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Discussion Starter #1
We recently purchased a 2012 MDX with intentions of towing a small enclosed utility trailer with approx 2500 max weight which has not been an issue. However, things have changed and we have just bought a new travel trailer that is 4000 lbs dry weight (Jayco X213) and will be picking it up this wknd. Looking for some advice and experience. There are some threads regarding towing but they are few years old and would love to hear some updates. I am also considering towing a car on a trailer as well. The MDX is less than a year old and i dont want to trade it in on something bigger at this time and I am sure a full size truck or SUV would be superior.

this is what i have done so far to prepare

Upgrades: Acura towing package, Prodigy P3 e brake controller, equalizer hitch and Airlift 1000 rear helper air bags.
 

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My MDX is a 2009, but I don't believe the towing capabilities would be much different from yours. (I stand to be corrected, though.)

I think that the towing capabilities of the MDX are greatly overstated by Acura. I pull a boat that is no where near the max rated capability. Total towing weight is under 3000 lbs. On flat highways, the car behaves well. On anything other than flat, though, the engine is working. The transmission helps, of course, by staying in 3rd gear, but the engine temp goes up and, of course, gas mileage tanks. I had an Outback before this, with a lower rating of its towing capacity, and it did a much better job of pulling the same boat on the same road.

Last summer, we rented a travel trailer whose gross weight, as determined on a weigh scale, we just over 4000 lbs. Towing it was terrible! We had intended to buy the same model trailer, but decided to rent first. There is no way I would buy this trailer and keep the MDX.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thx gwilki, apart from a 6 spd tranny, i dont think they are different. Was the major issue the power to tow? Or was it borderline scary?
 

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Mileage tanks on almost any tow vehicle while towing. Take your time and you should be
Ok.
 

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My MDX is a 2009, but I don't believe the towing capabilities would be much different from yours. (I stand to be corrected, though.)

I think that the towing capabilities of the MDX are greatly overstated by Acura.... QUOTE]

I agree.:)
 

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If you are towing a 21' foot trailer, you need a full size 3/4 ton or greater, preferably a diesel. DO NOT under truck when towing, always over truck. It is not whether you have the power to pull it, it is all about being able to safely maneuver and STOP! I towed RV's for years, the MDX can tow light loads, but it is nowhere near being a competent and safe vehicle when towing the type of RV you describe.
 

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I had no idea he was trying to tow a 21 foot trailer. You need a half ton with an hd tow package at least, and you need to watch the trailer weight at that.

Sway and or stopping will be an issue for any mid sized SUV at the 21 foot point.
 

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Background: I've owned and towed a lot of trailers over 25 years of driving....simple bumper-pull stock trailers, 40' goose-neck horse/campers, various 20' cargo trailers, etc. Pulled with everything from a Jeep Cherokee to an F-650.

I personally would not pull that trailer with the MDX. 2,500# trailer is a good match and plenty safe. 4,020# (published dry....likely far more in reality) with I assume more than one passenger and 10% tongue weight.....maybe a short trip but I wouldn't want to go far and not on the highway.

I disagree with the others that this requires a 3/4 ton truck....but it's pushing the safety envelope for a crossover. I think you'll have a serious problem with sway and cross-wind control. I had some white-knuckle moments pulling a small bumper pull horse-trailer with a GX470...and the GX was a far more capable tow vehicle than an MDX.
 

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Background:I disagree with the others that this requires a 3/4 ton truck....but it's pushing the safety envelope for a crossover.
1/2 ton might be OK, but a 3/4 ton will give you the "over truck" factor I mentioned. If you can choose between the 2, a 3/4 Ton is the way to go, more HD where it counts.
 

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1/2 ton might be OK, but a 3/4 ton will give you the "over truck" factor I mentioned. If you can choose between the 2, a 3/4 Ton is the way to go, more HD where it counts.
Bigger is always better.... but I'd feel plenty safe to share the road if OP was in something resembling a truck. We do a lot of traveling all over the midwest/northeast and it's not uncommon in the summer to see accidents with tow vehicles. I'm not sure I've ever crossed the WV turnpike and not come across an accident with a camper or boat.
 

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Saw a Ford Bronco towing a 21' camping trailer, until the trailer swayed, and jacknifed.

The trailer disintegrated.

Just way, way too short a wheelbase, and weight of the tow vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the feedback, I appreciate it. I have continued to do more research on this and also contacted Honda for their input. There is no doubt that a larger truck or SUV would do a better job at towing this trailer, such as a 1/2 ton p/u. The question remains is the Acura MDX capable of doing an acceptable job of towing close to its maximum weight (80%+ at minimum in this case) and still being safe. (or is any vehicle for that matter) I understand tongue weight, luggage, passengers etc to be taken into consideration. I would think that manufactures have a high degree of responsibility when publishing, promoting and marketing limits such as towing and would be subject to legal action for misrepresentation. I would go as far as to say giving me a 100% refund on my purchase if it is uncapable of performing as stipulated, within reason. Honda seems to think and state that the MDX is capable and have run tests, this was forwarded to me from Honda. I am not to concerned about any long term stress to the drive train of the MDX as it is under warranty and i will not keep it past. My main concern is the safety of my family of 3. Kind of committed that I bought the camper, I guess I will have to test it myself before i take the family, will update the thread.

