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I am in the market for a towing vehicle. I have a 2017 hydrid Jayco total weight is close to 4,000 lbs. The PF towing capacity is suppose to be 6,000 lbs. My concern is that most of these PF are front wheel drive. Is it really 6,000 lbs. for a FWD? Even the few that I have found that are AWD (all wheel drive) are also 6,000 lbs. towing capacity. I want to be able to pull long distances without any issues. How is your experience on towing with a FWD (or AWD)? I haven't bought one yet but I wonder if I need to purchase the AWD PF or may need to step up and choose the Amanda.
 

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2013 Pathfinder SL, Connecticut, USA
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Yes, both the AWD and FWD versions of the Pathfinder will tow 6000 lbs. This is assuming you are looking at a 2017 or newer model. Below that, it's 5000 lbs.

Even with the AWD models, the transmission will default to drive with the front wheels only unless it senses slippage, at which point the rear wheels will kick in. This is where the improved gas mileage comes from. You can, of course, switch it to AWD manually to pull a boat out of the water for instance. But once you reach 40 mph or so, it will revert back to AUTO (FWD mode).

Using a front-wheel-drive vehicle is not optimal for towing because pressure is being put on the rear of the vehicle lifting the front axle somewhat. With that said, you probably don't tow anything 95% of the time, so with only an occasional towing requirement, it works. I would not have any concerns pulling your Jayco with a newer Pathfinder, even for long distances.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, both the AWD and FWD versions of the Pathfinder will tow 6000 lbs. This is assuming you are looking at a 2017 or newer model. Below that, it's 5000 lbs.

Even with the AWD models, the transmission will default to drive with the front wheels only unless it senses slippage, at which point the rear wheels will kick in. This is where the improved gas mileage comes from. You can, of course, switch it to AWD manually to pull a boat out of the water for instance. But once you reach 40 mph or so, it will revert back to AUTO (FWD mode).

Using a front-wheel-drive vehicle is not optimal for towing because pressure is being put on the rear of the vehicle lifting the front axle somewhat. With that said, you probably don't tow anything 95% of the time, so with only an occasional towing requirement, it works. I would not have any concerns pulling your Jayco with a newer Pathfinder, even for long distances.
Thanks for the info. The 2018 PF engine just doesn't seem that strong but I guess I'm wrong.
 

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2013 Pathfinder SL, Connecticut, USA
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The 2018 Pathfinder comes standard across all trim levels with a 3.5 L V6 engine that can produce 284 horsepower. The engine also boasts an impressive 259 lb-ft of torque. I wouldn't buy one to tow commercially, but it is certainly capable for occasional towing.
 

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I have a 2016 Jayco Hybrid that I pull with my Pathfinder. I've towed it thousands of miles over several mountain passes and have never had an issue - the power is sufficient. The only issue I had was the sagging of the rear suspension. It never bottomed out nor did it pose any handling issues, but optically it scared me how low it went (the chains only had a few inches off the ground). So, a weight distribution hitch is a must.
 

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I pulled a 4000 traveler through the east coast and the PF just died going up the hills and in no way could it maintain 60mph. I tried as I was trying to catch a ferry, and it put the transmission into high temp mode and forced you drive under 50mph by cutting the throttle. My travel was based on maintaining 55mph. I was late and gas MPG went through the roof.

On the flat absolutely, no issue and it was a joy to pull and handled very well at highway speeds with plenty of pull power. Going down steep hills with turns at the bottom became a white knuckler a few times as you could feel the trailer push and lift the rear end. I had a WDH installed and I think that made the world of difference and also helped level the vehicle out. Gas MPG was very acceptable on the flats at HWY speeds. On relativley flat HWYs I got very close to my actual city MPG while pulling the trailer on the HWY.

So, it depends on where and at what time of year you plan on traveling as these things can negatively affect your results..

Pulling a travel trailer much heavier than 4000lbs in hot temps where hills are concerned definitely is going to cost you and IMO would be a very costly dissatisfying option.
 

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Interesting. We pulled a vintage 1963 Yellowstone (2000 lbs unloaded) with a 1995 Nissan Quest FWD (rated 3500 lbs tow) for 10+ years. 150 hp. Had no problems. Even better when we added brake controller and weight distributing, anti-sway hitch. I would think towing with the PF (260+ hp) would be a piece of cake. That said, I read the CVT transmission is not the best for towing.
 

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Quark, In reality the trailer was about 20' and had a dry weight of just under 3,000lbs, so it was probably only 3,500 wet. You can see a picture of the setup here. https://www.pathfindertalk.com/threads/show-us-what-you-are-towing-pictures-only.24001/page-3#post-258309

There is also a reference in the owners manual that suggests higher octane fuel may have helped prevent this while pulling a "heavy"(3,500lb) trailer. Can't fathom the concept of a 5,000-6,000lb trailer .... It would have blown up.

I believe that trip I pulled the trailer about 3,000KM. Never towed a travel trailer again.

After I called the dealer they referred me to the manual where it quite clearly spelled out, as follows.

