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Discussion Starter #1
I’m still a little perplexed about the Pilot’s towing capacity. The specs say it can tow 3500lbs but not including the wait of passengers and other items such as camping gear. If 3500 lbs is the max, this means 4 adults weighing at 150 lbs = 600 lbs and lets say give or take 400 pounds of camping gear, I really can only get a travel trailer weighing 2500 lbs?

3500 – 1000 = 2500 trailer?

And will I need the transmission cooler? Use premium gas? What about brakes on the trailer?

Better yet, some of you already have a travel trailer.. Can you point me in the right direction to the company and model you purchased?

Much appreciated.
 

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How big do you want to go? I have a Coleman Cheyenne P/U(popup) trailer. Its GVW is 3000 lbs so I still have at least 500 lbs left to play with. But to get the exact tow rating you need to take the TV's(tow vehicle) GCW(gross combination weight) minus the actual weight of your vehicle loaded and ready to go minus the actual weight of the trailer loaded and ready to go.
For example the Pilot GCW is 9700lbs, my pilot loaded and ready to go weighs 4600lbs I think, my trailer weighed 2600 loaded that leaves 2500. You have to have all the figures match, meaning max trailer size, max tongue weight and keep your GCW under to.
If you go by your example yes 2500 would be it. But you could run up the limit a bit if you wanted, the pilot technically can tow 4500lbs it just rated for a boat which has very little frontal mass and doesn't hold wind like a clipper ship. So if you ran a little over on a pop up which doesn't have any frontal area I think you would be fine.
I have brakes on my trailer and would suggest them on anything over 1000lbs or so it helps you stop at a reasonable distance and why beat the hell out of your Pilots brakes.

I you look at the manual on page 249 it states with 4 people in the car at 150lbs each and 15lbs of luggage each you can tow 3300. So I would subtract any extra cargo you put in from that number.
Did I confuse the hell out of you? I have been towing since I got my license and am very comfortable doing it and want to help anyone that wants to do it and make sure that we are all doing it safely!:)

If you give more info on what you want we should be able to steer you in a positive direction.:)

Matt

Here is the family truckster in action:
 

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I have a 1990 starcraft popup trailer. Loaded down it weighs about 2000 pounds. Last trip we took 3 adults, three kids, and a load of stuff. The drive was a mix of highway, mountains (7700ft pass) & various winding backroads . The pilot drove fine. In fact everyone commented how much better it handled the load than the 2000 F150 4x4 4.6l v8 we used to use for this same trip. The F150 would really dog it at higher altitudes. The pilot really shined in the mountains. We averaged 15mpg for the whole trip (~400 miles). In short, we were really impressed with the pilots towing ability.

You need both the PS cooler and tranny coooler. Honda and their dealers are very explicit about the need for these when towing. IF you are a reasonably competent do-it-your-selfer, it is not that hard. Dealer quoted us nearly $1600 for the tow kit installed. Ouch!

Instead, we went to H and A (www.handa.com) and bought the full tow kit, plus running boards, mud flaps, and rubber interior mats all for about $1100.00 including delivery. I installed all of it in about four hours in my driveway.

The kits are genuine honda, and come with very detailed instructions.


Some people have said they got the receiver hitch just for slide in bike racks, in which case you wouldn't need to coolers. But if dealers see the receiver, the electrical connector hookup, and NO coolers, you can bet they'll give you static about any tarnsmission and steering problems you ask for warranty coverage on.

I would say you only need premium gas if you notice pinging problems. The car doesnt really need it otherwise.

My trailer also has electric brakes. I have not hooked up the controller on the pilot yet. I want to get the manual so I don't roast enything hooking it up.

