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Can the Honda Ridgeline Tow an RV?

Can the Honda Ridgeline Tow an RV?

If you’re like many of us, you might be thinking, “Honda has a truck?” In fact, it does. It’s the Honda Ridgeline, and it’s gained quite a bit of attention since its release over 15 years ago. It’s a roomy and reliable midsize truck, but what do we know about the Honda Ridgeline’s towing capacity? 

Let’s find out if it has what it takes to tow an RV.

About the Honda Ridgeline

Honda has been making dependable automobiles for decades, but the company isn’t exactly known for pickup trucks. That changed a bit in 2005 when the carmaker rolled out the Ridgeline as its first truck. 

The Ridgeline – Rise to the Challenge :30

Honda discontinued the model in 2014 but reintroduced it three years later. Fans of the smartly engineered Ridgeline love it for its smooth ride and other car-like comforts, plus its overall performance. The Honda Ridgeline also consistently gets excellent ratings for safety and, like many Hondas, its durability.

Honda Ridgeline Towing and Payload Capacity

The 2022 Honda Ridgeline has four trim options. Each has a short bed and AWD with a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. 

Starting with their 2022 model, the Ridgeline will come standard with AWD, but many of its older models are front-wheel-drive. The FWD models only have a max towing capacity of 3,500 lbs, and they’re not as good in icy or off-road conditions

The new Ridgelines have a 3.5 L, 280-hp V6 engine and an estimated fuel economy of 18/24/21 mpg. The Honda Ridgeline’s payload ranges from 1,509 to 1,583 lbs.

Honda Ridgeline HPD
Depending on the model, the Honda Ridgeline can tow between 3,500 lbs and 5,000 lbs max.

Honda Ridgeline Tow Capacity 80% Rule of Thumb

The Honda Ridgeline towing capacity of 5,000 lbs seems pretty impressive for a smaller truck, but that’s the absolute maximum. 

Here’s a reminder that you never want to get close to maxing out while towing. In fact, many RVers make it a practice to play it safe by never exceeding 80 percent of the total tow capacity. A cushion of 20 percent automatically reduces the Honda Ridgeline’s towing capacity by half a ton to 4,000 lbs.

And if you purchase an older FWD model, your towing capacity goes from 3,500 lbs to 2,800 lbs. 

Towing 4800lbs 3000 miles with a Honda Ridgeline - Part 4

Can the Honda Ridgeline Tow an RV? 

With these limits in mind, let’s see what you can safely tow with a Honda Ridgeline. The good news is that there are plenty of options because of an industry trend toward lightweight campers.

How small can campers get? Check out the 6 Best Micro Campers Designed for Big Adventures

In fact, we know some RVers who get by happily with even less power under the hood. It’s just a matter of choosing your towable wisely and learning how to pack it minimally.

Can the Honda Ridgeline Pull a 5th Wheel? 

With a Honda Ridgeline as your tow vehicle, you’ll have to keep your expectations realistic. Unfortunately, a 5th wheel is out of the question. Most weigh 10,000-13,000 lbs, and that’s when they’re completely empty. 

Escape 5th Wheel
The Escape 5.0 5th wheel has a dry weight of 3,910 lbs and a GVWR of 5,500 lbs, which is right at the max for a Honda Ridgeline.

Even the smallest 5th wheels have a curb weight of around 5,000 lbs. That’s just too heavy for a Honda truck.

Can the Honda Ridgeline Carry a Truck Camper? 

Truck campers are another option, right? Probably not. Some truck campers weigh slightly less than the Ridgeline’s payload capacity of just over 1,500 lbs. But that’s their weight before you put anything inside the camper. 

Also, when calculating payload, you have to include the weight of the driver plus the passengers and cargo. It all adds up too quickly to make a truck camper a viable option for a Ridgeline.

Woman driving a Honda Ridgeline
Unless you’re talking about a truck camper shell, you can’t tow a truck camper safely with a Ridgeline.

What Other Kinds of RVs Can You Tow with Honda Ridgeline? 

We still have some other choices, though. We just have to think smaller and lighter. 

