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Pittsbrat
04-14-2009, 11:48 AM
New prospective owner here. We're looking at a new or late-model TM in lieu of a Class C. (I like the 3023, on paper anyway, and my wife prefers the 2720SL.) We have a couple of show dogs (one conformation, one agility) and go to shows every so often. We've been suffering through them in a tiny Coachmen popup with no lav, so you can guess how well that's going!

I'm curious how well the TM blanks outdoor sounds -- particularly dogs barking. Also, in moderate winds, do the walls shake or rattle? Any drafts?

Recently we bought my mother in law a Winnebago that she uses for dog shows. We'd rather have a trailer so we can have a vehicle at the show site, and a TM is ideal because we have an oversized, 32-foot-long garage that, unfortunately, has only an 8-by-8 door, so that means an upright or a motorhome would need to be stored at additional cost.

Finally, are there any other competitors to consider? I've found Hi-Lo, but their floor plans don't work and they're too heavy for my Honda Pilot. We'd like the ability to sleep at least 4, with a "living room" rather than just a bed and galley/dinette.

harveyrv
04-14-2009, 01:19 PM
New prospective owner here. We're looking at a new or late-model TM in lieu of a Class C. (I like the 3023, on paper anyway, and my wife prefers the 2720SL.) We have a couple of show dogs (one conformation, one agility) and go to shows every so often. We've been suffering through them in a tiny Coachmen popup with no lav, so you can guess how well that's going!

I'm curious how well the TM blanks outdoor sounds -- particularly dogs barking. Also, in moderate winds, do the walls shake or rattle? Any drafts?

Recently we bought my mother in law a Winnebago that she uses for dog shows. We'd rather have a trailer so we can have a vehicle at the show site, and a TM is ideal because we have an oversized, 32-foot-long garage that, unfortunately, has only an 8-by-8 door, so that means an upright or a motorhome would need to be stored at additional cost.

Finally, are there any other competitors to consider? I've found Hi-Lo, but their floor plans don't work and they're too heavy for my Honda Pilot. We'd like the ability to sleep at least 4, with a "living room" rather than just a bed and galley/dinette.

The TM is as quiet as any travel trailer and quieter than some. They're pretty well insulated. We've camped in 30MPH winds and slept right through it. We came from a Coleman Pop-Up so we know what you're concerned about. The TM is more like a hard-side travel trailer.

As for the Honda Pilot. You may be really pushing the limits to tow any TM fully loaded with passengers, fuel and cargo in that tow vehicle. Check-out what your GCWR (Gross COMBINED Weight Rating) is. Add up all of the goodies, fuel and passengers that you will be carrying in your combination. I think that you may be over-weight.

Pay little attention to the Tow Rating on the vehicle. That only tells you the Max weight that the vehicle is able to tow with no passengers and cargo, a 150 driver and 5 gal of gas (sometimes less).

Pittsbrat
04-14-2009, 01:38 PM
As for the Honda Pilot. You may be really pushing the limits to tow any TM fully loaded with passengers, fuel and cargo in that tow vehicle. Check-out what your GCWR (Gross COMBINED Weight Rating) is. Add up all of the goodies, fuel and passengers that you will be carrying in your combination. I think that you may be over-weight.
The book tells me I can haul a 3500 pound trailer with my typical load, and TM's website puts the 2720SL at under 2900 pounds (empty), so it seems doable. I've been towing boats etc for decades, so I have a pretty good idea how far I can (or should) go.

PopBeavers
04-14-2009, 01:54 PM
The book tells me I can haul a 3500 pound trailer with my typical load, and TM's website puts the 2720SL at under 2900 pounds (empty), so it seems doable. I've been towing boats etc for decades, so I have a pretty good idea how far I can (or should) go.

I have a 2005 TM 2720. When wet (water tank full) and loaded to go camping it weighs 3380 pounds on the TM axle. I did not weigh the tongue. My guess is that the total weight of my laoded TM is about 4,100 pounds.

