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2020 Ridgeline Sport
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We currently have a class c motorhome that we use for shorter trips around 2-3 hours away. We have gone as far as Florida and Ohio with it, but it is not the most fun vehicle to travel long distances in. It gets about 7 mpg on regular gas and of course it has to be maintained like any vehicle. I'm not new to travel trailers either, previous to the Class C, I had a Tundra and towed an Airstream and way back I had a T100 and towed an Aerolite. The Ridgeline is fairly close in size to those older trucks though the Tundra was rated for about 7K lbs and the T100 was 5K.

The RL in question is a 2020 with AWD so the max tow is 5K. I am looking at trailers with max dry weight of about 3500 and would use some type of weight distributing hitch. Passengers would be me and my bride and small dog. My wife is ok with potentially downsizing the rig if we can take longer trips than we do now.

I've read through some older posts and understand that transmission temps are/were an issue with the older 6 spd boxes. Where we live (SE VA) it is pretty flat, but we could hit some mountains if we travel west or north. What I am concerned with is how well this truck will tow with something around 16-20 foot long, what the mileage might be and overall robustness of the drivetrain. It's not worth it if I'm going to damage the transmission in the process. Thanks in advance for any pertinent advice.
 

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2019 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E; 2021 Flagstaff EPro e19FD trailer
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Hi "ET",

I tow an EPro 19FD (20' length) with a '19 RTL-E, and use an Andersen weight distribution hitch. Last trip to Emerald Isle, we stopped by a CAT scale which showed:
- Steer Axle: 2640 #
- Drive Axle: 3000 #
- Trailer Axle: 3380 #
- Gross: 9020 #

This was with full fuel, 20 gallons of fresh water, empty gray and black water tanks, and usual tools. Pretty much the way we usually roll, except no generator (Honda EU2200i) this time. I believe all the weights are within limits, though a little close on the Drive Axle. (Sticker on the Ridgeline door pillar indicates a 3200# limit on the rear axle., 3100# on the front.) I probably should crank a little more weight to the front axle with the Andersen WDH, but I'll need to snip a link on the chains first.

I use a ScanGauge to monitor ATF temp and Lockup Clutch Current, and lately have been towing in D4 at ~60mph. The Ridgeline seems quite happy towing in this config, with tranny temp <190F and LUC at the 1200ma max most of the time. MPG is 12-13. That said, I did just purchase a B&M transmission cooler that I've not installed as yet. I plan to install in series with the OEM cooler. I hope to mitigate the risk to the 6-speed tranny.

I suspect you'd be quite happy with the extra range and control that the 9-speed offers.
 

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We are currently on our second trip with our 2019 towing a 6X12 cargo trailer loaded to 4500 pounds plus back and forth over the Cascade and Rocky Mountains and have experienced absolutely no issues. We have a ScanGauge installed this trip. The Ridgeline has been proving to handle this loading so comfortably a weight distribution hitch or anti-sway devices have proven not to be necessary.
Bill
 

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We’re in the very same situation and look forward to reading your responses! Have an older 30’ Class C and recently bought a new ‘22 RTLE, with the plan of eventually buying a TT around or under 4000 lbs. Any reports of tranny issues on the 9 speed, or was that just occasionally on the previous 6 speed? And - maybe stupid questions here - is it best to tow in the standard “drive” mode or in the “ sport” mode? Will the AWD automatically kick in if needed? Appreciate you all!
 

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2020 Ridgeline RTL-E Pacific Pewter
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2020 RTL-E AWD here, Forest River R-Pod RP-196. 3700'ish "dry", but around 4400 loaded (Trailer GVWR around 4900 I think). All of the 190 series should be towable, but will be at or near the limit. (RP-201/202 are probably just out of the range of Ridgeline.) Definitely can't suggest enough to get weighed for anyone towing at or near the limits to be sure.

TLDR:
  • don't go over 4k "dry", but really don't get trailer with over 5k GVWR (and don't overload your trailer).
  • use WDH know how to use it (i.e. have it dialed in when loaded)
  • trailer & vehicle loading is important (probably want a good bit more than 10% tongue weight)
  • did I mention?: get it weighed

I have numerous trip reports and lots of details about my rig, weighing, and dialing-in, all linked on my profile page.
 

