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2017 Pathfinder Platinum
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Discussion Starter #1
I have 2017 Pathfinder Platinum and we are looking in buying TT. My towing experience is really just towing Uhal trailers around town, so I don’t have experience of towing something like travel trailer. We figured there is going to be about 650lb of "us" in PF (wife, kids, dog, and myself, plus gas in the tank)

We are looking into few TT models and their UVW/GVWR range from 3410/4235 lb for SONIC LITE SL169VUD to 3814/4805lb for Surveyor Legend 19BHLE. Dry Hitch Weight for all of them is about 410-430lb. We really like Surveyor Legend 19BHLE and most likely would go with that one, but it has highest UVW/GVWR (3814/4805lb) with dry hitch weight of 410lb.

We live in northern California in Sierra’s foothills. So mountain driving with the TT would be norm for us and not an exception.

We are worried how PF will handle going up the mountains and especially going down the mountains when towing TT. Anyone that has driven I80 over Donner's Pass will know what I am talking about. It is 70ml uphill driver on I80 from Sacramento east suburbs to 7000ft elevation at Donner's Pass (and going back).

I have been looking into this forum for a while and I see folks towing all kinds of TTs, but looks like mostly on flat terrain. I am worried about going over mountains in our area and even more worried about sway while going downhill at step grade for extensive time.

To help with sway I am planning to use Andersen WDH. Friend of mine has it on this 4Runner and he love it. It is easy to install, great sway control and weights about 60lb. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen anywhere on the forum anyone using Andersen WDH.

My friend is also using Hayes sway master electronic control for extra protection. It seems great product and he really likes it, but again I don’t see anyone on the forum using it. It seems good backup especially when going downhill with steep grade for extensive period of time.

While my PF is equipped with towing pkg from the factory there is not transmission temperature gauge. So I am worried about transmission overheating or start slipping while towing TT uphill for long time.

BTW, I already have Tekonsha Prodigy P3 Trailer Brake Controller.

So having this in mind I just want to get some opinions.
  1. Would trail with UVW of 3800lb and max GVWR of 4800lb be too much for us to tow to mountains (especially where we live)?
  2. Anyone using Andersen weight distribution hitch? It seems greater WDH with really good sway control. I really like its weight (60lb) vs springs/bars WDH which may weight over 100lb.
  3. Anyone using Hayes sway master electronic controller or similar device? As I said, my main thing is going downhill at steep grade for miles and miles. I am hoping this would add extra layer of protection.
  4. How do you know transmission may be in trouble if there is no transmission gauge telling you the temperate?
  5. Can PF CVT really keep speed under control going downhill for extended time (in my case 60miles from Donner Pass to my home, drop of about 6500 feet) . How much break you need to use to keep vehicle in control vs. how much PF CVT can assist?
Thx.
 

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We are worried how PF will handle going up the mountains and especially going down the mountains when towing TT. Anyone that has driven I80 over Donner's Pass will know what I am talking about. It is 70ml uphill driver on I80 from Sacramento east suburbs to 7000ft elevation at Donner's Pass (and going back).
Im gonna get roasted for this one: Party pooper, that is my job.
If you are worried or have any doubt at all about the capabilities of the Pathfinder in this situation then get something that will leave you with no doubt what so ever about you and your families safety.

IMO the Pathy is NOT the proper vehicle for this task!

There are a lot of different opinions on this site about towing form the reckless to the grannys like myself. Do your research and come to a conclusion based of the facts.

I hate sounding like the fun police here but there are plenty of people out there advising on towing that have not a clue but what they have heard from an RV salesman.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I understand what you are saying and truly appreciate honest opinion. Unfortunately, we cannot buy new TV and TT at this moment. And our thought was to get travel trailer we really like first. And those we really like have GVWR on the paper within 80% of Pathfinder max towing Specs. I agree about sales person advice. If we listened to him we would already have TT with dry weight of 5000lb in our driveway.

Maybe at the end of the day we don't go high into mountains around Lake Tahoe this year, thus simple avoiding driving over Donner Pass. Maybe just do some camping in lower elevations.

Either way, I am still interested in opinion about Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch and Hayes Electronic Sway Control. Anyone using these with Pathfinder?
 
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