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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!
Eh bidyouwell:
Weight distribution Hitch is a must imho. I don't care that the following says to do it when trailer is past 5k (WTH?)
https://www.nissanusa.com/content/d...ides/shared/2020/2020-nissan-towing-guide.pdf
Must read. Well written and super useful.
I think many here would simply refuse to tow long distance/hills/curves WITHOUT a weight distribution hitch for anything over 3k lbs. I would for sure.

Starting in 2017 PF generation, the back suspension is supposed to be stiffer. Earlier 2013 to 2016 looks really unacceptably soft (a neighbour of ours at a camping site was towing similar to us 4k and his back was really low. Can't remember if he had a WDH... maybe that's why he sagged that much, that's 2-3 summers ago...)

On another topic, the thing that actually made our trailer the safest in our opinion (that's with about 10k kms total of drive with that trailer, so...) is to put good quality non-chinese trailer tires. We put the Endurance Goodyear: this is a real game changer. Trailer's handling in curves is spectacular with those. (other good brands. must be as good: I can only speak for the GoodYears: but they really are excellent)

And I also installed some Timbren on the trailer suspension: wonderful addition. (they're Canadian, so that's a plus! : )

This whole package makes for a really enjoyable drive when going the distance and gives much peace of mind re: safety, etc.

Towing being unsafe - and knowing you are - makes for a very crappy and stressful trip, unless you're one of those public dangers driving around... ; ) Towing a trailer, there's no way around it, is going to be expensive.

To any here reading this who are still debating if they should bite into travel trailers towing, etc. : it's a wonderful way to travel, but surely is expensive. Forget accounting ONLY for immediate trailer cost. I would roughly estimate, basing myself off the brand new price of our trailer (it was a cheap 19ft, 20k CAD), to expect 2-4k CAD at least in extra expense re: mechanical (weight hitch distribution, good tires, changing this, changin' that, etc.) That's OUTSIDE of your extra insurance costs, extra gas (expect double in real life give or take), extra time to drive (unless you want your gas costs to go 3x instead of 2x!), etc. It's a really expensive hobby.

Being handy will help A LOT as well... (adding grease in your axles every Fall, etc, that's a minimum) Carrying quite a bit of tools while traveling, etc.

Forget towing travel trailers and the like if
1. you're on a really tight budget AND
2. if you're not handy. If this is the case, not for ya, sorry.

(I wrote those words to anyone reading those comments in the future, not to you personally bidyouwell! Hoping you're not taking this personally!)
 
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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.

We’ve been towing our campers with our Pathfinder SL 2WD - 2014, 2017 and now a 2021. First camper was a pop-up 3100 lbs dry weight, and now a travel trailer weighing in at 3500lbs dry. I installed air bags for the pop-up to help level out the rear end (which it did). Now that we purchased a 23’ Travel TrailerI added the Equalizer2 WDH/sway bar (now longer use the air bags). The PF tows with ease, is very stable, level and has minimal sway. The WDH is a must and exceeds my expectations! Gas milage is about 12mpg which isn’t bad. Over the years it’s been my experience that by staying within the vehicles tow capacity 6000lbs you will have a safe and non stressful towing experience. NOTE: The 6000 lbs includes all passengers, gear, food, gas/propane etc. The Pathfinder is an excellent option if your not in the market for a truck for whatever reason.
 

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We’ve been towing our campers with our Pathfinder SL 2WD - 2014, 2017 and now a 2021. First camper was a pop-up 3100 lbs dry weight, and now a travel trailer weighing in at 3500lbs dry. I installed air bags for the pop-up to help level out the rear end (which it did). Now that we purchased a 23’ Travel TrailerI added the Equalizer2 WDH/sway bar (now longer use the air bags). The PF tows with ease, is very stable, level and has minimal sway. The WDH is a must and exceeds my expectations! Gas milage is about 12mpg which isn’t bad. Over the years it’s been my experience that by staying within the vehicles tow capacity 6000lbs you will have a safe and non stressful towing experience. NOTE: The 6000 lbs includes all passengers, gear, food, gas/propane etc. The Pathfinder is an excellent option if your not in the market for a truck for whatever reason.
Eh AM453,
Just to be clear to future readers, the total weight (i never remember the acronyms) PF + trailer +passengers +crap is 11k lbs. The 6k lbs towing capacity rating refers to the towing capacity. Notice that, in my case, since we're 6 in the PF 2017, plus crap, that our max towing capacity drops to about 5.5k lbs: max TC depends on a number of factors (passengers, crap, etc). To tow 6k, i would have to leave some kids home. Not an option now. : )
 
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Eh AM453,
Just to be clear to future readers, the total weight (i never remember the acronyms) PF + trailer +passengers +crap is 11k lbs. The 6k lbs towing capacity rating refers to the towing capacity. Notice that, in my case, since we're 6 in the PF 2017, plus crap, that our max towing capacity drops to about 5.5k lbs: max TC depends on a number of factors (passengers, crap, etc). To tow 6k, i would have to leave some kids home. Not an option now. : )


How to Measure Towing Capacity, GVWR, GCWR - Towing 101
 

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Eh AM453,
Just to be clear to future readers, the total weight (i never remember the acronyms) PF + trailer +passengers +crap is 11k lbs. The 6k lbs towing capacity rating refers to the towing capacity. Notice that, in my case, since we're 6 in the PF 2017, plus crap, that our max towing capacity drops to about 5.5k lbs: max TC depends on a number of factors (passengers, crap, etc). To tow 6k, i would have to leave some kids home. Not an option now. : )
This may be helpful!

Weight Specification Definitions

GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)
The maximum permissible weight of the unit when fully loaded. It includes all weights, inclusive of all fluids, cargo, optional equipment and accessories. For safety and product performance do NOT exceed the GVWR.

