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Old 05-05-2010, 09:13 AM   #113
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Bought our '06 Ridgeline in April '05. Been towing for 5 years now with no complaints. Our 22' Safari Sport weighs in at just over 4000# fully loaded with 462# on the ball. Most people don't know the Ridge was designed for towing with extra tranny cooling and separate cooling for the power steering. In 115į temps I've never seen the temperature gage move off the mid-point even going uphill to Flagstaff from Phoenix.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:31 PM   #114
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Interesting about the coolers on the Ridgeline. I think I made note of the tranny cooler when we bought it, with the idea of towing. The seats in the Ridgeline are very comfortable for long trips for 4, maybe 5. The Tundra, not the super long one but with the mini back doors, is big enough to be comfortable. One thing, the Tundra is a beast to drive in the city, the Ridgeline not so. I had thought about the new Subaru Outback, which will tow 3300 I believe, or the new Rav4 V6 which will tow 3500, but really prefer Hondas.
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:25 PM   #115
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strfeamofair, towing capacity is not the entire issue. Payload must be looked at too as it can be easily exceeded with certain trucks and SUV's especially.

The difference between the Honda Ridgeline and trucks is that it is not built on a truck frame as I understand it. It may be a more comfortable ride, but does not have truck characteristics which may influence towing potential.

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Old 05-06-2010, 10:29 PM   #116
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actually, the Ridgeline has a full ladder frame AND is a unitized body- it is heavier. Honda did a good job covering all their bases with their first truck. We regularly load the sucker up with full load of cement products for our contracting firm, loading to the maximum capacity, which is half tonish. It handles well with a full load, something that our Tundra doesn't equal.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:49 AM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
strfeamofair, towing capacity is not the entire issue. Payload must be looked at too as it can be easily exceeded with certain trucks and SUV's especially.

The difference between the Honda Ridgeline and trucks is that it is not built on a truck frame as I understand it. It may be a more comfortable ride, but does not have truck characteristics which may influence towing potential.

Gene
Sorry Gene but you are wrong. The Ridgeline has 2.5 times the bending moment and 20 times the torsional rigidity of conventionally framed trucks. Remember it was designed for towing.
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Old 05-07-2010, 10:36 AM   #118
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I'm sure I read when the Ridgeline came out that it was not built on a truck chassis and it was built to ride soft. The market was to be suburbanites who wanted a truck-like vehicle because it looked cool, but didn't really need one. That's the same approach some "SUV" manufacturers have taken (Highlander, RAV4 are built on car chassis).

Perhaps I have been in an alternate reality. I think the Ridgeline was designed during Al Gore's administration, maybe in the year the Rockies won the World Series. I'm not sure whether I read it in Colliers or Look.

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Old 05-07-2010, 09:01 PM   #119
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Honda Trucks

if you go to

2010 Honda Ridgeline - Specifications - Official Honda Web Site

and look under Body/Suspension/Chassis, you can click on Integrated Closed-Box Frame with Unit-Body Construction and Fully-Boxed High-Strength Steel (HSS) Frame Rails and Crossmembers with Internal Stiffeners. "The integrated closed-box frame with unit-body construction is quieter than the conventional body-on-frame design. Not only does this greatly minimize the buzz, squeak and rattle generally associated with body-on-frame trucks, but it also greatly enhances the Ridgelineís ride and handling, especially when fully loaded. The two integrated, fully boxed and reinforced frame rails and seven fully boxed cross members give it added strength and class-leading torsional rigidity."

People say we live in an alternate reality here in CA. Colliers and Look I think both disappeared before I was born, maybe the current Ridgeline is a remake of an earlier Honda truck, maybe with the 360cc 4 stroke twin, using the small car shell?
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:38 AM   #120
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Pictures of our latest TV and trailer:


The power of the 4.7 L V8 is nice. Gas mileage is about 20% better than our previous 3.8L v6 van was, when towing (around 13 mpg (US gallons), in quite hilly country). Ride is very comfy too. A panic stop when someone cut in front of me became non-panic when the whole unit ground to a halt very quickly.

