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Old 04-06-2021, 07:37 PM   #1
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2020 16' Caravel
PERRY , UT
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 22
Latest thinking on Honda Ridgeline and a WD hitch.

I have read a lot of the warnings, but most seem old and there is certainly a diversity of opinions. I will be picking up a new Caravel 16 footer in May, and plan to tow it with a 2020 Ridgeline. I can find nothing in my owner's manual warning against the WD hitch, in fact nothing at all either way.

Anyway I need to make a decision and was wondering if anyone has any more recent knowledge on this. Are the newer Ridgelines different? Why else would Honda remove the warning?
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Old 04-06-2021, 08:50 PM   #2
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1969 25' Tradewind
Shasta Lake , California
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I believe the Ridgeline has a max tow capacity of 5,000 # .

Check the Caravels gross weight rating . You may be over the Ridgeline's ability to comfortably tow the Caravel .

Don't forget the Ridgeline load capacity .

I would recommend a 17' Casita is a better fit for the Ridgeline , that would give you a good reserve for the "other stuff" you need for travel.

The 2 17' Casitas I have had had a gross weight rating of 3500# .Our's both weighed 3250# loaded for travel . BTW the tongue weight on them is 465#

We towed them with a Tahoe that has a 7500# tow rating .

Here's our '99 & '04 Casitas
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Old 04-06-2021, 09:38 PM   #3
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2020 16' Caravel
PERRY , UT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenritas View Post
I believe the Ridgeline has a max tow capacity of 5,000 # .

Check the Caravels gross weight rating . You may be over the Ridgeline's ability to comfortably tow the Caravel .

Don't forget the Ridgeline load capacity .
I have checked, and rechecked and I am fine, a bit close but still hundreds of pounds under capacity. Just trying to figure out the WD hitch thing.

Nice looking little trailer, your Casita.
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Old 04-06-2021, 10:05 PM   #4
jcl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alligatorob View Post
I have read a lot of the warnings, but most seem old and there is certainly a diversity of opinions. I will be picking up a new Caravel 16 footer in May, and plan to tow it with a 2020 Ridgeline. I can find nothing in my owner's manual warning against the WD hitch, in fact nothing at all either way.

Anyway I need to make a decision and was wondering if anyone has any more recent knowledge on this. Are the newer Ridgelines different? Why else would Honda remove the warning?
Manuals may differ in different sales areas. I checked a 2020 Ridgeline owners manual and it covered WD hitches. It said not required, but if you use one, make sure you set it up properly. I’d use one for the safety benefit.

I haven’t towed with a Ridgeline. But I have seen many manufacturers skirt issues such as WD hitches due to their lack of familiarity, and lack of testing.

http://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/p...AT6Z2020OM.PDF

Page 370
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Old 04-06-2021, 10:11 PM   #5
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2019 16' Sport
Nelson , British Columbia
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Hi Rob,
I tow a 16' sport with a 2019 Ridgeline using a WD hitch installed by the AS dealer. Works great.
HTH
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Old 04-07-2021, 10:34 AM   #6
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

http://techinfo.honda.com/rjanisis/p...AT6Z2121OM.PDF

Ridgeline:

Tow capacity 5,000 LB. 4WD. (with 2 passengers @ 150 lb each)
3,500 LB. 2WD

GCVWR 10,030 LB. 4WD

Tongue Load. 600 LB. 4WD

WD Hitch see page 376 at the top of the page

Max Speed 62 MPH on page 381

Curb Weight ????? ( Maybe 4,500 lb)

Airstream 16' Caravelle:

https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...t-Brochure.pdf

Base Weight 3,200 LB
Max Weight 4,300 LB
Fresh Water 23 Gal ( so 190 pounds )
Hitch Weight Dry. 490 LB
Hitch Weight Loaded. 550 to who knows LB

So what does that all work out to?

Other than the speed limit on the truck (take that as you will), The GCVWR is the main issue. Based on the info above, you have 10,031 - 4,500 = 5,531 pounds for *everything*.

It's a good bet you will have at least 500 pounds of "stuff" in the trailer on top of a full water tank. That gets you to 3,690 in the trailer. Toss in a 200 pound hitch and you are at 3,890. In our case there's two large dogs and two "full sized" passengers that add > 800 pounds to the mix. That would put the combo at 4,690.

Put a cover on the bed and you have a couple hundred pounds. Toss in a generator with fuel and you have a hundred pounds. Toss in a couple mountain bikes, there's a hundred pounds. Tools to repair things are not optional, that could be a hundred pounds right there.

