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Old 03-08-2013, 12:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
You apparently didn't learn enough - yet. The other members are the nice guys - welcoming you without jumping your case. So I'll be the "bad cop".

The good stuff: Your rig looks wonderful. You apparently set it up with a properly adjusted weight-distributing hitch so the tail of the Pathfinder doesn't drag the ground, and the headlights don't blind oncoming drivers. Good for you.

Now to jump your case. You're probably overloaded. Your RV salesman said you had enough tow vehicle for that trailer? And you believed him?

Your Pathfinder probably has a tow rating of 5,000 pounds, and that RV has a dry weight plus cargo capacity of 5,859. So that means you cannot load the trailer to the GVWR when towing, else you could overheat something in the drivetrain of the tow vehicle. That's not so bad as long as you stay out of the mountains, but don't even think of dragging that trailer over the Rockies on I-90, I-70, or I-40. Yes, even I-40. Pulling up out of the Rio Grande valley will put a big strain on your overloaded tow vehicle. If you must "go west, young man", then do it on I-10.

But that's not your biggest problem. Any SUV will be easy to overload over the GVWR when loaded with people in the SUV and hitch weight of a 5,000-pound trailer. Your Pathfinder can haul a load of passengers or the hitch weight of a 5,000-pound RV trailer, but not both at the same time without exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

To see where you stand, load the trailer with the normal camping stuff, including full propane tanks and enough fresh water in the fresh water tank to flush the potty while on the road. Load the Pathfinder with the normal load of people that will be in it when towing. Go to a truckstop that has a truck scale, fill up with gas, and weigh the wet and loaded rig. Compare the weight on the two truck axles to the GVWR of the truck.

If you're not overloaded, then come back here and rip me a new one.
They do make a V8 pathfinder with the armada/titan engine in it, offered since 2008. It has a 7000lb tow rating. And actually you are wrong, the tow rating of a 2006-2012 pathfinder per nissan specs is 6000lbs. The gross trailer weight is just under that, so he is fine. The gross combine weight rating for both the pathfinder and the trailer is 11,133lbs. The dry curb weight is 4450lbs. 11,133GCVWR - 6,000 trailer = 5133lbs. 5,133 - 4450 dry vehicle weight = 683lbs. Figure 8lbs per gallon of fuel, the weight of each person and cargo. 2 adults and 2 children should be fine, but i would put all other cargo and luggage in the trailer.

His trailer has a base weight of 4110lbs unloaded. So he has about 1900lbs to work with. Figure 8lbs per gallon of water and 40lbs per propane tank. Realistically you are looking at about 1300lbs with a filled water tank for your stuff in the trailer and the weight of the WD hitch. An empty water tank frees up about 384lbs to give you 1684lbs to work with.

Your max cargo capacity of the pathfinder is 1564lbs, so you can load the pathfinder more from the 683lbs, as long as you aren't maxing out your trailer to it's full capacity. The key is not to go over the combined weight of 11,133lbs. Many truck stops have certified scales, you can pay them a small fee to weigh your setup.

It would be nice to know what the actual unloaded weight of the trailer is for a better idea. But in either case, i think you are wrong to harp on him.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:18 AM   #16
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Welcome, Enjoy the adventure . Dave & Helen.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:29 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by gggplaya View Post
They do make a V8 pathfinder with the armada/titan engine in it, offered since 2008. It has a 7000lb tow rating. And actually you are wrong, the tow rating of a 2006-2012 pathfinder per nissan specs is 6000lbs. The gross trailer weight is just under that, so he is fine. The gross combine weight rating for both the pathfinder and the trailer is 11,133lbs. The dry curb weight is 4450lbs. 11,133GCVWR - 6,000 trailer = 5133lbs. 5,133 - 4450 dry vehicle weight = 683lbs. Figure 8lbs per gallon of fuel, the weight of each person and cargo. 2 adults and 2 children should be fine, but i would put all other cargo and luggage in the trailer.

His trailer has a base weight of 4110lbs unloaded. So he has about 1900lbs to work with. Figure 8lbs per gallon of water and 40lbs per propane tank. Realistically you are looking at about 1300lbs with a filled water tank for your stuff in the trailer and the weight of the WD hitch. An empty water tank frees up about 384lbs to give you 1684lbs to work with.

