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Discussion Starter #1
First got it and loved it. Especially the trunk space. I have the RTL AWD . Problem, 6 months after getting it, pulled my travel trailer on a 2 hour trip to camp. On the way back, transmission over heated. Pulled over . Smelled it burning. Took it in and they said everything was ok. 7 months later, pulled it on a 4 hour trip to Gettysburg, and over heated twice. The trailer is 3050lbs. Well under the 5000 it can pull. Taking it in Monday if it makes it back. Half tempted to let it blow up . Should of gotten the Tundra and spent the extra $8K. Very disappointed in the design and apparently, they say they have t had issues with this problem. I’ve seen many on this forum and other about this problem. I have t seen any aftermarket bigger transmission coolers either.
 

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I agree with you! You probably should have gotten the Tundra if you are towing frequently. Do you have a lot of gear that brings the weight of the trailer nearer to the 5,000 pound towing capacity? It would be a huge disappointment for me to have the RL overheat on multiple occasions. Maybe the dealer will find a cause other than the inherent deficiency of the RL while towing.

Thank you for sharing, as it helps others gauge the worthiness of the RL for towing. Many RL owners have not reported any trouble towing, but a few like you, are sorely disappointed.
 

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First got it and loved it. Especially the trunk space. I have the RTL AWD . Problem, 6 months after getting it, pulled my travel trailer on a 2 hour trip to camp. On the way back, transmission over heated. Pulled over . Smelled it burning. Took it in and they said everything was ok. 7 months later, pulled it on a 4 hour trip to Gettysburg, and over heated twice. The trailer is 3050lbs. Well under the 5000 it can pull. Taking it in Monday if it makes it back. Half tempted to let it blow up . Should of gotten the Tundra and spent the extra $8K. Very disappointed in the design and apparently, they say they have t had issues with this problem. I’ve seen many on this forum and other about this problem. I have t seen any aftermarket bigger transmission coolers either.
What about the conditions in which the towing was under taken? Are you absolutely certain that the truck is "over heating" rather than just getting warmer than you are used to because of the added weight? For example, a friend with a newer Silverado and was new to towing, purchased a trailer out of state and was having power issues on the hills and problems with over heating. He didn't have time to mess with the constant stopping, so he dropped the trailer and came home the remaining 800 miles without it. I was bored at the time so I took his pickup to go and retrieve the trailer. Even though the ambient temps had increased 15-20 degrees since he dropped the trailer, the engine temp gauge would rise a little on the hills, but over all I experienced no power issues nor real overheating, in fact, it was a very pleasant towing experience. After some discussions we determined it was mostly his lack of experience that was his only problem where after changing some of his style, he too has had no issues since.

Bill
 

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This is only the third time I’ve towed the trailer. First time was 30 minutes away. So each of the other two times has overheated. I rate with me the wife and kid with extra supplies is 4000 or less pounds towable. It’s just ridiculous. I rarely pull my until it’s trailer which is only 660 pounds.
 

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What ever happened to the days of manufacturers testing vehicles by maxing out their payloads and beating on them in the desert in the heart of the summer with the AC blasting?
 

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2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
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Jimi, this has become a known problem and there are Honda Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) related to it. Do you notice any "judder" as you drive after your two overheat events?
 

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Jimi, this has become a known problem and there are Honda Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) related to it. Do you notice any "judder" as you drive after your two overheat events?
 

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What about the conditions in which the towing was under taken? Are you absolutely certain that the truck is "over heating" rather than just getting warmer than you are used to because of the added weight? For example, a friend with a newer Silverado and was new to towing, purchased a trailer out of state and was having power issues on the hills and problems with over heating. He didn't have time to mess with the constant stopping, so he dropped the trailer and came home the remaining 800 miles without it. I was bored at the time so I took his pickup to go and retrieve the trailer. Even though the ambient temps had increased 15-20 degrees since he dropped the trailer, the engine temp gauge would rise a little on the hills, but over all I experienced no power issues nor real overheating, in fact, it was a very pleasant towing experience. After some discussions we determined it was mostly his lack of experience that was his only problem where after changing some of his style, he too has had no issues since.

Bill
I’ve been towing my whole life. Road construction and such. Mostly flat land, a few hills as I got north. But it wasn’t the engine, it was Transmission overheating sensor coming on saying it’s too hot. It was around 83 degrees and I did my best to keep it at 2500rpm or lower. Of course a incline will get you to 3000 rpm climbing. But I babies the hell out of it and even turned the A/C off and it happened again.
 

