Summer is here and you and the family are getting the camper ready for some amazing memories. You want to take your Honda Ridgeline but you are not sure whether or not it can handle the weight of a full-sized truck camper.
A Honda Ridgeline should be able to carry only the smallest truck campers. The Honda Ridgeline has a maximum payload capacity of 1509-1583 lbs. In general, most truck campers will weigh somewhere between 1,000 to 5,000 pounds. With limited passengers, a Ridgeline can tow the smallest camper.
Although the Ridgeline cannot handle a whole lot of weight, there are some smaller truck campers on the market that would work with your ridgeline. Below I have come up with some more information about what exactly the Ridgeline is capable of and how you can maximize its capabilities.
Payload Capacity by Year
The amount of weight that you can handle in the bed of your truck is going to depend greatly upon what year and model of Ridgeline you have. Here is a list of the last 10 Ridgelines that were made and what their maximum payload is:
- 2011 & 2012: 1486-1546 Lbs
- 2013: 1475-1559 Lbs
- 2014 & 2015: 1486-1546 Lbs
- 2016 & 2017: 1451-1588 Lbs
- 2018: 1451-1586 Lbs
- 2019: 1431-1590 Lbs
- 2020: 1452-1580 Lbs
- 2021: 1509-1583 Lbs
As you can see the payload capacity for the Ridgeline has stayed relatively consistent, but the baseline has increased in the most recent year. Although each has slightly different capabilities, it has stayed within the same range for the past decade.
How much your Ridgeline can tow also has a lot to do with how much weight you are already carrying. If you are carrying 5 people and each of them weighs an average of 170 pounds, then that puts you at a very severe disadvantage to what you can carry. With 850 lbs in passenger weight, that only leaves you with about 700 pounds to carry a truck camper.
If you want to make a trip with a truck camper it is really important that you calculate how much weight is going to be in the cab. This also includes things like, how much does your other cargo weigh?
Ways to Increase Payload Capacity
There really isn’t going to be anything you can do to your Honda Ridgeline that is going to add 2,000 pounds to your payload capacity. However, there are some things that you can do that will help you add a couple of pounds to what your truck can handle. (Source)
- Upgrade the rear springs – Most trucks are designed to make sure that weight is evenly distributed across the length of the truck, however, this means that the springs in the rear of the truck are taking most of the pressure. This is what they are designed to do, but if you have an older truck it might help you to invest in some newer springs in the back.
- Add coil-over shock absorbers – A good suspension on a truck is made to keep the weight of the truck level. If you are planning on carrying a truck camper it is likely that you are planning on going camping which means that you need to be able to handle bumpy roads. It can cause some problems on your truck if you don’t have sufficient shock absorbers.
- Longer Truck bed – Extending the bed of your truck is not necessarily going to increase payload capacity, but it will help you get the most out of the capacity you already have. Spreading out the weight even further gives the truck more security when carrying anything close to its maximum capacity.
- Tire size – Upgrading on tires can add some security and make your ride smoother. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you are towing something that is almost to the truck’s capacity you are going to love those bigger tires.
- Decrease load size – I know that I mentioned this one previously, but this is very important especially if you want to increase your payload to tow a truck camper. This will not necessarily change what the truck is capable of but what you carry inside your truck is also included in what it can tow. Try packing light or (if you have the option) take a second car to allow your truck to be able to focus all its power on carrying your truck camper.
Lightest Truck Campers
The Ridgeline is a great truck, but with its limited amount of payload capacity, you cannot carry just any truck camper. You will definitely have to go with a very light option. Here is a couple of truck campers that you can use with your ridgeline: (source)
- Outfitter Apex 8 – This truck camper is a great option for your Ridgeline. Weighing in at about 1,450 pounds, this one comes close to the limit of what the Ridgeline can carry, but if you are packing light it should not be a problem. The Outfitter Apex is also equipped with some really cool features that should make life easy on your next camping trip.
- Four-wheel camper flatbed hawk – Another great option, the flatbed hawk weighs in at about 1,325 lbs when it is empty. This camper’s relatively lighter weight will allow you just a little bit of freedom to carry what you want in your truck. The way that this camper is designed is in a way that it will last for a very long time.
- Alaskan 7′ Cabover – This camper is most definitely going to cut it close when it comes to weight. It weighs around 1,560 pounds which is right around the payload capacity of your Ridgeline. This camper is designed to allow for more space over the top. It hangs slightly over the top of the truck and has lots of other spaces to store things.
These are just a few of the lighter truck campers on the market. There really are not many options for truck campers that are going to be light enough for your Ridgeline to handle. However, there are a couple and you may even be able to find someone who will make a custom one for your Ridgeline to be able to handle.