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We currently have a class c motorhome that we use for shorter trips around 2-3 hours away. We have gone as far as Florida and Ohio with it, but it is not the most fun vehicle to travel long distances in. It gets about 7 mpg on regular gas and of course it has to be maintained like any vehicle. I'm not new to travel trailers either, previous to the Class C, I had a Tundra and towed an Airstream and way back I had a T100 and towed an Aerolite. The Ridgeline is fairly close in size to those older trucks though the Tundra was rated for about 7K lbs and the T100 was 5K.

The RL in question is a 2020 with AWD so the max tow is 5K. I am looking at trailers with max dry weight of about 3500 and would use some type of weight distributing hitch. Passengers would be me and my bride and small dog. My wife is ok with potentially downsizing the rig if we can take longer trips than we do now.

I've read through some older posts and understand that transmission temps are/were an issue with the older 6 spd boxes. Where we live (SE VA) it is pretty flat, but we could hit some mountains if we travel west or north. What I am concerned with is how well this truck will tow with something around 16-20 foot long, what the mileage might be and overall robustness of the drivetrain. It's not worth it if I'm going to damage the transmission in the process. Thanks in advance for any pertinent advice.
Like zerog2k, we tow an R-Pod 17x series trailer with a 2017 (3500 off the new assembly line) fully loaded with bikes, water, food and gear for five days out. Tows like nothing is back there, but MPG is cut in half.
Bill
 

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2020 Ridgeline Sport
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
2020 RTL-E AWD here, Forest River R-Pod RP-196. 3700'ish "dry", but around 4400 loaded (Trailer GVWR around 4900 I think). All of the 190 series should be towable, but will be at or near the limit. (RP-201/202 are probably just out of the range of Ridgeline.) Definitely can't suggest enough to get weighed for anyone towing at or near the limits to be sure.

TLDR:
  • don't go over 4k "dry", but really don't get trailer with over 5k GVWR (and don't overload your trailer).
  • use WDH know how to use it (i.e. have it dialed in when loaded)
  • trailer & vehicle loading is important (probably want a good bit more than 10% tongue weight)
  • did I mention?: get it weighed

I have numerous trip reports and lots of details about my rig, weighing, and dialing-in, all linked on my profile page.
Thanks. I read both posts. My head was starting to spin with all the trailer axle weights but I get the drift. Would you say that average MPG goes to about 10-11? I'm not sure you can totally minimize any issues with sway, even with my Class C I can get pushed around a bit with a strong cross wind or when I get overtaken by an 18 wheeler.

We havent found what we would consider a good model to downsize to yet. We are spoiled to say the least with the room in the coach and going to something this small does have compromises. We are traveling down to FL next month and I know there are some huge dealers going down south where we can do some more window shopping. On the plus side, it looks like the values on motorhomes are still pretty high, even with the current gas price state.
 

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2020 Ridgeline RTL-E Pacific Pewter
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My head was starting to spin with all the trailer axle weights but I get the drift.
Sorry, unfortunately, after lots of research, I came to the conclusion that it's totally possible and safe to tow near or at the limit, however it's just not as simple as not exceeding only "one" or even two numbers. There are multiple numbers we need to pay attention to and ensure we do not exceed any one of them. (each axle max, tongue weight max, payload max, trailer axle max, etc). Usually if the tow vehicle is significantly outsizing the trailer, then most of the time it doesn't matter so much, i.e. pulling 5k trailer w/ half-ton, etc. But even with these 10k numbers on some half-tons, you have to do the exact same thing (look at all the numbers carefully) with half-tons - as many will find that you can't even get close to 10k trailer (looking at you Tundra & F150... in reality it's more like 7 or 8k tops.)
For me, the exercise is about knowing and piece of mind that I'm keeping my rig within design limits (which I'm confident that Honda engineers have built in ample safety margins).

average MPG goes to about 10-11
Yes, more or less. My general rule of thumb is that MPG is cut in half. I pretty much need to plan on stopping for gas every 200 miles. It does require some forethought and planning on longer road trips across more sparse areas (looking at you west Wyoming).
Going up steep grades this could be like 7-9 MPG, but on straight & level with favorable winds, it could be 13+.


