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Old 04-01-2013, 10:50 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2013
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How much can I safely tow?

Hi, I'm new.

Vehicle is a 2008 Pathfinder with the V6 engine. Max towing is rated at 6000 lbs. How heavy of a TT can I safely tow? Not looking at mountain towing. We have some hills here in Minnesota, but nothing major for the most part.

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Old 04-01-2013, 11:20 PM   #2
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Hi we tried towing with a v6 pathfinder and a 21rs roo, long story short ended up getting an f150 ecoboost. If you search for threads that I replied to I have posted the weights up somewhere here already.

If you cannot find them let me know and I will repost our experience. If you are looking at a pop up different story as our friends have borrowed the pathy to tow with and said it was fine before they got the tundra

2011 F150 Ecoboost Screw 4x4 c/w max tow
2010 Roo 21RS
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:06 AM   #3
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You will get varying responses because not everyone tows the same way and in the same conditions. 6000 lb popup vs 6000lb TT will feel like 2 totally different animals due to the wind resistance of the box. Then towing on the flats versus hills, again, you will see a difference. Then if you tow at 55 to 60 vs trying to get to your vacation destination in record time, not good.

We are all here and what we can do is give you our advice, our opinions, and tell you about our experiences. You, at the end, have to make the decision on your own.

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Old 04-02-2013, 07:08 AM   #4
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What many people forget when they tow "over their rating" is acceleration on short freeway ramps. The world is not always straight, flat and with LONG truck lanes.

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Old 04-02-2013, 07:49 AM   #5
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To answer quite simply, you can tow 6000 lbs MAX. But there are conditions:
1. That 6000 lbs is typically only available when the tow vehicle is completely empty, except for the driver. Your owner's manual will help you here. But typically, for example, if you have 500 lbs of passengers and a 100 lbs cooler, you'll need to subtrace 600 lbs from your MAX tow rating.
2. You will want functional trailer brakes if the combined weight of boht vehicles exceed the GVWR of the truck.
3. You will probably need a WDH. Read owner's manual.

Read, read, read. Like was said, we can only give you guidelines. But your owner's manual is your first and best source. Read it cover to cover.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:57 AM   #6
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I'm not looking to tow up to the max rating, but I was wondering if there was a good rule of thumb based on the rating. That way I could eliminate the rigs that i know would be to heavy. Is under 4000 lbs a safe bet? Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:06 AM   #7
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Our 21rs is about 4000lb dry and our pathfinder would tow it, but we were right on the bubble on rear axle weight with the SUV loaded. Biggest issue was lack of power from the v6, it would tow it at highway speeds but flat out, not good for it. I did install an aux tranny cooler and gauges which made the decision for us, got way too hot even with an electric fan on the 2nd cooler.

It will tow but I don't think you will be comfortable with a full size Trailer. Mind you we do live at altitude and tow in the mountains, so take that into consideration. As I said previously friends borrowed the pathy to tow a big pop up and said it was great. Plenty if good pop ups available.
2011 F150 Ecoboost Screw 4x4 c/w max tow
2010 Roo 21RS
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:18 AM   #8
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My back won't handle all the work involved in doing the pop up thing. We did that several years ago and it was always a hassle popping it up at to dry out when we got rained on at camp too.

Looking at something like a used 2011 Surveyor SP189. Weight is around 3500 and it is a little narrower then some.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:35 AM   #9
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MN Outdoors- a payload sticker on your truck should give you all of the information to figure out the maximum you can tow. My in-laws have a 4Runner and want to get into RV'ing. We did the math and figured out what they could tow. If you read this link, here's how we figured it out:
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:03 AM   #10
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A good rule of thumb is to buy a trailer that does not exceed 80% of your towing capacity, or 4800 lbs in your case. But it's not just the towing capacity, it's your payload capacity that matters also. Need to get your TV weighed and subtract if from the GVWR and then factor in your passengers, pets, gear and groceries. A 6000 lb trailer would have a tongue weight in the range of 600 - 900 lbs.

Google says the max. tongue weight load for a 2008 Pathfinder is 600 lbs. That's pretty low as far as tow vehicles go and that would limit you to about a 4,000 lb trailer without any payload whatsoever. You might only be able to use a 2,000 lb or so pop-up along with a small payload of 300 lbs tops.

Manufacturers tow ratings can be so misleading and are only part of the picture.

We have been towing a 20' TT with 5,000 lb weight fully loaded with a 2000 F150 V6. That was awful on steeper hills and when windy (head-on gusts really slowed us down). We have since upgraded to an F250.

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