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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings!

I got a Acura MDX for awhile now and i am planning to do the first towing in my life, going to tow some appliances from San Francisco to my home in Las Vegas

just bought a Curtis tow hitch and wiring from ebay for $207 and planning to install it as soon as it arrive
Curt Class 3 Trailer Hitch Tow Package for Acura MDX | eBay

once installed i am planning to buy this lowes trailer 4x 6
Shop Carry-On Trailer 4-ft x 6-ft Wire Mesh Utility Trailer with Gate at Lowes.com

I been reading around about towing does our MDX need transmission cooler?
trailer brake control? or would that not be necessary as the trailer would be light?

I been hearing story about trailer getting jack knife and what not would those be a concern?

once those are done we are planning to rent a U haul car dolly and tow a 1991 Toyota Celica (project car) from SF to Vegas as well, would that over load the MDX? although it say the MDX has the capacity to tow 5000 lbs

TIA.
 

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The MDX should be good to go with hitch and harness to tow up to 5000lbs. There are restrictions with tongue weight and the 5000lbs limit is for 2 passengers and some luggage. It goes down from there as you add more passengers and cabin weight. You have to check the local laws for the states you are traveling to/from about a brake controller. I would double-check to make sure the hitch you pick can take a full size spare or put a full size spare on the trailer for the MDX.

Anything you can do to make the load more aerodynamic would help in towing.
 

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A trailer that small won't have brakes so a brake controller isn't going to do you any good. The manual recommends trailer brakes for any load over 1,000#. So that makes the car dolly idea questionable because the dolly doesn't come with brakes. The correct path would be to install an brake controller and use U-hauls full car hauler which does have brakes.

One other tid-bit: Carefully consider if it makes sense to buy a trailer at all. U-hauls are ridiculously cheap and you never have to worry about registration, maintenance, etc. Plus you can always get exactly the size trailer you need and it doesn't sit around clogging up your property in the mean time. I have two utility trailers but I question why I do sometimes. The last couple times I hauled something, I ended up renting anyway just to avoid towing the trailer both directions on a long trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A trailer that small won't have brakes so a brake controller isn't going to do you any good. The manual recommends trailer brakes for any load over 1,000#. So that makes the car dolly idea questionable because the dolly doesn't come with brakes. The correct path would be to install an brake controller and use U-hauls full car hauler which does have brakes.

One other tid-bit: Carefully consider if it makes sense to buy a trailer at all. U-hauls are ridiculously cheap and you never have to worry about registration, maintenance, etc. Plus you can always get exactly the size trailer you need and it doesn't sit around clogging up your property in the mean time. I have two utility trailers but I question why I do sometimes. The last couple times I hauled something, I ended up renting anyway just to avoid towing the trailer both directions on a long trip.

thanks for the tips! i read that you only need trailer brake if you have trailer over 2000lbs but it also depends on your state, it make everything easier for braking while towing. but just a thought to get it pre-install just in case in the future if i am rent a Uhaul car trailer (the one that you drive on to, not just 2 wheels) would be safer to have the trailer brake control ready to go.

but then i think the Uhaul car trailer with the celica on would give the MDX too much stress on the transmission, especially for 9 hours driving. might need a real truck for towing...

thanks for the tips on the renting utility trailer, it make sense renting them around town from Uhaul as it cost $20 a day, but then driving to another state i just checked the online quote they want $230-$300 for the rental which is already half the price of a brand new one from Lowes, with a small 5 footer i should be able to store it inside my garage or have it store in the back building of my work. then it really got me realize i wouldn't be using trailer 3-4 times a year :D
 

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Actually, I wasn't thinking correctly because the U-haul trailers use surge brakes. So you don't need a controller for them.

The 1,000# brake limit is in the owners manual, page 487 I believe. Obviously not the final answer but that's what Acura recommends.
 

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Were you going with the OEM or aftermarket 7 pin wiring harness or 4 flat harness? I went with OEM 7 pin and got a 7 pin to 4 flat adapter for about $8 when needed. The 7 flat will get you ready if you need a brake controller.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Were you going with the OEM or aftermarket 7 pin wiring harness or 4 flat harness? I went with OEM 7 pin and got a 7 pin to 4 flat adapter for about $8 when needed. The 7 flat will get you ready if you need a brake controller.

i believe they are aftermarket 4pin harness, would you please send me info on your 7pin harness? does it connect to the same driver side trunk panel?
 

