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Hi! I'm considering buying a used travel trailer and taking a month or more to travel around with my two small dogs... I have a 2016 MDX with a trailer hitch. Has anyone tried an R-Pod 171 with their MDX? (I'm assuming an R-Pod 180 is too big. ?) I've thought about an A-Liner, but I think the set up would get to me. The [email protected] feels like more the right size for a newbie, but they're more expensive and harder to find. I'm open to any/all suggestions/knowledge you have to offer about what directions to consider. Thank you!
 

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The R-Pod should be fine. As long as you stay under 3500 lbs. total weight, the MDX will do just fine as a tow vehicle.

I have towed about 20,000 miles in the past 4 years. 7,000 with a large trailer and 13,000 with my A-Frame.



The large trailer was 4800 lbs., and really too large for stable towing even though it was below the 5000 lb. limit.



My 3000 lb. A-Frame (Flagstaff T12-RBST) tows like a dream.



The low height in travel position allows me to actually see over the top of the trailer without a camera system, as well as being much less prone to catching side winds and creating sway.
 

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First, do you have a transmission cooler? That is your limiting factor. Without one your limited to around 2000 pounds as I remember. Personally I would opt for a teardrop style trailer or a tent trailer and go have fun.
 

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Without the cooler you are limited to 3500lbs. With the cooler you are rated to 5000lbs.

There are some other threads on here about towing. I have done a lot of towing with travel trailers in the last 6-7 years. If you are new to towing, it is better to have less trailer than too much. Going to the limits of the MDX, without previous towing experience could set you up for problems.

This summer I towed our new 26 foot travel trailer over 4600km without any incident. It’s a lot of trailer. Loaded for travel, I know I was really pushing the rated limits of the MDX, but I can report that it pulled really well. There are some on here who will undoubtedly not share my opinion, but I towed through the White Mountains of NH and the Adirondacks of NY and had no issues whatsoever. Lots of power, and very stable. It was only in high cross wind situations that I noticed the limitations of the MDX with its rear suspension squatting on me. In those instances, which were not very often, slowing down was always the answer.

All this to say, the MDX is a very capable towing vehicle. If you are going for something within the weight limits and of a lower profile, you will have no issues at all.




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I fell asleep on the highway once with MDX lane keeping assist without having an accident. It's safe!
The thing is, such safety record is absolutely meaningless unless you are factoring in million of miles with different drivers, different trailers...etc, etc. And we all have different definition of "safe".

It is possible that you can safely tow bigger trailers with experience, caution, and perhaps some luck that you don't encounter a serious emergency, but what happens when you are going down a steep hill with high wind from the side, and a tire blows out?

For somebody new I would recommend going small, but with an upgrade in mind. Or rent a few time until you can work out the size of trailer you really want and what towing vehicle you need.

Modern SUV are all very capable in terms of tow power, maybe some traction control, but these contribute little to safety during an emergency.
In additional to lesser weight, go for trailers that are shorter in height, and shorter in length for stability.

Also, keep in mind that the MDX is rated for 5000lbs only when there's no passenger and no cargo, which is hardly the case when you're camping.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The R-Pod should be fine. As long as you stay under 3500 lbs. total weight, the MDX will do just fine as a tow vehicle.

I have towed about 20,000 miles in the past 4 years. 7,000 with a large trailer and 13,000 with my A-Frame.



The large trailer was 4800 lbs., and really too large for stable towing even though it was below the 5000 lb. limit.



My 3000 lb. A-Frame (Flagstaff T12-RBST) tows like a dream.



The low height in travel position allows me to actually see over the top of the trailer without a camera system, as well as being much less prone to catching side winds and creating sway.
The R-Pod should be fine. As long as you stay under 3500 lbs. total weight, the MDX will do just fine as a tow vehicle.

I have towed about 20,000 miles in the past 4 years. 7,000 with a large trailer and 13,000 with my A-Frame.



The large trailer was 4800 lbs., and really too large for stable towing even though it was below the 5000 lb. limit.



My 3000 lb. A-Frame (Flagstaff T12-RBST) tows like a dream.



The low height in travel position allows me to actually see over the top of the trailer without a camera system, as well as being much less prone to catching side winds and creating sway.
The R-Pod should be fine. As long as you stay under 3500 lbs. total weight, the MDX will do just fine as a tow vehicle.

I have towed about 20,000 miles in the past 4 years. 7,000 with a large trailer and 13,000 with my A-Frame.



The large trailer was 4800 lbs., and really too large for stable towing even though it was below the 5000 lb. limit.



My 3000 lb. A-Frame (Flagstaff T12-RBST) tows like a dream.



The low height in travel position allows me to actually see over the top of the trailer without a camera system, as well as being much less prone to catching side winds and creating sway.

Olequita: This is so wonderful and helpful. I really appreciate it. Also... your last two photos look like ads for the "getaway" life! Yay for you for getting out there and having fun. :) PS This is my first time on the forum. I hope I'm replying to this the right way. It looks a bit "off" on my side of things (as if I've added to your text).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The R-Pod should be fine. As long as you stay under 3500 lbs. total weight, the MDX will do just fine as a tow vehicle.

I have towed about 20,000 miles in the past 4 years. 7,000 with a large trailer and 13,000 with my A-Frame.



