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I'm reading conflicting information around a Weight Distribution System for my Pilot and my newly purchased travel trailer. The owner's manual says it's not recommended, but I've seen other articles saying it's ok to install. My trailer and Pilot bounce so I feel it would be useful, but don't want to damage my Pilot.
 

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Scott: Congrats on your purchase of a travel trailer. You are correct that the Pilot owners manual states that a WDH is not recommended. I haven't used a WDH on my 2014 Pilot EX-L but was considering using a Anderson WDH with my Casita trailer. When I asked the hitch installer about use on a Pilot, his response was "lawyers write the manuals". I guess what he is getting at is that he has installed the Anderson WDH on many Pilots without any problems. A properly equipped pilot, with the factory towing package, is a capable tow vehicle for small trailers. However, since towing is not a primary design goal for the Pilot, the limitation protects Honda from liability from potential problems caused by a WDH.

What kind of Pilot do you have? The AWD versions including the EX-L have the factory tow package with increased tow capacity and transmission cooler. What kind of trailer are you pulling? What is the trailer's total weight and tongue weight? Make sure that your not exceeding any of the weight limits before using any type of hitch.
 

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I use a wdh on my 2013 Touring. I look at it this way, the manual says something like “an improperly adjusted wdh....blah blah blah”. Well then what is Honda’s stance on a “properly“ adjusted wdh?
 

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A properly adjusted WDH is an asset to the driver. Too many people don’t take the time to do it right.
several threads discussing WDH exist here, all starting out with Honda’s comments.
 

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Instead of a wdh I use this. https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch-Ball-Mount/Weigh-Safe/WS4-2.html

It makes it easy to make sure that the weight is properly adjusted every time I hook up any trailer to pull. The reasons for my choice are as follows. First it works no matter what I am pulling. A wdh only works on the trailer it is installed on. I pull, or used to pull, varying trailers, both flat, covered. One ball hitch works for all. It even allows me to adjust the height of the ball to match the height of the tongue.

Second, it makes it easy to make sure that the load and trailer are balanced and I can adjust my load if necessary every time I hook up. With a wdh that should be done every time as well unless you have not changed you load you pull. Same amount of water in the tank, or fuel in the boat etc. All the same stuff in the same place in the same trailer. Most people that install a wdh will adjust it and never bother with it again. As Rocky mentioned there are many people that don't learn to adjust it right in the first place.

My other reason is that with a twin axel trailer a wdh will shift the weight usually to the rear axel causing bearing to wear out more quickly than with the other axel. With the weight safe you have to actually balance the weight in/on the trailer itself.

I would suggest that you go to a good trailer lot and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both and see which one would work best for you.
 

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Building some on Daltongang's excellent guidance, I find that a WDH is most useful for countering uneven loading in the two vehicle. If the trailer is balanced and tongue weight is correct, a WDH isn't needed. But when I towed, the tow vehicle tended to be loaded pretty full too. Passengers and a full luggage area seemed the norm. It's pretty easy to exceed the total load rating on the Pilot if you don't consider all the "stuff" that gets "stuffed" or seated in the car when you do your weight-and-balance calcs. Rear-seat passengers and particularly cargo area weight behind the rear axle must be carefully considered. A WDH will mask some of those uneven-loading symptoms, helping maintain load on the fronts for safe driving. The danger is when a WDH is used to compensate for the symptoms of very poor weight distribution in the two vehicle and the trailer. Use good sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Scott: Congrats on your purchase of a travel trailer. You are correct that the Pilot owners manual states that a WDH is not recommended. I haven't used a WDH on my 2014 Pilot EX-L but was considering using a Anderson WDH with my Casita trailer. When I asked the hitch installer about use on a Pilot, his response was "lawyers write the manuals". I guess what he is getting at is that he has installed the Anderson WDH on many Pilots without any problems. A properly equipped pilot, with the factory towing package, is a capable tow vehicle for small trailers. However, since towing is not a primary design goal for the Pilot, the limitation protects Honda from liability from potential problems caused by a WDH.

