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Old 09-01-2013, 03:37 PM   #57
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I think most Canadians are more than happy to hear people's opinions; it's what the Forum is for. They might not agree with those opinions but I doubt they feel the need to make sarcastic comments about them.
You got that right!
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Old 09-01-2013, 06:35 PM   #58
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I think most Canadians are more than happy to hear people's opinions; it's what the Forum is for. They might not agree with those opinions but I doubt they feel the need to make sarcastic comments about them.
Well stated. We would all be better off if we kept the sarcasm at bay; especially in the hitch and tow vehicle threads that tend to bring out our emotional sides. The Site Team extends a "Thank You" to those of you who share an interest in this subject and voice yourselves accordingly.

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Old 09-02-2013, 05:49 AM   #59
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Thus a uni-body vehicle with only sheet metal for an attachment point will NOT have the strength of a steel framed vehicle. The steel frame can handle the higher stresses of bouncing down the road. How many times can you flex a beer can before is splits?

Just something to consider with the wider & heavier Airstreams.
I have to disagree with that statement. The Europeans and Japanese got rid of body on frame aeons before the American makers, with no loss of stability, quite the opposite. Even delivery vehicles, like vans, which carry loads exceeding that of many trucks, are almost universally unibody. American manufacturers like body on frame vehicles because they are cheap and easy to manufacture. They have never been popular outside the US because Europeans would not put up with the poor handling and poor fuel economy that traditionally comes with this method of car construction. A unibody Ford Transit with a 3000lbs payload, when empty, still drives like a car, not a bucking horse.

If anything, a modern unibody vehicle is often stiffer than a frame based vehicle of comparable size, suffering from far less longitudinal flex. It is wrong to assume that steel frames flex in any way less than steel unibodys, the opposite is often true, especially when weight distribution is used. The flex just the same, but different, not better.

It is also incorrect to assume that the hitch attachment points on a unibody vehicle are somehow embedded in weak sheet metal. A unibody vehicle body is made up from more than sheet metal.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:12 AM   #60
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We towed a 3500 lb. SOB with a Pilot for several years without a problem or concern. No WD, just friction sway control.
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Old 09-03-2013, 03:48 AM   #61
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Carrying a flat static load is entirely different than having an attachment point that is serving as a fulcrum point for leveraging the downward force of the hitch both to the trailer wheels and the TV front wheels. The magnitude of the stress changes with each vertical rise and fall of the vehicle due to bumps in the road and entry ramps to gas stations etc.

If the sheet metal was that strong, then Andy T at CanAm would not have needed to put a 2" solid steel bar welded to my existing draw bar to a cross member several feet in front of that location. There is a photo of that added bar you can see by clicking on "Images" below my avatar.

The Mercedes factory hitch was known to fail with the rotational forces associated with weight distribution hitches. In fact my 2007 hitch was re-welded by a factory recall. Thus the need for a lever to prevent even minute hitch rotation.

The factory hitch was rated 500 pounds in that year vehicle and the trailer weight was limited to 5,000 pounds. The 25FB we bought had a 1,150 pound tongue weight at the dealership. The writings on the forum encouraged me to go to the larger trailer we selected.

The service writer at the Mercedes dealership never blinked at the CanAm weld job, but stressed the point of the transmission being rated for a maximum of a 5,000 pound trailer weight. When I loaded the trailer for camping including a full fresh water tank, my wife and I in the car plus about 60 pounds of miscellaneous stuff in the back of the car, the entire drive train actually groaned a little at the slight inclines going to and from the scales.

That sound was a bummer, but the overloaded front axle and exceeding the car's GVW was the notice that the car was NOT adequate to tow a 7,300 pound trailer with a then 1,175 pound tongue weight. I have owned the car since it was new in October 2006 and the car has now reached 110,000 miles and continues to be the daily driver.

The replacement tow vehicle, a 2012 Dodge 2500 HD pickup with Cummins diesel, has the towing capacity to handle any current new Airstream.

The lovely 2011 34' tri-axle Classic with a GVW of 11,500 pounds that I drooled over and fantasied about pulling would have been too much towing weight for this truck that has a 20,000 pound combination and truck and trailer rating. At a minimum, one would need at least the 21,000 combination weight to pull that trailer which is the domain of a one ton truck. Actually, a 22,000 pound combination weight would be preferred as my pickup weighs 8,500 pounds without anything in the bed and is closer to 10,000 pounds when hitched and loaded for camping with us in the cab.

This is my experience and my solution to towing both the 25FB and the 27FB Classic (which has a 9,000 pound GVW) we have on order. The truck has the axle and tire ratings and brake system to safely handle this much weight even in the mountains with the aid of a serious engine brake.

