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Old 02-28-2006, 01:41 PM   #29
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hi toasty, leipper and others

toasty...hey that's great that the family was on board when the honda was weighed....

couple of other thoughts...
your loaded trailer is very close to max...and while i realize these "official" limits are in reality soft....trailers, like people tend to gain weight over time....as clothes, food, toys, tools and beer are added.

i suggest watching this closely....and moving more stuff into the bed on the honda...in front of the rear wheels....during panic and stopping it would be better not to have the trailer "pushing" the honda around.

your tongue weight is too high....try to get the tongue weight closer to 350 lbs....this will make a huge difference on the rear end of the honda....and is still safe...

it is true the tongue needs to be weighted...but more isn't better or safer....and certainly 10% is enough....

find out what the gcwr is and do not exceed it......it's probably around 10k...and most safety minded go for only 80% of that figure...which is another arbitrary guideline...

your honda has a payload of 14-1500lbs? and you are at 800 lbs or so even when hitched up? move more cargo into the honda from the trailer....that will tranfer the load to the honda (where it should be) and lower tongue wt, trailer wt, tail forces...and so on....

make sure the tires are inflated properly when towing....

lastly the honda has great brakes...much better than the trailer...so you need to set up the trailer brakes carefully and so they activate well....you should feel some pull rearward during firm stops....do not let the trailer push the honda...

sure it's all scary but gee wiz camping sure is fun and towing is fun too...we are manly men!

leipper...

sure most trucks are nose heavy.....

but they are also rwd. or 4x4 with locking diffs or rear bias awd..

honda uses a light duty awd system from borg warner.....
that is full time front wheel drive.....
with traction only going to the rear during front wheel slippage...

toasty's current set up had decreased the drive wheels load, the opposite of what happens when a truck bed is loaded....don't you agree?

and most trucks are built and rated for carrying a load in the bed...honda describes the ridgeline as "truck like"......it's a fine vehicle...with lots of innovations but in reality it is more like a grown up vw rabbit truck or subaru baja than a 1/2 ton body on rail frame truck....

think about the classic airstream moho on a p30 chassis vs the gmc moho of the same vintage on a fwd oldsmobile drivetrain....

these gmc things are nice....but have trouble in wet grass or on small inclines....because of the front drive but heavy butt setup...

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-28-2006, 02:10 PM   #30
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Focusing in on tongue weight for a moment...

Before weighing, we stuffed 21 gallons of water under the front dinette to simulate a full tank of water, since we're currently winterized. When full, the tank sits... under the front dinette anyway.

I suspect that's a healthy part of the high tongue weight.

ALSO, isn't the WD hitch and sway bar gonna add a LOT to the tongue weight?? I mean Lordy, a hundred pounds or more of hitch stuff stitting on the A-frame ins't gonna do my tongue weight any good...

Or does it count differently with WD? In other words, what _is_ a "correct" tongue weight with the hitch components installed?!?! And if my max is still 600 lbs or under, I'm not sure it's achievable with a tank of water, a coupla tanks of propane, a battery, a Reese, and a sway bar all sitting on the A-frame.

Little confused again,
jon
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Old 02-28-2006, 02:27 PM   #31
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Quote:
but they are also rwd. or 4x4 with locking diffs or rear bias awd..

honda uses a light duty awd system from borg warner.....
4WD and diesel both influence weight capabilities but don't alter the basic idea that a pickup is designed for most of its load in the rear. I know that, for instance, an F250 4x4 hardly notices a 31' Airstream on behind. I also know how to load a pickup without a trailer that makes for a very squirrely driving experience! ;-)

Now consider the B-Van, an E350. It has to go gas because the weight of the diesel uses up too much of the carrying capacity. And the extended rear doesn't help any for towing handling. - This is like why have an Ambassador rather than a Sovereign because they have the same GVWR and the Sovereign's extra length takes up a few hundred pounds that the Ambassador uses for cargo capacity.

The Ridgeline uses the Odyssey engine and tranny if I understand right. I wonder if it also implements VSA. I agree that it isn't a heavy duty truck and isn't sold as one. To me that only means an appropriate consideration for its limits, as any driver should provide for any rig. It is not a drawback, it is a choice. And, like all choices, it has its tradeoffs.

The one that gets me is the milage citation I saw here a while back.

