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Old 03-17-2008, 11:36 PM   #1
planner23899
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Default 2720 sd or 3023 for a family of 4

Hello,
I have a family of 4 and have been focused on the 2720 because I may sell my Tundra and buy a Pilot (to help on gas millage). However, after looking at the specs, the 3023 it does not seem to be much heavier. Looking for any advice regardng to see if anyone has been in the same boat and what were some of the reason they went for a 2720sd or a 3023. Also if you have a 3023 how does it tow with a Pilot and have you taken any trips up to Yosemite or gone up the Cajon Pass (in Califonia).
Thanks,
Steve
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:43 AM   #2
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FWIW, my 2720 (not SD) weighs about 4,200 pounds when fully loaded. Just make sure your tow vehicle can handle the total combind weight of:

tow vehicle
passengers
gas
trailer
water
propane
dishes
food
all the other stuff

I carry about 1400 pounds above the base weight of the trailer. This is for 2 people.
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Old 03-18-2008, 10:03 AM   #3
Bill
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Steve -

The dry weights of the 2720SD and the 3023 are almost the same (the weight of the slide mechanism in the SD and SL accounts for this). Many have noted that the road-ready weights of the two can be quite different, largely because the 3023 has more space for "stuff". And as we all know, "stuff" expands to fill the space available. This is especially true when you are travelling with kids.

As for the Pilot, well, I see a number of potential gotchas on the Honda web site, with the suggestion that there are more in the Owner's Manual. But I'll leave you to evaluate those. Based on my own experience with 2 people in the TM in the high Sierras, and specifically Yosemite, I'm not sure that this is the best choice for towing with a family of four.

Bill
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:23 PM   #4
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The Pilot appears to be able to tow either 3500 or 4500 pounds, if you have the factory tow package. 3500 is not enough. I do not understand what you need to get to the 4500 pound rating.

Assuming you have a tow capacity of 4500 pounds, you will have to pack lightly. The kids can not bring all their stuff. They can not bring any friends. Travel with no water. Travel with holding tanks empty.

Some people like a margin of safety. The "80 percent" rule is used by some of us. A tow vehicle with a factory rating of 5000 pounds can tow 4000 pounds.

Imagine the following scenario:

towing downhill
on a curve
off camber
road is wet
panic stop becomes necessary

Either make sure you have a vehicle to handle that situation or make sure you never encounter that situation. An under powered engine is not much of a safety issue. Under sized tow vehicle brakes and a short wheel base can become a safety issue.

I am pretty conservative. I have more tow vehicle that I need. My budget is likely different than your budget.

I agree that the difference is small between the TMs that you listed. Small enough that if the Pilot can handle one of them, then it can handle the others. Just be sure to pack lightly. Consider weighing it the first time out on a short trip close to home with no major hills. Then you will know how heavy you really are and can make some adjustments to what you take with you.

You can, if the budget allows, get a larger tow vehicle if you are unhappy with the current one.

I had to slam on the brakes once to make a panic stop while towing. Fortunately, it was a flat dry straight road. I am happy to report that I think I can stop just as fast when towing as I can when not towing. I was going 45 mph when I engaged the ABS brake system on my truck to stop as fast as the equipment was able to. I feel about as safe as anyone can in the ability to make a panic stop.

If you want to downsize from the Tundra, what else is out there that is a little bigger than a Pilot?

This is just my opinion. I do hope that some Pilot owners jump in to offer their experience.
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Old 03-18-2008, 12:46 PM   #5
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You can get a 4-door Tacoma with a tow package that can handle 6,500 lbs. I am sure it is not as fuel efficient as the Pilot.
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Old 03-18-2008, 02:48 PM   #6
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The Pilot appears to be able to tow either 3500 or 4500 pounds, if you have the factory tow package. 3500 is not enough. I do not understand what you need to get to the 4500 pound rating.

Assuming you have a tow capacity of 4500 pounds, you will have to pack lightly. The kids can not bring all their stuff. They can not bring any friends. Travel with no water. Travel with holding tanks empty.

Some people like a margin of safety. The "80 percent" rule is used by some of us. A tow vehicle with a factory rating of 5000 pounds can tow 4000 pounds.

Imagine the following scenario:

towing downhill
on a curve
off camber
road is wet
panic stop becomes necessary

Either make sure you have a vehicle to handle that situation or make sure you never encounter that situation. An under powered engine is not much of a safety issue. Under sized tow vehicle brakes and a short wheel base can become a safety issue.

