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Discussion Starter #1
Attending the ATV Jamboree in Richfield UT. Took most of day but I'm here. But two things I discovered on the way has me curious.

Months ago I asked if I should use higher octane fuel when I got to the rockies and seems like I was told not to because the higher altitude would make the 87 leaner anyway. Well, pulling roughly 1000lbs when I got to the higher elevations the Ridge really seemed to struggle. So much so I don't know how anyone could pull a camper Denver-west. With cruise set at 70 I was over 4000rpm for extended times even when not going uphill. Should I reconsider and put in 91 on the way back and see what that does? Or is altitude the issue? I am thinking of getting a new air filter before I go back as well. I usually change that every 2 oil changes but maybe it would help too.

Other issue was last time I filled up with gas, my fuel gauge didn't go right up to full as it usually does. After I drove 16 miles it inched itself up to full. It just never did that before. Ever happen to anyone before?
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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I've seen the gas gauge slow to rise to the full mark once. A good while back. Never seen it since.

I don't know if the 91 octane will help or not. Won't you be going downhill most of the way back? :D
 

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2007 Nimbus Grey Metallic RTL
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Using higher octane fuel will help, but it still won't hide the fact that the RL is a heavy, slightly underpowered vehicle. Higher elevations are really going to affect it - especially when towing. When on highway trips, I've noticed a little better power, less shifting and more of a penance to stay in a lower gear while climbing hills when using premium octane fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Got back home. Took 3 fill ups. First two I used 91 and I did notice a difference in how smoother shifting was. Few places still pulled good though. No more fuel gauge problems.
 

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I believe Honda recommends the higher octane when towing. I have done it both ways. I prefer the higher octane if for nothing other than peace of mind.

Elevation affects horsepower; no matter if you are using higher octane or not you will get less power. For example, one estimate I looked at showed that at 10,000 feet, a 250hp engine (like in a Ridgeline) loses 75HP (about 30%). Other sources including Honda say to reduce the trailer and passenger load at elevation, however yours at 1000lb is well below the max.

Very little towing is done at 10,000ft. so a more realistic number might be 5000ft out west. For that the loss is about 15% (half that of 10,000ft). I don't know the validity of these numbers, I got them off a website someplace. This is what they use: HP Loss = (elevation x 0.03 x horsepower @ sea level)/1000. On Ridgeline that would be 37.5. Significant.
 
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