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Can a Rear Suspension Kit be Teamed with a Weight Distribution System on 2006 Honda Pilot EX


I already have a weight distributing hitch for my small travel trailer that is within the guidelines of the vehicle specs. Would a rear suspension system help with leveling the tow vehicle? Ive got just a bit of rear end sag. Its not bad, but I think the vehicle would tow better if the front end had even more weight on it. My Pilot is a FWD model. I am considering one of the air spring units versus the Timbren.


Helpful Expert Reply:

Generally speaking, a properly-rated weight distribution system should provide the necessary correction for rear-end sag in a tow vehicle. We do not recommend using both a rear suspension jounce spring or air spring kit, such as the Timbren # THROD2, along with a weight distribution system as the two can sometimes fight each other and result in erratic handling.

On their website Honda specifies a 3500-lb towing weight limit for travel trailers pulled by their 4WD Pilot EX (and 4500-lbs only for boat trailers specifically). They also indicate that if this vehicle is to be used for towing that is must be equipped with both OEM Honda power steering and transmission fluid coolers. The owners manual for your specific version of the 2006 Pilot EX should indicate if the manufacturer rates this vehicle for use with weight distribution. It is a good idea to re-confirm that the vehicle is rated for use with a weight distribution hitch; if you cannot find this in your manual then I suggest you consult with your local dealership. (The Honda website did not include this information for your 2006 Pilot.)

When matching a weight distribution system to a trailer it is critical to know the actual fully-loaded trailer tongue weight just as it will be when you are on the road. A trailer dry tongue weight (or curb weight) figure will not accurately reflect the actual load on the hitch. It is necessary to measure the fully-loaded trailer tongue weight (with full water and propane tanks, and with all supplies and gear) before selecting a weight distribution system to ensure that it provides the necessary correction to the actual weight load across the trailer tongue and tow vehicle hitch.

I have linked an article concerning weight distribution systems that provides a lot of useful guidance.
I have also linked an article that offers several ways to measure your actual loaded trailer tongue weight. There are products available to do this, such as the Sherline # 5780, but alternative methods are also outlined in the article.

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