What’s the Honda Ridgeline Towing Capacity – What Trailers and Campers Can it Safely Tow

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How Much will a Honda Ridgeline Tow?

The second generation of Honda Ridgeline pickup trucks have a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs.

The Honda Ridgeline 2nd generation pickup trucks – manufactured from 2017 onwards – come with various new upgrades to the system, interior, and exterior. The engine is essentially the same in both the first and second-generation vehicles, the 3.5L v6, though there are variations in terms of horsepower.

Regarding the truck’s towing capabilities, little has changed. The 5,000 lb cap on newer versions is the same as for the 1st generation of Ridgeline models.

But as you will see later in this guide, the overall towing experience with new-gen Ridgeline trucks is significantly better.

What Travel Trailer Size Can a Honda Ridgeline Pull?

The Ridgeline’s 5,000 towing limit is markedly lower compared to more high-end midsize trucks such as the Chevy Colorado, Ford Ranger, or Jeep Gladiator.

But when it comes to practicality and need, its towing capability is within the weight limit of what most drivers of mid-size trucks tend to pull. Namely, a survey Honda conducted on the towing habits of their customers found that more than 80% of customers tend to tow no more than 5,000 lbs.

There are trailers of various sizes and for various needs within this weight category that the Ridgeline can pull without hassle.

Trailers for canoes, kayaks, or jet skis, motorcycle trailers, and fishing boat trailers should all be within the Ridgeline’s weight category. Of course, this is if the trailers are empty, in which case they should weigh anywhere between 200 and 1,000 lbs. You need to consider the weight placed on or within the trailer, alongside the trailer’s base weight to come up with the gross trailer weight and ensure it is within the Ridgeline’s safe weight limit (5,000 lbs, or 3,500 lbs in 2WD models).

Other trailers which the 2nd generation Honda Ridgeline trucks can tow include small travel trailers and pop-up campers, certain flatbed trailers, open/enclosed utility trailers, and so on.

Of course, when coupling any of these trailers to your Ridgeline you need to also take into account your GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating).

Can a Honda Ridgeline Tow a Fifth Wheel Trailer?

Despite the maximum tow potential of the Ridgeline models manufactured from 2017 onwards remaining the same, Honda has made significant improvements to their new line of trucks.

The second-gen Ridgeline trucks have considerably improved performance in all regards – body and structure, interior, electronics, front grill, torsional resistance, engine power, etc.

Regardless, while that truck’s performance is enhanced, the maximum tow limit stands at 5,000 lbs. This inhibits the truck’s weight distribution ability for heavy loads.

5th wheel refers to a specialized component mounted on the truck bed for towing large-size trailers like travel and camper trailers, horse trailers, and similar heavy trailers – or popularly known as fifth-wheelers.

Apart from being a mid-size truck, the Honda Ridgeline is among the weakest compared to the Chevy Colorado, Jeep Gladiator, and other trucks in its category. In terms of pulling raw weight, some of the aforementioned trucks can tow up to 7,700 lbs.

Considering the majority of 5th wheel trailers weigh around 12,000 lbs on average, the Honda Ridgeline would not be a fitting towing machine for 5th wheelers. Even the lightweight 5th wheel trailers weigh around 7,000 lbs, though some types can be as light as 5,000. Even in that case, the Ridgeline is not a suitable choice for 5th wheel towing.

The Towing Capacity of Different Honda Ridgeline Models and Years

Honda Ridgeline by yearEngineTow Capacity
Honda Ridgeline 20063.5 L J35A9 V6 255-HP5,000 lbs
Honda Ridgeline 20083.5 L V6 247-HP5,000 lbs
Honda Ridgeline 20093.5L 250-HP /247-lb-ft of torque/4300 rpm5,000 lbs
Honda Ridgeline 20173.5L V6 280-HP5,000 lbs
Honda Ridgeline 20183.5-liter V-6 280-HP262 lb-ft of torque5,000 lbs for AWD models and up to 3,500 lbs for 2WD models
Honda Ridgeline 20203.5L V6 280-HP 262 lb-ft of torqueSport trim 5,000 lbsUp to 3,500 RTL trim
Honda Ridgeline 20223.5L 280-HP V6 262 lb-ft of torque5,000 lbs

What Affects the Overall Towing Capacity of the Honda Ridgeline

A truck’s towing capacity is the total weight it can pull with a trailer/camper attached.

