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Hi everyone,
I've been reading lots of posts in this forum, researching on the internet, calling NIssan and of course the dealer, but I still can't find the definitive answer to my question: Does the PF of this generation have heavy duty alternators, transmission cooling across the trim lines? Meaning, there's no towing "package" that allows you to add these on if you're "building" it to purchase, like other manufacturers. So could I safely assume all the trim lines of the PF have decent enough transmission coolers, amperage, braking etc.? The Rock Creek which I'm planning on buying just gives you the tow hitch and harness and a lot of macho trim, not real towing package. I have 3,000 lb unladen travel trailer, double axle, but with water, propane etc. and load I'm not sure how much I'll be towing exactly. I'm planning to stay way under 6,000 but still want to feel secure with towing with the PF if I'm going to invest in a $33,000 vehicle! We plan on going some distances so I want to make sure it's up for the task. I've read a lot of past posts about towing here on this forum and got some info, just wanted to hear from folks as to experience with this gen PF and towing and if anyone knows the answers to my questions. Thanks.
 

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2013 Pathfinder SL, Connecticut, USA
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First of all, welcome to the forum. You're a wise person to do your due diligence on a vehicle before shelling out thousands of dollars.

The Rock Creek Edition Pathfinder is just a window-dressed Pathfinder SL made to look more rugged, but it has no more (or less) capability than any other trim line. The radiators, brakes, amps, transmissions, etc. are identical for a given model year. Vehicles with the "tow package" have basically the receiver, 7-pin connector and harness added, but those items can be purchased aftermarket and the vehicle will still have the same tow capability.

Look at your trailer's GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating). I can't imagine that it would exceed the 6,000 lb. tow capacity of the Pathfinder. If you've read the forum posts as stated, you've seen that the Pathfinder struggles on mountain roads, but otherwise, the CVT appears to be quite capable as long as you're sensible.
 

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Yes, all Pathfinders of this generation have a built in trans cooler. I'm not sure what the specs are for the alternator, but they are the same across the board. As long as you aren't looking for a ton of power out of it, you should be fine though.
A trailer with a 3000lb dry weight should be within the realm of what the Pathfinder can handle. If you are driving in the mountains, don't expect to maintain 70mph the whole time, but otherwise you won't have an issue.
I tow a 4000lb boat about 80 miles each way to the lake, and it handles it just fine.
 

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Got a 2017, new engine, first gen with 6k lbs.
Tows like a champ. CVT works well under load, silky. You can see your trans cooler front of left front wheel behind plastic shroud.
We tow about 4k (hard shell travel trailer) in the summer in the Gaspe Peninsula in Qc every summer: it's really hilly. And it can handle that without concerns. Make sure you tow with towing mode switch engaged: really helps when going downhill...
For the price, the PF beats all the comp out there. You get awesome value imo.
CVT shows no sign of getting tired, etc. We've done 3 such trips by now. That's about 2k kms return for us each time.
Just make sure to go easy on gas: towing in hard front winds costs a fortune... Opposite when wind behind you. Simply watch your revs: when it goes above 3000 rpm, you can hear the money fly off the window. Drive then so to keep your revs down (55mph, 100kmh).
To sum up: engineers did their homework on the 2017 and up gen: better engine, better suspension, frame is a bit lighter, etc. It's a fine towing vehicle imo.
Good luck

Hi everyone,
I've been reading lots of posts in this forum, researching on the internet, calling NIssan and of course the dealer, but I still can't find the definitive answer to my question: Does the PF of this generation have heavy duty alternators, transmission cooling across the trim lines? Meaning, there's no towing "package" that allows you to add these on if you're "building" it to purchase, like other manufacturers. So could I safely assume all the trim lines of the PF have decent enough transmission coolers, amperage, braking etc.? The Rock Creek which I'm planning on buying just gives you the tow hitch and harness and a lot of macho trim, not real towing package. I have 3,000 lb unladen travel trailer, double axle, but with water, propane etc. and load I'm not sure how much I'll be towing exactly. I'm planning to stay way under 6,000 but still want to feel secure with towing with the PF if I'm going to invest in a $33,000 vehicle! We plan on going some distances so I want to make sure it's up for the task. I've read a lot of past posts about towing here on this forum and got some info, just wanted to hear from folks as to experience with this gen PF and towing and if anyone knows the answers to my questions. Thanks.
 

