New Tow Vehicle: Nissan Pathfinder or GMC Terrain? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-25-2016, 09:53 AM   #1
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Name: Teresa
Trailer: Boler
Indiana
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New Tow Vehicle: Nissan Pathfinder or GMC Terrain?

Hi! My husband and I recently bought our first FGRV, a 1974 Boler 13'. As this is our first trailer, we also need a tow vehicle to pull it. The tow vehicle will be also need to be my daily driver. We are looking at a 2016 Nissan Pathfinder or a 2016 GMC Terrain with the V6 engine and tow package.

Any one have experience with any of these vehicles? I am especially interested if you have one from a more recent model year since it is apt to be more similar to the 2016's.

I currently drive a 2011 Nissan Rogue, and we are leaning toward the Pathfinder as we have always had great Nissan vehicles. However, I can't seem to find clear information regarding the features available/needed for towing with this vehicle. The tow package comes with the class 3 hitch setup, and 7 blade wiring, but there is no mention of transmission cooler, etc. Is this not needed on a CVT transmission? Or are they all equipped that way since they are rated for 5,000 lbs? (Perhaps it is not called out as an "additional" need?) This is our main reservation about the Pathfinder, along with the fact that it is a good bit larger than what I am used to driving on a daily basis.

Regarding the GMC Terrain, it has a lower tow rating (3,500lbs) but still more than enough to pull our little Boler. Downsides to this vehicle include needing to have the 4-pin wiring replaced with 7-blade (probably not a big deal) and the fact that it still requires a key (or at least a fob) to open the door and start the vehicle. First world problem I know, but I have been spoiled with keyless entry/push button ignitions and it would take some getting used to again. I have also heard concerns with GMC reliability, but of course there are 2 sides to that coin for every manufacturer.

Any experience or advice anyone might have to help us in this decision would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much! Teresa
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:04 AM   #2
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There are many articles on the Web talking about using a CVT transmission for towing , most of them negative. My daughter and her husband own a Nissan Quest with a 3500 lb tow capacity but were told to limit their tow weight to 2000 lbs due to their CVT transmission. I would do some research before I bought a new vehicle and make sure it's a good tow vehicle for your purpose.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:41 AM   #3
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New Tow Vehicle: Nissan Pathfinder or GMC Terrain?

Ford Escape Ecoboost (turbo 4) would be more compact than either and more than adequate for a 13' egg. The latest version of the Kia Sorento looks promising also, with good CR reviews. It's available with a V6 and a turbo 4.
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:02 PM   #4
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Trailer: 2016 Escape 19
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We are going to be towing our Escape 19 with our 2013 Nissan Pathfinder. I did recently call the service department at our local dealer to ask if I would need to add a transmission cooler, and was told that it already had one. Mine did not come from the factory with a tow package, but we had the dealer install the hitch, 7 pin and brake controller.
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:40 PM   #5
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Greg, was the hitch Nissan installed the same one as what would have come from the factory? We looked at Pathfinders a few months back and were told the nice integrated into the bumper style hitch could only be installed at the factory and since they had none on their lot we'd have to special order it. We were looking at used and they said finding used ones with hitches is gonna be tough. Can you post a pic of yours?


Thanks,
Melissa
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:03 PM   #6
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Melissa, from what I was told, it is the same integrated hitch. I don't have a picture, but will try and get one. I was assured that I would have the same 5000lb towing capacity as if it came from the factory. They also installed the 7 blade wiring that would have been done at the factory. The brake controller was one that I supplied to them.
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:05 PM   #7
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Melissa, in our experience we have been able locate Nissans to our specifications (color, trim level, and, in this case, factory tow package) via dealer trade where they swap vehicles with another nearby dealer who has the vehicle you want. Not sure where you live but in our experience this does not add cost if there is another dealer reasonably close by (within a couple hundred miles).

Thanks everyone for the input!




