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Old 07-17-2016, 12:59 AM   #1
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Towing a 2003 Honda Pilot

Need help.
My family and I finally have the chance to move back to Washington State from Delaware, but we've hit a snag. We've got a 2003 Honda Pilot with low mileage and great maintenance before we got it, so we don't want to dump it. I did want to tow it with a tow dolly (front wheels up, rear wheels down) behind the U-haul, but apparently that's a no-no.
Does anybody know how I can make this work with a tow dolly?
Rear wheels up, front down and in neutral?
Rear wheels down, but driveshaft disconnected and tied up out of the way?

Any advice that doesn't cost us this rig is appreciated.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:53 AM   #2
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We towed our Suzuki SX4 on a car trailer, behind the U-Haul.
It is all wheel drive and an automatic.
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:02 PM   #3
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Every vehicle has its nuances, however if it is a awd and you can disconnect the rear axle and tow with the front end on a dolly you should be OK.

The key is preventing anything in the transfer case or transmission from turning... unless you know details about your vehicle.

If a vehicle is a stick shift, you have many options for towing... in some cases simply placing in neutral is OK.

Keep in mind, and this is very important, if awd you want all wheels turning (front and rear) or no wheels turning. Having the front (or rear) driveline spinning and the other not spinning is bad.

Depending on your vehicle, you may not be allowed to have any driveline spin... which is why removing the rear driveshaft and tow with the front on a dolly is safe.


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Old 07-17-2016, 02:05 PM   #4
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If it's front wheel drive only you are ok. If it's AWD like stated before, you would have to disconnect stuff underneath it. Not sure how the older transfer case works on the pilot but most of the newer ones are like a giant magnet that will engage the case and you will heat it up and burn it if you do not disconnect everything. You may be better off getting a full size trailer for cars if you TV can handle the weight. Good luck!
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:11 PM   #5
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Towing a 2003 Honda Pilot

All 4 up ONLY!

Edit: I'm way wrong! Here is the instructions per your owners manual



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Old 07-17-2016, 03:21 PM   #6
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HONDAMAN174 View Post
RAttachment 114386


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Wow I stand corrected on that. I would have thought towing like that would have been a issue but hey if they say you can go for it.
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Old 07-17-2016, 05:05 PM   #8
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Make sure your final shift before turning off vehicle is from drive to neutral. Going from reverse to neutral leaves the reverse gear still "active" and continues to turn causing heat. We occasionally see overheated fluid and/or fluid being pumped out the vent tube.


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Old 07-18-2016, 02:10 PM   #9
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03 Honda Pilot

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Originally Posted by Lazarus1940 View Post
Need help.
My family and I finally have the chance to move back to Washington State from Delaware, but we've hit a snag. We've got a 2003 Honda Pilot with low mileage and great maintenance before we got it, so we don't want to dump it. I did want to tow it with a tow dolly (front wheels up, rear wheels down) behind the U-haul, but apparently that's a no-no.
Does anybody know how I can make this work with a tow dolly?
Rear wheels up, front down and in neutral?
Rear wheels down, but driveshaft disconnected and tied up out of the way?

Any advice that doesn't cost us this rig is appreciated.
We bought the 03 Pilot new and flat towed with a Sterling Tow Bar behind a Motorhome for several years. Used a brake buddy and followed the checklist for towing and never had any issues.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:11 AM   #10
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towing Honda

I have flat towed my Honda for over 30,000 mi. with no issues. Great toad. Crucial to follow the "handshake" instructions carefully. Sometimes you might inadvertently go into reverse as you shift from drive to neutral. START OVER! Very important not to visit reverse as you go back up the shift sequence. Also, do not try to back up when flat towing more that a foot or two, it gets real ugly!
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