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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
Bought a brand new 2021 RTLE Silver Lunar Ridgeline. Loving it so far. We are looking to upgrade from our popup camper. And I'm looking for some advice.

We are looking at the Wolf Pup 17JG
  • DRY WEIGHT - 3914 lbs.
  • Payload Capacity - 1,120 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight - 430 lbs.
  • GVWR - 4999 lbs
As I understand this would right on the edge of what the Ridgeline can handle. But I don't want to push it and cause issues down the road with the engine. We live in WI and I don't foresee us traveling to any of the mountains with this rig. Any alarms going off for anybody and if so, any other rigs that you could recommend? Side note, we actually started at the Wolf Pup 16BHs, but thought the slide would be better, but I guess that slide is heavy...It add 1,200 lbs....

Thanks,
Alex
 

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Alex,
Yeah, you will be at or just over the trucks weight ratings. That being said , it should not be a huge issue. Just remember that you will have a limited amount of power left if you need to pick up speed quickly.
I am not expert. Just someone who has been towing campers since the early 80's.
 

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The limiter is payload and GCVWR. Run those numbers and be realistic. I have a NuCamp TAB 400 on order and am concerned about dry weight of 3K and GVW of 3.9K lbs. Personally I wouldn't feel too comfortable towing something as heavy as what you propose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks both Mikes. :) 1 yah and 1 nay. That doesn't help at all. :D

I'm leaning towards no at the moment, I want to have a little more wiggle room.
 

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Might want to go online and read/memorize the towing section in the Owner’s Manual....especially when towing at, or close to, 100% capacity. Weight and SPEED are discussed in the towing section.

Also, there are inexpensive devices that plug-n-play into the OBDII under the dash that monitor/display actual ECT and TFT temps, vs a needle between a C and H and a tranny overheat idiot light. Knowing actual temp numbers in real-time could warn you in advance that it might be a good idea to slow down.
 
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The limiter is payload and GCVWR. Run those numbers and be realistic. I have a NuCamp TAB 400 on order and am concerned about dry weight of 3K and GVW of 3.9K lbs. Personally I wouldn't feel too comfortable towing something as heavy as what you propose.
We have a Tab 400--we took it out this weekend using my girlfriend's Volvo S60 (rated at 3300# btw), as I am waiting for my new Ridgie to get broken in. I will be having a brake controller installed in 1 week.

I imagine it will do OK. We previously pulled it mainly with my '19 Taco OR, which would get the job done, but it wasn't a fun experience. I am hoping the RL with the 9-speed transmission will do better.

Not much to add to the above. The key to towing is slow and steady acceleration and stops.
 

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We have a Tab 400--we took it out this weekend using my girlfriend's Volvo S60 (rated at 3300# btw), as I am waiting for my new Ridgie to get broken in. I will be having a brake controller installed in 1 week.

I imagine it will do OK. We previously pulled it mainly with my '19 Taco OR, which would get the job done, but it wasn't a fun experience. I am hoping the RL with the 9-speed transmission will do better.

Not much to add to the above. The key to towing is slow and steady acceleration and stops.
Thanks...good to hear. And the new Tab 400 have lower tongue weight since they moved axel forward 3"
 

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If you can keep your payload closer to 500lbs vs 1000lbs, it will be a nicer experience. Consider picking up water near the campsite, if possible, rather than hauling it from home.

Thus far, I don't think we've heard of any overheating issues with the ZF9 vs the earlier 6sp trans. However, you may give the clutches in the iVTM-4 a workout.

Aero plays as much, or more, of a role in towing stress as weight. You can mitigate this by towing at a slower speed (55mph-62mph per the manual), or purchasing a trailer with a smaller frontal area. Teardrop trailers are better than square, and a sloping back helps quite a bit.

If you live and camp in a drier climate, a pop-up camper may be worth considering. I hear they can develop mildew in the pop-up folds if put away wet.
 