Jon has a good point about the extra weight of a WD hitch. But if that is a factor, I think you're cutting the edge a bit close. If you are having to emulate an airplane pilot in load calculations you really need to get a bit more leeway in capabilities, I think. This is supposed to be 'recreational' and not stressful. Although I do know some folks who find weight and distance calculations recreational ...
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Old 02-28-2006, 02:29 PM   #32
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toasty

while parked, unhooked and with a w/d hitch mounted on the front of the trailer yes the tongue load increases....but the trailer frame can support it and since you are not hooked up or moving it really doesn't matter...within reason.

some hitch brands leave a lot on the tongue when parked (hensley) and others only leave a little hardware....watch when folks disconnect....

once the trailer is connected to the t.v. with the proper stinger/shank/dropbar, and after the spring bars are properly adjusted....
the trailer tongue is no longer carrying the hitch...i know it's confusing.

at this point the hitch wt is being carried by the t.v. receiver and t.v. frame....

hope this helps....a little

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-28-2006, 02:40 PM   #33
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hi leipper

define pickup truck? that's the problem....

the honda isn't like a 150, 1500, tundra, titan or even an el camino...
forget the 3/4 ton analogy....find a 1/2 for comparison....

it is a fwd unibody vehicle with a bed....and much better compared to the touareg, cayenne, mdx, or pathfinder...

unloading the front end which drives and steers isn't a good idea...

and as i posted earlier the way the receiver connects and supports loads...limits how much can be carried on the hitch...

cheers
2air'
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:09 PM   #34
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I think I see what you're saying about the truck carrying the hitch weight, 2air. Thanks. And BTW, that avatar cracks me up all over again everytime I see it. Is this pic of a close personal friend or a self-portrait?

Thanks, Leipper, for providing cross-exam on this issue. I agree completely that:

>There are a lot of add-ons to improve handling. Some have a major effect and >some take a biased driver to notice. I don't know where the WD on the >Ridgeline will fall in this

Me neither. Going ahead with a WD is just my best guess for now. Will letcha know if I find improvement.

Thanx,
j
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:31 AM   #35
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hi toasty and others

i know you understand my comments aren't meant to belittle the honda...or by extension the owners....

earlier i mentioned how the receiver attaches as a possible reason for the load rating...and issues with w/d hitches....

here are a couple of pixs of the honda and vw receivers...the vw looks a little beefier (square cross bar, larger diameter) but attached to the unibody on end....most receivers bolt along the box beam lengths...

the honda does this but only with 3 bolts and the crossbar is round and not reinforced much at the box attachment....like the recalled gms....

w/d systems transmit large twisting forces through the receiver into the t.v. and need to be reinforced/attached to handle this....more so than just a downward load on the receiver...

i still think it would be useful for a w/d on the honda...but with highter bars (4-600) and regular inspections of the underside...

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:13 AM   #36
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here is the honda and vw image in word file...

scanned for all viruses, worms, trojans...and so on.

and here is a link with clearer pics of the ridgeline receiver install...

http://www.hondapartsdeals.com/Honda...iler_hitch.pdf

imagine sticking a 10 ft long bar in the receiver opening and pulling up....that's what a w/d does....

cheers
2air'
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Old 03-01-2006, 08:19 AM   #37
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Hey 2air,

No offense taken in re the Honda Ridgeline. We were aware of its strengths and limitations at purchase. I viewed it as a "cruck" from day one, though now I just call it The Blob.

Since this vehicle will be doing 80% of it's miles while towing nothing, we skewed toward Honda's reported reliability, its carlike cornering and handling, and it's outstanding safety features and crash test ratings.

It's not by any stretch an optimal tow vehicle. However, we're well within its rated capacities. And, we are VERY prudent drivers, which IMO counts for more than all the fancy gear one can buy. I don't ever plan on seeing the speedometer north of 60 while towing.

One of the nice things I've found about towing a trailer is that you can't even see the enraged guy behind you who's flipping you the bird 'cause you're so pokey.

jon
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Old 03-01-2006, 10:28 AM   #38
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I wouldn't be worried about the hitch. It is welded all the way around unlike the GMs in question. My local Airstream dealer was worried about the same thing and after inspecting it said that it appeared to be well made and should be worry free. The attachment to the unibody frame at the bottom looks the same as the attachment to the bottom rail of the frame on more typical trucks. Like I said before - it works and when hooked up with the equalizer the vehicle rode and drove like a single combined unit. I have disk brakes on the Caravel with the Prodigy brake controller in the Ridgeline so coming to stops is silky smooth.
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:44 AM   #39
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" define pickup truck? that's the problem...." -- Good grief! First its save the planet even if you ignore what the manufacturer tells you. Now its the fine details of word definitions. What do I say to stimulate such responses?

The problem is whether the tow vehicle in mind (Honda Ridgeline) can tow a 16' CCD with reasonable safety and driver comfort.

