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Old 09-17-2013, 09:57 AM   #1
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New TV!

For you that know me I work at an Acura Dealership and for the longest time my mom has wanted a very specific car. An 2012 Acura MDX Advanced with rear entertainment. Well one finally surfaced and I pounced on it. Towing package installed and some minor issues addressed we now have a tv.

I am only 18 so I still live at home. But my questions to all of you are this. The MDX is prewired for trailer brakes. It has the 4 wires ready to wire right up to whatever trailer brake controller I choose. So.

1. What would be a good recommended trailer brake system? I don't need the most expensive, just a nice one that will inspire more confidence.

2. Does anyone have any experience towing with an MDX/pilot

3. Does anyone know anything we can do to further aid the cars durability? The 2012 MDX ADV-ENT has twin transmission coolers, a power steering cooler, and an oil cooler I believe.

4. Will I need any kind of stability system with this? I don't know anything about how they work. I've seen the receivers that have the ball and 2 sides which I presume are for control rods. The MDX has built in trailer stability control tied in through the VSA system.

Much thanks for any input!!
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:57 AM   #2
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1. Go with the Tekonsha Prodigy P2 or P3. They aren't too terribly expensive, and well worth the money.

2. Sorry, can't help there.

3. The tranny cooler is good to have for towing. Sounds like you can't improve much more in that area. The other coolers are nice to have, but aren't as important when it comes to towing as the tranny cooler.

4. You should just go with a weight distributing hitch; and friction sway control should be OK since we are only talking pop-up. Remember, your tongue weight could easily be 400-500# once things are loaded in the camper, and you really want to distribute that weight.

A word of caution: You will only have a 108" wheelbase which is a little over the limit for the old rule-of-thumb of 110" wheelbase for a 20' trailer. The HW296 is 21' 4". Even though it is a pop-up, there will still be a lot of trailer behind you, so take it slow and easy.

Bob
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:59 AM   #3
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1. Go with the Tekonsha Prodigy P2 or P3. They aren't too terribly expensive, and well worth the money. 2. Sorry, can't help there. 3. The tranny cooler is good to have for towing. Sounds like you can't improve much more in that area. The other coolers are nice to have, but aren't as important when it comes to towing as the tranny cooler. 4. You should just go with a weight distributing hitch, and friction sway control should be OK since we are only talking pop-up. Remember, your tongue weight could easily be 400-500# once things are loaded in the camper, and you really want to distribute that weight. A word of caution: You will only have a 108" wheelbase which is a little over the limit for the old rule-of-thumb of 110" wheelbase for a 20' trailer. The HW296 is 21' 4". Even though it is a pop-up, there will still be a lot of trailer behind you, so take it slow and easy. Bob
Bob,

Thank you so much for the input. I realize it will be one long beast. I've towed before but nothing like this. How does a weight distributing hitch work? And a friction away control? Do you have any recommended brands?

Once again, much thanks for the input.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:18 AM   #4
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"It has the 4 wires ready to wire......." You talking about the flat four wire plug?
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:28 AM   #5
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Hi Cory -
Have not towed with this particular vehicle, but sounds like a nice ride - I take it it has the V6 engine (as there are no others listed as an option for this make/model) - and I see it is rated for 5000 lbs towing. How it handles as a TV may depend on the terrain you are going to be going over, flat lands versus hills/mountains. That V6 may have to work a bit on the hills. My old TV was a V6 and did fine on the flats and had to work a bit on hills (but I did not have a factory tow package on it and I was at towing capacity for it). You have a bit more capacity with the Acura.

You need to look at a few things - You need to look at camper tongue weight and your TV payload. if your camper tongue weight is 400 lbs for instance, and your TV payload is 1000 lbs (making up numbers here as a demonstration) - then you can put only 600 lbs in the car - a couple of adults and a full cooler may be it. The owners manual for the TV should state at what trailer weight they recommend needing a weight distributing hitch. (mine says trailers over 3000 lbs should use a WDH - though with my HW277, the Durango handles it fine without).

For the brake system controller, I just picked one up at the camper dealer - it works fine but I did have to have the camper dealer install it (could not for the life of me find the prewired connection under the dash in the TV). Maybe someone else would have a recommendation.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:31 AM   #6
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Bob,

Thank you so much for the input. I realize it will be one long beast. I've towed before but nothing like this. How does a weight distributing hitch work? And a friction away control? Do you have any recommended brands?

Once again, much thanks for the input.
The simple WD hitches just use spring bars that connect to the hitch ball mount at one end and the front of the trailer frame at the other. Tension is then applied to the spring bars in such a way it tries to lift the hitch, transferring weight to the front axle of your TV. There are several brands out there, and we are using a Husky ourselves. Go to your friendly neighborhood Camping World and see what they have to offer. If you see one set up, you will better understand how they work.
The friction sway bar is just a gizmo made out of a couple of brake pads and a flat bar that slides between them. It is also attached between the hitch ball mount and the trailer frame, just like the WD springs bars. It has a slight offset from the trailer ball, so that when you turn, the bar has to move in or out of the brake pads. When it is tightened down, it tries to restrict this movement, and thus it helps prevent sway from occuring. That is all we are using for sway control. Again, it is the bare minimum, but for a pop-up it is fine.

Bob
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
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Looks like etrailer does not have a pre-wired jumper for your car.

Brake Controller for 2012 Acura MDX | etrailer.com

I can recommend the Tekonsha P3. To me, the Brake Controller is your most important safety device. Spend the extra $50 for a good one.
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Old 09-17-2013, 04:08 PM   #8
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I'm a Honda parts manager that was using a 2012 Pilot as TV.

I am currently using the Prodigy brake controller and recommend it. There is also a ready made harness that will plug that brake controller into the factory harness located by e brake pedal.

Yes- you will be working it hard on hills. I have nothing but mountains around me so I got a different tow vehicle. My suggestion is have your guys in back do a trans service and do one every year. Not sure that MDX has trailer stability control though.

Honda doesn't recommend a WDH so I never put much thought into it- but I was always max'ed on tongue weight.

Any other questions, just ask
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:38 PM   #9
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I'm a Honda parts manager that was using a 2012 Pilot as TV. I am currently using the Prodigy brake controller and recommend it. There is also a ready made harness that will plug that brake controller into the factory harness located by e brake pedal. Yes- you will be working it hard on hills. I have nothing but mountains around me so I got a different tow vehicle. My suggestion is have your guys in back do a trans service and do one every year. Not sure that MDX has trailer stability control though. Honda doesn't recommend a WDH so I never put much thought into it- but I was always max'ed on tongue weight. Any other questions, just ask
Awesome. Yes me and the boys in the back installed the towing package on it which had a trailer brake harness pre-wired and ready to be plugged in.

The MDX does have trailer stability control (ties into the VSA system stepping in braking the left/right rear wheels to keep away under control.

Have a P3 on the way for towing. Spent $150 and the mechanics will handle it for me. I'll have transmission work done yearly. Like flush/new fluid.
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