46 gallons of water weight about 383 pounds. Leaving that out drops it to 3717. However, when leaving camp, unless you have a sewer connection, then some of that 383 pounds is in the holding tank until you dump it.

Some thing that I have that you may not need, meaning you can shave some weight:

roof air conditioner
awning
portable bbq
portable stove for cooking outside
2 batteries instead of one
generator
2 propane cylinders, when you could get by with one for a weekend
dishes
clothes
food
drinks
outdoor chairs
folding outdoor table
my private medicine cabinet (wink-wink)

I can't say that you should or could, but do not underestimate the weight of your stuff.

If you took a second car, you could put some of the stuff in the second car to spread the weight around. That only works for short trips.

Pittsbrat
04-14-2009, 02:14 PM
46 gallons of water weight about 383 pounds. Leaving that out drops it to 3717. However, when leaving camp, unless you have a sewer connection, then some of that 383 pounds is in the holding tank until you dump it.

Some thing that I have that you may not need, meaning you can shave some weight:

roof air conditioner
awning
portable bbq
portable stove for cooking outside
2 batteries instead of one
generator
2 propane cylinders, when you could get by with one for a weekend
dishes
clothes
food
drinks
outdoor chairs
folding outdoor table
my private medicine cabinet (wink-wink)
Thanks for the input. The bulk of these items are already calculated in the load in the car. And typically we will not haul water, as city water is usually provided at the show sites, as are dump stations. We won't be doing any cooking to speak of. We want beds and an air conditioned living room.

The biggest question I have is whether this will be quiet enough that I can sleep through the din created by the little yappy rat dogs. I would sort of prefer to just go with a Winnebago, as there are several suitable models that cost less than a TM + TV. But the cost/convenience associated with storing it in a lot as opposed to in the garage cannot be ignored.

harveyrv
04-14-2009, 02:53 PM
The book tells me I can haul a 3500 pound trailer with my typical load, and TM's website puts the 2720SL at under 2900 pounds (empty), so it seems doable. I've been towing boats etc for decades, so I have a pretty good idea how far I can (or should) go.

I'm not sure what book that you are referring to but I can assure you that your 3500# tow rating is referring to what your TV can pull with the TV being empty........as in, no passengers, no cargo and very little fuel and not with, "with my typical load".

It must be kept in mind that towing is more about STOPPING and less about pulling. That's why it is important to find out what your GCWR is.

I'm not even saying, "You shouldn't tow a TM with your Honda Pilot". All I'm saying is that it is extremely important to know the facts about what you are towing so that you can drive accordingly. I'd hate for you to figure out that your brakes aren't adequate to handle the load when you are half way down a 3000' incline and you lose your brakes.

Manufacturers always rate their maximum towing capacity at the maximum trailer load allowed with the minimum TV weight (basically empty). If you add weight to the empty vehicle, you must subtract that weight from your trailer.

The tow rating is only one rating of many ratings that must not be exceeded on your vehicle. The most important rating is the GCWR. This tells you the maximum combined weight (fully loaded TV and trailer combined) that your vehicle is rated to stop within legal limits, at highway speeds.

I've been towing for nearly 45 years. I've towed some pretty ridiculous loads with some pretty under-rated vehicles and ignorance was bliss (but no excuse). It was just a couple years ago that an attorney explained the consequences of causing an injury (or fatal) accident due to negligent actions on my part from towing over capacity. He scared the hell out of me and I started doing my homework.

Pittsbrat
04-14-2009, 03:05 PM
I'm not sure what book that you are referring to but I can assure you that your 3500# tow rating is referring to what your TV can pull with the TV being empty........as in, no passengers, no cargo and very little fuel and not with, "with my typical load".

