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The Exact Towing Capacity Of An Acura RDX (And More..)

The Exact Towing Capacity Of An Acura RDX (And More..)

We’ve talked extensively about the Acura RDX, its capabilities, and its features on this blog. Today, we will take it a step further and tell you everything about the towing with it. This includes the maximum towing capacity and so much more information. Let’s start with a quick answer:

The 2006 – 2021 Acura RDX has a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 lbs. The 2022 – Present-day Acura RDX has a standard towing capacity of 3,500 lbs for 2WD, turbo-charged, and AWD models without an ATF cooler. RDX with an ATF cooler have a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs.

However, that certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ve also outlined how the towing capacity changes with the number of occupants. Furthermore, we’ve written down everything you need to know regarding the maximum tongue load weight, what rules and recommendations Acura has concerning towing with, and RDX. We have written down a complete checklist for every generation that you can go through before towing. Read on!

Also read: Types Of Gas A Acura RDX Takes (All Generations)

Before You Start Towing

Before diving into the model years and their maximum towing capacities, it’s good to talk about some general safety concerns and limitations of the Acura RDX.

First of all, it’s essential to know that most 2022 – Present-day Acura have a standard and maximum towing capacity (more on that below). To reach the maximum towing capacity, you’ll have to buy a towing package at your dealer. Acura refers to the towing package as the “Trailer Hitch ATF Cooler Kit”.

This towing package includes the following and costs $500 at your dealer:

  • Receiver-style hitch compatible with a wide range of trailer coupler designs
  • Trailer Hitch Kit includes draw bar, retaining pin, and clip
  • Wiring harness with 7-pin round-style connector available separately
  • 1 7/8-in or 2-in balls available separately

All other generations of the Acura RDX don’t need this kit because they can’t upgrade the towing capacity.

Furthermore, these are general rules you should abide by when towing with your RDX:

  • Towing with your Acura RDX is strictly forbidden during the break-in period (before 600 miles or 1.000 kilometers).
  • Acura recommends you use special trailer brakes for trailers that weigh more than 1,000 lbs (450kg).
  • Do not exceed a speed limit of 62 mph (100km/h) when towing a trailer and 55 mph (88km/h) when towing a fixed-sided trailer (such as a camper).

Towing With A 2022 Acura RDX

In 2022 Acura redesigned the RDX (just like the MDX), and with that came a noticeable change in towing capacities. Below we’ve stated the towing capacities for each specific model and its carrying load. As you can see, the towing capacity decreased with the number of occupants. In its calculations, Acura states that each occupant weighs an average of 150 lbs (68kg) and that each occupant has 17.6 lbs (8kg) of luggage.

An Acura RDX has a standard maximum towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. If you want to tow a maximum of 5,000 lbs you’ll have to opt for the AWD models with a towing package.

Towing Capacity And Tongue Weight

Besides the maximum towing capacity, you should also know the maximum tongue weight. The maximum tongue weight indicates the maximum weight the RDX can carry at the point where the trailer is attached to the vehicle. The weight of the tongue with a fully loaded trailer on the hitch should be approximately:

  • Boat trailers: 5 – 15% of the total trailer weight
  • Other trailers: 10 – 15% of total trailer weight

The maximum tongue weight for this generation is as follows:

Acura advises you to calculate your gross combined weight and the maximum weight per axle using a public scale.

  • Use the image below to make these calculations.
  • If you cannot weigh the rear axle, subtract 1 from 2.
  • The maximum gross combined weight (4) decreases by 2% for every 1,000 feet (305 meters) of elevation.
  • To calculate the tongue load, subtract 5 from 6.
  • Refer to the trailer owner’s manual for additional information.

If a public scale is not available, add the estimated weight of your cargo load to the weight of your trailer (as quoted by the manufacturer), and then measure the tongue load with an appropriate scale or tongue gauge or estimate it based on cargo distribution.

