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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just got back from towing my boat to Shasta lake this weekend. I don't think the conditions could have been worse for towing but the Ridge made it without any problem. Here's the conditions:

1. 100 - 105 degrees F
2. 20 mph head wind
3. A/C on the whole way
4. 2 passengers loaded with cargo in the bed.
5. 1,500' climb with some grades at 6%
6. Tow load 5,000lbs
7. 400 mile round trip.

With the headwind on about half the trip I really couldn't go faster than 65mph else the rpms would hang at 4,100. At 65mph on flat road it drive on cruise at 2,700. With no wind I could push it a little past 70 and still hang at 2,700 rpm. Any hill climb or passing it would jump to 4,100, 5,000rpm at the worst and be in 4th or 3rd gear but it would climb without any trouble keeping the speed up.

It did suck the gas down as expected, using premium I got no better than 10mpg.

No trouble at all pulling the boat out of the water up the really steep launch ramp. Braking was no trouble, felt very secure just using the trailer surge brakes.

I also started the trip with 30% oil life left and when I got back it was 5%. That shows the computer was sensing those extreme conditions and was counting down the life fast. I'm at 4,700 miles now.

Lots of positive comments from gawkers but my favorite I overheard was "Geeze that little truck can tow that big boat?"
 

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Vertrkr, extreme conditions indeed! Really glad to hear your Ridgeline towed your rig so well under hot and windy conditions with max load. I'll only being towing a bassboat (right at 3000 lbs). Not surprised that gas milage dropped off to 1/2, which has normally been my experience through the years when towing. Really glad to hear your truck was able to handle the haul out on the launch ramp without problems. Was the ramp wet? Did you get any tire spinning at all? I haven't towed my bass boat yet, but am hoping the AWD will handle the steep and wet launch ramps ok. It appears the OLM may actually work. How did the A/C work during the trip? Hope you caught fish! Thanks for the report. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
akatwn said:
Vertrkr, extreme conditions indeed! Really glad to hear your Ridgeline towed your rig so well under hot and windy conditions with max load. I'll only being towing a bassboat (right at 3000 lbs). Not surprised that gas milage dropped off to 1/2, which has normally been my experience through the years when towing. Really glad to hear your truck was able to handle the haul out on the launch ramp without problems. Was the ramp wet? Did you get any tire spinning at all? I haven't towed my bass boat yet, but am hoping the AWD will handle the steep and wet launch ramps ok. It appears the OLM may actually work. How did the A/C work during the trip? Hope you caught fish! Thanks for the report. ;)
The ramp wasn't wet above the water line, certainly had the rear wheels in the water though. No hints of slipping at all and didn't struggle in the least, defintely one of the steepest ramps I've seen too. I left the drive train in normal position (VSA on and in "D")

A/C was no problem, keep us very comfortable using Auto @78 degrees. Engine temp gauge never went above normal position. Wish I had a tranny gauge though.

No fishing this time, took the kids and parents for lots of skiing, tubing, exploring.
 

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vertrkr said:
I could push it a little past 70 and still hang at 2,700 rpm. Any hill climb or passing it would jump to 4,100, 5,000rpm at the worst and be in 4th or 3rd gear.

Lots of positive comments from gawkers but my favorite I overheard was "Geeze that little truck can tow that big boat?"
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...
The Little Engine That Could
 

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Thanks for posting this real world experience. Keep up the good work.
 

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vertrkr said:
The ramp wasn't wet above the water line, certainly had the rear wheels in the water though. No hints of slipping at all and didn't struggle in the least, defintely one of the steepest ramps I've seen too. I left the drive train in normal position (VSA on and in "D")

A/C was no problem, keep us very comfortable using Auto @78 degrees. Engine temp gauge never went above normal position. Wish I had a tranny gauge though.
vertrkr, great that you didn't even need to use the VTM-4 Lock! Very informative report on your "extreme" towing experience. Thanks again. ;)
 

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Good write-up. Very reassuring. That's what I love about this board. I can go into my own situations with a lot more confidence thanks to all the insight here.
 

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I thought this would be the case. Thanks for taking the time to write this stuff down, ie: stats, conditions, etc.
Has anyone seen or has any of the "car/truck" magazines ventured into the "let's put a group of 'trucks' thru a stress test to see how they live up to their company's listed stats" comparison?

It would be technically interesting to see how well they perform. Totally objective. Dry stats after an battery of tests. No take, just stats. Some: AT temp, xfer case temp, water temp, rpms at what level of test, gas, oil life, body flex, any special combinations that a customer wouldn't do to achieve those stats, ("well, we were able to get brand X thru the X test, but we had to engage this, lower that, etc, etc")
How much was it loaded with when test X failed, was any damage done, etc, etc.

Sounds boring, I know, but was just wondering "out loud" to my "siblings" in the ROC. ;)
 

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pbear said:
I thought this would be the case. Thanks for taking the time to write this stuff down, ie: stats, conditions, etc.
Has anyone seen or has any of the "car/truck" magazines ventured into the "let's put a group of 'trucks' thru a stress test to see how they live up to their company's listed stats" comparison?

