towing with a midsize pickup - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-16-2019, 08:57 AM   #1
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: Keystone
Ohio
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towing with a midsize pickup

Hi! I'm Jamie and I am interested in feedback on using a midsize pickup for towing a 4400lb trailer. I use a F-150 and would like to downsize to a Honda Ridgeline or other midsize truck. I would like to know owner satisfaction, comments, and towing mpg. Thanks.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:20 AM   #2
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Iffy. You’re probably looking at 450-500# hitch weight, and Honda does not endorse WDH use. Remember it’s still a unibody, FWD-based crossover, which has limitations for towing.

If you’re set on mid-sized, the new Ranger Ecoboost looks to be a better fit for that size trailer. It should give pretty good everyday fuel economy, too, if you resist the urge to mash the right pedal.

Cost-wise, you might actually find another F150 with the 2.7EB to be the better deal overall. Lightly used ones are fairly easy to come by.

We’re a two Honda family and we love them, but 4400# in a high-profile travel trailer will be very marginal for a Ridgeline IMO.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:46 AM   #3
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I towed our 4500 lb (max) Escape 21 from Dallas to Santa Cruz with a Tacoma, and decided to get a bigger truck. The Tacoma pulled the Escape fine, but we needed more payload for our music festival and/or my astronomy gear, plus the Tacoma's gas tank was too small, and we found ourselves looking for gas every 150 miles in the southwest due to getting ~10 MPG on I40 with an 18 gallon tank.

While people do tow with Ridgelines, be aware, as Jon said, its a FWD predominant minivan based platform. The Ridgeline is based on the Pilot SUV which in turn was based on the Odyssey minivan, which was built on a beefed up Accord platform.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:04 AM   #4
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I’ll question that lineage. I believe with the third generation Pilot and second generation Ridgeline they started over with a new platform shared with the Acura MDX. The Ridgeline has a beefier rear subframe than the Pilot, allowing for more payload and a higher tongue weight rating.

Obviously, each “new” platform is to some extent evolutionary, but the current Pilot/Ridgeline are several degrees removed from the Accord.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:08 AM   #5
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the MDX is also based on the Pilot/Odyssey platform.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:16 AM   #6
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Check the overall dimensions too. All trucks are getting bigger and bigger. So the size difference might not be much.

For whatever reason, Toyota Tacoma’s have really low payloads, check carefully. I really liked the prior generation Tundras.

As far as cost, a lightly used F150 could be cheaper than any of the other choices other than the Frontier.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:18 AM   #7
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Which Keystone trailer do you have? I've observed that stickies tend to be taller, wider, and boxier than fiberglass, giving a larger frontal area and more resistance as you speed up.

Have you considered if you can find towing mirrors suitable for the combo? Again, observing that most stickies are wider than eggs, and that a midsize truck is quite a bit narrower than a 1/2 ton, rear view might be compromised.

Is 4400 lbs your dry or loaded weight? I looked at numerous keystone and Jayco trailers that were all in that vicinity dry.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:01 AM   #8
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From what I see on this page: https://owners.honda.com/vehicles/information/2019/Ridgeline/specs#mid^YK2F2KEW



"The Towing Capacity of a Ridgline is as follows:


5,000 lbs. maximum towing capacity for AWD models; 3,500 lbs. for 2WD models. Towing requires accessory towing equipment."



Not sure I'd want to tow with that.


A good question is, is that 4400 dry or loaded weight? Also is that 4400lbs per the manufacturer website, or is it actual weight? My Bigfoot was listed by the manufacturer as 4308lbs dry, real world weight completely empty was actally 5300lbs.


To answer your question on midsize pickups, I tow my Bigfoot RV with a 2017 Chevy Colorado with a Duramax diesel. The truck came with a full towing package, including an integrated trailer brake and engine braking. I've towed up and down the 101 and I-5 in California and have takensome decent sized hills including the Grapevine. Haven't hit the Rockies yet but so far the truck has handled towing just fine. I have an Anderson weight distribution hitch, and added towing mirrors. I won't pretend to say that I don't even notice the trailer there, obviously I do, but I feel pretty confident with this set up. I am getting around 15-19mpg towing. The truck gets 30mpg on the highway empty.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:17 AM   #9
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If a mid sized pickup is your choice then I would look at a Ford Ranger or the Chevy Colorado . They are body on frame , rear wheel drive , have a higher payload and towing capacity . The Ridgeline for me is just a modified SUV and with a 4400 lb trailer you are close to your towing capacity . In my experience your actual towing weight will be higher than your optimistic estimated weight
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:40 PM   #10
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Thank you everone for your comments. They are very much appreciated! I own a Keystone Hideout TT (4400 loaded) and tow it with a 2010 F -150. It tows great, no problem there. I own a small business and need a pickup when I'm not towing. The F-150 gets 15 mpg average and 10 when towing. I was thinking of downsizing for better milage when I'm not towing. I will continue researching midsize trucks or keep what I have. Thanks again.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:47 PM   #11
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I now tow with a 2019 Ford Ranger, but my trailer is smaller than yours.
The truck is a very competent tow vehicle.
I have towed about 1500 miles so far with mileage in the low twenties. Power is more than adequate, but I am sure that your trailer will exact a substantial fuel penalty when compared to my Scamp.
My guess is that you would see 14-16MPG with a trailer like yours at around 60MPH.

