Towing 19'with Honda Pilot - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-29-2016, 10:23 AM   #1
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Towing 19'with Honda Pilot

Anyone have experience towing the Escape 19 with a Honda Pilot AWD? The Pilot's rating is 4500 lbs.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:31 AM   #2
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I did it for years. A very capable tow vehicle. Only on steep climbs did it falter, and not too bad. I went 4 years without a WDH, but then did add one, and it did help with some to keep both units feeling as one.

Like any mid-sized SUV, the fuel economy drops drastically when towing, but it was a fantastic vehicle to drive while the trailer was in camp.
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:30 PM   #3
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Agree with Jim: Honda Pilot is a good all-around the vehicle, which makes it perfect for towing a 19'. We started with a 17' and were concerned that the Pilot might not be up to a 19' but no worries. We use the Andersen WDH and feel quite comfortable on the road. True, gas mileage sucks when towing but what else is new?
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Old 03-29-2016, 01:39 PM   #4
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Planning to order the 19' on April 1. Was hoping the Pilot would do the job. Thanks for the quick reply.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:13 PM   #5
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I'm towing a 19 with the new redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot, rated at 5,000# if you get their transmission cooler. So far, so good!
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Old 03-30-2016, 01:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anne H View Post
I'm towing a 19 with the new redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot, rated at 5,000# if you get their transmission cooler. So far, so good!
We have a 2011 Pilot, and the Honda manual prohibits use of a WDH.
Does the new 2016 Pilot have the same restriction/warning?

Ref. note: see this post regarding frame damage due to a WDH:
What to tow a 19' with?
See post #22.
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
Ref. note: see this post regarding frame damage due to a WDH:
What to tow a 19' with?
See post #22.
The issue Steve (hotfishtacos) had with his Pilot was only with the hitch receiver (which is also the bumper support). There was no damage to the frame.
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
We have a 2011 Pilot, and the Honda manual prohibits use of a WDH.
Does the new 2016 Pilot have the same restriction/warning?.
Honda owner's manuals can be downloaded. This is what the 2016 Pilot manual says:
Quote:
Weight distribution hitches
Your vehicle is designed to tow without the need for a load distributing hitch. If you wish to use one, please consult your trailer maker for proper installation and set-up. Improper set-up could degrade the handling, stability, and braking performance of your vehicle.
I could not find any other reference to WD hitch use; so no, there is no restriction. For many hitch receivers and vehicles, weight-distributing mode is allowed higher tongue weight than weight-carrying mode, but apparently not in this case, so WD is also not encouraged.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:14 PM   #9
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This is what the 2009 Manual says.

Quote:
Weight Distributing Hitches
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.
It only says not recommended with reference to problems should it be improperly adjusted. I had no problem at all with mine, though I never found a need to crank it up as much as recommended to get good performance. Perhaps over tensioning could lead to failure?
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
Perhaps over tensioning could lead to failure?
The usual problem with an over-applied WD system - which was recognized at least 40 years ago - is that it reduces the traction available to the tug's rear tires without changing the mass location, making the rig prone to "folding up" (jackknifing) in severe cornering conditions.

Yes, I agree that over-application can also damage structure of the hitch, tow vehicle, or trailer by applying high forces in inappropriate directions.
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