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I tow this 1974 Mako which is probably 3 to 4 thousand pounds all together. I drive an hour to the lake most weekends in the summer and back. We drove it from Tennessee to Florida last year loaded with 4 people and the back full of luggage. It handled Monteagle Mountain just fine. The only real issue we had was the suspension bottomed out a few times in I 840 which is really rough in spots. I added air helper springs to the rear and it seems to handle much better. I will find out how it does on 840 tomorrow when we head to Florida again. It doesn‘t really do terrible on gas but it doesn‘t have a huge tank so you have to stop often.
15809
 

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Hi everyone,
I've been reading lots of posts in this forum, researching on the internet, calling NIssan and of course the dealer, but I still can't find the definitive answer to my question: Does the PF of this generation have heavy duty alternators, transmission cooling across the trim lines? Meaning, there's no towing "package" that allows you to add these on if you're "building" it to purchase, like other manufacturers. So could I safely assume all the trim lines of the PF have decent enough transmission coolers, amperage, braking etc.? The Rock Creek which I'm planning on buying just gives you the tow hitch and harness and a lot of macho trim, not real towing package. I have 3,000 lb unladen travel trailer, double axle, but with water, propane etc. and load I'm not sure how much I'll be towing exactly. I'm planning to stay way under 6,000 but still want to feel secure with towing with the PF if I'm going to invest in a $33,000 vehicle! We plan on going some distances so I want to make sure it's up for the task. I've read a lot of past posts about towing here on this forum and got some info, just wanted to hear from folks as to experience with this gen PF and towing and if anyone knows the answers to my questions. Thanks.
Check out this video, it even has a downloadable spreadsheet. I tow a No Boundaries 19.8, weighs 3700 dry, 4800 fully loaded. It is good, but on steep grades going up I do slow way down. I did have Nissan install a break controller. Good luck.
 

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First of all, welcome to the forum. You're a wise person to do your due diligence on a vehicle before shelling out thousands of dollars.

The Rock Creek Edition Pathfinder is just a window-dressed Pathfinder SL made to look more rugged, but it has no more (or less) capability than any other trim line. The radiators, brakes, amps, transmissions, etc. are identical for a given model year. Vehicles with the "tow package" have basically the receiver, 7-pin connector and harness added, but those items can be purchased aftermarket and the vehicle will still have the same tow capability.

Look at your trailer's GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating). I can't imagine that it would exceed the 6,000 lb. tow capacity of the Pathfinder. If you've read the forum posts as stated, you've seen that the Pathfinder struggles on mountain roads, but otherwise, the CVT appears to be quite capable as long as you're sensible.
Jay: Related to the 2018 PF SV towing, what is the optimum driving mode settings with regards to Tow Mode switch, Overdrive button and drive setting (i.e. Auto/2wheel/4wheel) ?
 

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Re: drive settings, etc.
When towing: tow mode switch ON + AUTO
I personally stopped swtiching to 2WD, especially in winter: you never know when you'll need full power (say at a corner when light is about to turn red and you need to gun it), your front wheels will just spin in position (PF 2017+ especially) is a fairly powerful beast.
Never use Overdrive: it also mentions in manual to not use often anyways.
tbh: PFs for towing with towing mode ON is meant to be a no-brainer, which it really is... The only time I notice any change in Tow Mode (vs not activated) when towing (or not) is when going downhill: the PF seems to have an inclinometer of some sort (probably a builtin accelerometer, like in your phone) and it litteraly senses when your nose is going down: the minute you break ever slightly then going down, the PFs computer reads that as (when TOW MODE ON) as you need assistance wth engine breaking. Therefore you'll see the engine starting to compress and assist you. It sounds silly, but I've been really impressed with it. I towed the same TT trailer (3.8klbs loaded) with a 2011 Sienna (yep, that was stretching it : but it towed great still, apart from having to check constantly the tranny temps via obd when going uphill and having to constantly stop in Washington state in big hills !). The PF really tows well, I can't exagerrate it. it's not a F150, but I don't pay that gas year long, so it's ok. remember to allow yourself to slow down in hills going up with PF, and you're set.
 
