Nissan Pathfinder - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-25-2007, 03:03 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1994 Scamp Deluxe 16 ft
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Just wondering if anyone tows with a Pathfinder. If so, how does it do? Gas mileage etc.?
Looking at a 2001 with a 3.5L V6.
Thanks.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:31 PM   #2
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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Sure, people tow with them... but not me.

Since the name of the subject tug is a nice unique word, the Search tool works really well. Just put "Pathfinder" in the keyword box on the forum, pick "All Forums" in the Search Where area, and let it find a page full of topics... some of which likely refer to specific Pathfinder and trailer combinations. Even if a discussion doesn't provide much information, if it leads to a specific member using a Pathfinder you could send them an e-mail or PM with questions.

A friend of mine does tow with a recent (2006?) Pathfinder, but his tent trailer is sufficiently different from our travel trailers that I doubt his experience would be applicable, even aside from the differences from 2001 to 2006.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:33 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 ft Sirit Deluxe
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I have an 04 Nissan frontier(same engine as pathfinder) I can pull a 17 Casita SD.
You need a weight distribution hitch and the pathfinder will do fine. No high speeds but 55-60mph is realistic on the flatlands. Big climbs are a strain but it will carry you up and over just a little slow at 35-45mph.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:40 PM   #4
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I think that the Pathfinder has a substantially shorter rear overhang than a Frontier, so even with its shorter wheelbase it may not need a weight-distributing (WD) hitch for a one-ton trailer. I believe that the second generation Pathfinder (which includes 2001) also has a substantially different rear suspension from the pickups, which will change handling characteristics. I guess I would be prepared to use a WD system, but not assume it's needed.
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:17 AM   #5
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We used a Nissan XTerra for our first season, swapped it for a Silverado. The Nissan did NOT like driving uphill on the Rockies, nope.

The larger the truck, the smaller your trailer can be: stuff the back of the truck full of 5-gallon water jugs, a wood pallet to use as a porch, tarps, tarp poles, diving gear, paddles, fishing rods, life jackets, charcoal briquettes, firewood, Cobb, crab trap, crab pot, and top it off with one canoe and one kayak.

Then there is plenty of room in your RV for food, drink, clothes, Lego, Mad magzines, towels, bedding, pots & pans, toilet paper, aluminum foil, Shop towels, Duct tape, clothes pins, bungie cords, craft supplies and raingear.

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Old 10-26-2007, 03:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
The larger the truck, the smaller your trailer can be:
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
The larger the truck, the smaller your trailer can be...
Quote:
This made perfect sense to me: if two vehicles have the same drivetrain (engine, transmission, etc), then they are each limited to the same total rig (truck + contents + trailer + contents) weight. The bigger truck will weigh more by itself, and then it's tempting to carry all that extra stuff in it, using up towing capacity for the trailer.

For example: start with a basic full-size half-ton, which can tow up to 5 tons (depending on brand and engine choice). Switch to the crew cab and long box, fill all that space with a ton (literally) of stuff, and you're down to 4 tons of trailer capacity... if you're lucky. Scale it down for compact trucks and our trailers.
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:19 PM   #8
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Adrian,
I tow with a new-model Pathfinder (R51 model). It's a good tow vehicle but it is much different than the 2001. More power and higher towing capacities. The R51 came out in 2005; if you can find one of these it might work better for you. However, your Scamp 16 is lighter than my Casita so the 2001 might do the job.

Marv
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:10 AM   #9
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Trailer: Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe / Infiniti SUV
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Tow Casita 17'SD with 2001 Infiniti QX4, which is virtually identical to your 2001 Pathfinder. Opted for that vehicle because our home (7300') and most of our camping was at high altitude in the Rocky Mts. Preferred the vehicle's 5000# rating as opposed to other nice SUV's at 3500#, recalling that engines should be "de-rated" 3% to 4% for each 1000' of elevation above sea level. Have never had reason to say that was the wrong choice.
We have made a number of trips to the west coast; can pass the big boys on I-40 if I choose to, but I don't. (Leaving again in a couple of days.) Std. hitch with sway bar installed by Casita. No WDH, but that is certainly an option. We've had nothing but Nissan in the garage since '95--I like their quality and reliability, equal to Toyota IMHO.
We travel heavy, too--and I even add a case or two of Napa Valley's famous products when returning from Califorina. 19mpg without trailer, 14mpg towing.
(Not looking forward to four-bucks-a-gallon gas when we get to California, but what the heck, it's only money.)
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:32 PM   #10
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We are towing an 06 Escape 17 foot Plan B model with a 2004 Pathfinder automatic (5000# capacity). In April/May this year we travelled from Vancouver Island down into the 4 Corners area: Chaco, Canyonlands, Arches, Zion, Las Vegas, Mesa Verde, south rim Grand Canyon and a number of the other scenic areas travelling on secondary highways and freeways and not missing any of the higher mountain passes. We averaged 18 Imperial mpg by my calculations.

We added a WDH in Las Vegas as the vehicle was bottoming out on the rubber cones of the rear suspension on rough sections of freeway (Boise, Idaho area) which caused driver neck fatigue. The WDH solved that issue, allowing the rear coil springs room to travel. A 600# Robin hitch was about $200 at Camping World. No issues with sway with or without the WDH in our experience, including some strong side winds.

We kept our speeds down to 90-100kph (55-60 mph) - a bit slower on some of the longer passes and steeper hills, for example travelling north on Idaho Hwy 55 from Boise to Spokane on the return trip along the Salmon River, great country.

All in all - we are very pleased with the last series Pathfinder which was produces from 1999 to 2004 as I recollect.

We are Escaping for Baja California a week today with the Pathy.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
We added a WDH in Las Vegas as the vehicle was bottoming out on the rubber cones of the rear suspension on rough sections of freeway (Boise, Idaho area) which caused driver neck fatigue. The WDH solved that issue, allowing the rear coil springs room to travel. A 600# Robin hitch was about $200 at Camping World. No issues with sway with or without the WDH in our experience, including some strong side winds.
This suggests that [b]if the rear axle load without WDH is suitable (not too high), an alternative to a WDH to prevent bottoming would be added air springs. The later (current) Pathfinder would fit air bags in the coils; the previous generation like Gerry's and Adrian's has coil springs, but I have not checked if they are suitable for bags.
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