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Anyone with experience towing 4000+ lbs travel trailer?

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Anyone with experience towing 4000+ lbs travel trailer?

 
Old 05-20-2019, 08:33 PM
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Anyone with experience towing 4000+ lbs travel trailer?

Iíve been using my 2015 MDX with ATF cooler to tow our 22ft, 3100 lb hybrid travel trailer (3500 with all the camping gear). I would say that it does quite well! No issues at all to date.

Iím considering buying a new trailer with a dry weight of 4400 lbs. That will be near the limit of the MDX once loaded carefully with gear.

I have 8 years of experience towing campers. I used to tow the previously mentioned travel trailer with two different Town and Country minivans. I know we were slightly over the limit for the vehicle and this is NOT a post to endorse towing heavier than recommended trailers. Having said that, I can honestly attest to the fact that as long as I was driving responsibility (slowing down, proper WDH setup, monitoring transmission temp, changing fluids pro-actively) the T&Cís performed incredibly well with the load. Never had any drivetrain issues with either vehicle.

Iím not looking for lectures on the dangers of driving near the limit of a vehicles ratings. But I am interested in hearing from anyone with experience pulling a large camper with the MDX that was at least over 4000 lbs.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:49 PM
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I was not happy with the handling of my 4900 Lb. trailer. That much weight (actually a bit more than the MDX itself) really pulls the rig hard in crosswinds. We did a 7200 mile loop from FL to MT, then down to AZ and back to FL this past Fall. Granted, Western winds are quite a bit worse than East coast. On 80 MPH limit Interstates I was usually driving at 55 MPH, and still getting tired from the constant steering corrections. I made a decision to sell the trailer, since I don't enjoy towing it and I dont want to spend another $40K to trade up to a 3/4 ton pickup. BTW, I was using a Blue Ox WDH/stabilizer.



I do love how the MDX tows my 3000 Lb. A-Frame.


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Old 05-22-2019, 12:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bluepill View Post
I was not happy with the handling of my 4900 Lb. trailer. That much weight (actually a bit more than the MDX itself) really pulls the rig hard in crosswinds. We did a 7200 mile loop from FL to MT, then down to AZ and back to FL this past Fall. Granted, Western winds are quite a bit worse than East coast. On 80 MPH limit Interstates I was usually driving at 55 MPH, and still getting tired from the constant steering corrections. I made a decision to sell the trailer, since I don't enjoy towing it and I dont want to spend another $40K to trade up to a 3/4 ton pickup. BTW, I was using a Blue Ox WDH/stabilizer.



I do love how the MDX tows my 3000 Lb. A-Frame.

Wow man, that's amazing.
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Old 05-22-2019, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Bluepill View Post
This is really good feedback Bluepill. Thank you.

The size is a concern to me too. It surprises me to hear you say that even driving at slower speeds, it still pushes around the MDX. Often itís going too fast that does that, and small corrections in the steering have big effects when pulling a trailer. A tandem axle is also usually much more stable. Out of curiosity, what was the overall length of that the bigger trailer?

As far as power goes, did you find that the MDX was capable, or did it really struggle hard with that weight?
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdx-4me View Post
This is really good feedback Bluepill. Thank you.

The size is a concern to me too. It surprises me to hear you say that even driving at slower speeds, it still pushes around the MDX. Often it’s going too fast that does that, and small corrections in the steering have big effects when pulling a trailer. A tandem axle is also usually much more stable. Out of curiosity, what was the overall length of that the bigger trailer?

As far as power goes, did you find that the MDX was capable, or did it really struggle hard with that weight?

Nominal 18 foot interior, approx. 23 feet from tongue coupler to rear bumper. My take on the poor handling is twofold. First, the trailer axles are 2/3 of the way back from the front (Fairly common design), which means a side wind pushes the front of the trailer with more force than the rear. That is translated to a side force on the hitch, which pushes the MDX rear in the same direction. This forces vehicle and trailer out of line with each other. I believe that this is magnified by the softer springing and independent suspension on the MDX. A pickup truck with a solid rear axle has a harsher ride, but is more stable and resistant to side force.

