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Hi, I'm looking at the 2185 actually. Similar size. I've towed 5th wheels, bumper pulls, boats and just about everything you can imagine...with much bigger trucks.

However, I have a '12 MDX and I'm fairly confident it can pull the 2185. 3825 dry/~4200 wet and loaded w/o cargo.

Load the trailer correctly, make sure your tongue weight isn't too heavy (no greater than 550lbs) and you take it easy, you will be fine. Post up your experience.

Plus you mentioned helper bags, those will help immensely with handling. I'm consider helpers too. I'd like to know how yours work out.

Thanks,

Patrick
 

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Not quite sure what "helper bags" are but if it has any effect on the SHawd system, it kind of defeats the purpose of buying an MDX, a truck would have been the correct choice. The MDX is competent towing a jet ski, small tent or utility trailer, it is not intended to be an RV hauler, even though it "can" tow upto 5k, you are really under trucked from a sway, handling, braking and don't forget transmission aspect.

No, I would not tow anything in that weight or length with the MDX, you are asking for trouble in more ways than one.
 

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Not quite sure what "helper bags" are but if it has any effect on the SHawd system
I assume they're referencing air-bags. AirLift and Firestone are popular brands...they basically fit inside the rear coil springs and you can adjust the pressure to keep the vehicle level when towing/hauling. They actually help a lot even unloaded but I've not considered them for the MDX. I do have them on my Pathfinder and they drastically improved the handling/ride even when empty. I've had some heavy loads on and there's very little squat when aired up. That being said....they're not miracle workers and won't significantly help with sway when hooked to a big sail like these campers. If I encounter an MDX or any car based "SUV" towing a camper that size...I'm getting the hell out of the way. It only takes one bad gust of wind to ruin your day pulling something like that. I think 16' would be my limit for a camper and this size of vehicle.

If you were going to run the back roads and never exceed 55mph...I might be more optimistic.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I picked up the Jayco over the weekend. I had them install an equalizer bar and inflated the airlift bags to 30 psi before the trailer was attached. There was 0 sag on the suspension which was the intent. While I was there we met another couple who purchased the exact same trailer and were previously towing it with a Pathfinder and just upgraded to a newer Gr Cherokee. The main difference they noticed was the power to pull. A 400hp Hemi vs a V-6 is certainly an advantage. I looked up the Cherokee and it has a higher tow rating, but apart from the engine, it is very similar to the MDX in size, wheel base, dimensions and weight. Towing the trailer home apprx 30km was the first and only experience thus far and it wasn't an issue climbing hills and towing through city was a lot easier than i expected. It was fully loaded with water. The P3 brake controller worked awesome as braking was not an issue. I took it on the hwy and towed at 100kph and it was ok, it was a very windy day and i could tell the trailer was behind us as you could feel the weight and there would be some slight tugging. We were passed by a few large rigs and that did not make a difference. I am sure you would still feel the trailer on a larger truck as well, to some extent. We are still considering buying a full size truck, but we decided to put it on hold until we can test the true capability of the MDX.
The next step will be a true test as we will be traveling approx 300+ miles through canyon roads, mountain passes etc. I have decided to really test the capabilities of the MDX vs what is published in a real world environment. For those that think this is crazy or borderline dangerous, do not fear. During this trip we will also have a Dodge heavy Duty Diesel as a chase vehicle for the entire trip, in case we experience safety concerns and will also use both vehicles for a comparison. Opinions are great feedback, but i do think a true test will tell. i will update my experience in a few weeks.
 

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I wish you well, and safety for you and your family.

That being said, I would never tow what you're towing with am MDX.

It is NOT built for it.

My brother was considering buying an MDX to tow a new Jayco...their smallest trailer...something around 17 feet.

He called, and asked my opinion.

I own 2 MDXs, and advised him against it.

The reasons are many, but one glaring reason...no REAL ladder frame.

He bought a Ridgeline instead, which has a full ladder frame.
 

