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Old 03-12-2020, 06:06 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by eaglecrest View Post
You can pull with any vehicle that has enough power to do so. Pulling is not the issue. You have to ask yourself how long does it take to stop safely?

You must remember the standard brakes on a trailer is technology from 1960. Yes Drum brakes will stop eventually. I switched over to disk because it just is not safe when you are in heavy traffic or going downhill.


I bought the 2007 Ridgeline RTX which came with a power steering and transmission cooler and no issues at all.. I think in the later years they came standard with these items...
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Old 03-12-2020, 07:46 PM   #22
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Towing a Fd19 geo prp

I tow my e pro same as geo pro. With a V 8 Chevy Silverado it tows it with out any problems including the Rockies. Only one time the temp started to rise at the top. I also do not feel any push from the trailer when braking.

I wouldn't use the ridgeline I considered it when choosing a tow vehicle but I thought it would just destroy the vehicle in no time.
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Old 03-13-2020, 10:29 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by acadianbob View Post
I think you should be more concerned about your payload capacity; especially with an independent rear end like your SUV has. If you look at a Ridgeline from the rear, that has a load on it, your wheels will look like this. /-----\ You will get some a lot of squat and perhaps some excessive wear on the inside edges of your rear tires.

I'm not positive about this . . but . . . I think the reason for no WD hitch on the Honda is that it doesn't have a frame. It is unibody I believe.

I will be well within payload--just my wife and I and we pack light.


I have carried many loads of building materials in my truck over the years that put me near my payload limit and I have no additional inside rear tire wear.


As I understand it, the reason that Honda does not recommend a WDH has to do with their advanced transmission and drive logic and not the receiver or frame.


Thanks again for the input.
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Old 03-13-2020, 10:41 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by tc cruiser View Post
jspain,
I have a Gen2 2017 Honda Ridgeline and an epro 19fbs. I live in PA with plenty of hills and have no issues towning. I also use a Curt weight dist. hitch. I average 21 mpg while not towing and a solid 14 mpg while towing combined city and mountains. Your mileage may vary because you have the Gen1., less horsepower.
Tom

Thanks Tom,


This is getting me very close to the information that I am looking for. Based on my towing experience, I have no doubt that the Ridgeline can handle a Geo Pro safely, I just want to know what my mpg range will be. At 9mpg a western swing of 4000 miles means a lot of stops--that might get old fast. I may decide to upgrade to a gen 2.


John
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Old 03-13-2020, 10:56 AM   #25
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Your full-size Subaru Brat will get similar fuel economy to virtually every other tow rig: 6-10 mpg, depending on conditions (hills, head-wind, altitude, etc.). More capable rigs do little to change this number.

You don't need to, but for illustration purposes only: if you stepped up to a 3/4 ton gasoline engine ... you'd still get 8-12 mpg. Similarly, grabbing a newer full-size Subaru Brat won't really help your fuel economy. It's the overall aerodynamics of towing a big box. The only way a newer one would help is if it has a larger fuel tank (more range).
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Old 03-13-2020, 11:07 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by jspain View Post
Thanks Tom,


This is getting me very close to the information that I am looking for. Based on my towing experience, I have no doubt that the Ridgeline can handle a Geo Pro safely, I just want to know what my mpg range will be. At 9mpg a western swing of 4000 miles means a lot of stops--that might get old fast. I may decide to upgrade to a gen 2.


John


As mentioned before I’m getting 9 mpg with a 2007 Ridgeline towing and keep it under 65 most of the times right around 60 mph. In the manual it advises premium fuel while towing and I can tell you it does make a difference in performance and MPG. It seems like to will hold a gear longer when going up a grade rather than downshifting. If you can get non ethanol premium all the better.
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Old 03-13-2020, 11:28 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by jspain View Post
Thanks Tom,


This is getting me very close to the information that I am looking for. Based on my towing experience, I have no doubt that the Ridgeline can handle a Geo Pro safely, I just want to know what my mpg range will be. At 9mpg a western swing of 4000 miles means a lot of stops--that might get old fast. I may decide to upgrade to a gen 2.