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2012 Acura MDX - Chassis

10/5/2011 2:56:00 PM

CHASSIS DEVELOPMENT

TOWING

With a rated towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, the MDX can pull a boat or camper trailer with confidence. Standard towing equipment includes a high-capacity radiator with twin 160-watt electric cooling fans, an automatic transmission fluid cooler, a heavy-duty power-steering cooler and pre-wiring for an electric brake controller. A Towing Package is available as dealer-installed accessory and includes a Class III receiver assembly, hitch, ball and wiring harness.

One of Acura's durability tests involved towing a 5,000-pound trailer in Death Valley National Park during summer, including repeated climbs up Townes Pass and Daylight Pass with outside air temperatures between 113- and 120-degrees F. Testers also targeted the toughest boat ramp they could find - at Shasta Lake in Northern California - where the launch ramp is extremely steep, and its length varies depending on the lake level. They also proved the MDX trailer-pulling skills elsewhere in California as well as in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Trailer STABILITY Assist

Every 2012 MDX comes standard with Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) that includes special Trailer Stability Assist algorithms. Trailer Stability Assist interprets oscillation (or wag) in the vehicle/trailer combination while driving. Such oscillation may occur if the trailer is not loaded correctly, or during certain speed and road conditions. Using a combination of torque reduction and individual brake application, Trailer Stability Assist activates to stabilize the vehicle after sensing oscillations of the vehicle and trailer system.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't do it.

Towing a utility trailer of 4-5000 pounds is one thing.

Yeah, the vehicle will do it. It will work hard, but it will do it.

Towing the same weight with an 8' x 8' frontal area, and an 8' x 22' side area, is an entirely different matter.

My 2 cents.

Yeah, I've towed weight before.
 

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I've towed a 5,000+ pound 14' enclosed trailer several times across the country. I find it easiest to manually shift gears as if you just leave it in drive it wants to stay in 3rd. Cruising at 70ish MPH, I can usually manually put it in 4th and it works well until a small hill. If the wind is light, usually no problems. You will notice the wind if it starts to pick up some. I've got 130,000 miles on my 2009 MDX and have been overly happy with the towing. Gas mileage diminishes quickly if you are cruising in 3rd, but in 4th you can still average around 12 MPG. Hope that helps. DS
 

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I have towed my 21ft boat with my wifes, and as far as the question of can it tow it would be yes it can. Would I do tow that camper with the MDX, that answer would be NO. The MDX does have the power and the brakes are more than enough, but mine got tossed around real bad. I did find that putting it in sport mode helped but it was not that enjoying to drive it " I also have a 3/4 Duramax that I usually tow the 31ft 5th wheel and boat with". My wife even noticed the difference from the passenger seat, with the truck you do not know the boat is back there and with the MDX you will not forget it is back there.
 

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I'm also looking to tow

Hey guys,

I have an 07 MDX Tech/Ent. I didn't think to have the trailer hitch installed but now I'm thinking of towing. Do I have to change out the rear bumper cover to have the trailer hitch and wiring installed? Also, is there an online Acura parts place offering free shipping on small plastic items?


Ray
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for sharing your towing experience. I guess in summary is yes it will tow it, but it will struggle. I am going to go pick up a toyota tundra, that should take care of my concerns.
 

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westmdxer: Sorry that I didn't reply to your question sooner. You've now received lots of good info. I didn't check out your trailer model before I replied the first time. I would not even think about pulling a wind sail that big with the MDX.

In my case, towing my boat, sway is not a problem. It pulls well and it is low enough that wind does not seem to affect it much. Power was the issue.

When I first got the 09, I could manually shift up to 4th gear, make sure the engine was not lugging, and reduce the bad effects. However, with the forced software change, it will no longer stay in 4th gear. It downshifts into 3rd. I asked the dealer to put the software back to where it was, but Acura has nixed that idea apparently.

Since you are buying a Toyota, it may not be an issue, but keep in mind that the information that Acura provided you concerning the TSA applies only if you have the OEM wiring harness, or one that ties into the stock wiring in the same way. Many of the after market harnesses do not tie in the same way and the TSA is not activated by trailer sway. I found this out the hard way.
 

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I just looked up the length of the Jayco x213, it is 24' long. I would anticipate a lot of sway if towing with the X. I wouldn't do it.
 
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