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Old 02-15-2010, 03:02 PM   #15
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In motorcycle circles, we like to remind n00bs that they are buying their FIRST motorcycle, not their LAST motorcycle... since a frequent question that comes up is whether a 600cc race bike is more suitable for a beginner than, say, a 1300cc race bike. The best answer being that you would want to be extremely confident of your salvation in either case. With motorcycles, unlike Airstreams, there are certain nearly inevitable n00b mistakes that for reasons of safety and ca$h are best made on a small bike.

In contrast, with Airstreams (and RVs in general) the pattern is that people usually start out trying to save a few pennies and get something that isn't really sufficient. I think the popularity of 5er SOBs that are 39' long and have six slides is partly a reaction to insufficient space in the past, but then again, Thorstein Veblin would have had another explanation.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:37 AM   #16
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Jammer, I really like that analogy. When I recently got my motorcycle license, I started with a Ninja 250. Even that rather basic bike was a whole new world of experiences.

We did something similar with our trailers - started with a T@B teardrop, now moved up to the Argosy. You can start small, see if you like it (a lot more than motorcycles, as it turned out), avoid buying a bigger/specialized tow vehicle, and move on up as finances permit.

I don't think I've ever seen Thornstein Veblen referred to by name on Airforums - well done!

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Old 02-16-2010, 07:24 AM   #17
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My brother has a Pilot and he tows my old Pop-up camper with it. It is a 12' pop-up with all the goodies and it weighs right around 3000lb. The Pilot sucks. It is not a good tow-vehicle. He does not do much camping so it dosent bother him much, but it really makes the Pilot a dog. Keep in mind that this is 2000lbs lighter than what you are considering. He can barely keep above 55 when we are traveling in the hills of Kentucky. I think the tongue weight is around 300lbs and sinks the Pilot on its butt. 600lbs of tongue weight will kill it and you will be doing wheelies!
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:52 AM   #18
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My brother has a Pilot and he tows my old Pop-up camper with it. It is a 12' pop-up with all the goodies and it weighs right around 3000lb. The Pilot sucks. It is not a good tow-vehicle.
Sounds like your bro has one foot on the brake and one on the gas.

For towing at it's rating the Pilot has as much power as the average TV out there.

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Old 02-16-2010, 08:45 AM   #19
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Look at the chart you just posted. The Pilot is slower with a load than a Saturn Vue and a Nissan Murano. Both of these vehicles are not even market as real SUV's. Just compact SUV's. This dude that was asking, is thinking about pulling a 5000lb Airstream. I would not want to be following that dude on the highway! His 5 speed transmission will probably drop to 2nd gear if he hits a hill and the RPM's will be near redline. My brother knows that it sucks as a TV, but he was willing to make the compromise because it is a great vehicle when he is not towing the pop-up. And he only goes camping a few times a year. I am also comparing this to my TV, and I have a 3/4 chevy diesel. It is never short on power, but I pay for it 98% of the time I'm not towing. When I am pulling the Airstream, it totally makes up for the 2%.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:06 AM   #20
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I am also comparing this to my TV, and I have a 3/4 chevy diesel.
So you are saying that the Pilot sucks because it can't tow like your Chey diesel.

I see.

A more realistic comparison might be that of the Honda Ridgeline that uses the same V6 engine as the Pilot. When you look at what they are towing I don't think the performance is that bad. Ridgeline's can tow (photos) - Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:08 AM   #21
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Hmmm. I'm towing a 3000lb trailer with my Honda Odyssey - same drivetrain as the Pilot. Can't say that I'm dropping below 3rd gear on hills, no problems maintaining the speed limit in the Vermont hills. I wouldn't mind more power on hilly two-lane roads - but I'm sure as heck not causing traffic to pile up behind me on the highway.

I'm also guessing that he's towing that pop-up without a weight distribution hitch. My 200-lb tongue weight T@B drops the back of my van more than my 500-lb Argosy does; the difference is the T@B has no weight distribution while I use it for the Argosy.

To each their own.

EDIT: It makes sense the (last generation) Vue was faster than the Pilot - it was smaller and uses the same drivetrain.

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Old 02-16-2010, 09:13 AM   #22
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Here's BAD trailer towing taken to the extreme...

