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Hey everyone. So we have a new 2020 Pathfinder with a rating of 6000 lb towing capacity. We just ordered a boat and hoping the Pathfinder will handle it well on the boat ramp pulling it out. We think it’ll be fine but as a first time boat owner, we are nervous about the unknown... We have a 21 foot outboard with a dry weight of 3400. Assuming 1000 ish for the trailer with tandem axle and disc brakes, gear and fuel probably bringing it close to 5000 total lbs... We should be fine on the boat ramp, right? It is a 2 wheel drive but has the towing button option down below the steering wheel (haven’t looked into exactly what that does yet)...

Any and all advice appreciated. Want to be well prepared when we get the boat in a few months! Sorry for the dumb questions! Total newbie here....
 

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2013 Pathfinder SL, Connecticut, USA
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You might find it a bit challenging for your FWD to pull that boat out of the water depending on how wet and steep the ramp is. If you had 4WD, you could put it in LOCK to get you out easily.

The Tow button will not help you in this case. It is used to increase engine compression on downhill ascents and to prevent the transmission from using overdrive.
 
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Totally depends on how the boat launches are that you will be using. Do you see a lot of medium sized FWD based SUVs dropping and retrieving boats there?

My personal opinion is 4500lbs worth of boat/trailer is a bit for this vehicle on a crappy launch, but it should work fine at a launch with a gradual grade and good traction.
 

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Having launched a 2000lb boat/trailer with a 2800lb fwd car for several years, I can tell you that you'll likely be fine...on most ramps. Just don't launch on anything too steep or all stone. Fwd actually keeps the driving tires out of the water and slime vs rwd , but you lose traction with fwd because of weight on the hitch.
 

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Launching a boat with a FWD vehicle is in general a poor choice.
I launch my boat (~4000lbs loaded w/trailer) several times a year, but I have AWD, and always put it in LOCK when I pull it out.
If you have relatively shallow ramps that are in good condition, you'll probably be okay, but be very wary of the ramp condition.

On a related note, back in college, my roommate's little Mazda pickup died one winter. His mom drove up with a FWD minivan and u-haul dolly to tow it home. It was snowing lightly, and the minivan, while it had plenty of towing capacity, it had minimal weight on the front tires, so it had virtually no traction.
Towing anymore than light loads, you really want AWD or RWD, because you are adding weight to the rear tires, and removing it from the front tires.
 

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Being a FWD would be the only possible problem but that depends on the ramp. I pull my 20ft. Mako out with my 4WD Pathfinder and have never spun a tire with it in auto. I towed it to Florida from Tennessee and back and the only issue was the suspension bottomed out a few times on I840 which is a very bumpy road. I put some air bags on it and that helped a lot with the soft suspension.
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I have never towed a boat of that size, and wondering with a motor that heavy on the back does it tend to fishtail easily and do you know you tongue weight ? Do you use a WD hitch system or even need one?
 

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I have never towed a boat of that size, and wondering with a motor that heavy on the back does it tend to fishtail easily and do you know you tongue weight ? Do you use a WD hitch system or even need one?
As long as the trailer is set up properly, you should have about 10% tongue weight, which would prevent fish tailing.
WDH are very rare on boat trailers, because most of them aren't designed to handle one.
 
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