GCWR (Gross Combined Weight Rating)
The maximum permissible loaded weight of your motor home and any towed trailer or towed vehicle. Actual GCWR of this vehicle may be limited by the sum of the GVWR and the installed hitch receiver maximum capacity rating; see hitch rating label for detail.

UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight)*
The typical weight of the unit as manufactured at the factory. It includes all weight at the unit’s axle(s), including full fuel, all fluids and LP Gas. The UVW does not include cargo, fresh potable water, additional optional equipment or dealer installed accessories.
* Estimated Average based on standard build optional equipment.

UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight)*
The typical weight of the unit as manufactured at the factory. It includes all weight at the unit’s axle(s), including full fuel, all fluids and LP Gas. The UVW does not include cargo, fresh potable water, additional optional equipment or dealer installed accessories.
* Estimated Average based on standard build optional equipment

CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity)**
The amount of weight available for fresh potable water, cargo, passengers, additional optional equipment and accessories. CCC is equal to GVWR minus UVW. Available CCC should accommodate fresh potable water (8.3 lbs per gallon). Before filling the fresh water tank, empty the black and gray tanks to provide for more cargo capacity.
** Estimated Average based on standard build optional equipment.
 

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We’ve been towing our campers with our Pathfinder SL 2WD - 2014, 2017 and now a 2021. First camper was a pop-up 3100 lbs dry weight, and now a travel trailer weighing in at 3500lbs dry. I installed air bags for the pop-up to help level out the rear end (which it did). Now that we purchased a 23’ Travel TrailerI added the Equalizer2 WDH/sway bar (now longer use the air bags). The PF tows with ease, is very stable, level and has minimal sway. The WDH is a must and exceeds my expectations! Gas milage is about 12mpg which isn’t bad. Over the years it’s been my experience that by staying within the vehicles tow capacity 6000lbs you will have a safe and non stressful towing experience. NOTE: The 6000 lbs includes all passengers, gear, food, gas/propane etc. The Pathfinder is an excellent option if your not in the market for a truck for whatever reason.
AM453: is your 2021 PF 2WD as well? How's that going towing? (just curious)
 

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This may be helpful!

GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)
The maximum permissible weight of the unit when fully loaded. It includes all weights, inclusive of all fluids, cargo, optional equipment and accessories. For safety and product performance do NOT exceed the GVWR.
GVWR is the only meaningful rating when determining what trailer to buy to be pulled by the Pathfinder. If the trailer exceeds the 5000 or 6000 pound mark for your particular model year, it's too heavy. In fact, you should probably aim for 1000 lbs. less.
 
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GVWR is the only meaningful rating when determining what trailer to buy to be pulled by the Pathfinder. If the trailer exceeds the 5000 or 6000 pound mark for your particular model year, it's too heavy. In fact, you should probably aim for 1000 lbs. less.
GCVR, and rear axle max weight as well Jay! I would imagine a lot of folks towing without a WDH are in fact over their rear axle capacity when fully loaded.
I took the time to run the numbers on my PF and with our context, and a few things jumped out. It's really easy to blow past some ratings.

For example: forget a heavy load on roof for example IF you are not using a WDH and really heavy (your rear axle rating will blow past specs quick). You got many factors to keep in mind when planning your purchase of trailer. Engineers allow for specs to work for various combinations: but you can only max out any specs IF some other specs AREN'T maxed out: always good to be conservative. For ex: you will blow past GCVR if your trailer wet is right 6k BUT ALSO your Nissan's GWVR is maxed out. You can't max out all specs: you got to make a compromise.

If only 2 adults, you could probably get a dry trailer at about -1k lbs as you say Jay: but if you got kids and tons of crap I would say -1.5k lbs from TC is the absolute max to not blow any recommended ratings... These would be the top limits: no one here is advocating to drive constantly at those values. Uphill would be challenging.
It's not really that your vehicle couldn't tolerate higher specs, and you going past some of them even (I know, I've done that with our previous Sienna). BUT it makes for a stressful vacation... Staying within specs, in my book, is not so much about mechanicals (of course it doesn't hurt): but it's also about how the vehicle responds in curves, in bumps, in emergency procedures, etc. THAT'S what you really are compromising when you ignore the recommended specs. I'm of the mind that the specs are themselves conservative (like bridges: they at least doubly specced: bridge won't break the minute you add an extra car : )

That is why anyone asking if you can tow just under your max GVWR (like 4.2lbs dry! with TC of 5k, or 5.2k dry (wth!) with 6k lbs tc) is going to get into challenges and troubles. Check all values and take the time to make estimates. Don't be a public danger.

I stand by my numbers: if you're only 2, you might be fine at -1k lbs trailer dry from max TC (but check all rear axle value and values and ratings!).
If family: -1.5k lbs from max towing capacity.

And go slow you punks! : ) Your wallet will thank you!
 
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AM453: is your 2021 PF 2WD as well? How's that going towing? (just curious)
Martin, I think I answered the questions in a previous post:)

Our 2021 PF is 2WD, and performs well towing our trailer (Ibex 19 qbs). The PF tows with ease, no rear end sag and minimal swaying using WDH/sway control, and gas mileage is around 12.2 MPG. The PF is a great alternative if you’re not in the market for a truck for whatever reason.
 

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Martin, I think I answered the questions in a previous post:)

Our 2021 PF is 2WD, and performs well towing our trailer (Ibex 19 qbs). The PF tows with ease, no rear end sag and minimal swaying using WDH/sway control, and gas mileage is around 12.2 MPG. The PF is a great alternative if you’re not in the market for a truck for whatever reason.
Is that the smaller engine? It can't be if your tc is 6k... I forget the trims, plus they changed them since 2017... Might be useful for future readers...
 
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