Your max cargo capacity of the pathfinder is 1564lbs, so you can load the pathfinder more from the 683lbs, as long as you aren't maxing out your trailer to it's full capacity. The key is not to go over the combined weight of 11,133lbs. Many truck stops have certified scales, you can pay them a small fee to weigh your setup.

It would be nice to know what the actual unloaded weight of the trailer is for a better idea. But in either case, i think you are wrong to harp on him.
I have to respectfully disagree with your method of figuring. I have read several of SmokeyWren's posts and will bet his approach is much closer than yours. First, "dry weight" is a fictional number that the salesmen use to make a sale. The actual delivered (to customer) weight is usually much more than the dry weight or the advertised unloaded weight. It is best to use GWR to determine usable weights. The real tow rating is determined by subtracting the loaded TV weight from the GCWR. The only way to know where you are at is (like you said) with actual weights. In the real world, an over sized TV is a lot nicer to use than a marginal or under sized one. Been done that!
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:29 AM   #18
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I have to respectfully disagree with your method of figuring. I have read several of SmokeyWren's posts and will bet his approach is much closer than yours. First, "dry weight" is a fictional number that the salesmen use to make a sale. The actual delivered (to customer) weight is usually much more than the dry weight or the advertised unloaded weight. It is best to use GWR to determine usable weights. The real tow rating is determined by subtracting the loaded TV weight from the GCWR. The only way to know where you are at is (like you said) with actual weights. In the real world, an over sized TV is a lot nicer to use than a marginal or under sized one. Been done that!
No SmokeyWren's post is actually very wrong and he ripped the OP a new one for no reason, because he made the ASSUMPTION that the tow rating of the pathfinder was 5000lbs when in fact it's 6000lbs.

The dry weight from the manufacturers specs is 3,957lbs, however i used a weight specified from a dealer of 4110lbs, who normally takes the weight off the sticker of the travel trailer which is closer to it's actual weight. As i said, the only way to know for sure is to scale the vehicles.

Nitpicking over the order or calculations is very moot at this point. He already owns the combination and from a legal standpoint he's legit. When shopping for a TT, yes i would probably weigh your TV setup if you are close to your max rating. But like i said, that's moot in his situation as he already own it. My calculations are to give him an idea of how much weight he can put in his setup. I highly advise putting as much of his stuff in the TT and leave his pathfinder to a minimum which is why i calculated it in that order and he has plenty of cargo weight to work with in the TT. When i travel, i just have the passengers, the dog, and a cooler in the back. Everything else is in the TT. I wouldn't go putting bikes, luggage, or whatever on top of the pathfinder.


And again, i would find a truck stop and drive over some scales, unhitch and figure out your weights. That'll give you a better idea of what you're working with.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:02 PM   #19
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The pathfinder has a tow rating of 6000 lbs the camper has a dry weight with options 4010. I did a lot of research on weights before buying. I plan on watching my weight will not travel with any water in tanks or food. It was fine on two hour ride home from dealer. Have not put it on scales yet but plan to do so.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:09 PM   #20
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Oh it will only be my wife and dog as passengers never anyone else and have no intention of exceeding 4000 feet in elevation. Mostly 3 hour one way trips at the most.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:56 AM   #21
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No SmokeyWren's post is actually very wrong and he ripped the OP a new one for no reason, because he made the ASSUMPTION that the tow rating of the pathfinder was 5000lbs when in fact it's 6000lbs.
I didn't assume anything. I looked it up on the internet. However, further research indicates that the tow rating for late-model Pathfinders is 6,000 pounds for the V-6, so the spec I found at first glance was apparently wrong.

However, tow ratings are notoriously overstated. The real limiter to max trailer weight you can tow without being overloaded is GVWR of the tow vehicle. Actual weight of the wet and loaded SUV subtracted from GVWR gives you the net payload available for hitch weight. While you have the rig on the road for a camping trip, the CAT scale will tell you if the weight on the two axles of the tow vehicle, including hitch weight and a full tank of gas, exceed the GVWR of the tow vehicle.