Enjoy.
--
Richneed
 

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Here's a pic of my Pilot with a Trail Lite Bantam B19 attached. The trailer weighs around 2600lbs dry - I'd guess not much over 3,000 as I tow it. I took it up to Big Bear on the 4th of July (elev 7,000') with 4 adults + luggage on board. The Pilot did fine - I didn't push it hard, and did the mountain pass at +- 40mph. On the I15 back to San Diego maintained between 55 and 60, slowing to 50 on the steep inclines. Gas mileage +- 13mpg. Temperature never budged, despite 95deg outside.
I don't have experience towing with other vehicles, but I wouldn't want to go much bigger than the trailer I have - just feels like the car would have to work too hard.
BTW - I used a WDH although I doubt if it was really necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone! That is awesome. I am looking forward to our new Pilot purchase and some traveling! radvas, thanks for the tips... I will keep all of it mind.

bananaboy what is WDH?
 

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Great thread! Thank you everyone! We consider upgrading from our tents to a pop-up from time to time. Usually when it's raining and we head for a hotel in lieu of the tent!

It's good to know the Pilot can handle it!:)
 

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sure, you'll feel like a poser at first, but you'll never go back to tenting it. At least in places wehre you can get the pop up trailer.

The nicest thing is that we leave all the stuff in the trailer, so shen we go camping, it is quick to get everything ready, and super-quick to set it up once we're there. way faster than a tent.
 

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Anyone Towed a folding trailer lately?

I saw in this thread that a few Pilot owners have towed small popups, but has anyone towed one of the bigger ones? The one we want is the Grand Tour Elite Niagara series which has a UVW of 2795(Unloaded Vehicle Weight). Based on everything I've read, the Pilot with the tow package(Trans cooler, steering pump cooler etc.) should be able to tow it without any problems. Is this correct?:8:

Chettie
03 Pilot EXL
04 Accord EXv6
96 CBR 600 F3
 

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Re: Anyone Towed a folding trailer lately?

Chettie said:
I saw in this thread that a few Pilot owners have towed small popups, but has anyone towed one of the bigger ones? The one we want is the Grand Tour Elite Niagara series which has a UVW of 2795(Unloaded Vehicle Weight). Based on everything I've read, the Pilot with the tow package(Trans cooler, steering pump cooler etc.) should be able to tow it without any problems. Is this correct?:8:

Chettie
03 Pilot EXL
04 Accord EXv6
96 CBR 600 F3
The weight limit is 3500 pounds for a regular trailer and 4500 pounds for a boat and trailer. Here's a thread with at least one link to another thread on towing over 3000 pounds.
 

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Holy thread resurrection Batman!

Our trailer is probably more of a medium sized one. Unloaded it is about 2k pounds. Once we have all our junk in it i'm sure it is 500 more.

We took a trip 2 weeks ago with 4 adults, 2 kids and the trailer. We went about 180 miles away up into the sierra-nevada mountains to an elev of about 7700ft. The pilot was awesome. Drove great and we averaged 21 MPG for the whole trip. I'm still amazed at that mileage. Never been that good towing before.

Now, I don't think I'd use this vehicle as a regular towing vehicle if I did this sort of trip weekly, but we use it to tow the tent trailer a few times a years, and we use it to tow a small trailer full of dirt bikes and gear about twice a month. It has exceeded my expectations as a light/medium duty tow vehicle.
 

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RAdams said:
From www.hondanews.com on the Pilot's towing capacity: "The 3500/4500-pound rating is calculated to include up to four passengers and their cargo. "
Yes, but be careful! This is four passengers @ 150lbs each, and 15lbs of luggage each. And none of the passengers are in the third row.
 

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I've got a 2004 Palomino Mustang 6149 popup that weighs alittle over 2600 lbs. dry; a bit over 3000 as I tow it with water, propane, gear etc. It pulls fine and straight. Only issue was rear suspension squat which I fixed with Airlift air springs. Now it sits level, and rides better w/o trailer too! I'll try to attach a pic, but have had little success in previous attempts! Here goes...
 

