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Stream-Style 04-04-2017 01:00 PM

2017 Ridgeline Towing 19 ft FC? Check my weight please
We just bought a 2017 Honda Ridgeline AWD to tow a soon to be purchased AS. The Ridgeline tows 5000 lbs, Max Tongue is 600 lbs, payload (in truck) is 1477 lbs. The AS we buy will have to work with this.

Engine: 3.5 Liter, 280 hp, (older, 2014 models had 250hp and Forum Users have used 22í Sports successfully)Ö 262 torq. Class 3 hitch. Manual says WD is ok to use.

I WAS about to buy a 16 ft Sport, but while talking to dealer last week, I was intrigued by the 19 ft Flying Cloud. Since we will boondock most of the time, the salesman said a dedicated grey water tank is more advantageous to Bídocking and not always having to dump the 16 ftíers black tank when its just sink water (assuming Iím using the campgrounds toilets). Plus it tows better since its 3í longer (is that true?) has more storage AND has the 2nd battery I would be adding anyway to the 16í Bambi. It just costs more. Plus, the FC has a gas oven standard.

So, check out my calcs and let me know if this looks OK:
19í FC is 3852 lbs (+propane/60, +fresh water/192, +WD hitch/60, + about: 150lbs of food, wine, pots, bedding, buckets, hoses, mats, tool box, toiletries and electronics for 2 adults) = 4,300 lbs. If I assume tongue weight is 12.5%, that would be 538 lbs on the 600 lbs max allowed.
I am at 85% capacity of the GVTW (5000/4300), I am near max of the tongue weight, over a bit if I use 15%. BUT, I THINK I have all the weights covered.

I could easily move 75 to 100 lbs of food, liquid, tools, rugs etc into the Ridgeline and reduce both tongue and overall AS weight. No other weight limit is exceeded.

We also are calm, 55 mph drivers and enjoy road travel together. But the FC is a full 1000 lbs more than the 16 ft. Itís going to be the 19 FC or 16 Sport (the 22 ft sport, though lighter, blocks the rear window with a bathroom, so itís a no go for us). We are 1st time RVers, ASers, TOWers, but are car camping experts getting too old tent it any more. Let me know if my calcs allow or not the FC over the 16 Sport. Thanks, Dino

Stream-Style 04-04-2017 02:08 PM

Also, I WILL be installing a P3 break controller and certainly use a WD hitch.

pcskier 04-04-2017 03:09 PM

You'll get plenty of feedback here :-)

With the tongue weight of 550 lbs (incl propane) on the FC, before loading, you'll approach to 600 lb tongue weight of the Ridgeline quickly once you load trailer. However, with a WD hitch, your hitch's tongue weight capacity should increase generously. For example, my vehicle hitch is 5000lb gross weight/500# tongue weight capacity, but 7500lb gross weight/750lb tongue weight WITH a WD set up. That is right off the hitch manufacturer's specs.

In your case, the bigger factor is the overall tow capacity of 5,000 lbs, which could be the limit due to vehicle restraints of some sort. Certainly not HP, as 280 is enough to pull that trailer. Many will say you need to keep your total towing weight at such and such percentage of total tow capacity. Sure, extra capacity is nice, but not necessarily 'necessary." Honda's engineers designed it to tow 5,000 lbs, can tow 5,000 lbs. You might not be fastest up the mountain pass, but you'll get up it.

So in my opinion you're ok with the tow capacity, and also will be fine with the tongue weight, esp with a WD hitch.

There will be those who will vociferously disagree with me and tell you you need a 2500 Diesel pickup and you are risking your safety and everyone else's on the road. Others will say you're fine. It sounds like you are approaching it from a thoughtful perspective.

p.s. I loved my FC 19, and was glad I went with that instead of the 16 sport. The full bath, extra capacities, storage, batteries, bumper, segment protectors, etc, just made it so worth it. (I since have upgraded to a 23 FB, but no due to any regrets or disappointment of the 19).

Happy travels.

Isuzusweet 04-04-2017 03:18 PM

FYI There are a couple of people on this forum that tow 34' Limited tri-axles with Honda Odysseys (andreasduess) I think you are good with the Ridgeline for even a larger AS than 19'.

Here is andreasduess's take on towing a 34'

"The triple axels were built in the 80's and are, for their size, really quite svelte. Our 1984 34' International weighs in, empty, at less than 7000 lbs and has an extremely low tongue weight. They also tow like a dream and back up even better. They are easily towed with a relatively small TV, we towed our with a Honda Odyssey for years."

