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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2017 EXL with factory installed towing package so my Pilot is rated to tow 5000lb.
I bought a boat and trailer that in total weigh about 3000lb.
I added brakes to the trailer for safety and legal reasons (WA state).

When I tow the boat it feels like the Pilot is struggling (never failed to climb a ramp or anything though, just goes up a lot in RPMs).

I'm particularly worried when going over speed bumps as there is a lof of rattling and in general I can feel the boat's inertia.

I've been wondering if I need to switch to an F150 or an Expedition. Does my setup seem ok? Am I pushing the limit somehow?
 

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I am going to assume you have a transmission cooler as well, otherwise your don't have an approved 5000Lb rated tow setup. How many passengers are you carrying and how much gear is in the vehicle. All of that goes toward the towing capabilities.
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If you haven't read the owners manual on towing you need to do so.

What kind of brakes and what kind of controller did you install? Some of the problems may well be in the controller settings. Your in WA State, are you boating in fresh water or salt water or both?

What is the true total weight of the boat when towed. Are you towing it with a tank full of fuel and if so how big is the tank? How much gear is in the boat when you tow it? Have you taken the boat to a public scale when loaded to get a true weight on what you are towing?

What is the tongue weight of your setup? Are you running a level setup or is the hitch a bit high or a bit low.

Lastly remember you are basically towing a heavy brick on wheels with a 280 hp engine. You are basically asking that motor to move your pilot and a CR-v both at the same time. It's not going to feel quick or spry.
 

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If this is something you want to do regularly, yes, buy a vehicle that doesn't have the engine and transmission sideways under the hood.
 

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Boat trailers typically have surge hydraulic brakes, not electric, due to being submerged repeatedly on boat ramps. Safety chains, trailer tongue jack, etc can cause rattles. You should be fine towing 3000 lbs, just ensure that the trailer is properly maintained, i.e. tire pressures, wheel bearings, etc.
 

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You should be fine towing 3000lbs. As far as the rattles and noise, I know exactly what you mean. The first time I towed with my 2017 Pilot EX FWD I heard all kinds of rattles and noise that was not audible with my old Sequoia. This Pilot is just plain and simple, A NOISY vehicle. Sounds are transmitted thru the hitch inside the cabin like there is no isolation or sound proofing whatsoever. I have towed my 1500lb boat/trailer every weekend for over 3 years now and I have just gotten used to it. My wife went with me the other day (rare) and immediately asked me "whats that noise?"
 

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You are sane, always perform safety checks and take your time. Sounds to me like you are being safe. Happy towing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am going to assume you have a transmission cooler as well, otherwise your don't have an approved 5000Lb rated tow setup. How many passengers are you carrying and how much gear is in the vehicle. All of that goes toward the towing capabilities.
View attachment 137516

If you haven't read the owners manual on towing you need to do so.

What kind of brakes and what kind of controller did you install? Some of the problems may well be in the controller settings. Your in WA State, are you boating in fresh water or salt water or both?

What is the true total weight of the boat when towed. Are you towing it with a tank full of fuel and if so how big is the tank? How much gear is in the boat when you tow it? Have you taken the boat to a public scale when loaded to get a true weight on what you are towing?

What is the tongue weight of your setup? Are you running a level setup or is the hitch a bit high or a bit low.

Lastly remember you are basically towing a heavy brick on wheels with a 280 hp engine. You are basically asking that motor to move your pilot and a CR-v both at the same time. It's not going to feel quick or spry.
No passengers, always travel alone in the Pilot. Family follows in a sedan.
I have 18 gallons of gas in the boat, but no other load in it or the car (I don't count life-vests or flares, etc).
I have electric brakes with a Tekonsha controller that lets me boost braking power if need be. I know the brakes work because when the boat is not on the trailer I can boost the brakes to completely lock the wheels on the trailer (just for test).

I have not looked at the tongue weight, but I will and I'll adjust as necessary.
 

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Who recommended the electric brakes. As previously posted by Aviator6, boat trailers usually have surge brakes, not electric brakes. These days EOH brakes are getting popular for boat trailers, however there are some important considerations regarding the use of EOH brakes an the placement of the EOH controller on the trailer. They are a great improvement over surge brakes when properly installed.

Also, you didn't mention if this is a fresh water only use boat or if you will be taking it into salt water. Here in Kansas that is not a consideration as all we have is fresh water. In Washington you have the option, depending on the craft of either or both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I forgot to mention, only ever fresh water for this trailer and boat. I installed the electric brakes myself as well as the controller and I followed all directions, including placing the controller level and parallel to the direction of travel.
 

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The tongue weight issue is easy. A buddy of mine built a wooden stop gage for his boat to set it on the trailer exactly where he wanted it for the proper tongue weight. He didn't do this until after he had finalized what would be carried in the boat and where it was going to be stowed.

As for the brakes, you can only hope that whoever installed the brakes themselves did a good job of waterproofing all of the connections at the trailer. Otherwise you may not have brakes at some point. That is why EOH brakes are getting popular n boat trailers. The advantages of electronic brakes married to the more impervious hydraulic brake mechanism.
 

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A lot of the rattling noise comes from the hitch going into the receiver; it's not the tightest fit. Try banging a wood shim into the gap.
 
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