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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!

I'm new here.

I'm considering a Pilot or a Highlander to replace my 92 Accord with 196,000 miles on it.

Since I live in Florida I don't run into snow very often even though I do take occasional road trips north in the winter.

However, I do like to explore the great outdoors and as a result I end up on dirt roads and here in Florida sandy roads while doing so. With my Accord there have been times when I have chickened out because I was afraid of getting stuck.

How much more bad road security do I have with these vehicles compared to my Accord?

The Highlander is available with just front wheel drive and better fuel economy. I'm wondering if the additional ground clearance alone is enough to get me through these roads or if I need the AWD.

Can anyone help me with some insight? Thanks.:)
 

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florida_guy said:
Hi!

I'm new here.

I'm considering a Pilot or a Highlander to replace my 92 Accord with 196,000 miles on it.

Since I live in Florida I don't run into snow very often even though I do take occasional road trips north in the winter.

However, I do like to explore the great outdoors and as a result I end up on dirt roads and here in Florida sandy roads while doing so. With my Accord there have been times when I have chickened out because I was afraid of getting stuck.

How much more bad road security do I have with these vehicles compared to my Accord?

The Highlander is available with just front wheel drive and better fuel economy. I'm wondering if the additional ground clearance alone is enough to get me through these roads or if I need the AWD.

Can anyone help me with some insight? Thanks.:)
Ha! I just sent you a note on another forum subject! Sure, you sacrifice a bit on mileage with AWD. But what you gain in safety while driving in adverse conditions far outweighs what you give up (IMHO).

rod
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Re: Pilot vs. Highlander Bad road/Off road

colorider said:


Ha! I just sent you a note on another forum subject! Sure, you sacrifice a bit on mileage with AWD. But what you gain in safety while driving in adverse conditions far outweighs what you give up (IMHO).

rod
I originally started looking at Highlanders last summer and the dealer told me that there wasn't much demand for AWD here in Florida because we didn't get snow. Do you think that AWD helps in rain as well?

Since your brother-in-law has a Highlander have you done any rough road comparisons? Is his Highlander AWD?
 

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Re: Re: Re: Pilot vs. Highlander Bad road/Off road

florida_guy said:


I originally started looking at Highlanders last summer and the dealer told me that there wasn't much demand for AWD here in Florida because we didn't get snow. Do you think that AWD helps in rain as well?

Since your brother-in-law has a Highlander have you done any rough road comparisons? Is his Highlander AWD?
Any conditions that there is a potential of loss of traction, I fell AWD is a plus. No, we have not done any rough road comparisons. I had my Pilot up in the Black Hills of South Dakota last weekend in some moderately snowy conditions. I was VERY pleased - and for the record, I have owned a lot of 4wd/AWD vehicles over the years in Colorado. Yes, his Highlander is AWD.

rod
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: Re: Re: Re: Pilot vs. Highlander Bad road/Off road

colorider said:


I had my Pilot up in the Black Hills of South Dakota last weekend in some moderately snowy conditions. I was VERY pleased - and for the record, I have owned a lot of 4wd/AWD vehicles over the years in Colorado.

rod
Very useful info. Thanks.
 

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A couple of months ago I was out in the desert west of Phoenix trying to find a good place to set up targets for shooting with sand or dirt drifts to stop the bullets. I found myself on a fairly soft sandy river bottom. I have never really tested out the four wheel ability of the Pilot and there was nobody around of miles, I decided to to turn around to harder ground. I four-wheel quite a bit in my Isuzu Trooper so I kew to keep up my speed. I made a wide 180, takeing up most of the width of the river bed so the tires wouldn't dig into any sharp corners. I had absolutely no problems in the soft sand, So I decided for another round and a tighter circle. It ran great, the VTM-4 handled the sand easily. I parked on dirt bank and my friends and I walked into the riverbed. A don't believe a two wheel drive/ or front wheel drive vehicle would have been able to trek through the sand, unless it was a pipe or dune buggy.

So in my humble opinion - Get a four-wheel drive if you like the sand or mud. Digging out of the muck can be quite a pain in the A$$.

Here's my baby after we set up our targets.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Tony said:
I found myself on a fairly soft sandy river bottom. I have never really tested out the four wheel ability of the Pilot and there was nobody around of miles, ...I four-wheel quite a bit in my Isuzu Trooper so I kew to keep up my speed.... I had absolutely no problems in the soft sand, So I decided for another round and a tighter circle. It ran great, the VTM-4 handled the sand easily. .
Thanks for sharing your experience. It will make me braver. The trouble is that once you've found the vehicles limits you've got yourself in a mess.:(

I remember driving down a sandy road to a lake last summer. I couldn't enjoy the lake because I was so worried I wouldn't make it back UP the hill I just drove down. I did make it though but it was dicey.
 

