Honda Ridgeline Owners Club Forums banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone tell me what the "compromises" are from having a Unibody of the RL, vs. a Body-on-Frame of many other trucks and SUVs?

Whenever I ask people in real life, or in other forums, no one seems to like the Ridgeline for its unibody construction, saying there are too many compromises vs having a real truck.

My goal with this vehicle is towing a small jet ski, and possibly a small boat in the future. I like small trucks, but not necessarily as a daily driver because I know they can get squirrelly in the rain and snow. Furthermore, the most basic Tacomas seem to be worth as much as, if not more than a comparable Ridgeline, as far as year and number of miles.

I would put a trailer hitch on my car, the Honda Accord, but it is really on its last leg at nearly 300,000 miles, so its becoming time to look at a vehicle that could very well become my replacement daily driver as well.

I'm sure this topic has been beat to death on this forum, but I couldn't find much on the topic when searching for unibody in the title.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
7,777 Posts
Most that spew their knowledge truly do not have a firm grasp of what they are spewing. Body on frame fans like to "point out" that this design offers more articulation. Hmmm, the suspension articulates, the frame flexes. The same people state the Frame is stronger. In this regard, depending on the application, they are correct. With regards to the 1st generation Ridgeline, it is a hybrid of both as it has a frame integrated into the unit body offering the best of both worlds. Most people do not know much about the 1st gen Ridgeline (I would bet a bunch of them at Honda as well) and will assume what is on that internet is true.

As far as handling (Including towing a trailer), you will be hard pressed to find a truck (Or car) that will handle adverse conditions as well as the 1st gen Ridgeline. The Ridgeline will tow a jet ski with no issues and will handle just about anything you can throw at it (Within reason).
 

· Registered
2014 Sport
Joined
·
4,401 Posts
For your puchasing decision, I wouldn't recommend focusing on the body on frame vs unibody. The GenI is a tough vehicle; I have been using mine for construction work and family hauling for 10 years.

Compared to other trucks the Ridge is safe, reliable, handles / rides well, and is one of the best ON ROAD 4wd vehicles out there. It should also haul the loads you are considering.

The Ridge is not a good choice for rock crawling type off roading and it's gas mileage isn't on par with the LATEST mid and some full size trucks.

It is also essentially a 10 year old design with dated electronics and exterior / interior styling.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
Honda claims that the Ridgeline has a 20x higher torsional rigidity (twisting) than a body-on-frame pickup.

I've driven a body-on-frame pickup from every brand. Ford/Chevy/Dodge at work, Nissan and Toyota and Dodge Dakota from my own stable or friends. The Ridgeline exceeds all of them, by far, in having a solid feel...as if it were milled from a single billet of steel. Frame flex and bed box "after shake" are embarrassing on most body-on-frame trucks.

They can have 'em!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,647 Posts
Can someone tell me what the "compromises" are from having a Unibody of the RL, vs. a Body-on-Frame of many other trucks and SUVs?

Whenever I ask people in real life, or in other forums, no one seems to like the Ridgeline for its unibody construction, saying there are too many compromises vs having a real truck.
Since the people who claimed compromises didn't tell you what the compromises were, they simultaneously confessed that they just don't know much about the Ridgeline. This armchair expert nonsense has been going on for a decade. It's nothing new to us here. I should know, because I used to be one of those folks until it was time to inform myself where best to put my money.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,981 Posts
Can someone tell me what the "compromises" are from having a Unibody of the RL, vs. a Body-on-Frame of many other trucks and SUVs?

Whenever I ask people in real life, or in other forums, no one seems to like the Ridgeline for its unibody construction, saying there are too many compromises vs having a real truck.

My goal with this vehicle is towing a small jet ski, and possibly a small boat in the future. I like small trucks, but not necessarily as a daily driver because I know they can get squirrelly in the rain and snow. Furthermore, the most basic Tacomas seem to be worth as much as, if not more than a comparable Ridgeline, as far as year and number of miles.

