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Old 07-04-2018, 06:43 PM   #1
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Honda Pilot towing 21' or 19'

We are considering a 21' or 19' Escape, and have a Honda Pilot with 4500 lb towing capacity. We prefer the 21' but would go for the 19' if there is a substantial difference in towing performance. The difference in trailer empty weight between the 2 trailers is only 260lb, which does not seem much, but the 21' slightly larger front area and length decreases aerodynamic performance, which may be substantial at higher speeds. We usually travel at 60mph; not sure how substantial would be the difference between the 2 trailers at this speed. Based on what I read, I do the following calculation:

Honda Pilot 2011 GVWR 9580 lb, minus 4610 lb car curb weight = 4970 lb capacity for car cargo and loaded trailer; minus 800 lb car cargo = 4170 lb capacity for towing loaded trailer. This means that we could load the 21' with 4170-3210 (empty weight of the 21’) =960 lb max which seems doable. The 19' would offer only 260lb additional as mentioned before.

We would use the trailer mostly to travel on mostly rolling highways in Canada and the US but also to go to Baja, Mexico once a year. Will greatly appreciate any advice / information

DJ
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:28 PM   #2
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We are considering a 21' or 19' Escape, and have a Honda Pilot with 4500 lb towing capacity. We prefer the 21' but would go for the 19' if there is a substantial difference in towing performance. The difference in trailer empty weight between the 2 trailers is only 260lb, which does not seem much, but the 21' slightly larger front area and length decreases aerodynamic performance, which may be substantial at higher speeds. We usually travel at 60mph; not sure how substantial would be the difference between the 2 trailers at this speed. Based on what I read, I do the following calculation:

Honda Pilot 2011 GVWR 9580 lb, minus 4610 lb car curb weight = 4970 lb capacity for car cargo and loaded trailer; minus 800 lb car cargo = 4170 lb capacity for towing loaded trailer. This means that we could load the 21' with 4170-3210 (empty weight of the 21’) =960 lb max which seems doable. The 19' would offer only 260lb additional as mentioned before.

We would use the trailer mostly to travel on mostly rolling highways in Canada and the US but also to go to Baja, Mexico once a year. Will greatly appreciate any advice / information

DJ
I think that although towing the 19 is doable, I think the 21 would be a mistake. To allow yourself only 960 lbs capacity is insufficient. For instance 26 gallons of water is 260 lbs alone. All of your pots, pans, food, bedding, clothing, propane and anything else would easily add up to 960 lbs that’s before you have any beer or wine! Then you have zero spare. Long hills would be terrible, I see you live in North Vancouver, so we have lots in BC, just a haul to the Okanagan, you go up over 4,000 feet several times. I suggest that you look elsewhere. We have just ordered an Escape 21, and although we currently have an older model Honda Pilot, we have to upgrade and a newer Honda Pilot is not on our wish list.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:39 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice, well taken. May I ask what options of towing vehicle are you considering for your new 21'?
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:53 PM   #4
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With the older Pilots that had only a 4,500 lb towing capacity, they still had the pretty much the same GCWR of many other SUV's that had a 5,000 lb towing capacity, so you could load up just as much weight of the tow and trailer combined.

I had one of these towing my 2009 19, and my brother has one towing his 2017 19. While a little short on long steep hills, or into heavy headwinds, it did just great otherwise. With the added weight of a 21 they would have a bit more of a struggle in these conditions.

You could do just fine with the new Pilot towing a 21, or any other 5,000 lb towing capacity vehicle, as long as you are willing to have a bit less than optimal performance a wee bit of the time. It all depends on where you tow. If you are going to be in the mountains once a year or so, it would be just fine, but if you plan to do lots of hauling in mountainous areas year round, you might want to increase your towing capacity a bit. There are lots of vehicles around the 6,500 mark. If you wanted and needed a pickup for other reasons, any 1/2 ton will have a ton of power to spare.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:04 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, well taken. May I ask what options of towing vehicle are you considering for your new 21'?
Just beginning to think about it. Our preference would be some kind of SUV. However, although some think that 5,000 lbs is adequate, my feeling is that especially as we do lots of routes with big elevation gains, a 6,000 lbs capacity would be more desirable and that is a bit more restrictive. A suitably powered Nissan Pathfinder might do the trick.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:08 PM   #6
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Thanks to Chris & Patricia and Jim. That give us more clarity for our decisions
Cheers
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:09 PM   #7
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Just beginning to think about it. Our preference would be some kind of SUV. However, although some think that 5,000 lbs is adequate, my feeling is that especially as we do lots of routes with big elevation gains, a 6,000 lbs capacity would be more desirable and that is a bit more restrictive. A suitably powered Nissan Pathfinder might do the trick.
I would be thinking pretty much the same. I would definitely prefer an SUV myself if towing a bumper pull. Maybe a small pickup with a canopy. The Pathfinder is a very nice car, and one I would consider too.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:21 PM   #8
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Also, keep in mind that options add weight. Major weight items, IMHO, would be air conditioning, dual six volt batteries, both insulation packages and the front storage box if you tend to accurate heavy stuff in it.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:24 PM   #9
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Anne H full times in her 2016 19' Escape (with flipped layout) and tows with a 2016 Honda Pilot
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:19 AM   #10
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My fully loaded 2017 21 weighs 4600 lbs with a tongue weight of 500 lbs when packed for a 8 - 10 month trip.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:43 AM   #11
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My fully loaded 2017 21 weighs 4600 lbs with a tongue weight of 500 lbs when packed for a 8 - 10 month trip.
Do you have AC?
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:08 PM   #12
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Do you have AC?
Yes, and a second 160 watt solar panel in place of the TV antenna. Front storage box with about 75 lbs of stuff. Lots of stuff in the trailer since I usually go through 3 seasons clothing wise...
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:49 PM   #13
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Yes, and a second 160 watt solar panel in place of the TV antenna. Front storage box with about 75 lbs of stuff. Lots of stuff in the trailer since I usually go through 3 seasons clothing wise...
Thanks, this is helpful in giving us an idea of requirements as we look for a new Tow Vehicle for our new 21.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:46 PM   #14
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I should have mentioned it before, but I keep up a spreadsheet version of Frederick Simpson's Trailer Weights in the Real World, which is a long thread at Fiberglass RV.

Because his version is a web page, it can't be sorted, filtered, etc, so with his permission I have a version at my website. You can filter it by trailer brand & size, and get averages, maximums, etc.
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:41 PM   #15
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Our 2018 GMC Canyon diesel performed excellently during our recently completed journey from the Yukon to Chilliwack and back to pick up our new 21, through some rather challenging weather and road conditions and terrain. Before buying the Canyon we researched many other vehicles, and would've loved to get a Highlander for comfort and other features, but settled upon the Canyon specifically for the towing features, like the integrated trailer brakes, tow-haul mode, payload and 7600 lb towing capacity.
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