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Towing Elite 1 with an Acura 3.7 VTec engine


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The 2008 Acura MDX I own is rated to tow 5,000 lbs, so an Elite I appears to be within the car's capabilities, so long as we do not over load it.

The car is in great shape, a solid tank, but as we get into the Rocky Mountains, how will it do climbing steeper grades, and descending, will the brakes be okay?

Any experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


New York

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My trailer weight is 3,900lbs fully loaded, with a full water tank (to give me flexibility and keep center of gravity low) .

The tongue weight is about 460 lbs (I have a 30 lb protective coating applied to the bottom front and propane tank covering)

Read your Acura's owner's manual, paying attention to the towing section.  You might also find an Acura owner's forum someplace which discusses real world towing experiences.


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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My 2008 Elite, weighed many years ago at a CAT scale has a tongue weight of 420 pounds (no basket, 2 20# tanks), and 3960 total weight, loaded for camping with partial fresh, grey, and black tanks.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.




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I love that generation of MDX, we had a 2010 TL with that engine and SH-AWD. And a six speed manual transmission, we had to sell it because my wife’s left knee blew out. We have been thinking about getting an MDX, sort of, maybe. These are absolutely wonderful vehicles, and really bulletproof as long as you are diligent about doing the required maintenance. I would definitely give it a try, the LE1 should be fine as long as you don’t go cargo crazy. I found this thread that will answer your questions….


It looks like you will need the typical accessories if they are not already installed, 7 pin wiring, brake controller, 5000 pound rated 2” receiver, and a transmission cooler. I don’t know about a WD hitch, that would be something to research, what are the tongue weight limitations?

How many miles on it? Considering its age, It needs fresh shocks and new fluids, especially the transmission fluid and differentials, and do the timing belt and valve adjustment if they are due. Brakes, obviously. I can’t answer your question about braking, that will take some research, but I would think using your gears for engine braking would be plenty adequate. The trailer brakes are an assist, but you can literally burn them up on a long mountain descent if you abuse them and don’t let them cool. Of course, then you could install disk brakes, no worries then! The LE1 has a 5000 pound rated axle and 12 inch brakes, which are quite large for the trailer size. (The LE2 has two sets of 10”.)

One thing you can do if you are running into your payload limit is remove and store the third row seats, for sure, and possibly the second row ones. That will give you a fair bit of extra weight capacity, plus lots more actual volume. It is not a huge cargo area to start with…. I don’t have any idea what they weigh, but the ones in my Land Cruiser are really heavy, 70 pounds for the two in the third row. The middle ones are even heavier. I just removed the left one to install a fridge, and I can barely pick up that sucker by myself.

Good luck, if you do this, please post pics. I would be very interested to see the setup.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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