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Old 09-18-2022, 02:12 PM   #1
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Towing with Honda Pilot

Hello fellow campers!
We put a down payment on a 2023 Apex 208DHS at the Hershey RV show yesterday. Now, we’re a little concerned about the weight and our ability to tow it. We have a 2020 AWD Honda Pilot. I called the dealer to find out if they can add the radiator cooler, and they can add it for around $800. However, we’re still a little concerned that we’re pushing the weight capacity. We will be taking 5 people and 2 large dogs in the car with us.
I’ve read some posts from others who tow with a Honda Pilot. Any advice? We did have the dealer include sway control to the package and I saw an earlier post from someone with a similar sized SUV who said that WDH is not recommended on their vehicle. Do other Pilot towers use that on their vehicles?
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Old 09-18-2022, 02:30 PM   #2
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There will be many people respond. I do not have a pilot, but a quick look up of your camper shows a Gross weight of 6000 ibs. The max towing weight I could find of the 2020 pilot is 5000 lbs. That doesn't even address the cargo carrying capacity of your specific pilot. (Can be found on the sticker on the driver's door). 5 people, two dogs, cargo and the tongue weight. Most likely too much trailer in my opinion.
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Old 09-18-2022, 02:47 PM   #3
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Ready for camping, that TT will have about 700lbs hitch weight which by itself may be over the hitch capacity. Add that 700lbs to 100 lbs for the hitch and about 700lbs for passengers and your cargo weight will be 1500 which is likely over the cargo capacity listed on the sticker on the door jamb. In addition that is a lot of wag behind a pilot. The Honda may be able to move the TT to and from the campground, but it will not be an enjoyable ride.
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Old 09-18-2022, 02:48 PM   #4
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The other thing to be careful about is that with a 5000lb towing limit the Pilot most likely has a 500lb tongue weight limit. And being a uni-body construction the odds are that you can no use a weight distributing hitch.

An Apex Nano 208NHS (didn't see a DHS) has a dry tongue of close to 600lbs. I think you going to be over the limits for that Pilot.

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Old 09-18-2022, 02:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriLaw View Post
Hello fellow campers!
We put a down payment on a 2023 Apex 208DHS at the Hershey RV show yesterday. Now, were a little concerned about the weight and our ability to tow it. We have a 2020 AWD Honda Pilot. I called the dealer to find out if they can add the radiator cooler, and they can add it for around $800. However, were still a little concerned that were pushing the weight capacity. We will be taking 5 people and 2 large dogs in the car with us.
Ive read some posts from others who tow with a Honda Pilot. Any advice? We did have the dealer include sway control to the package and I saw an earlier post from someone with a similar sized SUV who said that WDH is not recommended on their vehicle. Do other Pilot towers use that on their vehicles?
Too much trailer for the Pilot. That trailer's fictional dry tongue weight already exceeds the max hitch weight of the Pilot, by almost 100lbs. That's before you add anything. I'd ask what the Pilot's payload capacity is but this trailer is already too heavy to matter.
And it appears that you don't have the factory tow package since the dealer is adding a radiator cooler. Did you mean a transmission cooler? What do you mean by adding sway control. Do you mean a weight distribution hitch?
Bottom line is thankfully you came here BEFORE buying the trailer.
You need a real SUV, like a Suburban or Expedition, to tow a trailer for 5 people and two dogs.
Trailer specs:
https://coachmenrv.com/travel-traile...no/208BHS/4011
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Old 09-18-2022, 04:21 PM   #6
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Weights notwithstanding, the Pilot has a short wheelbase. The trailer will be wagging the dog in crosswinds and from the passing bow waves of truck-tractor semi-trailers.
I was pulling my TT with a Nissan Frontier. It wasnt enough to tow safely.
Out of curiosity, what did the trailer salesman think about towing with the Pilot?
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Old 09-18-2022, 05:32 PM   #7
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Too much trailer

"The Pilot, in addition to towing up to 5,000 pounds, also has a payload capacity of 1,420 to 1,625 pounds. "

The weight of 5 adults and dogs and camping stuff, plus the tongue weight of the trailer will very likely be well over the maximum cargo weight of the tow vehicle. Also with a tow rating of 5000 lbs, one should not expect to tow more than a max trailer weight of 4000 lbs or 80%.

In summary, too much trailer, and not enough tow vehicle.

People are often concerned about how much the vehicle can to. At some point, one has to quickly stop the vehicle and trailer. I've seen several slide through or into an intersection. Not a pretty sight.

Bob
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Old 09-18-2022, 05:37 PM   #8
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That would not be a safe tow.
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Old 09-18-2022, 05:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob K4TAX View Post
"The Pilot, in addition to towing up to 5,000 pounds, also has a payload capacity of 1,420 to 1,625 pounds. "



The weight of 5 adults and dogs and camping stuff, plus the tongue weight of the trailer will very likely be well over the maximum cargo weight of the tow vehicle. Also with a tow rating of 5000 lbs, one should not expect to tow more than a max trailer weight of 4000 lbs or 80%.



In summary, too much trailer, and not enough tow vehicle.



People are often concerned about how much the vehicle can to. At some point, one has to quickly stop the vehicle and trailer. I've seen several slide through or into an intersection. Not a pretty sight.



