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Tow Package max tongue weight with WDH

 
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Gratefuldriver



Joined: 11 Feb 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:07 am    Post subject: Tow Package max tongue weight with WDH Reply with quote

Anyone know the max tongue weight on the 2013 Pathfinder SL tow package when using a weight distribution hitch? Thanks
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Gratefuldriver



Joined: 11 Feb 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Tow Package max tongue weight with WDH Reply with quote

Gratefuldriver wrote:
Anyone know the max tongue weight on the 2013 Pathfinder SL tow package when using a weight distribution hitch? Thanks


This question has me stumped. Car and Driver as well as other web sites state the max tongue weight with a WDH is 750 lbs, but I want to hear it from the source. A Nissan dealer in Georgia lists it as 750 lb, so I called Nissan corporate office. 24 hours later a customer service rep tells me a Nissan technician responded that "it does not make that make much difference in the tongue weight when using a wdh." Really? That is the technical answer? If you happen to see the Nissan video of the 2013 Pathfinder pulling a 5000 lb Airstream you will see that it has a weight distribution hitch. Why? I do not want to pull more than 5000 lbs, but I need to have a tongue weight above 500 lb. Nissan, you are killing me. Give me a good answer please. No specific data in the handbook is not a good answer.
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smj999smj
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Joined: 22 Jan 2012
Posts: 4868
Location: Prospect, VA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try asking the folks at Rigid Hitch. Maybe they might give you a better answer:

http://www.rigidhitch.com/default.aspx?Page=Contact%20Us
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2006 Pathfinder LE VQ40DE AWD, Nitto Dura Grappler P265/65R17, aftermarket radiator, Airlift 1000's, Bilstein HD rear shocks
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Gratefuldriver



Joined: 11 Feb 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

smj999smj wrote:
Try asking the folks at Rigid Hitch. Maybe they might give you a better answer:

http://www.rigidhitch.com/default.aspx?Page=Contact%20Us


Thanks for the help, I sure will contact them today.

Grateful
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disallow
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Joined: 13 Aug 2008
Posts: 2666
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 2005 Pathfinder, with a listed tow capacity of 600/6000lbs (tongue/GVW). I would say that the R51 version of the Pathy is a decent tow vehicle, but that if you approach the limits, it can become marginal very quickly. This is a function of the shorter wheelbase that most other capable tow vehicles out there. You can't beat the laws of physics, and you have to remember that you are pulling something that has more surface area to the wind, and is actually heavier than the vehicle pulling it. The R52 faces this challenge as well, some would argue even moreso than the R51.

Keep in mind as well, that most avid towers out there will scoff at your desire to pull a trailer with your Pathfinder. Be prepared for this.

The guideline to use in the research I have done (RV.net is a great site), says that you should not allow your tongue weight to exceed 10% of your total GVW. Therefore, you should not exceed 500lbs with the R52. Even with a WDH.

Furthermore, you definitely do not want to be at your capacity of 500lbs pretty much ever. Most avid towers, even the ones with big diesel duallies will tell you to stay about 15-20% below the listed capacity of your vehicle. This will be your call, and depend on what you are comfortable with. In my case I don't follow this guideline. My rig is about 5500lbs, and 450lb tongue weight. I would not want to exceed these levels, and driving in high winds or on varying elevations can be challenging. Often, it requires that I reduce speed to 50MPH or less to ensure I have good control over the vehicle.

Keeping in mind that by Nissan changing the R52 to a crossover, this vehicle will not be as capable as a RWD, truck based tow vehicle. Not having tried towing with one, I can only say this is based on what I have read about other Crossover based tow vehicles including the Honda Pilot/Ridgeline, Chevy Equinox, and other Crossover type vehicles out there. As I will tell anyone, BEFORE you buy your trailer, ask the dealer to let you take it for a test tow. Make sure you do some elevations with it, even if its just some cloverleafs, and do some brake testing (assuming you already have your brake booster installed). If you can, take it on the freeway or highway, and hopefully in some wind. Your judgement and what you are comfortable with matters alot more than some numbers in a manual.

That being said, some research with your insurance provider is also in order. What are their requirements? If you exceed the listed tongue weight, are you still covered if an accident occured? In my mind, this research is critical.

What are you looking to tow that requires so much tongue weight? Sounds like a balancing issue on the rig, which could be resolved by moving cargo or items to the rear or closer to the axles of the trailer.

Good luck,
t
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Terry in Winnipeg

'05 Pathfinder SE Premium 4x4 - 315000kms (195000mi) - weekend warrior, Cortex Superchips on 87 Octane Tune, K&N filtercharger, Airlift 1000, Prodigy Brake controller, 7 pin trailer hookup, Prostart Remote Starter, Bilstein 4600 rear shocks, Cooper Discoverer ATw P265/70/16
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Gratefuldriver



Joined: 11 Feb 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing your insight and experience. I am going to check out rv.net. YOu have given me a lot of food for thought. My rig is going to weigh in a 4600 loaded. I have two dogs in the back of the vehicle. While I can keep the trailer's tongue weight at 460 lbs when I add the dogs' weight it goes to 560. That is according to the owner's manual formula for calculating total tongue weight.

Thanks again
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disallow
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Joined: 13 Aug 2008
Posts: 2666
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gratefuldriver wrote:
Thanks for sharing your insight and experience. I am going to check out rv.net. YOu have given me a lot of food for thought. My rig is going to weigh in a 4600 loaded. I have two dogs in the back of the vehicle. While I can keep the trailer's tongue weight at 460 lbs when I add the dogs' weight it goes to 560. That is according to the owner's manual formula for calculating total tongue weight.

Thanks again


That sounds weird. Are you saying that tongue weight capacity is decreased because of cargo (in your case, dogs) in the back of the vehicle? My understanding is tongue weight is exactly that, the weight of your trailer exerted on the hitch of the vehicle. Based on my understanding of your situation, your dogs shouldn't affect your tongue weight.

Cargo will bring you closer to your GVWR, and potentially put you over the weight limit in that way, but I don't see how extra cargo should affect your tongue weight capacity. Cargo weight, which would be mostly over the rear wheels of your vehicle would contribute to your curb weight. Think of it versus the tongue weight is leveraged based on the distance from your rear axle (thus causing more impact, and the reason why the capacity is so low to begin with). Not sure if I'm effectively explaining this...

Can you post the section from you manual that explains the calculation?
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Terry in Winnipeg

'05 Pathfinder SE Premium 4x4 - 315000kms (195000mi) - weekend warrior, Cortex Superchips on 87 Octane Tune, K&N filtercharger, Airlift 1000, Prodigy Brake controller, 7 pin trailer hookup, Prostart Remote Starter, Bilstein 4600 rear shocks, Cooper Discoverer ATw P265/70/16
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volvite
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Joined: 16 Feb 2011
Posts: 2180
Location: Hill AFB, Utah West Point UT

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Terry! Terry! Terry! Very Happy
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"The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his." George Patton
What did you do to your Pathfinder thread:http://www.thenissanpath.com/viewtopic.php?p=71760#71760
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