I would if I were you get a hold of Andrew at Can-Am RV in London Ontario Canada to get his advice on hitch set up for a Ridgeline and advice on what AS models it would be capable to tow. Andrew (also on this forum) has set up hitches for many types of vehicles.


Al and Missy 04-04-2017 03:42 PM

About the only thing I would add is that, for most vehicles I have looked at, you must subtract tongue weight from payload. So add up everything that you will put in the truck: driver, copilot, pets?, etc. and tongue weight to compare to your 1477 pounds.

That said, your numbers look OK; if you have 15% margin on GCVWR you should be fine.

Also, you are close to the GVWR for the trailer: 4300# calcluated vs: 4500# rating, so you may have to be careful what else you put in there if you want to stay under the rating.


dkottum 04-04-2017 03:51 PM

Very good, stable combination. Take your time and learn how to use the transmission for climbing hills, and the transmission and the Ridgeline and Airstream service brakes for descending hills to keep you speed down on the steep grades. As with any tow vehicle, there are axle load limitations so plan on taking it to a CAT scale after hitched and loaded to insure the axles are not overloaded. The Ridgeline and Airstream axle limits are on a placard in the door sill and on the left front side of the Airstream (GAWR). Look up combined truck and trailer towing load for your truck to know what it's designed to pull and stop (GCWR), check that at the CAT scale as well.

And the hitch selection and setup which with truck and trailer, accounts for fully one-third of your towing combination. I wish we hadn't wasted our time trying to find a knowledgeable answer on this or other forums. Go straight to North America's Airstream hitch experts, they will tell you exactly what you need and how to set it up. They specialize in this type of combination with thousands of very satisfied customers, many on this forum including us.

Stream-Style 04-04-2017 05:34 PM

Much thanks to you all (Doug, Al, tony and PCSkier) all that is great news and great advice.

I'll have to do more weight factoring to make sure I dont exceed the AS nor the TV with our various total weights.

I've wanted to contact Andrew at CanAm for advice and if we do settle on the 19' FC, I'll certainly get over my reluctance to bother him and make the effort.

So I have the tow vehical now, I'll order and install the break controller in the next month, and by then, we probably will have decided on which AS it will finally be. thanks again, Dino

USAtraveler 04-05-2017 11:49 AM


Originally Posted by Stream-Style (Post 1931802)
We also are calm, 55 mph drivers and enjoy road travel together. But the FC is a full 1000 lbs more than the 16 ft. Itís going to be the 19 FC or 16 Sport (the 22 ft sport, though lighter, blocks the rear window with a bathroom, so itís a no go for us). We are 1st time RVers, ASers, TOWers, but are car camping experts getting too old tent it any more. Let me know if my calcs allow or not the FC over the 16 Sport. Thanks, Dino

Since you have already been talked into a heavy WD hitch I would only add, be VERY careful how you set up and use it. These things are not a cure all for badly paired TV/TT combinations and can at worst be more harmful than helpful. One action you may want to consider is going with the lighter 22 Sport. It will make it easier on your new Ridgeline for towing and allow you to use the least amount of WD loading, a very desirable objective.
I also think the two of you will soon feel cramped in either of the smaller trailers. I agree that not being able to see all the way through from front to back while on the road is undesirable. However, you might want to look into mounting a wireless rear view camera onto the 22 Sport in order to see what is directly behind as displayed on a dash-mounted flat screen. I'm considering the same option and wondering if other members have used it already.

m.hony 04-05-2017 11:59 AM

Looks good to me.
I tow a 30' Classic with a Tundra.
1455# payload per the door placard, so payload of your Ridgeline is higher than my Tundra, but tow capacity and tongue weight are higher on my Tundra.
You might could even do a 22' single axle or 23' or 25' tandem axle Airstream.
Go ahead.
You're OK.

JerryMcMunn 04-05-2017 12:11 PM

We pulled our 19' International Bambi with our Ridgeline. It did fine but, IMHO, the Ridgeline it was underpowered when pulling on the big hills in the Rockies. We had Can-Am reinforce the receiver and install & setup an Eaz-Lift WD hitch with a single anti-sway device. Hope this helps.

Tom_T 04-05-2017 12:15 PM

You should probably get an actual hitch weight off of your trailer - or a similar one similarly equipped to your plan, since things like the WD/AS hitch you choose will add to HW.

