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Ridgeline Towing - Event Date: 27 Jan 2022 - 27 Mar 2022

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John D View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote John D Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Calendar Event: Ridgeline Towing
    Posted: 27 Jan 2022 at 9:29am
Any Honda Ridgeline owners towing a 195 or similar size R POD?
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2022 at 5:53pm
The 195 is about a 4800 lb trailer loaded. Way too much for a Ridgeline. I'm sure if you look around the internet eventually you'll find someone who says they do it and it's fine, but really it's not. It will not be either safe or legal.

You need a more capable tow vehicle for that trailer. If you want to tow with a Ridgeline get something like the size of a 180 tops. Pack.
it and the truck carefully and you will be ok.
2015 Rpod 179 - sold - too busy playing farmer to go camping
2012 Toyota Highlander
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Tars Tarkas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tars Tarkas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2022 at 10:16pm
Safe is more nuanced than legal.  The towing capacity of the Ridgeline is 5000 lbs.  If the loaded 195 is 4800 lbs. you'd be legal but cutting it close.  A lot of people feel like you need about 20% more towing capacity than you're going to tow, so for a 4800 lb trailer you'd want a towing capacity of 6000 lbs.  There's definitely a safety factor there, but also a lot of towing comfort along with less wear and tear on your engine. drive train, suspension, etc.  All this is more important for longer tows and any kind of mountainous terrain.

TT
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2022 at 6:29am
There are more weight specs than just trailer weight that you have to stay within to be legal or safe:

Each axle
Tongue
Gross combined vehicle weight

These specs should be on your driver door sticker except tongue weight is probably in your manual.

GCVW is almost certainly going to be out of spec if you tow a 4800 lb trailer, because you will have hundreds of lbs of people and gear in the Ridgeline. No manufacturer rates their vehicles to tow a max trailer and at the same time load the tow vehicle heavily. It's one or the other.

Also your tongue weight rating is most likely 500 lbs. A 195 will have more weight than that on the tongue with batteries, propane, water, and supplies on board.

My Highlander has the same tongue and towing ratings are the Ridgeline does. I could tow my 179 (much lighter than the 195) fine as long as I had one passenger and minimal gear in the tow vehicle and was careful how I packed the 179.


I would never consider towing a 195 with that vehicle, it's not even clo remotely capable of doing that job. TNeither is the Ridgeline. If you really need that much trailer then you'll need to upgrade your tow vehicle. But people tend to buy larger trailers than they really need so reconsider getting a smaller rpod of other brand.
2015 Rpod 179 - sold - too busy playing farmer to go camping
2012 Toyota Highlander
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dirt Sifter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2022 at 9:59pm
I read and resect offgrid. That said, I do not have a Ridgeline, but want to add the weights I took from ODOT scales on two different occasions with my Tacoma and 195. Loaded for trip with a couple rifles, ammo, flat of fresh water and all tanks empty, one battery and one stock propane tank (full). The trailer weighed 3800 and 3850; the tongue weight figured 450 and 400. Our previous 179 came in at 3200 lbs and had a lot less front sail so caused less drag. I don't know if these figures will help you, but for me the Tacoma does just fine, not great like the Tundra, but I have little concern about going out by myself. The DW likes comfort, so it's the bigger TV for her. With the Taco strong headwinds are a concern on western freeway's higher speeds. Hope this helps. Be safe and have fun.
Greg n Deb 2020 195 HRE
'07 Tundra 5.7L., '17 Tacoma 3.5L. Both with tow packages
1 Puggle, 1 Chihuahua support staff
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tars Tarkas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2022 at 10:46pm
Yeah, I don't know.  I pretty much agree with Offgrid that a Ridgeline is not a great match for a 195, but I have a difficult time with his absolute attitude about it.  With some reasonable care the combo can be made to work.  Given a choice a bigger truck or a lighter trailer would make it easier for things to work within safe limits and could greatly add to comfort and peace of mind going down the road.  From everything I see the Ridgeline/195 combo will work but may involve some compromises (like not hauling every last piece of gear you might want and/or taking a good bit longer going over a mountain pass.  But again, if one has a choice, assuming you have the Ridgeline, look at some smaller trailers.

TT
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2022 at 3:37am
The reason for my confidence that the Ridgeline is too light for a big 195 is my experience with my Highlander/179 combo.

It's not a matter of taking everything with you, to come out in a safe range I had to be very selective in what I took along. In the Highlander were two people only, a light ladder for clearing the slide, a Honda 2k, a propane cylinder, the smallest Clam tent, a ground sheet, two folding chairs, a small ice chest, my tool bag, and a weight distribution hitch. In the trailer were a week's supplies, lightweight cooking gear, full fresh water tank, a 2.5 gallon drinking water jug, two 6V GC2 batteries, one propane cylinder, a water hose, spare tire, leveling jack handle, wdh tensioning tool, a small Coleman gas grill, sewer hose, and minimal clothing, shoes, hiking boots, and towels.

I don't think we had one thing extra that we could really do without and reasonably enjoy the camping experience. No big grills, extra tables and chairs, big dogs, multiple changes of clothes, rdome, floor jack, gasoline container, movie collection, hair dryer, coffee pot, solar kit, on and on.

With that load I was right at my 500 lb max tongue weight, within 100 lbs of the max trailer and trailer axle weight, and within 10% of rear TV axle load and GVWR. That was as close as I wanted to ever get for safety, many here would feel that was too close.