John
One thing I had hoped for in the 2020 Gen 2 refresh was a bigger fuel tank. But it’s so far down most people’s wish list it’s not ever going to happen. If you look at the present fuel tank, there’s all kinds of wasted empty space around it to potentially improve the capacity

While I get 13-14 mpg towing with a 2017 Gen 2, it’s probably largely due to my driving habits and my trailer being low height and narrow. I heard the Gen 2 mileage was a little better than a Gen 1, but I wouldn’t expect a large difference. The 2020 9 speed transmission, if it proves to be reliable, could be an advantage for towing because of the paddle shifters and probably closer gear ratio spacing.
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Old 03-13-2020, 04:35 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by HONDAMAN174 View Post
I have pulled a 4K popup with an ‘11 pilot and it did well. You will have more wind resistance than I did but just take your time in the right lane like I did. 4500 rpm is your power spot for max torque and I would routinely pull a 10% grade for 18 miles at that rpm. I did get in the habit of changing trans and rear diff fluid every Year but I worked at a dealership then. Attachment 225036
I appreciate you touching on the subject of maintenance.

To be blunt, all your maintenance intervals go out the window. There will be info in the owner's manual about hard service. Towing is VERY hard service with a light duty truck/SUV.

All fluids should be changed at the hard service intervals...at minimum. And, yes, this includes differentials and transmission, as well as motor oil and engine coolant.

I understand that a Gen 1 Honda RL could be anywhere from 2005 to 2015. As they say, your mileage will vary depending on age. By and large, however, all of this applies to a vehicle that is AT LEAST 5 years old.

One thing that is too often overlooked - until a brake line rots out and bursts - is changing brake fluid. Brake fluid has a voracious appetite for water. It absorbs water like a sponge. Look on any can of brake fluid, and there is a warning to NOT use an open can, because the moment you open a can of brake fluid, it starts sucking in water. Drain, FLUSH, refill, and bleed your brake system regularly...every two or three years.

Water in brake fluid does two things.
1) Brake lines are steel. Water and steel don't mix well. Water in the brake lines is a principle cause of brake line failure. Brake line failure means TOTAL LOSS of half of your braking capacity.
2) Water in brake lines near the braking surfaces - slave cylinders and/or calipers - can boil. Boiling water is a gas that compresses easily and defeats the hydraulic oil's ability to apply pressure to the caliper/slave cylinder. At a time when the brakes are already overheated and prone to fade, the boiling water makes the brakes spongy...sometimes to the point that pushing the brake pedal to the floor has little effect. One must "pump" the brakes to attempt to further compress the boiling water gas and apply additional hydraulic pressure to the brake system. Talk about needing to change your underwear!!

FEW PEOPLE EVER CHANGE BRAKE FLUID. The gen 1 RL in question may be one of those vehicles. Before you tow with any older vehicle, a thorough brake inspection and brake fluid flush and refill are essential safety steps.

And then brakes. You can go for the standard Honda or OEM style replacements. Or you could upgrade. My rotors warped on my 2006 RAM 1500. Shake, rattle and roll. I put these on the truck when I started towing.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 5 years ago! They are unbelievable!! The truck stops far better and shorter, and they are glass smooth...despite 5 years of towing in the Rockies. They may not be Brembos, but they are damned close. And they are priced like OEM-style. When you have 2 tons pushing you downhill, and when those antique-style drum brakes on your trailer begin to fade, you'll be glad you have something like this to throw out the anchor.


Other key maintenance areas.
Any heat exchanger loses efficiency as crud builds up in the cooling fins. Before towing, and at least annually, check your radiator, AC heat exchanger, and your transmission cooler (usually part of the engine radiator) for buildup of dust, organic matter (think dandelion seed, leaf particles, bugs, etc.), and other road grime. In most cases, you can "back-flush" the heat exchangers from behind using a garden hose and a typical spay nozzle. Don't get crazy using ultra high pressure or a pressure washer. Think this: https://www.amazon.com/ESOW-Watering...=ALADYXCUVSJZ7 NOT this: https://www.amazon.com/Twinkle-Star-...16FX00B6KT4C7W You can damage the radiators. But careful back-flushing the grime out of the heat exchangers will substantially improve cooling capacity. Tip for some. While many cooling fans are now electric, old fashioned fans are belt driven. You may (emphasis on MAY) be able to hose down the accessory drive belt and fan pulley and use your hand to move the fan a bit to give you a better shot at shielded parts of the radiator. Be careful not to damage the fan clutch or bend a fan blade...thus "MAY." Perfection is NOT necessary. If you can't get to some spots, you'll still vastly improve cooling capacity.

