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Newbie here curious about what other Pilot owners are towing. We have a fourwinns h190rs, a relatively light bow rider. The trailer has both surge and electric brakes however ive never used the electric brakes because my older vehicles only had the 4 pin harness. The receiver hitch has a sticker saying 3,500 however honda says the pilot can tow 5,000 so I'm going with the bigger number. Im guessing it's a generic sticker on the receiver... So humor me and share what you have pulled and or hauled with your pilots
 

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Yup, don't tow 5000# without the ATF cooler and AWD any great distance unless you want to cook your transmission and shell out $$$ for a replacement.

If it's a dealer installed OEM hitch, they are supposed to put a sticker that comes with the kit saying 5000# over the factory applied one that says 3500# when they install the cooler. If you don't have that sticker, safe bet you can only haul 3500#.

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Had the dealer install the hitch and transmission cooler when I bought our Pilot. I tow a Sea Ray 200 approximately 20 miles every year but if I had to tow it long distance I’m good to go. They tried to stick that 3500# sticker on my hitch but I called them on it and they sent me the 5000# sticker in the mail.
 

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A Harbor Freight SUPER DUTY (aka just under 2,000 lbs) utility trailer. I've probably had it somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 a number of times, unless I really went heavy towards the front of the trailer I barely noticed it with the Pilot.
 

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Newbie here curious about what other Pilot owners are towing. We have a fourwinns h190rs, a relatively light bow rider. The trailer has both surge and electric brakes however ive never used the electric brakes because my older vehicles only had the 4 pin harness. The receiver hitch has a sticker saying 3,500 however honda says the pilot can tow 5,000 so I'm going with the bigger number. Im guessing it's a generic sticker on the receiver... So humor me and share what you have pulled and or hauled with your pilots
Oh this is a great thread you just started.

Looking forward to see some pictures and read some shared stories.
 

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Oh this is a great thread you just started.

Looking forward to see some pictures and read some shared stories.
Hello from the MDX forum! Here’s our experience. We have a 2011 MDX that we purchased in 2014 and with that model the tow package was standard with the transmission cooler. We started towing a travel trailer about two years ago. Prior to that we towed a utility trailer to haul mulch and hay bales. We did not want to buy a truck since we like our MDX and we were looking at Airstream travel trailers. We were ready to buy a new 23 foot Airstream but happened to find a 2006 25 foot Airstream safari GVWR 7300 lbs (dry weight 5200 lbs) that also came with a Hensley arrow hitch. We were in contact with a company in Canada called Can-Am who specializes in set-ups and are able to reinforcing the receiving hitch it the tongue weight is high. Ours was about 1000 lbs.

Last fall we took a 6000 mile trip from Ohio to the Oregon coast, down 101 to Northern California, and back home. My wife and I share the driving and we had a great trip with no problems. We did pack light. The MDX performed flawlessly towing our Airstream with the Hensley hitch providing weight distribution and anti-sway. Torque vectoring worked great even towing up steep gravel roads. The Pilot uses the same platform.
Adjustments.jpg



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I'm not intimately familiar with the MDX, does it share the 2nd gen Pilot's 4500 tow rating? It sure looks like that MDX is squatting in the rear, no rear airbag assist?

I don't want to get into a big lecture and argument here, but I disagree with going over the manufacturer ratings at all, let alone by probably more than 1,000 lbs, up to 3,000 if you full loaded it. Please consider a safer tow vehicle.
 

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2006 25 foot Airstream safari GVWR 7300 lbs (dry weight 5200 lbs) that also came with a Hensley arrow hitch. We were in contact with a company in Canada called Can-Am who specializes in set-ups and are able to reinforcing the receiving hitch it the tongue weight is high. Ours was about 1000 lbs.

Last fall View attachment 133386


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Wow 1,000 lbs tongue weight with a 5,300 lbs trailer DRY? That’s dangerous.
 

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I'm not intimately familiar with the MDX, does it share the 2nd gen Pilot's 4500 tow rating? It sure looks like that MDX is squatting in the rear, no rear airbag assist?

I don't want to get into a big lecture and argument here, but I disagree with going over the manufacturer ratings at all, let alone by probably more than 1,000 lbs, up to 3,000 if you full loaded it. Please consider a safer tow vehicle.
It does have a 5000 pound tow rating based on Government ratings and marketing. We were within the payload capacity of the vehicle. We do not use airbag assist and although it doesn’t look pretty the ride was very controlled and stable. Our MDX has 125,000 miles on it and last year we put on 10,000 miles with towing. We also switched to a LT truck tire for better sidewall stability and improved performance.


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Wow 1,000 lbs tongue weight with a 5,300 lbs trailer DRY? That’s dangerous.
No, not really. Our rig is quite safe and stable. The OP of this thread wondered what people were towing with their Pilot and what their experience was. The third generation MDX has moved away from the towing capabilities and has become more of a commuter SUV where as the Pilot is looking more like the second generation MDX and seems to becoming more multi-purpose oriented. These vehicles share the exact same platforms and we are wondering what we will do for our next vehicle. And by the way, the opinion that our rig is dangerous is just that - your opinion which is based on what? CanAm has done over 2000 set up‘s with the Pilot/MDX/Odyssey/Ridgeline platform and they do their own testing of vehicles towing capacities and stability which is based on the physics of towing.


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IMO driver experience, ability and maintenance of the towing vehicle and trailer is a huge factor in safe towing. It appears to me that SeveNdebbie are just fine with their rig.
 

