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My boat ramp is steep and wet and boat is heavy. What mode is best for pulling boat out of water and up ramp with minimal front wheel spin?
I'm thinking Sand/Mud????? Anyone had experience on boat ramp. Thanks
 

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My boat ramp is steep and wet and boat is heavy. What mode is best for pulling boat out of water and up ramp with minimal front wheel spin?
I'm thinking Sand/Mud????? Anyone had experience on boat ramp. Thanks

I don't have a Ridgeline, but I've been towing my boats with Honda Pilots for a decade. I've never had to even engage the VTM lock and I've been to some knarly ramps. The vehicle figures it out and I'm towing 4,000 pounds.

Have you actually had problems?
 

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I don't have a Ridgeline, but I've been towing my boats with Honda Pilots for a decade. I've never had to even engage the VTM lock and I've been to some knarly ramps. The vehicle figures it out and I'm towing 4,000 pounds.

Have you actually had problems?
Ramp conditions can vary widely, as can tow weight, trailer set-up, etc.

I've been towing a 4K lbs boat rig with my G1 Honda Pilot too, and find it helpful to engage VTM-4 lock on ramps for the initial straight pull out of the water. I've experienced front tire spin on occasion on some ramps when I forget to use the VTM-4 lock. I also feel the over-all strain on the front driveline is lessened by sending more power to the rear during the high-load initial pull.

On the G2 Ridgeline with it's torque vectoring system, more power is always sent to the rear wheels than on either the G1 Ridgeline or the G1 Pilot. I would probably see how it does before engaging an alternate traction mode.
 
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Normal mode should do it. But if it doesn't, try "snow" mode.

The most common problem I see at boat ramps is that people apply too much throttle too quickly. This causes the tires to break traction (wheels spin), at which point you have little to no traction. Snow mode will reduce throttle response (as will ECON mode), and reduce the risk of wheelspin.

Sand mode, on the other hand, will enhance throttle response. That is the last thing you want on a boat ramp.

If you still run into traction issues (highly unlikely), then air the tires down to 15-18psi, that should give you enough traction.

Another tip is to carry some old beach towels. Get them wet, then place in front of tires for enhanced traction in slippery areas.
 

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Normal mode should do it. But if it doesn't, try "snow" mode.....
I understand and agree with the idea of the light-foot on the throttle to prevent breaking traction, but would want to know whether snow mode on the G2 skips 1st and starts out in 2nd gear? If so, I'm not sure that would work well when towing a heavy boat up a ramp. Anybody know?
 

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Not a boat ramp, but similar in terms of the physics at play:

- Yesterday I was towing a 3,000 pound trailer and my RL had a lot of people and gear inside.
-Got to the trail, had to go pretty far into the trail to offload my sxs trailer.
- First big hill - big rocks, steep, very loose sand. Again, pulling trailer, too.
- Put the truck on "L", and eased onto the throttle. Felt front tires start to spin, then the truck sorted it out and applied traction where there was traction to be had. Truck gradually pulled itself up the hill and over the obstacles.

I think if I can do that on loose sand and rock, pulling a heavy load up a very steep hill, you should be fine on a cement boat ramp. If you start spinning, just let the truck's electronics figure it out. I can more or less assure you that the truck will do it in normal mode. Just shift to "L" would be my advice.
 

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I understand and agree with the idea of the light-foot on the throttle to prevent breaking traction, but would want to know whether snow mode on the G2 skips 1st and starts out in 2nd gear? If so, I'm not sure that would work well when towing a heavy boat up a ramp. Anybody know?
That's a good point and a good question. I did a little digging and couldn't find any info on starting gear, including Honda's press release on the drivetrain:
http://www.hondanews.com/channels/ridgeline/releases/2017-honda-ridgeline-press-kit-powertrain

and Jalopnik's article on the different modes:
http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/heres-how-the-2017-honda-ridgelines-trick-off-roading-m-1775651261

I guess the best way to find out is for a G2 owner to go out and count the shifts in Normal vs Snow modes.
 

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The G1 RL manual (and the G1 Pilot manual) suggest using the "2" selection on the transmission selector (which only uses 2nd gear) for starting out in snow/slippery conditions. Which makes me wonder about the snow mode on the G2.

