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Since I had a hard time finding people upgrading their 2WD models for heavier towing, I thought I would share my experience here. I did a fair bit of research about what separates the 2WD and AWD models on the towing capacity, and found that it all came down to the risk of traction loss in the front wheels due to hitch weight. Since I'm mainly towing in Texas on fairly flat highways, I figured I would mitigate this with appropriate weight distribution and give it a try. Below is my configuration:
  • factory hitch with factory 7 way harness
  • Derale Series 8000 Plate-Fin Transmission Cooler (third party installed, dealer wouldn't touch it)
  • Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Trailer Brake Controller with Pilot specific harness
  • Pro Series weight distribution hitch with friction sway control
  • Scanguage II (to monitor factory transmission temp)
  • Keystone Passport 239ml 26' trailer - 3985lb dry weight - Approx. 4500 lbs packed
With everthing loaded up, I was pushing 5k lbs including extra weight in the car. As you can see in the picture the trailer isn't quite level, but I simply need to adjust the WDH as it was previously adjusted for an F-150. However, even with this I was only getting 2 inches of drop in the back, and a mere 1/2 inch lift in the front. This is far within spec for the Pilot. After towing this setup from Austin to Galveston round trip and taking the trailer back to storage, we did an easy 500-600 miles of towing. I kept it in D4 the entire time, between 60 and 65 MPH, and the transimission temp stayed in the 195-205F range, with the highest peak in Houston traffic at about 224F. When I took a baseline with the scanguage II before I had the cooler installed, I was hitting 200F just driving around town with nothing in the vehicle. From what I've read on this forum, this is also far lower than what people have reported on the AWD models with factory coolers towing this size of load, whereas many reported the transmission temp light coming on, which requires around 290 F. It actually towed much better than I expected. There was never an issue with power, as I could have easily gone faster. Most of the limitation was the heavy crosswind I was driving in pulling me around a bit. As for MPG, I was averaging around 11.

Bottom line, if you put a good ATF cooler on your 2WD model and aren't driving up steep grades, boat ramps, or offroad conditions, you can easily tow the same weight capacity as the AWD models. Personally, I'm looking forward to towing our new camper around Texas.
 

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Since I had a hard time finding people upgrading their 2WD models for heavier towing, I thought I would share my experience here. I did a fair bit of research about what separates the 2WD and AWD models on the towing capacity, and found that it all came down to the risk of traction loss in the front wheels due to hitch weight. Since I'm mainly towing in Texas on fairly flat highways, I figured I would mitigate this with appropriate weight distribution and give it a try. Below is my configuration:
  • factory hitch with factory 7 way harness
  • Derale Series 8000 Plate-Fin Transmission Cooler (third party installed, dealer wouldn't touch it)
  • Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Trailer Brake Controller with Pilot specific harness
  • Pro Series weight distribution hitch with friction sway control
  • Scanguage II (to monitor factory transmission temp)
  • Keystone Passport 239ml 26' trailer - 3985lb dry weight - Approx. 4500 lbs packed
With everthing loaded up, I was pushing 5k lbs including extra weight in the car. As you can see in the picture the trailer isn't quite level, but I simply need to adjust the WDH as it was previously adjusted for an F-150. However, even with this I was only getting 2 inches of drop in the back, and a mere 1/2 inch lift in the front. This is far within spec for the Pilot. After towing this setup from Austin to Galveston round trip and taking the trailer back to storage, we did an easy 500-600 miles of towing. I kept it in D4 the entire time, between 60 and 65 MPH, and the transimission temp stayed in the 195-205F range, with the highest peak in Houston traffic at about 224F. When I took a baseline with the scanguage II before I had the cooler installed, I was hitting 200F just driving around town with nothing in the vehicle. From what I've read on this forum, this is also far lower than what people have reported on the AWD models with factory coolers towing this size of load, whereas many reported the transmission temp light coming on, which requires around 290 F. It actually towed much better than I expected. There was never an issue with power, as I could have easily gone faster. Most of the limitation was the heavy crosswind I was driving in pulling me around a bit. As for MPG, I was averaging around 11.

Bottom line, if you put a good ATF cooler on your 2WD model and aren't driving up steep grades, boat ramps, or offroad conditions, you can easily tow the same weight capacity as the AWD models. Personally, I'm looking forward to towing our new camper around Texas.
This is a big feat! That you were able to achieve this is legendary. However, tow ratings carry a lot of weight, both literally and legally, and they shouldn’t be taken lightly or ignored. Think of tow ratings like speed limits: Vehicle owners don’t set them; they’re just obligated by law to abide by them. Towing more weight than the vehicle manufacturer recommends (per the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s towing-related websites) or using modifications for the load being towed is considered towing with an improperly equipped vehicle. If you have an accident while towing at high speed, things can get a bit sticky very quickly. Causing a serious accident while towing beyond your truck's manufacturer’s requirements or limits is similar, as it may open doors for legal actions.
 

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This is a big feat! That you were able to achieve this is legendary. However, tow ratings carry a lot of weight, both literally and legally, and they shouldn’t be taken lightly or ignored. Think of tow ratings like speed limits: Vehicle owners don’t set them; they’re just obligated by law to abide by them. Towing more weight than the vehicle manufacturer recommends (per the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s towing-related websites) or using modifications for the load being towed is considered towing with an improperly equipped vehicle. If you have an accident while towing at high speed, things can get a bit sticky very quickly. Causing a serious accident while towing beyond your truck's manufacturer’s requirements or limits is similar, as it may open doors for legal actions.
I figured someone would point this out, and it's a fair point. I would urge anyone considering this mod to research the towing capacity standards to evaluate the risk profiles of their specific towing contexts (equipment, weight distribution, road conditions, etc) and ensuring they are ok speaking to those. Additionally, high speeds should certainly be avoided. I've seen people on this forum towing similar weights as me with AWD models talking about going 75, and that's simply wreckless even if you are within your technical tow capacity.

Also, owners change those tow ratings by simply putting on aftermarket tires or an ice chest in the back of the vehicle. That rating is based on all original equipment, a certain sized driver, nothing in the vehicle, etc. Any modifications to the vehicle could change its tow performance. By your definition, anyone sporting an aftermarket hitch shouldn't be towing as they have now deviated from the tow capacity rating.

Personally, I'm fully prepared to defend my choices in a legal context if it came to that. Also, any technical rating would go out the window in court anyway as both sides would likely impeach the other with their own experts.
 

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I have yet to find any info, and I have asked around and looked everywhere, answering in the unibody of the pilot can handle the stresses of a WDH.

A truck actually has specs (and requirements) for when a WDH is needed. The pilot has nada..

If you have an official statement about the WDH use on a pilot, please share.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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If you have an official statement about the WDH use on a pilot, please share.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
[/QUOTE]

There is none. Honda does not recommend the use of a weight-distribution hitch on any of their Pilots. Doesn't mean some owners don't use it which is the point of this thread. The fact you can get away with some things doesn't mean you should do it.
 

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One thing a lot of (maybe most) people do not understand about weight distribution hitches is how they work. They twist the hitch (think of putting a really long bar into your hitch and lifting it by the end of it) it generates a HUGE amount of downward force on the front mounting points of your hitch and a HUGE amount of upward force on the rear mounting points of the hitch.

This rotation in the factory hitch mounts concern me as there is really not a lot of material on the uni body where the front of the hitch is mounted.

I am normally a "worst case scenario" kind of guy and don't like setting myself up for liability lawsuits. Expecially for an wrongful death suit because my illigal rig was part of an accident.

I would be leery to use a hitch that was not approved for that reason.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 
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