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Solution for Gaining Clearance to Open Hatch of Honda Pilot with Trailer Attached


The description of the Blue Ox hitch extender says not to use it for towing trailers? For accessories and flat towinginch only. I dont know what flat towing is. I need to extend my hitch so that I can open the hatch on my tow vehicle Honda Pilot to tow a camper. What should I use? Also, does extending the distance between the tow vehicle and trailer affect the control while towing sway, turning radius, etc.? Thanks!


Helpful Expert Reply:

As you mentioned in your question the Blue Ox Hitch Extender # BX88265 should only be used for hitch mounted accessories (bike racks, cargo carriers, etc) or for flat towing. Flat towing refers to pulling another vehicle with all 4 of its wheels on the ground, typically behind an RV. Since all the wheels are on the ground of the towed vehicle a flat towing setup doesn't create much tongue weight at all so the hitch extender is strong enough to support the weight.

Blue Ox has determined though that a traditional trailer/camper will create too much tongue weight and torque for the extender to handle.

There are similarly sized extenders that can be used to tow a trailer, such as with the 8 inch Tow Ready # 80307 that has a 3,500 pound towing weight capacity. The potential issue though with using this or any other hitch extender is that it is going to actually reduce the overall capacity of your trailer hitch by 50 percent. This means that you just need to make sure both the tongue and overall weight of your trailer does not exceed the reduced capacities on your Honda Pilot's hitch when using the extender.

With all of this in mind, the best way to gain the clearance you need is to simply go with a longer ball mount. Doing so will push the trailer back enough so you can open your hatch and it won't have any effect on the hitch's capacity. Something like the Curt Class III Drawbar # C45270 might be a great option, as its long shank features a distance of 13 inches from the center of the hitch pin hole to the center of the ball hole.

I have attached a short video review on this ball mount along with a link that will take you to our complete selection of ball mounts that feature a longer shank that you can look through.

Extending the length of your overall towing setup, either with an extender or longer ball mount, shouldn't increase sway at all during travel. The turning clearance will only be improved since the front of the trailer will be further away from the rear bumper of your Pilot.

helpful expert reply by:
Chris R

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