Then again, 2nd gear on the G2 RL is roughly equivalent to 1st gear on the G1 Pilot, so maybe it would be fine.

But I still think the best advice is to use normal mode unless/until a problem develops with traction.
 

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I used snow mode in my G2 quite a bit this year and starting out in Drive it didn't feel any different than the default.
 

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That's a good point and a good question. I did a little digging and couldn't find any info on starting gear, including Honda's press release on the drivetrain:
2017 Honda Ridgeline Press Kit - Powertrain - Ridgeline - Honda News

and Jalopnik's article on the different modes:
Here's How The 2017 Honda Ridgeline's Trick Off-Roading Modes Work

I guess the best way to find out is for a G2 owner to go out and count the shifts in Normal vs Snow modes.
It is in some of the documentation that is floating around. The FWD version does skip 1st gear in snow mode, but the AWD version does not.

EDIT: If you open the Jalopnik link above, then scroll down to the black and purple graphs, on the snow mode graph it says so.
 
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It is in some of the documentation that is floating around. The FWD version does skip 1st gear in snow mode, but the AWD version does not.

EDIT: If you open the Jalopnik link above, then scroll down to the black and purple graphs, on the snow mode graph it says so.
I had this vague idea that a gear was skipped in snow mode on the G2 -- so must have read this somewhere previously. Thanks for clarifying the FWD/AWD difference. Makes sense that the AWD would not do that, since it can distribute power to all four wheels to avoid breaking traction.

I was surprised to read in the Jalopnik summary that Sand Mode locks up the rear diff. I thought I remembered reading how some G2 owners use Sand Mode as a sort of tow/haul mode. That wouldn't be smart to do on dry pavement:

Snow: The idea here is to minimize pedal travel and make launching easier. The throttle input via Drive By Wire (DBW) is made less aggressive, particularly where you first tip-in the pedal. That basically means you’re giving it less gas than you think.

Mud: “Mud” mode has an emphasis on maintaining momentum. Gain increases as you tip the throttle. Torque vectoring is shut off and more power is sent to the rear wheels. The transmission delays upshifts and traction control allows for more wheelspin.

Sand: Basically the same as “mud,” but with all the needles moved even more aggressively. It has maximum rear-bias (a Honda rep told me 70 percent) and an electronically “locked” rear differential.
 

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If you have front wheel spin I would engage VTM-4 lock. But once you get front wheel spin it should have automatically switched to 4 wheel drive. I launch a 4000+ boat regularly and don't use VTM-4 lock unless the ramp is coated with wet mud.
 

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Sounds like you are just overthinking it. Leave it in normal mode and you shouldn't have issues. Much less capable vehicles than the RL go up and down steep boat ramps all the time.
 

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Sounds like you are just overthinking it. Leave it in normal mode and you shouldn't have issues. Much less capable vehicles than the RL go up and down steep boat ramps all the time.
And some more capable vehicles still run into problems. It pays to be extra cautious at the ramp.



 

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And some more capable vehicles still run into problems. It pays to be extra cautious at the ramp.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O40K2FluTUA
not to derail this thread but how did that happen? It is in park and that little boat could not have dragged that truck into the water. Cannot figure it out unless the diver put it in park? heartbreaking, no matter what. But, I think it was because he didn't put the truck nuts on correctly. ok that was mean. >:)
 
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Discussion Starter #19
I had to put my Jeep Wrangler in Lo 4 wheel drive to launch/:surprise: retrieve my boat. In regular 2WD mode the heavy boat started pulling the Jeep backward as the tires spun merrily away on the wet ramp
 

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not to derail this thread but how did that happen? It is in park and that little boat could not have dragged that truck into the water. Cannot figure it out unless the diver put it in park? heartbreaking, no matter what. But, I think it was because he didn't put the truck nuts on correctly. ok that was mean. >:)
Apparently the ramp was really slippery with algae, slime, etc., and he just slid in with no way to stop. I doubt any vehicle type or driving skills could have prevented it. What he should have done was to get out of the truck and inspect the ramp surface before driving on it.
 
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