Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD w/Tech
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I wanted to know if I’ll need a raised hitch receiver to tow a camper or other large trailer. Yes, I have the 5k limit (rated hitch and trans cooler). The plan is to rent a 25 footer or so this summer and I don’t want to get stuck at the rental facility realizing I don’t have the proper height receiver. Yes I’ve towed before just not with this vehicle and I have everything else in place including the brake controller and the 7 pin wiring/connector. Also, some of the trailers come with a weight distributing hitch optionally if I want it. For those of you that have towed a set up like this before, do I really need one or is she pretty steady? I don’t plan on going more than 55 or 60 anyway with this thing as it’s my first time towing in it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
There are several questions to answer.

First, whether or not you need a receiver to raise or lower the ball depends entirely on the trailer you’re going to pull. But if I had to bet, I would say the ball is going to be higher than the receiver. The rental place should be able to put the trailer level and give you a height measurement for your ball before you go there.

Second regarding a WDH, it again depends entirely on the trailer you’re going to pull. But I highly doubt you’re going to find a 25 foot trailer for much less than 3500 to 4000 pounds. That means you’ll have at least 400 to 500 pounds of tongue weight, probably more. That much weight on the tongue is going to load up your rear axle significantly, while unloading your front steering axle. Without a WDH to redistribute that weight, the handling of the vehicle will be quite compromised. So I would say yes, you absolutely need a WDH. A 25 footer is significantly longer than the wheel base of your tow vehicle. You will definitely want an anti-sway set up too. Some WDH systems have it built in.

Third, as for experience, yes. I have a 26 foot travel trailer that weighs just over 4200 pounds dry. When I am pulling it and we are going camping I am actually 100 lbs over the GCWV. I have a WDH and dual friction sway bar setup. I originally tried it with just one and it only took 20 minutes on the highway to know it needed a second. I am not advocating for towing so heavy, but I can say that the MDX does a very good job.



I also monitor transmission temperature constantly. It allows me to know when to slow down, gear down, or stop (if necessary) to keep the transmission from overheating. After 5000+ miles I have it figured out pretty good now. But ambient temperature also plays a role. I would never tow heavy without it. I use a ScanGauge II.



Lastly, you will need tow mirrors to extend your viewing distance on the sides of the vehicle. Without them, you will not be able to see down the side of the trailer.



If you have more questions, feel free to ask.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD w/Tech
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the info and pics. I have some tow mirrors that I never leave home without!

I am trying to stick to something smaller, maybe the 18-20 foot range, the thing is - it has to sleep at least 6. I am looking for something that’s around the 4K range fully loaded so trailer around 3000-3200. The 25 footer would be the absolute biggest I’d get (and feel comfortable with).

Good idea about calling ahead and asking for receiver height. Didn’t think of that.

Regarding the transmission temperature monitoring, what temps do you try to stay within and what’s the number that tells you to slow down?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
Regarding the transmission temperature monitoring, what temps do you try to stay within and what’s the number that tells you to slow down?
There could probably be a lot of discussion about what the best temperature range is, but I always try to keep it under 100°C. If I get up to 105 or 110 then it’s time to be intentional about bringing it down. I never want it above 110 if I can help it, but I would have to be driving excessively fast, or in a higher gear than normal, to make that happen, even up hills

I always drive in sport mode so that I can keep control over the gear selection. 4th gear is definitely the sweet one. It keeps the RPMs high enough on the highway for good transmission oil pressure and circulation.

I also always put the IDS in sport mode too, to give additional resistance on the steering wheel. Helps to keep from inducing sway.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD w/Tech
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
That was my next set of questions about gearing and sport mode and the IDS. Thanks again. If I have more questions I’ll post here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Everyone has different opinions on towing, and everyone has vastly different levels of risk they are willing to assume. This is obvious when you see the 50-75% of trailer rigs out there that are not set up properly.
As a round about figure, I would want a wdh for any trailer that is half or more of my vehicle weight. I would also use a wdh in any set up that noticeably sags the rear, regardless of weight. A brake controller is also a necessity. These rules are less important when you start talking about proper tow vehicles, like duallys.

I tend to take things a bit further too. When we were looking for our rv, I insisted on getting a dual axle for peace of mind
 

·
Registered
2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD w/Tech
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I just remember towing a uhaul enclosed trailer with my previous car, an RDX and on that thing, the hitch was way too low and I knew it before ever towing. Just eyeballing it it looked too low.
 

