5th Wheel Scamp - Honda Ridgeline - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-20-2007, 10:20 PM   #1
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5th Wheel Scamp - Honda Ridgeline

Hi,

Quick question: I own a Honda Ridgeline, which I really like, does anyone have any knowledge of a Ridgeline pulling a 5th wheel scamp?

Thanks,

-Carl
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:26 PM   #2
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A 5th wheel voids the Ridgeline's warranties. Honda does not recommend the Ridgeline as a 5th wheel tow vehicle.
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:31 PM   #3
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I think the sloping sides of the cargo bed are too high for a 5th wheel type trailer.
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:47 PM   #4
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I want a Ridgeline!!!

I think the back is indeed too sloped, and the trunk area may make it too difficult to get a hitch in there.
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:23 PM   #5
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Wow, that was fast! I new I came to the right group.

Now that I think about it, with the trunk under the bed and the fact that the bed is not metal but a composite material, it makes sense that it shouldn't be pulling a 5th wheel and I can completely believe that it would invalidate my warranty.

Thank you.

-Carl

p.s. - I'm still looking for my little 13' egg. I was just curious.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:22 AM   #6
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Wow, that was fast! I new I came to the right group.

Now that I think about it, with the trunk under the bed and the fact that the bed is not metal but a composite material, it makes sense that it shouldn't be pulling a 5th wheel and I can completely believe that it would invalidate my warranty.

Thank you.

-Carl

p.s. - I'm still looking for my little 13' egg. I was just curious.
I measure a Ridgeline and there is not enough turning radius. I wrote Honda and asked them when they will build a real truck but not a Monster like everyone seems to be building. Most of the new trucks have side rails that are to high for a standard 5th wheel Scamp < a lift would have to be added.>
Taylor the Sailor
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Old 02-21-2007, 01:32 PM   #7
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Wow, that was fast! I new I came to the right group.
Yes, although we have discussed this application of the Ridgeline before (when it was new), so the answers were ready-to-go.

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Now that I think about it, with the trunk under the bed and the fact that the bed is not metal but a composite material, it makes sense that it shouldn't be pulling a 5th wheel and I can completely believe that it would invalidate my warranty.
The composite box is not a problem, just a factor to consider. People pull Scamp 19' trailers with Toyota Tacomas with plastic boxes, using appropriate brackets between the frame and point where the hitch bolts through the box; in practice, this is done for metal boxes as well with heavier trailers.

While I can believe that Honda says the Ridgeline cannot tow a trailer using a hitch in the box, that's probably true of all the compact trucks as well, and they are the trucks which the Scamp 19' and Escape 5.0 are built for. GM says no to fifth-wheel towing with one variation of their full-size pickup trucks; I don't think this has anything to do with whether the configuration is safe for a couple of tons of trailer, but reflects their fear that some owner will hook up a 15,000 lb fifth-wheel to a light-duty truck.

In the end, because of the high box sides and short box, I suspect a Ridgeline would be better suited to a custom gooseneck than any existing RV trailer design.

With a curb weight around 2050 kg (4500 lb) and a GCWR of 4574 kg (10,063 lb), the total of trailer, driver, passengers, and cargo can be no more than 2524 kg (5553 lb); with a normal towing capacity of 5,000 lb, going to a hitch in the bed doesn't buy any capacity, anyway.
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:46 PM   #8
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And, as another thought, it doesn't actually have a "box" per se. It's a unibody and the "box" doesn't flex independently of the "body", so if there are stresses that a normal frame could handle, the "body" could potentially wrinkle rather than flex.

Roger
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Old 02-21-2007, 03:05 PM   #9
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To me, it seems that the issues with the unibody are the same as for a conventional trailer hitch. The loads are taken by the structure, not the visible box sides and floor. Attach in appropriate places, and it's not an issue; just like the composite box, it is a factor to consider, rather than a problem.
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Old 02-21-2007, 03:18 PM   #10
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Actually, Brian, they're not. Conventional trucks with ladder frames will take rotational force on the frame and the box actually moves independently of the body. You can see this in it's most extreme form in rock crawling where the frame flex is significant and the directional displacement between the box and body can be a couple of inches; certainly enough to see with the naked eye. That rotational flex will allow a truck with a separate bed to survive a signficantly higher rotational flex over rough roads with a load in the back without damaging either the body or bed. A unibody would remain rigid until it's failure point, and then bend or wrinkle. As a practical matter, you might not see the result much over regular road driving, but I would think that eventually it could potentially lead to metal fatigue of the unibody.

Those rotational forces are allowed by the hitch ball in a conventional travel trailer configuration and aren't transferred to the tow vehicle at all. The Scamp 5th wheel hitch would also transfer less of those forces than a conventional pin and plate 5th wheel; however the torsional weight differential of the 700 lbs 5th wheel hitch weight would still be transferred from side to side of the axle, where it's only a couple of hundred pounds at a point significantly rear of the axle with a conventional travel trailer.

Roger
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Old 02-21-2007, 05:12 PM   #11
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A unibody would remain rigid until it's failure point, and then bend or wrinkle.
So... it's kinda like.. middle age???
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Old 02-21-2007, 05:34 PM   #12
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Old 02-21-2007, 07:39 PM   #13
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I wasn't suggesting that a ladder frame and unibody were the same, only that the two hitch configurations could both attach to unibodies, and the box (not the vehicle structure) is irrelevant. In the Ridgeline, all the metal you see is part of the unibody structure, but the composite box liner isn't. Perhaps that wasn't clear.

Yes, Roger, I was assuming roll-axis decoupling at the hitch - even fifth-wheels do that now, and as you mentioned a ball coupler (like the Scamp) certainly does. I agree that the height of the Scamp hitch complicates the situation, but whether that would be an issue for a trailer this light is interesting to consider. In fact, it is even worse than just being 700 lb mounted some distance above the bed; when accelerating the trailer or starting a turn, there's the whole trailer mass to consider - this is a dynamic load issue.

A conventional trailer with the body size of the Scamp 19' would be at least the same weight (at least 2000 lb empty) and would have a tongue weight of at least 200 lb, but more likely 300 to 400 lb when loaded. The 5000 lb trailers which the Ridgeline is allowed to tow will have hitch weights over 500 lb. Scamp lists an empty hitch weight of 400 lb for the 19', and if the hitch weight goes up in proportion as it is loaded the 700 lb value seems reasonable. So we are talking twice as much for the in-bed hitch, but not 700 lb versus 200 lb.

The Ridgeline can only handle a 1550 lb payload (including passengers), so the 700 lb hitch load, with the height and dynamic load considerations, is certainly not something to be taken lightly.
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Old 02-21-2007, 08:03 PM   #14
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So... it's kinda like.. middle age???
Xactly!

Roger
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