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Old 02-12-2013, 11:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can 2004 MDX tow 5500 lbs? What's the risk?

It's a boat with trailer, totaling 5500-6000 lbs. The official towing capacity for boat is 4500 lbs from what I read.

I have a large aftermarket tranny cooler.

So what would be the risk of pulling 1500 lbs more than the permitted 4500?
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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try it ! report back if you break anything !
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I guess one risk is that if you cause an accident, you'll probably lose if you get sued for a pile of money.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It is often related to the differential gear ratio as much as anything else.

But, since the advent of unibody construction, too much force on a hitch can twist the body enough to affect traction.

If it were me, I wouldn't risk going that much over the rating.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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A properly set up boat and trailer should not have more than 10% of its mass on the trailer tongue.
MDX max tongue = 450lbs
max boat trailer = 4500lbs

It is a local tow to the ramp or taking a trip?

I would lock it in D4 for the highway and leave extra room for braking.
Consider the AirLift 1000 helper bag kit to prevent rear sag and tire eating camber.

It is not the safest thing to do and if you do decide to proceed, make all steering brake and gas inputs gentle and gradual.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What kind of boat? What is the dry weight?

I towed a 5000lb 22ft wakeboard boat a short distance. The rear suspension sagged and caused unsafe steering. First Gear in the MDX is not low enough to pull it up the boat ramp. A V6 VW Touareg with 6speed trans tows this boat with no problems. (7700lb factory tow rating)
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill_de View Post
It is often related to the differential gear ratio as much as anything else.

But, since the advent of unibody construction, too much force on a hitch can twist the body enough to affect traction.

If it were me, I wouldn't risk going that much over the rating.
I simply wonder if the rating is always a bit conservative. I've heard that the X5 rated in US for 6000 lbs is rated for 7700 in the EU... So I was just wondering about the physical ability of the car vs politics and over-protective rating process. I take the point about illegality of it, but still wanted to get a sense for the true capacity of all the components that matter when towing. The trailer has its own brakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyD View Post
A properly set up boat and trailer should not have more than 10% of its mass on the trailer tongue.
MDX max tongue = 450lbs
max boat trailer = 4500lbs

It is a local tow to the ramp or taking a trip?

I would lock it in D4 for the highway and leave extra room for braking.
Consider the AirLift 1000 helper bag kit to prevent rear sag and tire eating camber.

It is not the safest thing to do and if you do decide to proceed, make all steering brake and gas inputs gentle and gradual.
It would be a 3-hr trip. I always tow in D4 (used to have a smaller Bayliner 175).

I also have Airlift 1000 installed and could not be happier with it. Braking should be ok as the trailer has its own.

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Originally Posted by showtz View Post
What kind of boat? What is the dry weight?

I towed a 5000lb 22ft wakeboard boat a short distance. The rear suspension sagged and caused unsafe steering. First Gear in the MDX is not low enough to pull it up the boat ramp. A V6 VW Touareg with 6speed trans tows this boat with no problems. (7700lb factory tow rating)
Was your boat 5000 or boat with the trailer?

Chaparral Sunesta 244, dry weight 4400 lbs, probably 5400 with trailer.

No sag due to Airlift 1000. Are you saying the MDX would have a hard time pulling it out of the water? It would be about 6000 lbs with some fuel remaining on board. Is that a major concern?
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Why is MDX towing capacity only 3500 lbs, what's the risk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by showtz View Post
What kind of boat? What is the dry weight?

I towed a 5000lb 22ft wakeboard boat a short distance. The rear suspension sagged and caused unsafe steering. First Gear in the MDX is not low enough to pull it up the boat ramp. A V6 VW Touareg with 6speed trans tows this boat with no problems. (7700lb factory tow rating)
My 2012 does this fine w the same size and weight boat.