Bob
In addition, the Pilot has a max hitch weight of 500lbs. This trailer's fictional dry tongue weight exceeds that by nearly 100lbs. That's before adding the weights of batteries, water, factory options, dealer add-ons and trailer cargo.
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Old 09-18-2022, 08:05 PM   #10
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Your not even in the ballpark with the Honda
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Old 09-18-2022, 08:16 PM   #11
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Did you tell the salesperson what you were going to tow the Apex with? They should have known that it wouldn't be able to handle towing the rig. That would be a reason for them to give you your deposit back.

Or you could buy a larger vehicle.
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Old 09-18-2022, 08:32 PM   #12
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I hope the OP comes back and reads these responses.
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Old 09-19-2022, 08:01 AM   #13
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Did you tell the salesperson what you were going to tow the Apex with? They should have known that it wouldn't be able to handle towing the rig. That would be a reason for them to give you your deposit back.

Or you could buy a larger vehicle.
I would regard any assertions by a travel trailer salesperson that your tow vehicle can handle the rig they are about to sell you should be met with immediate skepticism.
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Old 09-19-2022, 08:42 AM   #14
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I would regard any assertions by a travel trailer salesperson that your tow vehicle can handle the rig they are about to sell you should be met with immediate skepticism.
Agreed, but not everyone knows that.
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Old 09-19-2022, 10:23 AM   #15
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I had a 2017 Honda Ridgeline which is basically a pickup version of your Pilot, with a few minor differences in that the suspension was a tad beefier. I used it to tow a 2017 Lance 1575. It was OK but really not a pleasant towing experience to say the least. The V6 worked way too hard and, like the OP, was case of putting the cart before the horse in that I had purchased the truck and later decided to get a TT and had to find something comfortable for my wife and I but also that was light enough for the truck to pull. We did a few local camping trips and after listening to that V6 scream at 4500 to 5000 plus RPM's through the Sierra passes (we live at 4800 ft on the flank of the eastern Sierra), I decided this really wasn't going to work. Sold the Lance (hated the east-west bed anyway) and traded in the Ridgeline. Still wanted something small and relatively light. I did not want or need a 3/4 ton truck so got a 1/2 ton GMC Sierra with the 3.0 Duramax and then a Mini Lite 2109S. So this year we have taken 2 trips the first to the Grand Canyon, and we just now got back from Glacier NP. Both trips enjoyable and the towing experience much less nerve wracking.
Either get yourself a smaller, much lighter trailer, or a bigger tow vehicle, or both. Once you have found a good combination that works for you, you will have so much less stress and you won''t look back. Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2022, 10:37 AM   #16
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Note to the OP. If you are following this thread and embarrassed to respond, please be assured that you are not the first and will not be the last person to make this error in judgement. Many RV dealers are either not knowledgeable or not truthful about the towing capacity of tow vehicles with respect to the TT you are considering. Have heard many times, " Your TV can tow anything on the lot". We are here to help and make sure your experience is an enjoyable one. Please feel free to ask questions, we were all beginners once.
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Old 09-19-2022, 12:21 PM   #17
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5 people, 2 large dogs, 5000-6000 pound camper is going to need a full size pickup or suv and one set up for payload. Turbo v6 or diesel or V8.
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Old 09-19-2022, 01:54 PM   #18
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There is no way that the Honda Pilot will be able to tow the 208BHS with the payload you're going to have. The trailer alone will be over vehicle towing capacity, hitch weight.



I have a Honda Ridgeline that has similar numbers to the Pilot but has a longer wheel base that tows an Apex 187rb. 3500 lbs dry, 600 lb hitch weight, as measured on a scale. I've loaded it to 4700 lbs, 620 lbs on the hitch. That left 850 payload minus my 215 lbs wet weight (long sleeves and full length pants, and shoes, not my usual summer atire) and the dog at 14 lbs left 621 lbs of available pay load. The combination travel well.
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Old 09-19-2022, 02:10 PM   #19
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There is no way that the Honda Pilot will be able to tow the 208BHS with the payload you're going to have. The trailer alone will be over vehicle towing capacity, hitch weight.



I have a Honda Ridgeline that has similar numbers to the Pilot but has a longer wheel base that tows an Apex 187rb. 3500 lbs dry, 600 lb hitch weight, as measured on a scale. I've loaded it to 4700 lbs, 620 lbs on the hitch. That left 850 payload minus my 215 lbs wet weight (long sleeves and full length pants, and shoes, not my usual summer atire) and the dog at 14 lbs left 621 lbs of available pay load. The combination travel well.
Unfortunately your trailer won't work for the OP, since they have a total of 5 people and two large dogs. If they truly want bunkhouse trailer, they'll need to get a bigger tow vehicle.
A 3 bunk hybrid TT would work but they would still need a bigger tow vehicle.

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Old 09-19-2022, 02:42 PM   #20
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I have a 2013 Honda Pilot with tow package, max tow weight is 4500 pounds but that is only with the driver, one passenger and a small amount of cargo (luggage) in the Pilot. More people or cargo and the towing capacity goes down considerably. We tow a Rockwood Mini Lite 1905 which is a one axle trailer and well within our towing weight when empty. When we travel, though, we are within a 100-200 pounds of our max weigh limit, maybe even closer. And that's with just me and the DW and minimal cargo in the Pilot. We do have a WDH against Honda's recommendations. I have to agree with the other posts, this is too much trailer for the Pilot. Hopefully you can get your deposit back and find a more workable solution. Good luck.
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