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 > Newbie Ques for hitch selection

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iamandy

Texas

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Joined: 05/23/2022

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Posted: 05/23/22 10:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi All,

Newbie to the forum and newbie to RVing.

Following is my future rig. Have bought the tow vehicle and have zeroed-in on the trailer but not yet purchased.

Tow vehicle is 2012 Acura MDX with 110k miles with newly installed OEM tow package. Vehicle weight is almost 6000 lbs and towing capacity is 5000 lbs.

Identified trailer is 2018 Venture RV Sonic Lite SL169VDB which has about 3360 UVW and 4000 lbs GCWR.

The tow vehicle(Acura MDX) is equipped with Trailer Stability Assist feature.

My question is do you think I need a Weight Distribution Hitch for this situation? Also, any comments of this is a good rig or I’m making any rookie mistakes with this setup.

Thanks in advance for taking the time.

Y-Guy

Tri-Cities, WA

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Posted: 05/24/22 12:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Check your owners manual first, the online version I found said, "A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance." Which it totally not what I expected.


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ktmrfs

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Posted: 05/24/22 10:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Y-Guy wrote:

Check your owners manual first, the online version I found said, "A weight distributing hitch is not recommended for use with your vehicle, as an improperly adjusted weight distributing hitch may reduce handling, stability, and braking performance." Which it totally not what I expected.


the key words are "improperly adjusted". We have an MDX, don't tow with it, but with the short wheelbase, unibody construction and limited tow capacity, I could imagine someone adjusting the hitch in a way that way overloads the front end of the tow vehicle.

to the OP the tow rating on the MDX assusmes:
1) tongue weight is no more than 10% of trailer weight, while trailer mfg typically design for 15% tongue weight. Easy then to go over the TV weight rating
2) you need to carefully look at the MDX 'cargo" weight rating. the weight of passengers, cargo in the back and trailer tongue weight combined must be below that number.
3) you need to actually weight the trailer in question loaded up as you would tow it for trailer actual weight and even more importantly trailer tongue weight to make sure you don't go over the MDX hitch weight limit.
4) A MDX may have a GWVR of around 6,000lbs, but actual weight is around 4500lbs.


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Lwiddis

Cambria, California area

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Posted: 05/24/22 10:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What is the MDX's payload capacity? Will you have 600 pounds left over after loading up the MDX with people and stuff?


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jdc1

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Posted: 05/24/22 11:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some uni-body vehicles should/can not use WD hitches. Read your manual.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 05/24/22 11:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Vehicle weight sounds a little porky, unless you're figuring it loaded with passengers and stuff. Which would figure into your available payload.

Idk about the exact recommendation for that vehicle (based on the info posted above), but in general, little mid size suvs will want/need a wdh for any significant tongue weight. Not as tolerant of weight as say a full size truck or something designed more with towing and tongue weight in mind.
You're tracking correctly.


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ktmrfs

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Posted: 05/24/22 12:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

Vehicle weight sounds a little porky, unless you're figuring it loaded with passengers and stuff. Which would figure into your available payload.

Idk about the exact recommendation for that vehicle (based on the info posted above), but in general, little mid size suvs will want/need a wdh for any significant tongue weight. Not as tolerant of weight as say a full size truck or something designed more with towing and tongue weight in mind.
You're tracking correctly.


I think the OP may have misposted the MDX weigh. We have a 2021 MDX advance hybrid, the heaviest of the bunch and it is around 4500 lbs. IMHO the MDX tow rating is misleading at best, dangerous at worst. Typical cargo capacity which include hitch weight is about 1000lbs on the MDX. Now a 5,000lb trailer typically will have 700+lbs on the tongue. That leaves 250lbs for TOTAL other cargo, basically 1 passenger and suitcase. Fill the car with people and you'll be way over Cargo capacity or no capacity for trailer towing. And IIRC Acura has a 500lb limit on the hitch, so it conflicts with the typical 5,000lb trailer hitch weight of over 500lbs.

In fact passenger alone can get you over Cargo capacity. The MDX is available in either 6 or 7 person seating. Not hard to imagine going over 1000lbs with 6 passengers.

But then at campgrounds I've seen MDX and Pilots loaded with mom, dad and kids and a trunk full of stuff pull in with some pretty good sized trailers. Doubt they are realizing how overloaded they were, even with the tail almost dragging on the ground. A big problem with todays cars and trucks is they have the power to get this overload moving and going up hills and give a false sense of security. Not like 20+ years ago when vehicles really didn't have the power to tow rated loads, let alone an overloaded situation.

Grit dog

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Posted: 05/24/22 01:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

iamandy wrote:

Also, any comments of this is a good rig or I’m making any rookie mistakes with this setup.

Thanks in advance for taking the time.


While not ideal, I'd still drag a little trailer like that with your rig, provided there are no fatal flaws in the towing ability, like @ktmfrs pointed out.

valhalla360

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Posted: 05/24/22 02:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Can you do it? Sure.
Will it be a good option? Probably not.

Trailer:
4000lb GVWR - 3360lb UVW = 640lb of cargo capacity.

40lb propane (1 BBQ size tank), 60lb battery, 100lb (1/4 full water tank), 200lb food and drink, 100lb clothes & misc personal items, 100lb misc trailer gear, 100lb bikes...That's pretty limited selection and you are at 700lb cargo.

So what, put more in the truck...

Looking online, I found the payload is 1150lb:
- Family of 4...say 600lb, 50lb cooler, 100lb firewood, 600lb hitch weight (15% of trailer)...oops that's 1350lb.

If you go very minimalist, you can probably make it work but you will have to police weight at every step to stay within the ratings.

Probably better suited to a 2500-3000lb GVWR popup camper. That will free up some of the weight ratings to give you more flexibility.

Also, check if the "frontal area" has a limitation. You are essentially pulling something with the aerodynamics of a brick. A popup falls into the slipstream behind the car but a full height trailer creates a lot of drag. This can stress and heat up the transmission.

I would contact the dealer to see about a WDH. In principal, it's a good idea but I'm not sure if the unibody construction can take the stresses a WDH applies (they basically just have sheet metal folded over itself to give you a place to bolt it on). I've seen hitches literally rip out of their unibody mounts on a rough road.


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ktmrfs

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Posted: 05/24/22 03:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd consider looking at something like an A-liner or some of the pop ups. First they have lower frontal area, less drag, second they are considerably lighter. Third once set up they are pretty roomy. And finally you'll be able to have a hitch weight reasonable enough for some cargo and people. Yes, they do take a bit more time to set up once at a campsite, but that's one of the tradeoffs.

We have an MDX, it's a great SUV, great family car, great for vacations with a large "trunk". decent ride, good handling. But I'd say it's not a good choice for towing something other than a pop up trailer or A-liner type trailer.

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