It must be kept in mind that towing is more about STOPPING and less about pulling. That's why it is important to find out what your GCWR is.
With all due respect, I am not an idiot. The Pilot book contains a chart showing available tongue weight and trailer weight under various passenger compartment loading conditions. Under my actual load conditions, it's giving me 3500 pounds. I routinely tow my 4500 pound boat/trailer with it, which is at the max allowed per the book, and so I dare say I know something about the subject.

I come from the world of aviation, where weight (and balance) is an absolutely critical consideration. I have extensive trailering experience, yes, occasionally even overloaded. I know exactly what you're talking about, and I know exactly what I'm doing when I hook up a trailer.

I just want to know about the TM, not about pulling a trailer.

photoadjuster
04-14-2009, 03:48 PM
<< I'm curious how well the TM blanks outdoor sounds -- particularly dogs barking. Also, in moderate winds, do the walls shake or rattle? Any drafts >>

I have owned my TM for only 5 months. I am living in it full time. It is the 13th RV I have owned in the last 30 years. I have never owned a popup with canvas sides.

GOOD NEWS - It is not drafty. I have spent the winter in it every night in Kentucky. It is not drafty.

BAD NEWS - It does not blank sounds as well as the other 12 RV's I have owned. It could be a problem sleeping with multiple yapping dogs anywhere close to you. My tow vehicle is a sprinter motorhome. I just spent a little time sitting in it to compare the external noise level to the TM. The interior of the TM is 4 or 5 times louder than the motorhome. There is a busy interstate 1/2 mile away and trains tracks 3/4 of a mile away.

Since we work on laptops several hours per day. The noise has been a concern. Not enought to change to another RV, but annoying.

PopBeavers
04-14-2009, 03:50 PM
Here is another tip...

Many times you will see references to a statement declaring that the tongue weight ought to be 10 to 15 percent of the total trailer weight.

I do not have any data myself, but I believe that the TM has a tongue weight that is typically more than that. 20 percent as I recall, but I am guessing. The axle is set back a little more than competitors, partly because the trailer is lighter to start with, so they can. The result is less sway. This is partly why the TM rarely needs sway control.

However, with the tongue weight running a little high, do not overlook WD (Weight Distributing) hitches. It sounds like you probably understand that already, except for the TM tongue weight runs a little high.

I suppose you could overload the rear of the TM, but then you risk sway problems.

If the air conditioner isn't loud enough to drown out the yappy dogs, the furnace is. But the a/c and furnace is kinda loud on all RVs.

William
04-14-2009, 03:55 PM
You might want to consider the 2720 instead of the 2720 SL. Your show dogs could use the front bed and not be under foot. Plus you save a little more than 100 pounds.

Alvega007
04-14-2009, 04:26 PM
I have a Pilot and I pull a 3023 TM with no problem.

rumbleweed
04-15-2009, 06:55 PM
You mention sleeping four. Unless two of the four are small children or your dogs the 2720SL will not work. The fold down sofa is about the size if a twin bed. I also agree with those who would discourage your towing it with a Honda Pilot. I am not putting down TM but I do not believe you will be happy with the setup (2720SL towed by a Pilot) you propose.
Bob

Al-n-Sue
04-15-2009, 08:17 PM
There are a number of owners on the forum who tow with a Ridgeline. I've heard that the new Pilot's have the same engine as the Ridgeline. If that is the case, you should be able to tow with no problem. And it will depend on where you tow - flat lands or mountains.

mkiley
04-15-2009, 10:03 PM
We have a 2005 Honda Pilot with the Honda tow package and we have traveled about 4,000 miles with our 2720. Bottom line, we are pleased with the performance of the Pilot as a tow vehicle.

I'm far from a physics professor, but here is what I concluded based on our real-world experiance:

1. Tongue weight: it seems that a weight distribution hitch addresses the issue, in that it distributes the weight of the trailer across all four TV wheels, and in doing so properly maintains the tongue weight ratio.

