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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning to upgrade my popup camper to a wolf pup 16bhs (3100lbs dry and 370 hitch weight) I already have the parts to install the atf to make the pilot 3500lbs and 350 toungue. I am only going to use this for flat ground towing local (within 90 miles). I am short on the hitch weight. Do I need air suspension and weight distribution hitch? Thanks for the input! I plan to upgrade in the future but this is what I have at the moment.
 

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I am planning to upgrade my popup camper to a wolf pup 16bhs (3100lbs dry and 370 hitch weight) I already have the parts to install the atf to make the pilot 3500lbs and 350 toungue. I am only going to use this for flat ground towing local (within 90 miles). I am short on the hitch weight. Do I need air suspension and weight distribution hitch? Thanks for the input! I plan to upgrade in the future but this is what I have at the moment.
No one is going to give you the ok if your towing outside the perimeters of what is recommended.
Me personally, I am a firm believer that towing with these vehicles reduces the life of them. Certainly 370 Lb of weight on the hitch would be a concern for me. I don't like the factory tires that come with these vehicles. They are squishy touring tires not really designed for towing making the situation your in worse. A High Performance tire with a higher max inflation rating will improve your stability but certainly is not a fix or replacement of a load distributing hitch. I run Sumitomo HTR A/S P02 tires because I dont like squishy touring tires and I do occasionally tow.
If you decide to go with what you got, make sure the sidewalls of your tires are not in the payment. The touring tire flexes from side to side a lot.
 

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You can affect the tongue weight by loading the trailer more to the rear. That will help some, but don't go overboard as the whole steering dynamics changes as you move weight around. It gets fun when the Center of Gravity is slightly forward and the polar moments of inertia (where the weight actually is) is far behind the trailer wheels. Risk is that the trailer will steer the car for you going around bends in the highway.

Know also that the tongue weight rating needs a little adjustment when you have cargo and passengers in the Pilot while towing. Travelling with mrs gpilot13 and the two-point-four mini gpilot13's along, with their stuff in the rear cargo area, you get to de-rate the towing capacity and tongue weight some to compensate. A weight-distributing hitch will help a lot.

There are some air-bag rear spring helpers that you can use to maintain rear ride height under passenger and towing load.

The factory towing add-on kit includes a larger power steering fluid cooler. Original is a simple one-pass tube.

Make sure your cooling system is in top condition. Follow your owner's manual guidance on using D3 range while towing.

The tire capacities that Nail Grease mentions are important, especially in hot weather. Adjust pressures up commensurate with the increase in load. Many of us have upgraded to LT-rated tires from the passenger-car touring tires that Honda installed at the factory, and those LT-rated tires already demand a little more pressure to make the basic load rating. Another 5 PSI or so on those when towing at full load. We travel with five or six full-sized 'murican bodies in three rows, with day-trip "stuff" in the rear luggage area, and that gets the same +5 PSI even without a trailer attached. It really improves both ride and handling stability even before adding a trailer.

Plan on 2x transmission service schedule when towing. After each trip, sniff the fluid at the dipstick for any hint of burned smell. Many of us are doing a partial fluid change at each engine oil service anyway. If you detect any burned smell at all, do a 3x fluids change to get more of the old fluid out.

Patience while towing is key to car survival, especially on longer uphill pulls. Your MPG display is the inverse of "work being done", so a good indicator how much load and abuse you are demanding.

Make sure you add a good trailer brake controller and that it's working correctly. Make sure that the brake system batteries are charged... Pilot brakes are barely sufficient for a loaded Pilot even before you add the weight of the trailer. Adjust your stopping expectations. Our Pilot is on an annual brake fluid replacement schedule; old damp fluid is a disaster just when you need brakes the most.

I'm sure there's more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You can affect the tongue weight by loading the trailer more to the rear. That will help some, but don't go overboard as the whole steering dynamics changes as you move weight around. It gets fun when the Center of Gravity is slightly forward and the polar moments of inertia (where the weight actually is) is far behind the trailer wheels. Risk is that the trailer will steer the car for you going around bends in the highway.

Know also that the tongue weight rating needs a little adjustment when you have cargo and passengers in the Pilot while towing. Travelling with mrs gpilot13 and the two-point-four mini gpilot13's along, with their stuff in the rear cargo area, you get to de-rate the towing capacity and tongue weight some to compensate. A weight-distributing hitch will help a lot.

There are some air-bag rear spring helpers that you can use to maintain rear ride height under passenger and towing load.

The factory towing add-on kit includes a larger power steering fluid cooler. Original is a simple one-pass tube.

Make sure your cooling system is in top condition. Follow your owner's manual guidance on using D3 range while towing.

The tire capacities that Nail Grease mentions are important, especially in hot weather. Adjust pressures up commensurate with the increase in load. Many of us have upgraded to LT-rated tires from the passenger-car touring tires that Honda installed at the factory, and those LT-rated tires already demand a little more pressure to make the basic load rating. Another 5 PSI or so on those when towing at full load. We travel with five or six full-sized 'murican bodies in three rows, with day-trip "stuff" in the rear luggage area, and that gets the same +5 PSI even without a trailer attached. It really improves both ride and handling stability even before adding a trailer.

Plan on 2x transmission service schedule when towing. After each trip, sniff the fluid at the dipstick for any hint of burned smell. Many of us are doing a partial fluid change at each engine oil service anyway. If you detect any burned smell at all, do a 3x fluids change to get more of the old fluid out.

Patience while towing is key to car survival, especially on longer uphill pulls. Your MPG display is the inverse of "work being done", so a good indicator how much load and abuse you are demanding.

Make sure you add a good trailer brake controller and that it's working correctly. Make sure that the brake system batteries are charged... Pilot brakes are barely sufficient for a loaded Pilot even before you add the weight of the trailer. Adjust your stopping expectations. Our Pilot is on an annual brake fluid replacement schedule; old damp fluid is a disaster just when you need brakes the most.

I'm sure there's more.
Thank you for the informative input!
 

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Many of us have upgraded to LT-rated tires from the passenger-car touring tires that Honda installed at the factory, and those LT-rated tires already demand a little more pressure to make the basic load rating.
Do you really mean "LT" type tires - and, if so, which ones are you using and in what size?
Or, perhaps, do you mean "P-metric" tires, but with an "XL" (extra) load rating, as opposed to an "SL" (standard) load rating?
 

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I also found that adding the capability to monitor transmission temperature during towing makes the experience more comforting as trans fluid degrades faster as the temperatures increase. I usually lower highway speed when the transmission temperature reaches higher levels, especially when operating on grades. Search the forum for different methods of accessing the trans temperature which is available on the vehicle datalink.
 
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