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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks - new member here. I'm seriously considering a '23 RTL now that I see dealers moving off MSRP to $40k and less here around Chicago. Since I'm new to this vehicle I'm seeing the endless commentary on off-road capability. When I compare the Chevy it has a listed GC of 8.2" or .3" more than the RL. I drove a 4WD Colorado for several years for a public agency that took me off-road on a regular basis. Open fields, dirt trails, deep snow and crazy slopes all in 4HI. Obviously not Moab, but I never recall ever being concerned with GC or getting stuck. I understand 4WD vs. AWD but am I missing something here? I mean does .3" difference really matter? I'd like to at least hit the better seasonal roads up north if possible.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, like most it's a few times a year. My point was that many think there's a huge difference between the RL and the competition when at least on paper they're not really that far apart. So 98% of the time, the RL wins the race.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Appreciate it Bill. The problem s that off-road can mean anything. I was in Michigan a month ago with my friend's Silverado on seasonal roads. We barely deep made it out of there given the deep ruts, rocks, tree stumps. When you're spending $40-50k you want everything but that's just not possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I also want to bring up it's not just about ground clearance but also about the design of the underside of the truck. The RL has a lot of critical components exposed such as the Oil pan, gas tank, rear diff etc that may be more sensitive than a standard truck design. For example on the Colorado, it may not matter if you bang the rear diff on a rock now and then as it is cast iron and can slide over things without potentially causing any damage. On the Ridge that rear diff is aluminum and would not take the same punishment. Same with the front end. A normal truck has a frame\crossmembers and things to slide around on when off road without causing too much damage and typically the gas tank etc tucked up a bit. The Ridge everything hangs down low.

I think if you add full underbelly skids on the ridge it's pretty capable but stock I wouldn't take it on much more than a gravel road.
Great points - that's what I suspected. I think my off-road needs are few and far between but you never know when you'll be tempted to do something dumb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If you are easily tempted into a "hold my beer and watch this" situation, then the RL isn't the right vehicles for you. I suggest a Gladiator Rubicon, metal bumpers, lots of skids, rock rails, solid axles....you can bounce it off a lot of things and it will keep going.
Ha! Maybe in my younger days. I was up north with a friend and his Silverado 4x4 on the 'seasonal' roads (more suited for ATV's) and I was more worried than he was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Thanks to all of you in helping me understand the limits of this vehicle. Don't have one yet but I'm test driving an RL Friday. I think I now know now that are some serious limits to what this thing can handle but I'm OK with that. The many on-road positives outweigh the off-road stuff.
As I said, my only desire is to experience some of the 'seasonal/ timber' roads in northern Wisconsin and Michigan - I've had some fantastic experiences in my F150. As many of you know however, these roads can vary from perfectly graded to hellish conditions that an ATV would have problems with. And you don't know what you're getting yourself into at any time until you reach that limit. Bikes and hauling ATV's are fine, but sometimes you just want to do a 5-mile jaunt and get back to the highway.
It is sad that Honda can't offer anything more than worthless trim packages. Lift the damn thing 2" with protection and tires and the sales would skyrocket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Thanks to all of you in helping me understand the limits of this vehicle. Don't have one yet but I'm test driving an RL Friday. I think I now know now that are some serious limits to what this thing can handle but I'm OK with that. The many on-road positives outweigh the off-road stuff.
As I said, my only desire is to experience some of the 'seasonal/ timber' roads in northern Wisconsin and Michigan - I've had some fantastic experiences in my F150. As many of you know however, these roads can vary from perfectly graded to hellish conditions that an ATV would have problems with. And you don't know what you're getting yourself into at any time until you reach that limit. Bikes and hauling ATV's are fine, but sometimes you just want to do a 5-mile jaunt and get back to the highway.
It is sad that Honda can't offer anything more than worthless trim packages. Lift the damn thing 2" with protection and tires and the sales would skyrocket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I should add that I come from the sports car crowd so I'm familiar with
I think that Honda is gonna come out with some off-road version of Ridgeline in 2024??? The Pilot off-road version is coming out now
If the Pilot is any indication, don't hold your breath. Again, it's trim packs, not any more capability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
The 2023 Pilot TrailSport package does add functionality, such as a factory lift, real skidplates, recovery hooks, A/T tires, offroad mode(s), full-size spare and 360° terrain cameras.
If you don't need a pickup, you might look at that Pilot option, or wait for the next-gen Ridgeline to get it.
I stand corrected.... I think.
 
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