The 2004 Honda Pilots had similar specs to a lot of the other model years and was actually able to achieve the same 4,500 pound towing capacity that a lot of the other model years were also able to achieve.
You will need to look at the data in the chart though because if you had too much weight in your vehicle, then you could actually lose all of your capacity! This article goes into depth on what you need to know to get the most out of your vehicle.
You will want to read through your owner's manual and yourself to get familiar with your vehicle and to abide by all of Honda's requirements.
2004 Pilot Overview
Overall Towing Capacity: The overall towing capacity for the 2004 Honda Pilots was similar to other model years and ranged from 0-4,500 lbs. and really was dependent upon two different variables, the first being the number of occupants in the vehicle and the second was what type of trailer you were pulling behind you.
Engine Options: You only had one engine option available to you for the 2004 model years, like a lot of the other model years and this was a 3.5 L engine that came in a V6 type of configuration.
Trim Levels: These 2004 SUVs only had two different trim levels of available but still shared the same data, meaning that the trim level you had equipped on your vehicle did not impact the trailer weight ratings at all. Other factors came into play that decided the maximum trailer weight ratings.
Assumed Weight: The assumed weight can be found at the bottom of the charts in very small print, but Honda assumes that each occupant in the vehicle weighs 150 pounds and has 15 pounds of cargo, which makes the total amount of assumed weight for each occupant 165 pounds.
The chart for the 2004 Honda Pilots had two separate listings, as you can see from the image below and these maximum trailer weight ratings were listed according to the type of trailer you were pulling, more specifically a boat trailer and all other types of trailers.
We can see that the boat trailers had a higher overall capacity rating, coming in at 4,500 lbs., while the other trailers only had a maximum weight limit of 3,500 lbs. This is pretty typical for the Honda Pilots and can be seen throughout all model years, from what my research has shown.
Tongue Weight Rating:
The maximum towing weight ratings were already shown in the chart I have posted above, on the right-hand column and that is the absolute maximum weight. Honda also specifies that the ideal tongue load weight rating should be 5 to 10% of the trailer's total weight if you are pulling a boat trailer and for all other types of trailers that tongue weight rating should be 8 to 15%.
Trailer brakes are required, especially when you are pulling a trailer behind you because of the additional weight and stress that it puts on the vehicle. Remember, your vehicle's brakes are only designed to stop a fully loaded vehicle, not a vehicle and the additional weight of a trailer.
The trailer brakes must be independent from your vehicle's braking system and you will also need to check with your local law enforcement agency to see what their requirements are, in order to stay compliant for both Honda and your local laws.
Only two different trim levels were available for the 2004 Pilots and these were listed as the: EX and LX models. The trim level you had on your vehicle had no impact on the maximum trailer weight ratings that we saw listed in the charts, other factors came into play the impact of the numbers.
In short, it didn't matter what trim level you had equipped on your vehicle, as both trim level options were able to achieve the figures listed in the charts.
GVWR, GCWR and GAWR Figures:
There we're also important weight metrics listed in the owner's manual as well that I dug up and was able to take a screenshot of and posted below. These weights are important when making more complex calculations for your loads and include things like the gross vehicle weight rating, the gross combined weight rating and the gross axle weight ratings.
GVWR: The gross vehicle weight rating was listed 5,950 lbs. and is defined as the maximum weight of the vehicle including all of the occupants and cargo plus the tongue load of your trailer, if applicable.
GCWR: The gross combined weight rating was listed at 9,700 lbs. and is defined as the maximum weight of your vehicle when it is fully loaded plus the maximum weight of the trailer.
GAWRs: The gross axle weight ratings were listed for both the front and rear axles, and we're listed as 2,865 lbs. for the front axle, while the rear axle is rated at 3,155 lbs.
Do I Have A Transmission & Power Steering Cooler?
The chart specifically stated that in order to achieve the maximum trailer weight ratings that were listed, you had to have the transmission and power steering fluid cooler is installed on the vehicle. I was also able to confirm this via the owner's manual that talks about having these two coolers installed and are a required piece of equipment.
If you want to verify that you have these coolers installed on your vehicle, then you would have to visually inspect to see if you have lines coming from your automatic transmission and your power steering pump and then going to a cooler or the radiator. The other option you would have is to take it into a dealership to see if they can verify if you have these two colors installed on your vehicle.
Other Notes I Found:
There were a couple of other notes I found in the owner's manual that talks about some other aspects of your trailer that I thought would be useful in this article. The first bit of information talks about pulling a trailer off-road and if you are planning on doing this yourself, you will want to look at the maximum trailer weight rating that has been significantly reduced, along with the tongue weight rating and read all the other bits of information that would apply to a much rougher road.
The second bit of information talks about a weight distributing hitch and how you should not use one with your 2004 Honda Pilot, as it could cause potential issues when driving down the road that would make for some unsafe conditions.
The owner's manual was my main resource for gathering information for this article and it contained all of the information you see, including all of the images. I do recommend that you read the owner's manual yourself, as there is other information in there that you might find useful.
Last updated on February 20th, 2022 at 09:29 pm