What’s the Honda Pilot Towing Capacity – What Trailers and Campers Can It Safely Tow?

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How Much Will a Honda Pilot Tow?

The 2022 Honda Pilot is a mid-size SUV built for adventure during weekend getaways. For an SUV, the Pilot has impressive specs, considering the 3.5L V6 is the single-engine option. When properly equipped, the towing capacity can reach a maximum of 5,000 pounds. The minimum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds for the front-wheel-drive versions. 

What Travel Trailer Size Can A Honda Pilot Pull?

As an all-terrain vehicle, which blends perfectly in an urban environment, the Honda Pilot is the preferred choice for weekend campers. Sadly, there are restrictions on its towing capacity. The 4WD version can handle 5,000 pounds, meaning some RV campers are within its capabilities, but the reality is the Honda Pilot is best suited for smaller and lighter camper trailers.

The Honda Pilot is not a new sight on highway roads. The SUV has been cruising for two decades and has a reputation for its versatility.

The tiny teardrop trailers, pop-up style travel trailers, and stand-up campers are lightweight options with a dry weight of 3,000 lbs. These are usually two-person campers. If planning to tow a larger RV that can fit an entire family, you will have to find a model with a maximum weight of 5,000 pounds – or even less.

The good news is the Honda Pilot comes equipped with plenty of towing features that allow drivers to get the maximum out of their SUV. Hitching a trailer or camper is a lot easier with assistance from the multi-angle rearview camera.

Driving on hilly terrain with extra weight in the back can be challenging, but the Hill Start Assist is an excellent safety feature that automatically applies the brakes. And with the intelligent variable torque management AWD system, the towing capabilities get boosted when driving on bumpy surfaces.

Can A Honda Pilot Tow A Fifth Wheel Trailer?

From a technical aspect, it is possible to tow a fifth-wheel trailer with some types of SUVs after installing special equipment. However, we don’t recommend it because SUVs are built to handle smaller weights, and fifth-wheel trailers or RVs are typically in the 12,000 pounds range.

Therefore, the Honda Pilot is not capable of towing a fifth-wheel trailer.

Drivers are advised to stick to smaller-sized campers and trailers and forget about ideas available online about how easily they can modify their vehicles to accept a fifth-wheel trailer. In the case of the Honda Pilot, you shouldn’t even try attempting to tow a fifth-wheel trailer.  

The Towing Capacity of Different Honda Pilot Models and Years

Examine some of the Honda Pilot models by year and compare the towing capacities.

Honda Pilot by YearLXEXEX-LSpecial EditionTouringEliteBlack Edition
Honda Pilot 20163.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
Honda Pilot 20173.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6
engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6
engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6
engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
Honda Pilot 20183.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
Honda Pilot 20193.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
Honda Pilot 20203.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD
towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD
towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD
towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD
towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6
engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
Honda Pilot 20213.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD ttowing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
Honda Pilot 20223.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs
3.5-liter V-6 engine

2WD towing capacity 3,500 lbs

4WD towing capacity 5,000 lbs

What Affects the Overall Towing Capacity Of The Honda Pilot?

What's the Honda Pilot Towing Capacity - What Trailers and Campers Can It Safely Tow? 1

For a midsize SUV, the Honda Pilot pulls a lot of weight, and that is not by accident. The vehicle is designed as an all-terrain platform, which means a potent powertrain, perfect for adventures in the outdoors.

Several factors contribute to its pulling potential, starting with the engine performance and state-of-the-art technology that manages the correct amount of torque to each axle. Plus, numerous pulling additions facilitate effortless towing. 

Let’s inspect the Pilot and discover its towing potential.

Engine Strength

Although there are seven iterations of the 2022 Honda Pilot, the Japanese manufacturer offers a sole engine option, which is not a design deficiency. The engine is reliable and delivers on the advertised towing capacity. The 3.5-liter V-6 engine under the hood of this SUV produces 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. 

The engine has been coupled with an automatic nine-speed automatic transmission that accelerates the Pilot to 60 mph in 6 seconds. It’s a hefty machine enabling the Honda Pilot to tackle strenuous driving tasks, such as climbing steep hills effortlessly and towing heavy loads.

Axle Ratio

The Honda Pilot’s axle ratio is 4.33 regardless of the trim in the 2022 series. For truck fans, the discussion can end here. But regular drivers may not know the crucial role the axle ratio plays in towing. 

The ratio indicates the number of revolutions performed by the driveshaft to spin the axle for a complete turn. A higher axle ratio increases performance when pulling heavy loads. However, this performance comes at the cost of fuel economy. Typically, the axle ratio for rigs with a four-wheel drive will be identical for both the front and rear axles. 

Yet there is an aftermarket option to modify the rear axle ratio for improved acceleration. 

No one should ignore the axle ratio when purchasing an SUV, as it’s a critical component if you plan on using the vehicle for towing.

The Length and Weight of the Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot sports a stylish design with curvy lines that improve aerodynamics. With an overall length of 196.5 inches, it’s a reasonable-sized vehicle for its class. The SUV is a daily driver, and the dimension reflects the need for ease of maneuvering in an urban environment. 

However, it’s considerably heavier when compared with some other models, including SUVs from the Honda line-up, such as the Passport and CR-V. The curb weight, which is the empty weight of the Pilot, ranges from 4,030 pounds to 4,255 pounds depending on the trim levels.

Payload

Depending on the drivetrain of the Honda Pilot model, drivers can expect a payload capacity between 1,420 and 1,625 pounds. This is a vehicle that can comfortably accommodate up to 8 passengers, while the capacity of the boot can be further extended by folding down the seats. 