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As a long time Honda fan, I hate to say this, but Honda is continuing to disappoint for failures like this that are well within the stated design parameters. It really shouldn't matter if the trailer was well over the max limit. There should not be any issues of transmission overheating. And for overheat to occur well within the limits, it seems to me that Honda has simply dropped the ball either in design, manufacturing, or quality control... or some combination of the three.

Very disappointing to hear of continued issues along these lines. Good luck @jimi . I hope you can get this resolved to your satisfaction.
 
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...............I have t seen any aftermarket bigger transmission coolers either.
How much looking around this forum and on Google, for larger aftermarket tranny cooler, have you done????

Start looking at page 2 of this thread. This thread, along with what I thought was a bit toasty TFT, is what inspired me to install an aftermarket tranny cooler (Tru-Cool) on my FWD Rigi that has no cooler at all from the factory.

 

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How much looking around this forum and on Google, for larger aftermarket tranny cooler, have you done????
Here's the thing to me: if the stock truck is advertised to tow 5000 lbs, then it should be able to do so comfortably. Why would I need to find aftermarket solutions while operating within stock parameters? Something just seems wrong there.
 

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This is only the third time I’ve towed the trailer. First time was 30 minutes away. So each of the other two times has overheated. I rate with me the wife and kid with extra supplies is 4000 or less pounds towable. It’s just ridiculous. I rarely pull my until it’s trailer which is only 660 pounds.
When you say "it's overheating", I'm presuming you are getting the message displayed on the instrument panel????
 

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Here's the thing to me: if the stock truck is advertised to tow 5000 lbs, then it should be able to do so comfortably. Why would I need to find aftermarket solutions while operating within stock parameters? Something just seems wrong there.
I agree, OP has a tranny cooler.....something does seem wrong, devils in the details. Not many details in latched on to the trailer and the tranny overheated. Since my Rigi had no OE tranny cooler and I thought the factory OE cooler was kinda anemic, I went to the aftermarket. Again, devils in the details.

I’m pretty sure when I observed a peak 211F TFT, the Rigi was operating within stock parameters.....I just like seeing 165F-170F and the aftermarket helped accomplished that.👌
 

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That was one of the things (overheating the transmission) TFL truck complained about early on with the RL.
 

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That was one of the things (overheating the transmission) TFL truck complained about early on with the RL.
True, but climbing on off roads at a slow speed, the OEM cooler just doesn't have enough air flow to be useful. Really needs its own dedicated fan for the cooler, or go to a larger cooler.
 
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It would be much simpler to install a cooler with more surface area (more tubes/fins). No electric motor, fuses, relays, etc.,......just more surface area. The radiator efans pull a surprising amount of air thru the tranny cooler even at low speed.
 

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Within spec but not within spec. What is a consumer or a dealer supposed to do? Honda boasted that a small percentage tow or go offroad. IMO they rolled the dice on this one.or did inadequate testing.. Haven't heard of this with the 9 speed so it may be promising.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
As a long time Honda fan, I hate to say this, but Honda is continuing to disappoint for failures like this that are well within the stated design parameters. It really shouldn't matter if the trailer was well over the max limit. There should not be any issues of transmission overheating. And for overheat to occur well within the limits, it seems to me that Honda has simply dropped the ball either in design, manufacturing, or quality control... or some combination of the three.

Very disappointing to hear of continued issues along these lines. Good luck @jimi . I hope you can get this resolved to your satisfaction.
Yeah, I already have them a ear full at the dealership on the phone. They’ll get more on Monday when I drop it off. More than likely, I’ll be buying a new 2020 Tundra during trick month in October. Just like you said, should easily be able to pull 6000 continuously without transmission overheating . Pure crap. Love the truck. Rides better than anything I ever had. And I have had some top tier vehicles and trucks over the years through work. I’m still surprised they won’t come out with a V8 as well.
 

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Say hello to maybe 12mpg around town and a rough ride all the time. Ingress/egress was a PITA with the Tundra we had, as are most of today’s full-size 1/2 ton p/u trucks. Hoods chin high, tailgates chest high......they’ve just gotten so big.
 

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Was the Rigi towing 6000 lbs continuously? Where did that number come from?
 
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