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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!
I am purchasing a 23' travel trailer with an empty weight of 3700# and GVW of 5000#. I've decided on a 2017-2020 PF SL Premium, but the more I read, the less certain I am that it's enough.

The trailer will have a weight-distribution hitch.
Decided to get a vehicle with the tow package that's been installed at the factory, finding mixed results on anything aftermarket and want to play it safe.
Sounds like I want to get airbags for the rear suspension.
Live in Denver, so mountain passes are definitely going to happen. Likely 8-10 trips/year.

Even though technically well within it's "capacity" of 6000#, will the peace of mind knowing I have way more capability than I need be worth it in the end by going with something bigger that has a 7200# or 9000# capacity?

Thank you.
 

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2013 Pathfinder SL, Connecticut, USA
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Welcome to the forum. I suggest that you read through some of the posts in this section of the forum, as this is frequently discussed. You will be at the vehicle's limits for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to the forum. I suggest that you read through some of the posts in this section of the forum, as this is frequently discussed. You will be at the vehicle's limits for sure.
Thank you, I’ve read a lot of them. Actually, I was confident about my decision until I read more and more of them. However, the majority are for a lighter weight TT (closer to 4000#), with a pre-2017 PF. I was asking about any personal experience in these weight categories because I don’t see that it’s been discussed much. But, I find people who think approaching the capabilities isn’t an issue, and others who think getting within 70-80% of the max capacity will be too taxing. Sorry for being unsure, given the mixed messages. Was just hoping for a more directed answers, as extrapolating from the not-quite-my-scenario suggestions is only so helpful. Sorry for wasting your time.
 

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2013 Pathfinder SL, Connecticut, USA
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Not a waste of time at all. This is why this is a discussion board. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. To more directly answer your question, it depends on your comfort level. MY 2017 and up gives you that extra 1000 lbs. towing capacity to play with, and some think this just means you can pull a heavier trailer. Others feel it's an increased margin of safety.
 

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Hey MikiJ I honestly think you may have answered your own question. If you have the ability to get something that has capacity to tow more than the Pathfinder that still suits your everyday needs I would go with that option. I enjoy my 2017 pathfinder, nice vehicle, comfortable and good value for what you get with it in my view. I have never towed a travel trailer with it. That said I have a 32’ travel trailer weighed in at 6180lbs dry I pull with a truck. I have towed thousands of miles including mountains so I do have experience in this regard. My two cents, if you are wondering what to add to the Pathfinder to make it more capable, buy a more capable vehicle. You never know, you may decide to get a larger travel trailer down the road and if so may be nice to know your vehicle could handle the added weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not a waste of time at all. This is why this is a discussion board. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. To more directly answer your question, it depends on your comfort level. MY 2017 and up gives you that extra 1000 lbs. towing capacity to play with, and some think this just means you can pull a heavier trailer. Others feel it's an increased margin of safety.
Hey MikiJ I honestly think you may have answered your own question. If you have the ability to get something that has capacity to tow more than the Pathfinder that still suits your everyday needs I would go with that option. I enjoy my 2017 pathfinder, nice vehicle, comfortable and good value for what you get with it in my view. I have never towed a travel trailer with it. That said I have a 32’ travel trailer weighed in at 6180lbs dry I pull with a truck. I have towed thousands of miles including mountains so I do have experience in this regard. My two cents, if you are wondering what to add to the Pathfinder to make it more capable, buy a more capable vehicle. You never know, you may decide to get a larger travel trailer down the road and if so may be nice to know your vehicle could handle the added weight.
Thank you! I really don’t want anything larger, it will be my daily driver also, and I’m not excited about getting rid of my current car in the first place, let alone getting more than I really need, just in case. Hence my struggle. Thank you!
 

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Hello all!
I am purchasing a 23' travel trailer with an empty weight of 3700# and GVW of 5000#. I've decided on a 2017-2020 PF SL Premium, but the more I read, the less certain I am that it's enough.

The trailer will have a weight-distribution hitch.
Decided to get a vehicle with the tow package that's been installed at the factory, finding mixed results on anything aftermarket and want to play it safe.
Sounds like I want to get airbags for the rear suspension.
Live in Denver, so mountain passes are definitely going to happen. Likely 8-10 trips/year.

Even though technically well within it's "capacity" of 6000#, will the peace of mind knowing I have way more capability than I need be worth it in the end by going with something bigger that has a 7200# or 9000# capacity?

Thank you.
I have a 2015 AWD Pathfinder. I pull a Dutchmen Kodiak Cub. The Cub actual weight is about 4400 pounds. I would not recommend greater weight.

I pull carefully with it. I observe a 60 mph speed limit and take defensive driving to the extreme. Leave ego behind. Breath deep, pull over and let people pass in Texas. Drop back to gain stopping distance when someone cuts me off.

