First towing experience with 2013 Pathfinder
Finally hooked up my brake controller and camper for my towing test drive. (See my Brake Controller thread in the How To forum.) I was pleasantly surprised. First the downward angling mirrors and backup camera were great for backing up to the camper without help. First time I backed up about two inches too far while I was getting used to the wide field of view back up lens. When I put it in drive to pull up, you guessed it, back up camera turned off! So I had to pull up about 12 inches then back up again. Second time I got it perfect. Note to Nissan: When the Tow button is ON, delay the switch off of the back up camera by about 20 seconds.
The seven pin connector on the Pathfinder and on the camper were a perfect match, the lights worked the first time, and the brake controller immediately identified that the trailer was connected. I found the receiver on the Pathfinder to be a little oversize (at least larger inside dimensions than my Explorer). There is slight play between the receiver and tow bar which causes a 'slight' rattle when going over bumps, etc. I may wrap the tow bar with some tape to increase it's size and see if that stops the rattle. I will also have to get a tow bar with a little less drop. The PF bumper is about 2-3" below what the Explorer was.
Acceleration and towing stability were both quite good. I believe the camper was about 2800 Lbs with gear etc. (I stopped by the public scale, but they had just closed. Note to myself: I do need to get the camper weighed all up with propane, water, gear because I probably have it closer to 3200 Lbs during hunting season and the max axle weight is 3500.) The PF felt like it had slightly better power than my V6 Explorer. It was hard to tell what the Tow switch on the PF was doing. At highway speeds turning the Tow switch ON/OFF on the PF had no effect. On the Explorer the Tow switch prevents the torque converter from locking which resulted in several hundred more engine RPM. This also caused the Explorer transmission to run MUCH cooler. When I get more PF seat time in regular driving and towing I may be able to tell better what the Tow switch does.
Braking was excellent both with and without the brake controller on, but definitely a brake controller or surge brakes are the way to go.
When stopped pointing uphill the PF wants to roll backwards when you take your foot off the brake. Be ready for it and you may even want to put your left foot on the brake and right foot on the gas to modulate your take off.
Gas mileage was excellent also and about 4-5 miles better MPG than the Explorer. The trip was too short (60 miles) to make a precise measurement, but I'll do that on one of the longer trips.
Backing up was kind of annoying. I have a curvy drive and park the camper next to the house. The sonar goes beep beep beep beep beep (you can turn it off with one button on the steering wheel, but every time you put it in drive then back up again it resets and you get beep beep beep beep beep again.) Note to Nissan: When the Tow button is ON, turn the Sonar OFF.
We bought the PF to carry up to 7 around town and also to tow our camper and boat. So far it has been a great choice!