The truck is comfortable with a trailer and offers excellent stability and handling.
The truck comes with vectoring and sway control.
With the addition of the Co-pilot 360 suite you will have such things as Radar to sense vehicles passing on either side which is adjustable for trailer size with indicators in the mirrors.It also has lane departure, adaptive cruise control. and several features which I have forgotten.
You are truly the targeted buyer for this truck.


Compared to the Ridgeline...
The tow rating is 2500 pounds more than the Ridgeline.
The Ranger is rear drive, with a tongue weight rating at 750 pounds, tow rating at 7500 pounds, and a payload of 1860 pounds.

The rear suspension needs no help all the way up to maximum load, but still manages a comfortable and controlled ride.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:53 PM   #12
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I tow my Escape 21 with a 2018 Colorado and get about 13-15 mpg while towing, 19-21 mpg for in town mileage and up to 24 mpg for a highway trip at 65-70 mph.

I have been very satisfied with how well the Colorado tows the Escape.
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jtcottom View Post
Thank you everone for your comments. They are very much appreciated! I own a Keystone Hideout TT (4400 loaded) and tow it with a 2010 F -150. It tows great, no problem there. I own a small business and need a pickup when I'm not towing. The F-150 gets 15 mpg average and 10 when towing. I was thinking of downsizing for better milage when I'm not towing. I will continue researching midsize trucks or keep what I have. Thanks again.
You might want to think about losing mileage when towing with a smaller pickup. If you lose 5mpg now what will you lose with a smaller one. You probably would be better off with what you have or go bigger if concerned with mileage. We tow our 17' Casita fully loaded with water, 2 propane bottles, hot water heater full, clothes, food, fridge full, etc. It has the bathroom. We tow with a 2013 GMC Yukon XL with a 6.0 engine and get 13-15mpg easily. We go over the mountains all the time and have gone to GA through Chattanooga, TN which is a very steep place to get to from the west and back and was happy with having the power we needed for all of it. It is a large vehicle, seats 8 and still has some luggage room. I use the mirrors on the vehicle and can see down the sides of the Casita, so no extra mirrors needed. I get around 18-19mpg in town and when not towing. I don't use my gas pedal lightly when in town or on the highway when not towing.
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:13 PM   #14
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I tow a 17’ Casita with a 2019 Ridgeline and it is perfect and the most comfortable TV I have owned. I get around 16mpg towing but that is with a 3500 lb trailer and 400-500 lbs of cargo and passengers and this is about the best tow capacity for this rig. I think 4400 lb trailer plus cargo maybe pushing the limits of this vehicle, In my opinion.
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Check the overall dimensions too. All trucks are getting bigger and bigger. So the size difference might not be much.

For whatever reason, Toyota Tacoma’s have really low payloads, check carefully. I really liked the prior generation Tundras.
thats mostly an issue with the crewcab versions. both crew cab and 4x4 takes a big chunk out of the 5350 lb GVWR leaving not much for payload. (now, a non-4x4 might have a lower GVWR since it has smaller wheels etc).

my '08 access cab 4x4 had a payload of 1200 lbs, the identical crewcab was 1000 lbs, and that includes driver+passenger(s)
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:26 PM   #16
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Name: Jamie
Trailer: Keystone
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Thanks. I've learned alot in a short time about towing vehicles.
I'm so glad I posted on this site. I'm selling my Keystone next year and will go with a quality fiberglass unit.
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:02 PM   #17
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Name: Cliff
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
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A new F150 will do better than your 2010 model. I get 13 to 16 towing my 2017 Escape 5.0TA with my 2016 F150 equipped with a 2.7 Ecoboost and 3:55 axle. In 12000 miles of towing I have never been in a situation where I couldn’t just set the cruise control and go.
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:33 PM   #18
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Name: Jamie
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Thanks

Thanks Cliff. Upgrading my current truck is definitely an option. And I'm looking at all of the options.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:28 AM   #19
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Name: Michael
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There's a difference between "being able to tow" and "towing easily".

I've towed with Rangers for 30 plus years. Utility/ATV trailers, no problem. Travel trailers can be towed but difficulty increases with weight.
My GMC 1/2 tonne does much better but my 3/4 diesel performs the best. And the fuel consumption for all three, when towing, is about the same.
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Old 10-17-2019, 08:22 PM   #20
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Thanks, Mike.
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