Can I tow this 3600# hybrid camper? - Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2017, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Can I tow this 3600# hybrid camper?

Hi! Newbie here. Just purchased a 17 EX'L and love it.
First time towing anything.
I have a question regarding towing a 2011 jayco jay feather sport x18d. It's 3600 Dry, and 4400# if I fully load it. (don't expect to fully load this up)
it has a tongue weight of 470LBS.
The dealer said he hooks up many Pilots and this will be 100% fine. They would not place anyone in danger in over exceeding the weights. So I left a deposit to buy this.
My concern is the tongue weight. 470# is a bit high. Manual says 450# for 4 people in car. I have 2 children one 100lbs and one 70lbs. The dealer will install a weight distribution hitch which he said will lessen the 470# tongue. My concern is after adding the propane and battery and the WDH it will add another 100# or more!.
Am I good to go? or a no Go on this model? I have crunched the numbers and Im in the range, but off with the tongue weights..
Thanks!!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2017, 10:31 AM
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STOPPING STOPPING STOPPING did I say STOPPING. The pulling power is OK.....you need to worry about being able to stop. Trailer manf. always always understate the weight of the trailer. In my opinion you need a bigger tow vehicle. Do some more research on the trailer towing forums.

My nickles worth
Shredmandan

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2017, 10:47 AM
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However....this trailer does have electric brakes.

2004 Pilot EX-L
2013 Pilot Touring
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2017, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I will be using a brake controller. I will keep my speeds down. Thanks for the feedback I appreciate it
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2017, 02:40 PM
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Be sure to get the weight distribution hitch installed also.

2004 Pilot EX-L
2013 Pilot Touring
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2017, 02:51 PM
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I tow a travel trailer with my Pilot so here's my opinion and, just for fun, a pic from last week's camping trip:



You're right to be concerned about the tongue weight as 470 is certainly on the high end and yes, you are over the rated limit with passengers. Hybrids have a heavy tongue weight because of the front bed - even if you only have a single propane bottle and minimal items in the front pass through. Thinking practically, you will be well over 500 lbs of hitch weight once you have the trailer on and loaded. While you will likely be able to lift up the trailer with a weight distribution hitch to an acceptable level, I would expect the strain to be high and you will likely experience a combination of the trailer pushing you and bounce depending on the road.

As far as overall weight and towing, from my experience the weight isn't the issue. It's wind resistance. You'll be able to pull a 4400 lbs trailer, albeit not quickly and with really awful fuel economy across the country. But in a storm that big trailer will be a beast to handle. I recently drove 350 km home through the edge of an area with funnel cloud warnings - the entire drive was into the wind. I wouldn't consider it unsafe but if the trailer was any bigger or heaver I would have had to have parked it. The Pilot is just too small for anything other than ideal to decent conditions. I was dreaming of a diesel GMC Canyon the entire drive home.

Stopping with a properly setup hitch and properly working trailer brakes isn't an issue. That's my opinion based on experience. Others will feel different.

So here's the tl;dr opinion: that trailer is over weight for the Pilot. You can do it, but you're at the edge. Personally, I would pick a different trailer or tow vehicle.

For reference, my trailer is just under 3500 lbs loaded and coming up to 375 - 400 lbs tongue weight but the weight was off the hitch in this pic. With an Andersen Weight Distribution hitch (selected that one because it weighs about 50 lbs less than anything else) and 3 adults and one child in the Pilot I have less than 2 inches of butt sag. But since it is a single axle I still get hitch bounce even with the Andersen real tight.

2016 Honda Pilot Touring (Canada)
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2017, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainpete View Post
I tow a travel trailer with my Pilot so here's my opinion and, just for fun, a pic from last week's camping trip:



You're right to be concerned about the tongue weight as 470 is certainly on the high end and yes, you are over the rated limit with passengers. Hybrids have a heavy tongue weight because of the front bed - even if you only have a single propane bottle and minimal items in the front pass through. Thinking practically, you will be well over 500 lbs of hitch weight once you have the trailer on and loaded. While you will likely be able to lift up the trailer with a weight distribution hitch to an acceptable level, I would expect the strain to be high and you will likely experience a combination of the trailer pushing you and bounce depending on the road.

As far as overall weight and towing, from my experience the weight isn't the issue. It's wind resistance. You'll be able to pull a 4400 lbs trailer, albeit not quickly and with really awful fuel economy across the country. But in a storm that big trailer will be a beast to handle. I recently drove 350 km home through the edge of an area with funnel cloud warnings - the entire drive was into the wind. I wouldn't consider it unsafe but if the trailer was any bigger or heaver I would have had to have parked it. The Pilot is just too small for anything other than ideal to decent conditions. I was dreaming of a diesel GMC Canyon the entire drive home.

Stopping with a properly setup hitch and properly working trailer brakes isn't an issue. That's my opinion based on experience. Others will feel different.

So here's the tl;dr opinion: that trailer is over weight for the Pilot. You can do it, but you're at the edge. Personally, I would pick a different trailer or tow vehicle.

For reference, my trailer is just under 3500 lbs loaded and coming up to 375 - 400 lbs tongue weight but the weight was off the hitch in this pic. With an Andersen Weight Distribution hitch (selected that one because it weighs about 50 lbs less than anything else) and 3 adults and one child in the Pilot I have less than 2 inches of butt sag. But since it is a single axle I still get hitch bounce even with the Andersen real tight.
Thank you all for your very helpful generous replies!