Recently coming back from Texas panhandle to DFW area, we had significant quartering winds about 15-20 MPH. The MPG was low (9-10) and the wind made it interesting to handle. You could definitely feel the wind pushing us around. Regardless of wind conditions, I always feel the suck-in/push-out of large displacement vehicles like semis when they pass. Generally I understand the situation overall to be safe, as I do not get any sustained sway - the rig should go back to stable when the external input (wind/push) is removed. The real problems come if/when the rig continues to sway, as this can oscillate out of control

FWIW, I dont personally have any experience with bigger trailers or tow vehicles, but my next door neighbor tows a 28'ish foot bumper pull trailer (around 7-8k# i think?) behind a newer F250, and they also noted that in very windy conditions, it can be interesting w.r.t. sway.
So I suspect that any trailer & tow vehicle combination where the trailer is close to the same weight as the TV will have similar handling. I'm guessing you'd have to oversize the TV to remove that feel.
 

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Honestly, I believe you are way over thinking all of this and making things a whole lot more complicated than you really need to be. Simply, assure that the loaded trailer does not exceed 5,000 pounds. That your hitch weight does not exceed 600 pounds. And that you load the Ridgeline itself within reason, (leave your anvil collection at home), overall mostly using simple common sense.
Bill
 

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2020 Ridgeline RTL-E Pacific Pewter
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Well, don't take my word for it, but I would suggest anyone towing be very familiar with the Towing A Trailer section of their owners manual. It unfortunately does not limit itself to the same desired level of low simplicity. It does go into essentially the same things as I mention above.

Best of luck!
 

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I have been towing a 17' Casita travel trailer with my 2019 RTL-E for the last two years on multiple trips all over New Mexico, in high and low temperatures and elevations ranging from sea level up to 10,000' with no trouble whatsoever. I do also have the Andersen no-sway weight distributing hitch installed, which is awesome - you hardly know you're towing anything. Weight fully loaded with 2-20# propane tanks, 22 gallons of fresh water, a 50 lb double solar panel, a pair of zero gravity chairs, firewood, full fridge and kitchen is still well below 3000# - the miracle of fiberglass. I usually get 14-15 mpg pretty consistently when towing. It's an absolute pleasure going camping with this truck-trailer combination - I can get into and out of small and/or remote spots easily, and many places where 20' and larger trailers aren't even allowed!

Travel Trailer Dealership Texas | RV Sales Rice, TX (no affiliation, just a fan. )

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We tow a dual axle Riverside 189R which clocks in at 3750 dry. I’d say that’s about the limit by the time we get loaded up. Love to go a bit smaller, but 2 axle rigs tow so we’ll and blowouts not nearly as hair raising. Had one once on a single axle- not something I’d like to repeat.
 

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We tow a dual axle Riverside 189R which clocks in at 3750 dry. I’d say that’s about the limit by the time we get loaded up. Love to go a bit smaller, but 2 axle rigs tow so we’ll and blowouts not nearly as hair raising. Had one once on a single axle- not
We currently have a class c motorhome that we use for shorter trips around 2-3 hours away. We have gone as far as Florida and Ohio with it, but it is not the most fun vehicle to travel long distances in. It gets about 7 mpg on regular gas and of course it has to be maintained like any vehicle. I'm not new to travel trailers either, previous to the Class C, I had a Tundra and towed an Airstream and way back I had a T100 and towed an Aerolite. The Ridgeline is fairly close in size to those older trucks though the Tundra was rated for about 7K lbs and the T100 was 5K.

The RL in question is a 2020 with AWD so the max tow is 5K. I am looking at trailers with max dry weight of about 3500 and would use some type of weight distributing hitch. Passengers would be me and my bride and small dog. My wife is ok with potentially downsizing the rig if we can take longer trips than we do now.

