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I'll be driving my 2015 Pilot up the Dempster Highway in August, starting in Colorado, up through Calgary and on to the Arctic Ocean if all goes according to plan. I'll be getting a full sized spare, but wondering if anyone here can recommend a good tire for the trip. The entire journey is about 7000 miles, and about 900 of that will be on the Dempster, which is shale/packed gravel. I know about nothing about tires, other than the fact that I need 18"ers, so any advice is welcome.

Any advice for making the Pilot as cozy/comfy as possible for a 3 week long road trip for 2 is also welcomed. We haven't decided if we'll convert the back of the Pilot into a bed, or if we'll go for tent sleeping. We have a Thule roof box, and were thinking about getting a hitch mounted cargo box to carry a couple of spare cans of gas, but that's about as far as we've gotten in our thinking for the car. Ideas?
 

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There are very few choices in an off-pavement capable tire in the Pilot's original size.
An excellent one is the Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015: https://www.yokohamatire.com/tires/geolandar-a-t-g015
Fortunately, they're not such an extreme off-road tire that you wouldn't want to use them on pavement, or not be able to continue to use them after you return from your trip.

If you still have the original battery, getting a new one before the trip might be worthwhile.
Maybe buy a jump-start/booster-pack, just in case you inadvertently drain the battery in the middle of nowhere.
Likewise, consider installing new headlight bulbs before the trip and getting a set of rear taillight and turn signal bulbs to take along with you.

Depending upon mileage and prior service history, a transmission fluid and rear differential fluid change might be advisable.
Also, have the brake fluid changed if it hasn't been replaced within the past three years.

The following article has some useful advice from someone who took their Pilot on the Dempster:
https://www.mustdocanada.com/7-tips-for-driving-the-dempster-highway-to-the-arctic/
 

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xGS has a lot of good recommendations there...

I'd probably look to have some spare fluids (oil, ATF and coolant) in the vehicle as well.

Honestly if I was looking to take ours on 900 miles of gravel I would be looking to fit the smallest wheel possible (I think the factory steels are 17", maybe see if a 16" would fit) and get a diameter tire that matches stock. More sidewall for the monster potholes or other conditions and it would likely open up more tire choices.

Have fun!
 

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There are very few choices in an off-pavement capable tire in the Pilot's original size.
An excellent one is the Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015: https://www.yokohamatire.com/tires/geolandar-a-t-g015
Fortunately, they're not such an extreme off-road tire that you wouldn't want to use them on pavement, or not be able to continue to use them after you return from your trip.

If you still have the original battery, getting a new one before the trip might be worthwhile.
Maybe buy a jump-start/booster-pack, just in case you inadvertently drain the battery in the middle of nowhere.
Likewise, consider installing new headlight bulbs before the trip and getting a set of rear taillight and turn signal bulbs to take along with you.

Depending upon mileage and prior service history, a transmission fluid and rear differential fluid change might be advisable.
Also, have the brake fluid changed if it hasn't been replaced within the past three years.

The following article has some useful advice from someone who took their Pilot on the Dempster:
https://www.mustdocanada.com/7-tips-for-driving-the-dempster-highway-to-the-arctic/
Those tires are great I went camping this weekend upstate NY and those who are familiar with the Catskills parks the roads are low maintenance ..correction no maintenance there were a few times i cringed when i saw the rocks i was going over...thinking great there goes my front end .. lol ... no problems with the tires even went through a few deep puddles ... suspension lift a must for my next trip :)
 

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If you are going on the Dempster, I'm going to recommend taking two full size tires. If you don't need the third row remove it to gain more space.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So much great info! I knew I could count on y'all. Thank you! Battery chargers ordered and the third row removal noted. Yokohamas look like a great option!
 

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If your going to remove the third row seats you will need a 14 mm deep socket nothing else very easy ..did this mod over the weekend for the full size spare and gear
 

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Take a look at Nitto Terra Grappler G2s. I ran these on my Range Rover Sport for well over 30k miles and plenty of rough trails in the woods. They are great on and off road with no highway noise and a smooth ride. I'm not sure of the largest tire you can put on the Pilot but I would look to get as much sidewall as you can for a good ride. Happy trails.
 

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Any advice for making the Pilot as cozy/comfy as possible for a 3 week long road trip for 2 is also welcomed. We haven't decided if we'll convert the back of the Pilot into a bed, or if we'll go for tent sleeping. We have a Thule roof box, and were thinking about getting a hitch mounted cargo box to carry a couple of spare cans of gas, but that's about as far as we've gotten in our thinking for the car. Ideas?
If you're already planning to pull the third-row seats, I think getting rid of the second row and building a full interior platform will give you a lot more flexibility and comfort than tent camping, especially if you hit a stretch of bad weather.

There are lots of options for building platforms, and the internet is full of examples. In my experience, the most important factors are:

  • access to the volume below has to be relatively easy.
  • sitting headroom is a really nice feature.
  • sturdiness is important, but using 3/4" plywood like most do is overkill. 1/2" will save weight and be easier to handle.
  • be sure that your design doesn't obstruct features you need, like power outlets.
  • try to use every bit of interior volume.

The Pilot is very comfortable for sleeping. There are times and places where tents are not practical / not welcome, like highway rest stops. Its important to have a way to ventilate the car, though. An ideal window screen would work with the window just slightly open. I haven't found a way to do that yet, so if it rains hard, I have to close up.

Rooftop tents are all the rage, but I would rather have the rooftop box for cargo volume. If necessary, I would get a second rooftop box to avoid filling the interior enough to prevent having a space to lay down.

Finally, make sure that you can power / charge everything you need conveniently. A small inverter can be a lifesaver. Be careful with load, though, and make sure that you have spare fuses in every rating in the car, just in case.
 

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If you're already planning to pull the third-row seats, I think getting rid of the second row and building a full interior platform will give you a lot more flexibility and comfort than tent camping, especially if you hit a stretch of bad weather.

There are lots of options for building platforms, and the internet is full of examples. In my experience, the most important factors are:

  • access to the volume below has to be relatively easy.
  • sitting headroom is a really nice feature.
  • sturdiness is important, but using 3/4" plywood like most do is overkill. 1/2" will save weight and be easier to handle.
  • be sure that your design doesn't obstruct features you need, like power outlets.
  • try to use every bit of interior volume.
The Pilot is very comfortable for sleeping. There are times and places where tents are not practical / not welcome, like highway rest stops. Its important to have a way to ventilate the car, though. An ideal window screen would work with the window just slightly open. I haven't found a way to do that yet, so if it rains hard, I have to close up.

Rooftop tents are all the rage, but I would rather have the rooftop box for cargo volume. If necessary, I would get a second rooftop box to avoid filling the interior enough to prevent having a space to lay down.

Finally, make sure that you can power / charge everything you need conveniently. A small inverter can be a lifesaver. Be careful with load, though, and make sure that you have spare fuses in every rating in the car, just in case.
install rain guards on all the windows.. I leave them open all night a full inch because they are still not past the end of the guard and the rain will not come in . Awesome Ideas ..I may put them into use for my suburban since it's a little wider and longer I have more room to "play" with :)
 
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If you are going on the Dempster, I'm going to recommend taking two full size tires. If you don't need the third row remove it to gain more space.
They did a video on this and they were using a Honda Pilot ....

Tips on the Dempster
 
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