What kind of Pilot do you have? The AWD versions including the EX-L have the factory tow package with increased tow capacity and transmission cooler. What kind of trailer are you pulling? What is the trailer's total weight and tongue weight? Make sure that your not exceeding any of the weight limits before using any type of hitch.
Hi, thanks for your reply! I have a 2015 Pilot SE 4WD. It has the towing package. I bought an Ameri-Lite Super-Lite travel trailer...Dry weight of 3,100 pounds, can carry another 760 pounds, hitch weight is 360 pounds...so well within the max two capacity. Driving it home however I didn't notice bouncing and think I need a WDH or something else to help control it more.
 

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This thread has got me thinking about towing, hitches and weight distribution. I've been considering using one of the public scales available at truck stops and travel centers like Loves. Is anyone familiar with how those scales operate and the cost? A proper weigh-in will require several steps (front axle weight, gross vehicle weight, rear axle weight, combined weight of vehicle and trailer, hitched trailer weight and unhitched trailer weight). Are the public scales hospitable to the the time and multiple vehicle moves it will take to get a complete weigh-in? Are there speadsheets available to plug-in the results to get an analysis?
 

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Making safety a primary goal is admirable quality. I'm glad to share the highway with such persons. But my other concern is protecting my investment. Honda has given us a manual for load limits depending on what equipment we own. That's great. But I have to say, as I've said in other threads..., if your are concerned about extending the life of your vehicle, the Pilot is not a great choice for towing large loads. Much less for extended periods of time. It's very hard on the transmission. When I hear talk of use of an LDH, I'm thinking, poor Pilot. If towing large loads regularly is in the plans, I'd consider using a vehicle that doesn't have the engine and transmission mounted sideways under the hood. I'd rent a pickup truck from Enterprise and wear their stuff out or buy a vehicle that more suited for the job.
 
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or buy a vehicle that more suited for the job.
Like my RWD, 2001 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab, w/ the factory tow package added. It is also a manual Trans. do there is that.
It has been a great tow vehicle when I needed it to be as well. It has around 7K tow capacity- seats 6 legally, 4 comfortably, etc.
But alas, after > 268K miles, Great running original motor- 4.7 V8, it BADLY needs all new front end ball joints, etc. But with that many miles, I can't seem to want to pay to have it done. I'm not doing it on that thing.

Ok, back to the Pilot talk LOL
 
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As others have stated, it's not as simple as just installing a WDH, but that's what most people who tow do instead of taking the time to load everything right and put the tow vehicle and trailer in the best position for safe towing. IDK how long your trailer is but I'd be more concerned about sway control, the Pilot doesn't have a long wheelbase (for a tow vehicle) so I'd be looking to get that set up properly.
 
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My Sportbike motorcycle has a steering damper.

I've seen many hitch rigs with dampers too- I'm sure to help with sway control.

The more tongue weight- usually better- to a certain degree though? Too much, front end un weighted.
Too little- more likely to sway, etc.

What's the happy medium for tongue weights? I'll be towing a few things with my 15 AWD pilot - factory hitch- soon.
 

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My Sportbike motorcycle has a steering damper.

I've seen many hitch rigs with dampers too- I'm sure to help with sway control.

The more tongue weight- usually better- to a certain degree though? Too much, front end un weighted.
Too little- more likely to sway, etc.

What's the happy medium for tongue weights? I'll be towing a few things with my 15 AWD pilot - factory hitch- soon.
The happy medium is anything at or under the prescribed amount in the owner's manual while staying under the overall payload. This is how it was tested and verified to be safely loaded as a tow vehicle.

I agree, higher percentage tongue weight always makes for a easier towing trailer. But we are talking about midsize SUVs based on a unibody platform, not body on frame trucks with the running gear and frames designed to handle that kind of tongue weight and payload.

Just my opinion.
 
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