Honda Ridgeline Tow Vehicle - Monitoring Transmission Temperature

carpensecarpense Member Posts: 24
Honda Ridgeline Towing a 2021 Tab 400 Boondock

We bought our gently used 2021 Honda Ridgeline Sport (9 speed, AWD) and gently used 2021 Tab 400 Boondock last August. The camper included a Prodigy electronic brake control and a Yuwei backup camera. We had an Anderson weight distribution hitch installed on the camper when we bought it.
We've towed and camped three times (east coast hills/mountains) and have put about 1000 towing miles on the truck. We've checked our loaded weights (truck, camper, and tongue weight) at the CAT scale and know we are WELL below max limits. We are preparing for bigger adventures and longer trips - including trips through the Rockies.

There seem to be a lot of concerns about the Ridgeline's towing capability - particularly the transmission when climbing long, steep hills at higher altitudes. Some report that they had issues. Others said they sailed easily (albeit more slowly) over the western mountains.

A number of Ridgeline owners have recommended monitoring the transmission temperature as a precaution - and as an early warning sign of potential trouble. And the consensus seemed to be to monitor using Scan Gauge.

Today our our ScanGauge III arrived and we are thrilled! This gem can monitor just about any variable that the Ridgeline's computer measures - including TRANSMISSION TEMPERATURE! It plugs directly into the Ridgeline's computer receptacle (drivers side) and
setup took mere minutes.

It comes preprogrammed with many standard variables and also allows the user to scan for any variables unique to their specific vehicle.
The measurements are displayed - in color - on a 3" x 5" color, touchscreen display that you can place on the dash mount (included).
If you drive a Ridgeline and you are concerned about transmission temperatures, I highly recommend the ScanGauge III.

Disclosure - I have NO financial interest in ScanGauge or Amazon and received no compensation for this post.


  • rcuomorcuomo Member Posts: 318
    Agree, I’ve been using the ScanGauge II for a few years to monitor the temps on my ‘17 Ridgeline. I’ve been very satisfied with the performance. 
    ‘18 Tab 320S- mfg’d 4/17, acquired 9/17
    Spare & bike rack on tongue, Renogy 100w suitcase connection, cargo & door nets, sway bar, wired rear camera, Norcold aux fan, front window protection, frame mounted sewer & water hose storage, Krieger 1500w inverter w/100Ah LIFePO4.
    ‘17 Honda Ridgeline RTL-E- 5000# tow cap, 600# tongue cap
    ‘20 Honda Pilot Elite- 5000# tow cap, 500# tongue cap
    Huntington LI
  • Jay_and_KatJay_and_Kat Member Posts: 209
    So I'm curious as to how the backup camera is attached to the camper, is it a bracket on the license plate or just some really, really good double-sided tape on the body?
    Jay and Kat
    Tow vehicle:  2022 Jeep Gladiator Sport S + tow package
    Camper:  2022 T@B 400 Boondock w/Norcold 3-way fridge
  • carpensecarpense Member Posts: 24
    Our backup camera came with our gently used TAB400 - mounted with screws on the black fin above the license plate holder. I’ve included a picture. Hope this helps. 

  • Jay_and_KatJay_and_Kat Member Posts: 209
    Yes, it does, thank you!

    I know attaching things to the walls of the camper with screws is a big no-no, which is why I asked

    Time to talk to the wife about getting a camera!
    Jay and Kat
    Tow vehicle:  2022 Jeep Gladiator Sport S + tow package
    Camper:  2022 T@B 400 Boondock w/Norcold 3-way fridge
  • rcarlson1957rcarlson1957 Member Posts: 176
    @carpense, we have a 2020 Ridgeline with the 9 speed transmission. 1st year they came out with it for the Ridgeline. Previous years had a 6 speed and sometimes had problems with transmissions overheating. Plan on getting a Scan Gauge to monitor transmission temps and for general maintenance and troubleshooting too. Curious, have you used it in the mountains? Was the 9 speed getting high temps?
    2018 TAB 320S Silver/Black w/Dandelions
    2020 Honda Ridgeline RTL (AWD) Lunar Silver Metallic
    Rick and Barbara - North Texas 
    More Smiles Per Mile! B)
    Enjoy doing and sharing mods
  • carpensecarpense Member Posts: 24
    We used our 2021 Ridgeline to pull our TAB 400 through the East coast mountains this fall. From upstate NY, through the Delaware Water Gap, Shenandoah Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, and Smokey Mountains. We did not have any problems. We used the scan gauge to monitor the transmission temperature and the temperature never got above 195°. So far so good! 

    This spring we’re headed to the southwest (NM, AZ, UT, CO). 

    We are changing the transmission fluid religiously at 30,000 miles as recommended by Honda when towing. We also use high octane gas in the mountains as we’ve heard it helps when towing at altitude. Less guesswork for the computer? 

    We do hear a rattle from time to time when accelerating- sounds to me like marbles. It happens when not towing and also (perhaps more often) when towing.  It’s intermittent and the dealer hasn’t been able to identify the source. Very perplexing. 

  • manyman297manyman297 Member Posts: 1,185
    Along with changing transmission fluid it should be said that your front and rear differential fluid as well as your transfer case fluid should also be changed out more often as well. Different intervals for different manufacturers.
    2021 400 BD
    2020 Tacoma TRD Off-Road 
  • SLJSLJ Member Posts: 435
    +1 for the Scangauge. I've used this Scangauge II for many years. First in our campervan, then motorhome, then towing with a Bronco Sport, and now towing with a Ford Maverick pick-up. The newer version is nice but this gives me what I need to know at a glance.

    2021 T@B 320 S Boondock
    2023 Ford Maverick XLT
    The Finger Lakes of New York
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