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Old 04-25-2016, 06:00 PM   #8
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We looked at the Nissan Pathfinder .You need to order the SV model that gives you the built in tow bar. Otherwise your tow bat will be under rear bumper and way to low . The CVT tranny is not known for towing its known for fuel economy. The 2013 had transmission problems and supposedly they are fixed ?? My neighbor has a 2016 SV and it tows his 3500lb boat with no problems
Another car is the Honda Pilot with 4whl drive also Toyota Highlander both 5000lb tow ratings .
I have been looking to replace my 07 Toyota Sequoia with 93000 miles but haven't found anything that really compares . The only downside is fuel economy . We just got back from the florida Keys about 600 miles round trip got about 14 mpg towing a Lil Snoozy (2500lb)empty
BTW I wonder how much of a hit I will take towing a 21 ft Escape ?? (3200lb)empty.
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa M View Post
Hi! My husband and I recently bought our first FGRV, a 1974 Boler 13'. As this is our first trailer, we also need a tow vehicle to pull it. The tow vehicle will be also need to be my daily driver. We are looking at a 2016 Nissan Pathfinder or a 2016 GMC Terrain with the V6 engine and tow package.

Any one have experience with any of these vehicles? I am especially interested if you have one from a more recent model year since it is apt to be more similar to the 2016's.

I currently drive a 2011 Nissan Rogue, and we are leaning toward the Pathfinder as we have always had great Nissan vehicles. However, I can't seem to find clear information regarding the features available/needed for towing with this vehicle. The tow package comes with the class 3 hitch setup, and 7 blade wiring, but there is no mention of transmission cooler, etc. Is this not needed on a CVT transmission? Or are they all equipped that way since they are rated for 5,000 lbs? (Perhaps it is not called out as an "additional" need?) This is our main reservation about the Pathfinder, along with the fact that it is a good bit larger than what I am used to driving on a daily basis.

Regarding the GMC Terrain, it has a lower tow rating (3,500lbs) but still more than enough to pull our little Boler. Downsides to this vehicle include needing to have the 4-pin wiring replaced with 7-blade (probably not a big deal) and the fact that it still requires a key (or at least a fob) to open the door and start the vehicle. First world problem I know, but I have been spoiled with keyless entry/push button ignitions and it would take some getting used to again. I have also heard concerns with GMC reliability, but of course there are 2 sides to that coin for every manufacturer.

Any experience or advice anyone might have to help us in this decision would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much! Teresa
We've owned 2 late model pathfinders as we change up every year for a very low cost. We tow a heavy 17.5' bigfoot with no issue at all. The cooling and tranny are engineered for towing. Stay away from the GM if you can. Buy quality and cry once.
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:49 AM   #10
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Nissan Pathfinder

I two my 13' Boler with a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder with factory fitted two package. It comes with the 7 pin so you need an adapter but it already has the wiring for the 4 pin built in. I've towed mine from Northern Ontario to PEI and back and to RI and back - no issues anywhere - tows beautifully and the rear camera makes hitching up very easy :-)
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:00 AM   #11
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The Pathfinder will be the most dependable...but...invest in the Consumer Reports buying guide and research before you buy.

Every Nissan owner I know is a happy camper....GMC not so much.
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Old 04-26-2016, 11:36 AM   #12
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The pathfinder is a good choice especially towing with a 13 foot trailer. everything that doesn't fit in the trailer fits in the Pathfinder. Keeps the stuff in the Pathfinder secure and the trailer uncluttered. For me and the way I travel the smaller the trailer the bigger the tug you need.
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:03 PM   #13
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Hi Theresa - Obviously I'm somewhat biased; but, for what it's worth - We've camped with GMC/Chevy products (1/2 and 3/4 pick-ups, Suburbans, Avalanche, diesel and gas) for the past 40 years. And, we are now very happily towing our 1973 13' Boler with a 2012 TERRAIN, (AWD, 6 cylinder). We haul loads of gear, and sometimes include the three grandies, too; (although they are now teenagers, and thus prefer their own outside tent.) We've never owned an off-shore TV rig.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:15 PM   #14
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Name: Teresa
Trailer: Boler
Indiana
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Thanks all for the input. In the end we went with a 2016 Pathfinder, we've had such great luck with our last 3 Nissans we could not justify a significant reason to change it up this time around. We are set up to tow 5,000lbs and the Pathfinder comes equipped with the 7 blade wiring which is what we have on our Boler. Should be plenty of power to tow a 1200lb Boler, and probably last us quite a few years, even if we get 2-footitis. Last night my husband and I installed the Prodigy P3 brake controller, and are planning to take the Boler out for the first time over Memorial Day. :-)
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