2. Horsepower: We live in Denver and I think Vail Pass is about as steep and high as any freeway in the US. When towing the TM we go much slower than cars up Vail Pass, and can go faster than semi trucks. This is with two adults, two children, a dog, and sufficient food, water, clothes, propane, etc. We have to watch the engine temperature on steep climbs since sometimes the temperature has started to rise. The fix is just to slow down.

3. Braking: The electric brakes on the trailer, combined with the Pilot brakes and intelligent use of the transmission seems to work just fine, even on steep mountain freeways.

4. Gas Mileage: The Pilot gets about 19 MPG doing typical family driving without the TM, and gets about 12MPG when towing. We still saved a bundle on our last trip to CA from CO versus flying the family, renting a car, staying in hotels, etc. The decreased mileage is acceptable to us, especially since we really like traveling in our Pilot.

5. Wear and Tear: Maybe we are shortening the engine life or the transmission or the chasis. Only time will tell. On the other hand, it's a Honda. If the Pilot only makes it 250k miles instead of 300k miles, it's still worth it.

Pittsbrat
04-16-2009, 07:51 AM
We have a 2005 Honda Pilot with the Honda tow package and we have traveled about 4,000 miles with our 2720. Bottom line, we are pleased with the performance of the Pilot as a tow vehicle.

I'm far from a physics professor, but here is what I concluded based on our real-world experiance:

1. Tongue weight: it seems that a weight distribution hitch addresses the issue, in that it distributes the weight of the trailer across all four TV wheels, and in doing so properly maintains the tongue weight ratio.

2. Horsepower: We live in Denver and I think Vail Pass is about as steep and high as any freeway in the US. When towing the TM we go much slower than cars up Vail Pass, and can go faster than semi trucks. This is with two adults, two children, a dog, and sufficient food, water, clothes, propane, etc. We have to watch the engine temperature on steep climbs since sometimes the temperature has started to rise. The fix is just to slow down.

3. Braking: The electric brakes on the trailer, combined with the Pilot brakes and intelligent use of the transmission seems to work just fine, even on steep mountain freeways.

4. Gas Mileage: The Pilot gets about 19 MPG doing typical family driving without the TM, and gets about 12MPG when towing. We still saved a bundle on our last trip to CA from CO versus flying the family, renting a car, staying in hotels, etc. The decreased mileage is acceptable to us, especially since we really like traveling in our Pilot.

5. Wear and Tear: Maybe we are shortening the engine life or the transmission or the chasis. Only time will tell. On the other hand, it's a Honda. If the Pilot only makes it 250k miles instead of 300k miles, it's still worth it.Thanks. My Pilot is a 2004 with 100K miles on it. We routinely tow our 4500-pound boat/trailer from our home in Jacksonville to our vacation house in Sarasota. With that kind of load, I keep the speed under 65 mph and get about 10 mpg. It's not ideal, but it works. I've not had any unsual maintenance at all. I'm not afraid of towing a 2720 with it at all.

Our typical trips would be around the southeast. No altitude or hills to speak of, except possibly the foothills of the appalachians on very rare occasions.

PopBeavers
04-16-2009, 09:33 AM
Besides paying attention to the engine temperature, I suggest you also watch the transmission temperature, assuming it is an automatic.

Allowing the transmission to frequently shift between gears (hunting) will contribute to transmission heat. Just down shift to select a better gear when climbing.

If you do not have a transmission temperature gauge, it may be possible to add one. Sometimes it is nothing more than buying the OBD adapter and plugging it in to a laptop computer and let your navigator keep an eye on it.

mkiley
04-17-2009, 07:15 AM
PopBeavers makes a great point about transmission temperature. The Honda tow package has a transmission cooler, and Honda recommends staying in 3rd gear to minimize the shifting.

Once we were towing the TM near Estes Park, CO in slow 5-10MPH, uphill traffic for about 30 minutes. The Transmission Temperature light came on and I pulled over to let it cool and after about 10 minutes the light went out. I guess the transmission cooler works best if there is significant airflow.

