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Old 05-22-2024, 02:16 PM   #21
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Trailer: 2019 Escape 19
Posts: 42
Originally Posted by Toedoc View Post
Great answers! Thanks everyone. I think the wisdom is, no. I was kind of afraid of that.
Toedoc, I would strongly disagree with those who say you can't or should not pull an E19 with a Honda Pilot. We have been pulling our E19 (2019 version) since then with our 2011 AWD Honda Pilot with zero problems. (Before that, we had an Escape 15) Now, we did have the tow package put on when we ordered the Pilot in 2010, and that version only pulls 4500 pounds, whereas the newer Pilots pull 5000 lbs. Don't have photos yet, but we got back at the end of last month from a 2600+ mile trip to New Mexico and Arizona. No problems. The last trip with photos is this one:
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Old 05-22-2024, 03:22 PM   #22
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Portland, Oregon
Trailer: 2022 19'
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by Dave Walter View Post
If you already own the Pilot, I say to keep it for now and try it out with your trailer. If you are not satisfied with the towing performance, then go shopping for a new tow vehicle at that time. If you are shopping now, I would say to definitely move on to something more capable for towing.
Best answer yet!

I tow my '19 with a 2019 Passport AWD and it gets the job done (with relatively good gas mileage too). Struggles a little on hills but I plan to upgrade the tow vehicle before any trips across the Rockies.
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Old 05-22-2024, 03:55 PM   #23
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Portland, Oregon
Trailer: None
Posts: 52
The OP does not mention the model year of his Pilot, and there are modest differences between model years. The Pilot shares its platform with the Acura MDX as well as the Ridgeline. I bought my 2016 AWD MDX in order to be able to tow an Escape, and have added the transmission cooler to increase the towing capacity to 5000#. So far, without having an Escape, I have discovered that putting just a bike rack on the hitch tilts the car enough to blind some drivers at night, with a single ebike on it I get more flashing at me, and with two ebikes pretty much everyone is pissed off. That would equate to about 200# of tongue weight. There is simply no way I am putting 400# of tongue weight on this car, at least without a weight distributing hitch. I have dug into every corner of the market for an airbag system for leveling the car but no one makes airbags for this MDX (and thus likely the Pilot as well, depending on generation - earlier generations did have airbags available IIRC). My owners manual says that a WDH is not necessary but can be used if desired - I think it is required. I have no reason to doubt the ability of the OEM towing package to handle an Escape 19 or even 21 with a WDH, but as others have noted it is working close to the limits. And just as important, the load capacity of the vehicle is pretty low at 1173# so after subtracting the weight of people and tongue there is only 200#-300# of capacity left, enough for a couple of kayaks on the roof and a few things inside but not nearly enough to use the MDX to haul any significant amount of luggage or equipment (most of the back from second and third row through the deck will need to be nearly empty). My conclusion is that it is a marginal tow vehicle, which I might use for occasional camping but serious travelling would best be done with something more robust, such as a truck with a strong frame. That is not the conclusion I wanted but that is where the facts lead.
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Old 05-22-2024, 08:57 PM   #24
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2023
Location: Newtown, Connecticut
Trailer: 2024 Escape 17A
Posts: 7
For comparison, I'm towing a new E17A with a 2022 Honda Passport with the factory towing package. The Passport is essentially a Pilot with a slightly shortened wheelbase but the rest of the drive train is identical. The 9 speed transmission helps a lot! Mind you the E17 isn't as heavy as the 19 but I have absolutely no problems towing with my combination. I think I'd consider a weight leveling anti sway hitch for your particular rig but short of pulling the Rockies, you'll probably be OK.
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Old 05-23-2024, 08:22 AM   #25
Site Team
Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Trailer: 2023 Escape 5.0TA
Posts: 965
There is no doubt the Honda Pilot, Ridgeline and Passport are highly capable vehicles and would be excellent choices for pulling ultra-light weight and light weight trailers. I would highly recommend checking with the manufacturer to verify a WDH can be used on those vehicles. Not all unibody chassis are created equal so it may be worth verifying first. A quick search on eTrailer indicates that WDHs are not recommended on some models of the Pilot.
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