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Old 05-13-2024, 05:37 PM   #1
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Newbie! Pulling a 19 footer

Wanting to get into fiberglass RVing. Escapes seem like the best fit for us. Can I pull a 19 footer with a Honda Pilot? Honda claims it will pull 4500 pounds.
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Old 05-13-2024, 06:02 PM   #2
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What is the payload, towing capacity, and gross combined weight rating of Your Pilot? Mountain and long trip towing, or just occasional short trips? How many people and how much stuff?

The answer is yes, no, or maybe. Is it possible, sure, is it recommended, maybe. Id personally want a different vehicle, but your needs and mine may be very different.
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Old 05-13-2024, 06:04 PM   #3
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I would say probably not, but maybe. I just looked up the towing specks for the 2024 Pilot AWD is 5000 lbs which technically is enough but the 2wd is only 3,500 lbs

What year is your Pilot and is it AWD?
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Old 05-13-2024, 06:47 PM   #4
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And if it's borderline go for a 17 or new tug. I towed a 19 for several years with an old style Ranger. It was "OK" but I always knew that I was on the marginal side of things. Then I got an F150 and towing became effortless and relaxed.

Remember, numbers are one thing, reality is another. Trailers tend to get heavier with "stuff" and if you're marginal to start with you could end up over the limit.

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Old 05-13-2024, 10:23 PM   #5
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Wisdom in much counselors.

Great answers! Thanks everyone. I think the wisdom is, no. I was kind of afraid of that.
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Old 05-14-2024, 12:04 AM   #6
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I have good friends who tow with a Honda Ridgeline and are quite happy with it. With the right build a new Pilot appears to compare with the current Ridgeline. I wouldn't rule out the Pilot without knowing which version you have or are considering.
I tow a 2015 E19 with a 2017 Nissan Frontier and the combo works for me. But then I came from VW campers and don't have to be the first one up the hill.
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Old 05-14-2024, 06:56 AM   #7
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LOL! Good point.
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Old 05-14-2024, 09:34 AM   #8
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I wouldnt automatically rule it out, but I would answer the questions I raised. If you can answer them appropriately, it might work for you. I have a friend with a Ridgeline and E19 who added a transmission cooler. It depends on your use.
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Old 05-14-2024, 10:27 AM   #9
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You can tow a classic 19 with a Honda Pilot. The newer Escape maybe not. You should be able to search older posts regarding towing with a Pilot. I think Jim Bennett used to tow an older 19 with a Pilot. We towed a classic 19 with a Highlander for 10 years and it got the job done.
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Old 05-14-2024, 10:33 AM   #10
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The Pilot has an approximately 11" shorter wheelbase than the Ridgeline. Although they're both rated similarly for max towing capacity in certain configs. There's no doubt which one will be the more stable towing vehicle. With the same powertrains the longer wheelbase vehicle should be more stable overall. The 113" wheelbase of the Pilot might make for some nail biting experiences in high side wind situations. If it were me I'd definitely get sway control with that rig.
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Old 05-14-2024, 06:34 PM   #11
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I would say it's possible, but not too desirable. It still has the usual Honda V6, I'm assuming? You may find that 60 mph would be about the fastest you'd want to go. I have a V8 now and in the past I have towed trailers with a V6 Highlander; it's a big difference. An anti-sway weight distribution hitch, one of the lightweight ones such as Andersen NoSway, would be a good idea to add because your hitch weight might be 400-500 lbs and the rear end sag could be problematic without the WD hitch.
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Old 05-15-2024, 05:45 AM   #12
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Our 2014 Honda Pilot EX 3.5L V6 4WD had a towing capacity of 4500 lbs. and I believe had a payload capacity of 1500 lbs'ish.

I used it once to pull my 12' single axle utility trailer (1520 lbs) loaded with 1 scoop of mulch at approx 400-500 lbs. tops from the local garden supply and I can say it did not like it. Sure it "pulled" it but on the curvy hilly backroads to our house it really worked hard up the hills and felt unsure on downhill turns.