It would be technically interesting to see how well they perform. Totally objective. Dry stats after an battery of tests. No take, just stats. Some: AT temp, xfer case temp, water temp, rpms at what level of test, gas, oil life, body flex, any special combinations that a customer wouldn't do to achieve those stats, ("well, we were able to get brand X thru the X test, but we had to engage this, lower that, etc, etc")
How much was it loaded with when test X failed, was any damage done, etc, etc.

Sounds boring, I know, but was just wondering "out loud" to my "siblings" in the ROC. ;)

I'm a computer guy and I often think the same way about computer products. Why don't they just give me a slew of straight test data against a set of controls and let me draw my own conclusions. I think that 1) it would require some REAL work and not just conveying a paragraph or two of "impressions" and 2) I can only guess that stats like the ones you mention are just not sexy enough except to people who care (like us!).

I totally agree with you: no take, just stats! :)
 

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Great work.

I have a 4700lb boat so I was waiting to see how others did with it. It gives me great confidence in the truck.
 

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Check out caranddriver.com for a comparison of mid-size pickups pitted against the Ridgeline. Of course the Ridgeline won.
 

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I'm hoping some of you guys who have towing experience with the Ridgeline can give me some insight into the Honda logic on the gears that can be driver selected.

I'm considering buying a new Ridgelineto replace my 96 Tacoma but the Honda dealer can't answer a basic question for me so I thought I'd come to some experts. Here's the issue. I currently tow a 18' skiboat (towed load about 4,000 lbs) with the Tacoma (3.4 V6 with 4 speed auto) and always tow with the overdrive in the "off" mode. This makes the Tacoma tow in 3rd gear and it does a very fine job of pulling the load. The Tacoma owners manual recomments towing with OD "off" to prevent tranny overheating. It's got 150k miles with a lot of towing so I sure can't complain about the longevity.

The Ridgeline's gear selector can't be placed in 4th (as best I can determine). The only selections are D, D3, D2, or D1. In D, the tranny picks it's own selection from 1-5. Interestingly, the Acura MDX allows for individual selections of any gear. Is the limitation in the Ridgeline gear selection really a negative when towing? Does anybody know what Honda says about this? I'm a bit concerned about overheating the tranny and would like to know if my concerns are justified.

Can any of you that have a lot of towing experience with other vehicles and with the Ridgeline provide some wisdom as I would like to purchase a Ridgelind for my growing family but need to get comfortable that I won't overheat the tranny with a 4,000lb load on a long trip.

Thanks for any advise.
 

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You are correct that the transmission cannot be placed in 4th. Honda recommends that all towing be done in Drive and that D3 be used only for downhill braking. In fact, they state that towing in D3 can overheat the transmission due to the high speed of the gears.
I regularly tow a 3,500 lb. folding trailer, always in Drive, in mountainous country and the RL does a great job. The cooling system was built to handle these kind of condtions. The RL is a rock solid tow vehicle. With a 400 lb. tongue weight, the rear end drops only 1 3/8" and the ride is unaffected. The brakes are more than up to the job when used in combination with the trailer brakes. Let the tranny pick it's own gears. You'll find that no matter what kind of terrain you are on, the tranny is in a gear that gives you plenty of power with some reserve left over.
 

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Is it true that when you hook up to the trailer wiring connector that the Ridgeline knows that there is a trailer and changes the shift points? If it does, will it do it for both the flat 4-pin connector and the round 7-pin connector?
 

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Great report about towing performance. I'm glad the post was revived as it was originally posted on my birthday and we were off in Idaho on a camping trip, so I missed it first time around.
 

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Is it true that when you hook up to the trailer wiring connector that the Ridgeline knows that there is a trailer and changes the shift points?
The trailer wiring has nothing to do with the shift points. When the tranmission shifts is dependent on the engine load, which obviously is going to be higher with a trailer attached. But the trailer could be anything from a few hundred to 5,000 lbs. and just a signal from the trailer wiring would not be able to tell difference. Also, if that were the case, the shift points would not be affected by a half ton load in the bed with no trailer attached. That would make for a pretty doggy pickup, which the RL definately isn't.
 

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Ultra-HOG said:
Is it true that when you hook up to the trailer wiring connector that the Ridgeline knows that there is a trailer and changes the shift points? If it does, will it do it for both the flat 4-pin connector and the round 7-pin connector?
I think the 7-pin alters the operation of the cooling fans when you have a heavy trailer with brakes.
 

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methodtim said:
I'm a computer guy and I often think the same way about computer products. Why don't they just give me a slew of straight test data against a set of controls and let me draw my own conclusions. I think that 1) it would require some REAL work and not just conveying a paragraph or two of "impressions" and 2) I can only guess that stats like the ones you mention are just not sexy enough except to people who care (like us!).

I totally agree with you: no take, just stats! :)
I also would love to see straight stats (as difficult as that would be)... how many manufacturers actually want their products tested like that. I'm sure any truck magazine might loose a few advertisers after a toture test revealed a few things about being "built Ford Tough" or "Professional Grade" !
 
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