Anyone use a Honda Pilot for Tug ? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-01-2018, 11:54 AM   #1
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Anyone use a Honda Pilot for Tug ?

Just wondering if anyone uses a Honda Pilot for towing their trailer , if so what tailer are they towing ? Thanks
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:27 PM   #2
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2011 Pilot LX 2WD, rated 3500/350, pulling 13' Scamp standard layout 1, about 1750 pounds fully loaded.
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:49 PM   #3
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i HAVE 2013 4WD PILOT, RATED AT 45O0 LB MAX TOW. TOWING 13 FT SCAMP. TOWS GREAT, NO SWAY BAR NEEED, GETTING ABOUT 15 TO 18 MPG TOWING. HAVE ORDERED 2018 SCAMP 16 FT , AND AM SURE IT WILL TOW THIS NICELY AS WELL.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:33 AM   #4
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Thanks Jon & Robert I appreciate the feedback.
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Old 01-02-2018, 08:11 AM   #5
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towing rig

well I made a mistake I was suckered in by a ford edge front wheel drive it is rated at 2,000lbs. I am within range no wdh needed but I don't like front wheel drive for towing. it gets around 20mpg if I keep speed down and I am in no big rush anyway.

but I am in for a long run so I am not even thinking about off roading with it or trying anything to clever! I wish I had got a heavier duty tug!

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Old 01-02-2018, 09:52 AM   #6
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My advice in hindsight would be to go with the 4WD version for towing. Even with a small, light trailer like the Scamp 13, I have experienced loss of traction ascending grades on unimproved campground access roads. Honda's 4WD locking mode would make short work of such situations.
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:06 AM   #7
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I use a 2016 Honda Pilot AWD with towing package for a 2016 Parkliner.
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Old 01-02-2018, 10:20 AM   #8
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Tug vehicle

I towed my Parkliner with a 2009 4wd Honda Pilot and it performed well. That model vehicle has a 250 hp engine and is rated to tow 4500 lbs. We now have a 2016 4wd Honda Pilot towing the same Parkliner. This vehicle has a 280 hp engine and is rated to tow 5000 lbs. The difference in performance is significant. The extra 30 hp and additional 500 lbs of towing capacity really makes a big difference. However, both vehicles did the job well.
Fyi- the front wheel drive only Pilots have a 3500 lb towing capacity. The 4wd makes much more sense if you are planning on towing.
Hope this helps.
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Old 01-02-2018, 11:38 AM   #9
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My friend tows her 2017 T@b Outback model with a 2012 Honda Pilot and it does great. The T@b is well under 3,000 lbs (probably around 2,500) and her tow rating is 5,000, so no problems at all.
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomasl View Post
...front wheel drive only Pilots have a 3500 lb towing capacity...
For 2012-2015 the FWD versions were down-rated to 2000 pounds. With the 2016 redesign, the FWD versions were returned to 3500 pounds, like my 2011.
Quote:
Originally Posted by V'sGlassSleeper View Post
...2012 Honda Pilot...her tow rating is 5,000...
2015 and earlier Pilots came with a factory 4500 pound rating for 4WD models. The increase to 5000 pounds came with the 2016 redesign. Also note that starting in 2016, a dealer-added automatic transmission cooler is required to obtain the full 5000 pound rating. Prior to that, all equipment for the full factory rating was standard from the factory.

Bottom line, the fine print varies a lot from year to year and across the model line. Best to download and read the owner's manual for the specific model year you are considering.

