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Thompsda View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: hard towing with Honda Pilot - HELP
    Posted: 23 May 2018 at 10:15am
We just bought a 2010 RPod 177 and towed it home (185 miles) using our 2015 Honda Pilot with factory tow package, and only got 7.5 mpg!  I read the posts here about what kind of mileage most people get, so I was expecting 10-12 mpg.

What is going on???  Any ideas for me?

The nose of the trailer is angled slightly up at the hitch because I need to get a different draw bar with a deeper drop, but probably only 2" more I'd say to get to level.  Could that be part of the issue?

A few noteworthy points:  I used regular fuel, we did not have a heavy load otherwise, I did NOT go over 60mph, and there were only a few big hills to climb.


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lostagain View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 10:50am
Maybe you had a head wind.  Wind resistance, more than weight really affects your mileage.  Remember, from a wind point of view a 20 mph headwind equates to driving 80 when you go 60.  I really can eat up the gas.  

Last Thursday we drove across UT on US 50 to the NV border in a strong headwind and I could practically see the gas gauge dropping.  The next day we continued west in the early morning and avoided the afternoon wind, with a significant improvement in mileage.  It was worth the drive as Great Basin National Park is a hidden jewel.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 11:05am
Did you use cruise control? I found that it killed gas mileage on our 2012 Highlander; I got around 8 mpg pulling our 179. Manual throttle and being mindful to keep the car from downshifting excessively gets me into the 11-13 mpg range.
Alan
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 1:02pm
We also notice the difference between a headwind, crosswind, and tailwind. Wind resistance is not linear but more like exponential. Keeping it to 60 mph is good. Adding a wind deflector may help. We have the PurpleLine AeroPlus. The Icon AeroShield is a good choice if you don't have a roof rack. Either of these may help. however, a strong headwind will cut your mileage. It is unavoidable.
StephenH
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 3:11pm
I tow my 2017 180 with a Honda Ridgeline, which is somewhat similar to your Pilot.  I was getting 7 to 8 mpg.  Then I read on the Ridgeline Owners Forum that you must use 91 to 93 octane fuel when towing.  The higher octane puts the computer into trailer towing mode.  This means your transmission won't search for the right gear all the time. It will stay locked in the appropriate gear.  It also increases your gas mileage. The shift points are entirely different as well, staying in each gear longer. Pulling up a grade is a whole lot better now.  When I started filling up from empty with 93 octane my mileage jumped to 13 to 15 mpg and that has remained the case for three years now.   My Ridgeline is a totally different truck when pulling a trailer now.  Also, if I use 93 during normal driving with no trailer, my mpg went from18/19 to 22/23.  I just don't think there is enough savings to justify the added expense.  I know nothing about a Pilot, but I would think the computer operates the same way.    
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lostagain View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 4:28pm
We use cruise control when towing with no discernible change in mileage, but when it starts to search for the right gear or drops down and wants to hold too high an rpm, I turn it off and slow down.  In a long climb, I often use the cruise control in a lower gear to hold a steady rpm at the optimum rate for torque and just play tag with the trucks.  I spoke to my mechanic yesterday about this practice and he agreed that it's easier on the tranny than letting it constantly shift up and down trying to hold an unattainable speed.  I'm also going to add a transmission cooler as soon as it arrives from Amazon.  

I try to think of my motor as me pedaling a mountain bike.  I just go to a lower gear to avoid straining my old knees.  My old motor has a lot of miles on it like my knees.  

It seems that in western CO, UT and parts of northern AZ, they sell a lot of 85 octane gas as "regular."  I also switched to the normal 87 that we have in NV and CA. Can't say there was a noticeable difference, but I really wasn't paying particular attention; and, there are so many other variables, such as wind and terrain, that it's hard to know if it makes any difference.
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Thompsda View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2018 at 11:00am
Thanks everyone for the replies.

I didn't use cruise and I didn't notice much wind that day.

We're heading to Bar Harbour in 2 weeks, definitely gonna try the high octane and see if that makes a difference.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2018 at 12:43pm
Most modern engines have a knock monitor to prevent pre-ignition. They will tolerate lower octane gas when the loads are light. The higher octane is a better choice if you're pulling a trailer because of the higher loads. This way, the ECM won't have to retard the timing so much. This is especially important if your engine is turbocharged (MUCH higher compression pressures).
bp
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2018 at 12:55pm
Even my super duty recommends a higher octane when towing.  
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2018 at 2:08pm
Originally posted by furpod

Even my super duty recommends a higher octane when towing.  
I thought Super Duties were all (mostly) oil burners? Where do you get high octane diesel? Confused
bp
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