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Old 10-12-2011, 09:28 AM   #1
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Towing with a Ridgeline

I have an '08 Honda Ridgeline presently being used to tow a 17' Casita. Love the trailer and have "solo'd" in it for the past 3 years. But now I'm "2 plus a Pomeranian" and the Casita gets mighty crowded after a couple of weeks on the road. I'm considering a 23' Flying Cloud. Does anyone on the forum have specific knowledge about pulling that trailer with the Ridgeline?
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:15 AM   #2
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I had considered a Ridgeline but if I remember right the tow capacity is 5,000 pounds. How much does the Airstream weigh? I still like those trucks though!
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:26 AM   #3
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Too Much Trailer, Too Little Truck

This should not be a decision made by trial and error.
It's always better to have too much truck vs. too much trailer.
Read this thread carefully:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...tch-82925.html
Whereas the title is "check everything on your hitch," it could be entitled, "Check the Adequacy of the Tow Vehicle in Front of the Hitch."

P.S. I love the Ridgeline, but can't imagine pulling an Airstream with one.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:28 AM   #4
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I lived in Norman from 1973 to 1989 West of I-35; know the town well.

As to specific knowledge I don't have it, but if I can tow an ASCL 31' with a GVWR of 8,300 pounds with an X5 (see avatar) you should have no problem with the Ridgline and the 23'. Just make sure you use a Hensley or equivalent and have the hitch set up correctly (contact CanAm RV for information).
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:32 AM   #5
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Hi Chris.

Have a 2011 Ridgeline and recently purchased a 2011 22' Sport. So far, so good.

The 5K pound tow limitations of the Ridgeline pushed me out of consideration of the 23' Flying Cloud. Would have loved to go that route but got big winces from the dealer re pulling more weight than the Ridgeline was supposed to, so stayed within the limits. And, it would have been in the dealer's interests to say it was okay.

Not exactly what you need, but obliquely helpful.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:33 AM   #6
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Set them up right and Ridgelines make a good tow vehicle. Ridgeline's can tow (photos) - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:40 AM   #7
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Thanks for the link, Alumiholic. But the trailer in the thread was a 31', and the TV was too small and lightweight (IMHO) to handle that. I'm just wondering if anyone on the forum has pulled a 23' Airstream with a Ridgeline.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:41 AM   #8
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I've seen that thread, Road Ruler. Thanks.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:57 AM   #9
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We had a 23' Safari that we pulled with a 5.7L Chevy Suburban with a 3.73 rear differential. We did okay, but not good on the grades here in the Southwest. The wheel base and weight of the Suburban made it a very safe an stable tow vehicle. With Reese Dual Cam Sway Control, stability was never an issue.
Here's a quote from Feb 2006 on the topic:
You are asking the right person if you don't do what I did.
From 1996 until May 2005, I kept looking for marginal improvements in towing while balancing
fuel consumption not towing.