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Here the pdf for install for a 2012 MDX: http://acura.bernardiparts.com/images/install/2012_MDX_TrailerHitch_BII46637.pdf

I just did a quick search on eBay and just the 7-pin harness sells for about $147: Acura Factory Trailer Hitch Wire Harness 2010 2012 MDX | eBay

I didn't really look extremely hard for a cheaper aftermarket hitch and 7-pin harness. I just went with OEM because I knew everything would fit 100% and the hitch took a full size spare. I think I paid about $425-$450 on eBay for everything almost 2yrs ago. Might find it cheaper if they are still available.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
last question, do i need a drop ball reciever to get the hitch to level with my trailer?

did some googling and found out the lowes trailer tongue is around 12-14 inch off the ground.

couldn't find any on the acura tho :(
 

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Hi Jordan,
I'll chime in here as I did some pulling with my MDX and Curtis hitch. Towed a popup camping trailer that was approx 2200lbs dry weight and no brakes.
My wife and I must have loaded it with up to 800lbs of gear and the back of the MDX was loaded also. I never had an issue towing to campgrounds that were up to 350 miles away.

I have the OEM wire harness which has both 7 pin round and the 4 pin flat built in.

I have extended my wire harness so I can mount it to the hitch, temporarily for now but would like to weld on a bracket in the future.

With the Curtis hitch tow capacity is limited to 4000 lbs. OEM is 5000 lbs

The MDX has a built in Transmission cooler and power steering cooler so no need to add any.

As for the tongue height, I did have to remove the ball and mount it on the other side of the hitch so it was lower.
My ball is on a hitch that has a 2 1/2" drop .
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Jordan,
I'll chime in here as I did some pulling with my MDX and Curtis hitch. Towed a popup camping trailer that was approx 2200lbs dry weight and no brakes.
My wife and I must have loaded it with up to 800lbs of gear and the back of the MDX was loaded also. I never had an issue towing to campgrounds that were up to 350 miles away.

I have the OEM wire harness which has both 7 pin round and the 4 pin flat built in.

I have extended my wire harness so I can mount it to the hitch, temporarily for now but would like to weld on a bracket in the future.

With the Curtis hitch tow capacity is limited to 4000 lbs. OEM is 5000 lbs

The MDX has a built in Transmission cooler and power steering cooler so no need to add any.

As for the tongue height, I did have to remove the ball and mount it on the other side of the hitch so it was lower.
My ball is on a hitch that has a 2 1/2" drop .
thanks for reply!

now it sounds like i would need a drop for my balls hitch.

its good to know that our MDX can tow 3000 lbs without any issue, i will check my car tonight to peek in the front to see if there are another cooler just for the transmission, (not sure if it will have it if i my car didn't equip with tow package to begin with.

did you have to install any mirror extender for your towing?

I will do a first trailer run to see how things goes, if it go smooth we will tow the my project car over to Las Vegas next!

Thanks again
 

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The MDX has the cooler even if you did not have the tow package. It's even written in the owners manual.

I did not use extended mirrors, I was use to towing my trailer (10 ft popup) when I had my pickup, so no need to add them to my MDX.
 

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Acura recommends having a full size spare available if you are towing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The MDX has the cooler even if you did not have the tow package. It's even written in the owners manual.

I did not use extended mirrors, I was use to towing my trailer (10 ft popup) when I had my pickup, so no need to add them to my MDX.
sweeet, good to know! thanks!
 

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for trailer you mean? ya i think it make sense to have, you don't wanna be stranded on one wheel especially trailer use the cheapest tire they have available.
Pg 494 of the manual recommends you carry a full-size spare for the MDX. We don't tow with our MDX but still have a full-size spare. Compact spares:28:
 

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Pg 494 of the manual recommends you carry a full-size spare for the MDX. We don't tow with our MDX but still have a full-size spare. Compact spares:28:


ThanX for that.. I must have missed that in the manual.

Glad I have never had the need to use the spare while towing. No longer have my trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
alright guys,

back from my SF to Vegas trip yesterday,

wow the MDX does wonder on towing, i had around 1000lbs worth of junk + 250-500lbs trailer weight in the back, the mdx handle it like it wasn't even there, could go 80mph without breaking a sweat, but i did go 50mph on mountain uphill road just to be safe.

i am averaging 20mpg on flat hwy going 70mph cruising and 15mpg going uphill (better than expected)

so i think my next tow would be 2 49cc scooter back to SF will see how it handle.

and on the way back i MIGHT... tow a Uhaul trailer + a Toyota celica back (est. 4500lbs) might be too much for the brake to handle.
 

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FYI - for those looking at this thread for towing info & curious about drop hitches:

"Standard" height for trailer ball is 18" from the ground to the TOP of the ball. I didn't know this, just eyeballed a drop hitch (IIRC 4" drop) and eventually found out I fluked into the exact right height. Lucky guess
 
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