Climbing some Wisconsin hills at 60 mph puts the engine rpm over 4000. A head winds can put the rpm into the 3000's. 2500 or a little more is typical. Gas mileage depends on wind directions. It is between 8 and 11 mpg. The long climb west out of Denver will definitely be below posted speed limits with the engine screaming.

I bought the Pathfinder because the published towing capacity was 6000# and I thought that would give me enough room for three occupants, luggage, and equipment.

After I bought it I found the weight capacity sticker in the driver's door frame. It clearly says 5000# max towing capacity. Published capacities are confusing.

Dealer's trying to sell you a vehicle are either ignorant about towing or down right deceptive. So, now I have two passengers and carry as much as possible in the travel trailer.

Setup:
Depend on your weight distribution hitch to almost level the Pathfinder. Air bags will not increase towing capacity or tongue weight capacity. If you can't get the back end up with the WDH, there is too much weight or the WDH is not adequate.

I recommend weighing the rig with everything loaded for travel in both tow vehicle and TT. For sure calculate from scale axle weights or directly measure tongue weight. You need at about 15% of TT actual weight for stability. You will need all the stability you can get if towing 23 feet near weight capacity. My tongue runs 750# outbound and 550# on return.

Hitch capacity does not equal cargo capacity. The hitch itself has its own capacity. I am not sure about mine. It is factory installed. I may be over hitch weight capacity. So much for assuming published weights can be trusted.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have a 2015 AWD Pathfinder. I pull a Dutchmen Kodiak Cub. The Cub actual weight is about 4400 pounds. I would not recommend greater weight.

I pull carefully with it. I observe a 60 mph speed limit and take defensive driving to the extreme. Leave ego behind. Breath deep, pull over and let people pass in Texas. Drop back to gain stopping distance when someone cuts me off.

Climbing some Wisconsin hills at 60 mph puts the engine rpm over 4000. A head winds can put the rpm into the 3000's. 2500 or a little more is typical. Gas mileage depends on wind directions. It is between 8 and 11 mpg. The long climb west out of Denver will definitely be below posted speed limits with the engine screaming.

I bought the Pathfinder because the published towing capacity was 6000# and I thought that would give me enough room for three occupants, luggage, and equipment.

After I bought it I found the weight capacity sticker in the driver's door frame. It clearly says 5000# max towing capacity. Published capacities are confusing.

Dealer's trying to sell you a vehicle are either ignorant about towing or down right deceptive. So, now I have two passengers and carry as much as possible in the travel trailer.

Setup:
Depend on your weight distribution hitch to almost level the Pathfinder. Air bags will not increase towing capacity or tongue weight capacity. If you can't get the back end up with the WDH, there is too much weight or the WDH is not adequate.

I recommend weighing the rig with everything loaded for travel in both tow vehicle and TT. For sure calculate from scale axle weights or directly measure tongue weight. You need at about 15% of TT actual weight for stability. You will need all the stability you can get if towing 23 feet near weight capacity. My tongue runs 750# outbound and 550# on return.

Hitch capacity does not equal cargo capacity. The hitch itself has its own capacity. I am not sure about mine. It is factory installed. I may be over hitch weight capacity. So much for assuming published weights can be trusted.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead! :)
Thanks for the details Paul.

The towing capacity changed in 2017 to 6000#, so your 2015 would definitely still be the older 5000# limit. So we’d likely be at a similar weight to capacity comparison, as what you’re doing. I do know the tongue weight is significantly less, though... don’t yet have it to weigh it, but it’s supposed to be around 00#.

I definitely plan on driving defensively, but glad to hear you’re able to get around alright as long as you do it right.

I know the airbags won’t increase the capacity, have just heard it helps reduce the strain and wear on the springs. I think I’ll see how it rides fully loaded before ordering them, but from what I’ve read they seem like a cheap, easy to install item that can just provide a little helping hand to ride a little smoother.
Thanks for the insight!
 

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Thanks for the details Paul.

The towing capacity changed in 2017 to 6000#, so your 2015 would definitely still be the older 5000# limit. So we’d likely be at a similar weight to capacity comparison, as what you’re doing. I do know the tongue weight is significantly less, though... don’t yet have it to weigh it, but it’s supposed to be around 00#.

I definitely plan on driving defensively, but glad to hear you’re able to get around alright as long as you do it right.

I know the airbags won’t increase the capacity, have just heard it helps reduce the strain and wear on the springs. I think I’ll see how it rides fully loaded before ordering them, but from what I’ve read they seem like a cheap, easy to install item that can just provide a little helping hand to ride a little smoother.
Thanks for the insight!
I would have bought a 2017 at the time if published weights had said it was capable. As it was, the 2015 AWD was the only one that advertised 6000# so I bought a 2015 instead. Later advertised references changed. The driver's door sticker is the definitive specification for that specific vehicle. Check it out before you agree to anything.
 
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