if you use a WDH and SC and don't over load. If you go any bigger in trailer you'll need to go bigger in TV.

Agree, not without WDH and SC.

MountainTop
09-06-2012, 05:12 PM
Perhaps you've already found the right TV for your needs but thought I'd weigh in since we tow with a 2011 Honda Pilot with a towing pkg. In additio, we added a WDH with sway bars. We just returned from a 7500 mi. cross-country trip that included Rocky Mtn. passes and steep, winding roads. We're also the folks mentioned in an earlier reply who had a wreck with our first MPG last Jan. We re-researched everything we could find about weight, etc. and concluded that our Pilot is up to the job. Just to be sure, we had the packed TV, trailer with all items stowed aboard and the whole pkg. weighed at a truck stop to make sure everything came within reasonable weight limits (it did). The Pilot performed flawlessly and this time the trailer behaved itself. Our only mishap was nails in a trailer tire. We have added a tire pressure monitoring system to help us be sure the trailer tires and TV spare are OK. When we picked up the nail it alerted us immediately and that allowed us time to safely get off the road and call Good Sam for assistance.

CliffP
09-06-2012, 08:56 PM
Hi Brad. I just purchased a 181 mpg, had to tow it 1200 km. home, my tv is a dodge magnum, with an equalizer hitch. It towed great. I had to stop to avoid two moose and The hitch made all the difference. Glad I had installed it. Not the same tv. But mine is only rated for 3800 lbs and it pulled the trailer. I strongly recommend the hitch.

Hi Rick,

Welcome to the forum and glad your Pilot tows your rig great! How much does your MPG weigh? Which hitch did you go with? We still have our 05 Pilot and that won't be changing any time soon. We need 4WD and its tough to find an SUV that gets decent mileage. What are you getting for mileage when you tow?