Extra 46.8 cubic feet of cargo space is instantly available by removing the second-row seats. If additional room is necessary, folding the second and third-row seats will provide 83.9 cubic feet. 

This feature is practical when stocking up on groceries or transporting small pieces of furniture. People get surprised about how much stuff they can carry in the boot of a Honda Pilot.

Tongue Weight

The tongue weight is the downward force exerted at the coupling point between the trailer and the vehicle. As a rule, the tongue weight is 10% to 15% of a vehicle’s towing capacity. This is a crucial parameter that must be accounted for when preparing to transport a trailer or camper because it directly affects the stability of a vehicle when driving. 

For the Honda Pilot, the tongue weight is 350 pounds for the 2WD version. The 4WD, that comes with a transmission cooler, can pull 5,000 pounds and has 500 pounds of tongue weight.

You can determine the tongue’s weight with a special mobile towing scale or with a regular bathroom scale if the expected result is under 300 pounds.

Towing Package

When towing trailers and campers, the vehicle must be equipped correctly to handle the extra mass and safely transported to its destination. The Honda Pilot has a neat little towing package that includes several items. 

The trailer hitch receiver is a ball mount receiver that comes with a retaining pin and clip. For extra safety, drivers have the trailer hitch-locking pin. There are two dimensions for the trailer hitch ball: a 1 7/8 inch or a 2-inch version. 

The entire gear set gets rounded up by the trailer hitch harness, which has a 7-pin round-style connector.

Trailer Tow Package

When properly equipped, the Honda Pilot can safely tow trailers that weigh up to 5,000 pounds. Some manufacturers offer a separate towing set specially designed to accommodate trailers and campers with larger dimensions and weight. 

However, considering that the basic models can handle only 3,5000 pounds of towing potential, with the high-end versions reaching 5,000 pounds of towing capacity, the basic towing equipment will be more than enough. 

The towing package can get installed in under 20 minutes, meaning it does not have to be on the vehicle at all times, but used as circumstances demand.

Which Mid-Size SUVs Provide Similar Towing Capacities to the Honda Pilot?

Crossover vehicles such as the Honda Pilot are becoming popular in recent years, with every car manufacturer rolling out versions of the concept. On paper, most SUVs are similar, and the towing potential of the Pilot gets matched by several competing brands. 

Let’s take a look at some of its models that can pull from 3,500 up to 5,000 pounds:  

  • Kia Sorento – 2,000 to 5,000 lbs
  • Chevrolet Traverse – 1,500 to 5,000 lbs
  • Jeep Cherokee – 2,000 to 4,500 lbs
  • GMC Acadia – 1,000 to 4,000 lbs
  • Toyota Sienna – up to 3,500 lbs
  • Acura MDX – 3,500 to 5,000 lbs

Honda Pilot Towing Capacity FAQ

Which Honda Pilot Model Is Best for Towing?

The towing capacity depends on the selected trim level and drivetrain. The Honda Pilot is offered in 7 trim levels. The basic options are EX, LX, EX-L, Touring, and Special Edition, while the Elite and Black Edition are the top-rated models. The five lower trims from the EX-LX to the Special Edition come with front-wheel drive, making it possible to tow up to 3,500 pounds. The Elite and Black Edition have all-wheel drive, delivering a tow rating of 5,000 pounds.

Does the 2022 Honda Pilot Come With Any Towing Package?

The SUV is capable of towing large objects effectively in most situations. This is performed with the tow package, which makes coupling to a trailer or camper possible. The set is basic and comes with a trailer hitch receiver, a trailer hitch ball, and trailer hitch locking pin, and a harness with a seven-pin connector.

What Can the 2022 Honda Pilot Tow and Haul?

A properly equipped SUV can handle large and heavy objects safely in most situations. The front-wheel-drive models can transport pop-up campers, ATVs, dirt bikes, and lightweight boats. Anything that meets the weight requirement of 3,500 pounds can be safely hitched or loaded on a flatbed trailer. However, if hoping to move a mid-size camping trailer or a larger boat, the all-wheel-drive models will be more appropriate. In addition, there is abundant space to store cargo inside the SUV. With the second-and third-row seats folded down, there is room for three dozen carry-on bags or a bunch of 4×8 plywood sheets.

Does the Honda Pilot Have Features That Ensure Safe Towing?

The stability of an SUV can get compromised when towing heavy loads, especially at sharp corners or highway speeds. The Honda Pilot is geared up to face these challenges when towing a boat, a horse trailer, or a camper, thanks to the technical solutions that improve situational awareness and safe handling of the SUV. The multi-angle rearview camera makes it possible to know what is going on at the back of the Pilot at any moment and makes parking easier. Pulling extra weight changes the center of gravity of a vehicle and can be a problem on inclines when the trailer can be the one doing the pulling in the opposite direction. The hill start assist will automatically initiate the brakes, preventing the Pilot from rolling back. In addition, the Intelligent Variable Torque Management AWD System improves handling in slippery terrain.

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About Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman is an interesting travel blogger and outdoor photographer with a great sense of humor. He owns an RV Accessories shop in New York City so he has the knowledge necessary to provide thorough reviews and give advice on how to choose the right products for RV travel. He puts all that RV knowledge and experience to good use in his sharing posts. Besides product buying guides/reviews, Chris also writes informative articles, how-to articles and RV camping guides in his own interesting viewpoint. Chris’s blog is one of the most reliable information sources for RV campers no matter if you're an expert or a determined beginner.

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