Teardrop trailers are an easy option, and you won’t be restricted to the smallest ones or the most minimalistic. There are lots of lightweight, compact travel trailers on the market these days loaded with modern conveniences. Many are tall enough to stand up in, too, so they aren’t always tiny and cramped.

Even with your weight restrictions, you should be able to find a smaller travel trailer you can tow. Some in that size range have full kitchens and full bathrooms, as well.

Pop-up camper
A pop-up camper is a great option to tow behind a Honda Ridgeline.

Pop-up campers are another way to go. They aren’t as heavy as some other RV trailers because they have sides made of canvas. Additionally, they fold into a compact shape, so they’re easy to tow due to less wind resistance. Pop-ups have their downsides, though. Setting them up and tearing them down is too much of a hassle for some RVers, and many units don’t have full baths.

Having a camper without a bathroom isn’t always a big issue, thanks to portable camping toilets. Learn more: Portable Camping Toilets: What They Are and How They Work

Does the Honda Ridgeline Make a Good Towing Vehicle? 

The Honda Ridgeline has a somewhat limited towing capacity, but it can play a substantial role in the RV experience. It offers a tight, nimble ride, and that’s something you can grow to appreciate over the miles. It’s also spacious enough to carry extra people or supplies. 

Be Honest with Yourself! The 2021 Honda Ridgeline is all the Truck you really need

In addition, the Honda Ridgeline has an excellent reputation as a dependable daily driver that doesn’t require frequent, costly repairs. It’s reasonably rugged and gets good gas mileage, too, so the Honda Ridgeline has a lot going for it. Just make sure you stay safely within your towing range! 

The Toyota Tacoma is another small truck that has an impressive towing capacity. Take a look: What Is the Toyota Tacoma Towing Capacity? (And Can It Pull Your RV?)

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Dave

Thursday 13th of October 2022

If so inclined, the Scamp 19 5th wheel is 3,500 lbs gross with pin weight of 400 lbs. So doable with a Ridgeline if you can configure a 5th wheel hitch....

Bruce P

Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

I know your article was focused on the Ridgeline's capability to tow an RV as opposed to how it fits in the RV world. I used to own a Ridgeline and it was a great truck for carrying passengers and cargo. What would have made it a better truck was if it had the capability to be towed 4 wheels down behind my RV. If that was possible, I think the Ridgeline would be very popular in the RV community as a toad (lightweight, cargo, and passengers). Since it did not, I looked for another mid-sized truck that did check the boxes as a toad and that's when I settled on the Chevy Colorado.

Mortons on the Move

Monday 15th of November 2021

Interesting point! You're right...it would make a good toad if it were capable.

Phil

Wednesday 3rd of November 2021

Thanks for the great article on the Honda Ridgeline. We had a 2014 with the trailering package (5000 lb limit) and loved it. We live in the Denver area and I retired in 2018 and we went on a 50 day road trip with our 2018 R-Pod 179, at about 3800- 4000 lbs total (which we still use) and the Ridgeline did a great job during that entire road trip where pulling was a dream with our Andersen WDH. We went east and up the north shore to Thunder Bay and then headed back west through Walhalla, Moose Jaw, Neuanlage SK, many other places, Waterton, Glacier and then to the Olympic National Park, south to Cresent City, Crater Lake, Boise and home. In that time the only problem we had was that the battery had to be replaced in the Issaquah WA area and some slow hill climbs in high altitudes. BUT In the years since we have started doing more Boondocking and being Colorado natives where 8 to 10,000 ft elevations are common I had to make a very sad decision to sell the Ridgeline (they really do keep their cult status and value) and move up to a more powerful full sized PU that was able to move through those elevations and grades with more power and torque. We have been very happy with that change but had hoped over the years that Honda would have added a turbo to the gas engine configuration or diesel engine as a higher torque option for better towing and mileage because as you said, it was a very comfortable vehicle to drive both with and without the trailer.

Mortons on the Move

Monday 15th of November 2021

Glad you enjoyed the article. It would be nice if Honda upgraded the Ridgeline's engine or designed a new full-size pickup.

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