I've read through some older posts and understand that transmission temps are/were an issue with the older 6 spd boxes. Where we live (SE VA) it is pretty flat, but we could hit some mountains if we travel west or north. What I am concerned with is how well this truck will tow with something around 16-20 foot long, what the mileage might be and overall robustness of the drivetrain. It's not worth it if I'm going to damage the transmission in the process. Thanks in advance for any pertinent advice.
We pull a 15 foot travel trailer with our 22RTL. Empty it weighs 2,000 lbs. Loaded I would estimate 3,000 lbs. Trailer is a tear drop style which is high enough to stand up in. No problem towing it. 22 does seem to pull even better than the 17 we had before. Gas mileage is cut in half when cruising at 75 mph. Better if you stay under 70 Mph.
Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Land vehicle Vehicle
 

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timely discussion, Eviltwin, as we are about to do the same thing as you. We're selling our 30ft Class C (or trading) and downsizing to a 22 ft Rpod 192 which is about 3400lbs dry, so I'm guessing a bit over 4k loaded. The layout of the trailer is really nice and open and it's been described in reviews as the perfect "couple trailer". Rockwood and Flagstaff sell a similar model, they're all Forest River products. We have a 2019 RTL and it's good to hear the WDH is helpful and might look into the trans cooler also. I was hoping the mpg would be better, but it's still better than the 8mpg on the Class C and we're looking forward to having a vehicle to drive around in while the camper sits on site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the replies so far. We looked a couple of weeks ago at what was available locally, that included R-pods and various other brands. Finding something under 4k lbs was a bit of a challenge and we did see a couple that were nice but they are so much smaller than what we have now. So at the moment we haven't made a decision to move from the C to a TT. We are taking the C out in June for about 4 days as well as in July. If the gas prices continue to go up it might just get too expensive to camp, at least for now. Interesting though It doesnt seem to be hindering the sale of trailers and RV's in general. I remember the 70's gas crisis and people were dumping their big motorhomes and such, but that does not seem the case currently.
 

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Timely discussion indeed! I recently lost a 25' Winnebago View (class C / diesel) to a refrigerator fire (propane leak triggered) and am pondering my next options. Thinking that a towable to pair with my 2021 RTL might be the best option. I am currently somewhat enamored with the Airstream Basecamp 20 and its Unit Base Weight (with LP & Batteries) of 3400 and GVWR of 4300 pounds. I'm Hoping its more streamlined design helps to keep it from being such a fuel mileage killer. Though with today's fuel costs, even if the mileage with TT drops to 12 MPG it would be comparable cost-wise to what I was getting in the diesel Winnebago; and that is without bringing my toad along for the ride.
 

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in size to those older trucks though the Tundra was rated for about 7K lbs and the T100 was 5K.
I have been towing a 17' Casita travel trailer with my 2019 RTL-E for the last two years on multiple trips all over New Mexico, in high and low temperatures and elevations ranging from sea level up to 10,000' with no trouble whatsoever. I do also have the Andersen no-sway weight distributing hitch installed, which is awesome - you hardly know you're towing anything. Weight fully loaded with 2-20# propane tanks, 22 gallons of fresh water, a 50 lb double solar panel, a pair of zero gravity chairs, firewood, full fridge and kitchen is still well below 3000# - the miracle of fiberglass. I usually get 14-15 mpg pretty consistently when towing. It's an absolute pleasure going camping with this truck-trailer combination - I can get into and out of small and/or remote spots easily, and many places where 20' and larger trailers aren't even allowed!

Travel Trailer Dealership Texas | RV Sales Rice, TX (no affiliation, just a fan. )

Sent from my SM-P610 using Tapatalk
I too am a fellow 17 SD Casita owner (2020 model) ! Counting down till I reach 500miles on the ODO on my 2022 Ridgeline to tow up or local mountains for a quickie camping trip. Thanks for sharing your positive experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We just came back from a 4 day trip down to Kerr Lake in NC. Nice place, but the ride back on 58 (divided highway with lots of hills and dips and potholes) was not that much fun. That reinforced my feeling that something smaller and using the truck as the tow vehicle might be the way to go. Looking at some more campers this weekend with my bride including a Keystone and Rpods to name a couple.

I'd really like to see one of the fiberglass versions like a Casita, Oliver or Escape, but they are kinda rare around here (SE VA). I may put the coach up on RV Trader for a bit to test the waters and see if folks are interested. Due to the age (2007 chassis), one dealer I just visited said they would not be interested in trading it in since they could not finance it (over 10 years old) to a new buyer. Not so sure about that, when we bought it from a dealer it was over 10 years old already, but I wasn't going to argue.
 
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