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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I finally hooked up my 2nd generation 1992 Toyota 4runner to my Ridgeline RTL today.
As a precursor I'll state that I have towed it a short distance with Chevy Avalanche and did not notice any issue.
Immediately when I started towing I noticed the Ridgeline steering was effected by the tracking stability of the 4runner - more than I'd expect.
Things got scary from there. On slow 15mph 90 degree turns everything seems fine but the Ridgeline VSA engages as an attempt to stop the rear from pulling out. There is a good reason for that as the ridgeline seems to be too light in the rear to have enough traction to steer the Toyota on any but the slowest turn. An attempt (under controlled conditions) to take a corner faster actually caused the Ridgeline back wheels to severely pull out all this at under 25mph. I guess the Toyota is less than 4000lbs though it does have 32x12.4R15 so it might be slightly less trackable than normal.
I tried the towing up to 50mph and on mild curves and it just did not feel safe and I could hear the VSA start up when things got too edgy. Power was not an issue and the Ridgeline towed as well as my last 2000 Honda Odyssey which was used to tow my last CJ7 everywhere. Given how it felt by the seat of my pats when the revs are over 4000 RPM I suspect it will shame some V8 in the hills as did my Honda minivan. Stopping hard was not as good as I expected probably also due to the light rear being lifted/pushed and ABS/VSA doing noisy things as they try and correct.
Update - I towed a 19.5' 2500 lbs SeaRay boat this weekend. Boats have tong weight so as I expected it was a much better experience. The Ridgeline had the power and stopping ability to make the experience just great. I will not be able to use a trailer with my 4runner as the combined weight is overall the 5000lbs limit.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think that turning VSA off to stop it from getting upset on on good dry pavement while towinig 4 down might lead to me getting aquainted with the handling envelope of the Ridgeline which I am not sure I want to be familiar with.... Even with it on it was not a safe experience. I think the VSA is correcting for a real problem that it is experiencing when the rear wheels are losing grip. In the next few weeks I am going to experiment with different hitch hights and types for towing 4 down.
bellteck said:
It may seem like a silly request .. why dont you turn the VSA off? :rolleyes:
 

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FIGURES,

The guy who probably doens't even own a Ridgline, will post anything. You toyta owners are so relentless aren't you?
 

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I agree Chicago, all oran has done in his 7 posts on this forum is BI*&H. At this point I'll question if he owns one or not. :p :rolleyes:
 

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oran said:
I finally hooked up my 2nd generation 1992 Toyota 4runner to my Ridgeline RTL today. Immediately when I started towing I noticed the Ridgeline steering was effected by the tracking stability of the 4runner.
You sound like you are somewhat experienced doing this, but I will ask the question. Are your front wheels on your Toyota locked during this towing? Are the Toys differentials locked in 4 wheel?

A towed 4,000 pound vehicle with wide tires trying to go straight will certainly cause problems for the rear end of any towing vehicle trying to go around a turn.

Your boat pulls better, not because of the tongue weight, but because a trailer has no steering and no differentials. It is free to follow the towing vehicle where ever it goes.

How did you hitch the Toyo to the Ridge? What kind of hardware? Photos would be helpful in diagnosing you problem and would silence those who suspect you don't even own a Ridgeline!
 

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Why would you tow another car/truck anywhere? (Except to maybe sell it to a 3rd party).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Trouble towing 4 down with Ridgeline - update

It has been a really long time since I posted the first towing exprience. I just had no time for a 4 hour session of exploring of all the parameters involved.
I won't bore you will all the experimentation but give you the bottom line.

The 1992 4Runner can be towed behind the Ridgeline but I will recommend lots of caution and one radical action. This translates mainly to:
  1. Controlling your speeds to below 70 mph even on freeways. Legal speed for towing in California are 55mph anyway. The Ridgeline steering is effected by the motions of the towed vehicle and you don't want it to move you from your driving lane. Driving slowly makes it safe.
  2. Taking it extra easy around all corners, this is where the problems show up. Go fast and you will learn how to drift with the Ridgeline.
  3. Put extra air in the front tires of the towed vehicle to ease it following in turns. I went to 45PSI but am going to reduce the poressure down to 35PSI with 33"x12.5x15 wheels. Different tires require experimentation. Too much air can cause wandring at highway speed when towing and extra wear on the center of the tire tread.
  4. Turn off the VSA traction control as it is too sensitive when towing 4-down. It tries to compensate where there is no issue at all on dry pavement. This is a radical recommendatoin so do it after careful consideration and at your own risk. I cannot comment on what to do on slippery pavement and you should not assume it holds true.
I took the Ridgeline and the towed Toyota 4runner on 10 runs with different setups. First 5 tries doing 4 right turns around the block at 15 mph to get good initial setting of air and bar angles and then going back and forth the Calero Reservoir to Monterey Hwy pass roughly 5 times.

I found that a very slight downward slope of the towing bar towards the Ridgeline tends to help a little in the handling especialy during braking in turns.

Again power and stright line breaking were not an issue.

I will take this settup on Labor Day to a 250 miles drive up to Shaver lake going through 101-152-99-168 so I am sure to get well aquainted with any limitations.

I'll post pictures when I return.
 
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oran said:
Picture of the Ridgline on the California coast and then the Toyotal doing what the Ridgeline towed it to the mountins for:
That looks like fun!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I guess I should add some details about the 195 mile labor day trip each way while towing the Toyota from Sunnyvale to Shaver Lake in the Sierra National Forest and back.
  1. Truning off VSA is very effective as it is so sensitive and blinks on every curve. I found that keeping to the yellow recommended curve speed signs was exactly the right speed around curves for me.
  2. kept the speed to 65 mph or under
  3. Fantastic power, went up Hwy 168 doing 65 at 4000-5000 RPM. I was passing big bore HD trucks towing boat, like they were standing still. My friend with a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder with a 3500 lbs boat was unable to keep up. Up the pass on hwy 152 both ways I was keeping up with all the traffic up hill. Overtaking everyone towing except one estubborn Ram V10 with a pretty large (5000lbs) boat on triler.
  4. Power only really kicks in at 4000 RPM when the valves change. Impressive towing at over 7000' altitude where some vehicles choke.
  5. Braking is fine but take it easy on the speed, plan ahead, watch your distance
  6. Significan hit on fuel economy but still less than both vehicles running :)
Overall great trip, easy but cautious tow.
 

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Oran, great pics and glad you made it safely. For those of us who might be doing the same thing soon, can you post pics of exactly how you hooked up the toyo to your ridge?
 
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