Towing with a Honda Ridgline - Page 2 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 04-11-2014, 01:58 PM   #11
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I too have a Sienna (2005) with the factory tow package( I did change the hitch from 1 1/4" to 2") and given what you have indicated, I wonder why the difference. I too have been eying a Highlander, because of its greater stated towing capacity now, this makes me wonder.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabe View Post
I was heading West out of Vegas towards Pahrump through the loooong grade in the canyon west of town. It was 90 degrees that day and I was babying the Ford up the grade. When I got to the top, I found that despite my tranny cooler, the heat had boiled out all the fluid from the tranny.
Is this the AAMCO guy's description, or yours, Gabe? It takes a very high temperature to boil transmission fluid, and even if that happened it would have to come out the dipstick (if not sealed properly) or a vent; I expect that the stench and the cloud would be hard to miss. If it really lost fluid, it seems much more likely that it would have gone out vents or failed seals as liquid. I suspect that clutches failed due to a combination of excessively hot components and reduced fluid level. Whatever really happened, if they say i boiled dry I would take any information from this transmission shop with a grain of salt.

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Originally Posted by gabe View Post
The head guy there told me that despite what the books say, what he sees coming through his shop with blown trannies are Ford Escapes, Expeditions, Explorers and F150's. Also Dodge 1500's, and Durangos. This guy has been doing transmissions since the Vietnam War so he knows his business. He said that the products he sees least often in his shop are Chev trucks.
...
Sorry if this post is a bit of a downer for SUV users, but just be careful please and check it out carefully
It's a valuable cautionary tale, but I don't see any connection to SUVs. The problem models cited by the AAMCO guy are mix of SUVs and pickup trucks (including what Ford claims is the best-selling pickup model). All of the problem vehicles are Ford and Chrysler; none are from other manufacturers although almost every make includes SUVs. All problem models are relatively light-duty; no "heavy duty" or "super duty" vehicles (SUV or pickup) are mentioned (even Fords or Rams). If anything, this anecdote suggests to me that:
  • those towing in very hot conditions should be especially cautious about vehicle capacity
  • monitoring transmission fluid temperature might be a good idea
  • there might be brand differences
It doesn't suggest any concern with SUVs to me.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
Brian, I'm not sure whether wheelbase trumps power in tow vehicles, but I'm guessing that depends on the grade of the road, quality of the road surface, and the wind conditions. Might a premium hitch like the Andersen add to the stability of a rig whose TV had a shorter wheelbase?
Neither wheelbase nor horsepower wins, because they address entirely unrelated requirements. Wheelbase is important to stability (and to minimize the adverse transfer of load from the front axle to the rear). Power makes no difference to stability or handling.

Yes, WD hitch systems vary in the amount of friction they apply to control sway, and the Anderson design should be particularly effective - regardless of wheelbase - and users seem to be confirming this.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by MarksAlot View Post
As much as I love my Infiniti FX50S, which tows my Casita 17' like it's not there, I bought a 2003 Dodge Dakota with a 4.7L V8 to tow my (future) Escape 19. It has the factory tow package and is rated to tow 5000lbs with a class III hitch and 6700lbs with a class IV.

My question is how do you tell if you have a class III or class IV?
The hitch should say this (on a label), but the class is simply the weight rating, and 5000 pounds is the limit for Class 3 (Class III). As long as the Escape 19' is under 5000 pounds you're fine... and it certainly should be, because the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for that model is 4000 pounds - if you load it to 5000 pounds, it is overloaded by half a ton!

The higher capacity with a Class 4 hitch receiver does not indicate any improved performance or reliability of the vehicle, just that the receiver structure is stronger.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
We currently tow our 17b with a 2008 Toyota Sienna, towing capacity of 3500 lbs. We are considering buying a Highlander to tow our 21 when it comes in Sept. The Highlander has a towing capacity of 5000 lbs. but when you look at the two vehicles, the Highlander only has 5 more horse power and about 4 more ft lbs of torque. The highlander is slightly narrower. Both are unibody construction., and similar curb weights. So I am surprised that the highlander has so much more towing capacity.
This is confusing because the capacity is not just about power or vehicle size. The Highlander has bigger tires, and thus higher rear axle capacity, and thus greater ability to handle tongue weight, and that may be the only difference for the rating difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeonW View Post
I know about the SAE standard, but sometimes I think the towing capacity is arbitrary, set as much by the marketing dept as the engineers.
While there may be some marketing in the process, I think people should also be aware that even with the new and desirable SAE J2807 standard, the manufacturer can set the trailer rating as low as they feel is appropriate; the standard only defines testing to determine if rating is too high, not if it could be higher.
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by floorpanel View Post
Recently picked up my 21. Drove through Washington down the Oregon coast in blowing rain. Down through California through Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and home in Texas. I use a sway bar on my Ridgline but not a WDH. I was really surprised at how 'well the truck did. I really think the 21 pulles more stable than the
17' Casta did. Gas millage was not good (12-14mpg) but very pleased with the performance
Floorpanel,

Good to hear your 21 towed well with your Ridgeline. We're driving our Ridgeline out to BC and picking up our 21 the end of this month. We're going to do some touring in Washington, Oregon and N Calif and then then head back east.

Any recommendations for must see sites on coast between Washington and N. Calif?
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:23 PM   #17
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We spent two nights at Cape Dissapointment State Park in far southwest Washington on the coast. Nice park, weather was not cooperative but a nice place. Spent one night at Crescent City Caligornia at Redwood KOA. We drove through the State Park there and viewed beautiful Redwood trees. Could have spent more time there but had reservations at Yosemite. The weather was challenging. Mainly snow that caused road problems with a trailer and at that time of year not all of the park is open. We still saw some wonderful sites in the Park and I would recommend it highly if you haven't been there.
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