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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our 2015 pathfinder can tow 5000 lbs. Weare buying a travel trailer with a dry weight of 4100 lbs, gross of 4950. I know it may struggle a bit going uphill, but otherwise should we be ok? Thanks very much.
 

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2013 Pathfinder SL, Connecticut, USA
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You're pushing it! Remember, you also have to figure in weight of passengers, your gear, and if you're porting water in your tanks. If you have an option, I'd go lighter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. It’s the one camper we absolutely love and can afford. We tried using the towing calculators and I can’t understand them since it seems we are missing many numbers. Maybe you can help me? The GVWR of the pathfinder on the sticker is 5986. The actual weight is 4400. The trailer is 4100 dry and gross 4950. Hitch weight is 410. Are these enough numbers to work with? I’m confused because it says we can tow 5000 but then the sticker on the door says a combined of 10,000 which means I would really only be able to have 600 in passengers and cargo etc?
 

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"I would really only be able to have 600 in passengers and cargo etc?"

That is correct. Typically manufacturers advertise the max tow capacity accounting for 2 people in the vehicle.
 

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Hello Mish73, what did you decide on and how is it going? Those are awesome questions! There are some other good posts that cover some of them. And as one person posted, this is not a PF issue, no matter what vehicle or manufacture, you will have the same concerns and questions. This is about understanding the dynamics of towing.

A few things that do not show up in your calculations are how far you plan to travel and how often, hills or not what trim package you PF is and OEM tires or rims.

The only reason you would use dry weight in the calculation is to help determine the GW of the trailer/PF the day you plan to travel or to determine how much "stuff" you can bring on your trip and how much of it you can put in the vehicle and how much can go in the trailer.

The way you are doing the calculations it is for pulling a 4100lb ski boat in reasonable weather, not a TT. You are shooting for the absolute limits of the published specs. :) That may make things difficult or expensive for you and ruin a vacation or just be pain unsafe. The spec was written by pulling an aerodynamic tow sled behind a vehicle in good weather, not a TT. The published numbers does not translate to being able to tow the same weight travel trailer but the OM covers that by publishing many cations and warnings..

Consider the significant drag pulling a 7.5' x'10' high trailer compared to a bass fishing boat that tucks nicely behind your PF. To think of what that means, roll down the window and put your hand out like a torpedo. That is the shape of the vehicle used in the towing test. Now hold your hand up as if you are telling someone to stop. That is what you intend to add that is not part of the towing test and is not related to the towing capacity #'s. That is what your PF transmission will see.

Now think very carefully about your PF and ask yourself, has there every been any issues with PF transmissions on PF's that have never pulled anything but passengers.

Without regard for safety, ask yourself do I want to drive my pathfinder or do I want to fight with the dealer to get my transmission replaced.

In addition, putting that much load from a WDH, would void your warranty as NISSAN does not sell a WDH for a PF nor is it allowed by Nissan, although you can by them. You can also buy and install a 10k lb capacity hitch but it is not safe.

And just to be clear, If I pulled a travel trailer with my PF it would only be with a WDH, as many do, but it sure would not weigh over 3000lbs fully loaded unless I was towing it a very short distance in good weather.

Interestingly, people wonder why trim matters. Ultimately, it will come down to the item that is the limiting factor. Do you have the OEM tires and rims that came with the vehicle? Did you use the numbers from the sticker on the doorpost? Those numbers are ONLY good for the tires and rims that came with the vehicle and are for your specific vehicle as equipt when it left the factory.. If you changed tires, you need to use them in your calculation. Nissan have cut the numbers so close that the tires and size.... matter. So much so that the towing capacity of a PF Platinum is less than the standard model with steel rims, because the 20' aluminum rims have a lower weight carrying capacity.

How does this all fit because the OM has lots of cautions and warnings that tell you that you must take into account ALL the factors?

To your question, you almost have what you need, but to determine vehicle weight, you need to take it to a scale and I would do it with a full tank of gas the trailer hitch and WDH in the back as well as all your passengers. That you can do once and then you know what your rough start is. Then you need to just add your luggage AND your actual tongue weight to get you PF GVW. People always forget to add tongue weight. In your case, you estimated 410lb because that is the listed dry weight of the trailer (unrealistic weight). Well that is not actual as everything you put in the trailer and exactly where you put it in the trailer will change that. Do have bedding, wheel chocks, leveling pads, pots, pans dishes, food, lights, charcoal, water, sewage, a power inverter, etc etc....An extra 1000lbs is very easy.

As you can see a 4100 dry TT may meet spec if you are not planning much luggage or one passenger, but I think you will find you are asking for trouble and there is a great chance you will exceed more than one parameter. In addition, it does not mean it will be safe in adverse weather or on hills or negatively affect the life of the PF.