Also, replace your radiator hoses and thermostat and radiator cap...frequently they will be factory installed items even on a 15 or more year old vehicle. Old hoses tend to collapse restricting coolant flow to and from the engine. And old hoses burst at inopportune times...like climbing a 7% grade. Thermostats age out, and they are cheap. If you're already doing a coolant flush and changing hoses, dropping in a new thermostat is just good sense. Radiator caps typically have a spring-loaded rubber gasket that seals the top of the radiator, and the spring ages, and the rubber ages leading to premature overheating (pressurized coolant has greater resistance to boiling) and release of coolant to the catch tank.

Next, check your belts. On a Honda, in particular, replace your timing belt at the prescribed interval or SOONER (between 60K and 105K miles). Hondas have "interference valves." This means that if the engine timing belt breaks, before the engine stops turning, the valves will come into contact with the pistons, and, in most cases, the entire valve train is lunched, and sometimes pistons are holed out. Price a rebuilt V-6 Honda engine: $5000. One from a wreck: $1000. PLUS Installation. Replacing a timing belt can be scary expensive...$750 or more. But it's not optional. Remember that you're working the hell out of that engine when towing, so SOONER is BETTER.

In addition to the timing belt, the accessory drive belt(s) should be inspected/replaced. Under light load, you might not notice a problem, but when towing, the water pump (usually belt driven), alternator, and other accessories will be demanding full power. The water pump will be working its ass off. The alternator will be powering not only the Honda, but also all the lights on the rig plus trying to add charge to your RV battery. If you use a WDH, the power steering pump will have to overcome the extra weight on the front axle. A shiny, worn accessory drive belt (likely a serpentine belt) will not be up to the task, and if that breaks en route to your favorite spot...or worse on the way home late on Sunday when everything is closed...you are DOA. Worse, if you get a tow, they'll have to send a large wrecker (for trucks) or two wreckers so you don't have to abandon your RV on the shoulder of the road.


Brake Fluid: https://allaboutautomotive.com/blog/...luid-serviced/

Timing Belt: https://www.samarins.com/glossary/timing_belt.html

Serpentine Belt: https://www.oreillyauto.com/shop/b/b...04/honda/pilot

Radiator Hoses and Thermostat: https://repairpal.com/honda/pilot/overheating

If you're about to start working the hell out of an old vehicle, it's very wise to invest significant money into what is likely to be deferred maintenance. This is good insurance against a ruined vacation trip or a blown engine/transmission.
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Old 03-14-2020, 11:58 AM   #29
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We are new to the Forums, have a 2019 Ridgeline with a 2019 RPod195. We have yet to do mountains, but so far (about 2000 miles) get between 11 and 14 MPG depending upon terrain. The Ridgeline has proven to be an excellent tow vehicle for a load of about 4500 lbs., using an EZ 3 equalizer hitch with anti sway. Mountains in Big Bend area will test us next week.
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Old 03-19-2020, 06:59 PM   #30
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G2 ridgeline towing

I towed my Flagstaff 21FBRS for seven trips. The truck performed well, except it sucked a little on the interstate. The trailer was the same weight as the truck, and the overpasses on the interstate took 4000 rpms to stay at 60 mph. The trailer was constantly up against the tow limit, so I had to aggressively manage loading or bring a second vehicle for camping supplies. I got tired of fighting it and just traded on a Ram 1500. I got talked into too much trailer by the sales team. Gas mileage was 12mpg on the regular roads, but about 10.5 on the interstate.
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Old 03-19-2020, 08:34 PM   #31
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I too have a Flagstaff Microlite 21fbrs and am towing with a 2nd gen 2019 AWD Ridgeline. While I am happy with the TT and I am happy with the Ridgeline for my everyday drive I was not overly impressed or pleased with the two hitched together. I utilize a Blue Ox weight dist. hitch which does a great job of leveling the truck when towing as well as keeping sway down. My discontent was with the powertrain of the truck. I have only towed once so far, about 190 miles in florida so somewhat flat. On the interstate the truck rpms stayed at 4000 as stated. This felt very uncomfortable and I feared damage to the vehicle. Additionally I had to stop 2x for fuel as the gas mileage was certainly in the single digits.

