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Old 11-26-2023, 08:06 PM   #1
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Towing advice needed please!

Hello,
We just purchased a 2024 Jayflight SLX260BH. The trailer weight is 4.6K and we are towing with a Honda Pilot rated up to 5K. I know this is pushing the limit, but was hoping for some advice on weight distribution recommendations, any thoughts on what i can do to make this work, etc.
Thank you!
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Old 11-26-2023, 08:30 PM   #2
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Get a bigger truck.

Really.
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Old 11-26-2023, 08:30 PM   #3
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Four hundred pounds total for food, water, clothes, bedding, pots, pans, pillows . . . You will also need to check the pay load capacity on your Pilot. A quick search shows a range of about 1200 to 1500 pounds depending on model. You will have at least 500 pounds on the tongue. People, pets, and anything you pack in the trunk will push that limit quickly.

Congratulations on your new trailer. My honest advice is find a campground with seasonal sites or storage and get it there and enjoy. I wouldn't travel too far with that set up. Getting it going is one thing, stopping it, especially in an emergency situation, is going to be tough. Cross winds will be a while knuckle experience.
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Old 11-26-2023, 08:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for your response, I appreciate it! It’s good to get honest feedback (the kind the RV salesman won’t give you)
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Old 11-26-2023, 08:43 PM   #5
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Can the honda do it? Absolutely (or they wouldn't have said it could). I've done way worse to several of my vehicles. Should you (or should I have) not so much. If you're pulling it home or moving it empty, I see no problem. If you've loaded the family and packed clothes and food and supplies for a week away from home you're likely well over the limit. Is the number a hard limit that at 4999 lbs it's going to drive like it's empty and 5001 lbs it's going to explode killing all the kittens and children in a hundred miles? no. Towing safety is 99% driver but warranties, insurance, and police look at the numbers.
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Old 11-26-2023, 08:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for your response, very much appreciated! What are your thoughts on taking 2 vehicles. If it were just one person driving the Pilot for towing, no gear, etc. Do you think that would be safe under those circumstances?
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Old 11-26-2023, 09:18 PM   #7
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To repeat Woollymonster, GET A BIGGER TRUCK! I would never try to pull a travel trailer or a 5th wheel with anything less than a 3/4 ton vehicle. Piece of mind and family safety are the two most important issues.
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Old 11-26-2023, 09:40 PM   #8
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The 4,600 pounds is the Jayco-advertised empty weight, which is not the final towing weight. With normal packing, including batteries, propane, maybe water, food, gear, etc, you’ll be looking at more than the Pilot’s rated 5k. Payload limits and braking are other, even bigger, concerns in my opinion. Our SLX212 is about 600 pounds lighter and 5 feet shorter. I feel perfectly comfortable towing it with a diesel 3/4-ton. We’ve been through some winds that left me thankful I didn’t have a smaller truck. I’d definitely prefer it with a trailer like yours.
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Old 11-27-2023, 05:19 AM   #9
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Thanks for your response, I appreciate it! It’s good to get honest feedback (the kind the RV salesman won’t give you)
Sales people have to deal in facts. Based on the published, verifiable figures that are easy to explain in court, you are good. It's not until you add people and stuff that things get rough. A second vehicle for that is another option.

I've towed my current 7,000 pound loaded trailer with a 2021 F150 over 30,000 miles, from coast to coast, and never once felt I needed a bigger truck. So my opinion is my combination is a solid, safe, setup. Others will tell me that I should have a 3/4 ton. Now we're into someone's opinion and image them testifying why they think Honda and Ford are lying about the capacity. Their opinion versus the manufacturers engineers. So salespeople stick to the published information. Generally that's the fairest for their company and the vehicle company. Not always for the consumer unless they are trying to tow over the published specs.

To get the most enjoyment out of your new trailer I would consider a 1/2 ton truck suitably equipped.
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Old 11-27-2023, 06:00 AM   #10
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I pull a 264 bh which looks similar, but is a couple of inches longer. By the time you add a whd and some equiptment ( hoses, filter, regulator, a little water for road breaks) and other supplies, my tongue weigth is almost 1000 pounds. It tows better with some weight in it. Under 5000 pounds on a trailer that big does get affected by cross winds and big trucks.
I could not imagine towing it with something that small. I have a 01 f250 7.3 powerstroke with a ccc of 1900 pounds. That ccc is about the same as a modern properly equipped f150. I have had cross winds push me near 2 feet one way or another. A 16 foot utility trailer does not act the same as a big billboard size trailer. I feel your combo may turn into the tail wagging the dog. A heavy tow vehicle is your friend.
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Old 11-27-2023, 07:34 AM   #11
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Welcome to the forums, and congrats on the new camper! There's a lot of good feedback here already. I don't show up and post a lot, but the thread reminds me of why I like the place.

