The 2005 Honda Pilots had very similar towing capacity numbers that some of the other model years had and was able to achieve a maximum rating of 4,500 lbs. There were certain elements that came into play that drastically reduced this weight rating down to 0 pounds, or in other words, no capacity at all, which I go into detail about in this article.
I recommend that you read through the owner's manual yourself and that you abide by all of Honda's requirements and recommendations.
2005 Pilot Overview
Overall Towing Capacity: The overall towing capacity for the 2005 Honda Pilots ranged from 0-4,500 lbs. depending on the number of occupants in the vehicle and what type of trailer you're pulling behind you. If you had eight occupants in the vehicle, then you had no capacity at all.
Engine Options: There was only one engine option available for the 2005 model years and this was a 3.5 L engine. This engine came in a V6 type of configuration, just like the other model years and is in fact the only engine that was available for most of the model year Pilots.
Trim Levels: There were only three different trim levels available for the 2005 model years, but the trim level you had equipped on your vehicle did not dictate your maximum trailer weight rating. The charter have listed in the article provides the ratings and other factors affected the overall numbers and your overall capacity.
Assumed Weight: Honda did specify an assumed weight for each occupant in the vehicle, as the chart lists the maximum trailer weight ratings according to the number of occupants in the vehicle. Each occupant was assumed a weight of 150 lbs., along with 15 pounds of luggage for each occupant. That brings the total of each occupant up to 165 lbs. of assumed weight.
The 2005 Honda Pilots had two different charts, as you can see from the screenshot I have posted below and these were divided up into what type of trailer you were pulling behind your vehicle. The maximum trailer weight ratings were different depending on the trailer and if you were pulling a boat trailer behind you then you had a much higher capacity than you would if you had any other type of trailer.
The maximum trailer weight rating for boat trailers was rated at 4,500 lbs. and for other types of trailers, that limit was reduced to 3,500 lbs. The chart also had the maximum tongue load weight ratings listed and the ratings changed according to the number of occupants you have in the vehicle, which is typical for all model year Pilots.
Tongue Weight Rating:
Like I mentioned earlier, the charts did have the maximum towing weight ratings listed alongside the maximum trailer weight ratings, but I was also able to find a little bit more information in the owner's manual that states these specific tongue weight ratings for both boat trailers and all other types of trailers.
Honda recommends a tongue weight rating of 5-10% of the trailer's total weight for boat trailers and 8-15% for all other types of trailers. Remember, this is different from the maximum tongue weight rating that was listed in the charts, which you are not to exceed. These numbers are helpful if your maximum trailer weight rating is less than the maximum listed in the chart.
Trailer brakes are another essential part of towing and are required in most States, and Honda requires them if your trailer weighs 1,000 pounds or more. The trailer brakes must be independent of your vehicle's brakes. You will want to check with your local laws to see if this rating lines up with your local law's weight rating, or if you have to do modifications in order to achieve a happy medium.
There we're only three different trim levels available for the 2005 Honda Pilots and these were listed in the brochure as the: LX, EX and EX-L models but I was not able to find any information that would indicate the trim level affecting the maximum trailer weight ratings listed in the chart.
In other words, it didn't matter what trim level you had on your vehicle, other factors came into play that affected the maximum trailer weight ratings like the number of occupants in the vehicle and what type of trailer you were pulling behind you.
GVWR, GCWR and GAWR Figures:
I was able to find other weight specifications listed in the owner's manual, alongside the trailer weight ratings and these were the gross combined weight rating, the gross vehicle weight rating and both of the gross axle weight ratings.
These figures will help you out when making more complex calculations for your load and gives you a better understanding of how much your vehicle can handle, how much your trailer can handle and how much both of them combined can handle.
GCWR: The gross combined weight rating was listed at a maximum of 9,700 lbs. and included the weight of the hitch and all accessories, including any fluid coolers that you might need to have in order to achieve these ratings.
GVWR: The gross vehicle weight rating was set at a maximum of 5,950 lbs. and this is basically the maximum amount of weight that the vehicle itself is capable of handling, which includes all occupants and luggage, along with the weight of the vehicle itself.
GAWR: Finally, the gross axle weight rating was listed and this is going to be separate weights for the front and rear axles. For the front axle, Honda specifies that 2,865 lbs. is the maximum limit and 3,155 lbs. is the maximum weight limit for the rear axle.
Do I Have A Transmission & Power Steering Cooler?
If you study the chart I have posted at the top of this article, you can see a note that states that all of the maximum trailer weight ratings that are listed do require that you have the transmission and power steering coolers installed on the vehicle.
If you do not have these two coolers installed, then you had no ability to tow whatsoever, as you can see from the screenshot I found in the owner's manual posted below.
Other Notes I Found:
I kept digging through the owner's manual to see if there were any other pieces of information that I could post that might be helpful and I was able to find a couple of different things, which I posted screenshots of below.
Some of these items mentioned pulling a trailer off-road, which is possible, but you will need to keep in mind that the weight rating is significantly reduced and you will have to take extra precautions due to the bumpy terrain.
The other piece of information I found talks about how the performance of the vehicle can be affected by certain elements like steep uphill grade, hotter outside temperatures and higher elevation areas, which Honda recommends that you use premium fuel, if you think you might run into these types of situations.
Finally, Honda does not recommend using a weight distributing hitch with this particular model year SUV.
There were two main resources I used to gather the information for this article and most of the resources I gathered came directly from the owners manual, which came directly from Honda's website, but I was also able to use another resource that gave me a brief overview of some of the data, which I also found helpful.
I wanted to link to these two resources below for those of you out there that want to check these resources out for yourself.