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Old 04-08-2008, 04:18 PM   #1
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Towing with a Honda Ridgeline

Does anyone here tow with a Honda Ridgeline and if so do you tow anything larger than a 19' Bambi? We have found a nice, used Bambi and a nice, used 23 Airstream after weeks of looking.

We would be happy with either one, but would prefer the 23' if we can safely tow it. Our Ridgeline is rated at 5,000 lbs and the Bambi weights 3360 and the 23' 4470. Obviously we would be close to 5,000lbs when loaded with the 23'. How much difference would a very good hitch make here?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-08-2008, 04:59 PM   #2
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i'd suggest u go back and look at the other thread you started on this topic and read those posts and links...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...ine-37726.html

the 23 has DRY/WITHOUT OPTIONS weight of 4500 lbs

with gear, options, lp gas and water it will approach 6,000 lbs.

which is OVER the capacity of the r-line anyway u slice it.

bluvalley posted about towing a 22...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/288502-post15.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/426886-post21.html

mswartz and toasty's dad have put up very useful info on the tv in question...

so try the links provided in november, or simple search using the "R" word...

while a 'good' w/d hitch is needed too,

the hitch actually DECREASES the towing capacity, by whatever the hitch weighs (100-250 lbs)

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:14 PM   #3
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We did review it before posting. Some of the reply's were a little confusing so we hope to clarify by being very specific with the models we are looking at. We were also not quite sure what it means when we read that Airstreams are easier to tow than other RV of the same weight.

Also thanks for outlining the total weight of a loaded 23'. We thought it would be much less. If we didn't fill up with water before we got to a campground and emptied the gray and black water tanks we estimated the total weight to be about 4900 lbs. We did not figure in the hitch as well.

Thanks again,

Kim
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Old 04-08-2008, 05:28 PM   #4
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the 23 is a neat unit.

IF that's what ya like go for it and upgrade the tv as needed.

towing "safely" is a vague topic and subject to wide mis/interpretations...

i'm sure there are folks towing 'over specs' who still feel they are "safely towing"...

they may ignore or re interpret the ratings and rantings or feel their driving style merits an exception.

but they don't post here much about it...

the other sites listed for this tv have more stories on towing, as noted in your first thread.

so u might hook it up and try it out, or opt for a tad more beef on the tv side...

or wait for someone from another country, with different issues and views to post...

eventually someone will report 'it's really OK, just go ahead, blah blah...'

ultimately the driver/buyer must decide these things and carry the responsibility.

and even the 'weights' listed by a/s are only estimates. they do NOT weight the trailers.

so to really know how much any specific unit weights, it needs to go on a scale.

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:31 PM   #5
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I never would have guessed that your Ridgeline had a greater payload than my '07 Tundra, I'll have to keep quiet about that? Having not even towed my own trailer yet I have no great advice but it seems from the above posts that you've got a simple choice. If you're "happy with either" and your tow rating excludes the 23' its a 19' Bambi or change the Honda.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:34 PM   #6
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I really did not understand hitch weight or the interaction of all the variables in calculating maximum towing weight or the need for a margin of safety below the max rating before. Based on the advice here it sounds like the 19' Bambi is the safest and best bet for our first Airstream. We don't want to push our luck or make a foolish mistake that causes an accident.

One of the best things about this forum is the huge amount of quality information here. It is just a little daunting to sort it all out with asking what may seem like repetitive questions sometimes.

Thank you all so much for the information and helping us sort it all out.

Kim and Lloyd
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:46 PM   #7
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Hi there. Consumer reports had a comparison test about a year ago with similar sized P/u's (Tacoma, Frontier, Ridgeline, Chevy Colorado). They said the Ridgeline pulled 5000#'s to 60 in aobut 22 seconds from what I remember...

Although they don't talk about handling, or stopping, they're a pretty belts and suspenders type of organization.

Fuel prices are making people really examine what they pull with.

While I think a vintage (think 70's) 23 or 24 ft'r is totally within reason (because they're lighter), I think happily pulling the 23 may be pushing the envelope.

CanamRV in Ontario Canada is a good outfit to call to get another perspective. They specialize in the smaller tow vehicle and seem to have the set up well thought out.
Good luck!
Marc
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:10 PM   #8
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The 23-footer's listed 600# hitch weight would be increased by 150-250# depending on how you load it. Most of that will be real weight gain -- full propane tanks, weight distribution gear and hitch bar (35# all by itself) installed at the very front of the trailer. Ridgeline payload looks to be 1549# .... minus 850 pounds hitch weight leaves you a generous amount for driver/passengers, Ridgeline options (options above base model count against payload), and gear in the box. Can you get a tranny cooler added? I'm assuming it already has a Class III or IV receiver and the 7-pin umbilical hookup at the rear. 5000# towing capacity doesn't leave enough margin IMO -- I'm close to 2air's statement of saying this may not be enough tow vehicle. Max tow capacity tends to be rated while carrying well under allowed payload. Using the above link GCWR is 10085. (basic explanation here)

There is a conservative school of thought that durability of your tow vehicle and safety (emergency braking & avoidance maneuvers) are best when you don't go beyond 85% of any max rating (payload, tow vehicle GVWR, trailer GVWR, GCWR). This combo is already at or above specs for a couple of these figures.