One other "fine print issue"... Honda makes it clear the full tow and tongue weight ratings are for an "average-sized" driver and front passenger only. My owner's manual has a chart showing how the ratings drop as you add more people and/or equivalent cargo. Since we travel with four people and a fair amount of cargo on board, I do not consider a Pilot overkill for a 13' trailer. You do have to look at the whole picture. That's true for any tow vehicle, of course.
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:34 PM   #11
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I have never towed with a Honda Pilot but I did tow my SIL's Pilot to the garage when it broke down.
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Old 01-02-2018, 12:56 PM   #12
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Thank you, Jon, for your response - you are absolutely correct! The non-4WD Pilot has only a 3,500 lb. tow capacity and the 4WD has a 4,500 lb. tow capacity. Both are still perfect for the little T@B Outback that she has, but would not be a good match for my 1988 Bigfoot B19, whose dry weight is about 3,300 lbs. I tow with a 2007 4WD V6 Nissan Frontier and have zero issues. I have to say that my friend's Honda Pilot is a gorgeous car with high-end features like seat warmers, so if you are towing something very small and lightweight, it's a great vehicle.
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Old 01-02-2018, 06:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Wood View Post
Just wondering if anyone uses a Honda Pilot for towing their trailer , if so what tailer are they towing ? Thanks
We towed my 13 foot Burro with a two wheel drive Honda Pilot with the tow package. My husband wasn't comfortable with our old pilot when we got the 16 foot casita so we bought a four wheel drive pilot with the tow package. The only difference I can feel is the heated seat (awesome!). Hubby is more comfortable with the four wheel drive so we are both happy.
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Old 01-02-2018, 09:22 PM   #14
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2009 Pilot 4wd easily pulls our 2010 Casita 17 SD. You need to push in the 3rd gear lock(owners manual recommended) and it revs a bit high but plenty of power, handles well, brakes are great. You have to add a Tekonsha brake controller which is plug and play in less than 5 minutes besides mounting it under dash. Gas mileage pulling is pretty bad but a Casita 17 is not all that light weight. We drive pretty hard and fast and drop from about 21mpg average to about 12-13mpg.
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vtec View Post
2009 Pilot 4wd easily pulls our 2010 Casita 17 SD...
Do you use a WDH, or have you taken any special measures to reduce the typically high tongue weight of 17SD's? Seems like that might greatly limit what you could carry in the Pilot. I have read some accounts of unusual tire wear on the rear axle when towing close to the axle rating.
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:47 AM   #16
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Great response from everyone thanks. The 2017 Pilot AWD is rated at 5,000lbs towing so that's what we were looking at. And I haven't got one yet as we still have a class b but thinking about maybe a 17' or 16' Scamp again. ( hey good one Steve)
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Do you use a WDH, or have you taken any special measures to reduce the typically high tongue weight of 17SD's? Seems like that might greatly limit what you could carry in the Pilot. I have read some accounts of unusual tire wear on the rear axle when towing close to the axle rating.
No, nothing, the 2009 Pilot on up got pretty beefy compared to the previous models. It doesn't sink down much and tires have worn pretty evenly. I have noticed no problems and don't feel the Casita overwhelms it. In my opinion I don't see a weight distribution hitch necessary but it would never hurt either.
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:57 PM   #18
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Do note, the Pilot (and Ridgeline) are based on the Odyssey minivan platform, which in turn is built on an Accord platform. The AWD is FWD with RW assist, not an ideal setup for towing. and those rear differentials, with their automatic hydraulic clutches, are a weak spot.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:05 AM   #19
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John, So I take it the CR-V is also built like that too ? I know that Norm & Ginny used theirs for many trips around the US.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:23 AM   #20
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I agree that FWD-based vehicles have their limitations as tow vehicles, but for many people they make much better daily drivers. As long as you respect their more limited capabilities and remember that payload and towed weight are not independent, I find they make great tugs for small and mid-sized molded trailers.

As to the rear differential, depending on the kind of driving you do, it probably doesn't kick in very often. We have a CR-V with AWD and it hasn't given any trouble, but it does add one more routine maintenance item (fluid change), which partly influenced my decision to skip AWD on the Pilot. The Pilot's system does include a locking mode for slippery conditions, which the CR-V system lacks.

If you want a really good AWD set-up in a crossover with decent towing capacity, you might want to hold out for the 2018 Subaru Ascent. Past Subaru AWD systems power the rear wheels continuously, with a torque split varying from 10% up to 90% as conditions change. Many light-duty, when-needed systems, including Honda's, are unpowered under normal conditions and are limited to a 50% torque split during low-traction events. Tow ratings for the Ascent haven't been announced as far as I know.

BTW- as chassis go, the Accord is not a bad starting point. Building a large variety of vehicles off a common platform is standard industry practice. Each variant should be evaluated on its own merits.

The Pilot is far from the only option in this size and towing class. You would do well to research and test all the competition.

One thing you have not mentioned is what trailer(s) you are considering.
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