Note, towing capacity and GCWR should not be mixed as the same thing. The towing capacity refers to the total weight your truck is capable of pulling, both legally and securely. In other words, it refers to the gross trailer weight – the total weight of the loaded trailer.

On the other hand, GCWR encompasses both the gross trailer weight and the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).

These are a few of the elements that affect the overall towing capacity of any pickup truck.

Engine strength

When we talk about engine strength pertaining to towing capacity, horsepower and torque are the two main elements to take into consideration.

Horsepower is the power the engine exerts to reach high speed and increase acceleration. On the other hand, torque is a rotational force that has to do more with power than speed. The increased torque will give you better handling when you slow down or stop completely.

The Honda Ridgeline 2nd generation engines are notably improved compared to the 1st generation engines. Ridgeline models manufactured from 2017 onwards have a powerful 280 HP engine that offers 262 lb-ft of torque.

For comparison, 1st generation Ridgeline 3.5L V6 engines have between 247 and 250 horsepower and offer around 245 lb-ft of torque.

Regardless, while the new generation Ridgeline offers more torque and horsepower, the truck’s maximum towing capacity remains the same.

Axle ratio

The axle ratio plays an equally important role in the tow handling as the horsepower and torque.

The axle ratio is the ratio of the revolutions per minute (rpm) of the driveshaft and the rpm of the rear axle.

In numerical form, the ratio for most pickup trucks ranges between 3.50 and 3.75 (or 3.50:1 and 3.75: 1). The number refers to how many times the driveshaft turns for one turn of the rear axle (wheels).

Plainly speaking, the higher the numerical value of the axle ratio the more towing power, but the truck will burn more fuel. The lower the numerical value of the axle ratio, the less fuel the truck burns but also the poorer the towing capacity of the truck. Therefore, a truck with a 3.43:1 axle ratio can tow heavier loads than a truck with a 3.23:1 ratio.

Honda Ridgeline models post 2017 are equipped with the more flexible independent rear suspension (IRS) mechanism as opposed to the simpler solid rear axle, which connects both ends of the rear axle and can lead to more awkward handling on rugged terrain.

The Length and Weight of the Truck

What’s the Honda Ridgeline Towing Capacity – What Trailers and Campers Can it Safely Tow 1

The weight of your truck is paramount to maximizing towing efficiency.

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline is 210.2 in (length), 70.8 in (height), and 78.6 in (width).

The curb weight of the truck is one variable to consider. Curb weight is the truck’s weight without the driver and other passengers and without payload.

Then you have the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which is the maximum weight capacity of the truck with payload and passengers, but without the trailer and its load.

The curb weight of the 2022 Honda Ridgeline differs for different trim levels. The curb weight of the Ridgeline Sport is 4436 lbs while the RTL trim has 4475 lbs of curb weight. The RTL-E and Black Edition trims have a curb weight of 4510 lbs.

Payload

The total payload capacity for the Honda Ridgeline Sport trim is 1583 lbs and 4475 lbs for the RTL trim. The RTL-E and Black Edition trims have 1509 lbs total payload capacity.

The GVWR for all four Ridgeline trims is capped at 6019 lbs. That is the curb weight combined with the maximum payload capacity.

The GCWR – gross combined weight rating i.e. the fully loaded truck plus the trailer connected to its bed – for each of the four trims reaches a maximum of 9986 lbs.

Tongue Weight

Tongue weight is the weight the connected trailer presses on the truck’s hitch.

As a rule, the tongue weight should be between 10 and 15% of the gross trailer weight (the full weight of the trailer when loaded).