I am pretty conservative. I have more tow vehicle that I need. My budget is likely different than your budget.

I agree that the difference is small between the TMs that you listed. Small enough that if the Pilot can handle one of them, then it can handle the others. Just be sure to pack lightly. Consider weighing it the first time out on a short trip close to home with no major hills. Then you will know how heavy you really are and can make some adjustments to what you take with you.

You can, if the budget allows, get a larger tow vehicle if you are unhappy with the current one.

I had to slam on the brakes once to make a panic stop while towing. Fortunately, it was a flat dry straight road. I am happy to report that I think I can stop just as fast when towing as I can when not towing. I was going 45 mph when I engaged the ABS brake system on my truck to stop as fast as the equipment was able to. I feel about as safe as anyone can in the ability to make a panic stop.

If you want to downsize from the Tundra, what else is out there that is a little bigger than a Pilot?

This is just my opinion. I do hope that some Pilot owners jump in to offer their experience.
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:59 PM   #7
B_and_D
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We have a family of 4 and tow our 2720 (regular model) with a Chevy 1500. We've been to Yosemite twice and there is one hill that really slows us down even with our 5.3L engine.

When our kids were small, we could all fit into a 12' Aloha trailer. The kids slept together in the front dinette that turned into a bed. When they got to be a little older, they didn't want to sleep together any more. That's why we went for the 2720 regular model that has 3 separate beds. You might outgrow the 2720 SD before you know it.
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Old 03-19-2008, 07:04 AM   #8
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Default Honda Pilot

If I didn't use the Tow Vehicle & Trailmanor to haul heavy hobbies at high elevations, I believe I would find a Honda Pilot and 3500-4500 pound trailer capacity to be wonderfully adequate to the task. I'd read the owner's manual carefully to see what the manufacturer says, of course, but I won't be talked into a truck for the vehicle I drive every day just because I tow a TrailManor a few weeks per year.

The TrailManor models have pretty similar empty weights. Many of them are capable of being loaded much heavier than you might like them to be.

Further thoughts:
- The weight distributing hitch is essential.
- Watch tongue weights as the TM's are heavy there. Manage your load.
- Don't fill the water, just carry a few gallons.
- Don't worry about going slow up the hill, because you won't be lonely.
- Worry instead about going too fast down the hill (or anywhere else) for all the reasons mentioned.
- People with unusual requirements need unusual considerations (for example: constant use, heavy loads, high altitudes, remote destinations, etc.)
- Join the forum!
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:33 PM   #9
mkiley
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Hello Planner,

We have a 2006 Pilot with the Honda tow package and a 2720 (not SD). I live in Denver and I think the 2720 is about all the Pilot can handle if the TM is fully loaded. Last summer (90 degree day) we headed into the mountains for some drycamping with a full load of water (40 gallons) and I had to slow down on the steeper grades (I think to around 45 MPH) because the temperature gauge started to climb. I was going about as fast as the semis in the slow lane.

Another time I had to go about 5 MPH for about 30 minutes in Estes Park, CO (kept ending up behind tractors) and the transmission temperature light came on.

I haven't experienced a disconcerning degraded stopping ability with the TM on the Pilot. Believe me, those same grades that force me to go slow on the way up would make a braking issue obvious on the way down!

So in short we love our Pilot and have no regrets, but I wouldn't tow a larger trailer into the mountains of Colorado. Hey, if I'm in a hurry, why am I taking the trailer?

- Mike
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Old 03-23-2008, 07:49 AM   #10
Joseph
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Default More is better!... just kidding..:)

Looking for any advice regarding to see if anyone has been in the same boat and what were some of the reason they went for a 2720sd or a 3023.

I have a 2720SL. See signature. Have had it for about a year now. To tell you the truth even though I do not need it I wish I had sprung for a bigger TM. While the 2720 serves the wife and I quite well, I could see where a family of four could better be served by a larger TM. However, I would not tow it with anything that could not handle 6000 lbs at the very least. Experience has taught that the folks who make trailers tend to think they are lighter than they really are and that we will not use up all that wonderful storage space they sold us on.. Experience has also taught that the manufacture of tow vehicles are optimistic in their towing capacities. While the numbers provided from these fine folks may be true as each trailer and tow vehicle roll off the assembly line they very often do not hold up in the real world after a time. Keeping a little space between the numbers of towing capacity and trailer weight seems like a good idea to me.
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