No, you can not flat tow a Honda Pilot. Concerning Honda Pilot, the manufacturers strictly recommend that you should not flat tow the vehicle, particularly since doing that may cause damage to certain components in the vehicle.
Consequently, if towable Honda cars are your preference, there are many other Honda car alternatives from which you can choose.
Honda Pilot is designed as either a front-wheel or a 4 wheel drive usually with an automatic transmission. This range of options is certainly not suitable for flat towing safely.
Hence, you are not recommended to tow this vehicle, although the Honda Pilot is arguably the biggest SUV yet known that comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which you can upgrade to a 9 speed with tremendous improvement in fuel economy too.
The Honda Pilot is designed with a Continuously Variable Transmission( CVT), which has been established as a bad option for flat towing safely. However, before you will fully understand why a car is flat towable or not, it will be good to know the intricacies involved in the entire process.
First, any towed vehicle hooks to the towing truck via a specific hitch. As a result of this, it is moving thanks to the towing vehicle.
As the towed vehicle moves along, the parts inside it also move as well. Its wheels will drive its axles, which in turn, will equally cause the differentials and shaft to move too.
However, in this case, there is no provision to remove the shaft from the transmission system of the car since it is a CVT, a feature common in some cars. Consequently, as the wheels of the towed vehicle roll on the ground, its transmission system could move in the opposite direction from that which was meant for it in its original design.
This development causes exaggerated wear or even leads to irreparable malfunction of certain vehicle parts.
Notably, with some manual transmission cars, you can easily disconnect the transmission system by engaging the gear lever in the ‘Neutral’ position, which is simply excellent for flat towing. However, this does not in any way imply that all vehicles with manual transmissions are flat towable.
For this reason, most cars with manual transmissions need sustained lubrication while being towed, which could jeopardize many of their components.
Since the user manual of the Honda Pilot has expressly made it very clear that you must not flat tow the vehicle, so be it. If you do, you have only damaged parts to contend with. Therefore, you cannot flat tow a Honda Pilot, especially the AWD models. Period.
Is it safe to flat-tow a Honda Pilot?
No, it is certainly not safe to tow a Honda Pilot for whatever reason. Primarily, this condition is because the vehicle is designed with a Continuously Variable Transmission(CVT) and is either a front-wheel-drive model or a 4 wheel drive.
As a result, however you try, some or all of its wheels will have to roll on the ground, which means certain damage to its parts, and that makes towing inadvisable.
Although if you have the Honda Pilot model that spots a front wheel, it is possible to flat to tow it without any harm quite unlike the 4 wheel drive. In this case, you can flat-tow the vehicle using a tow dolly.
This is because a tow dolly will raise the front wheels of the car during towing such that no harm will come to any of its parts. If you do it in this way, then it is safe, otherwise, it is certainly not, especially with the 4 wheel drive models of the Honda Pilot in common use.
How do I flat tow a Honda Pilot?
Flat towing a vehicle simply means pulling the car behind an RV or motorhome on its flat tires from one point to another. This objective can be achieved without necessarily leaving the tires on the ground.
Therefore, if conditions mandate that you flat tow a Honda Pilot, it is highly recommended that you use a tow truck or trailer instead which will not subject your transmission system to any harm in the process.
Therefore, rather than flat towing a Honda Pilot, you can tow it on the flatbed of a tow truck that has the requisite capacity to do so. Your user manual will be of tremendous help here. So, consult it.
What can I use in flat towing a Honda Pilot?
Although there are many models of the Honda vehicles in common use that can be flat towed, the Honda Pilot cannot. Therefore, the only option you have in towing this vehicle is a tow truck or trailer, which will essentially prevent its wheels from rolling on the ground.
A condition that is bad for your transmission system. Therefore, a tow trailer is what you need to tow your Honda Pilot off its wheels.
On the other hand, since Honda Pilot comes either as front-wheel-drive models or all-wheel drive, you can flat tow only the front-wheel-drive using a tow dolly which will keep its front wheels off the ground throughout the tow period, and thus, safeguard them from any damage.
What happens if I can’t flat tow a Honda Pilot?
Since you cannot flat tow a Honda Pilot, much like you do most other vehicles, you should seek other viable and safe alternatives.
Based on the absolute need to ensure that the tires of the towed vehicle( Honda Pilot) do not roll on the ground, your best and the safe bet is to tow it on the bed of a flat tow truck with the correct capacity to tow it, especially because Honda Pilot is about the biggest SUV car around.
Therefore, if you risk flat towing a Honda Pilot, you are in essence deliberately causing damage to both the transmission system of the car, as well as many other vital components too.
In addition, you can also choose to flat tow any front-wheel-drive model of the Honda Pilot with the aid of a tow dolly, although not for very long distances.
The front-wheel-drive of the Honda Pilot can only be damaged during towing should you allow its front wheels to roll on the ground during the tow. If however, you use a tow dolly, the chances of the front wheels rolling on the ground are all but removed. That makes it very safe to use too.
Can you tow a 2012 Honda Pilot behind a motorhome?
Yes, you can tow the 2012 Honda Pilot behind a motorhome safely, provided you adhere strictly to all the standard methods or procedures of prepping the vehicle correctly.
On the other hand, you can also use a tow dolly for other Honda Pilot models that are mainly the front-wheel-drive types. All in all, before you venture into pretty much anything flat towing, you will do well to refer to the user manual, which is the go-to medium for all towing issues, possibilities, complications, and what-have-you.
Frequently asked questions(FAQ)
Can you pull a Honda Pilot?
Can the Honda Pilot be used in towing? Yes, this big special SUV car, which is either front-wheel drive or AWD( All Wheel Drive), can tow effectively, although with slight variations between the two models.
For example, the front-wheel-drive models can tow up to about 3500 pounds while the AWD (All Wheel Drive) can tow up to about 5, 000 pounds with very slight modifications, especially when you take their special Variable Torque Management AWD system into consideration. So, yes, you can effectively pull a Honda Pilot.
Can I flat tow a 2016 Honda Pilot?
Although the manual says you cannot flat tow a Honda Pilot, there is a condition attached to this recommendation. First, if your 2016 Honda Pilot is the front-wheel-drive model, then, you can flat-tow it with the aid of a tow dolly, but if it is the All-Wheel Drive model, then, you can not.
In which case your only option is to use a tow truck or trailer.
Conclusion – Can You Flat Tow A Honda Pilot?
The Honda Pilot is arguably the biggest SUV(Sports Utility Vehicle) in ordinary use. This model is produced either as a front-wheel-drive version or a 4 wheeler.
Each version has its characteristics. For instance, you can flat tow the front wheeler, but not the AWD versions. Luckily, there is another safe and convenient way through which you can go about the entire process. The user manual will stand you in good stead here.
Therefore, always refer to it. Although the Honda Pilot is one such car that cannot be flat towed, there are however other Honda models which you can flat tow easily without any fear of damage to any of their parts.