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The Ridgeline is rated to tow 5k lbs. You’re looking at a trailer rated at 4,999 lbs GVW. What’s the problem?
I’d watch axle weights and total load on the pickup (and trailer) and tow it. It’s FAAAR more important to plan MUCH further ahead for braking, passing, corners, etc when towing vs not. That stuff and brakes themselves are massively more important than a couple hundred pounds GCVW one way or the other.
 

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Seems like there have been a few/handful of folks reporting/posting 9 speed TFTs they observe and those few posts seem to be about the same TFTs as the 6 speed. I wonder if the 9 speed overheat warning temp idiot light is factory set at a higher temp due to Honda 3.1 fluid being used vs Honda DW-1 fluid used in the 6 speed?🤷‍♂️
 

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Aero plays as much, or more, of a role in towing stress as weight. You can mitigate this by towing at a slower speed (55mph-62mph per the manual), or purchasing a trailer with a smaller frontal area. Teardrop trailers are better than square, and a sloping back helps quite a bit.
Yes, aerodynamics are a Big Deal. A narrower trailer with less headroom will tow better with a Ridgeline, but they have less room inside. If more room inside is really important to you, a bigger trailer with a bigger truck might have been a better solution for glamping, but the bigger truck is a PITA for a daily driver and gets poorer fuel mileage in daily use, at least if it's gas. A good compromise for a larger trailer might be one of the 1/2-ton trucks with a 3 liter diesel, but it will still be big and clumsy, and you will have to pay attention to the special diesel issues, like DEF, seasonal fuel, etc.
 

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The Ridgeline is rated to tow 5k lbs. You’re looking at a trailer rated at 4,999 lbs GVW. What’s the problem?
I’d watch axle weights and total load on the pickup (and trailer) and tow it. It’s FAAAR more important to plan MUCH further ahead for braking, passing, corners, etc when towing vs not. That stuff and brakes themselves are massively more important than a couple hundred pounds GCVW one way or the other.
Only thing I would add to "plan MUCH further ahead" would be to leave point A sooner than usual since you will be traveling at a slower speed.....takes longer to get to point B.👌
 
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I tow a trailer that is 3,750 dry and watch carefully how much we pack. You’ll have to do that at 3,900 pounds since you can be over the limit before you know it. We cruise under 65 always and the 2020 does fine towing it.
413695
 

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That’s got to be one of the coolest looking RV‘s out there.......it really adds some class to the Rigi.👌 Would you have any fluid/coolant temp numbers to share?
 

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I did tow our Tab 400 about 20 miles but have yet to take it on a real drive. My GF is driving our camper with the Ridgie up to MN for a few weeks. I will join her in a week. Best fly fishing in the Midwest in the Driftless Region.

I had a Draw-Tite brake controller installed (5100), otherwise no mods. We use an anti-sway bar as well.

She reported back that it “towed like a charm” and much better than our 2019 Tacoma OffRoad. I am looking forward to driving it back home to see how it feels..
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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@ToyTruck Do you have a weight distribution hitch on there ? We did end up getting it and drove it 200 miles home today. We cruised at 55-60 and it did okay. It did sway more than I would have liked. (It was a bit windy, but still seemed to sway too much) I'm looking into getting a sway control, as I don't think a WDH is needed. But just weighing options.

A sway bar is a no-brainer IMO, but a WDH...that’s kind of a big commitment. I just can’t see putting something like that on a 3000# camper If hitch weight is not a big issue.

FWIW at one of the campgrounds we go to recently I noticed most of the campers over 5000# had WDH’s, whereas very few if any of the smaller campers did.

Would like to hear any other opinions about it.
 

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Sales peeps can sell snowballs to Eskimos. For a few bucks, public scales tell it like it is......both tongue weight and trailer weight.👍
 

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That’s got to be one of the coolest looking RV‘s out there.......it really adds some class to the Rigi.👌 Would you have any fluid/coolant temp numbers to share?
If you are referring to my Riverside Retro 189, thank you. Don't have any numbers, so I’m going to do an early transmission fluid change (expensive on the 9 speed), along with the rear diff. Should tell me a lot.
 
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