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Old 10-30-2016, 01:49 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
Read your Honda Pilot owners manual carefully. We have a 2011 Pilot, and its manual, along with some other years' manuals from Honda, that I have read, specifically prohibit weight distribution hitches (WDH) for the Pilot, because it is of 'unibody' construction, instead of a full frame like a truck, so damage can occur. There was a posting some time back from a Honda owner who had damage to his factory hitch on a Pilot due to a WDH's forces.
Yes, always read the manual carefully... but that's not what the Pilot manual says.

Yes, because Honda recommends that you do not use a WDH, the hitch (at least of the previous version) was apparently not designed to take the twisting force of a WDH.

Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I can't imagine that a Honda Pilot is that fragile.
It's not. Note that the damage experienced by that Pilot owners was only to the receiver, not to the structure of the vehicle.

The actual section of the Pilot manual...
2011 manual on page 441:
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.
2014 manual on page 336:
A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle.
An improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance.
The 2016 version is more tolerant of WD (page 456):
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 can only guess that the current Pilot's hitch receiver is designed to allow WD use, since they no longer recommend against it (although they do say it is not needed, and warn of risks).

There is no structural concern expressed by Honda, and no mention of unibody construction. I'm not surprised, since they supply a hitch designed to work properly with the vehicle's structure... which is a unibody, just like almost every other light vehicle (and the biggest SUV is a "light vehicle") other than pickup trucks and some SUVs based on the same platforms as the trucks.

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Old 10-30-2016, 02:22 AM   #22
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Thanks for all the research Brian.
Often what is posted on the web is like that 'telephone' game where the story changes as it is passed around the circle. I've always been suspicious of that game too. I figure some change the story on purpose.

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Old 10-30-2016, 02:38 AM   #23
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Attached is what the Honda Pilot manual says about a weight distributing hitch.

More of a caution and it doesn't have a warning highlighted in red.
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Old 10-30-2016, 07:46 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by advenas View Post
Hi Padlin,
What portable inverter do you have? I am working on my 17B build sheet and really only need to charge my laptop and flashlight. No microwave, AC or big draw appliances will be on board. Thanks!
This is the inverter.

Like others, I bought an extension for it. It has a small fan so you can hear that a little.

I have a different trailer then you so the layout probably differs, but I mine came with a single 12 volt socket by the door. I had one added under the dinette table, both see a lot of use. I also went with one outside by the 120vac outlet. Works good for a 12v fan to keep the skeeters away as well as an outside place to charge. I bring a portable drill/driver for the stabilizers, on longer trips it needs charging too.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:35 AM   #25
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Hair dryer

This discussion of the Escape inverter has mentioned the possibility of using a hair dryer. I looked at my wife's hair dryer and it is rated at 1875 watts. I went looking for a 1500 watt dryer but only found higher rated dryers up to 2200 watts. This little hand held appliance would make a Honda 2000 groan. Is the Escape invertor capable of running a hair dryer for a short time?
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:41 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Patricia View Post
Attached is what the Honda Pilot manual says about a weight distributing hitch.

More of a caution and it doesn't have a warning highlighted in red.
That is what it said in my 2009 Pilot manual too. I eventually used a WDH with my 19 with no problems at all.

As you have seen with the answers you got regarding the optional inverter, whether you get it or not is pretty much dependant on what you might need it for. We set ourselves up to not rely on 120V, but to instead use it to our advantage when we have it. We will not be getting an inverter installed ourselves.

This past trip we took, when dry camping in the pouring rain, we watched a couple shows on a 24" TV played from my laptop. A 300W inverter powered both with no problem. I plan to try using a 200W inverter that has no fan, which in theory should work too.
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Old 10-30-2016, 10:52 AM   #27
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I installed my inverter (600 watts) because I wanted more outlets that did not look like a cigar lighter and, it has a really neat digital display of the battery levels. These are very handy but must add we have rarely made use of them.
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:02 AM   #28
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I do apologize for the incorrect information. My Honda manual says " not recommended.." as well. The WDH problem was reported by HotFishTacos here: What to tow a 19' with? Page 3, post #22

I had posted my findings at the time I acquired the Honda, here:
Honda Pilot tow info

I will review it later today for discrepancies.
Don & Teresa
2015 17A: 2011 Honda Pilot
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:00 PM   #29
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Always used a portable, handheld inverter for little stuff. We got on the inverter bandwagon and sprung for the 1500W on our 21. Opinion: senseless upgrade for our camping style. I really have little or no use for it. It can't deliver the power we need (microwave, coffee maker, hair dryer or curling iron). I've moved to 12v tv, 12v chargers and SiriusXM and we use instant coffee so the inverter really isn't going to get any use.

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Old 10-30-2016, 12:00 PM   #30
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Even when we camp at sites with electrical hookups we don't bring any devices along with us that require 120V. The electrical hookups are nice for charging the battery and running the air conditioner, but with solar, dual 6V batteries, 12v television and adapters for charging phones, cameras and iPads, we have absolutely no need for an inverter. Water for Coffee is heated on the stove and wife uses an aero press. Don't have or use a microwave, but if I was to get one, I would consider a gasoline powered version.
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2013 19' \ 2013 15B, 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser

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