The target is to stay under 80% of the GCVWR, you simply are not going to get there with this setup. Hitch weight may or may not work out. This is not one of those cases where "living on the edge" is a good approach.

Bob
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:50 PM   #7
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1996 25' Excella
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There is no real downside to using a WD hitch. If the hitch can carry the downward torque of the tongue weight of the 16, then it can also withstand the equal upward torque needed to level the vehicle. The "torque tube" that the receiver is welded to, is bolted to the body, or possibly welded. Most frequent problem with this arrangement is that the tongue weight of the trailer exceeds the capacity of the hitch. That is why CanAM reinforce nearly every hitch.
I sold my 1989 Excella to a fellow with an older Ridgeline. That trailer was too heavy for the vehicle, and the bars were bent like a Bow, but he pulled it all over eastern Canada. He lost a Transmission, but the vehicle was fine.

We pull a 2015 Bambi 16 with a Ford Edge with absolutely no problem; across Canada/US four times and to Newfoundland and Maritime Provinces twice.. The Ridgeline is rated 1500 lbs more than the Edge. I would be adding Transmission cooling
JCW
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:02 PM   #8
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SW , Missouri
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Unless you're manual advises against it i would absolutely get weight distribution and sway control. I use a blue ox with 400 pound bars. You will be a bit heavier. Enjoy the new trailer. Your Ridgeline will be fine. Just go easy on it. Your going to be asking a lot of it. You should be the one getting passed not the one passing. If not reevaluate your driving.
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Old 04-07-2021, 05:34 PM   #9
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Smith Mountain Lake , Virginia
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Ridgeline

I have been towing a 1968 Safari, 22' single axle dry weight 3650 with a 2011 Ridgeline for 10 years. Logged over 75000 miles with 3 cross country trips.
Have a Reese WD hitch and other than slowing on the mountain inclines have had no problems or issues. In my opinion the Ridgeline is a great ride and fully adequate to tow your AS.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:35 PM   #10
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2020 16' Caravel
PERRY , UT
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Thanks y'all this is great feedback and a lot of help. After reading the responses, talking with my Honda and Airstream dealer, and other research I have decided to go with the WD hitch. I think it is the right thing to do.

I am aware that I will likely be over the 80% weight limits, but I will make sure I am always below 100%, and drive carefully. There is a Cat Scale just a mile down the road from my house, checking should be easy.

Whilst towing I may wish I had a bigger truck, but I have owned bigger trucks (Chevys and GMCs) for the past 30+ years, most of my driving, life and am sure enjoying the Honda when not trailering. And most of the time I will not be pulling a trailer.

I have a boat that weighs about the same as the airstream and have towed it behind the Honda without a WD hitch or electric brakes and done fine, I am thinking the Caravel will be easier.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:14 AM   #11
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Trenton , Georgia
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I don’t have a Ridgeline but do have a AWD Pilot, 2016. At least in mine, to achieve 5000 lbs., you need to add a trans oil cooler for that capacity. Otherwise only 3500. Is this still true on new models or are they now offering tow packages? Mine has an aftermarket 5,000 lb. hitch.
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrrand View Post
to achieve 5000 lbs., you need to add a trans oil cooler for that capacity. Otherwise only 3500. Is this still true on new models or are they now offering tow packages?
Mine has the trans oil cooler, I believe it is now standard on the AWD models. Thanks for pointing this out though, it is important!
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Old 04-09-2021, 06:37 AM   #13
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1996 25' Excella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alligatorob View Post
Mine has the trans oil cooler, I believe it is now standard on the AWD models. Thanks for pointing this out though, it is important!
I added a 22K BTU Transmission cooler to my 03 Dakota 2WD. It pulled a 25' 7000 lb AS for 17 years and 285,000 Km. The cooler kept the Trans Oil cool enough to pull the dipstick after an Interstate run and wipe it off with my fingers. Newer vehicles usually add an extra large cooler in the radiator and they use a 3 core rad.

You do need to pay attention to routine Trans Oil flush if you intend to keep the vehicle for a long time and high mileage.
JCW
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Old 04-09-2021, 06:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidrrand View Post
I donít have a Ridgeline but do have a AWD Pilot, 2016. At least in mine, to achieve 5000 lbs., you need to add a trans oil cooler for that capacity. Otherwise only 3500. Is this still true on new models or are they now offering tow packages? Mine has an aftermarket 5,000 lb. hitch.
Hi

If you check the owners manual, the AWD gets a 5,000 pound rating. The 2WD is rated at 3.500 pounds.

Bob
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