Regards,
 

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Hello Mish73, what did you decide on and how is it going? Those are awesome questions! There are some other good posts that cover some of them. And as one person posted, this is not a PF issue, no matter what vehicle or manufacture, you will have the same concerns and questions. This is about understanding the dynamics of towing.

A few things that do not show up in your calculations are how far you plan to travel and how often, hills or not what trim package you PF is and OEM tires or rims.

The only reason you would use dry weight in the calculation is to help determine the GW of the trailer/PF the day you plan to travel or to determine how much "stuff" you can bring on your trip and how much of it you can put in the vehicle and how much can go in the trailer.

The way you are doing the calculations it is for pulling a 4100lb ski boat in reasonable weather, not a TT. You are shooting for the absolute limits of the published specs. :) That may make things difficult or expensive for you and ruin a vacation or just be pain unsafe. The spec was written by pulling an aerodynamic tow sled behind a vehicle in good weather, not a TT. The published numbers does not translate to being able to tow the same weight travel trailer but the OM covers that by publishing many cations and warnings..

Consider the significant drag pulling a 7.5' x'10' high trailer compared to a bass fishing boat that tucks nicely behind your PF. To think of what that means, roll down the window and put your hand out like a torpedo. That is the shape of the vehicle used in the towing test. Now hold your hand up as if you are telling someone to stop. That is what you intend to add that is not part of the towing test and is not related to the towing capacity #'s. That is what your PF transmission will see.

Now think very carefully about your PF and ask yourself, has there every been any issues with PF transmissions on PF's that have never pulled anything but passengers.

Without regard for safety, ask yourself do I want to drive my pathfinder or do I want to fight with the dealer to get my transmission replaced.

In addition, putting that much load from a WDH, would void your warranty as NISSAN does not sell a WDH for a PF nor is it allowed by Nissan, although you can by them. You can also buy and install a 10k lb capacity hitch but it is not safe.

And just to be clear, If I pulled a travel trailer with my PF it would only be with a WDH, as many do, but it sure would not weigh over 3000lbs fully loaded unless I was towing it a very short distance in good weather.

Interestingly, people wonder why trim matters. Ultimately, it will come down to the item that is the limiting factor. Do you have the OEM tires and rims that came with the vehicle? Did you use the numbers from the sticker on the doorpost? Those numbers are ONLY good for the tires and rims that came with the vehicle and are for your specific vehicle as equipt when it left the factory.. If you changed tires, you need to use them in your calculation. Nissan have cut the numbers so close that the tires and size.... matter. So much so that the towing capacity of a PF Platinum is less than the standard model with steel rims, because the 20' aluminum rims have a lower weight carrying capacity.

How does this all fit because the OM has lots of cautions and warnings that tell you that you must take into account ALL the factors?

To your question, you almost have what you need, but to determine vehicle weight, you need to take it to a scale and I would do it with a full tank of gas the trailer hitch and WDH in the back as well as all your passengers. That you can do once and then you know what your rough start is. Then you need to just add your luggage AND your actual tongue weight to get you PF GVW. People always forget to add tongue weight. In your case, you estimated 410lb because that is the listed dry weight of the trailer (unrealistic weight). Well that is not actual as everything you put in the trailer and exactly where you put it in the trailer will change that. Do have bedding, wheel chocks, leveling pads, pots, pans dishes, food, lights, charcoal, water, sewage, a power inverter, etc etc....An extra 1000lbs is very easy.

As you can see a 4100 dry TT may meet spec if you are not planning much luggage or one passenger, but I think you will find you are asking for trouble and there is a great chance you will exceed more than one parameter. In addition, it does not mean it will be safe in adverse weather or on hills or negatively affect the life of the PF.

Regards,
Agree: pushing it is possible, but not recommendable. If your trips are short, i guess you'd be fine. Would make for a stressful experiment otherwise. My fear would be to get into an accident and then be determined to be over specced, thence not getting coverage or getting sued etc. Lbs pile up real quick. Too quick. You'll be over specs real quick. I would count roughly TC - 1.5k lbs to determine your max dry trailer weight Such vehicles. -2klbs is safer and more comfortable. But I'm of the opinion that those machines can do well even at their top limit based on my experience with another vehicle (careful: towing is dangerous. If you don't know what you're doing, strappted for cash so you can't buy good tires and wdh, etc, you're playing with fire. With the right equipment and going slow ish, you could be fine. IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING). Read Nissan towing guide (Google it). Check your tranny temps via obd. Etc. Blowing a tranny is no vacation.
 
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