Yes,i will get a weight distribution hitch. I will look into the Andersen Brand since I read many piloteers use it for it's lightweight!

The 470 tongue weight is measured when the camper is loaded at 4400#

at the dry weight of 3600 it is probably 360ish. as far as the 10-15% rule says.

I know im on the heavier side of camping but doable. I agree about the wind drag and weather play such an impt. roll when driving.

One of the tricks to lessen tongue weight is move the battery to the back and move the propane tank to the inside back of camper. Right there you can less a load of weight.

I will travel without water in the camper too. I basically travel light....lol

I will travel locally mostly with some trips 150 miles each way mostly flat. Mass to NH

Moutainpete! Your Pilot is the same color as mine!

Where did you get those mirrors? my camper will be 8 feet wide too and was wonder if stock mirrors would work without those mirror extensions.

Also what Anderson hitch part number did you use!?

Thanks for the reply! I appreciate it!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noxzema View Post
Thank you all for your very helpful generous replies!

Yes,i will get a weight distribution hitch. I will look into the Andersen Brand since I read many piloteers use it for it's lightweight!

The 470 tongue weight is measured when the camper is loaded at 4400#

at the dry weight of 3600 it is probably 360ish. as far as the 10-15% rule says.

I know im on the heavier side of camping but doable. I agree about the wind drag and weather play such an impt. roll when driving.

One of the tricks to lessen tongue weight is move the battery to the back and move the propane tank to the inside back of camper. Right there you can less a load of weight.

I will travel without water in the camper too. I basically travel light....lol

I will travel locally mostly with some trips 150 miles each way mostly flat. Mass to NH

Moutainpete! Your Pilot is the same color as mine!

Where did you get those mirrors? my camper will be 8 feet wide too and was wonder if stock mirrors would work without those mirror extensions.

Also what Anderson hitch part number did you use!?

Thanks for the reply! I appreciate it!
Replying to a couple of the questions/comments above...

1 - Moving the battery to the back is an option but I personally wouldn't store a large propane tank inside the trailer, even if it was properly secured.
2 - 99% of dealers have a tongue weight scale. Get them to put the trailer on it and get the real number. Don't mess around.
3 - I tried three different mirrors for the Pilot and kept the one that was the "least bad" as none were vibration free. The ones I kept and would probably buy again are the Dometic/Milenco Grand Aero. I put cut up pieces of bicycle tire under the mounts to keep them from scratching.
4 - The Andersen is a 2" ball and 4" drop. I believe the kit is part 3324. Seriously consider getting the mount welded though.

I'll say again that you're at the upper limits for towing. A good dealer would be more than happy to hook you up and let you take the trailer for a test run behind the Pilot so you can be sure. The installation of the brake controller is super simple - just search the forum here and I strongly recommend the parking brake location.

Pete

2016 Honda Pilot Touring (Canada)
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2017, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Pete! Thank you for your great reviews!! So much appreciated. I decided not to get that trailer due to most/many reviews saying I was a bit overweight. Funny thing now we were looking at a KZ brand and I just noticed that that's what you have! How do you like that brand? The KZ im looking at will weigh in about 3200pounds dry with a hitch of 426 pounds. How are those numbers? We wouldn't load more of the few hundred pounds in it at any time. It's the Sportsmen Classic 180RBT. Could I tow that better?
Thanks!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2017, 12:00 AM
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Noxzema,

I also plan to get a travel trailer (TT) in the future (if I don't get a Class B), but I want to be well UNDER my Pilot's 5000lbs towing and 500lbs tongue-weight capacity. So the 7 brands/models of TTs I have on my Short List are (given in no order of preference):

-- Scamp 13
-- Scamp 16
-- T@B 320 S (with "Outback" package)
-- T@B 400
-- Lance 1475
-- Lance 1575
-- Airstream Basecamp

ETA: I forgot to add another lightweight "egg" type TT, the ParkLiner...they look almost identical to the Scamps & Casitas. The OTHER egg-type -- IMO the "Cadillacs" of the "egg" TTs -- is the Oliver...but they start @ ~ 16' and are too heavy for the Pilot.

The lightest are the Scamps (even the 16-footer) -- a 16' Casita (they stopped making the 13' models, IIRC) should be about the same (but am going with Scamp, not Casita) -- and the Pilot can easily handle the lighter ones listed above with "headroom" to spare.

But none are heavier than the ones you're looking at, so you may want to check these 7 out also.

Whatever TT I send up getting, I plan to travel as light as possible ("minimalism") so I don't get even close to the TTs maximim axle-weight/carrying-capacity.

Good luck,

-- BR

2016 Honda Pilot EX-L AWD
Obsidian Blue Pearl

Last edited by BillRedding; 06-16-2017 at 05:00 PM.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the lightweight camper suggestions'! We will keep it light. I'm still searching but have a few in mind. Will let u know when we get one!!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 11:45 PM
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Noxzema,

You're welcome -- for what it was worth as it was just MY (current) list as I search for decent-quality (not crap!) lightweight TTs!

I'd not want to be forced to upgrade my tow-vehicle (the Pilot) to tow something heavier, and even then I really don't WANT a TT that's too big/heavy anyway (for several reasons).

Good luck,

-- BR
2016 Honda Pilot EX-L AWD
Obsidian Blue Pearl

Last edited by BillRedding; 06-18-2017 at 11:53 PM.
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