So, if the Ridgeline’s maximum towing capacity is 5,000 lbs, the tongue weight should be between 450-500 and 750 lbs.

Towing Package

Towing package refers to all components of the truck that make towing different cargos including, but not limited to trailers.

Towing packages are more wide-ranging and include various components like engine upgrades, cooling systems, and/or enhanced brakes and suspension.

Other upgrades that can be part of the towing package include an enhanced frame, upgrades to the electronic system, and similar add-ons and modifications.

A towing package, as compared to a trailer package, is more all-inclusive and most of the upgrades are usually installed aftermarket. Suffice it to say, towing packages can be a lot costlier than simple trailer packages.

Towing packages are intended for making your truck technically prepared for almost any type of load in any condition. Of course, the load, whatever the type, still needs to remain within the truck’s maximum towing range.

Trailer Tow Package

Trailer packages have a narrower aim and are meant specifically for pulling different trailer types.

Almost all pickup trucks designed for towing a set weight amount have basic trailer packages.

A trailering package can involve a higher ratio rear axle, safety chains, a proper coupler and hitch, a wiring harness for trailer lights, and so on.

The new-generation Honda Ridgeline trucks have most of the necessary trailer towing components already installed. These include a 7-pin wiring connector and an integrated trailer hitch, but unfortunately do not include a transmission cooler, except in AWD models. 2WD (two-wheel drive) models lack a transmission cooler and their tow rating is capped at a maximum of 3,500 lbs.

Which Midsize Trucks Provide Similar Towing Capacities to the Honda Ridgeline

The Ridgeline is considered an entry-level truck all-round though it is more than capable of hauling its assigned weight limits.

That being said, the Ridgeline’s 5,000 lb tow rating falls far below the maximum towing ability of almost all high-end trucks in its category, except for the Ford Maverick. Below is an incomplete list of midsize tucks from major automakers and their respective towing capacities and maximum payloads:

  • Ford Ranger (2020) – 7, 500 lbs max. towing; 1560 max. payload
  • Toyota Tacoma (2020) – 6, 400 max. tow capacity; 1155 max. payload
  • Jeep Gladiator (2022) – 7,650 max. tow capacity; up to 1,700 lbs payload
  • Chevrolet Colorado (2021/22) – 3,500-7,700 tow capacity; up to 1530 lbs payload
  • Nissan Frontier (2022) – 6, 700 lbs max. tow rating; up to 1610 lbs payload
  • GMC Canyon (2022) – 7, 550 to 7,700 lbs tow rating; up to 1,570 max. payload
  • Ford Maverick (2022) – 4,000 lbs max. tow rating; up to 1,500 lbs payload

Honda Ridgeline Towing Capacity FAQs

How Does the Ridgeline Max. Towing Capability Compare to other Mid-Size Trucks?

The Honda Ridgeline second-generation trucks provide stability and seamlessness when you tow any trailer or other load up to 5,000 lbs. That is an average of 2,000 lbs lower than the majority of midsize trucks. For instance, the Chevy Colorado (2021/22), packs a maximum of up to 7,700 tow rating when powered by the DURAMAX 180-HP turbo diesel engine. The Ridgeline, however, matches, and even exceeds the max. tow rating of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz (5,000 lbs) and Ford Maverick 4,000 lbs.

What is the Largest Trailer the Ridgeline Can Tow?

Depending on whether you have both a fully loaded truck and/or a trailer, the types of trailers the Ridgeline can tow span from small A-frame campers to small travel trailers, and everything in between – small car trailers, certain (offloaded) small boat trailers, and pop-up campers.

What is the Honda Ridgeline Maximum Payload?

The maximum payload capacity of the 2022 Ridgeline depends on the trim. Honda markets four trim levels for its Ridgeline series: Sport, RTL, RTL-E, and Black Edition. The Sport and RTL trim have maximum payloads of 1583 and 1544 lbs, respectively. The RTL-E and Black Edition each have a 1509 max. payload cap.

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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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