You're already very close to your limits on both the Honda & AS for useful load - yes you subtract the HW from the Honda's net payload, as well as your weight over 150 or 175 lbs (if any, whichever driver wt. Honda uses), as well as wts. of all passengers & luggage, & any options added to the vehicle beyond what Honda included in your base weights.

It won't take much for you to max out both the Honda & AS, once you add a WD/AS hitch, batteries & solar &/or generator(s) for dry camping, bikes for cruising, & all the stuff you'll want to pack into the AS! Weight management will be very important for you, as well as where it's put in the trailer (& Ridgeline too).

I do hope that you got the Ridgeline with the factory tow option - otherwise you may have a lower tow rating than you think (many Hondas, Toyotas, Fords, etc. are far less rated without the heavier duty items included in a tow option).

If it is the factory tow hitch, then it should have a US-DOT approved tow rating sticker on it - or else in your owners manual - for the Tow & HW ratings for both weight-bearing (coupler on ball) or weight distributed - which may or may not be more for WD (some vehicles are rated the same for both, some more with WD) - but don't exceed that, & don't take an aftermarket hitch's rating - the Honda numbers rule in this matter!

Even IF you don't gain any capacity with a WD hitch, IMHO you will benefit from using a WD hitch with Sway Control of some sort - both for more safety & comfortable towing, since it will distribute the HW to all axles of the AS & TV, thus maintaining weight on your front steering/braking/drive axles - rather than all on the rear axle of the Honda.

Ask Andy at CanAm for his hitch recco's.

When you go to the CanAm website, look for their Towing Advice section at Andy's "Hitch Hints" articles, for the one where he talks about the 4 cylinder cars/cuv's towing the 16' Bambis, where he discussed the 19' being easier to tow & why.

Plus, do get over your reluctance to talk to Andy now, & send him an email or PM today - either from this website where he is a member, or at the CanAm website. He'll fill you in on the pro's & con's of your planned rig, & what steps to take. He has also supplied photos for his hitch reinforcement of smaller TVs for other folks in SoCal/NoCal to have it done at a local shop.

While Equalizer was recco'd to me for our 1960 Avion T20 (2680# dry, 3000#+/- wet/loaded/Cub+Tekonsha Prodigy RF on tongue @ 542# HW weighed with Sherline HW scale) by another vintage trailer restoration guy who tows ASs a lot himself, I opted for the Hensley Cub ("Arrow Jr.") good for smaller trailers up to 6000 lbs & 600# HW, which sells in the $1300-1700+/- range depending on whether you get

FYI - We're south of you in OC & our 1960 Avion T20 was listed in the original factory literature as 2680# dry, today it's 3000-3500#+/- wet/loaded & with the Hensley Cub (160#) + Tekonsha Prodigy RF/mounting plate (20# +/-) on the A-frame/tongue @ 542# HW (weighed with Sherline HW scale).

We had towed it several times with rented 2013 MY Nissan Pathfinders 4.0L V6 & Auto Trans (CVT? & last MY for body on frame) - which is similar power to your new Ridgeline - & it worked pretty pretty hard on even modest grades like 101 coming up from Camarillo or I-5, what with running at high RPMs & constant up & down shifting - even with our lighter vintage "Silver Twinkie" trailer, than a modern AS 19' of about the same size. They also got about the same gas mpg as the F250s & Dodge/RAM 2500 3/4 ton V8s that we've been renting from Enterprise Commercial (we switched when Hooman Nissan/Toyota no longer had TV in their rental fleet - not for the V8 - we still prefer the smaller SUVs).

We felt it would drive us nuts on a longer trip than up to Pismo, & on bigger grades such as the Grapevine, Rockies, etc. - but we need a mid-size TV to fit our Old Towne 1921 Craftsman homes very narrow driveway & narrow street - so we decided to get a V8 powered mid-size SUV, & are now focused on finding a nice well cared for low mile 2008-14 Cayenne S. If the Pilot only offered a V8 ..... :rolleyes:

You just got your new Ridgeline, so I'm not trying to convert you to a V8 - just forewarning you about lower mpg & higher revs with more engine noise on the grades! :cool:

Safe Travels & Contact Andy at CaAm! :wally:
Tom in Orange

rostam 04-05-2017 02:08 PM

You can, to some degree, control the tongue weight of your trailer by the way you load it. Maybe you can keep the tongue weight under 600#? You need at least 10% of the trailer weight on the tongue for a stable ride. It is recommended that you load 60% of your stuff on or in front of the axle, and 40% on or in rear of the axle. Heavy items should be on the axle (or more towards the front, never in rear).