Early on we also found our self in the "under-trucked or over-trailered?" dilemma. I asked a similar question at several forums and the consensus shook out to "keep the load total to 80% or less of the truck's capacity."

The question then became "so what exactly does everything weigh?"

Answering that called for a bit of work and I'm a spreadsheet nerd, so I built a spreadsheet with the weights of everything involved. I weighed the grandkids, the dog, the potato chips, the burger-flipper spatula and not to forget - the wife's purse, to get the total load being managed by the truck. You get the idea.

We traded for a full-sized truck and the power to weight issue went away.

You are welcome to a copy of the spreadsheet if interested. After you have sufficient posts to allow messaging send me an email addy and I'll send a copy to you.

Best to all!
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Old 11-27-2023, 08:05 AM   #12
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No. And I am not one of the "you need the biggest truck"

First the Pilot I believe still does not accommodate a WDH. It is not built like a truck but rather a car.

We towed a 195 RB for over a hundred thousand miles with the Ridgeline ( built just like the Pilot but with the truck appearance) and while the Honda is still in service at 250,000 miles ( its a 2012 with a tow rating of 5000 lbs) and the transmission could handle the additional load, the brakes could not. Even with properly working trailer brakes we had the Ridgelines brakes worked on multiple times over 5 years.

When we got our 212 QB we knew we needed a truck with a different transmission ( more gearing) and we are towing with a GMC Canyon. Some say its a toy truck but we have trailered over the entire East Coast and Labrador and Newfoundland ( grades there are steeper than the Rockies). The truck is rated to 7000 lbs.

I would not want to tow anything bigger with our truck ( and no we have no plans to upsize as the current trailer fits into Newfoundland Provincial parks and anything bigger would not)

Now could you get to a campsite? Sure. But it depends on if you have winds or have to use the interstate. If you are going local low speed you ought to be fine .

That weight might not include battery ( and you will want two.. add more weight) and propane tanks . And with your limitations never travel with water.

Remember towing an RV is not the same as towing a boat. You will be towing a big box not a streamlined vehicle. Those weight capacities auto dealers tout are IMO assuming you will be dragging a boat.
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Old 11-27-2023, 08:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doleff View Post
Thanks for your response, very much appreciated! What are your thoughts on taking 2 vehicles. If it were just one person driving the Pilot for towing, no gear, etc. Do you think that would be safe under those circumstances?
To be in specs, yes that'd be required to carry much with you. You'll have to check the vehicle GVWR and GCWR vs passengers and cargo to see what distribution you'll need.

The spec from honda is their lawyers saying what the vehicle can safely do. That means it's far enough inside the specs of what it can physically do that they're saying it's OK for the general populace.

For "being safe", I'll reiterate that towing is more than 90% a matter of the driver. I towed 6500lb with my little Toyota Pickup (115hp, manual, 2800lb, rated to tow 3500. Did have upgraded suspension & trailer brakes) 300 miles more than once just fine. On one of the trips I was passed by someone in a 3/4 ton pulling a little 4x8 cargo trailer with not much on it that had to be doing close to 90. I passed him a few miles later sideways in a ditch. Driver.

There's nothing wrong with feeling loaded and the problem with too much truck is people forget there IS a load. I later pulled a similar load with a v6 frontier (within spec for it) which was much easier/casual feeling. wouldn't quite forget it's back there but could get sloppy if not paying attention. Towing the same thing with the 3/4 ton I have now would feel like nothing.