Dry weight of the trailer is almost meaningless. Nobody goes camping with a dry trailer. For a trailer with a factory advertised dry weight of 4010, an estimate of at least 5,000 pounds wet and loaded trailer weight (4,300 pounds trailer axle weight on the CAT scale) with 700 pounds hitch weight is more reasonable.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:07 AM   #22
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To SmokeyWren:

I did not have my towing calculation before buying the trailer with me last night so I just wanted to share. I just wanted to say that your post was condescending and insulting, mainly starting off with “you apparently didn’t learn enough – yet.” You imply that you may be the one teaching me about weights and towing. I think you went about teaching me all wrong and as a “senior member” would think someone would offer more constructive advice than criticism. You also assumed that I believed my salesman when you never actually asked what was discussed. Also, this was my second recreational vehicle purchase. And I would never “rip” anyone a new one as I don’t think this is the place to do such a thing and is mean spirited and hostile way to end “advice” to a new forum member (even with putting a smiley face emoticon).

So here is what I calculated as what my max towing capacity would be using the setup of the Pathfinder and Tracer AIR. The TV GVWR is 6,113#, the TV GCVWR is 11,135#, towing capacity using a weight distribution hitch is 6,000#.

My tow vehicle has a curb weight of 4,647# (I’m not considering the 150# driver and using as a buffer). Added to the TV is 15 gallons of fuel for 90#, 468# for two people and a dog (the dog is 90# and will not be going all the time, also, will not disclose my wife’s #), cargo of 225# and hitch receiver and accessories 125#. This would give me a TV GVW of 5,555# or at 90.9% capacity.

The weight of trailer 4,110#, battery 45#, 2 20# LP tanks at 76# and stuff in trailer and some water in water heater of 420#, which gives me a TGVW of 4,651# or at 77.5% capacity.

The GCVWR will be 10,206# or 91.7%. Actual TGVW 5,555# and tongue weight 558# will be at max GVWR of 6,113.

Again, this example is at max and I know I will be close. I have no intention of loading the vehicle besides people and dog with 225#, more like additional 100#. And will not load the trailer with 420# more like 300#. We will travel lite, no water in tanks and will buy food & beverages when we arrive at our destination. We have used as much light weight accessories as we can (plastic blocks & chocks, no heavy wood) small plastic table, small outside RV grill, couple camp chairs, stuff for the hook ups, and minimal housewares as it just my wife and I most is plastic.

Happy camping.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:55 PM   #23
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I didn't assume anything. I looked it up on the internet. However, further research indicates that the tow rating for late-model Pathfinders is 6,000 pounds for the V-6, so the spec I found at first glance was apparently wrong.
I don't know how you could have done that, the entire generation of pathfinder from 2005-2012 is rated for 6000lbs. And the fact that you said "probably has a tow rating of 5000lbs".

And for that, i really think you owe the OP an apology. That's not very welcoming for new people on the forum.

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Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
However, tow ratings are notoriously overstated. The real limiter to max trailer weight you can tow without being overloaded is GVWR of the tow vehicle. Actual weight of the wet and loaded SUV subtracted from GVWR gives you the net payload available for hitch weight. While you have the rig on the road for a camping trip, the CAT scale will tell you if the weight on the two axles of the tow vehicle, including hitch weight and a full tank of gas, exceed the GVWR of the tow vehicle.
I actually beg to differ. If anything, american tow ratings are notoriously conservative due to all the legal regulations and suing. Most cars in the U.S. are rated far higher in the rest of the world. Many times, tow ratings in the U.S. are drivetrain(engine/transmission) limited as is the case for the pathfinder. The same vehicle in V8 form is rated for 7000lbs in the U.S, and rated for 7600lbs in australia and europe with the turbo diesel. The brakes, transmission(same but different ratios) and suspension appear to be the same between all models, so handling the extra weight is not an issue, it's just getting up to speed and maintaining it that is your limiting factor. As long as the OP is ok with the drivetrain handling it, i don't think he has much to be concerned about, he has plenty of headroom.
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