Tips, Tricks & Trends

Does the 2021 Honda Pilot Have Enough Towing Power for an RV Trailer?

If you’re looking for a reliable three-row SUV, then it’s hard to beat the 2021 Honda Pilot. Honda’s largest vehicle offering is well-equipped to handle just about any family vacation or outing in addition to being a comfortable, well-rounded daily driver. But is the Honda Pilot capable enough to tow an RV camper trailer?

The Honda Pilot towing capacity

The Honda Pilot has been around since 2003 and is now in its third generation. Since its initial debut, the Pilot has undergone a multitude of changes and has gotten bigger, wider, and more powerful in the past 17 years. With those changes, the three-row SUV can now seat up to eight passengers comfortably while toting them around town with plenty of power, thanks to a 3.5-liter V6 engine.

That engine produces 280 hp and can be mated to either a six-speed or nine-speed automatic transmission depending on which trim level you choose and comes in either a front- or all-wheel-drive configuration. But, more importantly, if you’re planning to tow with the Honda Pilot, then you’ll be glad to know that the front-drive version can tow up to 3,500 pounds, while the all-wheel-drive version can tow up to 5,000 pounds thanks to its Variable Torque Management AWD system.

A 2021 Honda Pilot on display
The 2021 Honda Pilot on display | Photo via Honda

RELATED: How Reliable Is the Honda Pilot?

What can the Honda Pilot tow?

If you are indeed planning to use the 2021 Pilot as a tow vehicle, then you might want to opt for the available tow package. It includes a trailer hitch receiver, a trailer hitch harness (7-pin connector), a trailer hitch locking pin, and a trailer hitch ball. With everything properly installed, you can tow some of the available RV campers on the market, especially if you’re into the smaller-sized ones.

A dark-colored 2021 Honda Pilot Elite overlooks mountains
2021 Honda Pilot Elite | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

If you are OK with only having the towing capacity for a smaller trailer, then having a Honda Pilot opens you up to getting cozy with nature in a teardrop camper or even a stand-up camper. According to Drivin’ and Vibin’, many of these smaller RVs have a dry weight of 3,000 pounds or less, which means that the Pilot can easily handle the load. That also means that if you want to tow something heavier, like a pop-up camper, then you can do that as well.

2020 Honda Pilot | Honda-0
2020 Honda Pilot | Honda

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Remember to play it safe with the Honda Pilot

While the Honda Pilot has the capability to tow many of the various campers on the market, just remember to be selective in the process. While the maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds is great, it’s still not as good as many of the larger V8-powered SUVs on the market, which means that the Pilot might not be able to tow a larger trailer that you might want for your family.

However, the beauty of the Honda Pilot is that it’s still a “one-stop-shop” for all of your towing and hauling needs, whether it’s for people and cargo or a camper trailer. After all, there’s a reason it has been one of the most popular SUVs on the market for almost 20 years straight.