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Re: drive settings, etc.
When towing: tow mode switch ON + AUTO
I personally stopped swtiching to 2WD, especially in winter: you never know when you'll need full power (say at a corner when light is about to turn red and you need to gun it), your front wheels will just spin in position (PF 2017+ especially) is a fairly powerful beast.
Never use Overdrive: it also mentions in manual to not use often anyways.
tbh: PFs for towing with towing mode ON is meant to be a no-brainer, which it really is... The only time I notice any change in Tow Mode (vs not activated) when towing (or not) is when going downhill: the PF seems to have an inclinometer of some sort (probably a builtin accelerometer, like in your phone) and it litteraly senses when your nose is going down: the minute you break ever slightly then going down, the PFs computer reads that as (when TOW MODE ON) as you need assistance wth engine breaking. Therefore you'll see the engine starting to compress and assist you. It sounds silly, but I've been really impressed with it. I towed the same TT trailer (3.8klbs loaded) with a 2011 Sienna (yep, that was stretching it : but it towed great still, apart from having to check constantly the tranny temps via obd when going uphill and having to constantly stop in Washington state in big hills !). The PF really tows well, I can't exagerrate it. it's not a F150, but I don't pay that gas year long, so it's ok. remember to allow yourself to slow down in hills going up with PF, and you're set.
Martin: Thanks for the quick and considerate reply with a succinct and thorough answer. Will follow your advice when towing. DZ
 

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Discussion Starter #10
First of all, welcome to the forum. You're a wise person to do your due diligence on a vehicle before shelling out thousands of dollars.

The Rock Creek Edition Pathfinder is just a window-dressed Pathfinder SL made to look more rugged, but it has no more (or less) capability than any other trim line. The radiators, brakes, amps, transmissions, etc. are identical for a given model year. Vehicles with the "tow package" have basically the receiver, 7-pin connector and harness added, but those items can be purchased aftermarket and the vehicle will still have the same tow capability.

Look at your trailer's GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating). I can't imagine that it would exceed the 6,000 lb. tow capacity of the Pathfinder. If you've read the forum posts as stated, you've seen that the Pathfinder struggles on mountain roads, but otherwise, the CVT appears to be quite capable as long as you're sensible.
Thanks so much Jay,
Sorry i haven't responded yet, but I've still be deliberating on this decision, as this is a big purchase for me, (and Pandemic keeps me home, not wanting to sit around dealerships) and I want to make sure the vehicle will serve sufficiently as my tow and also everyday vehicle. My GVWR is 5,881. It's a double axle TT but very light. 3,000 unladen.
Yeah I had read about the PF struggling on hills and in my non-mechanical mind I wondered if that means it's taxing the engine/transmission or just limited power. I'm fine with slow in these conditions just don't want to damage the vehicle.
Thanks again, Helene
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Got a 2017, new engine, first gen with 6k lbs.
Tows like a champ. CVT works well under load, silky. You can see your trans cooler front of left front wheel behind plastic shroud.
We tow about 4k (hard shell travel trailer) in the summer in the Gaspe Peninsula in Qc every summer: it's really hilly. And it can handle that without concerns. Make sure you tow with towing mode switch engaged: really helps when going downhill...
For the price, the PF beats all the comp out there. You get awesome value imo.
CVT shows no sign of getting tired, etc. We've done 3 such trips by now. That's about 2k kms return for us each time.
Just make sure to go easy on gas: towing in hard front winds costs a fortune... Opposite when wind behind you. Simply watch your revs: when it goes above 3000 rpm, you can hear the money fly off the window. Drive then so to keep your revs down (55mph, 100kmh).
To sum up: engineers did their homework on the 2017 and up gen: better engine, better suspension, frame is a bit lighter, etc. It's a fine towing vehicle imo.
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks Martin,
This is very helpful and gives me confidence to take the big purchase plunge to get the 2020 PF. I agree in this class of vehicles it is the least expensive and gets decent gas mileage (at least when not towing ;). We want to be able to go cross country confidently, from New York state to CA and back, and with our 2003 Ford Explorer we're concerned. Love to hear that you fell the PF is up for the task!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, all Pathfinders of this generation have a built in trans cooler. I'm not sure what the specs are for the alternator, but they are the same across the board. As long as you aren't looking for a ton of power out of it, you should be fine though.
A trailer with a 3000lb dry weight should be within the realm of what the Pathfinder can handle. If you are driving in the mountains, don't expect to maintain 70mph the whole time, but otherwise you won't have an issue.
I tow a 4000lb boat about 80 miles each way to the lake, and it handles it just fine.
Thanks so much. This helps me to make my decision. I'm ok with going slow on mountains/hills I just don't want to tax the engine/tranny to the point of damage. We plan on long cross country trips so I want to make sure it's up for the task.
 

