Anyone tow w/Honda pilot & 17FT. Casita - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-24-2018, 11:20 AM   #15
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Tim Wood's Avatar
Name: Tim
Trailer: 2006 17' SD Casita
Posts: 763
I have a 2017 Pilot with a hitch and tow a 17' SD Casita, first thing I did when I bought my Pilot is put on a Tranny cooler as someone else did also. Just for peace of mind, but the trailer pulls fine. We will be taking it to Florida this Feb. and I'm sure it will pull just fine. We really like the Pilot and it gets very good fuel mileage too. Good Luck

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Old 11-24-2018, 11:46 AM   #16
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Name: Don
Trailer: 2015 Escape 17A
Posts: 16
Bob, we tow a 17'Escape with a 2011 Honda Pilot 2WD (3500 lb. tow rating). It is a near perfect combo. Loaded with our gear, the trailer is at 26-2700 lbs. We do not use a WDH (Honda manual does not Recommend it (does not prohibit it, though)). Our Escape is 12 ft. from ball to axle, so it is very, very stable, with no swaying. Tongue weight is 350-375 lbs.
We have towed throughout the Western US, over the Sierra Nevadas, Cascades, and the Rockies in BC, MT, WY, CO, UT., and extensively through the Mojave Desert, and in AZ, even at 110°. Our Honda has the factory tow pkg. (Std. on 2011 Pilot), which is, for 2WD: 3500 lb. hitch, prewired for brake controller, HD alternator, larger cooling system for trans. Typically, we are at 63+ mph, which, on flat and level, allows the trans to lock in 5th gear. The only down side of the Honda is you can't manually shift down to 4th, but it doesn't hunt between 4th and 5th. The button on the shifter ("D3"), holds you in 3rd and below. We use that up varying grades, and downgrade for engine braking.

Don & Teresa
Tow: 2011 Honda Pilot
Trailer:2015 ESCAPE 17A
RLTW - Long Range
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:02 PM   #17
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Name: Randy
Trailer: Casita 17 FD
Posts: 24
I tow a Casita 17 FD with a Ridgeline. It tows like there is nothing being towed. No WDH is required, and I have forgotten to tighten the friction on the anti-sway bar and did not notice anything different.

However, you WILL Notice it at the gas pump. My Honda Ridgeline that gets over 20 MPG on the highway, gets about 12-14 MPG towing the Casita. Honda has the Ridgeline (and probably the Pilot) finely tuned and addition of the extra weight and drag makes the milage fall way below what big pickups get towing a Casita.

Some say that the newer Ridgelines get better millage towing, but only a little, and only if towing slowly (60 MPH or less).

Conclusion: The Ridgeline or Pilot are worth the extra small cost of fuel as a tradeoff for their smooth, car-like driving feel...but only for those who camp occasionally. I think that for those who would travel for many months a year with their trailer, the extra fuel cost would be a big problem.
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:19 PM   #18
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Name: Michelle
Trailer: Casita - Currently shopping for a Scamp with bunks
Posts: 15
2011 Honda Pilot

I have a 2011 Honda Pilot AWD - Touring. Our Honda has the tow package with a beefed up transmission cooler standard. We tow our 2018 16' Casita Liberty with it. We have not used an anti sway system yet. It does tow ok - it's not like nothing is back there - it does feel a bit like an anchor. I am newer to towing so I am still learning the best practices and efficiencies. Loading the coolers at the front of the trailer (inside) helps the most. Gas mileage drops easily in 1/2 on flat highways - not sure on mountains etc yet. We LOVE the Pilot however - best vehicle I've owned. Not sure I would choose it if I were doing a ton of towing. All the best.
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:35 PM   #19
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Name: Randy
Trailer: Casita 17 FD
Posts: 24
Honda Milage

Correction: My Ridgeline gets only about 11 MPG towing the 17 FD Casita. $Owners towing with full-size pickups get 15-16 MPG, plus they have all that extra cargo capacity. That amounts to the Honda owner paying $36-$50/day more for each towing day (depending on gas prices). That would add up quickly for someone towing for many weeks.