Try towing it with your current truck and see how you like it before spending a ton of money on a new one. As you can see from the thread, you're getting a variety of answers based on people's experience and comfort towing. 2 cars vs a larger truck, you need to figure out what YOU are comfortable with.
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Old 11-27-2023, 08:32 AM   #14
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Ask not if you can tow the trailer, but if you can STOP the trailer.....
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Old 11-27-2023, 09:05 AM   #15
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A Pilot has a 111 Inch wheelbase. I have an F150 with a 145 inch wheel base. This makes a difference with towing. You can get "tail wagging the dog" when you have side gusts, especially when going through overpasses or passing semi trailers.
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Old 11-27-2023, 09:20 AM   #16
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Ask not if you can tow the trailer, but if you can STOP the trailer.....
Correct, I'm assuming the trailer has brakes and the Honda has a controller and there's a saying about assumptions... Along with a towing capacity, it'll say at what weight you need trailer brakes, make sure you have them. It's not just stopping ability but stability when stopping. If all the braking is coming from the front, the rear comes around. Think of balancing a pen on your finger.
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Old 11-27-2023, 09:31 AM   #17
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. Along with a towing capacity, it'll say at what weight you need trailer brakes, make sure you have them. .
Brake requirements are set by state law and the majority require them on anything over 3,000 lbs.

If you're in Missouri you only need them on fifth-wheels..

https://www.rvtravel.com/trailer-bra...0-states-1100/
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Old 11-27-2023, 09:57 AM   #18
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One more thing about ability to tow, Tongue weight is not always considered with maximum towing capacity as stated by the manufacturer of the tow vehicle. If you consider 12% of trailer weight as tongue weight to prevent sway, it may exceed the capability. I can tell you that my F150 Ecoboost has a maximum tongue weight capacity of 1050 lbs, if I remember correctly. With the weight of 2 propane tanks and 2 lead acid batteries I have to be aware that I can't load junk in the pass-through and max-out the water tank.
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Old 11-27-2023, 01:47 PM   #19
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Welcome aboard! Lots of info above. A quick Google search says you should not use a WDH with a Pilot. Now that was a generic search, not knowing which year you have. Something may have changed over the years. I recommend reviewing your TV owners manual, there will be a section on towing. If it is not recommended, I would use at minimum a friction sway bar.

Attached is the spec sheet for your 260BH. The key number to look at is the GVWR. That is the max weight the TT is designed to carry. The empty/dry weight is generally useless as it is only that way when it is delivered to the dealer lot. They are delivered without propane in the tanks or a battery.

https://www.jayco.com/rvs/travel-tra...ght-slx/260bh/

I recommend opening the TVs driver's door and look at the stickers. One of them will give you the payload capacity for your Pilot as it rolled off the production line. The payload capacity is the key thing to look at. This takes in the tongue weight of the trailer, the stuff and people in & on the TV.

Being a bunkhouse model, I suspect you have kids, and kids grow, and they bring a LOT of stuff with them.

For the TV, I recommend adding up the weight of everything you will bring with in/on the TV, such as the kids, DW, pets, luggage inside the TV, including your DW's purse, kids toys, booster seats, firewood, cooler, activity bag, hitch components, etc. If you do not know your actual tongue weight, use 15% GVWR (900 lbs). Per Jayco the dry hitch weight is 515 lbs, so you know you will be north of that. Compare this sum to the payload sticker. I suspect you will be overloaded.

The tongue weight should be between 10 and 15 percent of the actual weight of the TT. If your tongue weight is to light the trailer can sway easily and cause a major accident. To heavy and it can affect your steering, and again cause an accident. None of this accounts for how it affects the engine and transmission life.

1,370- 1570 lbs guess of what your payload might be:

0 lbs - DW - most vehicles give a 150 # allowance for the driver
200 lbs - DH
150 lbs - 2 kids - young and still growing
50 lbs - dog
50 lbs cooler
20 lbs kids activity bag in TV
75 lbs kids toys/bikes, etc that is in the back of the Pilot
50 lbs stuff you normally keep in the TV, or mods you have added.
75 lbs - WDH
700 lbs tongue weight, maybe up to 900 lbs after a year or so
1,370 -1,570 lbs.

You might be within capacity or might not be. My old Dakota, I was very close for many years, and was hard to keep the TT and TV on a diet.

Good luck and happy camping
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Old 11-27-2023, 05:35 PM   #20
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Brake requirements are set by state law and the majority require them on anything over 3,000 lbs.

If you're in Missouri you only need them on fifth-wheels..

https://www.rvtravel.com/trailer-bra...0-states-1100/
That's dumb to set it arbitrarily by weight regardless of tow vehicle. Of course, sensibility rarely plays into legality as very few lawmakers have any. That may be set by some states but they can also be specified by the manufacturer regardless of what state or country you're in. My subaru is rated to tow 1k without brakes, 2400 with.
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