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We are in the market for a boat up to 21' and 5k lbs. The trailer will most likely have surge brakes.

I already ordered a PS cooler and the largest tranny cooler from etrailer. I will be installing them soon.

I would like to hear some input on how well this vehicles tows since I'll be at the max limit.

I only see myself towing this boat once a year (pickup from purchase site, and maybe tow home 100mi once a year for maintenance. Other than that it will stay near the lake.)
 

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I have never towed with our Mdx but I have done plenty of towing over the years. Currently have a 6000lb camper we pull with our truck.

The Mdx is not an ideal tow vehicle for heavy loads. I would be comfortable to about 3500 in it. For one, it has a short wheelbase, softly sprung rear, and front wheel drive. The rear drive is not very significant with a 155 ft/lbs per axle limit. And while we have has zero trans issues with ours, there's still the risk of trans stress from heavy towing.

That said, for occasional, in town use, you will likely be ok!! These are sturdy vehicles, and the fwd + awd probably enough to manage a boat ramp, though there may not be a lot of extra wiggle room left.

Make sure your surge brakes are good. Keep your speeds down. Do not tow in OD, keep it to 3rd or 4th (easier on trans).

If it were me, I would definitely try it. Makes a lot of sense to get full use of a vehicle to me, without buying a lot of extra that you don't need. Just go slow and be careful.


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Btw-- i am assuming your total weight is 5000 lbs with trailer. If its more, I would advise caution. You don't want to tow beyond mfr limits for liability reasons. You'll want to check that.

If I did misread, and the boat is 5k + the trailer, I think you may find it difficult.

Do be careful...


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Discussion Starter #4
I have never towed with our Mdx but I have done plenty of towing over the years. Currently have a 6000lb camper we pull with our truck.

The Mdx is not an ideal tow vehicle for heavy loads. I would be comfortable to about 3500 in it. For one, it has a short wheelbase, softly sprung rear, and front wheel drive. The rear drive is not very significant with a 155 ft/lbs per axle limit. And while we have has zero trans issues with ours, there's still the risk of trans stress from heavy towing.

That said, for occasional, in town use, you will likely be ok!! These are sturdy vehicles, and the fwd + awd probably enough to manage a boat ramp, though there may not be a lot of extra wiggle room left.

Make sure your surge brakes are good. Keep your speeds down. Do not tow in OD, keep it to 3rd or 4th (easier on trans).

If it were me, I would definitely try it. Makes a lot of sense to get full use of a vehicle to me, without buying a lot of extra that you don't need. Just go slow and be careful.


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Btw-- i am assuming your total weight is 5000 lbs with trailer. If its more, I would advise caution. You don't want to tow beyond mfr limits for liability reasons. You'll want to check that.

If I did misread, and the boat is 5k + the trailer, I think you may find it difficult.

Do be careful...


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Meep, thanks for the input.

Boat and trailer weight should be at 5k max. I'm looking at ski boats that weight around 2800 or so.
 

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I tow my boat with my 07 MDX. My boat and trailer are right at 5000 lbs also. Is it a great tow vehicle for that weight? No. Does it get it safely from point A to point B? Yes.

The biggest difference I found from my 04 Touareg to this was the amount of sway I got from the boat. It isn't as stable feeling, so I just pull slower. Power and torque are fine, but it can be a little squeamish with a heavy load.
 

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You can do a couple things to improve. A weight distributing hitch with an anti-sway device makes a huge difference. The sway bar is just a friction device that resists pivoting at the ball, makes a huge difference on the hwy. the weight distributing hitch uses spring bars to basically lift the rear of the car by the trailer and roll the vehicle forward onto its front wheels. Makes a big difference, though it takes a little longer to connect.


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My 2008 manual states that weight distributing hitches are not advisable. I assume this is because towing stability is built into the VSA. Your model year may be different.
 

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Honda and Acura both talk about use of improperly installed Weight distributing hitches. Properly done they are valuable.
Read also in the owners manual about the effect of trailer weight on passenger and cargo limits inside the car.
Take that 5000lb trailer put 10% on the tow hitch and you aren't left with much payload capacity inside the car.




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If it's a couple times a year and you drive 55 (right lane), it may be fine. Manufactures like Chevy build in a 10% over limit cushion.
 
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