Overall if I could do this again would opt for a more powerful truck but would miss the smooth car like drive of the Ridgeline for my everyday drive.
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Old 03-19-2020, 09:14 PM   #32
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I think you will find your experiences with the ridgeline similar to any other tow vehicle.

Just my observations and opnions:
Most trucks tow/haul will hold shifting longer to keep you in the power band and rev higher as a result and Honda is no different though I dont think you are hitting a button. They also will downshift earlier to keep you moving and stay in the powerband. The only way to reduce it a bit is a turbo. It keeps the revving down because the power band is lower but still higher than every day driving and does not resolve the concern but makes it different.

Fuel milage, let's be honest if you cared about mpg when towing you should not have bought an RV. Most gas engine TVs get anywhere from 6-12 mpg. I have seen as low as 4 towing into the wind on a half ton. Most Diesels will see 8-14. All depending on what you are towing, how you drive, and what the winds are that day. The only benefit you seem to be getting on a larger truck with the trailers you have is a bigger fuel tank so fewer stops.

If you like it as a daily driver don't be in a hurry to run and change it just to have a different tow experience unless you need a better tow vehicle. From what I read on your experiences they are fairly common to towing a trailer.

Hope that helps!
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Old 03-20-2020, 06:42 AM   #33
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I just bought a geo pro 20bhs and towed it with my 2015 4Runner. It did it....ok. But it had to rev to maintain highway speed and got 6.5mpg! So I told myself I could live with it towed it 2 hours home and said eh that was ok. Last week I towed it
From my storage spot to my house and said to my wife I am not doing this all summer. So in about 2 hours I am scheduled to go to my local Toyota dealer and trade in for a 2020 army green TRD pro tundra haha
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:09 PM   #34
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I'll be coming into my fourth season of towing my A-frame with my '06 Ridge. Dry weight is 2,100 pounds, and though I've never weighed it fully loaded, I'm fairly average there.

On flat to somewhat hilly terrain (Western Upper Peninsula of MI), mainly state/US highways and county roads averaging 60 mph, I get 14-15 mpg. In areas of rolling hills and valleys (e.g. the "Driftless Area" of SE MN and West-Central WI) I'm closer to 13 mpg. If the Ridge keeps behaving (it's at 209K miles now) and The Virus has receded, I'll be driving it "Out West" this summer, including the Black Hills and Rocky Mtn NP, where I expect much lower numbers.

Personally, I like the handling and certain other aspects of the Ridge, but I wouldn't want to pull anything larger, taller, or heavier with it. The main reason is the behavior of the trans/engine pairing while towing, which is at the limit of tolerability for me. It's a constant trade between 4th and 5th gear, sometimes 3rd, occasionally 2nd, and rarely 1st.

Best of luck in your decision!

EDIT: Also check out the www.ridgelineownersclub.com forums if you haven't yet.
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Old 03-21-2020, 10:53 AM   #35
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You will likely find you will get better mileage at altitude. The engine doesn't develop as much power, so you tend to drive a little more relaxed. But the big thing is the air resistance drops considerably. Even towing a folded A-frame on the level or downhill, wind resistance is the biggest factor in load on engine and transmission.

Towing my A-frame high wall with my Hyundai minivan, I see 15-16 at altitude (6K+), and 13-14 mpg when I go east to Texas or Nebraska. With the previous low wall A-frame, 18 and 16 mpg were the mountain and lowlands mileages.

Towing up grades, I can easily maintain posted highway speeds (50-65 mph) with the minivan but the engine is running 3K-4K RPMs.