I would put a trailer hitch on my car, the Honda Accord, but it is really on its last leg at nearly 300,000 miles, so its becoming time to look at a vehicle that could very well become my replacement daily driver as well.

I'm sure this topic has been beat to death on this forum, but I couldn't find much on the topic when searching for unibody in the title.
As folks said above, what "compromises" are you talking about? Also, as noted above, the RL is not a uni-body vehicle...body on frame...best of both worlds.

The RL will tow a jet ski or small boat with no problems what-so-ever. As long as you stay below the 5000 lb. towing capacity, you should be fine. I towed a 2002 Jeep Wrangler (approximately 3400 lbs) on a 1500 lb. trailer, for about 250 miles, and it towed it like a champ. Truth be told, I thought it was going to be a struggle, but the RL really impressed me with its towing abilities. I did not feel unsafe at any time and cruised at about 70 MPH on the interstate. So, I know for a fact, the RL will handle a jet ski/small boat with no problems at all.

Also, as far as trucks getting "squirrelly" in rain or snow, I think you are thinking of the full sized pickups that have almost no weight over the rear wheels because of the bed. The RL is very sure-footed in adverse road conditions. I have owned a number of 4x4 and AWD vehicles and my, hands down, my RL is the best vehicle I have every owned when it comes to driving on slippery roads. THE BEST!

I drive my truck every day back and forth to work and I love it. As an every day driver, it handles and rides as nice as any SUV I have owned, and handles just like a car. The ride is so much better than your average pickup, you'll be impressed. It's nothing like the trucks with the solid frames where, when you go over a set of railroad tracks, you swear you broke your spleen. The ride is firm, no doubt...it is a truck afterall...but handles the bumps and potholes in the road as good as any SUV out there.

So, my advice to you...get rid of the Accord and buy yourself a Ridgeline. You won't be disappointed. It'll haul/tow everything you need hauled/towed and handles as nice as any car.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
As for the 'Squirrelly' comments, the AWD system in the Ridgeline is for the most part, a Front wheel drive vehicle, until grip is needed to be allocated elsewhere. So in short you have a front wheel drive, and then if you loose grip, you instantly have an AWD. Win Win in my book. Unlike all other trucks, as mentioned before, with rear wheel drive, and no weight in the back.

The Ridgeline will do all you want it to.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
11,332 Posts
As for the 'Squirrelly' comments, the AWD system in the Ridgeline is for the most part, a Front wheel drive vehicle, until grip is needed to be allocated elsewhere. So in short you have a front wheel drive, and then if you loose grip, you instantly have an AWD. Win Win in my book. Unlike all other trucks, as mentioned before, with rear wheel drive, and no weight in the back.

The Ridgeline will do all you want it to.
The rear wheels are also progressively powered when accelerating.
 

· Super Moderator
2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
Joined
·
7,897 Posts
I think every thing that has been towed, can be towed and will be towed is covered here.

http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12327

IMO, @ 300k miles I'd keep the Accord for the MPG, cause you probably won't get much for it. Just drive the hell out of it and get the Ridgeline for weekends and towing.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,839 Posts
My 2 cents.

The only thing that body on frame has that is an advantage over unibody is if your truck bed gets hit on the top or sides - you unbolt the bed (4-6 long screws - ok bolts) and lift it off and lower on the new bed and bolt it on. Unibody - you have to cut the panels of the body off and weld new ones in. not as simple but I think the Gen 1 unibody was absolutely genius.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,647 Posts
The rear wheels are also progressively powered when accelerating.
Yes, and it's pre-emptive. Under normal driving, it does NOT wait until there is slippage in the front wheels before engaging the rear wheels.