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I picked up the Jayco over the weekend. I had them install an equalizer bar and inflated the airlift bags to 30 psi before the trailer was attached. There was 0 sag on the suspension which was the intent. While I was there we met another couple who purchased the exact same trailer and were previously towing it with a Pathfinder and just upgraded to a newer Gr Cherokee. The main difference they noticed was the power to pull. A 400hp Hemi vs a V-6 is certainly an advantage. I looked up the Cherokee and it has a higher tow rating, but apart from the engine, it is very similar to the MDX in size, wheel base, dimensions and weight. Towing the trailer home apprx 30km was the first and only experience thus far and it wasn't an issue climbing hills and towing through city was a lot easier than i expected. It was fully loaded with water. The P3 brake controller worked awesome as braking was not an issue. I took it on the hwy and towed at 100kph and it was ok, it was a very windy day and i could tell the trailer was behind us as you could feel the weight and there would be some slight tugging. We were passed by a few large rigs and that did not make a difference. I am sure you would still feel the trailer on a larger truck as well, to some extent. We are still considering buying a full size truck, but we decided to put it on hold until we can test the true capability of the MDX.
The next step will be a true test as we will be traveling approx 300+ miles through canyon roads, mountain passes etc. I have decided to really test the capabilities of the MDX vs what is published in a real world environment. For those that think this is crazy or borderline dangerous, do not fear. During this trip we will also have a Dodge heavy Duty Diesel as a chase vehicle for the entire trip, in case we experience safety concerns and will also use both vehicles for a comparison. Opinions are great feedback, but i do think a true test will tell. i will update my experience in a few weeks.
West, are you in So Cal? If so, I'd love to see/feel the setup. It sounds like you are just a few weeks ahead of me with regards to purchase timeline. I'll even pay for your gas on the test drive.

I'm also trying to decide whether to go for a small trailer for now and when my coupe is ready to retire, get a diesel to pull a no compromises 5th wheel bunkhouse model.

What was the sticker weight + hitch weight when you picked it up?
 

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Another towing question. Just passed on my 2002 MDX with 276,000 miles to my son. Great vehicle, tranny pooped out at 273,000 ish.

Anyway picked up a 2009 Tech yesterday. I want to add towing package. Do I need to order the rear bumper trim kit? Any aftermarket hitches/electric harnesses out there cheaper then OEM?

Thanks!
 

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the option from the dealer includes a trans cooler and other electronic harnesses of some sort. it's roughly 1200 installed. if you're warrantied and want to keep it that way, do that. otherwise go aftermarket. it's cheaper. either way, put in a trans fluid cooler.
 

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the option from the dealer includes a trans cooler and other electronic harnesses of some sort. it's roughly 1200 installed. if you're warrantied and want to keep it that way, do that. otherwise go aftermarket. it's cheaper. either way, put in a trans fluid cooler.
Do the aftermarket hitches require the differently bumper trim panel?

Should I still get the OEM harness? My boat trailer has a 5 pin flat (5th pin is for releasing the surge brakes while backing)


Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I live in Vancouver BC, so the gas would be a lot, :). Hitch weight is 375lbs, i guess about 475 with full propane and battery. The tailer is 4020lbs dry The tow package is direct from the dealer, but i think the tranny cooler etc comes with all the new MDX from factory, all they add is the class 3 hitch. However, I would check on the electronic brake wiring, as mine has it and it plugs into a Prodigy 3 brake controller. The MDX w/tow comes with a wiring harness that was placed in the rear hatch, i used a 4pin connector to connect the two harnesses.
 

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Excellent. I'll install the hitch myself then. I believe the ridgeline has a brake controller harness which makes a controller plug and play.
 

