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I have a 2018 Pilot AWD with the factory towing package (5000 lbs). I tow a travel trailer that is 4000 lbs loaded. I use a weight distributing hitch. My "trailer hitch and load bars"" weigh 82 lbs. My Pilot manual states that the max tongue load allowed on the Pilot is 500 lbs. Do I need to subtract the 82 lb hitch weight from the 500 lb allowed tongue weight - to get to 418 lbs max tongue weight - as measured at the trailer tongue? Should I also subtract the weight of the hitch receiver from the 418 lbs too? [The manual clearly states how to "de-rate" the towing and tonque max capacities when adding passengers to the Pilot, so I fully understand that part of the vehicle capacity limits.] We don't carry much in the Pilot when towing. I just don't know how or where to account for the weight of the 82 lb hitch? Or the x lbs of hitch receiver?

Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I re-weighted my hitch and load bars, it's actually 88lbs combined, not including the hitch receiver that is bolted to the Pilot.

Thoughts?
 

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The hitch itself is part of the cars weight. The tongue weight is trailer weight on the hitch.
WDH often benefit from adjusting. Load up trailer and car (if you can't get wife and kids to come that's life) and go to a truck weigh station. Weigh without a trailer then hitch it up and reweigh as many ties as necessary to help move weight off the rear axle back to the front.
 

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I re-weighted my hitch and load bars, it's actually 88lbs combined, not including the hitch receiver that is bolted to the Pilot.

Thoughts?
I was looking at towing a heavier trailer with my pilot as well. As stated above, the equalizer hitch is part of your hitch weight, payload weight, gross vehicle weight, and gross combined vehicle weight. Any one of these can be over weight when you are towing (and also rear and front axle weight ratings)

They make a lighter weight equalizer that I was thinking of getting if I do get the trailer. It's made by Anderson


This will save you some weight.

Also when you are done. Go to a truck stop with CAT scales and weigh the car in camping ready mode without the trailer connected. (it will give you weights for your front axle (steering) and rear axle (drive) it might also give you combined but it not, it's simple math.

Then connect your trailer and weigh again. Now you will have front axle, rear axle and trailer axles. You can now calculate everything you need.

Any combined additional weight to your front and rear axles is your "hitch weight" this is how much weight you car is carrying from the trailer.

The new combined front and rear axle weights are you gross vehicle weight

The total over all weight of the entire system is your gross combined weight.

Now the thing that was a pain for back in in truck days was to get the right balance of the tounge weight to move between the front and rear axles. You adjust this by loading your equalizer bars (more weight on the front axle) I am not sure how much load you can put through a unibody car like the pilot and have not been able to find that, so be careful here.

On another side note, be careful as if you put to much load on the front axle you remove from the rear and you will get into a point you can loose traction easily. It's a balancing act.

The way I set my heavy trailer with my old Sierra was to carry about 300lbs more than the unhitched weight on the front axle and the remaining 800 lbs on the rear (my tounge weight was 1100lbs and the trailer was 9980 loaded dry)

I am not sure with a vehicle that is really not made for towing you will be able to find all the maximum
RAWR, FAWR, GVWR, GCWR numbers you need to know for towing, but you should try to make sure you are not over them for liability reasons

On a side note, what are you using for a brake controller and where did you put it?



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Discussion Starter #5
Lamby,

Thanks for the tip on the Andersen hitch. I watched a few videos on how they work, and how light they are. Nice! It would definately save some weight. It would also allow me to toss the "sway control unit" which would save even more weight and time to hook up.

From watching the video, I can not tell if the Andersen hitch takes significantly more time to "hitch up" than my current conventional WDH / load bar set up. Do I need to use a torque wrench to know how tight to turn the load adjusting nuts on the Anderson hitch? I'm hesitating on buying one - only because I've spent quite a bit of $ on my trailer already, customizing the interior and buying more gear over the past couple of years.

When I bought my travel trailer, the trailer dealer installed an electric brake controller in my '18 AWD Pilot (with the factory towing package, 5,000 lb max towing, 500 lb max tonque weight). Its a Primus IQ Model 90160 brake controller. The controller is located in the Pilot about 2 inches in front of the drivers right knee. It seems to work fine.

I weighed my Pilot and trailer, fully loaded. All the axels are carrying loads well below their max ratings. But, on the first weighing, I noticed that I exceeded the 500 lb max tongue weight allowed on the Pilot. I shifted my gear around in the trailer (I moved gear from the front storage areas of the trailer to over the trailer axel) and got the trailer tongue weight to below 450 lbs (with a trailer gross weight of 4000 lbs, loaded). This improved the handling of the Pilot. It had less sway, less bouncing, all axels seemed to be reacting to bumps in the same manner, and handeld road dips, bumps and wind gusts as a team.

I plan on doing more weighing and tweaking of gear storage next Spring.

Thanks again for everyone's comments and suggestions.

-Dave
 

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Dave,
I have not used the Anderson hitch, only have seen the video and I have seen 2 of them in use.

The one thing that concerned me was getting the alignment of the triangle plate between hookups. If weight is an issue, this seems the way to go.

I had the Reese twin cam system that worked great, but my hitch system alone weighted close to 200lbs with the geny torsion hitch head.

It sounds like you did everything right and are setup correctly.

I think if I go the camper route I might look at the new Bluetooth brake controllers... But not sure.

Thanks for your information.



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Don't forget to check the maximum weight that your tires can handle.

Many times a truck can handle trailer weight, but the tires can not. That results in heated tires, failure of the sidewalls, tread separation and blow-outs at highway speeds.
 

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Tanner brings up a good point, and fill them to max pressure allowable, not what is on the door. You want max load capacity when towing.

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Same question as Trailsguy. Hi all, first time posting even though I have been using this site for 12 years for info it's site ever. Quick note for previous questions about TW, manuals state 500 TW but what does the hitch state?That is my question. Anyway, out fitted my 2017 EXL with OEM hitch p/n 08L92-TG7-100 for my smaller trailer. It states 3,500-5,000, TW 350. Trans cooler is installed. Recently purchased a Chalet a-frame trailer. Currant TW is 350# (2-full propane, 2 batteries on tongue, no gear). Bought WDH equalizer 600-6000 because of sag and felt it would be safer for towing. WDH weights 80#, TW 350#, does this equal 430#TW because the the WDH is adding weight to the hitch? Other post suggest that the hitch could really be could really be 500 TW even though it states 350#. I don't want to be going down the hwy and find out that my trailer just separated from my car. Looked into purchasing a rated hitch for 500-900# but they all drop an additional 4". I'm already using a 7" rise, the trailer is off-road model at 24", Pilot is 17". If all else fails, I could move the batteries to the rear inside the trailer.
 
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