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Old 10-08-2018, 06:05 PM
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Honda Pilot Towing

Just curious if anyone is towing with a new body style Honda Pilot? I only tow 3 miles to the ramp on a regular basis with a 15 mile trip occasionally.

Debating getting rid of my wife's Yukon and picking up a left over 2018 for towing the X2. The towing capacity is 5k so I realize I'm very close, but should be fine for my limited towing with good trailer brakes.
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Old 10-08-2018, 06:18 PM
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I figure after gas and trailer you’re probably over 5k. But, 3 miles isn’t terribly far so I probably would do it.



2016 X30-Wetsounds galore
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Old 10-08-2018, 09:30 PM
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I tow my X2 with a MDX.....no problems. Tandem axle with working trailer brakes, not sure what your setup is.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:33 AM
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The Pilot was in our recent consideration when we were upgrading our 4Runner, there were several comparable. I'm 6'3" and the head space in and getting in/out of the Pilot removed it from our search. We narrowed it down to the Highlander and the Traverse, ended up with the Traverse. All had 5k towing rating if they had the trailering package. I think for short distances any would be fine with working trailer brakes.
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:44 AM
mdskier mdskier is offline
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I tow similar distances with my Honda Ridgeline. I understand the Ridgeline and Pilot share the same frame/undercarriage.

I've had no problems, been doing it for a few years.
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Old 10-09-2018, 10:24 AM
GoneSkiing GoneSkiing is offline
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I towed with my MDX, it worked. Just watch your tongue weight.
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Old 10-10-2018, 07:52 PM
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Thanks for the feedback, still not sure what we will do. We really do like the Yukon, just thinking about it.

How do the Pilots/MDX's do on steep hills? Our 3.08 geared Yukon really does not like the steep hill out of one of the marinas we frequent (Beaver Creek).
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Old 10-11-2018, 08:48 AM
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I've done the marginal tow vehicle thing several times when trying to thin the fleet or compromise on the next family car. I've had a Bronco II, a Chevy S10, a couple 2 door Explorer Sports but probably my worst idea ever was a Ford Windstar with a 4000 lb towing package. The problem with all these vehicles wasn't any one thing but more the entire package which put them on the edge of being dangerous to tow with. Lack of torque due to in-antiquate gearing, bad braking from brakes really designed for a passenger load, poor handling as the suspension wasn't set up for towed loads or a vehicle that was pushed all over the road as the boat just physically too big for the tow vehicle.

It used to be that if you bought a tow package for a car or light truck you typically got at a minimum a suspension upgrade, bigger brakes and cooling system upgrades. These days you'll typically get a tow hitch and wiring. Some brands do better than others but as they say your mileage may vary. The other issue with hitting the edge of the tow rating is that typically you're also loading up the truck/car as well as the pulling the boat. Add 3 adults, some coolers and their gear and you quickly added another 500 or 600 lbs to the load.

The other areas I found that would bite me at some point during my tenure with a marginal tow vehicle were the bad or wet ramps, the panic stop you weren't expecting, the extra load or passenger that you needed to add, the longer trip you hadn't expected to take or the rain storm you had to pull in that made the vehicle handle even worse and made braking scary.

While you may be able to get away with the Pilot here are the issues I fear you'll have....

Power - At 280 and 262 ft/lb of torque @ 4700 RPM you'll be under powered and not making power where you'll need it most to pull a large dimension boat like an X2. Getting an X2 moving and keeping going down the road with that large flat wind dam of a bow is going to take torque. I've got a feeling you're going to be flogging that little engine pretty good if you ever do have to pull out in traffic or pull it on the freeway.

Load Capacity - The tongue weight on my X2 is significant for my F150. Now put that on a loaded Pilot with 4 passengers and their gear. I'd want to at least hook it up to see what it would look like before purchasing.

Handling - Trucks are designed to carry and pull a load. They typically come standard with larger brakes, larger cooling systems and tow specific features like ante-sway to help control the pulled load and tow/haul modes for the engine/transmission to optimize towing performance. From what I can tell the Pilot won't have anything like this included.

So will this work for you? Probably but probably not well. Every time I tired this I was ultimately disappointed. Think of it this way, if you're not happy with the Yukon now, how is going to a vehicle with less capability going to be?
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Old 10-16-2018, 04:51 AM
Curiel Curiel is offline
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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.
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