The MDX does not lack for power, although pushing into a strong headwind and driving up hill forced me into downshifting so that the RPM was hanging in the low 4 thousands for a lot of the time to even maintain 55 MPH. The Honda/Acura J series V-6 has no problem running that high for extended periods, although MPG dropped into the 10 to 11 range. Having to refuel every 120 miles or so got a bit tricky in the areas of WY, CO, and MT where fuel stops can be up to 100 miles apart. We carried an extra 10 gallons in cans on the rear of the trailer.

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Old 05-22-2019, 05:01 PM
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The trailer Iím looking at is actually 26ft. Not sure if that would help or make it worse.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdx-4me View Post
The trailer Iím looking at is actually 26ft. Not sure if that would help or make it worse.
Any time you increase length or height, you increase wind loading.

In 2011 and 2012 we spent 300 days touring the USA in a Motor Home. That baby really caught the wind. The good thing is that 30,000 lbs of weight keeps it well planted, and towing our 2005 MDX was no problem.

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Old 06-14-2019, 07:50 PM
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Well, after considering all the input and oscillating back and forth, I finally pulled the trigger on the trailer. It may be that Iíll regret it, but I think that with attentive driving and being careful I should be OK. Plus, Iíll probably have the trailer longer than Iíll have the MDX, so the next vehicle can always be something better equipped if necessary.

Our previous trailer had a dry weight of 3100 lbs and was 21 ft long. It was a hybrid so had a high profile. It pulled quite easily behind the MDX. This one is 4400 lbs and 26 ft. Definitely more noticeable but time will tell.


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Old 06-29-2019, 08:53 AM
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First impressions: weíve taken it camping for our first weekend camping trip. Picked a camp ground about 1-1/2 hours away as a trial run.

It wasnít a very windy day, so that was good. But the trailer pulled behind the Acura really well. Incredibly well actually. Drove in Sport Mode for better gear selection, and used Sport mode for IDS steering feedback as well, to minimize sway.

Transmission temperature levelled off around 85įC on the highway which was wonderful. Of course it helped that the outside temp was only 20įC.

Rear of the Acura hangs about 1/2Ē lower than the front. But that was with 4 people in the vehicle. If everyone is out, the front rear is almost the same.


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Old 06-29-2019, 05:56 PM
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Yeah, IDS Sport mode is great for keeping the steering from drifting too easily. The LDW is also helpful as a reminder for lane drift.

Enjoy your camping.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdx-4me View Post
First impressions: we’ve taken it camping for our first weekend camping trip. Picked a camp ground about 1-1/2 hours away as a trial run.

It wasn’t a very windy day, so that was good. But the trailer pulled behind the Acura really well. Incredibly well actually. Drove in Sport Mode for better gear selection, and used Sport mode for IDS steering feedback as well, to minimize sway.

Transmission temperature levelled off around 85įC on the highway which was wonderful. Of course it helped that the outside temp was only 20įC.

Rear of the Acura hangs about 1/2” lower than the front. But that was with 4 people in the vehicle. If everyone is out, the front rear is almost the same.

You are asking for trouble, yes the MDX can pull it, how about emergency braking? Honda/Acura does not have a stellar reputation on transmissions either. You should be towing that with a 3/4 Ton pick. ALWAYS over truck, you are over trailered for your set up and IMO a safety hazard on the road.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by tsturbo View Post
You are asking for trouble, yes the MDX can pull it, how about emergency braking? Honda/Acura does not have a stellar reputation on transmissions either. You should be towing that with a 3/4 Ton pick. ALWAYS over truck, you are over trailered for your set up and IMO a safety hazard on the road.
Iím not sure why you would need a 3/4 Ton truck for a 4400 lb trailer. And it brakes well. The brake controller is setup properly.
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Old 07-06-2019, 07:39 AM
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Iím not under any misconceptions that itís a lot of trailer. And Iím also not new to trailer towing. I intend to be careful because I have no desire to lose the vehicle and trailer nor itís occupants.

But keep in mind that the photo perspective makes the Acura look tiny in front of the trailer. Taken from the opposite angle in doesnít look so ominous.
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Old 07-08-2019, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mdx-4me View Post
I’m not under any misconceptions that it’s a lot of trailer. And I’m also not new to trailer towing. I intend to be careful because I have no desire to lose the vehicle and trailer nor it’s occupants.

