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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've looked thru and see mixed reviews so I'm asking for clarity.

My family is looking to buy a travel trailer with an unloaded weight of 3,660lbs (per the sticker on the unit). We plan to tow around flat Florida and maybe the southeast (ie no big mountains but possibly highways in the Appalachians in the future). Dealership installed hitch/ATF cooler. Planning to have the dealship install the brake controller as well unless I can find a good install video.

My plan is to stay as far below 5k as possible and never (or extremely rarely) carrying water (which bumps it up to almost 4k).

I'm not trying to push the limits but we really want more than a popup.

Am I being unsafe/unreasonable with what the Pilot can handle?
What weight should I strive to stay below?
Any brake controller recommendations?
 

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We are towing with our 2019 EX-L. We had the hitch/cooler installed by the dealership. I installed the brake controller myself.

We've been towing a Jayco Jay Feather 16XRB which has a UVW of about 2900 and we typically carry about 300 pounds of cargo. We have a high quality weight distribution hitch and the Pilot does GREAT through the moderate hills around Minnesota and Wisconsin. Before we bought the Pilot last spring, we were towing the same unit with a 2016 Jeep Cherokee with was rated for 4500lbs towing and even that towed the camper just fine. I realize these numbers are lower than what you're looking at but I believe that, as long as you get a good weight distribution hitch and a good, properly calibrated brake controller, you will have no trouble at all over the terrain you describe.

I'm new to the forums here but I plan on posting my brake controller pictures in the appropriate thread later today. I started with a Tekonsha P3 which I transplanted from my Jeep but ended up replacing it with a Curt Spectrum because I was able to mount it in a way that it doesn't look ugly (in fact, ends up looking nearly OEM).
 

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I just installed my brake controller yesterday. It was easy with the exception of reaching the plug in for the wiring harness. It was stuck back in an awkward place so it took a bit of effort. If you can get past that, the installation is a breeze. Took me 30 minutes only because of the plug.

Did you decide on a trailer. I am in the same situation. Looking for more than a popup camper.
 

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We are towing with our 2019 EX-L. We had the hitch/cooler installed by the dealership. I installed the brake controller myself.

We've been towing a Jayco Jay Feather 16XRB which has a UVW of about 2900 and we typically carry about 300 pounds of cargo. We have a high quality weight distribution hitch and the Pilot does GREAT through the moderate hills around Minnesota and Wisconsin. Before we bought the Pilot last spring, we were towing the same unit with a 2016 Jeep Cherokee with was rated for 4500lbs towing and even that towed the camper just fine. I realize these numbers are lower than what you're looking at but I believe that, as long as you get a good weight distribution hitch and a good, properly calibrated brake controller, you will have no trouble at all over the terrain you describe.

I'm new to the forums here but I plan on posting my brake controller pictures in the appropriate thread later today. I started with a Tekonsha P3 which I transplanted from my Jeep but ended up replacing it with a Curt Spectrum because I was able to mount it in a way that it doesn't look ugly (in fact, ends up looking nearly OEM).
We are towing with our 2019 EX-L. We had the hitch/cooler installed by the dealership. I installed the brake controller myself.

We've been towing a Jayco Jay Feather 16XRB which has a UVW of about 2900 and we typically carry about 300 pounds of cargo. We have a high quality weight distribution hitch and the Pilot does GREAT through the moderate hills around Minnesota and Wisconsin. Before we bought the Pilot last spring, we were towing the same unit with a 2016 Jeep Cherokee with was rated for 4500lbs towing and even that towed the camper just fine. I realize these numbers are lower than what you're looking at but I believe that, as long as you get a good weight distribution hitch and a good, properly calibrated brake controller, you will have no trouble at all over the terrain you describe.

I'm new to the forums here but I plan on posting my brake controller pictures in the appropriate thread later today. I started with a Tekonsha P3 which I transplanted from my Jeep but ended up replacing it with a Curt Spectrum because I was able to mount it in a way that it doesn't look ugly (in fact, ends up looking nearly OEM).
Hi,

I bought a 2019 Honda Pilot AWD to how a Forest River RPod 177 (2700 lbs unloaded). I had the dealer install the transmission cooler and brake control. We leave in Alaska and only travel to campgrounds around the state. Last summer I started noticing a slight delay/jerking in whenever the car switched gears. My car doesn't even haven have 10,000 miles and the last time I towed the camper, I got bunch of engine and transmissions warnings and almost didnt make it home. The dealer thought I would need a new transmission, then a Honda engineer told them to replace a transmission valve and fixed my car. The mechanic told me to limit my towing to 3500lbs, but I was towing under that to begin with, even with water and cargo, and now im scared to tow my camper this summer. The only thing I didn't have was a weight distribution hitch with sway bars because my camper is small --Would it really have made a difference?
 

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Personally I doubt a weight distribution hitch or sway bar would have changed anything for the issues you listed. Weight it weight and your pulling a lot of additional weight. While I understand the convenience of having an SUV or car for getting around, my tower is a 3/4 ton PU with a rated GCWR of 17,000 lbs. When pulling a fully loaded 4 horse trailer I'm running between 12 & 13K which means I'm usually pulling only 3/4 of the rated weight at max with a vehicle that is specifically designed to tow.
 

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Hi,

I bought a 2019 Honda Pilot AWD to how a Forest River RPod 177 (2700 lbs unloaded). I had the dealer install the transmission cooler and brake control. We leave in Alaska and only travel to campgrounds around the state. Last summer I started noticing a slight delay/jerking in whenever the car switched gears. My car doesn't even haven have 10,000 miles and the last time I towed the camper, I got bunch of engine and transmissions warnings and almost didnt make it home. The dealer thought I would need a new transmission, then a Honda engineer told them to replace a transmission valve and fixed my car. The mechanic told me to limit my towing to 3500lbs, but I was towing under that to begin with, even with water and cargo, and now im scared to tow my camper this summer. The only thing I didn't have was a weight distribution hitch with sway bars because my camper is small --Would it really have made a difference?
I bought a salvage 2017 EX-L 2wd with 19k miles less than a year ago. After body work repairs and putting the vehicle back on the road, the transmission never seemed right. The active VCM without using the cruise control, the transmission was slipping and not shifting well. Having no waranty I was in fear of loosing the transmission. I decided to change the fluid. Upon draining it, I discovered this black, foul smelling DW-1 ATF...
136299

My conclusion was the previous owner had gone 2 years (summer heat in Houston, Tx, stop and go driving) without changing the ATF, but in their defense, it only has 19k miles. I blame the poor quality non-synthetic ATF for failing the vehicle. I drained out 3.8 qts and refilled with DW-1 and it made no difference. I decided to make a change. After 3 drain and fills with Valvoline MaxLife ATF, and installing a VCM deactivation device, my transmission is performing well. Since MaxLife is a thinner fluid, the shifting is a little more noticeable, but I'm no longer slipping. Since you have waranty on your vehicle, keep using DW-1 but change it often. If you continue to tow with an active VCM, from what I've experienced, it will be the death of your transmission.
I am looking to find a heavier full synthetic ATF for smoother shifts, but just not as heavy as DW-1.
 
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