Hope this helps.
Fred W
2019 Flagstaff T21TBHW A-frame
prev 2014 Rockwood A122 A-frame
2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:06 PM   #36
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Geo pro

We tow our Geo pro 14fk which is obviously lighter than the 19 with our Nissan Pathfinder. Tows like a dream. We have friends that tow their 16 foot airstream with their Ridgeline. They have had no problems.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:21 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenk View Post
I too have a Flagstaff Microlite 21fbrs and am towing with a 2nd gen 2019 AWD Ridgeline. While I am happy with the TT and I am happy with the Ridgeline for my everyday drive I was not overly impressed or pleased with the two hitched together. I utilize a Blue Ox weight dist. hitch which does a great job of leveling the truck when towing as well as keeping sway down. My discontent was with the powertrain of the truck. I have only towed once so far, about 190 miles in florida so somewhat flat. On the interstate the truck rpms stayed at 4000 as stated. This felt very uncomfortable and I feared damage to the vehicle. Additionally I had to stop 2x for fuel as the gas mileage was certainly in the single digits.

Overall if I could do this again would opt for a more powerful truck but would miss the smooth car like drive of the Ridgeline for my everyday drive.

Lenk, thanks, this is my exact dilemma. Don't need or want a full size truck as a daily driver, but concerned that the Ridgeline might not be up to the task for a 4K+ trip.


This gives me more to consider.



John
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:25 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by jimmoore13 View Post
I appreciate you touching on the subject of maintenance.

To be blunt, all your maintenance intervals go out the window. There will be info in the owner's manual about hard service. Towing is VERY hard service with a light duty truck/SUV.

All fluids should be changed at the hard service intervals...at minimum. And, yes, this includes differentials and transmission, as well as motor oil and engine coolant.

I understand that a Gen 1 Honda RL could be anywhere from 2005 to 2015. As they say, your mileage will vary depending on age. By and large, however, all of this applies to a vehicle that is AT LEAST 5 years old.

One thing that is too often overlooked - until a brake line rots out and bursts - is changing brake fluid. Brake fluid has a voracious appetite for water. It absorbs water like a sponge. Look on any can of brake fluid, and there is a warning to NOT use an open can, because the moment you open a can of brake fluid, it starts sucking in water. Drain, FLUSH, refill, and bleed your brake system regularly...every two or three years.

Water in brake fluid does two things.
1) Brake lines are steel. Water and steel don't mix well. Water in the brake lines is a principle cause of brake line failure. Brake line failure means TOTAL LOSS of half of your braking capacity.
2) Water in brake lines near the braking surfaces - slave cylinders and/or calipers - can boil. Boiling water is a gas that compresses easily and defeats the hydraulic oil's ability to apply pressure to the caliper/slave cylinder. At a time when the brakes are already overheated and prone to fade, the boiling water makes the brakes spongy...sometimes to the point that pushing the brake pedal to the floor has little effect. One must "pump" the brakes to attempt to further compress the boiling water gas and apply additional hydraulic pressure to the brake system. Talk about needing to change your underwear!!

FEW PEOPLE EVER CHANGE BRAKE FLUID. The gen 1 RL in question may be one of those vehicles. Before you tow with any older vehicle, a thorough brake inspection and brake fluid flush and refill are essential safety steps.

And then brakes. You can go for the standard Honda or OEM style replacements. Or you could upgrade. My rotors warped on my 2006 RAM 1500. Shake, rattle and roll. I put these on the truck when I started towing.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 5 years ago! They are unbelievable!! The truck stops far better and shorter, and they are glass smooth...despite 5 years of towing in the Rockies. They may not be Brembos, but they are damned close. And they are priced like OEM-style. When you have 2 tons pushing you downhill, and when those antique-style drum brakes on your trailer begin to fade, you'll be glad you have something like this to throw out the anchor.