You should ask owners that have weighed the tongue weight of their 19' trailers to get an idea, or use a Sherline scale to weigh it yourself (

22 Sport is also a good idea. It has a nice floor plan, has a lighter tongue weight, and is narrower and easier to tow (less wind resistance). Good luck!

JCWDCW 04-05-2017 05:26 PM

The new Ridgeline is a new body style on a frame I believe. I sold my '89 25 ft (6700 lbs) to a fellow with an older monocoque body Ridgeline. It was just adequate for tongue wt but the hitch was set up by CanAM and he found it worked well.We have several members pulling much more than 19 ft with their Ridgeline and with the new truck and greater HP/Torque you should be fine. As noted above, WD usually increases the permissible tongue wt. I might be more concerned about transmission cooling and Tranny hunting. Older Ridgelines did not have OD lock out

m.hony 04-06-2017 04:32 AM

I'm sure the new Ridgeline is still unibody construction.

Isuzusweet 04-06-2017 05:25 AM


Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1932553)
I'm sure the new Ridgeline is still unibody construction.

Yes it is......In fact I don't think Honda has ever built a traditional body on frame vehicle.


Tom_T 04-06-2017 10:18 AM


Originally Posted by m.hony (Post 1932553)
I'm sure the new Ridgeline is still unibody construction.

Correct .... I was just going to post links to some reviews for that issue. :)

It also sounds like others agree with my caution about it working hard on the grades uphill.

I also agree about the 22' Sport, as it's a bit lighter than the 19, but disagree that a couple would find the 19' cramped, since our Avion T20 is only a foot or less longer (17' body) than the 19' Bambi, & we looked at the new 19' & 22' before deciding to go vintage instead - my wife & I are fine in the T20 for our camping.

.... but then again - our vintage Avion is wider, taller, roomier & built better than the AS's of the day - as their ads said - or of today's AS! ;)

Cheers! :wally:

m.hony 04-06-2017 11:16 AM

The 22' is an awesome, very well planned layout/floor plan.
It feels so roomy inside.
It feels so open and airy.
The use of space and storage is great.

Stream-Style 04-06-2017 11:32 AM

Thanks for the continued information, I really appreciate it. We are taking a trip to Paso Robles wine country this weekend in the new Ridgeline and we will be discussing all your posts and hope to glimpse an AS on the road.

Yes, this new Ridgeline has Overdrive lock out. I did get the "tow-package" so the figures I showed reflected that.

To USATraveler: We excluded the 22' Sport because when parked, we don't have a rear window, but a bathroom wall which makes it seem darker to us. I like the layout however, but my husband doesn't care for the center dinette.

So, it's down to jumping from $45,000 (Sport-16) to $62,000 (FC-19) and gaining A LOT of added goodies, but more concern on how we load it, traveling "lite" and perhaps less performance on steep grades.

Sometimes I feel like I'm overthinking things: AS manual says the "Net Carrying Capacity" for the FC-19 is 640 lbs, and I certainly will stick to it.
Honda Door sticker says 1477 Max payload: it assumes 2-150lb humans +30lbs luggage (divide that into our bellies and the weight is pretty close :o), I've got a 50 lb tonneau cover, max hitch/tongue weight is 600 lbs which leaves 827 lbs to spread in the back seats or over the trucks rear axle.

I'll buy a Tongue Scale and use the CAT scales nearby me too. I'm already attracted to the Eaz-Lift which CanAm seems to use, and I'll compose a PM to Andy and see what he thinks. Thanks!

m.hony 04-06-2017 11:45 AM

No harm in overthinking.
It's a lot of money.
You want to do your homework/research and get it right the first time.
Better to pay for a rig you'll keep a lifetime once than to buy the wrong rig, not be satisfied, and do it all over again later costing $$.

ATownTX 04-06-2017 11:50 AM

I chose the FC19 over the sport 22 as well. I too liked the extras - like the ducted vents, 2 batteries, larger propane tanks, etc., etc.. And liked the layout.

I have a Chevy Colorado - similar to yours - which handles it well with 300+ HP and 7000# max towing. I do find that any trip is much more pleasurable if I keep the speed below 60 MPH, which helps the mileage too.

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