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Old 07-09-2020, 12:54 PM   #1
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Newbie: Tow Vehicle _ 15' Honda Pilot AWD - 4500 weight limit

Have a 2015 Honda Pilot Auto, AWD, tow capacity rated at 4500#

Looking to buy a 19' Bambi - But I am right at the dry limit:

3500 lbs - dry 19' Bambi
400 lbs - food bike etc.
300 lbs - wife and myself.
4200 lbs

The Honda says 4500 lbs - Has anyone out there towed a 19' AS with a Honda Pilot.

Any problems bumping up to the Load Limit?

Thanks
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Old 07-09-2020, 02:31 PM   #2
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No problem. I have towed several 31 ft a/s trailers for more than 20 years using TV including 1998 &2004 Toyota sienna rated at 3000#. traveled more than 100,000 miles, thru the Rockies 3 times and basically all but 4 usa states and all ca provinces. each tv was driven for at least 5 years with regular maintenance. never had a drive train issue. You will be pulling a much smaller trailer but it is still an a/s. I could not have done this with a square box type trailer. Always used a Reese dual cam anti sway set up. they are great. If I can offer you any advice is to get a longer trailer with 2 axles, they will pull easier.
Woodytwo
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Old 07-09-2020, 02:55 PM   #3
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Payload...do some research on payload. Check the yellow sticker on your driver door jamb. Check to tongue weight of the trailer you are looking at...add the tongue weight (posted weights seem to be a little low) and anything that will go in or on your tow vehicle (you, wife, kids, dog, groceries, bikes, kayaks, etc. if that all adds up to more than the yellow sticker...no good. Also check the gross trailer weight against your tow vehicle gross combined Weight rating. You will find in your research that “pulling capacity” isn’t the problem, it is payload that becomes the limiting factor fairly easily. Another thing to look at is your tow vehicle hitch receiver rating. Start researching...it’s an interesting rabbit hole!
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Old 07-09-2020, 05:12 PM   #4
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Some would think that you shouldn't be alive...

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Originally Posted by woodytwo View Post
No problem. I have towed several 31 ft a/s trailers for more than 20 years using TV including 1998 &2004 Toyota sienna rated at 3000#. traveled more than 100,000 miles, thru the Rockies 3 times and basically all but 4 usa states and all ca provinces. (...)
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Old 07-09-2020, 05:30 PM   #5
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What was said already so as long as you watch the vehicle payload you are in good shape.

You will need a brake controller and a light WD hitch with good sway control. You will also want to manage tire pressure, particularly on the rear wheels. You will want to increase the pressure to support actual weight and add pressure 15-20% reserve weight capacity (use the load charts) if you won't exceed max design pressure for the tires.

Other than these you should be good.
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Old 07-10-2020, 05:17 AM   #6
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Woody, Labeda, Bono & Bayou

Thank you so very much. Your experience and wisdom is so helpful.

Bd.
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodytwo View Post
No problem. I have towed several 31 ft a/s trailers for more than 20 years using TV including 1998 &2004 Toyota sienna rated at 3000#. traveled more than 100,000 miles, thru the Rockies 3 times and basically all but 4 usa states and all ca provinces. each tv was driven for at least 5 years with regular maintenance. never had a drive train issue. You will be pulling a much smaller trailer but it is still an a/s. I could not have done this with a square box type trailer. Always used a Reese dual cam anti sway set up. they are great. If I can offer you any advice is to get a longer trailer with 2 axles, they will pull easier.
Woodytwo
Level of tolerance for passenger discomfort due to suspension damping and range of motion along with patience in accommodating power, pulling and braking constraints vary from person to person. Finally many drivers don't care who they hold up as a result of performance constraints. Clearly the Toyota people didn't advise managing these issues. On road safety and handling stability should have been fine with the setup so I would not expect too many white knuckle moments.

Still, it is poor form to suggest inexperienced campers to try this.
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Old 07-10-2020, 06:38 AM   #8
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Old 07-10-2020, 10:51 AM   #9
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I have a Honda Pilot 2017 and tow a 2011 Flying Cloud 23FB without any problem. Hitch set up perform by Can-Am RV.
The 2017 towing capacity is 5 000 lbs.
"Ready to camp" weight measurement Government balance are:
(Fresh, gray and black tanks empty)
(2 Propane tanks full)
(2 original Group 24 Interstate batteries)
(100 watts on roof solar panel)
(Weber BBQ in car and regular clothing and food for 1 week camping in travel trailer)
(Full gaz tank and 2 adult passenger)
Pilot front axle: 3036 lbs
Pilot rear axle: 2684 lbs
Flying Cloud front axle: 2244 lbs
Flying Cloud rear axle: 2464 lbs
Ground to hitch ball height: 15.75 inches
Grand total travel trailer and car GCWR: 10 428 lbs