Other key maintenance areas.
Any heat exchanger loses efficiency as crud builds up in the cooling fins. Before towing, and at least annually, check your radiator, AC heat exchanger, and your transmission cooler (usually part of the engine radiator) for buildup of dust, organic matter (think dandelion seed, leaf particles, bugs, etc.), and other road grime. In most cases, you can "back-flush" the heat exchangers from behind using a garden hose and a typical spay nozzle. Don't get crazy using ultra high pressure or a pressure washer. Think this: https://www.amazon.com/ESOW-Watering...=ALADYXCUVSJZ7 NOT this: https://www.amazon.com/Twinkle-Star-...16FX00B6KT4C7W You can damage the radiators. But careful back-flushing the grime out of the heat exchangers will substantially improve cooling capacity. Tip for some. While many cooling fans are now electric, old fashioned fans are belt driven. You may (emphasis on MAY) be able to hose down the accessory drive belt and fan pulley and use your hand to move the fan a bit to give you a better shot at shielded parts of the radiator. Be careful not to damage the fan clutch or bend a fan blade...thus "MAY." Perfection is NOT necessary. If you can't get to some spots, you'll still vastly improve cooling capacity.

Also, replace your radiator hoses and thermostat and radiator cap...frequently they will be factory installed items even on a 15 or more year old vehicle. Old hoses tend to collapse restricting coolant flow to and from the engine. And old hoses burst at inopportune times...like climbing a 7% grade. Thermostats age out, and they are cheap. If you're already doing a coolant flush and changing hoses, dropping in a new thermostat is just good sense. Radiator caps typically have a spring-loaded rubber gasket that seals the top of the radiator, and the spring ages, and the rubber ages leading to premature overheating (pressurized coolant has greater resistance to boiling) and release of coolant to the catch tank.

Next, check your belts. On a Honda, in particular, replace your timing belt at the prescribed interval or SOONER (between 60K and 105K miles). Hondas have "interference valves." This means that if the engine timing belt breaks, before the engine stops turning, the valves will come into contact with the pistons, and, in most cases, the entire valve train is lunched, and sometimes pistons are holed out. Price a rebuilt V-6 Honda engine: $5000. One from a wreck: $1000. PLUS Installation. Replacing a timing belt can be scary expensive...$750 or more. But it's not optional. Remember that you're working the hell out of that engine when towing, so SOONER is BETTER.

In addition to the timing belt, the accessory drive belt(s) should be inspected/replaced. Under light load, you might not notice a problem, but when towing, the water pump (usually belt driven), alternator, and other accessories will be demanding full power. The water pump will be working its ass off. The alternator will be powering not only the Honda, but also all the lights on the rig plus trying to add charge to your RV battery. If you use a WDH, the power steering pump will have to overcome the extra weight on the front axle. A shiny, worn accessory drive belt (likely a serpentine belt) will not be up to the task, and if that breaks en route to your favorite spot...or worse on the way home late on Sunday when everything is closed...you are DOA. Worse, if you get a tow, they'll have to send a large wrecker (for trucks) or two wreckers so you don't have to abandon your RV on the shoulder of the road.


Brake Fluid: https://allaboutautomotive.com/blog/...luid-serviced/

Timing Belt: https://www.samarins.com/glossary/timing_belt.html

Serpentine Belt: https://www.oreillyauto.com/shop/b/b...04/honda/pilot

Radiator Hoses and Thermostat: https://repairpal.com/honda/pilot/overheating

If you're about to start working the hell out of an old vehicle, it's very wise to invest significant money into what is likely to be deferred maintenance. This is good insurance against a ruined vacation trip or a blown engine/transmission.

Thanks Jim,


For the long, thoughtful and detailed reply. If I choose to use my Ridgeline as the tow vehicle, I will be doing everything that you suggest and more to make sure that I have the best chance for an uneventful trip.


John
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Old 03-24-2020, 02:41 PM   #39
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You shouldn't have a problem if you have the proper coolers. I have a 2013 Pilot and we tow up and down large hills and steep grades. 10 MPG is the norm.
4000 rpm is the norm when pulling up hill with this motor. That's where it makes its power. I do use a WDH which is not recommend in the manual. When I dialed it in I have 1 inch of squat and its very stable around large tractor trailers. Are camper is 3400 pounds dry. Apex Nano 193 BHS
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