The large trailer was 4800 lbs., and really too large for stable towing even though it was below the 5000 lb. limit.



My 3000 lb. A-Frame (Flagstaff T12-RBST) tows like a dream.



The low height in travel position allows me to actually see over the top of the trailer without a camera system, as well as being much less prone to catching side winds and creating sway.
The R-Pod should be fine. As long as you stay under 3500 lbs. total weight, the MDX will do just fine as a tow vehicle.

I have towed about 20,000 miles in the past 4 years. 7,000 with a large trailer and 13,000 with my A-Frame.



The large trailer was 4800 lbs., and really too large for stable towing even though it was below the 5000 lb. limit.



My 3000 lb. A-Frame (Flagstaff T12-RBST) tows like a dream.



The low height in travel position allows me to actually see over the top of the trailer without a camera system, as well as being much less prone to catching side winds and creating sway.
First, do you have a transmission cooler? That is your limiting factor. Without one your limited to around 2000 pounds as I remember. Personally I would opt for a teardrop style trailer or a tent trailer and go have fun.
First, do you have a transmission cooler? That is your limiting factor. Without one your limited to around 2000 pounds as I remember. Personally I would opt for a teardrop style trailer or a tent trailer and go have fun.
I don't know, but I will find out. I'm really hoping to have a bathroom. I finally heard back from the person who is selling a [email protected] in town. I know that would probably feel safest in a way size-wise (for having a hard-shell trailer). Thank you for your thoughts! Also super helpful. :)
 

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Without the cooler you are limited to 3500lbs. With the cooler you are rated to 5000lbs....

Hi MDX-4ME, this is really helpful. This would be a total adventure for me... just me and my two dogs. As I'll probably be uncomfortable for some of it no matter what, I think you all are right - the simpler/smaller, the better in terms of me being on my own/getting started. Thank you!
 

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Wuryan, Thx for your note! That lane assist freaked me out when I bought my car. I hadn't been told about it and thought something was messed up. Lol. How incredible that it jerked you awake! I'm known to be a pretty safe driver and I'm happy to go slow. The sleepiness is a big thing, though, sometimes. One main reason I'm pretty sure I won't go with a pop top is I'd like to be able to pull over quickly for a potty break or nap if ever I feel I need it - somewhere off the road safely, of course! :) Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. If I do this, I'm going to pull it together pretty quickly. This all helps enormously. Have a good day!
 

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MDX is rated for 5000lbs only when there's no passenger and no cargo, which is hardly the case when you're camping.
Not exactly. Owner's manual states . . . 5,000 total tow limit for AWD model, with 2 person(150 lbs each) in front seats and 15 lbs of cargo for each person in cargo area. Subtract 250 lbs for each additional passenger.
towing limit.JPG
 

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There are a lot of choices in the travel trailer market, even if many brands are made by one company. Personally I like, and will probably be buying, an Escape trailer. They make 17', 19', and 21' trailers - the 19' is the best design IMHO, in part because it has a full queen bed. They all are within the MDX rating (for SH-AWD with transmission cooler) although the 21' is pushing it. These are more expensive because they are made with a molded fiberglass shell, rather like a boat, and don't suffer from the leaky seams that develop with other designs. They also have wheel wells so the trailer is lower and thus has less drag. The R-pod is similarly low by having the wheels on the outside, but then ends up a bit narrower inside. The trailers that have the wheels completely underneath create too much drag (but simplify construction); unless you plan on taking it off-road (probably a bad idea with the MDX anyway) I would avoid.
 

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Wuryan, Thx for your note! That lane assist freaked me out when I bought my car. I hadn't been told about it and thought something was messed up. Lol. How incredible that it jerked you awake! I'm known to be a pretty safe driver and I'm happy to go slow. The sleepiness is a big thing, though, sometimes. One main reason I'm pretty sure I won't go with a pop top is I'd like to be able to pull over quickly for a potty break or nap if ever I feel I need it - somewhere off the road safely, of course! :) Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. If I do this, I'm going to pull it together pretty quickly. This all helps enormously. Have a good day!
Just an FYI on using the camper for on-the-road naps: You will need a generator to supply the power to run your air conditioner. Because I already owned a Honda 3000 watt unit, it's what I carry.



You also have a choice of a pair of 2000 watt generators wired together in parallel. In either case, budget about $1000 for the power.

Because of my age (75) and physical condition (bad back) I find I need to stop about every 3 hours to lie on my back in bed for about half an hour. It also lets me rest my eyes. In any temperatures above about 55 degrees on sunny days, the inside of the camper will be too hot to be comfortable in. I usually stop at an exit or rest stop about 20 minutes before I intend to take a break, and start the genny and A/C.
 

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Also: If you haven't already found out, there are some great RV forums on the internet. I like IRV2.com for general use, plus manufacturer specific sites for what I own.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Love this information! I may be ending up with a pop-up ALiner after all as it could be a safer start into the market. I found a good one used so it's also not too much of an investment. I hope your Escape purchase goes well and you love it! Thank you!
 

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In the past year we towed our 25’ Airstream on one trip of 6000 miles, another of 1500 miles, and some smaller trips. We did have reinforcement to our receiving hitch from CanAm, and it came with a Hensley hitch, but we have had no problems. Our MDX is a 2011 with the towing package.



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