On the other hand, it is not too bad for someone who tows for one or two days and then stays two weeks at the same campground (like I do).
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:55 PM   #20
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Name: Ed
Trailer: Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 27
2018 Honda Ridgeline RTLE as a TV

We tow a 17SD with a 2018 Honda Ridgeline and really like the way it handles the trailer. We used to tow with a 2010 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner, but switched to get the new safety features. The power train in the Ridgeline is the same as that of the Honda Pilot and it handles it well, so you should like the Pilot in that regard. I will admit the 2010 Tacoma had a more powerful engine and I was able to go up hills at a lower RPM than the Ridgeline, BUT the Ridgeline is so quiet, the slightly higher revs are very acceptable. The Pilot should perform equally well in that regard.

We used a WDH with our Tacoma and use it with our Ridgeline as well. It should be called a comfort hitch, because it really improves the ride over sectioned pavement, which our roadways are plagued with in Washington State.

Our Ridgeline weighs about 500 lbs more than our Tacoma did and that extra weight really makes the difference in comfort while towing. With our Tacoma, the Casita never let us forget we were towing, even with the WDh, whereas the Ridgeline actually lets you forget the Casita is back there except for going into and out of parking lots and such. The Pilot should respond more closely to the Ridgeline.

The Ridgline handles the tongue weight better than the Tacoma. The Ridgeline has a higher rake than the Pilot over the rear wheels, so not sure how the Pilot would respond to the tongue weight. The Casita is tongue heavy, so soft suspensions in the tow vehicle can be noticeable.

If I was wanting an SUV instead of a truck for towing, I would give the Pilot a very long look. IMO Honda offers way more features by far than Toyota and the engineering is impressive.
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Old 11-24-2018, 01:40 PM   #21
Name: John
Trailer: 2010, 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe
New York
Posts: 41
Back in August 2010, I bought a new 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe and picked it up at the factory in Rice, TX. The folks at the factory were very happy that the temperature had dropped to only 105ºF! My tow vehicle then was a 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan that had the Factory Tow package (giving me a tow rating of 3,500#). I headed from the factory directly to the Burning Man Festival in Nevada's Black Rock Desert (~ 2000 miles over flats and mountain terrain). I had NO trouble with the tow and, towing with my minivan, crossed the Continental Divide several times that year. In subsequent years, I returned to Burning Man, drove to Leadville, CO (10,000' PLUS above sea level) and, drove across numerous mountains while out west, ALL without issue. My Sienna had the standard 3.3L engine and a "regular" automatic transmission. I can't say how well a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) tows; that would be my only real concern BUT, if Honda says it has a tow capacity of 5,000#, I expect Honda has faith in their CVT/engine package. I DID upgrade the Toyota factory hitch to a Class-3 Weight Distributing Hitch and, installed an anti-sway bar but, those last two items would be needed in many set ups.

Make sure you get the right hitch AND, that the set up is correct (once properly hitched up, the tow vehicle AND trailer should be LEVEL (NOT nose up/down on either the tow vehicle or trailer).
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Old 11-24-2018, 04:11 PM   #22
Name: Brad
Trailer: Interested
Posts: 61
Finally our Decision is made

Thank you for responding to my questions.I have learned so much over the last few months using this forum.I did look back on the Casita club forum and could not find the answer to my above question there.Because I have learned so much on this forum I decided to ask it here.I hope the answers to my questions also help others.
Because of many answers and my experiences we have made our decision.Yesterday I purchased a 2019 Honda pilot AWD V6 6 speed transmission, has a 5000k tow rating and tow package including the trans cooler.When you buy new the warranty is 36k on the tow package(if purchased after it is only 12K).I upgraded the factory added poor tires to Michelin ltx defender m/s as part of the deal.If you live in a northern climate you should not keep the factory tires.
I own two Honda crvs and one went as part of this deal as a trade.I started this search thinking I would buy a Dodge ram and a Oliver or Escape trailer(cost and need were the main factors against).Now I have a Honda pilot.I may purchase a Casita in the spring if not sooner unless I find something different that I like.
Why did I choose what I did? There are many reasons.One is my wife and I decided we are selling our home because we both retired this year. Something we will do in the late spring of 2019.We have been searching for a new place to live for a few years.We though we would travel full time in a trailer until we found a place.This fall we made another of our many trips to the west coast(only hold back here was warmer weather) as we both would like to live near the ocean and be warmer but not in California.We think we found a town which we will either rent there or live in a travel trailer for a few months before we buy to confirm it.
We will be doing less trailer traveling that we originally though but we will do some and now have the start of the equipment to do it.
Why not a truck (we really liked the 2019 Dodge Ram 5.7)? Since this purchase will be our full time vehicle a pilot lets us have better gas mileage when not towing.We have more interior covered secure space.It is easier to get in and out of.
We really wanted to buy a Toyota so we test drove a Toyota Highlander(awful 8 speed transmission and stiff bouncy ride).Toyota 4runner( we did not need the off road style which was the positive ,also a plus is the in and out 2x4 to 4x4 drive).Also tested a AWD Sienna van(again an awful 8 speed transmission and a bulky feeling vehicle although the biggest interior for carrying stuff.
Life is moving forward.Bob passed away this fall and has not been reincarnated.