ThePair
04-17-2009, 07:51 AM
I guess the transmission cooler works best if there is significant airflow.

Someone figured out (I forget who or where I read this) that the dreak-even point (at least for their vehicle) was around 40 MPH. Above this, the engine cooler reduced the heat more than the engine produced (up to a point, naturally), while below this, the opposite was true, which seems to be what you've experienced.

The question being answered on that other thread was "If I'm worried about my engine starting to overheat, when does it make sense to pull over vs. drive so the airflow cools the engine?" or something along those lines. Seems like the implications of his statement were if he could drive in the 40-50 MPH range, then he would, otherwise he'd pull off and let the engine cool. At least, that's what I took away from the discussion.

Perhaps someone else recalls what I'm trying to say and can correct me if I've gotten it wrong.

Marc

RogerR
04-17-2009, 08:36 AM
My mechanic recommended pulling over, putting it into park with the Air off and let it idle. You may also open the hood which may help airflow.

The really important thing is the transmission fluid may be damaged if you went over temp. I would have it changed immediately. Fluid costs a lot less than a tranny rebuild!

On my Jeep Liberty diesel they recommend turning off overdrive if there are frequent downshifts as that puts a lot of heat and strain on the transmission. You may have the same problems in extended stop and go traffic.

ng2951
04-22-2009, 03:15 PM
One other issue is service. Some TM dealers are very slow to service TMs that they did not sell. TM has little influence over the dealers. That is something to consider and maybe a visit to your local TM outlet may dispell any problems you might have.

The biggest negative of the TM is that you have to set them up and close them. Its not a huge problem but it can be very tiring if you are moving every day.

One of the things that will help in this regard, is to organize your interior. Put evrything in a place, inventory your consumables, and it will be much less of a problem.

The plus side is the efficiency of towing. We have a 3326 and can get almost 15 MPG if we slow down to 60 on level road. Also, once you get up to the 3023, you get more storage under the bed. That makes it far easier to stow a genset, clothes, etc.

The recirculating toilet despite people's complaints, really saves on water consumption. Some of the newer chemicals have made them much easier to use. The thing you have to remember is to pull the dump handle before closing the TM (when going to the dump station).

These trailers are really very nice and tough to beat until you get to a 5th wheel or something. But if Cap & Trade become the law of the land, TMs will be one of the more popular trailers on the road.

ED-n-KEL
05-05-2009, 02:38 PM
There are a number of owners on the forum who tow with a Ridgeline. I've heard that the new Pilot's have the same engine as the Ridgeline. If that is the case, you should be able to tow with no problem. And it will depend on where you tow - flat lands or mountains.

I believe the Ridgeline has a 5500 tow rating, where as the Pilot is only 3500.

larsdennert
05-05-2009, 06:44 PM
http://automobiles.honda.com/pilot/suv.aspx
http://automobiles.honda.com/ridgeline/

Honda begs to differ.

ED-n-KEL
05-05-2009, 07:42 PM
http://automobiles.honda.com/pilot/suv.aspx
http://automobiles.honda.com/ridgeline/

Honda begs to differ.

Actually if you read the fine print and consider various sources and year models, you can get all kinds of different figures.
The 2008 ratings give 4500 lbs with heavy duty tow package.
The quote that you reference is very vague in that it points you to the owners manual for more details.
Another source confirms that 3500 is the capacity, but 4500 is for boats only.

Now I will say that a TM is probably more in line with a "boat" than a normal travel trailer due to it's lower wind resistance.

larsdennert
05-06-2009, 11:03 AM
I'm not familiar with the model Pilot the OP had but I agree with you that there are many different tow ratings available for different vehicles. The 4Runner varies from 3500 to 6500 as well. Without knowing the years and options we really can't comment on a vehicle's rating right?