·
Registered
2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD w/Tech
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
If you have more questions, feel free to ask.
What about the safety suite of features - everything disabled? I normally always drive with the lane keep assist on and the road departure on along with everything else. And I frequently use the adaptive cruise control. Is it a good idea to turn all this off?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
I would second WDH for heavier trailer (greater than 4000 lbs) and tongue weight (400-500 lbs).

I used to tow Starcraft popup (12 feet long folded) with old MDX.
That trailer was 2500 lbs empty and we added about 1000 lbs.
I had no WDH, no electric breaks and the setup worked flawless for 20 years (first with Voyager minivan and then 03 MDX).

Now I have 5500 lbs unloaded Lance trailer and MB SUV for TW.
With WDH and electric break it works great.
But I can tell you when I did not have the WDH setup correctly (too much tongue weight) it was scary and unsafe.
Most definitely practice locally (including highway test) before going long trips.

I would drive with electronic features OFF (LKAS, ACC etc.)
Hands on steering and full attention :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: djmixmode

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
What about the safety suite of features - everything disabled? I normally always drive with the lane keep assist on and the road departure on along with everything else. And I frequently use the adaptive cruise control. Is it a good idea to turn all this off?
I use the LDW, but not LKAS. I like the warning if the vehicle thinks I’m straying from my lane.

I have never used the adaptive cruise while towing.

As was already eluded to, pulling heavy requires complete concentration. Two hands on the wheel, even on open highway. You’ll feel it when trucks pass you at highway speeds, or when there are cross winds.

The MDX doesn’t have a solid rear axle so you feel the suspension squatting, especially if the trailer is being pushed by cross winds. It doesn’t actually push the vehicle off course but it takes some getting used to. The first time I drove in higher cross winds I thought I had made a mistake. But it was really just that it took some time to get a good feel for how the vehicle was handling it. After a few successful trips I was feeling much more confident.

And slow down. Speed is definitely a not recommended. 55 to 60 mph is as fast as I tend to go, even if the speed limit is higher. At a certain point it just feels like the trailer is starting to take control over the vehicle rather than the other way around. Besides, the vehicle works too hard, and drinks too much fuel to push it much faster anyways. Best just to slow down and enjoy the drive.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD w/Tech
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
@Mdx-4me
I just got my scangauge 2 and added the xgauge for TFT. What are the numbers that show up on yours? I hooked it up and started the MDX and the first value it showed was 175F. That was idling for about 30 seconds in my garage from a cold start. Does that sound right? I immediately thought something was wrong as that seems kind of high.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
@Mdx-4me
I just got my scangauge 2 and added the xgauge for TFT. What are the numbers that show up on yours? I hooked it up and started the MDX and the first value it showed was 175F. That was idling for about 30 seconds in my garage from a cold start. Does that sound right? I immediately thought something was wrong as that seems kind of high.
Mine is usually close to the ambient temperature when I first start it up. In the winter it always registers a negative temp. Only time the values are garbage is when accessory is on but the vehicle is not running.

Sounds to me like you may have miss entered one of the parameters for the X-gauge perhaps?

I have found ScanGauge to be very, very good with support. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
2019 Acura MDX SH-AWD w/Tech
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Mine is usually close to the ambient temperature when I first start it up. In the winter it always registers a negative temp. Only time the values are garbage is when accessory is on but the vehicle is not running.

Sounds to me like you may have miss entered one of the parameters for the X-gauge perhaps?

I have found ScanGauge to be very, very good with support. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Got it working. I had to use the alternative method, the one named ATF. The primary TFT one did not work after triple checking all the entries. Who knows lol. I think I’m set !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Good to hear!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Mdx-4me I plan to tow a travel trailer only 19 feet however. My question to you is what tires do you have and how much air pressure do you use in them when towing ? I like the mirrors do you remember what model number they are or where you got them ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
I don’t use anything special for tires. Any tire that is loaded rated enough for the max weight of an axle (which most tires that size are) is fine. And I run them at the recommended pressure. I’ve never tried running them higher.

I do find that they wear faster when pulling the trailer, to be expected I guess. But they don’t wear unevenly.

For mirrors, these are the ones I have:



I bought 3 to have a spare but have never needed the spare. They work great. Stable, secure and no extra noise.

Just don’t buy these ones:



I had them for several years, on two different vehicles. Almost impossible to get them in a position that they don’t whistle on the highway.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top