Followers of the towing 17 B thread know that I was corrected in my assumptions about towing equipment for my recently acquired tow vehicle, a 2011 Honda Pilot. So, for the benefit and time savings of those who have, or are considering, a Honda Pilot for towing, I thought I would post what I know, and from where I know it.
All info comes from the 2011 Honda owner's manual, from my observations/inspection of my 2011, and from the Honda mfr's website
2011 Honda Pilot Specifications and Features - Honda.com
2009-2011 Honda's come standard with a tow package consisting of a Class III 2” receiver, internal wiring for lights and electric brake, heavy-duty radiator with (2)160w. Fans, heavy-duty power steering fluid cooler, heavy-duty automatic transmission fluid cooler.
Later Honda's appear to come standard with the tow package, but the 2WD tow rating is 2000 lbs. max.
See 2014 Honda Pilot Specifications and Features - Honda.com
For 2015 Pilots: See 2015 Honda Pilot - Specifications - Official Honda Site
The receiver is 2”, welded to a 2”x4” structural tube steel cross member bolted at each side to hard points on the unibody sheet metal. The construction is similar to previous receiver assemblies I've purchased/installed in the past for other cars.
Receiver: Max. trailer weight = 4500 lbs. (4WD)
= 3500 lbs. (2WD)
Receiver max. tongue weight = 450 lbs. (4WD)
= 350 lbs. (2WD)
From the manual: “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.
See this set of comments on towing a 19 with a Pilot w/ WDH.
Honda Pilot hitch receiver problem
(post #22 in What to tow a 19' with?
Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) = 6096 lbs. (4WD);
= 5952 lbs. (2WD)
Gross axle weight rating (GAWR)-4WD
-front axle = 2921 lbs.
-rear axle = 3251 lbs. LX model
-rear axle = 3362 lbs. All but LX
Gross axle weight rating (GAWR)-2WD
-front axle = 2921 lbs.
-rear axle = 3196 lbs.
Gross combined weight rating (GCWR) = 9579 lbs. (4WD);
= 8466 lbs. (2WD)
GCWR is reduced 2% for every 1000 ft. above sea level.
Internal trailer wiring is built-in, including locations for fuses and relays. I used a CURT #56097 wiring kit, which consisted of a converter for combining the brake and turn functions for left and for right, harness and 7 pin trailer plug, the required fuses and relays. The hardest part (if you could call it that) was positioning the 7 pin plug bracket, drilling 2 holes in the receiver cross member, and then driving in 2 self-tap screws.
I love my power tools.
Note: the bracket included in the kit positions the trailer plug a little high, so you have to trim the plastic fascia. Instead, I used a bracket I had, that was a little longer, and I bent it about 10° back to match the angle of the fascia. Another option would be to get self-tap screws the same diameter but longer, and use some ¼x20 nuts or some washers for spacers between the bracket and the crossmember.
Brake controller was similarly easy: I have a Tekonsha P3. The Tekonsha 3070-P wiring harness plugs into the Honda receptacle under the dash, and into the back of the P3. For other brands, or to hard-wire, the Honda manual indicates the 4-pin gray connector is near the parking brake pedal. With the center tab up, from the left:
Ground (Black),Electric Brake (Brown/White), Stop (Sky Blue), Brake (20A)(Purple).
Based on ETI's info: Escape 17 ball height = 18”
Based on measurement of the Pilot receiver height, and estimating effects on height weight of passengers, stuff, and tongue weight, per the Honda manual, I chose a ball mount with a 4” drop.