But keep in mind that the photo perspective makes the Acura look tiny in front of the trailer. Taken from the opposite angle in doesn’t look so ominous.
I tow a 3800 lb boat/trailer(wet weight) and I'm very careful too. However, I've had several close calls in my 2016 MDX when other drivers were not careful and put me in emergency situations. I either had to slam on brakes and/or swerve to avoid a bad ending. I was lucky and other than my nerves, no damage occured. However, change the circumstances a little and it would have resulted in a very bad day.

Also, keep in mind, Acura and all car brands reduce towing capacity when passengers and gear stowed in or on vehicle.are added. And, the trailer dry weight of 4400lbs will go up quickly as you prepare it for a trip. It's my opinion when you load passengers, gear, and equip the trailer, you're going to be well over the 5,000lbs. limit.

I ended up purchasing an suv with 7700lbs capacity. It outperforms my MDX in every towing category.

Last edited by gm4511; 07-08-2019 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by gm4511 View Post
Also, keep in mind, Acura and all car brands reduce towing capacity when passengers and gear stowed in or on vehicle.are added. And, the trailer dry weight of 4400lbs will go up quickly as you prepare it for a trip. It's my opinion when you load passengers, gear, and equip the trailer, you're going to be well over the 5,000lbs. limit.
Yes. I have one additional adult and two kids in the vehicle. It does indeed lower the 5000lb limit some. We will not be able to pack all our earthly belongings into the trailer, for sure.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by tsturbo View Post
You are asking for trouble, yes the MDX can pull it, how about emergency braking? Honda/Acura does not have a stellar reputation on transmissions either. You should be towing that with a 3/4 Ton pick. ALWAYS over truck, you are over trailered for your set up and IMO a safety hazard on the road.
Originally Posted by Mdx-4me View Post
Iím not under any misconceptions that itís a lot of trailer. And Iím also not new to trailer towing. I intend to be careful because I have no desire to lose the vehicle and trailer nor itís occupants.

But keep in mind that the photo perspective makes the Acura look tiny in front of the trailer. Taken from the opposite angle in doesnít look so ominous.
Mdx-4me, you seem determined to put this rig on the road with your family knowing full well it exceeds all recommended and legal weight limits. Knowingly putting this rig on the highway puts your family in serious danger as well as others on the road with you.

The best outcome for your family is you getting stopped by the authorities, having your rig weighed, and not being allowed to drive it away.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by gm4511 View Post
Mdx-4me, you seem determined to put this rig on the road with your family knowing full well it exceeds all recommended and legal weight limits. Knowingly putting this rig on the highway puts your family in serious danger as well as others on the road with you.

The best outcome for your family is you getting stopped by the authorities, having your rig weighed, and not being allowed to drive it away.
Thatís rather extreme and harsh. I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Mdx-4me View Post
Thatís rather extreme and harsh. I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
I feel strongly that if you want to risk your life, no problem. But when you put your family and my life and others in danger, there is a big problem.

At best, with 4 people on board, your Acura is rated to tow 4500lbs. You said your trailer is 4400lbs. dry weight. That means you can carry 100 lbs of something in the car/camper. I noticed two bikes on the rear carrier on the pic you posted so you're probably at the maximum tow weight now. Start adding normal camping supplies, toys, and water to the trailer, and, you're way over the limit.

Exceeding the tow weight of your Acura will make stopping in an emergency a recipe for disaster. Too much trailer weight also causes swaying.
. And, it causes extreme wear and tear on your MDX.

Why would you want to do this?
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:25 AM
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Thatís a great video find! Everyone definitely need to be careful when towing, irregardless of their setup. Iíve learned that myself, even with far lighter trailers.

I find it interesting though that hardly any of those are situations that could be described as over trailering. Itís just a compilation of trailer and motorhome crashes. There are such compilations for all kinds of things on the internet. You canít fix stupid.

Donít misunderstand me, Iím not suggesting that I should ignore everything youíre saying nor the actual experience of others who HAVE towed heavy with the MDX. I spent several months looking at trailers and evaluating, giving up and then going back to it again. In the end Iíve purchased a trailer that I believe the MDX can handle albeit at the limit of what it can handle. Iíve towed it a few times now and am actually relieved at how well the MDX tows it because I was nervous of how it would actually work out. The big test will be later this summer on a 2000 mile journey and perhaps I will come to a conclusion that itís too much trailer and add my voice to those who would say the MDX can do it, but you wonít be happy. Or maybe Iíll be very happy with the trade off. It remains to be seen.

