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Towing observations

 
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Kestral
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Joined: 12 Apr 2014
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Location: MA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:51 pm    Post subject: Towing observations Reply with quote

So I finally got a chance to take my 2012 Pathfinder V6 out for a towing test and it worked out great. My new brake control is so much better then my old one that I had on my 4Runner that control was like 20 years old. The air bags I had put on my Pathy keep the back end of the truck from sagging big time! The Jayco 23B travel trailer I have has a dry weight of about 4,400 lbs and I figure after the wife loads it up we are pushing 5,000 lbs. I took a difficult route for a test basically climbing a difficult stretch of steep highway. I must say the Pathy did much better then I expected. Shifting to third gear and keeping it around 55/60 mph letting the motor spin up I really was not on the gas that much nowhere near max throttle. Stability was much better then my old 2006 Toyota 4Runner and I feel my Pathy had more power as well. I also noticed for the first time when I stopped I could hear the engine fan shift into high gear I had no idea it had another speed. I do hope the stock transmission cooler is sufficient for my towing duty. Overall I do believe this truck is going to work out much better then my 2006 Toyota 4Runner.
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smj999smj
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Joined: 22 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Late model Nissan engine cooling fans are computer controlled and vary the fan speeds as necessary; they've been doing this for at least a decade. The stock auxiliary cooler combined with the integral trans cooler should be just fine for your towing needs.
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2006 Pathfinder LE VQ40DE AWD, aftermarket radiator, Airlift 1000's, Bilstein HD rear shocks, Doug Thorley shortie headers and mid-pipes, Magnaflow 12580 muffler, aFe Momentum GT CAI w/ dry filter, XTP plenum spacer, Superchips Flashpaq tuner
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BCpathy



Joined: 19 Oct 2015
Posts: 24
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:21 am    Post subject: Re: Towing observations Reply with quote

Kestral wrote:
So I finally got a chance to take my 2012 Pathfinder V6 out for a towing test and it worked out great. My new brake control is so much better then my old one that I had on my 4Runner that control was like 20 years old. The air bags I had put on my Pathy keep the back end of the truck from sagging big time! The Jayco 23B travel trailer I have has a dry weight of about 4,400 lbs and I figure after the wife loads it up we are pushing 5,000 lbs. I took a difficult route for a test basically climbing a difficult stretch of steep highway. I must say the Pathy did much better then I expected. Shifting to third gear and keeping it around 55/60 mph letting the motor spin up I really was not on the gas that much nowhere near max throttle. Stability was much better then my old 2006 Toyota 4Runner and I feel my Pathy had more power as well. I also noticed for the first time when I stopped I could hear the engine fan shift into high gear I had no idea it had another speed. I do hope the stock transmission cooler is sufficient for my towing duty. Overall I do believe this truck is going to work out much better then my 2006 Toyota 4Runner.


Lots of similarities between us. Trailer weight almost identical. I might be a little lighter. I just got my 2010 V6 and I'm looking around for airbags and brake control right now. Could you please let me know, what you use. Also, how much did you blow your airbags up for the test tow?
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Kestral
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My airbags are Firestone airbags I thought for a moment I had the other brand Airbag 1000 but no it was the Firestone brand. I ran them at 23 psi and that seemed to be just about right for towing max on mine is 26 psi I tried it at max but my truck and trailer was not level. I don't recall off hand what brake control I have but go to etrailer.com and see what they offer for controllers.
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Kestral
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just some follow up on adding a brake control on my 2012 I did not need to add the relays to make the lights work properly you may need to add them. It seems some trucks and or years you need them and some you don't. My advice is buy the brake control plug it in and plug your camper in then check the lights and brakes and see if it all works. If not you will prob need to add the relays in the trucks fuze box. Others on here can chime in and let you know what you will need.

Once you get the airbags and brake control set up you will be good to go and the truck is quite capable it actually tows significantly better them my former Jeep Grand Cherokee and my Toyota 4Runner ever did. Also the 4.0 V6 seems to have more towing power then even some small V8's I have towed with in years past.
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06PhillyPathy



Joined: 15 May 2016
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2016 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are air bags necessary if you are using a wdh and brake controller?

