Make and model: 2019 Honda Ridgeline RTL AWD
- Curb weight: 4508 pounds
- Gross weight: 6019 pounds
- Tow capacity: 5000 pounds (AWD package, which includes 7-pin connector and hitch receiver
- Combined Gross Vehicle Weight: 9,987 pounds
Safari Condo Alto 1743 weight: averages 2400 pounds, as measured on certified truck scales. Tongue weight last time I checked was 240 pounds. Truck weight was 5000 pounds, including the ARE truck cap, a generator, and a lot of my camping equipment.
Highest speed on freeways: 55 mph mostly. I tend to drive 55 most of the time and on back roads when I can avoid interstate (high-speed) highways.
- Hitch: Standard receiver for Ridgeline (part of the AWD package). Hitch ball is zero-drop.
- Weight distribution bars: No
- Sway controller: Yes, the Hayes electronic sway controller.
- Wireless brake controller: Yes, Prodigy wireless, with bluetooth connectivity.
- Rearview camera: Yes, wireless with a 7-inch monitor . I drive with it turned on; otherwise, there is a small blind spot right behind the trailer (which is where tailgaters love to go). It helps me back up into sites somewhat, but I mostly use my side mirrors for that.
- Wide-Angle Mirror I don’t use towing mirrors on the Ridgeline, as it’s wide enough I can see traffic better than I could with the Outback. I do have these little wide-angle mirrors that stick onto the big mirror. I move the big mirror so I can see closer to the pickup itself and the wide-angle shows me the lane next to me.
Electric Tongue Jack: Yeah, this thing was a game-changer. Between the awesome “straight-down” view on the Ridgeline’s backup camera and the electric tongue jack, hitching up is way easier. Way, way easier. This Stromberg-Carlson 2500 jack fits the Alto with no need to alter the existing tongue. Now, a simple switch moves the tongue up and down, no need to crank it manually. Because my hands aren’t busy cranking, I can give the tongue a little shove in the direction it needs to go to meet the hitch ball, and that’s what makes it easier than before. I should have gotten this thing a long time ago.
I’ve towed with the Ridgeline for 3 years, and it’s been great. I tow easier, with less worry, than I did using the Outback.
- Towing mileage: 13-15 mpg at 45-55 mph average speed. I mostly drive back roads, which are somewhat hilly but slower speeds, which I enjoy more than interstate highways. What I have noticed is that where I get 15 mph in the Ridgeline, I probably would have gotten only 12 in the Outback. The Ridgeline seems more efficient at towing, especially in hilly or mountainous areas.
- Non-towing mileage: 22-24 mpg
- Ridgeline (May 2023): 40,585 miles
- Alto (May 2023): 66,575 miles
I use the standard maintenance schedule from Honda, and haven’t had any surprises yet as far as issues with the transmission or other parts.
The tow vehicle question is personal to each Alto owner. Here are some questions to think about as you weigh your choices.
- Where will you be camping (Rocky Mountains or the flat coastline of the East Coast)?
- What model Alto you will have (they each weigh differently)?
- What options are you getting (each adds to the trailer weight)?
- How long you will travel (weekend trips vs. 6 month sojourns, that may require more stuff and more room.
I cannot say what tow vehicle will work for you. I suggest joining the Altoiste group on Facebook and then searching through that group for tow vehicle discussions specific to the make/model you have or are interested in buying (there is a lot of information there).
Nothing in this page is to be construed as recommending the Ridgeline for anyone else’s towing needs.