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Sometimes I feel sorry for people who

1257 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  Wrascal
. . . just don't "get" the Ridgeline. It just does so much and does it so well. Over the years we have used our two Gen 1's as a very comfortable daily driver, as our vacation excursion vehicle, as a hauler of all kinds of stuff in the bed - and much more often in the trunk - and as the tow vehicle for our ski/fish boat (3800 lbs) and for our travel trailer.

For instance we just towed our travel trailer to spend a week in the Texas Hill Country. CAT scales showed trailer = 4640 lbs; Tongue weight = 520 lbs; GCWR = 9700 lbs. (22' Coachmen Freedom Express 192 RBS). All within the Ridgeline's specs. We do not use a weight distributing hitch but do use a friction sway bar. My Michelins were inflated to a cold 36 psi prior to departure. The terrain west of Houston is transitional from flat coastal plain to gently rolling farm and ranch country. West of Austin the hills become "slightly choppy" (to use a marine reference for our Texas bays). It was an easy 214+ miles to Fredericksburg at 8.70 mpg (93 octane, of course).

Our camping friends along with us were towing their 30' Rockwood with their Tundra V-8. (These folks have been towing travel trailers of various sizes for over twenty years.) He estimated his trailer weight at 8000 lbs. His truck requires a weight distributing hitch with a sway system. He recently installed light truck tires and had them inflated to 60 psi. He also had installed air bags (which he had to adjust at a fuel stop). And not to beat up on his Tundra, but upon our departure I overheard him ask his wife to shut down their engine immediately after hitching up, because "they will need every drop of fuel they had!" He told me that he was showing approximately 7.5-8 mpg for the trip.

Observations . . . Both going and coming we had approximately 20+ mph crosswinds. We both typically tow at 60 mph or a few mph above. My friend asked me to follow in order to watch how his trailer appeared, stability-wise. All I can say is that he was definitely fighting sway due to the crosswinds as well as some passing semis. At a fuel stop he noted how much he was having to fight the wind. LOTS of dynamics go into this, but I can tell you that our 2011 RTL was very stable. Sure, I could feel a bit of minor buffeting occasionally, but nothing ever made me uncomfortable. In open country, I just set the cruise control to 61 mph and enjoyed the ride. Stop and go traffic was the norm while going through south Austin, and we did have to brake hard a couple of times to avoid idiots, and our electronic brake controller augmented the RTL's braking perfectly. It was a delightful journey both ways.

Along the way, as other "real trucks" passed us (with nothing in their bed nor towing anything a truck all!) I could imagine their surprise at what they were seeing. And there were numerous times when we were passing others. Even had to jack the rig up to 70 mph once to get around a tractor trailer that was clogging the right lane. Never a wobble or faltering moment.

This is just one example - of so many in our own experience - as how our Ridgelines have been amazingly capable and flexible vehicles. We take an aggressive approach to maintaining the truck (virtually a "severe service" schedule), and it continues to treat us well. Perhaps our experience will be encouraging to other Gen 1 owners who might wonder if their truck might adequately handle such loads. Meanwhile, just continue to feel sorry for those who just don't know . . .
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I also liked my former RL, but ... there are areas that (for certain people) aren't met with "a toy truck". For many Bigger is Better, that's important to them. That's why there are so many options.

My current "Bigger is Better" certainly lags the RL in some areas, but it also improves on it in other areas. The fact that I can see over most other vehicles ahead of me is a great improvement, while pulling a load the RL couldn't handle. And my dogs have more room in the rear seat of this current buggy. Plus! there are grins to be had with a 400 HP/ 800 ft. lbs torque diesel.

Lastly, my initial response to the original RL was "its ugly" (but it grew on me); I had the same thought with the new RL. I never felt that way about full sized trucks.

To each his own.
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