Honda Pilot - Honda Pilot Forums banner

1 - 20 of 53 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We are considering buying a towing package for 2003 Pilot so we can pull a boat. Will we be extremely limited in boat selection due to Pilot tow limitations? We just want a "starter boat" - as in under 19 ft.

or should we just buy a tow package for 1972 Buick Riviera and not worry about weight?

thanks!
Ash
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Here's what I tow with my Pilot:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Ash,

The Pilot has a boat towing rating of 4500# with the towing package. This is a pretty good amount for a starter boat. If you look at the "pontoon boat" thread you can read my experience towing two weekends ago. I feel the Pilot is a very capable tow vehicle, but not the one that I would choose for daily towing duties. Growing up my parents towed with old cars and station wagons and it worked but it was always a little scary, I vowed that I would never tow like that when I was making the decisions, so that is how we ended up with a Pilot, it is a great car that is a great occasional tow vehicle, as long as you stay within its limits. :4:

Welcome to the group and take a look around you will find a wealth of information, just use the search feature.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
We had the Honda towing pkg installed to tow our 2500# boat and will probably get a small camper. After reading in the manual, I've found that trailer brakes are required for loads over 1000#. What do y'all think? I don't use them for my p/u. And what kind of wiring harness is supposed to be provided ? Anyway it looks great!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
Trailer brakes make a difference. I personally like them and they put less strain on the tow vehicle. Honda is probably recommending them for the same reason, they are very conservative with all of their recommendations, probably the lawyers saying CYA.

The wiring harness that is provided with the towing package is a standard 4-wire plug.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Re: Question for TomP

beowulf777 said:
How much does your boat weigh?

Also how much does the trailer add?
Good question... Notice I didn't say. The boat hull is 2,000 #, the engine is 425#, gas (holds 42 gal but I try to travel on less than a full tank) is maybe 200#. Misc extras make out maybe 2800# plus an aluminum trailer. I'm guessing 3500#, but at least under 4K.

I believe therehere are three issues on trailering: 1. Power to pull the weight, 2. the ability of the frame and suspension to carry the weight, and 3. the ability of the tow vehicle to stop the combination. Without a doubt, the only issue of concern in my case is #3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Ashley said:
We are considering buying a towing package for 2003 Pilot so we can pull a boat. Will we be extremely limited in boat selection due to Pilot tow limitations? We just want a "starter boat" - as in under 19 ft.

or should we just buy a tow package for 1972 Buick Riviera and not worry about weight?

thanks!
Ash
The Honda accessory OEM package is very well built and designed. The hitch is first rate and preserves your option to fit a full sized spare in there. The wiring harness is a must. Perfectly designed and plugs right in.

Honda mandates AT and PS auxiliary coolers, which require the removal of the front bumper to install. A chore and you need more skill to handle them. However protect your warranty and get them too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I think Honda has a very conservative (CYA) towing limit on the Pilot. I pull a Miata autocross car and race trailer and have for about a year now and it is one of the best tow vehicles I have owned. I installed AirLift bags and electric brakes with the factory tow package and the 240 horses really haul. Gas mileage suffers but that's expected. Race car 2500#, trailer 750#, me and mine and stuff. I'm really close to the advertised limit for boats and I can assure you the Pilot will handle it with ease.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,074 Posts
jhemp3 said:
I think Honda has a very conservative (CYA) towing limit on the Pilot. I pull a Miata autocross car and race trailer and have for about a year now and it is one of the best tow vehicles I have owned. I installed AirLift bags and electric brakes with the factory tow package and the 240 horses really haul. Gas mileage suffers but that's expected. Race car 2500#, trailer 750#, me and mine and stuff. I'm really close to the advertised limit for boats and I can assure you the Pilot will handle it with ease.
I know nothing about towing, but thinking about a trailer for my motorbike(s). Not clear on the AirLift bags, is that something Honda installs or is that on the trailer, along with the electric brakes?
Thanks,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
AirLift is a company (no affiation) that has been making load leveler air bag systems for many years. I know that Honda will not install the electric brake system (another CYA deal) don't know about the AirLifts. I did both jobs myself. Look up the AirLift Corp on the internet (same for the electric brakes, if your trailer has them) and find a dealer near you or buy direct. The bags install inside the rear coils. You've got to cut the rear bump stops and collapse the bags to insert. All in all, more of a sheer strength and persistence job than a high tech job. I installed the dash mounted remote air compressor so I could adjust the air bag pressure
Now, if you are planning to pull a "bike" IMHO neither will be needed. I pulled the race car and trailer for almost a year w/o either and had no problem. Buy a trailer, get the Honda towing pkg and take off. Then make a decision about further modifications. Trust me, the Pilot will handle it "naked".
Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,140 Posts
jhemp3 said:
AirLift is a company (no affiation) that has been making load leveler air bag systems for many years. . . The bags install inside the rear coils. You've got to cut the rear bump stops and collapse the bags to insert. All in all, more of a sheer strength and persistence job than a high tech job. I installed the dash mounted remote air compressor so I could adjust the air bag pressure
. . . Jim
How much was the air bag system?
I don't tow much, but I do run loaded a lot, and would love not to have my headlights in everyones eyes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
429 Posts
I found what looks like the system he has for $240.

There main page is HERE .

You can go through and choose Honda Pilot and find the price and part#.

Matt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
I'll concur that the weak link in towing with the Pilot is its brakes. Brake fade specifically. I highly recommend trailer brakes if you can get them. I've already had the rotors turned once due to warping. IMO the front brakes are a little undersized for this size vehicle. Low tolerance engineering at work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
How much was the air bag system?
I think I paid about $170-$180 for the set up with the in-cab air controller. I bought it from a company, that I can't remember, sorry I'm bad to keep up with those sort of things. Found them on the internet and bought them by phone. I bought the AirLift 1000 which is the lightest set available. You may have a quote on a heaver set. They don't really lift the vehicle, they keep it from drooping too low. They do keep the headlights on the road. I'm leaving for a 5 hour trip tomorrow to autocross, it will be the longest hardest trip to date. Will give a report.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
How much was the air bag system?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I think I paid about $170-$180 for the set up with the in-cab air controller. I bought it from a company, that I can't remember, sorry I'm bad to keep up with those sort of things. Found them on the internet and bought them by phone. I bought the AirLift 1000 which is the lightest set available. You may have a quote on a heaver set. They don't really lift the vehicle, they keep it from drooping too low. They do keep the headlights on the road. I'm leaving for a 5 hour trip tomorrow to autocross, it will be the longest hardest trip to date. Will give a report.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,074 Posts
jhemp3 said:
AirLift is a company (no affiation) that has been making load leveler air bag systems for many years. I know that Honda will not install the electric brake system (another CYA deal) don't know about the AirLifts. I did both jobs myself. Look up the AirLift Corp on the internet (same for the electric brakes, if your trailer has them) and find a dealer near you or buy direct. The bags install inside the rear coils. You've got to cut the rear bump stops and collapse the bags to insert. All in all, more of a sheer strength and persistence job than a high tech job. I installed the dash mounted remote air compressor so I could adjust the air bag pressure
Now, if you are planning to pull a "bike" IMHO neither will be needed. I pulled the race car and trailer for almost a year w/o either and had no problem. Buy a trailer, get the Honda towing pkg and take off. Then make a decision about further modifications. Trust me, the Pilot will handle it "naked".
Jim
Thanks for the tips jehmp3, much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Just returned from autocross, 350 miles each way. The airbags and electric brakes were great. I recommend them for anyone wanting to pull max loads.
 
1 - 20 of 53 Posts
Top