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I picked up the Jayco over the weekend. I had them install an equalizer bar and inflated the airlift bags to 30 psi before the trailer was attached. There was 0 sag on the suspension which was the intent. While I was there we met another couple who purchased the exact same trailer and were previously towing it with a Pathfinder and just upgraded to a newer Gr Cherokee. The main difference they noticed was the power to pull. A 400hp Hemi vs a V-6 is certainly an advantage. I looked up the Cherokee and it has a higher tow rating, but apart from the engine, it is very similar to the MDX in size, wheel base, dimensions and weight. Towing the trailer home apprx 30km was the first and only experience thus far and it wasn't an issue climbing hills and towing through city was a lot easier than i expected. It was fully loaded with water. The P3 brake controller worked awesome as braking was not an issue. I took it on the hwy and towed at 100kph and it was ok, it was a very windy day and i could tell the trailer was behind us as you could feel the weight and there would be some slight tugging. We were passed by a few large rigs and that did not make a difference. I am sure you would still feel the trailer on a larger truck as well, to some extent. We are still considering buying a full size truck, but we decided to put it on hold until we can test the true capability of the MDX.
The next step will be a true test as we will be traveling approx 300+ miles through canyon roads, mountain passes etc. I have decided to really test the capabilities of the MDX vs what is published in a real world environment. For those that think this is crazy or borderline dangerous, do not fear. During this trip we will also have a Dodge heavy Duty Diesel as a chase vehicle for the entire trip, in case we experience safety concerns and will also use both vehicles for a comparison. Opinions are great feedback, but i do think a true test will tell. i will update my experience in a few weeks.
here's one member that pulled a 27' jayco. I wonder if he's still around to share more of his towing experiences....

http://www.mdxers.org/forums/74-2007-2013-acura-mdx/29157-mdx-towing-3.html
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Summary of first trip with the MDX and Jayco X213

This is not a comparison of whether an MDX is a superior tow vehicle to a full size truck or other SUV's, which is obvious, but a fact finding on whether an MDX is capable of towing up to its Maximum.

Me: I am not a professional tow expert nor work in a related field, the summary below is that of my experience and should be taken as such. Do note that different travel trailers may react differently, old vs new, aerodynamics, brake systems etc. The most important is what type of driver you are...if you are a poor driver on a good day...I don't think it matters what you tow with.

Details: We traveled approximately 500km round trip ( 312 miles). The trip was North up the Fraser Canyon, very windy road with lots of hills and steep grades. Vancouver to Lytton BC

My MDX is equipped with a airlift suspension air bags (inflated to 30psi), Tekonsha P3 brake controller, factory hitch and weight distribution bars.
I did not weigh the trailer, but will guess approx 4500lbs loaded. The airbags worked awesome, the MDX did not sag at all!

Braking: the braking was excellent, no issues going down hill and the trailer did not push the MDX, Prodigy P3 brake controller might have something to do with the effectiveness of the trailer brake system. I did not experience any panic stops or aggressive swerving situations, but those situations would be of concern regardless of what type of tow vehicle you had, albeit at a different level. I made a concerted effort to maintain a safe distance and drive defensively.

Power - there were some very steep climbs, i would use the manual shift mode and put in third gear, as long as the revs were around 4000rpm, it had no issues pulling it up the steepest hills and accelerating if required, my average speed was between 80kph and 100kph. On flat or mild terrain it had no issues, although I would shift in sport mode manually between 4th and 5th, did not use 6th very often. I did not go much faster than 100kph (65mph) and could tell the faster I went the less stable the trailer would feel, so don't speed. Could it use more power, for sure, but when can you not.

Handling: you can certainly tell the trailer was behind when a large rig passed by, it would initially create a vacuum when it was beside and the trail would sway slightly toward the big truck and then sway back once the rig passed you. The experience was a bit of a surprise the first few times and then i became used to it. To clarify, the sway was very minimal and far from being a white knuckle experience. I spoke to some friends and with large trucks and they stated there is always some moderate sway when towing large vehicles. The weight was noticeable at times and you could feel the trailer pushing the MDX in certain circumstances, such as turning into a corner going downhill at hwy speeds, but again this was minimal and expected when you are towing close to 5000 pds.