I donít however appreciate the dramatic insinuations you are making in your posts nor the accusations of willingly putting myself, my family, and others lives in danger. That is not what Iím doing.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:07 AM
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:14 PM
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OP, only you know your skills and how this trailer feels behind your MDX. Only you know how you load your vehicle and trailer. This is a judgment call and there are always two sides to a pancake:

-I don't think I've ever seen a trailer that big behind a unibody vehicle. Something that size is typically behind a pickup or truck based SUV, which of course is a body on frame (a much stronger frame). When towing, it's always best to use the trailer GVWR to size the TV. Your trailer is probably 4400# dry and over 6000# GVWR. You already know this, but that includes propane, battery, water and all your stuff. Bigger trailers have bigger deltas between dry weight and GVWR because there is so much more room for more stuff. Like others said, you want to make sure the weight of your MDX loaded (with your family) plus TT (loaded with stuff) are below the MDX GCWR rating - whatever that is. My guess is it's either close to or above the limit. It's a risk management decision. Does Acura give you the real GCWR of your MDX? Or are there conservative upon conservative assumptions in their calc. Like the gas range until empty - 0 means you hit the reserve, not that you're about to stall. What are the ramifications of exceeding it? Possibly tranny damage as that is the weakest link in the powertrain. It doesn't mean you will crash immediately when you leave your house, but evasive maneuvers will be white knuckling to you and will push your MDX to its absolute limits.

-That said, there are always people who say you need a dually to tow anything bigger than a jet ski. Seriously. Of course we all want a bigger TV, and while we would all feel safer towing with a dually, the fact is many of us don't want that as a daily driver. So we research, buy the tow package, use a WDH, load properly and drive safely. Our daily drivers are perfectly capable of towing. Campers collectively drive millions of miles every year and very few get in wrecks. Many of those wrecks end up being due to crosswind that a 3/4 ton or dually truck may not even prevent.

I stumbled upon this thread because I'm researching towing a TT with an Odyssey. I've heard many people say Honda/Acura powertrains are simply not up to the task, whether they be Pilots, MDXs, Ridgelines or Odysseys, but others say they have no complaints when they load properly and drive carefully. It's encouraging to read your story. Thanks for sharing it. You must feel like there is enough margin in the MDX capacity to operate it safely. Our Odyssey tows our popup so well that it's easy to forget it's there. There are minivans and small SUVs towing small TTs all over the place.

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Old 07-17-2019, 12:28 AM
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OPís trailer is 5,795 lbs UNLOADED WEIGHT.
HE IS ALREADY 795 lbs overweight BEFORE adding gear, people, water and fuel.

You should be fined for exceeding weight limits. Your set-up is a hazard on the road. I donít care how safe of a driver you are, your overloaded and illegal. Your trailer looks like a monkey humping a football (MDX). I understand being close to the limit. You are way over limit. Downsize your trailer or upsize to a proper tow rig. Not only are you a hazard, you are pushing your MDX to extreme limits.

Why donít you go ask a state trooper what they think of your set-up.....BIG FAIL
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Old 07-17-2019, 04:47 AM
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by tsturbo View Post
OP’s trailer is 5,795 lbs UNLOADED WEIGHT.
HE IS ALREADY 795 lbs overweight BEFORE adding gear, people, water and fuel.

You should be fined for exceeding weight limits. Your set-up is a hazard on the road. I don’t care how safe of a driver you are, your overloaded and illegal. Your trailer looks like a monkey humping a football (MDX). I understand being close to the limit. You are way over limit. Downsize your trailer or upsize to a proper tow rig. Not only are you a hazard, you are pushing your MDX to extreme limits.

Why don’t you go ask a state trooper what they think of your set-up.....BIG FAIL
Umm, see post above (pasted here for your easy reference):

Originally Posted by Mdx-4me View Post
Well, after considering all the input and oscillating back and forth, I finally pulled the trigger on the trailer. It may be that I’ll regret it, but I think that with attentive driving and being careful I should be OK. Plus, I’ll probably have the trailer longer than I’ll have the MDX, so the next vehicle can always be something better equipped if necessary.