The only time that it won't pre-emptively send torque to the rear wheels is under very light and slowly engaged power, which is why I use VTM-4 Lock when pulling my boat up its gravel launch ramp.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,166 Posts
In reading some article about body on frame vs. Unibody trucks.
I think it was some GM truck engineer said company would have no problems building some of their pickups unibody . They would not do unibody and also body on frame. So what he said was about cost to the company to do two different types.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
It really depends on what you will be using your truck for? Really if you need a plow truck for instance you need a truck with a frame because that is what you mount the plow assembly too. For what you stated, the uni-body Honda will work fine. It is a great truck and will pull up to a 5000 pound trailer. The Honda is so comfortable to me, it drives more like a car then a truck.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
·
7,777 Posts
It really depends on what you will be using your truck for? Really if you need a plow truck for instance you need a truck with a frame because that is what you mount the plow assembly too. For what you stated, the uni-body Honda will work fine. It is a great truck and will pull up to a 5000 pound trailer. The Honda is so comfortable to me, it drives more like a car then a truck.

The Ridgeline has both a frame and a unit-body. The frame is integrated into the unit-body design. Best of both worlds.
 

· Registered
2022 RTL-E (Radiant Red), 2013 RTL (Dark Cherry Pearl)
Joined
·
1,759 Posts
The Ridge will tow just fine for your needs and stay planted on the ground while doing it. I've never driven a truck that wouldn't get "jumpy" over a freeway bump in a sweeping turn until the Ridgeline. Smooth. I know, my wife has a 2013 and I drive a 2015 RAM 1500. My only beef with the Ridge has nothing to do with the architecture, but with the gearing and the tow button locking out in 3rd gear. Under heavier loads that's where you'll be, and well up in the rpm's. I have a ZF 8 speed in mine and along with the 395 hp it's better suited for the towing I do.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,647 Posts
The Ridge will tow just fine for your needs and stay planted on the ground while doing it. I've never driven a truck that wouldn't get "jumpy" over a freeway bump in a sweeping turn until the Ridgeline. Smooth. I know, my wife has a 2013 and I drive a 2015 RAM 1500.
It's the excellent independent rear suspension. What you document here is exactly why, when recommending to people that they test drive a Ridgeline, that they take it on come tight curves that also have bumps.

My only beef with the Ridge has nothing to do with the architecture, but with the gearing and the tow button locking out in 3rd gear. Under heavier loads that's where you'll be, and well up in the rpm's. I have a ZF 8 speed in mine and along with the 395 hp it's better suited for the towing I do.
That 3rd gear lockout is NOT a Tow button! It's only for engine braking. The owner's manual specifically says not to use it as a tow mode, as doing so could lead to overheating.
 

· Registered
2022 RTL-E (Radiant Red), 2013 RTL (Dark Cherry Pearl)
Joined
·
1,759 Posts
That 3rd gear lockout is NOT a Tow button! It's only for engine braking. The owner's manual specifically says not to use it as a tow mode, as doing so could lead to overheating.
I don't use it as you can't stay at those rpm's, but Honda advises drivers to use D3 on hills. Unless you live in Kansas, you're going to spend time in D3. You don't want a Honda transmission hunting for gears a lot-or any trans for that matter. Plus, the 5 speed is woefully inadequate given the RL's sub 300 hp setup. The spacing in the 5 is not ideal.....just saying. Would have been nice to offer individual gear selection like a 4th gear lockout. Love the RL for everything else and there is not a vehicle like it. I discovered that when I dumped my 2006 Tacoma, which was bouncy and uncomfortable, for a 2007 RTS. We've had one in the family ever since, which is now 8 years. That said, I still feel a body on frame and more gears is better suited for heavier towing. I sold my 2013 Durango R/T which is also a unibody setup, in order to go to a truck.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Thank you for providing this drawing as it really proves the strength of the Ridgeline's construction. The contours however appear to my eye to indicate that this is a schematic of the first generation Ridgeline. How is the new 2017 Second Generation Ridgeline assembled in terms of body to chassis with respect to this version you have presented here?

Thank you in advance.

Frank Pickup
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top