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Transmissions and Towing

I have some good information from some car guys. They say that a 20 degree rise in transmission fluid temperature can halve the useful life of the fluid and create a breakdown in the tranny fluids ability to protect your tranny and thereby halve the life of your transmission.

They say the reason that the towing package needs the expensive transmission fluid cooler isnt because the transmission and vehicle isnt capable of towing higher loads but rather that it can cause the transmission fluid to breakdown faster and lose its protective ability. Once your transmission fluid breaks down then your transmission wont be far behind it.

The car guys say that to avoid transmission breakdowns when towing and enhance the ability of the Pilot to tow that one should change the transmission fluid more frequently than the manual recommends and to switch to a synthetic transmission fluid that can withstand higher temperatures before it breaks down and fails in its ability to protect the transmission.

Im not recommending it but 4500 pounds or even higher loads are probably possible if one changes the transmission fluid with frequency and buys a high quality synthetic fluid that wont break down as quickly.

Brakes, power steering fluid and other issues are another matter but Im guessing that nobody really needs to sweat pulling 4500 rated loads if they keep their vehicle maintained and change the transmission fluid when it needs it rather than when the owners manual suggests it needs it.

Buying a tow package for the tranny cooler and switching to synthetic transmission fluids might be a good idea even for those who never tow a thing.
 

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re pop up

We have a 2000 Jayco Heritage Laurel with a UVW of 2680, and hitch weight at 325. It is probably close to the limit of 3500 loaded, although I never tow with water. I find the pilot handles this without issue, except for backing it up on a hill. I will install the air lift, as the hitch weight really causes rear end sag. I dont find any sway at all, but may install a sway bar for safety sake.

There is a lot of info on tow vehicles and tent trailers at this url:

http://www.popupexplorer.com
 

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Hey tent trailer people:

We bought a used Coleman (Fleetwood) Westlake model and used it a few times over the summer and loved it. The Pilot pulled it everywhere with no prob. What a great combination, a Honda that can also pull a trailer. Since we bought it used, we found over the summer that it had a few probs so I just had it serviced and I added a pricey goodie. 12V ELECTRIC LIFT SYSTEM. Now it goes up with the touch of a button! $400 for the part and $400 for the install. We found that we were in it once or twice before we left, in it at the campground, and then in it again when we got home. This was a great feature to add since we are going to have the trailer for a number of years. Also going to have the Airlift air bags installed in the rear springs to help level off the Pilot when towing.
 

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towing and airlift

rshelar,

if you plan to install the airlift 1000, read this thread here about my experience...

http://www.piloteers.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=9384


rshelar said:
Hey tent trailer people:

We bought a used Coleman (Fleetwood) Westlake model and used it a few times over the summer and loved it. The Pilot pulled it everywhere with no prob. What a great combination, a Honda that can also pull a trailer. Since we bought it used, we found over the summer that it had a few probs so I just had it serviced and I added a pricey goodie. 12V ELECTRIC LIFT SYSTEM. Now it goes up with the touch of a button! $400 for the part and $400 for the install. We found that we were in it once or twice before we left, in it at the campground, and then in it again when we got home. This was a great feature to add since we are going to have the trailer for a number of years. Also going to have the Airlift air bags installed in the rear springs to help level off the Pilot when towing.
 

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We tow a 16 foot aerolite cub. This is a hybrid and lighter than a fully enclosed travel trailer. We like it better than a pop up becuase of the functionallity while towing. We can stop have a sandwhich and use the potty with out having to set up the trailer. The tent ends are very similar to the pop up.

I agree with the other posts about the coolers.

We have found we get better mileage with the premiuim gas. It does not need it to pull but the increased mileage has been worth the extra up front expense for us.

We will not set any land speed records pulling with the Pilot and Iwould be hesitant to pull in the mountains with the trailer but for what we do and where we go it has worked very well.

I have watched the Pilot get bashed on the trailer sites by people that have never tried it and think you need the big Cummins Diesel to pull anything.
 
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