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Towing Capacity of 2005 Honda Pilot and Parts Needed to Tow Trailer


Firstly, thank you for helping this towing amateur. Vehicle in question: Make: Honda Model: Pilot Year: 2005 Style: EX-L 4DR SUV 4WD A5 Engine: 3.5L Gasoline V6 1. With the best towing gear available for my vehicle, what is the absolute maximum weight I can safely tow, specifically towing some form of travel trailer? Or is this more of a “brand preference” thing? 2. Which options or upgrades would increase safety and utility? Looks are unimportant.


Expert Reply:

I took a look at the online owner's manual for your 2005 Honda Pilot. It states that this vehicle, if equipped with a transmission cooler and power steering fluid cooler, has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds for a standard trailer. This limit is assuming that there are just two occupants in the vehicle (including the driver). For each additional occupant, the capacity actually goes down (4 occupants = 3,300 pound capacity, etc). I do recommend verifying this information in your copy of the owner's manual, as its possible that you have a slightly different model.

This limit as stated in the vehicle's owner's manual is what you will need to go by, regardless of any aftermarket products that are added. Any aftermarket towing components will not increase the vehicle's towing capacity.

We have everything needed to equip your Honda Pilot so that it can tow up to its factory limits.

If you do not yet have a trailer hitch installed, I recommend the Draw-Tite Class III # 75599. This Class III hitch is confirmed to fit your Pilot and will use existing holes in its frame for a no-drill installation. The hitch will provide you with a 2 inch receiver opening and features a 3,500 pound towing capacity. I have attached an installation video on your vehicle that you can use for reference.

Then for a trailer wiring harness, I recommend the Tekonsha T-One # 118336. This custom harness will install by plugging right into a factory port behind the driver side trim panel. This will give you a 4-Way connector to connect with and power a trailer's basic signal lights. If you will be towing a trailer that is equipped with electric brakes and a 7-Way connector, you will just need to use the Universal Wiring Kit # ETBC7 to convert the 4-Way to a fully functional 7-Way. This kit also includes the wiring and circuit breakers needed to install a brake controller like the excellent Tekonsha Prodigy P2 # 90885.

For a transmission cooler, I recommend taking a look at the Derale # D13503. As long as you have the needed space under the hood behind the grille, this will be an excellent option for prolonging the life of your transmission. It measures 11 inches wide, 8-3/4 inches tall, and 7/8 inches deep. For a power steering cooler, the Derale 4-Pass # D13212 will be a good option. This tube-fin cooler measures 8-1/8 inches wide, 5 inches tall, and 3/4 inches deep.

I have attached installation videos for both of these coolers on Honda Pilots like yours that you can use for reference.

Finally, in order to tow a trailer, you will also need a ball mount and hitch ball. I have attached a great article that explains how to choose the best one for your setup, along with a link that will take you to our available selection. I have also included a couple additional articles on trailer towing that you might find helpful.

expert reply by:
Chris R

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