Our previous trailer had a dry weight of 3100 lbs and was 21 ft long. It was a hybrid so had a high profile. It pulled quite easily behind the MDX. This one is 4400 lbs and 26 ft. Definitely more noticeable but time will tell.
First, I'll point out the fact that you just broadcast your reading illiteracy for the whole internet to see. Second, you looked up the wrong 26' trailer. Anyone can tell he doesn't have a slide out. Based on the lack of slide out and fridge vent placement, if he indeed bought a 26' TT, it was a 26DJSE. I can't make it out in OPs photo, but that is consistent with the weights he provided - maybe a little more at 4,596# dry. Like I said, that is below but close to the MDX limit. One would have to be very careful loading both the MDX and the TT to stay below or at the GCWR, because like I also said, the GVWR of the TT is a whopping 7,574# (since it has so much room for so much stuff).

Lastly, I really didn't want to get into a debate whether this was right or not. Personally, I've never tried this and I probably wouldn't try it. I would have stuck with a smaller trailer to keep things safe and not beat the crap out of my MDX. It may be fine for a few local jaunts annually, but towing this across the country with a family of four in the SUV, through the mountains, is asking for problems. I don't recall ever seeing a setup like this with such a large trailer on a unibody. Properly loaded (minimally and packing lightly), with a WDH and sway control, without water in the tanks, it's possible this is a safe setup.

Thanks for proving my point that there are always people who jump to conclusions regarding towing trailers with anything but a 3500HD diesel pickup.
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:55 AM
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Since I like facts, information and calculations more than blurting out uneducated opinions, I did a little more research. Based on a 2015 AWD MDX:

GVWR of the MDX is 5,677#. Curb weight is 4,255#. Add about 150# of gas and fluids. A family of four is about 550#. Add 100# of gear/stuff in the cabin. MDX is at 5,055#.

GCWR of the MDX is 9,833#. Dry weight of TT is 4,596#. Already, the MDX + TT is at 9,651#... or only 182# below the limit. That allows propane tanks, battery and a minimal amount of stuff in the TT.

So he's plausibly right at the published limit. Now what were you saying about a state trooper evaluating this setup?
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:07 PM
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My fault on looking up the 5th wheel with a slide. The MDX has a 5,000 tow capacity if properly equipped. Your trailer weighs 4,600 dry and unloaded.

400 lbs is the max amount you can add to your trailer or you are over tow capacity of the MDX. You also need to account for water, propane, gear, toys, cookware, tools, clothes, etc. this would put most people well over. The MDX is a great rig but was not designed to be a tow rig at or over capacity. 26 foot trailer is a big trailer, go buy a real tow rig and do it right. Over Truck, not over trailer. I used to pull a 29’ 5th wheel (10,000 lbs dry) with a 1 Ton Doge diesel and felt under trucked at times. I have towed many RV’s for 20 years, I know what I am talking about. I am done commenting in this thread. Good luck


Originally Posted by someguy11 View Post
Umm, see post above (pasted here for your easy reference):



First, I'll point out the fact that you just broadcast your reading illiteracy for the whole internet to see. Second, you looked up the wrong 26' trailer. Anyone can tell he doesn't have a slide out. Based on the lack of slide out and fridge vent placement, if he indeed bought a 26' TT, it was a 26DJSE. I can't make it out in OPs photo, but that is consistent with the weights he provided - maybe a little more at 4,596# dry. Like I said, that is below but close to the MDX limit. One would have to be very careful loading both the MDX and the TT to stay below or at the GCWR, because like I also said, the GVWR of the TT is a whopping 7,574# (since it has so much room for so much stuff).

Lastly, I really didn't want to get into a debate whether this was right or not. Personally, I've never tried this and I probably wouldn't try it. I would have stuck with a smaller trailer to keep things safe and not beat the crap out of my MDX. It may be fine for a few local jaunts annually, but towing this across the country with a family of four in the SUV, through the mountains, is asking for problems. I don't recall ever seeing a setup like this with such a large trailer on a unibody. Properly loaded (minimally and packing lightly), with a WDH and sway control, without water in the tanks, it's possible this is a safe setup.

Thanks for proving my point that there are always people who jump to conclusions regarding towing trailers with anything but a 3500HD diesel pickup.
L

Last edited by tsturbo; 07-17-2019 at 09:20 PM.
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