Overall, my wife who was concerned with the findings I made when researching the MDX capabilities for towing, was at ease and even napped part of the way. After the first hour of towing through this terrain, i began to feel comfortable with all the changes to the dynamics of towing and was at ease for the rest of the trip. I was pleasantly impressed.

Fuel economy...yah it sucks avg 12mpg...but towing a 4500lb trailer, what do you really expect...

Conclusion

The MDX is more than capable of towing the set up described above, would I prefer to tow with a full size truck vs the MDX, the answer is yes. But am i going to run out and trade my one year old MDX, take a financial hit on the steep 1st year ownership depreciation, NO. My personal opinion, if you are looking to buy a MDX to tow a large trailer such as mine, I would recommend you purchase something larger, a late model half ton or full size SUV (QX56, Lexus LX570 or Sequoia). You certainly do not need those massive 3/4 ton, diesel blah blah units...unless that is what you want.
However...if you are similar to me as in you already own a late model MDX and enjoy the unit for the 95% of time you are not towing and are considering buying a travel trailer...GO FOR IT! Honda is a marvelous engineering company and they historically do not make claims they cant meet. In the future, i will eventually get a full size vehicle to tow with, but only when the $ figures make financial sense, until then we are going on a longer trip later this summer down south with the MDX.
 

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The Ridgeline does not have a full ladder frame. It's a hybrid Unibody/Ladder.

Honda Ridgeline - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



I wish you well, and safety for you and your family.

That being said, I would never tow what you're towing with am MDX.

It is NOT built for it.

My brother was considering buying an MDX to tow a new Jayco...their smallest trailer...something around 17 feet.

He called, and asked my opinion.

I own 2 MDXs, and advised him against it.

The reasons are many, but one glaring reason...no REAL ladder frame.

He bought a Ridgeline instead, which has a full ladder frame.
 

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:confused:

I'm assuming that you're agreeing with my recimmenation to my brother.

"The Honda Ridgeline uses unibody architecture ladder frame/unibody hybrid chassis. Honda claims this design gives it 2.5 times more ball rigidity and 20 times the torsional rigidity than the standard ladder frame only type of chassis construction, while retaining the load carrying capacity of the traditional ladder frame."
 

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:confused:

I'm assuming that you're agreeing with my recimmenation to my brother.

"The Honda Ridgeline uses unibody architecture ladder frame/unibody hybrid chassis. Honda claims this design gives it 2.5 times more ball rigidity and 20 times the torsional rigidity than the standard ladder frame only type of chassis construction, while retaining the load carrying capacity of the traditional ladder frame."
LOL. You said FULL LADDER FRAME on your post. Correcting you since you were wrong.

Either way, the Ridgeline is not near as strong as lets say a Tundra,Titan,F150,Silverado frame period. Fully Ladder/Boxed frames are much more rigid.
 

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Discussion Starter #38

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This is great news. So how do you like the trailer? How many people do you have sleeping in it? I'm looking at the exact same trailer.
 

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towing 3000# trailer is great

My two cents on the MDX towing (2008 with factory tow package) for a 3000 lb pop-up tent trailer: awesome. I towed the same trailer with a minivan (3,500 lb tow capacity, with a brake controller) and it required a weight distributing stabilizer hitch, even then was a challenge at speed. Towing the same trailer for the last few years through mountains with the MDX and regular hitch (no 3rd party brake controller) has no problem at all with swaying (the VSC trailer stabilizing really seems to work) and stopping is no problem (of course it takes longer and requires defensive driving). I do use the manual shift mode on hills to avoid wearing out the overdrive gear, and end up getting 16mpg on the highway with 5 passengers and gear. I also change the trans fluid (with synthetic), differential and transfer case fluid as per the maintenance schedule (all Acura fluids), and have never had transmission hesitation or other problems (currently at 80,000 miles).
 
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