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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have a 2019 EX-L 2wd but we are considering getting a used pontoon boat. From my research the typical weight of a 21' pontoon is about 1800 lbs with another 800 lb or so in a single axle trailer for a total weight of 2600-3000 lbs if you include gear and fuel, etc. I'm agonizing about whether this set up will work with 2wd. What do you guys think?

I have my eye on a couple of used 2019's with AWD and could sell mine and get one of the AWD ones with about $3000 out of pocket since mine is paid off but I'd rather not have to do that. I live in Austin, TX and we do have some hills and steep boat ramps but where we'd typically launch is pretty flat and the route to get there isn't bad.
 

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I'd be concerned about FWD traction, or lack of, when retrieving 3K lbs up a wet/slick ramp.🤷‍♂️ Towing that weight up/down hills and flatland should be a non-issue as long as you observe speed/weight as shown in the Owner's Manual. Me personally, I would install a tranny cooler and observe/monitor TFT.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. We actually ended up buying a 2019 Honda Certified used 2019 AWD Pilot yestersay. Our boat ramps here in central Texas can be pretty steep so I want the extra security of AWD and more towing capacity. I’ll be selling my 2019 EXL 2wd in the next week or so.
 

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I have a 2017 Pilot EX FWD. I have towed my1600lb rig every week for 4 years and used various boat ramps and not once have I spun a tire on the ramp. Just FYI.
That’s great, we’ll never see you in a YouTube “boat ramp fail” video. I’m thinking a 3000 lb boat may take a little more weight off of the front wheels, than a 1600 lb rig will. Seems logical, no?🤷‍♂️ Another factor that comes into play is right foot dexterity.😉
 
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Yep, I think 1600 lbs vs the OP’s 3000 lbs is a apples/oranges comparison, no?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So I ended up selling the 2wd Pilot and getting a CPO 2019 AWD Pilot and added the OEM tranny cooler. The AWD does an amazing job pulling out 20' pontoon boat out of the lake.
 

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2019 Pilot EX-L AWD, 265-60-18 Defender LTX M/S
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What trim level on the '19 AWD? Consider a 3x drain and fill if you have the 6 speed tranny. DW-1 is not synthetic and heat effects quicker. Then do a yearly D&F pending towing. Also consider changing the front transaxle fluid and rear differential, then also on a regular basis.

Spare rim (even a 17") with full size tire to match in case you have a flat especially when towing. If EX or up, mud or sand mode changes throttle response but also more torque to rear end with clutch packs if a really slippery ramp. It also turns off the stability control so you can spin the tires some if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What trim level on the '19 AWD? Consider a 3x drain and fill if you have the 6 speed tranny. DW-1 is not synthetic and heat effects quicker. Then do a yearly D&F pending towing. Also consider changing the front transaxle fluid and rear differential, then also on a regular basis.

Spare rim (even a 17") with full size tire to match in case you have a flat especially when towing. If EX or up, mud or sand mode changes throttle response but also more torque to rear end with clutch packs if a really slippery ramp. It also turns off the stability control so you can spin the tires some if needed.

Thanks for the advice. It’s an EX-L. According to maintenance records the diff fluid was changed by the previous owner at 15,000 miles and it currently has 44,000 miles on it. Should I get it changed again soon?
 

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2019 Pilot EX-L AWD, 265-60-18 Defender LTX M/S
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How are you at DIY maintenance? The 10-15k original is when it pops up on the maintenance minder for 1st change, after that is is longer intervals. I think it was over $100 when I had the dealer do it but I wanted it on record that they did it. I have changed a couple times now (I'm at 30k) based around what I was doing for towing/beach/trails. It's an easy DIY with one of the quart pumps.

Rear diff fluid

I have done the same for Tranny drain and fills. With tranny I just measure what comes out and replace the same amount (about 3.5 qts) using the DW-1. I'll probably switch to something synthetic someday, pending warranties. For now I'm good with a simple drain and fill keeping it fresher, again pending towing/beach/trails. I did add a factory cooler and replaced with a better filter.

The front differential/transaxle is also easy drain and fill and takes like 1/2 qt if I recall.

I think for some reason I paid almost $300 to get tranny and rear diff done before one of my planned towing trips so it was on the maintenance record. That same $$ amount on DIY covered multiple changes in my driveway. I do the same with my daughters CRV, my Accord and my son's Kia Forte.
 

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For the rim if interested search on Piloteers for classifieds, check Ridgeline Owners club, Craigslist/Letgo/Facebook Marketplace/Ebay. Many posts here at Piloteers about what else fits from what years and links to wheel-size.com so you can check. Many look to sell the set but if you post you might find 3 others to commit. I got the wheel for my spare tire from ROC cheaper than ebay.

Seriously consider doing the 3x tranny drain and fill and then at your own interval. You can also read on here about the different VCM disabling devices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How are you at DIY maintenance? The 10-15k original is when it pops up on the maintenance minder for 1st change, after that is is longer intervals. I think it was over $100 when I had the dealer do it but I wanted it on record that they did it. I have changed a couple times now (I'm at 30k) based around what I was doing for towing/beach/trails. It's an easy DIY with one of the quart pumps.

Rear diff fluid

I have done the same for Tranny drain and fills. With tranny I just measure what comes out and replace the same amount (about 3.5 qts) using the DW-1. I'll probably switch to something synthetic someday, pending warranties. For now I'm good with a simple drain and fill keeping it fresher, again pending towing/beach/trails. I did add a factory cooler and replaced with a better filter.

The front differential/transaxle is also easy drain and fill and takes like 1/2 qt if I recall.

I think for some reason I paid almost $300 to get tranny and rear diff done before one of my planned towing trips so it was on the maintenance record. That same $$ amount on DIY covered multiple changes in my driveway. I do the same with my daughters CRV, my Accord and my son's Kia Forte.

I've watched some videos on the process and it doesn't look too hard but honestly I'd probably just have my local shop do it the next time I get an oil change. They're way cheaper than anything at the dealer.
 

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I've watched some videos on the process and it doesn't look too hard but honestly I'd probably just have my local shop do it the next time I get an oil change. They're way cheaper than anything at the dealer.
Just make sure you use the correct fluid, especially the rear diff. If you buy it and bring with you they shouldn't have any concerns. They'll probably mark "customer supplied fluids" just to cover themselves. At least you'll know it is the correct stuff not a generic universal version.

Nothing wrong with the universals for many things and some are probably better but the Honda's do have some specific formulations. Lots of posts here, Valvoline Max Life tranny fluid is popular (synthetic), as are others but does change shift characteristics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just make sure you use the correct fluid, especially the rear diff. If you buy it and bring with you they shouldn't have any concerns. They'll probably mark "customer supplied fluids" just to cover themselves. At least you'll know it is the correct stuff not a generic universal version.

Nothing wrong with the universals for many things and some are probably better but the Honda's do have some specific formulations. Lots of posts here, Valvoline Max Life tranny fluid is popular (synthetic), as are others but does change shift characteristics.

Good to know. Thanks. When I had this same shop install my tranny cooler I brought with me a quart of Honda tranny fluid so I know they won't mind using customer supplied fluids.
 

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2006 Honda Pilot EX-L - - 226k 2007 Honda Accord SE - - 145k
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FWIW, I have an 06 FWD that we tow two jet skis on a double trailer, total weight around 1600 pounds. We go out weekly and have no issues even on the steeper boat ramps at a very busy lake in our area. Tires likely make a big difference, but we've had no issues with the FWD (although I was really concerned about it at first). Zero slippage. Obviously it isn't 3000 lbs, so your mileage may vary.
 
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