Well, we have a good debate going that is swimming in numbers. That can be fun but confusing if you aren't careful to keep all the numbers in the right place and note the appropriate and necessary caveats and conditions and precision and accuracy involved.

But that really doesn't address the real problem either: whether the tow vehicle in mind (Honda Ridgeline) can tow a 16' CCD with reasonable safety and driver comfort.

There is an awful lot of real world experience that is getting ignored. Yes, pay attention to GCWR. hitch ratings, and GAWR. But then keep in mind that there are an awful lot of folks on the road with many many miles of experience who aren't using WD or sway control. That says that much of the discussion here is about the second order issues, not whether the tow vehicle in mind (Honda Ridgeline) can tow a 16' CCD with reasonable safety and driver comfort.
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:04 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leipper
" define pickup truck? that's the problem...." -- Good grief! First its save the planet even if you ignore what the manufacturer tells you. Now its the fine details of word definitions. What do I say to stimulate such responses?

The problem is whether the tow vehicle in mind (Honda Ridgeline) can tow a 16' CCD with reasonable safety and driver comfort.

Well, we have a good debate going that is swimming in numbers. That can be fun but confusing if you aren't careful to keep all the numbers in the right place and note the appropriate and necessary caveats and conditions and precision and accuracy involved.

But that really doesn't address the real problem either: whether the tow vehicle in mind (Honda Ridgeline) can tow a 16' CCD with reasonable safety and driver comfort.

There is an awful lot of real world experience that is getting ignored. Yes, pay attention to GCWR. hitch ratings, and GAWR. But then keep in mind that there are an awful lot of folks on the road with many many miles of experience who aren't using WD or sway control. That says that much of the discussion here is about the second order issues, not whether the tow vehicle in mind (Honda Ridgeline) can tow a 16' CCD with reasonable safety and driver comfort.
This is true. I think the answer is in the Honda manual.

For the Ridgeline it is as follows (from the Honda manual):

GROSS COMBINED WEIGHT RATING (gcwr) - The maximum allowable weight of the fully loaded vehicle and trailer is 10,088 lbs, with the proper hitch, at sea level. The gcwr must be reduced by 2% for every 1,000 feet of elevation.

GROSS AXLE WEIGHT RATING (gawr) - The maximum allowable weight on the vehicles axles is 3,105lbs on the front and 3,245 lbs on the rear.

GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING (gvwr) - The maximum allowable weight of the vehicle, occupants, cargo AND tongue load is 6,050 lbs.

Honda notes that the recommended tongue load is 10-15% of the total trailer weight.

Just plug the 16' CCDs numbers in and check everything on the scales.
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:08 PM   #41
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Ridgeline

This is a very interesting discussion with more impressive insight and knowledge than I could have imagined. I've been reading this particular thread since the beginning because I'm also interested in the Ridgeline. But alas, I think my 2003 22 ft CCD just might be the breaking point. I currently drive a Nissan Titan (which I love) but as a daily driver it is a HUGE gas hog. I am lucky to break 15 MPG even on the highway (without the AS attached). So I would like to downsize eventually.

There are a number of reasons the Ridgeline is in the running. First, my nephew is a mechanic for Honda and he insists the Ridgeline will work for me. Even though he and his dealer have no experience with any of their customers pulling 4500 lbs. Secondly, I was in a campground last October in Lake Placid and just a few spots over was a Ridgeline pulling an SOB which was in my estimation at least 28 feet long. I never got a chance to speak to the owner, but there it was.

The WD hitch warning is a serious reason to be cautious, but in the meantime I'll continue to monitor and wait to see more real world experience before making any decsions.

Thanks for providing such great information.

Bluvalley
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Old 03-01-2006, 01:59 PM   #42
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2air that was very good of you to post the hitch mounting attachment, it sure gave me a better understanding of type of hitch and how they mount it. They use three 12mm bolts per side and two 10mm bolts to mount reciever to hitch frame bar. they torque the 12mm bolts to 59 ibf-ft that relates to 4.9 foot lbs and the two 10mm bolts that mounts the reciever to the hitch frame bar, and they are torqued to 34 ibf-ft and that relates to about 2.8 foot lbs. And I also woud be willing to bet that the bolts are a grade 5 and not a grade 8 bolt. Now I understand why they do not recommend WD Hitch, I feel that it is made to pull a two place trailer or a boat trailer, seems awfull light duty to me. I'm not knocking Honda eaither, its just that this unit is a car trying to enter a market were it dose not belong, and there is a very fine line on this unit, to be used as so. I for starters would not trust that hitch to pull anything but light duty trailers.
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