It's cheaper getting the Airstream you want and not being dissatisfied and trading up later -- eating the out-of-the-dealership depreciation twice. You could tow such an Airstream home. You could look at the numbers closer and figure how to load the tow vehicle & 23' trailer lighter -- maybe allowing close-by regional camping this year (I'm not saying this is a certainty). But look at the trailer you really like and figure out what to tow it with next. The Ridgeline might bring it home but it is really hobbled until you can upgrade -- if you want a 23-footer that is.
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:56 AM   #9
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Having been there, done that (buying the trailer my vehicle would pull, not the trailer I wanted), and then later, buying the trailer I wanted AND a vehicle that would pull it, I say buy the trailer you want. Then, if you're not happy with the way your vehicle pulls it, trade the vehicle.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:55 AM   #10
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We have towed our 22'SS over 2k now with the Ridgeline and have had absolutely no problems with either. Most of our towing is in mountainous areas. We do not use a WDH or anti-sway device because they simply are not needed with our set-up. The Ridgeline has 2.5 times the rigidity of similar TV's and it shows up as a stability factor when towing a properly sized TT. We started out thinking the 17'SS would be suitable for us but quickly realized the larger SS still fit our vehicles tow capability and it did. In my opinion, setting your loaded TT weight around 4000# with 400# on the ball as we did, results in the ideal combo. Our mileage has been 14 as a low with 18 being the high.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:28 AM   #11
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The Ridgeline with a 5,000# two capacity with the 80% rule would rule out the 23. That being said I will add my 2 cents.

When putting together a tow package for a particular job do NOT pay attention to a lot of hype from advertisers or even magazines. The forum can teach your REAL life towing.

Horsepower is the LAST and least important aspect of towing. First thing is frame streight. This is why Fords have such high tow ratings and other TRUCK manufacturers are close behind.

Second is brakeing, tires, and a proper tow package (ie radiator, transmission and cooler, rear end gearing. and the most important thing,, ARE THE BRAKES ON YOUR TOW VEHICLE BIG ENOUGH???

Last is horspower....if all the aformentioned aspects are adequat the horsepower you have under the hood will work. I say this because all of todays modern trucks that are designed to pull thier TOW RATING have enough horsepower.

Don't make it anymore complicated that need be. The 80% rule is a good one especially for those with limited tow exsperience.

Always remember...it it won't stop....it won't tow.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:57 AM   #12
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You are so right Dford79....most folks look at horsepower to tow. Horsepower is great to get up the hill, but, when on the other side, will the brakes stop the rig? Is it equipped properly with WDH to keep it from swaying in an unexpected gust of wind (or a passing big rig)? Most TT accidents (that I see) are on a downhill, each having a trail of tire marks swaying left to right before a jack knife or rollover.
Pick a tow vehicle that can control your trailer...or if you have a tow vehicle, pick a trailer that your tow can control. Anyone is asking for problems if they are over tow weight, or towing without the proper equipment. That's my 2 cents.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:53 PM   #13
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Please reconsider.
Quote:
We do not use a WDH or anti-sway device because they simply are not needed with our set-up. The Ridgeline has 2.5 times the rigidity of similar TV's and it shows up as a stability factor when towing a properly sized TT.
Using no WD gear will put anybody without a dually well into the territory of exceeding the rear axle GAWR. Nobody would recommend this ever -- it's just not safe. Your GAWR ratings are on the drivers door edge or door post as mandated by the govt. The manual should give empty rear axle loading (or else Edmunds or kbb would have that). The difference between rear axle empty weight & rear GAWR is the maximum permissible payload placed on the rear axle -- distribute the passenger weight; anything in the box?; but put all the hitch weight onto the rear axle when doing a quick-and-dirty calculation.

No antisway? A 16' Airstream is more than heavy enough to become the "driver" when control is compromised in wet conditions or emergency braking or avoidance maneuvers. Anesthesiology or flying have the same saying -- 99% boredom and 1% sheer panic. Don't give sheer panic an extra few percentage points.

Modern WD-antisway gear are integrated into a single easy to hook up package. A Reese or Equal-I-Zer (and others) just aren't expensive enough to throw the extra control out the window. In 3 seasons of towing I've had my Dual-Cam HP kick in once. It kept my Safari right in line while sliding sideways on gravel at not more than 35mph. Saving the trailer only once in 3 years? Priceless!
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahab
...We do not use a WDH or anti-sway device because they simply are not needed with our set-up...
i REALLY appreciate when owners post EXACTLY how they tow. describing WHAT is used or isn't in clear terms.

that sort of info is the raw-est stuff available to anyone considering a similar tv or trailer or combo.

BUT unless you've weighed the axles how can you know it 'simply isn't needed' ?

ball/hitch/receiver loads REDUCE front axle weights. HOW MUCH is only determined by higher math or visiting a scale.

this could be an issue with ANY tow vehicle, but seems even MORE IMPORTANT with a FRONT WHEEL DRIVE towing combo.

given the front axle is PRIMARY and propels, steers, and brakes the rig/combo.

read about the MEASURED load/UNLOAD changes here, in post #1, #26 and #27 and #63 for the after w/d figures.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...-ii-21000.html

and if ne1 wants to see the honda receiver, i've linked images in post #36 above...

i appreciate your attention to keeping the tongue mass down to 400 lbs which would reduce this effect but...

it that 400 measured or guessed?

it also pokes at the issue of tongue weight as a % of total...

again your honesty is appreciated, right or wrong as an example to others.

cheers
2air'
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