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2013 Pathfinder SL, Connecticut, USA
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Thanks so much Jay,
Sorry i haven't responded yet, but I've still be deliberating on this decision, as this is a big purchase for me, (and Pandemic keeps me home, not wanting to sit around dealerships) and I want to make sure the vehicle will serve sufficiently as my tow and also everyday vehicle.
Just so you know, some dealerships will deliver the vehicle to you to test drive.
Thanks again, Helene
Who's Helene?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
And wow! I'd love to test drive without going into dealership. They kept wanting me to walk inside.
 

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Got a 2017, new engine, first gen with 6k lbs.
Tows like a champ. CVT works well under load, silky. You can see your trans cooler front of left front wheel behind plastic shroud.
We tow about 4k (hard shell travel trailer) in the summer in the Gaspe Peninsula in Qc every summer: it's really hilly. And it can handle that without concerns. Make sure you tow with towing mode switch engaged: really helps when going downhill...
For the price, the PF beats all the comp out there. You get awesome value imo.
CVT shows no sign of getting tired, etc. We've done 3 such trips by now. That's about 2k kms return for us each time.
Just make sure to go easy on gas: towing in hard front winds costs a fortune... Opposite when wind behind you. Simply watch your revs: when it goes above 3000 rpm, you can hear the money fly off the window. Drive then so to keep your revs down (55mph, 100kmh).
To sum up: engineers did their homework on the 2017 and up gen: better engine, better suspension, frame is a bit lighter, etc. It's a fine towing vehicle imo.
Good luck
Martin this is welcome news! I bought a pathfinder this month based on towing rating because I have a 3,000lb camper I will be towing and I was kind of worried the pathfinder may not hold up! I bought a brake controller for towing, but my question to you is do you use a weight distribution hitch? Or does your 4k travel trailer even squat your suspension enough to need one? Thanks for your time!
 

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Martin this is welcome news! I bought a pathfinder this month based on towing rating because I have a 3,000lb camper I will be towing and I was kind of worried the pathfinder may not hold up! I bought a brake controller for towing, but my question to you is do you use a weight distribution hitch? Or does your 4k travel trailer even squat your suspension enough to need one? Thanks for your time!
Just pulled a 4k unladen Travel Trailer home with 2018 SV PF with Sway Bars using Tow Mode and Auto setting. 45 Miles over NW North Carolina foothill country. Gas averaged about 10MPG and it struggled up hill not wanting to exceed 60 MPH but was fine on level roads. Lots of curves and downhill action without any issues. Tractor trailers blow-by did not rock the trailer that much so sway bar had some positive effects. Now have to challenge it going up to Asheville, NC when I get the courage.
 
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