1996: 1995 2-WD Surburban with pre-Vortec 5.7 liter (350 cu in), 3.73 rear end, pulling 1976 Airstream Safari 23'.
This wasn't a bad combination in coastal Carolina and the east coast where we lived at the time, but it didn't do well in the mountains of NM. (11 mpg towing and 17-18 mpg combined).
2001: 1999 4-WD Surburban with Vortec 5.7 liter, 3.73 rear end pulling 2000 Airstream Safari 27'.
The added power of the Vortec engine was offset by increased weight of 4-WD and larger trailer. Performance in mountains was marginal. Non-towing average MPG was lower than 1995 Suburban. (11 mpg towing and 15-17 combined)
2004: 2003 4-WD Z71 Suburban with Vortec 5.3 liter, 3.73 rear end pulling 2000 Airstream Safari 27'.
The advertised increase in horsepower of the 5.3 over the 5.7 is great for non-towing, interstate highway cruising; but a big disappointment for towing. The extra horsepower comes at higher RPMs and results in less torque and marginal towing performance on mountain grades.(12-14 mpg towing and 17 combined)
2005: 2005 4-WD Silverado 2500 HD with Durmax Diesel pulling a 1976 Sovereign 31’. A towing machine, but not a very good vehicle for driving around town, so I bought a 2005 Pacifica for city driving.
What you need. I need 4-WD, but if you don't otherwise need 4-WD, stick with 2-WD. That gives you 500 pounds of additional towing capacity and improves your non-towing gas consumption by about 2MPG.
If you want a tow vehicle that must double as your non-towing, take the kids to soccer practice, family car; the 1500 Suburban 5.3 liter is a nice compromise vehicle if you can find one with a 4.10 rear end. If you want to optimize mountain towing, look for a 6.0 liter with 4.10 rear end. If you want a towing machine, and you care naught about MPG, get the 8.1 liter and the 3.73 rear end.
Bottom line... you will never be satisfied with 5.3 liter and the 3.73 in the mountains, but it's the most fuel efficient combo Chevy offers (12-14 mpg towing and 17-18 mpg combined maybe better with 2-WD and keeping your speed below 62 mph.
The 4.10 rear end behind the 5.3 will make you less unhappy, in the mountains and may be all you need. The 6.0 liter with a 4.10 will make your heart sing in the mountains, but make your heart will ache at the gas pump (11 mpg towing and 13-14 mpg combined).
Another option is to buy a beater car to drive around town, and buy a dedicated towing machine for your road trips.
Hope this helps.
Ken
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:05 AM   #10
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I have a ridgeline, i towed a 67 globetrotter 19' with it. It was fine, but now that i tow with a lincoln navigator, i dont feel safe towing with the ridgeline. I would never tow a new airstream with one. My rear brakes in the ridgeline wore out quickly as well as the front tires. I think the transmission is not as smooth as it once was. Great truck, but I don't think its a great tow vehicle.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:06 AM   #11
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Clear as mud to a non-mechanic.............but thanks.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris C View Post
Clear as mud to a non-mechanic.............but thanks.
Here's a quick definitive answer you can find out for yourself. The 23 is supposed t have weight distribution on it, and I seem to remember that is not allowed on a Ridgeline. You should be able to look in your owners manual to verify that. If it says that WD is not allowed, or "drop on the ball" only, that will be your answer. You won't have t worry about capacities or anything.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:59 AM   #13
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I am a Honda fan and wish they made a heftier tow vehicle. The Ridgeline comes equipped with a Class III receiver and the truck is rated to tow 5000#. The Class III receiver is likewise rated at 5000# pull and 500# tongue weight max. The drivetrain, cooling, brakes, etc. All factor into the design limits.

A 2012 23' Flying Cloud weighs in at 4746# and 467# hitch weight. This is an empty, dry trailer. Add propane, water, groceries, clothes and whatever else you can pack in there and the trailer can max out at 6000#!

While possible to tow it in central Oklahoma, you will be beyond design limits. There definitely would be a liability issue if you were ever in an accident. Remember towing is 1/4 of the equation, stopping and control is the other 3/4. The Ridgeline and Casita are a good match. You should really consider a smaller Airstream that maxes out under 5000# or look for a stouter TV.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:00 PM   #14
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You're going to have some people telling you that you need a 25% overage in tow capacity - although they don't really know what that means. (Tow ratings are usually set because of powertrain cooling, not because of braking or stability.) And then you get links to unrelated accidents where no one knows what happened.

I have no doubt whatsoever that CanAm could set up the Ridgeline to tow a 23' Airstream. Frankly, I'll tow one with my Odyssey if I decide to buy one. I think the Ridgeline (like the Odyssey) offers dynamic capabilities that most other tow vehicles don't offer. Also like my Odyssey, the Ridgeline has a relatively generous (1500 lb) payload capacity.

But if you're concerned about Honda forbidding weight distribution (which I'm told is because they're worried about it being set up wrong), then maybe you won't feel comfortable towing with a Ridgeline. And yeah, a dealer will tell you not to because they'd probably void the warranty if you break something when towing a heavier trailer than Honda advises.

Tom
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