2008 4x2 V6 LE - Boat Towing Question

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RobTX
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2008 4x2 V6 LE - Boat Towing Question

Postby RobTX » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:08 pm

Hello all,

I recently purchased a boat weighing in at 4200lbs that sits on a 1,000lb trailer. Towing capacity is 6000 lbs. Any advice on how the Pathfinder handles in this situation, things to look out for, or how it will handle on a ramp?

I've gotten mixed responses- would like to hear back from anyone who has trailered a boat behind a 08 LE like mine.

Thanks!


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disallow
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Postby disallow » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:13 pm

depending on the ramp, you may miss not having 4x4. Otherwise, overall towing experience should be good.

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AZ_Path
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Postby AZ_Path » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:47 am

Congrats! What did you get? I tow a 2013 MB Sports B52 21' and the Path handles it well. When coming up the launch ramp I do have to bring 2 passengers to the bow for traction. I've made a couple of posts about my towing experiences this past season if you want to search my user name and read them.

RobTX
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Postby RobTX » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:07 am

I ended up, after several years of research settling on a Hurricane Sundeck 217. She's right there at the top of my tow limit. I do think my biggest issue will be out of the water. The ramp I'll be using isn't all that steep and has cross hatches cut into it to aid traction. The water level in my lake has been slowly dropping, so there really isn't any algae on the ramp at all.

What pressure did you inflate your tires to?

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disallow
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Postby disallow » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:54 am

Dropping pressure will help for sure. I've never pulled a boat out, but I'd go to 25 or less psi.

What kind of tires are your running?

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AZ_Path
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Postby AZ_Path » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:44 am

Before purchasing the Path I asked many boat owners if 4WD was necessary for the launch ramp and most everyone said no. Even those who had it, I didn't see them using it. Based on this I decided to get 2WD. I didn't want to take the MPG hit if I didn't really need 4WD.

The first time I tried to come up the ramp, all 5 of the passengers were sitting in the stern and we couldn't get traction. Now we always move two people to the bow and traction is not a problem. I don't change the tire pressure or anything else. It looks like the your bow has plenty of space. Just ask some passengers to move up there and take it slow and you should be fine. Works every time for me.

Also, if you don't have airbags for the rear springs I would recommend them. Enjoy the new boat!

RobTX
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Postby RobTX » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:54 pm

Thanks AZ!

Tell me more about the airbags- a colleague at work told me about them too. Where do you get them and can you install them yourself? Which ones do you have?

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AZ_Path
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Postby AZ_Path » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:01 pm

Yes, you can install the airbags yourself. It is a very common mod around here for people who tow. The rear springs are soft and the air bags eliminate the sagging rear end. There are several posts on the forum where users discuss their installations.

I have the Airlift 1000. They sell them at AutoZone or you can buy online. There is a supplier locator on the website. http://www.airliftcompany.com/products/ ... lift-1000/

One last thing I forgot to mention. Because your boat is heavy, getting used to the braking with the trailer is important. Is your trailer tandem axle? Do you have brakes on both axles?

RobTX
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Postby RobTX » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:18 am

The trailer is tandem- surge brakes. Not sure if the brakes are on both axles; the trailer is a 2004 Magnum. How could I tell if both axles had braking? Also, without having to find out via actually towing, how can I verify the brakes on the trailer are working?

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AZ_Path
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Postby AZ_Path » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:01 pm

Assuming you have disk brakes, if you look through the tire rim you should be able to see rotors and calipers. Just like what is on your Pathfinder.

In the pic below, the caliper is painted red and this particular rotor is slotted and drilled. Yours likely has a smooth finish.

Image

If you have brakes on both axles then you will see calipers and rotors on all 4 wheels. Some trailers only have brakes on one axle in which case you'll only see calipers and rotors on two of the wheels (one on each side).

I'm not sure of a great way to test the brakes without towing. I would try to find a large empty parking lot and start slow and get a feel for how much your stopping distance changes. Gradually increase your speed and try some hard barking as well. It's good to have a feel for it in case you have a panic stop on the road.

If you have brakes on both axles, the trailer isn't going to rely on the tow vehicle too much. With single axle you will feel it more. If it feels like the trailer is relying too much on the tow vehicle then maybe you want to have the brakes checked.

Oh, don't forget to post in this thread. :D http://www.thenissanpath.com/viewtopic. ... highlight=

RobTX
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Postby RobTX » Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:34 am

Thanks again!

I'm pretty sure these are drums but I'll take a second look.

I saw a few videos on the installation of the Airlift 1000. Hardest part of that seems to be getting the air bladder into the springs. What type of stands did you use and did you put a heat shield in?

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AZ_Path
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Postby AZ_Path » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:41 am

Yes, stuffing the bag into the spring is the hardest part. It's been a while so I don't recall exactly what I did, but I think I used the factory jack and did each side individually. I did not use a heat shield. Here is a thread with details. http://www.thenissanpath.com/viewtopic. ... t=air+lift

RobTX
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Postby RobTX » Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:50 am

Thanks for all the great advice! Made it out to the lake today and the Pathfinder did GREAT! In the water with no trouble at all and out with very little slip. Piece of cake. Now I just have to get used to backing the trailer!

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AZ_Path
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Postby AZ_Path » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:12 pm

RobTX wrote:Thanks for all the great advice! Made it out to the lake today and the Pathfinder did GREAT! In the water with no trouble at all and out with very little slip. Piece of cake. Now I just have to get used to backing the trailer!
Glad it went well. My wife is practicing backing the trailer on our street. I figured it's better to start there than at the launch ramp. :)


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