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IMO driver experience, ability and maintenance of the towing vehicle and trailer is a huge factor in safe towing. It appears to me that SeveNdebbie are just fine with their rig.
Here is a before and after photo showing how it looked right after we bought it at the dealership and the other picture after our set up with CanAm. When we towed it from Traverse City to London Ontario the trip went OK but it definitely felt much better after their reinforcement and re-doing the set up.
Adjustments.jpg



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Here is a before and after photo showing how it looked right after we bought it at the dealership and the other picture after our set up with CanAm. When we towed it from Traverse City to London Ontario the trip went OK but it definitely felt much better after their reinforcement and re-doing the set up. View attachment 133387


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Everything you have done all seem to be smart upgrades for safety. I'd think airbags would definitely improve that even more, is there a reason you haven't yet? Less glare for oncoming drivers, more travel for you before bottoming out, etc.

I went on the CanAm website, they have me convinced my Sonata could tow your Airstream! My biggest concern is do they legally re-certify the tow rating for the vehicle? I don't doubt it is set up properly and is safe and comfortable, but in the worst case scenario (an accident) are you legally protected or are you now at risk for towing over the manufacturer's certified tow rating? I'm not a lawyer but I feel like this is an area where my risk tolerances would be lower.
 

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Everything you have done all seem to be smart upgrades for safety. I'd think airbags would definitely improve that even more, is there a reason you haven't yet? Less glare for oncoming drivers, more travel for you before bottoming out, etc.

I went on the CanAm website, they have me convinced my Sonata could tow your Airstream! My biggest concern is do they legally re-certify the tow rating for the vehicle? I don't doubt it is set up properly and is safe and comfortable, but in the worst case scenario (an accident) are you legally protected or are you now at risk for towing over the manufacturer's certified tow rating? I'm not a lawyer but I feel like this is an area where my risk tolerances would be lower.
I had started a thread on the Airforums titled “Acrura MDX Towing” in July 2018. This was a heavily debated topic on the thread that had about 330 posts and I don’t think there was ever a definitive answer given. The more valid concern would be that if your vehicle is under warranty and there is a problem will the manufacturer stand by the warranty. Ours was no longer under warranty so that wasn’t an issue.

We never bottomed out but I am going to check with Can-Am to see what they recommend. It could be that I need to have my rear suspension worked on. The last time I had a four wheel alignment it was aligned with considerations of my vehicle being a tow vehicle.


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I had started a thread on the Airforums titled “Acrura MDX Towing” in July 2018. This was a heavily debated topic on the thread that had about 330 posts and I don’t think there was ever a definitive answer given. The more valid concern would be that if your vehicle is under warranty and there is a problem will the manufacturer stand by the warranty. Ours was no longer under warranty so that wasn’t an issue.

We never bottomed out but I am going to check with Can-Am to see what they recommend. It could be that I need to have my rear suspension worked on. The last time I had a four wheel alignment it was aligned with considerations of my vehicle being a tow vehicle.


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I'm not sure parts on the vehicle breaking are the bigger concern... in today's sue-happy society I'd be most concerned with getting sued for knowingly towing over the manufacturer's recommendation.

I would think with all of the upgrades you have made airbags would have been included in that package... towing with airbags just makes the experience that much better. IMO CanAm should have installed airbags and set the hitch and weight distribution up so that you are at your standard ride height in the rear and your trailer is level. Just based on my experience.
 

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No, not really. Our rig is quite safe and stable. The OP of this thread wondered what people were towing with their Pilot and what their experience was. The third generation MDX has moved away from the towing capabilities and has become more of a commuter SUV where as the Pilot is looking more like the second generation MDX and seems to becoming more multi-purpose oriented. These vehicles share the exact same platforms and we are wondering what we will do for our next vehicle. And by the way, the opinion that our rig is dangerous is just that - your opinion which is based on what? CanAm has done over 2000 set up‘s with the Pilot/MDX/Odyssey/Ridgeline platform and they do their own testing of vehicles towing capacities and stability which is based on the physics of towing.


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Based on all you did was reinforce the hitch.

That doesn’t fix the short wheelbase for vehicle stability with a trailer that long or the upgrade the brakes for stopping that much weight. It’s all around a dangerous scenario.
 

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Everything you have done all seem to be smart upgrades for safety. I'd think airbags would definitely improve that even more, is there a reason you haven't yet? Less glare for oncoming drivers, more travel for you before bottoming out, etc.

I went on the CanAm website, they have me convinced my Sonata could tow your Airstream! My biggest concern is do they legally re-certify the tow rating for the vehicle? I don't doubt it is set up properly and is safe and comfortable, but in the worst case scenario (an accident) are you legally protected or are you now at risk for towing over the manufacturer's certified tow rating? I'm not a lawyer but I feel like this is an area where my risk tolerances would be lower.
By the way, thanks for your comments cintocrunch. I appreciate your questions and the concerns you bring up. I realize our set up is unconventional.

Steve


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Based on all you did was reinforce the hitch.

That doesn’t fix the short wheelbase for vehicle stability with a trailer that long or the upgrade the brakes for stopping that much weight. It’s all around a dangerous scenario.
Actually the MDX has pretty good brakes and they did not have the brake controller set right from where we bought it for our trip to Can-Am. Basically the MDX was doing all the stopping. It did feel like we were being pushed down the exit ramps off the highway. With the trailer brake set right stopping has not been any problem. Initially we had a remote control break controller but now we have one that’s wired in.


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