YMMV
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Old 09-05-2013, 05:35 PM   #62
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FWIW, our Honda Pilot happily survived its recent 2K mile trip cross country towing our non-empty 3530# empty '71 Safari, which also survived the trip in good shape. We used an Equil-I-Zer hitch rated for 6,000#s the whole way without issues.

Part of the key to our success may have been our keeping the cruising speed set to 55 MPH the whole way. Only passed 4 vehicles in the entire trip! Better, only 1 vehicle ever honked at us.

If I'd known then what I know now, I might have chosen a tow vehicle with a higher rating, but treated gently this combination did well together.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:30 PM   #63
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Unibody construction was implemented by the automobile manufacturers not for its outstanding strength or longevity but because it is a much cheaper way to build a product for the masses.Placement of drilled holes are critical as are any modifications.As mentioned many times all vehicles flex both with a full frame and a unibody.But the differance is a full frame has a body bolted to it with rubber body mounts so normal flexing does not affect it as that is the purpose of its design.Add a load to the rear of the full frame vehicle and the full frame takes the load.
Now in the case of newer unibody vehicles the structure is the strength and that strength is arrived at by the use of strategic bent sheet metal.The bends in the metal create its strength.There are no steel beams in this design,just bent boxed sheetmetal to to give it strength.
Over the years safety has been brought to the forefront and this is where the unibody shines as it crumples on impact where a full frame is not as forgiving.The manufacturers realized that with the unibody design if they put weak point in certain areas of the structure such as holes or cutouts that they could design a car to crumple in a preplanned fashion and lower the deceleration forces that damage Or terminate the human body on impact .These week points are in both the front and the back of the vehicle for obvious reasons.Now why is all this important.
Put more weight on the rear of the unibody vehicle than it was designed for and it will put undo stress on a structure that was not designed for this purpose.
Drilling holes in the structure in the wrong place and over time flexing will take its toll.
Add more metal bars or modify the structure and who knows how the vehicle will crumple on impact.
Dont believe me ??I am sure there are crash test videos of your particular vehicle on YouTube ,watch one.
So before you let someone convince you that drilling a few holes here or there or adding a additional homebrew support there or that its ok to do something that is stated in your owners manual not to do...sounds like he knows what he is doing....Think again .

There are alot of well meaning people giving out miss guided information from the seat of their pants education.
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:56 PM   #64
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I think we are drifting away from the original question, which is about towing a trailer which is well under the recommended towing capacity of a Honda Pilot. Honda says not to use a WD hitch. The OP wants to know if anyone is towing with a Pilot, and if they used such a hitch or not, and how the towing experience was.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:02 PM   #65
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I believe the Pilot is a unibody build so it does apply and possibly explains why the manufacturers warns against A WD hitch.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:13 PM   #66
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But we're not talking about overloading a unibody beyond the specs the manufacturer has set out for it. This is not about overloading it, adding structural components, or anything like that. This is about using a vehicle in the manner the engineers have indicated it can be used, and how does it perform in the real world.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:28 PM   #67
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On the contrary.a WD hitch creates a wheel barrow affect when transferring weight from rear of tow vehicle to the front. This puts undo stress on weight distribution hitch which int turn places the stress on the unibody structure,enough stress that the people that built and designed this vehicle place a warning in the manual against WD useage.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:31 PM   #68
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When you are loaded with water.. groceries..passengers and toys how does the Ridgeline sit. The problem comes in when the front becomes light . Many roads have dips or series of dips this is when you could get in trouble, a truck passes you the rear is soft and when it goes down the front end comes up. This is all it takes....please do not take this lightly rv' ing should be fun driving should be fun ....not white knuckled fun .
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:26 PM   #69
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When you are loaded with water.. groceries..passengers and toys how does the Ridgeline sit. The problem comes in when the front becomes light . Many roads have dips or series of dips this is when you could get in trouble, a truck passes you the rear is soft and when it goes down the front end comes up. This is all it takes....please do not take this lightly rv' ing should be fun driving should be fun ....not white knuckled fun .
And that's why we do use weight distribution.

The irony is that a loaded truck without a trailer behind will handle much worse than a loaded truck and an Airstream in tow, with a properly set up weight distribution hitch. Of the two, the RV'er is in a safer rig.

Reading some of these comments makes me think that some folks just want a new truck, even though the old one was performing fine. You can justify anything playing with numbers.

doug
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:46 AM   #70
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Doug, do you have a link to the data that verifies your statement :

The irony is that a loaded truck without a trailer behind will handle much worse than a loaded truck and an Airstream in tow, with a properly set up weight distribution hitch. Of the two, the RV'er is in a safer rig
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