Now, you might argue that you won't fill the FWT or carry an extra battery or generator because you never boondock, and that is perhaps reasonable, although I would suggest that everyone ought to retain the option to camp without water and electric hookups sometimes, you really limit your camping alternatives if you take away that option.

But even assuming you give that up, you would only save 250+80+40+50=430 lbs by leaving all my boondocking stuff (water, 2nd battery, 2nd propane cyl, Genny) at home. A 195 weighs about 900 lbs more than a 179 so that doesn't even come close to compensating for the bigger trailer.

So, bottom line is, in the real world of towing, not the imaginary on paper world where you magically don't have any people or stuff while on the road yet all those people and that stuff suddenly appears at your campsite when you get there, a Ridgeline or Highlander sized vehicle won't cut it for a big rpod.

This is why I strongly recommend fully loading, populating, and fueling a rig, then weighing it, rather than attempting to add up by guesswork what you have in there. You will be surprised how heavy it all is the first time you do it. I was.

Heres the other thing I've learned from 40 plus years professional engineering work in the solar field where all sorts of crazy ideas abound. When someone asks a question like the OP's original one, they fall into one of two categories. Obviously, they wouldn't ask the question in the first place if their TV of choice was an F250. They already know that what they want to do is questionable at best. So they are either

(1) trying to reasonably understand if what they want to do will work or

(2) have already decided to do what they're suggesting and just want someone to reaffirm their decision so they feel better about it.

The former are open to accept real data, analysis, and experience, the latter are not, but might just possibly be dissuaded from killing themselves by a clear negative response. Either way, if the proposed action is wrong or dangerous it does no one any favors to equivocate, the first category won't be able to effectively use that input to come to a conclusion and the second won't listen anyway. Just my opinion on the best way to handle this type of question.








2015 Rpod 179 - sold - too busy playing farmer to go camping
2012 Toyota Highlander
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dirt Sifter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2022 at 7:13am
Yeah, but. I've seen all sorts of configurations of Rpods and TV's in parks, in outback camping areas (not the real rugged ones that rip off the low hanging tank drains), and on the road. It depends on the type of camping, how far away from home, and what the user's purpose is. There are camping areas 10 to 50 miles from my home that are used by local people with too big RV's for their too small TV's all the time without incident. I believe being autocratic in making their decision for them is not helpful, but giving them the insight from our experience can be very helpful. FWIW, I am not a woke, warm and fuzzy person, just one who has missed out on opportunities because I have listened to ultra conservative information and has had enlightening experiences by not listening to good information for my situation. Until we know the whole picture, the info we give should be balanced and helpful as that from offgrid most usually is, even for the hard headed.
Greg n Deb 2020 195 HRE
'07 Tundra 5.7L., '17 Tacoma 3.5L. Both with tow packages
1 Puggle, 1 Chihuahua support staff
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rpod-Couple Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2022 at 8:16am
Hi John - I notice you live in Florida. A flat state with lots of camping options. What are your plans for the distances you plan to travel? For instance you staying east of the Rockies and no boon docking? That can have a big impact on your decision. 

I tow a R-pod 171 with a Mazda CX-9 rated 3500 lbs. It’s just my wife and I. We never boon dock, have 350 lbs on the tongue, use a WDH, and travel light light - under 3200 lbs total in the trailer and less than 400 lbs in my vehicle (wife, me and stuff.)  I bought a Sherline hitch scale which is cheap insurance to manage safe loading of the trailer and hitch weight. I make sure my electric trailer breaks are always in good working order. I have no problems towing this trailer and I inspect everything carefully before heading out. Frontal area which increases wind resistance is THE biggest load on your engine/transmission so keeping your speed down to preserve the life of your engine and transmission. Not all of us can afford to buy a $50K F150 after buying our $25K R-pod.

If you plan to boon dock, carry a family of four football players, Great Dane, four bikes, full water tank, a generator, a rolling tool chest, etc. then go bigger on your tow vehicle. Knowing your weights and knowing you vehicle limits are what matters.

Good luck on your decision - wish you safe travels!
Steve & Elaine
2021 R-pod 171
Always be the sharpest tool in the shed.
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2022 at 11:23am
Look up "appeal to ridicule". lf you want to have a reasoned fact based discussion then great. If you want to just do what you feel like and use ridicule to justify it then you'll have a hard time finding folks who want to bother.

I wouldn't buy a $50 or 60k truck either. There are of course other options. Buy a used SUV or pickup if you must have a large trailer, or buy a lighter trailer that is reasonable to tow with your existing vehicle. You'll save money, fuel, stress, and be safe for yourself and others you share the road with.

If youve never driven in high crosswinds you might not realize that those conditions place just as significant, if not more significant, demands in a tow vehicle as does mountain driving. Florida can have plengy of wind. And horsepower/frontal area is the least consideration, simply slowing down 10 mph from 70 to 60 cuts wind drag by about 40%.

As for carrying water and a generator, if you can't do that you are eliminating most state, national park, and forest service campgrounds from your options. That is your choice of course, but why?

Big trailers with lots of storage will run heavier than smaller trailers with minimal storage, people with bigger trailers end up carrying more stuff. comparing a 171 to a 195 is apples and oranges. Even comparing a 179 to a 195 is a stretch.

I like dRidgelines and they are very similar to Highlanders in capacity. They're just not the right tool for that particular job.   



2015 Rpod 179 - sold - too busy playing farmer to go camping
2012 Toyota Highlander
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