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I have a 2012, 4WD Pilot, has automatic transmission cooler in it, 74,000 miles on it. Original owner. Has been taken care of. I've towed a trailer for mulch but that's it. I plan to tow an enclosed trailer with a 1980 MG inside for 1800 miles over a 3 day period of time. Together, the trailer and the car weigh 5001 lbs based on the owners manuals but I will weigh them to make sure. Estimating about 8 to 9 hours each day. I will start at 600 feet above sea level and gradually end at 3400 feet. I've talked with the Honda service guy and he believes its good to go, just advised me to disengage the OD. The trailer has electric brakes and is in good condition.

Does anyone have any advice / suggestions for me? Thank you.
 

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Not sure why the Honda service guy would say you're "good to go" when you're over your 4,500 lb maximum tow rating. Could it do it? Probably, but even towing my 3,200 pound camper I'll say it's going to be working pretty hard. Also not sure why he says to disengage the O/D since it doesn't have an O/D switch. It has a D3 button which is recommended for towing on hills to limit it to third gear, so it saves some wear on the transmission and gets the engine up in the higher RPM where it has more power. If you're towing an enclosed trailer, it's going to give you lots of wind resistance, like my travel trailer, as well as being a big box kite on wheels if you get a stiff crosswind. You do have an electric brake controller installed, yes? It's going to have to work at it going up hills, so don't push it trying to keep it at highway speeds and you may have to slow down a little. That I can say after helping my dad tow his 3500 pound travel trailer with his Outlook. Although that was rated for towing 5,000 it still had its work cut out and it had to drop down to 45-50 to go through the mountains. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge.

Unrelated, but kudos on the MGB. I have a '77 Midget myself.
 

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Not sure why the Honda service guy would say you're "good to go" when you're over your 4,500 lb maximum tow rating. Could it do it? Probably, but even towing my 3,200 pound camper I'll say it's going to be working pretty hard. Also not sure why he says to disengage the O/D since it doesn't have an O/D switch. It has a D3 button which is recommended for towing on hills to limit it to third gear, so it saves some wear on the transmission and gets the engine up in the higher RPM where it has more power. If you're towing an enclosed trailer, it's going to give you lots of wind resistance, like my travel trailer, as well as being a big box kite on wheels if you get a stiff crosswind. You do have an electric brake controller installed, yes? It's going to have to work at it going up hills, so don't push it trying to keep it at highway speeds and you may have to slow down a little. That I can say after helping my dad tow his 3500 pound travel trailer with his Outlook. Although that was rated for towing 5,000 it still had its work cut out and it had to drop down to 45-50 to go through the mountains. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge.

Unrelated, but kudos on the MGB. I have a '77 Midget myself
Thank you for your input. The service manager is aware of the 4500 lb limit that is stated in the manual but he showed me a spec sheet he had in his system for 2012 4WD Pilot which listed it at 5000 provided it had the transmission cooler, which is standard on the 4WD's. He used the term OD, but you are correct, it's a button under the shift knob to limit the gears and is referred to as D3. I have the electric brake control. I have planned my trip to limit larger inclines thus not going thru Montana or Western ND. Head into Canada at Portal, ND keeps the inclines more gradual...at least not as drastic as the other route. The weights for the trailer and the car are from the manauals for each. I plan to weight each one to get an accuate weight. The B is in hibernation until April so I can't get that done until then,

I'm headed to Calgary for the MG National Conference in July. If your there, I would love to meet you.
 

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I know that when I tow with a car in the trailer, I end up with an assortment of ride-along "stuff". Like a cooler-sized clean-and detail kit, spare tires/wheels (originals for show but tires way too old to actually drive on). Plus people and luggage and easy-up and a roll of carpet and folding chairs and tools and a roller jack and small compressor, more "stuff". All those extras affect the total towing load included in that 5000lb limit for the Pilot. As much as I love the Pilot for lots of things, our 4Runner strains a lot less under the same towing load. For the amount of work and strain it puts on the Pilot, it's certainly worth at least a look at renting a more serious vehicle for your extended ride with extended load. Our local Budget/Avis offers Tahoes at a reasonable rate.
 

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2020 Honda Passport Touring AWD Metallic Steel
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Can the vehicle pull more than the listed 4500 pounds? Yes.

Should you pull more than the listed 4500 pounds? No.

Towing puts strain on the engine, transmission and suspension. When you exceed the maximum weight you are putting more stress than those components were designed for, especially the transmission. But it's your vehicle, so if you are willing to risk premature transmission problems/failure that's your decision to make.
 

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I think nobody on this forum advises that you do this with the Pilot.

If you must, freshen all fluids, check all rubber parts, find some way to monitor transmission temps (I use a scangauge), keep it out of overdrive, take your time and bring lots of money for gas. Assuming you are experienced with towing, this will probably be fine but not the greatest experience.
 
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I‘m curious what the actual scale weight of the combination ends up being. My experience with boats is that the real world scale weight is often nearly 1,000 pounds more than the pencil weight. I have towed my 4,000 pound boat/trailer many thousands of miles and my 2014 Pilot with 280,000 miles hasn’t failed me yet. But a 5-6000 lb box trailer is really pushing it. Good luck.
 
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