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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm new here, looking hard at getting a new 16 , partly because we may do some traveling, and potentially tow a trailer a fair bit. Early thinking is to go south and west ( we are on east coast) , perhaps buy about a 3700 lb dry trailer ( probably max out at 4500 loaded) and drive around the mid west a bit before coming back east with it....so the question is.....is that a crazy idea? Towing for several hours a day , for a few days back to back to back , are we going to kill the transmission or other things on the mdx...., or is it safe/unsafe? Will get the proper hitch setup weight distribution, sway control , etc...Word is it should handle it, but a bit worried about what will happen in the real world of hills and mountains, corners, winds, etc .....be real interested in hearing what those of you who tow ( or don't) think...there are other options but if I think it would handle it, its probably my first choice for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that its pretty functional all around and pretty solid from what I hear.

Appreciate responses....


Thx
 

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The MDX has a towing capacity of 3500 lbs (forgot the tongue weight) stock and 5000 lbs with the towing package. I would recommend you just get the towing package to be safe since you plan on towing around 4500 lbs loaded. It can be a little pricey though with the 16, as we have the 9ZF transmission and so far I haven't seen any self installs on this variant.
 

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I would have it come from the dealer set up for 5000 lbs. I did read some posts here about that transmission, some not too glowing , but appears to be improved with software changes...nothing that seems to be too serious in terms of transmission melt downs, at least that I've read...but adding a lot of stress to it by towing a fair bit, who knows?
 

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I would have it come from the dealer set up for 5000 lbs. I did read some posts here about that transmission, some not too glowing , but appears to be improved with software changes...nothing that seems to be too serious in terms of transmission melt downs, at least that I've read...but adding a lot of stress to it by towing a fair bit, who knows?
A couple of folks have towed and there have been no breakdown issues reported here associated with towing. And yep, the software changes have fixed quite a bit of the funky behavior. I think you should be fine then.
 

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do not useMDX for towing, transmission doesn't like it
What's your basis for this? Seems a bit odd to have members with positive towing experiences reported here and then suddenly a general statement that the 16 MDX is no good for towing despite the 3500/5000lb rating.
 

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i haven't towed with my new MDX yet, I had 2005 before with 25k my tranny went after towing. I'm not sure whether it's a conicidense or related, I'm not even sure if luxury car is made for towing it's not a Silverado
Totally different transmission too... Most cars can tow, but only to a certain limit.

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Hi, I tow a 21 foot Prolite Max 21 travel trailer, approx 2800lbs dry with my 2016 MDX SHAWD with out any issues. I paid to have the dealer install the 5000 lb tow package. I bought a nice brake controller and have had no issues at all. Gas mileage, depending on your speed, does suffer. On the Highway doing 65-70 mph my mileage goes down about 30%.
 

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MDX has proven to be an excellent tow vehicle

I have a 2016 MDX SH-AWD with 5000lb tow package [w/ATF Cooler] and have a 4400 lb dry weight 2017 Lance model 1995 Travel Trailer connected with a weight distribution sway control hitch system and Prodigy P3 break controller. I've towed it four separate times now. Local, less than 100 miles each way. Mostly freeway, but some side roads with 12-13% grades (relatively short, maybe a mile long). With the trailer loaded for each trip we are right at the 5000 lb limit. The MDX pulls like there is nothing behind me, hardly straining, never gone over 3500 RPM and half throttle at best. No trailer sway when 53' long Semi's blow past me on the freeway. I've corresponded with other MDX owners who've pulled similar rigs all across North America with similar experiences as me. Would I prefer towing with a Ford F-150? Of course! But I prefer my MDX for my every day vehicle and part time tow vehicle. I don't feel unsafe with this set up and plan to do extensive traveling with this package.
 

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i haven't towed with my new MDX yet, I had 2005 before with 25k my tranny went after towing. I'm not sure whether it's a conicidense or related, I'm not even sure if luxury car is made for towing it's not a Silverado
1st Gen had a totally different transmission, It was the first design for that model so it wasn't Honda or Acura´s Best... The 2nd Gen and 3rd Gen use a transmission designed with Tow in Mind, Just look at the transmission design side by side and notice the difference in clutch pack OD and Thickness.

I would say that your transmission failing after towing had nothing to do with it, It was just part of a more intricate problem that plague those years transmissions.
 

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Ignore the FUD - the '16 MDX AWD tows just fine. The same transmission has been used in the V6 Jeep Cherokee since 2014 with a towing rating of 4500 lbs.

If you are a DIYer then buy the factory towing kit and wiring harness from oemacuraparts.com (one of our sponsors) and install yourself. It is really simple. The transmission cooling kit (and front grill kit best done at the same time) is harder to install, and requires topping up the ATF (a non-trivial problem) so give that one to a mechanic (not necessarily an Acura mechanic). If not a DIYer then buy the discounted kits and have a non-Acura mechanic install. Or go to the dealer and pay many hundreds more - your choice, your money.

For the trailer brake controller try my solution: http://www.mdxers.org/forums/94-third-generation-mdx-2014-present/124505-trailer-brake-controller.html#post1169570. It is a perfect location, and does not require any permanent mods or holes in the MDX. I still have formed aluminum brackets available. I installed a Tekonsha P3 controller.

Also don't forget to ditch the space-saving spare and replace with full size spare. It is easy to sell the space-saving spare on this forum or the usual suspects, as the non-AWD models don't have them (just a can of gas and goop). It is also easy to buy stock wheels at the same places, and I found a lot of near-new OEM tires available as well.

I also recommend getting a fuse kit - the fuses in the MDX are an unusual format. For the actual towing balls I bought a Convert-a-Ball kit. I have used these for years and find it very convenient for adapting to different trailers. This time I popped for the 3-ball stainless steel kit. Finally do buy a 7 to 4 electrical adapter.

I hope this helps.

Greg

Edit: If you are buying a Tekonsha brake controller look for the kits that include the 2-plug Honda adapter cable. Otherwise you will have to splice the pigtail that comes with the controller to the pigtail that comes with the factory wiring kit. The 2-plug cable has the old order of pins (pre-2014), and requires swapping two pins in order to work properly (trivial effort) with third gen MDX and new Pilot.
 
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