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2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
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My recent tow venture from El Paso TX to Tacoma WA (approx 1800 mi) I in no way set any land speed records, matter of fact, i had cruise set at 70 pretty much the whole way. Was slightly disappointed with it's up hill power considering i wasn't towing THAT much (8200 lb including the truck though oddly shaped). But i averaged about 11 mpg for the trip. Got the trailer stuck in the mud in Utah and blew out a tire just before crossing one of the bridges out here... Hell of a trip lol
11 MPG is about average for towing heavy loads (around 4k lbs and above) with the RL.

It's good you carried a spare tire for your trailer; I know many people with trailers that don't carry a spare. It's hard to tell from the photo, but the trailer tires do look small and lightweight. Do you know the speed rating of your trailer tires? Most light-duty trailer tires are speed rated at 62 to 65 MPH and if you exceed that speed for extended periods they can fail prematurely.

It also looks like there are no trailer brakes. If true, how did your RL perform at stopping your rig on this trip? I'm curries because the RL's stopping performance when loaded is not great and I've personnaly had problems in this area.
 

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2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
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... As far as coming down the mountains, I just used the D3 button as sort of like an engine break descending the big hills so as to not burn up my brakes and that seemed to work out pretty well for me.
That's what it was designed to do. I'm glad to hear that D3 worked as advertised. Sounds like quite a trip.
 

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2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
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I like the idea except for the off-road portion... any experience with a trailer off-road? I've got one particular 90deg turn into a steep grade with a meandering rut that I worry about in particular. ...
I've pulled a 3,500 lbs trailer off-road, but not with my RL. If we can assume our RL would pull the trailer the same off-road as an old Sierra Classic, then I would say it depends on whether there is any soft sand you have to pull it through. If there's sand, it would be easy to get stuck. Since you have some tricky off-road maneuvers to make, I would avoid using a trailer.

One thing you could try to keep the rear from sagging so much is distribute the weight a little more. If you were to follow the owner's manual --which I don't always do in these cases-- our RL's have roughly a 1,500 lbs load capacity (that includes driver and passengers). 1,100 lbs of that load can be put in the bed leaving 400 lbs that you can locate in the cab. If you weigh 150 lbs, consider putting only 17 bricks in the bed and flip up your rear-seats and put another 5 bricks on the rear-cab floor. That may help distribute the weight a little while keeping you at the manual’s published load limits. Of course you could reduce the number of bricks in the bed further by relocating even more bricks to the rear-cab --as well as the front passenger seat floor-- for even more weight distribution.

Given where the high-strength steel crossmembers are located in the bed, I would put more of your bed weight forward (near the cab) and less over the In-Bed Trunk for safety.
Technology Electronic device


If you're thinking of putting any bricks in the In-Bed Trunk, keep in mind that it has a weight limit of 300 lbs. Given how that trunk is suspended around the frame, I would not want to overload that storage compartment.

 

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2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
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... those are some excellent illustrations and very good points. ...
This Canadian press kit document on the 2006 RL is a wonderful resource. It explains so much about the design and capabilities of our RL that is not covered in the owner's manual. Plus, it has great illustrations on how things were designed to work. You just have to realize they are talking about the 2006 Canadian models which were equipped differently than our U.S. models. Be advised that most of the graphics in the Word Document are in color; you need to reset each graphic individually in order to see the colors (I don't know why). I can point you to the U.S. versions of this document but there are multiple documents (one for each section) and some are missing from Honda's website; the Canadian version is the most complete single document I have found (i.e it's easier to reference).

The cutaways and other photos can be found on Honda's Media Newsroom website. Just use the search feature on the page to find what you are looking for.
 

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2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
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I moved one of my extended family members into the Gorge Washington University dorms today--she starts her sophomore year--and man did she have a lot of stuff. I filled up the In-Bed Trunk, put a lot of bags in the back seat, and filled the bed with one-to-two layers of boxes and furniture pieces. The way my RL handled, I would say I had a good 700 lbs of dorm room goodies that I hauled into DC. It doesn't help that it was 94 degrees with very high humidity; a good sweaty workout to say the least.
395706
 

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Premium Member
2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
Joined
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2,531 Posts
I moved one of my extended family members into the Gorge Washington University dorms today--she starts her sophomore year--and man did she have a lot of stuff. I filled up the In-Bed Trunk, put a lot of bags in the back seat, and filled the bed with one-to-two layers of boxes and furniture pieces. The way my RL handled, I would say I had a good 700 lbs of dorm room goodies that I hauled into DC. It doesn't help that it was 94 degrees with very high humidity; a good sweaty workout to say the least.
View attachment 395706
Moved my extended family member's stuff out of the dorms again--who knows when they will be allowed back. Note how her stuff as grown by comparing how much more the bed is filled out. By the time she is a senior, I will need to bring a utility trailer to load all her stuff.
404736
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2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
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Yesterday, I hauled what I think is my heavies load on the frame of my Gen1, a little over 2,000 lbs of payload. I picked up 40 bags of Vigoro Premium Black Wood Mulch--about 35-45 lbs per bag and they were wet--plus about 450 lbs of people and gear. I only had to drive 13 miles through a mix of city traffic, windy country roads, and short freeways, but that was no big deal for the Ridgeline. Because I distributed the weight--putting 16 bags in the second row--I still had some rear suspension travel so its ride was smooth and did not pitch and roll all that much; although I think we hit the bump stops once or twice on some of the rougher roads. However, when it came to accelerating into traffic on the freeways, that 250 hp and 247 lb-ft from the J35Z5 engine and revised PSFA transmission was disappointing. It did accelerate better than it does pulling a +5,000 lbs trailer, of course, but not by much. Looking at it side-on (image below), despite the load on the frame, having it distributed helped keep it all level and controllable.

In summery, I am impressed with this revolutionary 1st generation mid-side truck for it did better than it was advertised to do--rated for 1,475 lb of payload--which is what I have noticed in my 14 years of ownership. If you follow me on the ROC, you know I use my 2009 RTL for everything and I make it work hard.
Automotive parking light Wheel Car Tire Automotive side marker light
 

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2009 Ridgeline RTL (with nav) in Bali Blue Pearl
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2,531 Posts
It is ridiculous how shiny your truck is after all these years. Jealous of the 06'-08' tail lights.
Thanks. It was more the lighting on the good side of the truck than anything else. It had pollen stuck to it, the passenger side has a small "door ding," and I am starting to have some interior and electrical issues that I need to address (she is getting old).. The original paint is holding up after almost 14 years because I keep it parked under a carport at home and in a parking garage at work, so the Sun does not get much time to bake the paint.

One of the original taillights got cracked, so it gave me an opportunity to replace them. The ROC recommended the amber turn signal ones from the 06-08 taillights over the aftermarket ones. After doing some research, I think this forum was right, so I got a cheep knockoff set from China and they have held up well.

Good attention to detail "smufguy."
 
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