Montana Brad
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Old 11-24-2018, 04:17 PM   #23
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Posts: 13
Pilot and Casita

This is our second season towing a 17' Casita with a 2014 Honda Pilot. We LOVE it! Our previous combination was a 2008 Ford Escape and a 16' Scamp.
The Pilot is so smooth as it pulls the Casita. Now, we have not done any mountain trips or to the southwest, but it never tugs or strains as our previous combination did.
We have friends with a new Pilot. They tow a 16' Scamp. They love theirs too. I don't know about other TV's, but the Pilot is a winner in our book.
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Old 11-24-2018, 04:55 PM   #24
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Name: Robert
Trailer: 2010- Casita 17' SD
Posts: 5
2011 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD

We pulled 17" Casita SD round trip Florida- Oregon three times with visits to the Rockies each way. Pilot does well, even with the Honda mistake of being able to lock in D3 instead of D4. We started first trip with new Honda, by the time we reached Wyoming the tranny had it figured out and stopped hunting. We had standard tow package. Milage did go to 11-12mpg range. On the 2011 you can replace the donut spare with a full size rim and tire. That is a very huge consideration.
Look closely in the manual, sales people said it could not be done.
We pull a 19" Escape the the Pilot which is approx 300-400 lbs more but two axels make it very stable.
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:37 PM   #25
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
Posts: 1,027
Originally Posted by Montana Brad View Post
Thank you for responding to my questions.
Life is moving forward.Bob passed away this fall and has not been reincarnated.

Montana Brad

You've been a good heart as we have worn the joke about Bob thinner than an old silver dime. Now that he's gone, we can leave him rest in peace.

I'm glad to see that you landed on a rig that will make you happy. The 'wet' coast will be a huge change from the high country there, please continue to keep us posted.
~ "This post is a natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and are in no way to be considered flaws or defects." ~
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:19 AM   #26
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 7,647
Originally Posted by FlyGuy View Post
...BUT, if Honda says it has a tow capacity of 5,000#, I expect Honda has faith in their CVT/engine package...
The Pilot and Ridgeline have conventional automatic transmissions. (Honda does use a CVT in the CR-V and a number of other smaller vehicles.)

They offer two transmissions in the Pilot. Lower trims have a 6-speed and top trims have a 9-speed. In the first years of the redesign I was reading about issues with the 9-speed. Don't know if it's been resolved, but I'd be inclined look for one with the 6-speed.
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:40 AM   #27
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Posts: 7,647
Originally Posted by Al Ross View Post
We pulled 17" Casita SD round trip Florida- Oregon three times with visits to the Rockies each way. Pilot does well, even with the Honda mistake of being able to lock in D3 instead of D4...
On the old 5-speed Pilots, both D4 and D5 are overdrive ratios. For that reason, you would not want to use D4 for hill-climbing anyway.

There is a trick to engage D4 on a gentle-to-moderate downgrade, though. When you crest a hill, set the cruise control a little below your desired descent speed. At about 4 mph over the set speed, the transmission will automatically downshift from D5 to D4. On a moderate slope, that gives enough engine braking to hold speed without braking. If not, you need D3 anyway.

Ours is a 2011 LX 2WD. We tow a Scamp 13 and a fairly full vehicle- 4 people and gear. Lots of mountains and canyons in our corner of Arizona. Like you I have often wished for a full manual mode, but there are work-arounds.

I'm curious, Brad... does the new Pilot 6-speed have a full manual mode? I am a bit surprised you found the Highlander ride stiffer than a Pilot. Back when I bought ours (2013) it was the other way round, but both have gone through a major redesign.

Best wishes moving forward!
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Old 11-25-2018, 09:58 AM   #28
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: Shopping for new RV
North Carolina
Posts: 662
The Honda Ridgeline is not a truck in the purest since of “Truck” as it does not have a is a unibody type vehicle....real trucks are built on frames and therefore are stronger with higher load ratings and can tow more weight safely.

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