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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I agree this truck is great for daily driving, bad weather, and moderate towing. By moderate towing I would say anything within the weight of the RL's capability but low profile like a fold down trailer or something similar.

As soon as I hitched up my full size ultralight to the back, I experienced three things I just can't get around:

A. Rear end sag w/ 450 on the ball. I know the engineers say it can handle it, but I don't like the way the truck drives; I feel the front end is looser and I don't get a real confidant feeling driving it that way. Honda says no WDH - so I feel if I get into a accident while using a WDH, my insurance company is going to head for the exit. Improperly configured and all.

B. Max payload is 1500 pounds or so in the RL, however since I can't use a WDH it really doesn't help me a whole lot. I find myself bungie cording my heavier items (generators, gas, etc) to the front of the bed so it's not on the wrong size of the rear axle b/c my trailer's tongue already makes the back end sag enough as it is. Effectively when I tow I have 1/2 of a shortbed truck to put cargo in. Which sorta stinks when you actually do it.

C. Towing the 'barn door' behind my truck makes me acutely aware of how torque limited the engine really is. Just towing on a highway that is largely flat with some very minor rolling inclines makes the RL downshift to 3rd gear pretty frequently while doing 60 mph. I know people tow w/ these trucks all over the country, but I can't imagine pulling my 3500 pound ultralight N. of where I live largely into the mountain type areas. It can pull it, yes. But its loud, and its certainly not comfortable.

I might end up getting a EcoBoost F150 SuperCrew. No, its not as capable in the snow (but I live in Jersey so I don't get a lot of snow or ice. And if its particularly bad, I just stay in anyway), but it gets similar mileage to the RL and more importantly I can tow 3 Ultralights behind me and probably still get 9-10mpg while doing it. A Ecoboost F150 will drive like my RL did towing my 2k lb. fold down trailer. When you can get 375+ ft/lbs of torque at 2500 rpm and you have a 6 speed transmission, it'll just make towing our past time that much easier. And with the MPG, I won't feel guilty using it as my daily driver.

I'm hesitate as to the reliability, but Ford hasn't been the #1 full size pickup manufacturer for as long as they have by accident. So we'll see.

I haven't cut the deal yet, but I'm leaning pretty heavily towards it. I have NO remorse about the RL - I didn't buy it to tow anything. It just so happens that we ended up RV'ing after the fact.
 

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That's the vehicle I would buy if I wanted a full size truck. If I was towing 4k plus multiple times a year I would get a full size truck.

If you get the 4 x 4 model it will do just fine in the snow. You just have to be the brains & know when to turn it on & off.
 

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Honda doesn't forbid a WDH. It's just not recommended. There isn't a huge amount of extra weight that you can put on the front axle. It's not zero though. Many people have put a WDH on a Ridgeline and found that it improved their trailer handling immensely.

That said, your description leads me to suspect that you have a configuration problem. I tow with about 525-550 lbs on the trailer tongue with my boat and I don't get an effect that is as severe as you describe with 450. I recommend that you re-weigh the entire trailer and the tongue at the hitch ball when it's all loaded.

Is there any gear that's filling your truck bed that could be instead used to rebalance the trailer?

Are you using premium fuel while towing? It shouldn't be dropping all the way to 3rd that much with the 2009+ engine/transmission change. I have to wonder if there is also a parasitic loss somewhere.

An F-150 will probably do a good job of covering up what could be mainly a problem with trailer loading. It's a pretty expensive change to contemplate.
 

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I owned (14-15 years) a 98 F150 and had NO complaints with it; while not as refined it was as reliable as any of the many Hondas' I ever owned. I would have kept it but I received a very nice offer on it and so away it went. I also had a reliable (08) E350 for several years - again, NO complaints. I sold it due to limited use for it.

After they were both gone I came across a camper. After pulling it a few times with the RL (4K dry weight) I too decided I wanted an upgrade. Yes it did the job but not as comfortably as I liked.

I purchased a used (2001) F250. I chose that over the F150 so as to have even greater pulling options - anticipating an even heavier camper down the road.

Back to my original configuration - a daily driver (RL) and a work horse (F250).

Note: I agree with the re-checking your load weights, I had no trouble keeping the bumper level with my trailer on it. I did use a WD hitch because I had one, not because I found it necessary.

In the RL, I did use premium fuel I still would find the tranny constantly running in lower gears/ searching, even on basically level ground. With the F250 (V10, regular gas) it generally tows highway speeds at/under 2K RPMs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Honda doesn't forbid a WDH. It's just not recommended. There isn't a huge amount of extra weight that you can put on the front axle. It's not zero though. Many people have put a WDH on a Ridgeline and found that it improved their trailer handling immensely.