YouTube - car towing a trailer way too big
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:02 AM   #23
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2Air is illustrating just how deeply held some of these positions are. Anyone who dares take note of deficiencies in the Emperor's new clothes had better be prepared for an assault of the vilest order. Belittling other persons rather than addressing the points made is never a good way to foster useful discussion. We sure have some examples in this thread.

On the other hand, there are a few trying to clarify issues and balancing of factors.

The Ody is rated for up towing to 3500# and that rating is not a capability rating. There are a number of these minivans towing larger Airstreams. Honda seems to use the same drivetrain in many of its vehicles and it is the suspension and configuration that provide the major change in potential towing capabilities.

The note about the pop-up in interesting because some of the worst sway is with the smaller lightweight trailers. One of the best sway management articles I have seen is centered on a lightweight tow vehicle and a tent trailer.

Confusing and conflating load leveling with sway control is a common problem. They are related because of the loading on the steering axle. If the tongue weight lifts the steering axle and that lift is not compensated with load leveling, then your steering can get soft and that can exaggerate handling problems. If you have a vehicle that can take a thousand pounds on the rear bumper without lifting the steering axle (like some diesel pickups with short axle to bumper distance), than load leveling doesn't influence steering much.

Reasons that lightweight tent trailers may have significant sway problems include it being easier for them to be disturbed from their line of travel, the short axle to tongue distance (less leverage), and load distribution. Airstreams tend to have their axles set farther back than many other brand of trailers and they place the major load very close to the axles. That is one reason why many Airstreamers tend to travel with full water tanks as it can improve handling in those trailers.

I find it interesting that the Honda uses a 250 HP V6 with a 6 speed tranny. Many of the tow vehicles pre 1970 had only three gears with motors under 200 HP. None of this kind of discussion then. You just took what you had and made do.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:22 AM   #24
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I find it interesting that the Honda uses a 250 HP V6 with a 6 speed tranny. Many of the tow vehicles pre 1970 had only three gears with motors under 200 HP. None of this kind of discussion then. You just took what you had and made do.
How true it is/was Bryan. Back in the 60's this 180HP Dodge easily reached 90MPH towing the bullet on a test site.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:08 AM   #25
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...be prepared for an assault of the vilest order...
bryan, i LIKE this notion...

so much so that it might just make a GREAT signature line.

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...Belittling... is never a good way to foster useful discussion.
sure it is.

but who suggested this discuss was useful?

and YES folks towed with floppy, loose, LEAD eating, seatbelt less, bias plied rolling SOFAs and 9 kids in the back seat or windows...

in the good ol'days...

but the streams were smaller the speeds SLOWER, they had NO AC on top to increase drag and DAD was the boss.

AND the kids had a bowl of cold rocks for breakfast and wiped with corn cobs...

but only after DAD had used the cob first.

not that there's anything WRONG with that approach,

it's how many of our NORTHERN neighbors still travel NOW...

(more belittling but at least it's not directed at any 1 person)

joke is a 4 letter word bro...

cheers
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:08 PM   #26
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Here's BAD trailer towing taken to the extreme...

YouTube - car towing a trailer way too big
Yep, thats pretty funny when it's not you.....
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Old 02-17-2010, 11:49 AM   #27
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look to where the conversation has been taken: ridicule, satire, addressing the person and not the issue,

Quote:
Yep, thats pretty funny when it's not you.....
yes, indeed.

wouldn't it be something if we could actually get into a discussion of towing capacity without having the trolls, the satirists, and those devolving to ridicule taking it over?
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:28 PM   #28
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wouldn't it be something if we could actually get into a discussion of towing capacity without having the trolls, the satirists, and those devolving to ridicule taking it over?
For sure Bryan.... the FC* continues.

It is a shame that folks like the OP come here for insight and have to weed through the GP*.

Wondering if the forum administrators could set up a new subject in the forum. You could name it CPYFCAGPH*. This could be a place where the children could play, a place where they could scratch out their useless scrawl. That way the adults here, the ones who take the subject of towing seriously could communicate without the annoyance of the whimpering koolaide kids and their BFB* distracting posts.

At the very least it would give the OP a half azz'd chance of getting through the applicable info.

*FC (Forum Clutter)

*GP (Garbage Posts)

*CPYFCAGPH (Children paste your Forum Clutter and Garbage posts here)

*BFB (Brain Fart Based)
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