Honda Pilot only weights values:
(Full gaz tank with 2 adult passengers)
Pilot front axle: 2750 lbs
Pilot rear axle: 2508 lbs
Ground to hitch ball height: 14.275 inches

Hope this help!
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Old 07-10-2020, 12:50 PM   #10
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I tow my 25 FC with an F150 but we have a “16 Honda Pilot. The Pilot changed significantly in 2016 and I cannot speak to the capability of the earlier generation but on
ours, only the AWD version like ours has the 5000 lb capability and that requires an additional transmission cooler. Also the capability of the hitch receiver is critical for safety so it can handle higher than advertised AS ratings. Just something to consider.
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Old 07-10-2020, 07:21 PM   #11
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The Pilot

I loved our Pilot. But that's why we traded it for a Dodge Durango.
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Old 07-10-2020, 08:05 PM   #12
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I have a Honda Pilot Truck Ridgeline

If it is anything like the Ridgeline, you should be able to pull the Bambi quite fine.

You will be close to the maximum capacities for tongue and towing capacity. You will need to pay close attention to your axle loads and cargo so you don't over load your setup.

I do recommend a WDH as well as it really helps to move some tongue weight to front axle which makes the Honda feel better and handle better.

Here is our setup Ridgeline with a Sport 22FB and WDH.

Hope this all works out for you!
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Old 07-10-2020, 08:34 PM   #13
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We tow our 25’ FB Safari with our 2011 Acura. MDX. Same platform as Pilot. Our setup was done by CanAm. Agree about watching your payload. We have towed for 2 1/2 years including a 6000 mile cross country trek from Ohio to the Oregon coast and back. Click image for larger version

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Old 07-11-2020, 09:28 AM   #14
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When we purchased our Bambi Sport we were told by several, to make certain the tow vehicle has a towing capacity of 2000# more than what we are towing. Our friend in CO bought a tow vehicle with the same towing capacity as his trailer weighs. He has had problems towing his trailer. Too much weight to tow.
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Old 07-11-2020, 09:55 AM   #15
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Good advice Debbie, only the most laid back or sometimes the most stubborn people enjoy towing near or over the limit of their vehicle capability. If expensive modifications are not made it is either uncomfortable or unsafe or a road hazard to others or any combination.
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debbietaylor View Post
When we purchased our Bambi Sport we were told by several, to make certain the tow vehicle has a towing capacity of 2000# more than what we are towing. Our friend in CO bought a tow vehicle with the same towing capacity as his trailer weighs. He has had problems towing his trailer. Too much weight to tow.
Hi Debbie, we purchased our Sport the dealer told us that our Honda (not a Pilot but very similar) would make a great tow vehicle for the single axle trailer.

The Sport is unique in that it came in with lighter overall weight and tongue weight than the Bambi's on this year. Our actual tongue weight has never gone over 500 lbs. (I have a scale and measure it each time I hook up). We load it up but never with fresh water. That could add another ~100 lbs to the tongue.

It is interesting that guidance from the experts is all over the map. The earlier Ridgelines all the way back to the year ~2000 had the same towing specs as ours.

I am sure that the Pilot, which is really the basis for the Ridgeline, has similar capacity. The critical thing is that the cargo capacity is easy to max out.

The other issue might be the need to add a heavy duty transmission cooler and some LT tires to increase the load range if the Pilot doesn't have either of those.

Our towing experience with our single axle Airstream and a V6 seems to be enough to maintain highway speeds and about 50 mph on hills > 7% grades.

The newer single axle trailers seem to be getting heavier and the tongue weights are going up as well (this is probably partly due to the added second battery). It may be a wise choice for the OP to look at a slightly older model to get the lighter weights.
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:22 AM   #17
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Guidance from experts are all over the map because vehicle design and configuration is all over the map. Considerations are complex and the variables are broad. Further complicating things are the number of unqualified people chiming in along with those with biases and ulterior motives. Makes for a dog's breakfast.
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Old 07-11-2020, 10:37 AM   #18
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Hi Brian, I think you have it on the money! Best to be safe not sorry!
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Old 07-11-2020, 06:38 PM   #19
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Good to hear about your success story. Too many armchair engineers here, acting as experts and telling other people what is good or bad.

Happy camping!


Quote:
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We tow our 25’ FB Safari with our 2011 Acura. MDX. Same platform as Pilot. Our setup was done by CanAm. Agree about watching your payload. We have towed for 2 1/2 years including a 6000 mile cross country trek from Ohio to the Oregon coast and back. Attachment 372512
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Old 07-11-2020, 08:06 PM   #20
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The MDX is a bit more capable than the Pilot, but towing a 25' trailer it lacks the horsepower to maintain 65mph on an 8% grade. It will overheat on a long 6% grade at 60mph. No reserve acceleration on a 6% grade above 55mph so can't get out of anyone's way. The suspension is under damped but I suppose those hell bent on making it work will. Brakes are weak and will overheat on long 6% downgrades above 55mph.

How do you define success? Because that looks like failure to me.
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