Preparing To Tow

  • Have the trailer properly serviced and keep it in good condition.
  • Make sure that all the weights and load in the vehicle and trailer are within limits.
  • When towing more than 3,500 lbs (1,590 kg), use of gasoline with a pump octane number of 91 or higher is recommended.
  • Towing performance can be affected by high altitude, high temperature, or steep uphill.
  • Securely attach the hitch, safety chains, and other necessary parts to the trailer.
  • Securely store all the items in and on the trailer so that they do not shift while driving.
  • Check if the lights and brakes on the trailer are working properly.
  • Check the pressures of the trailer tires.
  • Turn off the Auto Idle Stop system using the Auto Idle Stop OFF button. The trailer weight can affect your vehicle’s brake effectiveness if Auto Idle Stop is activated on a hill while towing a trailer.
  • Turn off the rear parking sensor system. (if equipped)
  • Turn off the Low Speed Braking Control system. It may activate if it detects the towed object as an obstacle. (if equipped)
  • Before hitching a trailer, set the EAS Leveling Control setting to Towing mode. When hitching the trailer, set the power mode to OFF. (if equipped)

Towing With A 2018 – 2021 Acura RDX

When we look at the earlier generation of the Acura RDX, we see that this model has a very low towing capacity compared to its redesigned and more modern counterpart. Whether you have a 2WD or AWD model from this generation, it has a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 lbs.

Towing Capacity And Tongue Weight

Furthermore, Acura has not given specific limitations for the tongue weight of this generation. However, they do state that tongue weight usually is around 10% of the trailer’s total weight. Therefore, tongue weight for this generation will not exceed 150 lbs.

Finally, Acura advises you to calculate the maximum weight per axle using a public scale. For a clarification of this method, please read the earlier subheading ‘Towing with a 2022 Acura RDX’ since the method is the same.

However, it must be noted that Acura does not state the maximum weight rating of the axles of this vehicle in its owner’s manual. Instead, the owner’s manual refers to the certification label on the driver’s doorjamb.

Preparing To Tow

  • Have the trailer properly serviced and keep it in good condition.
  • Make sure that all the weights and load in the vehicle and trailer are within limits.
  • Securely attach the hitch, safety chains, and other necessary parts to the trailer.
  • Securely store all the items in and on the trailer so that they do not shift while driving.
  • Check if the lights and brakes on the trailer are working properly.
  • Check the pressures of the trailer tires, including the spare.
  • Turn off the Auto Idle Stop system using the Auto Idle Stop OFF button. The trailer weight can affect your vehicle’s brake effectiveness if Auto Idle Stop is activated on a hill while towing a trailer.

Also read: How Many Miles Can Acura RDX Last? (Answered)

Towing With A 2012 – 2018 Acura RDX

The towing capacity of the 2012 – 2014 and 2015 – 2018 Acura RDX is the same as the 2018 – 2021 generation. However, the limitations for the weight limit per axle are more clear for this generation. Furthermore, these two generations also have the same weight limits per axle and the same preparation procedure, and therefore we’ve combined them in this subheading. We’ll discuss this below.

Towing Capacity And Tongue Weight

The maximum allowable weight of the trailer, cargo, and everything in or on it must not exceed 1,500 lbs (680 kg). Towing loads above this can seriously affect vehicle handling and performance and damage the engine and drivetrain.

However, we feel it’s safer to go with the weight limitations stated in the subheading ‘Towing with a 2018 – 2021 Acura RDX’. This is because these towing capacities also take into account passenger and cargo loads, which prevents damage to the frame, engine, and transmission.

As with earlier and later generations, Acura does not give specific recommendations for tongue weight. However, they state that the tongue weight is most likely around 10% of the trailer weight. Therefore, the tongue weight for this generation of the RDX will be about 150 lbs.

Finally, it’s good to know that there are limitations to the amount of weight that should be placed on a specific axle. The weight limitations per axle are shown in the image below. You can calculate the weight per axle using the calculations shown in the subheading of ‘Towing with a 2022 Acura RDX’ discussed at the beginning of this article.