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Old 02-15-2013, 05:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Why is MDX towing capacity only 3500 lbs, what's the risk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by axelbrowning View Post
I simply wonder if the rating is always a bit conservative. I've heard that the X5 rated in US for 6000 lbs is rated for 7700 in the EU... So I was just wondering about the physical ability of the car vs politics and over-protective rating process. I take the point about illegality of it, but still wanted to get a sense for the true capacity of all the components that matter when towing. The trailer has its own brakes.



It would be a 3-hr trip. I always tow in D4 (used to have a smaller Bayliner 175).

I also have Airlift 1000 installed and could not be happier with it. Braking should be ok as the trailer has its own.



Was your boat 5000 or boat with the trailer?

Chaparral Sunesta 244, dry weight 4400 lbs, probably 5400 with trailer.

No sag due to Airlift 1000. Are you saying the MDX would have a hard time pulling it out of the water? It would be about 6000 lbs with some fuel remaining on board. Is that a major concern?
I would not go over the 5k mark. I think you will be asking for trouble.


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Old 04-22-2013, 08:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Towing question

I haven't been on this forum a while but I still have my '03 that we bought new in 2002, it now has 95K ml. I installed an aftermarket hitch a few years ago and Acura wiring harness some time after that but I didn't tow anything until the last year when I bought an aluminum motorcycle trailer. The weight of the trailer + the motorcycle is under 1000 lbs and it doesn't feel as it's even there except for worse gas mileage.

We bought a small travel trailer yesterday. The dry weight of the trailer is 2080 lbs. Even with extras and full tanks it's well under 3000 lbs. I did some reading before we bought trailer and I figured I shouldn't have any problems towing it. I did get transmission cooler and power steering cooler installed last week at my Acura dealer ($750 - ouch).

I was unplesantly surprised on the highway towing the trailer home. I left transmission in D5 (it's automatic, right?) but the RPMs were 3000 or higher driving between 55 - 65 mph and no mountains. The gas mileage was between 8-10 mpg! Is it normal? Is there a trick to towing? Is there something I need to do differently? Thanks.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I haven't been on this forum a while but I still have my '03 that we bought new in 2002, it now has 95K ml. I installed an aftermarket hitch a few years ago and Acura wiring harness some time after that but I didn't tow anything until the last year when I bought an aluminum motorcycle trailer. The weight of the trailer + the motorcycle is under 1000 lbs and it doesn't feel as it's even there except for worse gas mileage.

We bought a small travel trailer yesterday. The dry weight of the trailer is 2080 lbs. Even with extras and full tanks it's well under 3000 lbs. I did some reading before we bought trailer and I figured I shouldn't have any problems towing it. I did get transmission cooler and power steering cooler installed last week at my Acura dealer ($750 - ouch).

I was unplesantly surprised on the highway towing the trailer home. I left transmission in D5 (it's automatic, right?) but the RPMs were 3000 or higher driving between 55 - 65 mph and no mountains. The gas mileage was between 8-10 mpg! Is it normal? Is there a trick to towing? Is there something I need to do differently? Thanks.
You're now towing a trailer that has a very wide front surface(and not aerodynamic). It's the wind resistance, I would say, that's causing the low mpg. Try to drive in the range of 50-55 and perhaps you'll see an improvement. Happy camping!
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:26 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Is this a general consensus here on board to leave transmission in D4 while towing? Should I shift "manually" while towing? Thanks.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I let the car make all the changing decisions unless I feel its hunting or making errors that cause safety issues.
Honestly the MDX pilot and Ridgeline are just poorly tuned for heavy towing.
Torque is meague, gearing high no towing switch like my buddy's traverse which changes the programming.
For Sub 3000 lb low and narrow trailer ok, over wider and taller all bets are off.


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Old 04-24-2013, 11:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I warped the cr@p out of my 2003 MDX rotors towing an enclosed 6x10 trailer with 3500lb.

Tow anything with the MDX at your own peril, you could loose parts or limbs...
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