That said, your description leads me to suspect that you have a configuration problem. I tow with about 525-550 lbs on the trailer tongue with my boat and I don't get an effect that is as severe as you describe with 450. I recommend that you re-weigh the entire trailer and the tongue at the hitch ball when it's all loaded.

Is there any gear that's filling your truck bed that could be instead used to rebalance the trailer?

Are you using premium fuel while towing? It shouldn't be dropping all the way to 3rd that much with the 2009+ engine/transmission change. I have to wonder if there is also a parasitic loss somewhere.

An F-150 will probably do a good job of covering up what could be mainly a problem with trailer loading. It's a pretty expensive change to contemplate.
Trailer is loaded very minimally. In fact aside from filling the fridge and about 25 pounds of cargo (in the cabinets) in front of the trailer axle it's pretty much stock. My trailer is pretty tongue heavy right out of the gate, w/ 425 pounds on the ball just bringing it home from the dealer. Unfortunately the hot water tank is also at the very front of the trailer, so that's another 50 pounds right there (and its a pain to keep emptying/filling it all the time). 3200 pounds out the door as rigged. I only have 300 pounds to play w/ for the cargo capacity as the trailer is a 3500 max GVR. I probably should have bought a bigger trailer with more CCC, but at the time I was trying to make it work w/ the RL.

I do tow w/ 93.
 

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"I have NO remorse about the RL - I didn't buy it to tow anything. It just so happens that we ended up RV'ing after the fact."

These are our thoughts exactly! but we decided to keep the RL for all its goodness and practicality. We were simply fortunate enough to have been able to buy an RV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
FWIW I'm actually thinking of going w/ the 5.0 V8 instead of the Echoboost. I'm getting a little gunshy w/ the problems I'm reading about. I take the reliability of my Honda for granted; I don't want to kick myself in the backside if I switch sides.
 

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Both are good motors.

Ford made a change to help with the turbo issue but I'm not sure it completly solved the issue. One of the issues is not all Ecoboost owners are experiencing the issue.
 

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Might I be a voice of reason. If you're planning to keep this new truck for less than 5 years feel free to ignore what I have to say, but if you're in for the long haul do yourself a favor, and look up:

F-150, and spark plugs - (in the last 10 years they've shot out (1999-2003), got coroded in (2004 - ?), and take at least a day to swap out if you're lucky enough to have no problems b/c the back 4 cylinders are under the firewall and down a 20 inch hole)

Then look up f-150 and heater cores - a full weekend job that is not as uncommon as you would think. Two before 80,000 miles in my case

Then look up f-150 and brakes - Wife worked on fleet vehicles for a while in 2004 - they were changing brakes after the first 5000 miles on these trucks regularly.

Then ask your favorite local mechanic if he would buy an F-150. Mine cringes at the word.

My F-150 Got a sticky cylinder #3 at 38,000 miles. No help from Ford, not even a response to my multiple inquiries.

I think a good look through the f-150 forum could change your mind on this purchase, but if not I wish you Good luck!
 

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FWIW, the latest reliability stats from CR put GM about on level with most Asian based imports, and Ford below either one. (Audi came up to 4th from the top, a huge improvement). Many Ford complaints center around electrical issues but not all. Even their hybrid cars like the CMax had some notable problems including mileage claims that could not be supported.
 

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If I went with a new F150 would definitely go with the 5.0. Turbo reliabity from a domestic makes me nervous.


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If I decided on a full size pick up I'd go Chevy rather than Ford having watched and listened to my mechanic.
Chevy's engineering is more tried and true while Ford pushes the envelope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've pretty much decided AGAINST the Ecoboost if I do this. I don't want to trust the new technology either, and the 5.0 will pull like a pissed off mule. I can use a WDH and also get more use out of the 1700 lbs payload that is available to me for gear.

I'm gunshy about Ford having never owned a American vehicle before. I have to keep in mind too that:

A. The internet tends to blow everything out of proportion
B. Ford sold 343k F150s in 2012 http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2013/02/who-sold-the-most-half-tons-in-2012.html. Honda sold 14k http://wallstcheatsheet.com/stocks/hondas-ridgeline-to-go-down-for-a-two-year-power-nap.html/. That means Ford sold 24.5 F150s per every Ridgeline. Which one do you honestly think is going to have more problems exposed? Even if you go on to say 2% (pulled out of my backside) had problems, that number would be almost half of EVERY Ridgeline sold for the year. Just go to our Problems and Issues sub-forum; its pretty active for such a small footprint. And aside from the transmission stutter issue (which I routinely get), I've been problem free.
 
