Nissan Pathfinder as a towing vehicle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-18-2018, 05:49 PM   #1
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Nissan Pathfinder as a towing vehicle

Hi All, I was trying to keep my research to a minimum of a few possible tow vehicles but due to a cancelled appointment, I decided to stop by the nearby Nissan dealership where I met a sales rep who actually knew something about towing. The Pathfinder has a factory installed tow package, tows up to 6,000 pounds when properly equiped, will install a 7-pin connector. I am exploring further. I plan to get a Casita 16 or 17 foot. What is your opinion/experience with the Pathfinder? I am honing in the Honda Pilot also. The Toyota Hylander is rated so well and the local dealer is starting to come around to helping me, but still say installing a 7-pin connector will violate the electrical part of the warranty. I have not ruled out the Hyundai Santa Fe as yet, but finding dealers that can advise about towing is nearly impossible. Thanks to this site, I know more about towing than most all of them. Comments requested especially about my latest target, the Pathfinder. Thank you.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:06 PM   #2
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Not much of authority on SUV’s, but I think that the Pathfinder is built on a separate frame, not a unibody as the other two you mentioned. If I am correct, the Pathfinder is mechanically similar to my Frontier. The 2018 has a more modern 3.5 L direct injection engine that develops 20 more horsepower than the 4.0 L in my Pickup. It should produce better fuel economy than my Frontier; and handle towing the Casita without effort.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:25 PM   #3
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Nissan Pathfinder as a towing vehicle

Used to be, Dennis, but it's a FWD-based, unibody crossover now. I'm hesitant due to the transmission. Nissan uses a CVT (continuously variable, steel belt-driven, transmission) rather than a conventional automatic. CVT's are relatively untested in vehicles with that kind of tow rating. Last I checked, the Pathfinder was also on the bottom of the heap for overall reliability.

I saw a Highlander yesterday at Walmart with a hitch and 7-pin plug. Couldn't be sure whether it actually had a brake line hooked up, but it was a U-Haul job and looked very neatly done.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:30 PM   #4
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Jon,

I didn’t know that they had gone front wheel drive with the Pathfinder. That, to me removes Nissan’s superiority as a tow vehicle. I don’t know enough about any of them to make a recommendation.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:51 PM   #5
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I would consider the Pathfinder as a capable tug for a 16'. The 17' might make the rear end sag a lot, otherwise it might be ok too. I have not heard any horror stories about the cvt. If their engineers give it a 6000 lb rating, I say a 2500 or 3000 lb egg should be fine.
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:21 PM   #6
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Pathfinder

I, too, was considering a Pathfinder, but it received terrible reviews for being "noisy". I really need some advice as I am a single, 63-year-old woman looking for a small travel trailer. I have pretty much narrowed it down to a Casita Spirit Deluxe, a Little Guy Max, nuCamp T@G Teardrop 400 or (less likely) a Rpod. I will need to trade my Subaru Crosstrek as the towing capacity on it is only 1500 pounds. I want a trailer that is easy to hitch & unload, handles well, etc.
So, all you folks out there: what would be your vehicle recommendation as well as your trailer recommendation? I understand this is a fiberglass trailer site, but if you have any knowledge of or experience with, any of the above I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2018, 02:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phopesc View Post
I, too, was considering a Pathfinder, but it received terrible reviews for being "noisy". I really need some advice as I am a single, 63-year-old woman looking for a small travel trailer. I have pretty much narrowed it down to a Casita Spirit Deluxe, a Little Guy Max, nuCamp T@G Teardrop 400 or (less likely) a Rpod. I will need to trade my Subaru Crosstrek as the towing capacity on it is only 1500 pounds. I want a trailer that is easy to hitch & unload, handles well, etc.
So, all you folks out there: what would be your vehicle recommendation as well as your trailer recommendation? I understand this is a fiberglass trailer site, but if you have any knowledge of or experience with, any of the above I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!
Other than the RPod, i regard the rest of those as well built trailers. The non molded units have seams between roof and sidewall, so there are more potential leak points to monitor. But all trailers can leak eventually... windows, doors, and plumbing... an owner should be pro-active with maintenance. The Little Guy and nucamp do have some nice, modern features... and no carpet on the walls, if that matters to you.
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:35 PM   #8
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Tow vehicle

I have an rpod towed by a 2010 pathfinder, having no problems with the cvt transmission. Trailer 179 total weight loaded 3800 lbs. Added a weight distribution hitch to compensate the weight from the tongue. Very happy with my choice.
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:12 PM   #9
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Hitching up for me became infinitely easier with a backup camera. I can now hook up on solo trips first try. Before the camera it was either seek help or get in and out of the TV a dozen times to see where I was, how close or whatever.
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Old 05-20-2018, 04:07 PM   #10
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Pathfinder as TV

We bought a 2012 Pathfinder for a tow vehicle. That was the last year it was built on a truck frame. It does great. The V6 is rated for 6K towing capacity, but I'm nowhere near that.

Only complaints: rear suspension is a bit soft. Most Pathfinder owners that tow things install the ballon type coil spring boosters. And, it rides hard, like a truck. As it should. It is essentially the same as the Frontier of the same year, but with passenger space instead of a bed.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:52 PM   #11
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Hi All, thanks for the advice. Please keep it coming!

Peggy, I could have written your comment...in fact I had to read it again to make sure I had not written it and lied about my age by a a couple of years! I have a Crosstrek too...love it but it is too small as a tow vehicle as you know. Like you I have been looking at different trailers but focused mostly on fiberglass because I want as few hassles as possible. I am fairly sure it will be a Casita and am now focusing on the tow vehicle. It is all a bit overwhelming but this site has been a great resource. I will also be traveling solo and I do not know much about cars, mechanics or trailers, bit I am learning. Write me privately if you wish to talk more.
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:00 AM   #12
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I had a 2016 PAthfinder that I was towing a 3200 lb./ 17ft camper. The gas mileage was terrible. I ran out of gas on a long stretch of Western highway. The PAthfinder was not noisy and had a comfortable ride, but the gas mileage was the kicker! I traded mine in for a Toyota 4Runner and I couldn’t be happier.
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Old 05-21-2018, 01:43 PM   #13
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annoying that more and more formerly truck based RWD/4x4 midsized SUV's are being turned into FWD/AWD carbased crossovers, but keeping the same name for what is essentially a completely different vehicle.... The new Ford Explorers, and Nissan Pathfinders both did this. At least Toyota still has both the Highlander FWD/AWD and the 4Runner RWD/4x4
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:47 PM   #14
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I have a 95 Nissan Pathfinder and it is horrible at towing. Very under powered for its small size. So it was not good at towing even back when it was based on a small truck.
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