With a dry weight 3150 lbs on the 19 this is about 1000 lbs heavier than the utility trailer with mulch.
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Old 05-15-2024, 07:11 AM   #13
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Post all the information from your driver side door sticker. This gives exact specifications of weight with any factory installed accessories. www.piloteers.org has a detailed discussion of towing. There are many models, accessories and add ons. That door sticker gives the definitive capacities of "your" Pilot.
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Old 05-15-2024, 08:00 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:21 AM   #15
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Shouldn't be a problem

I have a 2017 Ridgeline. We have never encountered issues pulling our 19. Pulled it from Alberta to Newfoundland and back, and it never complained.
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:48 AM   #16
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We are towing a 21C with our 4W drive 2017 Pilot. We do have the optional transmission cooler and as long as we don’t try to power over hills, we are doing fine. Our plan is to replace the Pilot with a full size Toyota truck, but we want to make it to 200,000 miles first ��. Currently at 145,000.
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:16 PM   #17
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I have a 2019 Ridgeline and a 2020 19ft escape and have towed them all over the west without a problem. On the more severe grades it could use a little more HP but it handles it sufficiently and I have no problem with it. Just remember the best scenery is on a long grade so just sit back wnd watch it go by. The Ridgeline and pilot are basically the same so would not have a problem towing with it.
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brroberts View Post
What is the payload, towing capacity, and gross combined weight rating of Your Pilot? Mountain and long trip towing, or just occasional short trips? How many people and how much stuff?

The answer is yes, no, or maybe. Is it possible, sure, is it recommended, maybe. Id personally want a different vehicle, but your needs and mine may be very different.
Mr. Roberts is one of the few people that mention PAYLOAD of the Pilot or any tow vehicle for that matter. Your Pilot may be capable or rated to tow 4500-5000lbs, however the real question is how much hitch weight will be added to the PAYLOAD of the Pilot. Remember PAYLOAD includes passengers, any cargo, gas, hitch weight, and anything else you have or put on your Pilot.

Here's an example. My 2024 RAM 2500 only has a payload of 2119lbs. I weigh 200lbs, wife 130lbs, dog 98lbs, 31 gallons diesel fuel 210lbs. Already I've lost 638lbs of payload and I haven't put anything else in the truck or hitched up a trailer. My RAM is capable of towing 20,000lbs, however that means nothing because of my limited payload capacity.
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:46 PM   #19
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towing

I towed a 22 keystone 1900rd rd, my wife overloaded it to 5000lbs. the ridgeline had no problem with it, in fact I drove 14500 miles to alaska and back with no problems. I got about 13 mpg average and the keystone was big and boxy. Then I bought a 2014 21c, I could hardly tell it was behind me, I got up to 17 mpg with the 15 mpg for a low, probably the wind. I made an emergency turn on the highway at 60 mph some idiot pulled in front of me and I had to turn into the left lane without looking and straighten out in that lane another vehicle was left of me, the trailer never swayed, just stayed on me. I was very lucky, I had just bought the 21c that morning. My point is the ridgeline is a pilot in a truck format, you should have no problems with it.
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:49 PM   #20
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Brian, here are a few pieces of info.
We have a 2011 Pilot 2WD, and tow an E17, at typ. 2600 lbs. loaded. Drive train is the 3.5L Acura VTEC V6 @ 250 HP and 247 ft.lbs. torque/ 5 speed trans. Our Pilot has the factory tow package (1 pass trans cooler, high capacity alternator, factory receiver and wiring). We tow successfully extensively in the Western states with 6%+ grades and altitudes to 9,000 ft. We have added a Derale 4-pass trans. fluid cooler because of that.


Per our excellent service rep. at the local dealer, he verified that the difference between our 3500# capacity for 2WD and the AWD capacity of 4500# is computer programming of different shift points. Drive train and suspension is basically the same. That's for our range of year models (up to about 2015).

Later Pilots have basically the same engine, with small HP and torque increases. Transmissions have changed completely, to different sub-mfr(s) with lots of gears.
Years ago, one Escape owner with a similar Pilot to ours, but AWD, had an Escape 19, and used a Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH). Honda doesn't recommend WDH's. It's use ended up bending his factory hitch at the attachment to the Pilot unibody. (I've forgotten the details of that, but thought it worth mentioning).


My thoughts relative to your use: If you are towing in areas with climbs and altitudes such as ours, the Pilot is insufficient. If your trips are in the more moderate areas (E.G. great plains, North Central), then perhaps it's OK.
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