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I am relieved to be directed to this site. I was feeling a bit lost but after reviewing the many threads, I am happy to become a member. I own a 2006 RTL, purchased in 2009 with 43,000 miles. It now has 143,000 miles and the credibility of travel from Key West to Chicken, Alaska (top of the world Hwy). I put a cover on it last spring before starting our retirement trip from TN into Alaska in 2014.
We are now shopping around for a camper to travel the country. I was a bit startled by the reaction of a camper salesman at the RV/Camper Expo in Harrisburg, PA last month regarding my Ridgeline. He went on to tell a tale of woe to a ridgeline owner he sold a camper to many years ago that had the hitch and rear frame rip off the truck. His dire warning was to avoid any tongue weight over 400lbs. After seeing the many posts and threads on this site I am reassured of my trucks capability. I am just wondering if anyone else has encountered issues with hitch instability and if anyone can provide suggestions on what to watch out for in my future shopping activities.
Any suggestions on lift and leveling kits? I have looked at the Racks, Hitches and Towing Treads and it has been immensely helpful. Last question...Has anyone purchased or looked into the GForce Performance chip that is a sales pop-up on this site? Thanks and safe driving.
 

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Just Say No to performance chip for RL.

As far as lift, I would say no to that as well if you plan to tow with it. Just my opinion.

I'd also recommend trailer brakes (add brake controller) if you're towing anything significant (such as a travel trailer... which I'm thinking your are calling a camper?).

And if you don't already have a hitch installed (I wasn't sure from reading above), DO use OEM hitch harness if you don't already have the Honda Hitch & wiring. And for your 2006, be sure to get it (harness) using your VIN number.... there were some changes made that will effect you if you get the wrong one. The guys at Handa.com (H and A) will get you set up great... they are very well versed on the different hitches & harness part numbers used for the different RLs by VIN#. .... or you can check for yourself @ bernardiparts.com to see what p/n you should be using (again just enter your VIN#). Good Luck!
 

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I was a bit startled by the reaction of a camper salesman at the RV/Camper Expo in Harrisburg, PA last month regarding my Ridgeline. He went on to tell a tale of woe to a ridgeline owner he sold a camper to many years ago that had the hitch and rear frame rip off the truck. His dire warning was to avoid any tongue weight over 400lbs.
Welcome!
I'm not surprised about the salesman. I've seen my share of trucks pulling campers well beyond their capabilities. Add the rusting issue of most anything here only makes it worse.
I suppose the rule of thumb is 10% of gross trailer weight for the tongue so that caps us at what, 500lbs?
 

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Long experience here on the ROC tells us that most people who haven't dealt with the Ridgeline will be happy to give some armchair wisdom on it. The Ridgeline's specification for factory parts are conservative. If he witnessed some disaster, that incident had its own explanation that has nothing to do with design weakness. The person probably had a badly installed or designed aftermarket hitch. Do use the OEM hitch and harness, especially if you are towing anywhere near the limits. Do know how to correctly load a trailer for best stability. The Ridgeline can tow with more stability than one would expect for its size, mainly due to the design of the rear suspension.

Also: welcome to the ROC!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the warm welcome and information. To clear up a couple of points, the Truck does have the factory hitch and wiring. The spouse's goal is to acquire a travel trailer that meets her needs and expectations as we venture forth into our sunset years. I will be using comments on this site to help put together the truck limits and a strategy for towing. Many thanks.
 

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OK..... so on to further suggestions for happy camping.
Regarding towing stability, the RL is reported to be a very stable platform in general... well planted on the road.
Regarding trailer selection, my preference has always been for a twin axle (tandem) trailer..... the combination of steadier tracking & flat tire mitigation makes it a must-have in my book.
Also a Weight Distributing Hitch can do wonders to make the whole rig feel & handle super solid. In that case you'll want to be sure to 'adjust' that hitch properly... NOT overloading the frame of the truck. I'm only saying that because I believe I remember reading that WDHs were "dissuaded" by Honda somewhere if I remember correctly... I think they were not ruled out... just not recommended. I'm guessing perhaps due to the frame arrangement on the truck, and the possibility that a poorly adjusted WDH can put excessive loads on it.
I've never read of or heard of any issues using WDH on RL .... and I highly recommend it; just thought I should mention the cautionary note that I had read previously.

EDIT: OK..... I found that "cautionary note regarding WDHs in the owner's manual. You CAN use WDH .... they are "not recommended due to the possibility that they can be "improperly adjusted". My memory was better than usual in this case. HAHA.
Here is that note from OM:

"WEIGHT DISTRIBUTING HITCH
A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance."


This is from 2006 OM.... don't know if the note or wording was changed in OM for subsequent years, but there should be no difference. This note appears under the "Towing a Trailer" section. Lots of good info there, BTW.
 

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You can use a weight distributing hitch. Just be conservative about how much tension (shifting weight to front wheels of truck) is applied. The sway control will probably be of at least as much use as the weight distribution. Use a truck scale to check the weight of all axles. Weigh the trailer's tongue as well. In addition, the trailer's cargo should be as close as possible to the axles to reduce angular momentum.

http://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-determine-trailer-tongue-weight.aspx

I tow a boat right now (5000 lbs, dual axle), but if I were to start towing a travel trailer, I would avoid the most common ones with fixed height and flat (even angled flat) front ends. The biggest problem when towing with a V6 engine is going to be air resistance. I would get one with a V-front, a cone front, a hi-lo, or one that's built for efficiency from the ground up -- an Airstream. Dry weight would be around 3800 lbs to allow for cargo and for taking extra things in the truck. I would trade off interior space for good function any day. When travelling a couple of years ago in Europe, the most important things going on were at the locations we were visiting, not our hotel rooms, so we got more basic hotels in the right places.

In summary, rather than getting a huge trailer, I'd get a really good one. Hey, that's just the kind of decisions that Ridgeline owners make with their trucks, right? Best wishes on your travels.
 
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