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Green With Envy Moderator
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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any info on how capable this truck will be in the offroad arena? I have no knowledge or experience with the VTM-4 system that Honda uses.

Personally, I am not looking for a hard core rock crawlin' beast. I just wonder how capable Honda is going to make this truck.
 

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Green With Envy Moderator
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Discussion Starter #5
Good demo of VTM-4 on Honda's site

I was poking around the Honda site and decided to check out the Pilot section. There is a good demo (a mix of silent Quicktime and Flash animation w/narration) of the VTM-4 system. Here is the url:

http://automobiles.honda.com/models/engineering_overview.asp?ModelName=Pilot

I guess we can assume that the Ridgeline will use this identical system or something very similar.

The demo mentions a user activated rear differential locker.
:D
 

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Funny that this thread was started by someone named zero... LOL that's what I'd expect from the truck!

Ok, all kidding aside, it should be ok, we all know it's not an offroader or an actual "truck" but I'm sure it's more than capable for what it's needed to do. I've heard very good things about the handling from everyone I know who has driven it.
 

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I do, I work in the plant in Alliston that builds Ridgeline, Pilot and MDX... So I do need to be careful what I say but all my friends who have driven it say it behaves beautifully in high speed handling tests... Nice looking truck too, could use bigger wheels though (couldn't everything?) I love the green.
 

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Dont get me wrong I'am a big fan of this truck but I dont think I would bring this truck off road for any reason. Dirt country roads yes, but anything rugged and rough no way. I'd stick to the Hummer 1 for that or may a equipped Land Rover or such.
 

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I'm no expert but while cruising the 4x4 groups a long while back, independent suspensions get poopooed and both the front and rear on the ridgeline are independent. The argument being that IFS/IRS don't have as much vertical wheel travel as live axles. The reality though is that most people who own 4wd vehicles don't go offroad anyway. I'm guessing that it should be able to handle rough trails comfortably and pulling a boat up a slippery ramp but I won't take it rock crawling--with or w/out winch.
 

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Fast: would you say the same about any other 6-cylinder truck on the market? I mean, after all... they are all weaker than an 8 or higher obviously. If not, what makes you think that this will be a weaker midsized truck? Just curious.
 

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I took mine out to the local wildlife peserve here in South Florida yesterday with several buddies, who mostly were driving full size trucks with lift kits and off-road tires (along with one guy with a stock Blazer). The Ridgeliner did very well through mud, sand and water up to 2 feet deep. Everyone was impressed with it's performance, and at one point I used it to pull the Blazer out of a hole!

This was my first off-roading experience and I am glad that I did not try it solo because I never would have ventured into some of the bogs we went into by myself. Knowing that I would get pulled out right away if I got stuck was a great confidence-booster.

The Ridgeliner never did get stuck, and I was surprised the stock tires did so well. Ground clearance would be the factor to watch out for, as bottoming out in the ruts is a real possibility. The four wheel drive system worked great to pull me right through the tough spots.

This is a great truck for everyday driving, but taking it off-road has made me appreciate it even more. I would highly recommend giving it a try if you get an opportunity.
 

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Sand?

How was the sand run? I am wondering about running it down a beach. I head down to Baja, California and would like to be able to run it along the beaches but wonder about the traction. Anyone have any thoughts or have read about the Pilot or MDX running in sand?
 

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Green With Envy Moderator
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the first hand report of the Ridgeline's offroad abilities. Just imagine what it could do with a 3 or 4 inch lift kit and more offroad oriented tires.
 

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Garland, thanks so much for your report. How bad was the sand? Was it deep? Dry? or wet and compacted? Did you run it with the traction control off, and Rear diff lock on? I've heard the traction control will get bogged down in situations like you described.
 

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Hi All,

I go to Colorado every year for the color change. I hope my RTL will make it over the last half mile of Engineer pass outside of Ouray. Has anyone here done that stretch of trail yet? I am worried about sharps rocks and no skid plates. For the last 20 years I have done it with a Montero. If you have a RidgeLine and have crossed any passes in CO, I would love to know which ones and how the truck did on them.
 

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I have taken my honda Element on to the Beach on Island beach state park in NJ. It had a tendency to bottom out. I am considering buying the ridgeline and am not sure of its abilties in the sand
 

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I would be worried about off roading (other than gravel roads) with the RL

For the 4wd system the RL rear diff is both the rear and center diff. It operates by using clutch packs for each axle. I would be very worried about wear in situations where there is limited traction for extended periods of time.

A better solution for off roading would have been to move the clutch packs from the rear axle to a proper center diff and placing a LSD in the rear, like many Subaru's have. Combining the rear and center diff is cheaper, hopefully with the frequent rear diff oil changes specified by Honda we won't see any problems under normal driving.

-W
 
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