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If I went with a new F150 would definitely go with the 5.0. Turbo reliabity from a domestic makes me nervous.


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I have a hunting buddy with a new F150 Eco Boost he tows a 4000# travel trailer and he only gets 8 mpg you could do better than that with a RL.

I do better with a 01 Ford Excursion 4X4 diesel.

The Eco Boost does improve mpg (if you have a light foot) and does improve HP if you depress the accelerator (compared to a standard V6) but it can not do both (especially if towing).
 
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The 3.5L Ecoboost Ford engine will offer reasonable mileage if you stay off the boost. Engage the boost & it gets thirsty fast. Stay off the boost entirely & the waste gate valve could stick closed.
Research why many mechanics suggest a catch can for Ford’s Ecoboost 3.5 V6.

The all aluminum Ford Coyote 5.0 litre V8 is not the old tried & true 302 ci engine from the past. It’s a newer design. There are widespread concerns over the Coyote’s excessive oil consumption. Ford actually replaced my friend’s 2018 Platinum 5.0 engine for that reason. Ford is also facing concerns over its shared GM/Ford 10 speed transmission problems.

Sure, you could take a look at GMC/Chevrolet trucks or even the FiatChrysler Ram, all with their own quality-of-parts issues, poor build quality & frequent warranty repairs. Or you could just saunter over to the best full size truck made: Toyota’s Tundra.
 

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Turbo- & super-charged gasoline engines use more fuel for a given power output than naturally aspirated, if you're making them work fairly hard. This is simply because they must run significantly rich mixtures in order to avoid having detonation grenade the engine. So, it's not surprising that the EcoBoost models would use more fuel than the Coyote-equipped models when towing moderate to heavy loads. This does not apply to diesel engines.

OP, I agree that you have a loading problem if the Ridgeline is behaving as you describe. Nevertheless, if you just want a Ford because you think you'll be happier with it for this new role, then I say make the change.
 

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Or you could just saunter over to the best full size truck made: Toyota’s Tundra.
Tundra is reliable but that is about all it has going for it. It's essentially a 10+ year old design that is a gas guzzler with numb steering and poor handling. I do like the smaller cab 4 dr version as it (unlike the rest of the full size competition) actually has a rear cab area large enough for an adult to sit comfortably. I found it similar to the Ridgeline's rear cab in space. The advantage is that you can go with the smaller quad cab and get a longer 6.5 bed and still be on the "normal" length wheel base. . . .
If your look a professional reveiws, the Tundra rates well behind the Ford / GM / Ram full sizers in just about every category except reliability. Toyota really needs to fully update the Tundra IMHO.
 

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Tundra is reliable but that is about all it has going for it. It's essentially a 10+ year old design that is a gas guzzler with numb steering and poor handling. I do like the smaller cab 4 dr version as it (unlike the rest of the full size competition) actually has a rear cab area large enough for an adult to sit comfortably. I found it similar to the Ridgeline's rear cab in space. The advantage is that you can go with the smaller quad cab and get a longer 6.5 bed and still be on the "normal" length wheel base. . . .
If your look a professional reveiws, the Tundra rates well behind the Ford / GM / Ram full sizers in just about every category except reliability. Toyota really needs to fully update the Tundra IMHO.
Safety isn't the greatest either but if you don't daily drive and just need a truck around the house for 10 years or so and do less than 10k/year odds are that all you will have no surprises. My neighbor had a Tundra that he loved but the MPG's were poor so he got an F-150 2.7 lease which he loves too. He claims about a 5mpg difference between the two. He daily drives. This Tundra is way too long in the tooth hope Toyota makes a good next gen.
 

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Safety isn't the greatest either but if you don't daily drive and just need a truck around the house for 10 years or so and do less than 10k/year odds are that all you will have no surprises. My neighbor had a Tundra that he loved but the MPG's were poor so he got an F-150 2.7 lease which he loves too. He claims about a 5mpg difference between the two. He daily drives. This Tundra is way too long in the tooth hope Toyota makes a good next gen.
A lot of the same arguments can be made about the Tacoma. It might be “reliable” but the drivetrain can get very old in those trucks.
 

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A lot of the same arguments can be made about the Tacoma. It might be “reliable” but the drivetrain can get very old in those trucks.
As bad as the Tacoma is for my needs, if it could fit in one I would have one. Ridgeline would never have been on the radar and I've never owned a Toyota, yet.
 
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