Preparing To Tow

  • Have the trailer properly serviced and keep it in good condition.
  • Make sure that all the weights and load in the vehicle and trailer are within limits.
  • Securely attach the hitch, safety chains, and other necessary parts to the trailer.
  • Securely store all the items in and on the trailer so that they do not shift while driving.
  • Check if the lights and brakes on the trailer are working properly.
  • Check the pressures of the trailer tires, including the spare.

Also read: 14 Common Problems Of An Acura RDX

Towing With A 2006 – 2011 Acura RDX

The towing capacity for the 2006 – 2011 Acura RDX is the same as the later generations. However, the maximum weight per axle differs depending on if you have a 2WD or 4WD model.

Towing Capacity And Tongue Weight

The maximum allowable weight of the trailer, cargo, and everything in or on it must not exceed 1,500 lbs (680 kg). Towing loads above this can seriously affect vehicle handling and performance and damage the engine and drivetrain.

However, we feel it’s safer to go with the weight limitations stated in the subheading ‘Towing with a 2018 – 2021 Acura RDX’. This is because these towing capacities also take into account passenger and cargo loads, which prevents damage to the frame, engine, and transmission.

Weight Limit For2WD4WD
Front gross axle2,447 lbs (1,110 kg)2,546 lbs (1,155 kg)
Gross vehicle4,718 lbs (2,140 kg)4,894 lbs (2,220 kg)
Rear gross axle2,271 lbs (1,030 kg)2,381 lbs (1,080 kg)
Gross combined4,718 lbs (2,140 kg)6,394 lbs (2,900 kg)

The tongue weight of this vehicle is, once again, a maximum of 150lbs.

The preparation for towing with an Acura RDX is the same as the 2012 – 2018 version, so therefore we advise you to check that subheading out for that information.

Can It Tow a Trailer, Boat, or Jet Ski?

