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Old 11-24-2020, 12:55 PM   #1
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2018 30' Classic
Bothell , Washington
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 27
Short distance emergency towing

We are full-timers and do not have a tow vehicle with road capacity for our 2018 Classic 30. However, we have a 2016 Honda Pilot with 5000 lb towing capacity.

I am wondering if we needed to drag our classic our of the park (flat terrain) could we hook the Classic up to the Pilot and move a short distance, a few blocks? This would be for emergency purposes only.

I could try it out but thought I'd look for opinions first.
Jim and Sharon Doub
2018 Classic 30
Bothell, WA
WBCCI 03495
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:06 PM   #2
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2012 30' International
Walkerton , Virginia
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If I had to I would do it. Be prepared for some serious rear end sag on your Pilot.

Somebody, please, point me to the road.

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Old 11-24-2020, 03:34 PM   #3
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2018 25' International
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Fill you rear tires to sidewall max allowable pressure and keep your speed below 40 mph with extra allowance for stopping distance and you are good to go.
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:46 PM   #4
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Personally I would not do it. I can not imagine that whatever kind of hitch comes on the Pilot taking the tongue weight of the trailer without bending something. And it is not much fun going down the road with limited steering. I bet the hitch is rated at 500 lbs. Are you going to have the trailer brakes hooked up? Is it going to have the correct sized ball? Maybe I underestimate a Pilot. Maybe not? I have seriously overloaded vehicles in the past. I never seemed to actually get away with it with no damage.
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:52 PM   #5
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I would not rush to do it, primarily because of the likelihood of bending the Honda receiver.

Many years ago I drove a tow truck. It was common to get a call to move a trailer such as this a short distance. Tow trucks typically have insurance for uninsured tows, they can move trailers without brakes or lights, and it isn't expensive. Certainly cheaper than replacing parts on the Honda.
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Old 11-24-2020, 06:53 PM   #6
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2019 19' Flying Cloud
Canyon Country , California
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do you have AAA? for towing your Pilot home. I cannot really say that its ok then you do it... then Pilot breaks down while towing or soon after towing. I cannot in a good conscience to enable this towing.
2014 Ford Explorer XLT with factory installed Tow Package.

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Old 11-24-2020, 08:22 PM   #7
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Slidell , Louisiana
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The OP said in an emergency just a few blocks. Receiver designs must meet a three times overbuild against damage. Will it flex? probably. Will it bend or crack? No, that would take a vertical force well in excess of 2,200 lb. What happens if the OP hits a pothole at 35 mph? Okay that might be an issue. What if the OP did this 500 times? Okay that might be a problem.
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Old 11-24-2020, 09:35 PM   #8
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Googled the Honda Pilot. Honda says for the 2019 model, tongue weight is 350lbs across all trims. It can probably take more than that, but like a previous poster says something might bend or break given what your Airstream probably weighs.

If the emergency you envision is the imminent bursting of the adjacent levee, then hitch up the Pilot and hope for the best. (Though I'd probably suggest abandoning the trailer to insurance and saving your life with a working vehicle.)

Otherwise I'm on side of paying a couple hundred for a tow truck and getting the job done properly.
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:13 PM   #9
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minneapolis , Minnesota
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The weight of that tongue on your hitch. I would be concerned how the hitch is attached. It s a ton of weight for a mid size SUV.
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:16 PM   #10
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NO, it is a high risk for that model of vehicle
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:19 PM   #11
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The tongue weight of the trailer would lower the rear end of the vehicle and almost pull the front tires off the ground. That is what a previous poster meant by poor steering. Call a tow truck!
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Old 11-25-2020, 06:55 AM   #12
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Facts work better than conjecture. I get people's concern and so here are the numbers to help guide your opinions.

If the OP is correct and has the AWD model, it has a 5000 lb towing limit, 500 lb tongue limit for towing stability but the receiver will be rated for 800 lb and strength tested to 2,400 lbs vertical. The Classic will weigh in between 9,000-9,700 loaded. Tongue will be 1,000-1,300. The Pilot has 1,470 lb cargo capacity. Tire max load 2050 psi each, and he'll have 3700 lb on the rear axle with the trailer hitched which is 140 lb over the Honda guidance but 370 under the tire capacity. With Weight distribution he could get under the rear axle limit and take some stress off the receiver, but even then this will work for a one or two times emergency as long as the driver does not hit potholes, curbs or large bumps.

This setup should never see the interstate or road where exceeding 35-40 mph is required. It is for an emergency move only. The driver should also only do nearly straight backing, no sharp corners.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:58 AM   #13
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Your Honda May not have an electric brake controller. If someone stops quickly, you will end up going right through them!! Plus, if something does happen, more than likely your insurance won’t cover you... That could lead to a lawsuit with nothing protecting you at that point... just not worth the risk!!!
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:15 AM   #14
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Mesquite , Nevada
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Make a friend in the campground that owns P/U, buy him a case of beer if you need an emergency tow.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:18 AM   #15
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Depending on what year your Pilot is, the receiver on the back (where the hitch goes) is rated for 300 to 500 pounds. Your Classic likely puts about 1,200 pounds on that part of the system. Hit enough of a bump and you could easily tear it off the back of the vehicle / bend it quite a bit.

When we bought our Classic, the Pilot *was* what we had "in stock" as a tow vehicle. I spent a bit of time trying to convince myself that "it's ok to use ...". No matter how much I drank , I just could not make that connection.

All that said, indeed, people do some crazy things and get away with it. There are a number of outfits that will *rent* you a vehicle with an adequate hitch on it. That would be my choice in an "emergency" situation.

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Old 11-25-2020, 10:37 AM   #16
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A 2009 Pilot. I think total distance towed was only 2.7 miles. There were 2 cars inside the 35' trailer, a '58 Corvette and a '32 Model A. Trailer brakes were hooked up.


Rich & Yvonne
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2004 4Runner SE
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:05 AM   #17
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Las Vegas , Nevada
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Rental truck

Perhaps rent a pickup truck from enterprise truck rental? Their truck rental have pickups designed to tow. Much safer and less expensive than a tow truck company.
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:39 AM   #18
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Tifton , Georgia
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Also this is a unibody vehicle. Is the possibility of warping the body is there. Will this be going up or down a driveway? I wouldn't tow anything over over 500lb total weight with anything as light as a Ridge. Honda designed it by taking one of their cars, cutting off the back panels and adding a open box.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:41 PM   #19
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Why not just rent a pickup truck from the Local Lowes/Home Depot/UHaul for an hour or two?
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Old 11-25-2020, 02:13 PM   #20
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I'm wondering what kind of "emergency scenario" would require the trailer to be moved out of the park without some planning ahead? Maybe a wildfire...? Flood? Even then, you usually have pre-evacuation notice of several hours, enough to arrange an alternate tow.

I agree, it would be better to rent a suitable truck if the need to move it arose. I had "issues" with my tow vehicle last year when I was out of state and rented a Ford truck with full towing capacity on a moments notice from Enterprise. It was set-up for towing...and was just "plug & play" with my hitch/brakes.

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