Towing 4500 pounds, 6000 max rating for the pathfinder
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Kestral
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The stock springs on the R51 are soft what will happen esp if you tow your camper often is over time the back end will sag. If you look on the road you will see some Pathfinders that sag in the rear.

You will notice if you hook up your camper to your Pathy without running airbags is the back end will bounce going down the road even with the WD hitch and the front end will feel lite and much less responsive to steering input. It would be smart to install them it will make towing with the PF a much more enjoyable experience.
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smj999smj
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Joined: 22 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many R51 owners feel that the air bags are a must even if you don't tow a thing! It's the best $80 you can spend on your Pathy.
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06PhillyPathy



Joined: 15 May 2016
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smj999smj wrote:
Many R51 owners feel that the air bags are a must even if you don't tow a thing! It's the best $80 you can spend on your Pathy.


I heard someone mention a Firestone air bag. Can the Firestone complete auto care shops install these?

Or is it something I can install myself?
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smj999smj
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Firestone Coil-Rite Air Springs and Air Lift 1000 Air bags are pretty much the same thing, except one is blue and the other is red. A Firestone auto care facility or any auto repair facility should be able to put either kit in for you. It's a simple install and if they charge you over an hour's worth of labor, they are overcharging you.
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06PhillyPathy



Joined: 15 May 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kestral wrote:
The stock springs on the R51 are soft what will happen esp if you tow your camper often is over time the back end will sag. If you look on the road you will see some Pathfinders that sag in the rear.

You will notice if you hook up your camper to your Pathy without running airbags is the back end will bounce going down the road even with the WD hitch and the front end will feel lite and much less responsive to steering input. It would be smart to install them it will make towing with the PF a much more enjoyable experience.


Hey, so a year later, what is your overall feeling of towing 23' at around 5500#?

I want to go to 23' so bad but I've convinced myself its too long (jayco 23 rlsw).

This weekend we are putting on wdh, sway control bars, airlift 1000 bags, prodigy 2 controller, bypassing the rad cooler, new brakes, fan belt, air filter and changing every fluid in the truck including trans, transfer, differentials, power steering and coolant.

But all this to not get the trailer I truly want? Hogwash!

I've been hedging my bet and going with the Jayco x221, 4300 lbs at 21', but I really want the 23rlsw at 4650 and 23'.

I know it sounds minimal but those 3 extra feet create a perception that the tail may start to wag the dog.

Your experience will really help guide me.
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Kestral
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buy the Jayco you want mine is the Jayco 23B it may not be called that anymore but they still make the same camper it is one of Jaycos most popular models.

Frankly it's a piece of cake towing my 5,000 pound (loaded) 23B with my R51 Pathy V6. With the airbags pumped up and the WD hitch it tows like a dream. You will need a friction sway control and keep it tight on the highway and you won't have much sway.

Just take it easy and gear down on long hills and it should hold 55 mph easy. Frankly if my camper was another 800 lbs I am confident that my Pathfinder would tow it pretty easy.
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Kestral
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few more comments... What you want in a tow vieicle is wheelbase the longer the better. The problem with a short wheelbase SUV or truck is you get the "Tail wagging the dog syndrome" if you try and tow a long camper and once they start to sway on the highway the short wheelbase the SUV/truck can be quite a handful even with sway control.

The R51 Pathfinder has several things going for it as a tow rig.

1. Long wheelbase (several inches longer then the Toyota 4Runner)

2. Full frame that seems quite stout (helps reduce sway and gives you more control in the front end from stiffness)

3. The 4.0 V6 seems to have real solid power no it's not a 454 V8 but compared to my 06 Toyota 4Runner V6 I was quite surprised at the added power when hooked up to my camper.

4. With the airbags you could have a really high toung weight and it won't be a problem. I don't even need to run mine to max pressure towing.
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