One thing that is often over looked when towing with a vehicle is the payload capacity of the vehicle. I don't have my PF with me to see what its payload capacity sticker says but a quick look on ebay I was able to find a sticker with the info needed.
The one I found on ebay has a payload capacity of 1149lbs.
So what does this mean?
NOTE: After some research I cant find how Nissan calculates payload, so I will use what I was told Ford does for this example. From what I was told Ford uses 150lb driver & full tank of fuel.
With that being said lets say you weight 200#, because Ford says that the first 150# doesn't count against payload you will need to subtract the balance from the payload capacity.
1149 - 50 + 1099lbs
Now your at 1099lbs. So lets subtract the wifes weight, lets use 125 for this example lol. 1099 - 125 = 974lb
Now your at 974lbs. Lets subtract everything else. 1 kid lets say weights 50#, weekend of luggage for 3 people lets say 200#, drinks, ice chest, bbq pit, fishing gear, food, ice, etc we will say 300# for that but its probably more.
974 - 50 - 200 - 300 = 424lbs
So what does all this mean? It means that based of the payload capacity of the vehicle using the weights I have above you can only have a tongue weight up 424lbs.
So saying you have a tongue weight capacity of 500lbs doesn't mean you can put 500lbs on the hitch but if you would that would bring you 76lbs over the payload capacity of the vehicle.
So that's why its always best to put as much as you can in the trailer so it saves your payload for people and other items. The biggest things you need NOT do is listen to the salesman of the camper you are trying to buy. He will say anything he can to get you to buy it. Do your homework.
So in short look at the yellow sticker on the door and see what your payload is. Take that number and subtract everything that's been added to the truck from driving it off the lot. That means purses, yoga mat, 15 water bottles, human weight, pet weight, ANYTHING that's been added to the vehicle. Take that weight and subtract it from the payload capacity that's located on the drivers door jam and that will tell you what the max of your trailer tongue can be.
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