Trailer TypeAverage Empty
Weight (lbs.)
Average Total
Loaded Weight (lbs.)
Can An Acura RDX Tow It?
Canoe / Kayak Trailer200                                                  400Yes
Jet Ski Trailer300                                               1,800Only 2022 and newer
Motorcycle Trailer500                                               2,400Only 2022 and newer
Teardrop Trailer1,700                                               2,400Only 2022 and newer
Small Open Utility Trailer700                                               2,500Only 2022 and newer
A-Frame Camper1,700                                               2,900Only 2022 and newer
Small Enclosed Utility Trailer1,000                                               3,200Only 2022 and newer
Fishing Boat Trailer600                                               3,300Only 2022 and newer
Pop Up Camper2,300                                               3,400Only 2022 and newer
Small Travel Trailer2,800                                               3,600Only 2022 and newer with towing package
Tow Dolly600                                               4,000Only 2022 and newer with towing package
Large Enclosed Utility Trailer2,700                                               7,100Only empty, 2022 and newer
Small Horse Trailer2,900                                               7,200Only empty, 2022 and newer
Large Travel Trailer6,700                                               8,300No
Car Trailer1,900                                               9,000Only empty, 2022 and newer
Large Flatbed Trailer3,000                                             10,400Only empty, 2022 and newer
Large Boat Trailer2,200                                             13,600Only empty, 2022 and newer
Dump Trailer4,500                                             16,900Only empty for 2022 and newer with towing package
Toy Hauler7,600                                             17,900No
Large Livestock Trailer7,300                                             18,700No
5th Wheel Camper12,700                                             18,700No
Gooseneck Flatbed Trailer7,200                                             23,200No
  • Kayak: All Acura RDX models will be able to tow a kayak trailer. On average, an empty kayak trailer will weigh 200 pounds. A loaded kayak trailer will weigh an average of 400 pounds with a maximum of 800 pounds which is well within the range of the Acura RDX.
  • Jet Ski Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX models will be able to tow a jet ski trailer. On average, an empty jet ski trailer will weigh 300 pounds. A loaded jet ski trailer will weigh an average of 1,800 pounds with a maximum of 3,000 pounds which is within the range of this Acura RDX.
  • Motorcycle Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX models will be able to tow a motorcycle trailer. On average, an empty motorcycle trailer will weigh 500 pounds. A loaded motorcycle trailer will weigh an average of 2,400 pounds with a maximum of 3,500 which is within the range of this Acura RDX.
  • Teardrop Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX models will be able to tow a teardrop trailer. On average, an empty teardrop trailer will weigh 1,700 pounds. A loaded teardrop trailer will weigh an average of 2,400 pounds which is within the range of the  Acura RDX. Some teardrop trailers will weigh a maximum of 6,000 pounds, this is outside of the limits of the Acura RDX.
  • Small Open Utility Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX models will be able to tow an open utility trailer. On average, an empty small open utility trailer will weigh 700 pounds. A loaded small open utility trailer will weigh an average of 2,500 pounds with a maximum of 3,000 pounds which is within the range of this Acura RDX.
  • A-Frame Camper: 2022 and newer Acura RDX models will be able to tow an A-frame camper. On average, an empty a-frame camper weighs 1,700 pounds. A loaded a-frame camper will weigh an average of 2,900 pounds with a maximum of 3,600 pounds which is within the range of this Acura RDX.
  • Small Enclosed Utility Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX models will be able to tow a small enclosed utility trailer. On average, an empty small enclosed utility trailer weighs 1,000 pounds. A loaded small enclosed utility trailer will weigh an average of 3,200 pounds with a maximum of 7,000 pounds, which is mostly within the range of the Acura RDX.
  • Fishing Boat Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX models will be able to tow a fishing boat trailer. On average, an empty fishing boat trailer weighs 600 pounds. A loaded fishing boat trailer will weigh an average of 3,300 pounds with a maximum of 6,000 pounds, within the range of the Acura RDX.
  • Pop-Up Camper: 2022 and newer Acura RDX models will be able to tow a pop-up camper. On average, an empty pop-up camper weighs 2,300 pounds. A loaded pop-up camper will weigh an average of 3,400 pounds with a maximum of 4,000 pounds, which is mostly within the range of the Acura RDX.
  • Small Travel Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX with a towing package will be able to tow a loaded small travel trailer. On average, a small travel trailer weighs 2,800 pounds. A loaded small travel trailer will weigh an average of 3,600 pounds with a maximum of 4,500 pounds, within the range of some Acura RDX.
  • Tow Dolly: 2022 and newer Acura RDX with a towing package will be able to tow a loaded tow dolly. On average, an empty tow dolly weighs 600 pounds. A loaded tow dolly will weigh an average of 4,000 pounds with a maximum of 5,000 pounds, within the range of some Acura RDX.
  • Large Enclosed Utility Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX will be able to tow an empty large enclosed utility trailer. On average, an empty large enclosed utility trailer weighs 2,700 pounds. A loaded large enclosed utility trailer weighs an average of 7,100 pounds with a maximum of 10,000 pounds, outside of the range of the  Acura RDX.
  • Small Horse Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX will be able to tow an empty small horse trailer. On average, an empty small horse trailer weighs 2,900 pounds. A loaded small horse trailer weighs an average of 7,200 pounds with a maximum of 8,000 pounds, outside of the range of the  Acura RDX.
  • Car Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX will be able to tow an empty car trailer. On average, an empty car trailer weighs 1,900 pounds. A loaded car trailer weighs an average of 9,000 pounds with a maximum of 15,000 pounds, outside of the range of the Acura RDX.
  • Large Flatbed Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX will be able to town an empty large flatbed trailer. On average, an empty large flatbed trailer weighs 3,000 pounds. A loaded large flatbed trailer weighs and average of 10,400 pounds with a maximum of 26,000 pounds, outside of the range of the Acura RDX.
  • Large Boat Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX will be able to town an empty large boat trailer. On average, an empty large boat trailer weighs 2,200 pounds. A loaded large boat trailer weighs an average of 13,600 pounds with a maximum of 34,400 pounds, outside of the range of the Acura RDX.
  • Dump Trailer: 2022 and newer Acura RDX with a towing package will be able to tow an empty dump trailer. On average, an empty dump trailer weighs 4,500 pounds. A loaded dump trailer weighs an average of 16,900 pounds with a maximum of 30,000 pounds, outside the range of the Acura RDX.

Sources

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