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Old 02-13-2014, 06:23 PM   #1
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2012 Honda Ridgeline towing Jayflight Swift SLX (2014)

Thought I'd post up to help anyone who's towing a smaller rig with a smaller truck. I load the back of my truck up with a couple of dual sport bikes, tow the trailer and have the dog in the back seat. The discussion always comes up about using a weight distribution hitch with the Ridgeline - which isn't recommended in the owner's manual. Pretty strong statement against it in fact. Anyway, after doing the math, I kinda see why. Although the rear squats a fair bit once loaded down, weight distribution to the front would need to be done very carefully as the front axle gross weight is already being pushed pretty close to the limit. As far as I figure my math is pretty close, but some of the passenger weight would be distributed to the rear axle. Anyway - here's the scenario.......

The numbers from the manual are;
Max tow capacity 5000lbs
Gross combined weight 10085
Gross vehicle weight (max 6050 lbs)
Max front axle 3105 lbs
Max rear axle 3245 lbs
Max trailer tongue load 600 lbs (lets say 500 for arguments sake)
Curb weight of truck 4491lbs - weight distribution is 58% front (2605lbs) and 42% rear (1886lbs)

Iíve run the truck and trailer without the motorcycle onto a scale and we were well under all limits. I havenít done this with the motorcycle and generator in the back yet, but hereís how it should workout.

Trailer Gross vehicle weight 3500 lbs (Iíve only managed to load up to 3000lbs, but lets use the theoretical max)
Trailer tongue weight 350 lbs (10%)
One bike - 300 lbs, two bikes - 600 lbs
Generator - Say 100 lbs (not 100% sure but itís heavy)
Myself, girlfriend and the dog - 350 lbs
Miscellaneous - 50 lbs

Math
GRVW : Truck + 2 bikes + People + Generator + Misc. + Tongue weight = 4491 + 600 + 350 + 100 + 50 + 350 = 5941lbs (within the max of 6050lbs)
Combined GRVW : GRVW + Trailer GRVW = 6050 + 3500 = 9500 (within max of 10085)
Front axle : weight distributed front + people = 2605 + 350 = 2955 (within max of 3105 lbs)
Rear axle : weight distributed rear + 2 bikes + Gen + Misc + Tongue weight = 1886 + 600 + 100 + 50 + 350 = 2986lbs (within the max of 3245lbs)


So you can see that distributing any further weight to the front could be touchy. I'm tempted to get one and do it (carefully, checked on the scale) just so I can run a little closer to level. The rear end of the truck squats pretty badly when I'm loaded up.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:46 PM   #2
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I think the Ridgeline runs mostly front wheel drive. Putting weight on the rear of the truck will lighten the load on the front wheels and could possibly affect traction, steering and braking on the front. Those are just my thoughts.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:49 AM   #3
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FWIW I will offer my viewpoint.
If I understand your numbers correctly,
Your loaded front axle is at 2955 lbs
loaded rear axle is at 2986 lbs
These are close to 50-50 distribution front to rear. Not a bad place to be actually.
You might look into a suspension mod to level up, if such a thing is available.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:08 PM   #4
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BTW, I played a small roll in the development of the Ridgeline, for the instrument panel.
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Old 03-22-2014, 07:33 PM   #5
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Cool! Yes, I agree, a coil block or something is probably the trick
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:40 PM   #6
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Just ordered a set of these - look like they'll do the trick. If they work, I might consider an air bag system, but I'm hoping these will do the trick and keep it simple.

http://www.supersprings.com/coil_sum...s_overview.asp
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:27 AM   #7
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The trouble with these is that they are built on the Pilot chassis which is built soft to improve ride. That's the real weak spot. And you have a very small payload. I had a similar situation with my old Trailblazer, and you would with any mid-size SUV. At least my Trailblazer was full framed, had a much higher tongue weight restriction and allowed for a W/D hitch. Without it I would have had the same situation as you.

The springs will bring it up, but they will not shift much weight back to the front like a W/D hitch will. With this kind of weight, you might want to be considering half ton PU trucks. MPG is about the same and they can handle this kind of load without breaking a sweat. That's why I got one. However, I get that you are probably between a rock and a hard place with this. Hope you can find a way to make it work safely!
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:56 AM   #8
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I thought I had posted a review of the Sumo springs - there really do the trick!! The truck is level now (or close to it). I thought it towed beautifully before, but now it's really excellent and gas mileage has improved (I'm attributing this to better drive line angles and streamlining). Big thumbs up to the Sumo springs product. I'll snap a pic today as we're loading it all up and carrying a bit heavier motorbike.....(extra 150 lbs).
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:22 PM   #9
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Fully (!) loaded.....she squats a little with the KLR in there instead of the WRR....

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Old 10-21-2014, 08:10 AM   #10
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I wouldn't worry about squat. That's natural. I'd me much more worried about how much weight you are taking off the front wheels. You look pretty high in the front.
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