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Old 04-18-2011, 08:49 PM   #1
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Default Towing through Rocky Mountains

I have read other posts on towing, but seem to find conflicting information and not much info about towing through the Rocky Mountains. My wife and I have decided to get back into owning a trailer (after being without one for 15 years).

We have a 2008 Honda Ridgeline with a towing capacity of 5000lbs. We like the Fun Finder Xís. We are looking at the 189FDS (dry weight 3040 lbs), 210WDS (dry weight 3370), and the new 210UDS (dry weight 3570).

We live in Alberta, Canada (just north of Idaho and Montana) and plan to take trips over the Rocky Mountains to the west coast and also drive across Canada to the east coast, as well as many local trips.

We know that we canít go by just the dry trailer weight and need to add for water, etc. Our question is will the Ridgeline struggle to tow any of the Fun Finders, especially through the mountains, or will all 3 be within the Ridgelines towing capabilities?

We would really appreciate your input.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:47 AM   #2
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I met a family from BC a couple of years ago in Prince Edward Island that had a Honda Ridgeline and were towing an older 24 ft trailer. I asked him how he did coming from BC to here and he said that he only was slowed down in the mountains a bit and it impacted his fuel mileage. There was only him, his wife and one kid and they didn't have anything in the back of the truck and he said he never filled the water tank and always dumped the other tanks before hitting the road. Not sure the weight of his trailer but I suspect it was over 3600 dry. With the 5000 lb you also have to factor in your self and passengers weight plus the other stuff. I have a W210 and tow it with a Tacoma TRD which has a 6500lb capacity and I don't really notice it back there as it tow's so easy. What I could suggest if your dealer would do it and mine did, is to let you tow each of the models for a bit to see how your honda will handle the load.

Just my two cents
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:42 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Citycamper. On our trips we plan to travel pretty light - very little water, etc. We are figuring with the trailer options, the 2 of us, our own supplies, etc we will add about 1000 lbs to the dry weight of the trailer. Does this sound about right?

When we talk to the dealer we will enquire about giving the trailers a test pull. The dealer is Woody's Rv in Red Deer and Calgary, Alberta Canada. They say that they are the largest Fun Finder dealer west of the Mississippi.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:27 AM   #4
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Sounds about right. Get the dealer to let you use one of his equalizer hitches to try out a few models then work it into the deal at the end. This is what I did and the dealer was more then happy to complete the deal.
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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I had a lengthy ~2 horu talk with a gentlemen pulling an R-POD with a ridgline. HE was selling the R-POD (which is how i met him) and said the pod towed perrfectly safe, but going up steep grades (in rocky mountains) it struggled. Tke it for what it's worth.

What I can tell you is my short 1.5 mile experience pulling our 189FDR with our liberty (similar power/weight ratio as the ridgeline) did not inspire confidence and i got a V8.
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:27 PM   #6
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One thing you have to bear in mind about "dry weight"... That weight is the bare-bones trailer; no battery, no LPG, no options (even the "mandatory" ones). Rule of thumb - add ~400 lbs to the published dry weights for most "mid-line" trailers, add even more for "high line" trailers that come really optioned out.

That puts your real "empty" weight (as you would drag it home from the dealer) on the 210UDS at around 4000 lbs before you even begin to add your stuff and the weight of a weight distribution hitch (~90 lbs for most brands). I think you'll find the 210UDS will be right at or just over your limit; the 210WBS will come in just under (by a couple of hundred pounds if you pack real light and don't carry any water; the 189FDS would be a much more "comfortable fit" for your Ridgeline if you plan on any mountainous forays

I tow a 210WBS and I tow heavy (we're retired and go for several months at a time); I've scaled our 210WBS at ~5895 lbs and I always tow dry, I'd be over GVWR if I carried a full fresh water tank and anything in the waste tanks... Of course, I'm a "DIY" type and take enough tools to build a TT from the ground up if necessary; the tools, two bicycles, 2 months of canned cat food for 3 cats, LPG Campfire-in-a-Can, her spinning wheel (she's a spinner and weaver; I'm just glad she hasn't decided to take a loom [yet]), etc., adds up Heavy, yes, but, we are comfortable when we travel!
That just demonstrates how easy it is to get to an unimaginable weight without even trying. Before I scaled the TT, I'd have given you a WAG at round 5000 lbs., I never dreamed that I'd gotten that heavy in loading. I tow with a Jeep Commander with the Hemi and it works, not hard, but it works, getting up and over some of the Rocky's higher passes. The Jeep has, for comparison to your Ridgeline, 390 hp and 400 ft/lbs of torque...

According to salesmen (both Honda and trailer dealer) you can tow any of those trailers. Real-life, though, you'll probably much happier with the 189FDS; you'll be able to pack more to make yourselves comfortable and still have a comfortable margin with your Ridgeline and that will make your RVing experience something to look forward to as opposed to something that comes with a certain amount of dread.



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