Bring on the long trips!
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:18 PM   #121
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Just read this entire thread; best combination of entertainment and education I've had on the forum yet! Anyone have any new non-conventional vehicles to add to the mix here? Airstream Life magazine's Fall 2025 issue had a whole article about towing with minivans...
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:31 PM   #122
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Yeah, Airstream Life Mag, aka Andy's mag for under powered, under brakes, under tranny, under weight, under sway controlled mini vehicles. All that with "P" rated tires, how could you go wrong. Laughable.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:45 PM   #123
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The OP's brakes faded when going downhill, and he eventually changed his tow vehicle, and you are STILL interested in non-conventional vehicles?
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:03 AM   #124
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And we changed our TV again! When the Jeep was getting long in the tooth, we got a Dodge Ram 1500 with the hemi engine and MDS. Crew cab so in a pinch we can fit all the larger kids (they keep growing) in the second row without complaint. Wish I'd waited one year for the 3 litre ecodiesel to come out though. And a slightly longer box would have been nice. Perfect for transporting dogs to the day care though. Mileage non towing approaches 20 mpg. Towing, 12 mpg.

Tow within your limits, mechanically and otherwise. There are no guarantees even then, try though we might to reduce our risks to zero.
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Old 10-01-2015, 10:50 AM   #125
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One suggestion I have not seen here, even from Andy, is having a look at the TV's brakes. Most passenger car/ minivan brake systems are not designed for heavy service. Not that they don't stop well, but that they don't handle sustained heating from severe braking, like you would have towing at or above the vehicle's rated tow capacity. It's a fairly simple matter to upgrade a vehicle's brake discs and pads. I've done it in my driveway. Although they're better now, a lot of Detroit brands' brake discs would warp if you got them hot. This produces "pulsing" of the brake pedal and compromises braking performance, as it tends to cause early lock-up of the affected wheel. Lots of shops like to "turn" the rotors to fix this, but what this is really doing is shaving off metal to compensate for the warp. This is not good because it reduces the mass of the disc and therefore its ability to absorb heating. Some mfr's such as BMW, discourage this. They tell you to replace the discs, and I think people putting a big load on their brakes should follow that practice. The second item to focus on is pads. OEM pads are designed to minimize the two things consumers complain about: brake dust (which gets the wheels dirty) and brake noise. Better to replace the stock "organic" pads with semi-metallic pads that stand up to high temperatures. These are less likely to glaze over, although they may wear your discs down a little faster. A good brake shop can help (not one of these franchised brakes and muffler places) identify the right product or you can do your research online. Also, under severe service, your brake fluid should be replaced every two or three years. As someone else noted, brake fluid attracts water, which attacks brake system components and can boil at relatively low temperatures. I think some truck mfr's are paying attention to pad compound and brake disc material (GM advertises that it is) but there's no reason truck owners shouldn't pay attention to these issues as well. Especially for the 3/4 ton drivers, your brakes are stopping a substantially heavier vehicle even before we add in the payload and the weight of the trailer behind.
What you should not do is buy one of those cheap Chinese-made "drilled and slotted" brake disc kits. Apart from the unknown metallurgy of these products, drilling holes and slotting brake discs reduces the mass of the metal, negating any potential gains from better brake cooling. The drilled and slotted discs you will see as stock equipment on Corvettes and the like are designed and sized to compensate for this loss of metal. Replacing a stock solid disc with one that is drilled and slotted is not.
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Old 10-04-2015, 09:50 PM   #126
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On the braking issue, I've yet to suffer any problems with our 2011 Toyota Sienna and 2011 28' International. Sure, we don't do a great annual mileage and we're mostly in the flatlands, but I can report that the Toyota's brakes are as they should be for a nearly five year old vehicle.

On one of my early trips, I ended up on a short but very steep downward slope in the Finger Lakes region and, given the dark, my lack of local knowledge and my general inexperience, I did get the trailer brakes smoking a little. From that little exercise I learned that I had to get the TV down to the desired descent speed at the top of the hill and use the gears to manage most of the work on the way down, hauling on the brakes occasionally just to keep the speed within acceptable limits. This method was fully tested coming down the side of the White Mountains on the New Hampshire/Vermont border. That was a long descent and, in order to give the brakes a fighting chance, I really did crawl down there. That said, I barely used the brakes, which was my aim. Now, I know that crawling down (or up) hills isn't some people's idea of towing but, for me, it certainly ticks all the brake and safety boxes.
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