Temperature conditions can also affect towing. For example, towing a heavy trailer in high outside temperatures on graded roads can affect engine performance and cause overheating. The engine protection mode, which helps reduce the chance of engine damage, could activate and automatically decrease engine power. Vehicle speed may decrease under high load. Plan your trip carefully to account for trailer and vehicle load, weather and road conditions.
Warning
Overheating can result in reduced engine power and vehicle speed. The reduced speed may be lower than other traffic, which could increase the chance of a collision. Be especially careful when driving. If the vehicle cannot maintain a safe driving speed, pull to the side of the road in a safe area. Allow the engine to cool and return to normal operation.

As mentioned on the flat HWY, it was a dream, very smooth sailing and a very comfortable tow! Quite satisfying and enjoyable even up to 65mph. At those speeds though MPG started to suffer.
 

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Travel trailers are a whole 'nother animal compared to pulling a boat, pop-up camper or flatbed trailer. You've got the whole lack of aerodynamics working against you on top of the weight issue.
You are exactly right. My 2017 can tow a utility trailer no problem, but when trying to pull a pontoon that weighed under 3000lbs was awful. I would guess the wind resistance played a big issue. I had a hard time keeping it at 65mph on a level expressway. It was working really hard and only got about 8mpg. I definitely wouldn't buy one for its towing capability.
 

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Our PFs are reinforced car chassis with a little stiffer car suspensions. Keep that in mind. I have been towing for 2 years and from my experience if I even slightly go outside the below parameters things dont work so well!! You can also see that on the newer Infinity clone Nissan Corp retracted towing capacity to 5,000lbs and gross weight to 10,000. So, I use those latter numbers as my guide. 6K TC is fiction. For me it works like this. 3,300 TT dry weight. Loaded actual weight (from scale) is close to 3,850. 5 passangers (two adults, 3 kids) are 700. WD hitch weight is 100 lbs. Gear, fuel, etc 300lbs. Total is 4,950, including everything.
WD hitch - Yes
Airbags, manual - Yes
Premium Fuel - Yes
Stay below 65mph - Yes
From my personal experience, exceeding this envelope is asking for trouble. Stay below these numbers and you will be a happy camper. Just my $0.02
 

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I am in the market for a towing vehicle. I have a 2017 hydrid Jayco total weight is close to 4,000 lbs. The PF towing capacity is suppose to be 6,000 lbs. My concern is that most of these PF are front wheel drive. Is it really 6,000 lbs. for a FWD? Even the few that I have found that are AWD (all wheel drive) are also 6,000 lbs. towing capacity. I want to be able to pull long distances without any issues. How is your experience on towing with a FWD (or AWD)? I haven't bought one yet but I wonder if I need to purchase the AWD PF or may need to step up and choose the Amanda.
my car was towed by the NYC Roadside Assistance Services they use the same for the tow my car but it got one issue the sound issue it is very noisy.
 

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Hello all. I'm new here and also new to towing. Here's my stats- 2017 Pathfinder S, 2014 Shasta Oasis TT (just purchased) with dry weight of 4100 lbs. and a class 3 hitch soon to be installed. The majority of the time, occupants will only be my wife and I and most terrain is fairly flat (we live in north Ga so there will be times we head to the Smokies). All this info. is frying my brain and quite honestly has me worried. The owners's manual states that a class 4 hitch would need weight distribution but I'm still concerned I might need it, as well as an electric brake controller. Am I on the right path or overly concerned? Any help is appreciated. Here is a link to trailer specs-

 

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Generally speaking, you should make sure your trailer's GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) never exceeds your vehicle's towing capacity. Never go by the unloaded "dry" weight rating on the trailer. That number is a fallacy and does not include the trailer's appliances, equipment, etc.

You are right to be concerned. The Shasta has a GVWR of 7411 lbs. which exceeds your Pathy's 6k towing capacity, so you would definitely be pushing the Pathfinder beyond it's limits towing this trailer. Besides the weight of passengers, you have to factor in the weight of your gear, provisions, liquids, etc. You would absolutely NEED the weight distribution hitch AND brake controller, but personally, I would not pull this trailer with your Pathfinder. Sorry...
 

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You are definitely pushing the Pathfinder to it's limits towing a 26-foot, 4100 lb. trailer. Besides the weight of passengers, you have to factor in the weight of your gear, provisions, liquids, etc. You will absolutely NEED the weight distribution hitch AND brake controller.
Thank you Jay. Those have been my thoughts as well. I've read many times about keeping the tow weight at 80% of tow capacity and I think I would be there at about 4800 lbs. At least the trailer is sloped in the front and my wife and I travel fairly light.
 

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Having just looked it up in my 2019's OM. The maximum gross combined weight rating for a 2019 (thus assuming all 2017-2020) is 11000lbs. Once you factor the weight of the vehicle, occupants and gear, you'll likely fall short of that "6000lb towing capacity".
 

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Having just looked it up in my 2019's OM. The maximum gross combined weight rating for a 2019 (thus assuming all 2017-2020) is 11000lbs. Once you factor the weight of the vehicle, occupants and gear, you'll likely fall short of that "6000lb towing capacity".
Thank you.
 
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