Honda Pilot Towing - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-14-2014, 12:23 PM   #15
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Personally, I think it would be a great choice. We just completed a round trip from eastern AZ to San Diego (our first longer trip using the Pilot), so I can share some details of the towing experience.

We were pulling a 13' Scamp loaded up for a week at the beach, including 4 bicycles, with 4 people in the Pilot. We experienced some 30 mph headwinds on the way out, and some long grades near home in the White Mountains and in the coastal ranges coming into So Cal. I'm not one to push a machine to its limits, so we cruised at about 55-62 mph on the flats (OD on, per the owner's manual) at 2000-2500 rpm. On grades, we ran at 45-50 mph (OD off, per the manual) at 3000-3500 rpm. We got 18 mpg on the round trip (compared to about 25-26 mpg highway not towing). It was a comfortable, stable tow with no drama. Though large, it has a fairly short wheelbase, so it's surprisingly maneuverable in parking lots and campground sites. Not so nimble as your CRV, of course, but better than the first-generation Sienna van we used to tow with. It is exactly the same width as the Scamp, so we do not need mirror extensions.

Don't know if you are considering 2WD or 4WD and new or used, but here are some things about Pilots to know. In model years 2009-2011, Honda put the full towing package standard on all models. It includes the receiver hitch, 7-way wiring harness, trans cooler, and a brake controller port. The only extra you have to buy is the 7-way connector plug (don't know if that is the right name, but it goes from the wiring harness box to the bumper fascia and gives you a place to plug in). Even that is included on the Touring models. Beginning in 2012, only the 4WD models come with the full towing package standard. They also downgraded the towing limits. For 2009-2011, they are rated to tow 3500/350 (2WD) and 4500/450 (4WD). Starting in 2012, they are rated 2500/250 (2WD) and 3500/350 (4WD). We have a 2011 LX 2WD with about 43K miles to date (bought Honda-certified used at 19K a year ago).

As to reliability, the biggest issue I have heard about relates to the VCM (variable cylinder management) system, which shuts down 2 or 3 cylinders under light throttle. There have been some complaints about engine problems related to the system, apparently enough that Honda has extended the power train warranty to 8/100 under certain conditions. Hard to say how widespread the problem is. Our VCM system works flawlessly and contributes to great highway mileage for so large a vehicle.
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Old 06-14-2014, 01:07 PM   #16
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Name: Steve
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pilot towing

Hi Ginny and Norm!
We tow a 17' Casita with a 2012 4WD pilot. Before the 17'' which has a roof top ac and a high lift axle we pulled a standard axle 16' which is comparable to your 16' scamp. With the 16, we got 16.5 mpg. That was on a 6000 mile trip across country. On several shorter trips the best we do pulling the 17 is 15 mpg. When we are not hitched, we average 22.0 to 22.5 but we have never taken it on a highway only trip. There is usually some local stuff as well. We live 10 miles from any town.
I would be amazed if I ever got 25 to 26.
It tows the trailer nicely and the backup camera is a very nice feature.

Why not the TDI???
Steve
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:41 PM   #17
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After being pointed to a thread by Andy Thompson from Can Am it appears that the Honda Odyssey maybe a better choice. Looking forward Odyssey 'towers' now.

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Old 06-15-2014, 06:29 AM   #18
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Norm ,Ginny check out a Mazda cx5 (2000lb) or a VW tiguan (2200lb) or a Subaru outback (2700lb) tow rating if you want better gas mileage . We loved our 4whl drive pilot 06 but gas mileage was terrible 15-22mpg non-towing / towing 12mpg a 4000lb boat . I missed what your scamp weighs ? Is is 1600lb like the one for sale ?
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Old 06-15-2014, 11:03 AM   #19
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Jim,

We have a 1991 Scamp 16. It weighs 2600 lbs loaded and has a hitch weight of 200 lbs with a full propane tank. We carry a half tank of water. It tows fine behind our CRV but Ginny thinks we should get a larger vehicle this time for non-towing reasons, it appears reasons related to aging. After ready Andy Ts comments we;re leaning towards the Odyssey now.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:56 PM   #20
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Those vans handle well and will hold plenty of gear. And since it's still a Honda, you won't have to change your moniker!
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:58 PM   #21
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Hi we have a 2011 Pilot. Pulling flat its fine. Hills or mountains its strafing. In and out of overdrive. We have a 1984 13' haul. Going cross country currently. We will take our F250 next trip. Our Pilot is v6 with 4 wheel drive. Milage is about 12mpg.

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Old 06-18-2014, 09:35 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by BruceandKaye View Post
Hi we have a 2011 Pilot. Pulling flat its fine. Hills or mountains its strafing. In and out of overdrive.
Take it out of overdrive. Check your manual. My RAV4 and my old Ford Explorer both said not to tow in overdrive.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:42 PM   #23
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We did. Thanks! Pilot geared too low. Its a great ride inside...but not meaty enough towing wise


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Old 06-18-2014, 09:59 PM   #24
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I'm trying to imagine, given that Jim Bennett tows his 19' Escape with a Honda Pilot over the Rocky Mounains, from Calgary to Osoyoos without complaint.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:24 PM   #25
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It's all in the personal expectations and perceptions. If one desires or expects a vehicle to perform almost as effortlessly with trailer as without, one will probably not be happy with anything less than a turbo 6 cyl or a V-8. I think Jim's or Norm's expectations will be drastically different than Bruce's... and none of them are wrong.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:51 AM   #26
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We have a 2003 Acura MDX, sister of the Pilot, and we tow our 13' Trillium like it's not even there. Once we wear out the MDX or I'm pregnant with #3 (whichever comes first), I'm trying to convince my step-father to sell my his Oddesy. I know you're looking for a newer TV, but I'm certain you know they last just fine too.
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Old 06-19-2014, 09:58 AM   #27
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The biggest thing I have against the Oddy: its name is too hard to spell. Other than that, it's a great tug for an egg.
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Old 06-19-2014, 10:05 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
It tows fine behind our CRV but Ginny thinks we should get a larger vehicle this time for non-towing reasons, it appears reasons related to aging. After ready Andy Ts comments we;re leaning towards the Odyssey now.
Thanks for your input.
We need to replace our aging 97 Nissan Quest and test drove an 06 Honda Oddy yesterday. Even with 190,000Klm's on it the drive was like new. Very impressed. The only down side is the limited tranny gear selectivity.

At the same dealer we drove an Acura MDX SUV. The drive/ride was not as good as the Oddy.

We also test drove an 05 Toyota Sienna. Equally as nice and with a more flexible gear selection which IMHO would be better when used as a tow vehicle.
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