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florida_guy,
Just remember to reduce your air pressure BEFORE heading into the sand. The only thing that bugs me about the Pilot is there is no LOW-Four gear. But again I have my Trooper for heavier 4 wheeling.
Other than that I love this Pilot and I have a lowly LX model, I can only imagine how much fun a EX-navi would be.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Tony said:
florida_guy,.
Other than that I love this Pilot and I have a lowly LX model, I can only imagine how much fun a EX-navi would be.
I am planning on the EX. I want the upgraded stereo for sure. I would like the Navigation system but it only comes with leather and I hate leather... sticky in the summer... cold in the winter
 

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I don't like leather either especially when it gets to 115 degrees. You might be able to get cloth seats with EX-Navi. I've seen one at a dealership in Mesa a month or so before we finally got our LX. I believe the seats were a special order item. Dealership can do anything for money. They also had one with a sunroof.
 

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I also am a fellow Florida driver, and appreciate the AWD in the Pilot. It is true that you will never get stuck as bad as when you have four or AWD, one tends to try things you shouldn't. But that kind of stuff is for "serious" off road vehicles and riding, which isn't of interest to me and would not be suitable for the Pilot, anyway.

However, I now feel confident on dirt roads and even on the beach in the St. Augustine area - but I wouldn't tackle serious off roading, nor do I want to anyway. FrontWD will do for most people here, almost all of the time (although I have had problems with a FWD vehicle on a slick boat ramp). I couldn't buy the Pilot with FWD anyway, so there wasn't much to decide. I would have bought the Highlander if I liked it better (I didn't) in AWD because of using boat ramps and now and then a dirt road. It also eliminate slippage on rain slicked streets, hills, etc. We do have hills up here in North Florida!

I also have some desire to ride in the snow, someday.

EJ
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Eddie Joe said:
I also am a fellow Florida driver, and appreciate the AWD in the Pilot. ...
I now feel confident on dirt roads and even on the beach in the St. Augustine area - but I wouldn't tackle serious off roading,EJ
Thanks for the insight. Beach driving is one of the things I had in mind. I don't plan to do serious off roading either, which to me means going where there are no roads. I would like to feel comfortable exploring the dirt/sand roads in the Ocala National Forest that lead to secluded lakes and things like that, though. The scary part of that is if you get stuck, not only are you stuck but you're miles from civilization and it's hard to even tell the tow truck driver where you are... assuming your cell phone works.

It would also be comforting to know that an unexpected snow storm on a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains could be handled easier. The thing about snow and AWD is that you may be able to go faster than you can stop.

Anyway... Since there is a cheaper more fuel efficient option available (namely the front wheel driver highlander) I have to decide if the added expense is worth it for the occasional times when I will use AWD.
 

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Yeah, and that is a tough decision. If you want a bit more assurance, buy a long tow rope and pack it in the hidden compartment. If you get stuck (not likely) you can get pulled out, or you can help someone else. I have already pulled a van out of the sand at Matanzas Inlet.

Also, you can let about 10 pounds of air out of the tires, which will make you much better in the sand.

EJ
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Eddie Joe said:
If you want a bit more assurance, buy a long tow rope and pack it in the hidden compartment. If you get stuck (not likely) you can get pulled out, or you can help someone else. I have already pulled a van out of the sand at Matanzas Inlet.

Also, you can let about 10 pounds of air out of the tires, which will make you much better in the sand.

EJ
What do you attach the tow rope too and how to you avoid damaging your vehicle or engine pulling someone else out.

You're the second person who mentioned letting air out of the tires. I'm assuming when you get off the sand road you go to the nearest gas station to add it back but what if thats 50 miles?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Eddie Joe said:


Also, you can let about 10 pounds of air out of the tires, which will make you much better in the sand.

EJ
Is sand the only condition for which you let air out of the tires?
 

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Yes, as far as I'm concerned. The idea is to increase the tire profile so it does not sink in the sand. Don't let out too much, or you could lose control, especially when back on pavement. Fill them back up ASAP, and go easy until you do.

I do this for really soft sand, only. Don't need to for the firm stuff or for dirt roads.

EJ
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Eddie Joe said:
Yes, as far as I'm concerned. The idea is to increase the tire profile so it does not sink in the sand. Don't let out too much, or you could lose control, especially when back on pavement. Fill them back up ASAP, and go easy until you do.

I do this for really soft sand, only. Don't need to for the firm stuff or for dirt roads.

EJ
Thanks for the important info.

Do you know what get's you promoted from Junior to Member to Senior and what get's you the stars by your name?
 

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tim.s said:
You'll find out in four more posts ;) (you've got 26 as I write this response)...or you can use the control panel to specify a "Custom User Text:" in your User Profile.
Thanks for the info and thanks for the links. I couldn't imagine cheating and changing it manually.:p

So close to graduation and I only registered on Saturday. I attribute that to being sick and not feeling like doing anything but this and laying around all weekend.

This forum is great but the spell checker doesn't recognize words with apostrophe's as properly spelled... i.e. (I've, can't etc). Knot reely complaning. Eye am jest hapy two have won.:D
 

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florida_guy said:


Thanks for the info and thanks for the links. I couldn't imagine cheating and changing it manually.:p

So close to graduation and I only registered on Saturday. I attribute that to being sick and not feeling like doing anything but this and laying around all weekend.

This forum is great but the spell checker doesn't recognize words with apostrophe's as properly spelled... i.e. (I've, can't etc). Knot reely complaning. Eye am jest hapy two have won.:D
Just keep talkin' to us Florida Guy! :29:
 
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