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Old 07-09-2013, 03:34 PM   #1
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New truck and trailer jitters

Greetings I am new to towing and the whole RV lifestyle and kind of jumped in headfirst. We have decided on a Rockwood 2306 Mini Lite with the murphy bed option. I am picking it up in about a week and am starting to get some jitters about my TV. I cant change the TV as I bought it (rather leased it) about a month ago.

I have a 2013 Pathfinder SL AWD. I am having a WDH with sway control included. My Pathfinder is rated for 5000# with 500# tongue weight. We aren't planning on dry camping so I wont need to load it up with water and generators and am thinking loaded i'll be sitting in around 4200-4400#'s

The GVCW is 10000#'s so I "may" be sitting in around 9000-9200 loaded but that is just a high side guess. These numbers are including the wife and two small kids and

I live in Vancouver BC and am not planning on trips through the Rockies anytime soon but I may take the Coquihalla up to the interior of BC once in a while.

The RV dealer says I should be fine with this and they are to the best of by knowledge on the hook somewhat with selling you too much trailer. One dealership said if I wanted to buy this other model that was 4170# dry I would have to sign a waiver and he did NOT want me to buy it.

How much trouble am I getting myself into? I have negotiated in a subject to sale of a test tow so worst case scenario if I bail I am just out the cost of the brake controller I am having them install.

Any feedback is appreciated
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:32 PM   #2
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It is all about your comfort level when on the road (providing your numbers stay within the specs of the TV and TT). I personally like to know that when on the road, I'm less than 80% of my specs. It is a personal thing. What some people pull with their TV, others would not touch. Give the trailer a spin as you negotiated to a test tow. Since this is your first time pulling, you have nothing to compare with.

My advice: make sure the trailer is hitched up properly and setup properly to make a fair judgement with the Pathfinder. Take your time on the road and get to feel the trailer weight with soft and harder braking. You will get the feel for the trailer effect very quickly. Gradually increase your speed testing at 80 and then 90 km/hr on the highway. Get on some hills and corners to feel the response braking, decelerating and accelerating. You should not have any significant sway. Make sure you know how to adjust the brake controller!

You may be pushing the upper limits with the Pathfinder, but it is how you feel the control level with the trailer in tow when driving.

Good luck!
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:51 PM   #3
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We have the flagstaff version of the 2306. It is a great camper and you will really enjoy it.

Now for your issue with the tow vehicle. When we purchased ours, I was towing it with a 2011 Pathfinder. My pathfinder has a 6000lb tow and 11100 combined weight limit.

Our camper when loaded for camping is 4660lb. I will say that while the pathfinder is capable of towing the camper, it is a strain on the engine. I put a set of airbags on the rear suspension and this helped some but the motor is still a bit underpowered.

I know of another couple that have a new pathfinder and also have a 2306. They have pulled theirs a bit and will also tell you that you will need to take your time and go slow. Give yourself plenty of room.

The pathfinder can do it but I can tell you from experience that it will not be a real comfortable ride at highways speeds.

Enjoy your camper and be careful.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:33 PM   #4
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How does the TV run the Coq (Coquihalla Pass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) without the trailer - think about ascending / descending Great Bear -- I suggest getting familiar with towing the trailer on flatter routes and being well aware of mountain towing before heading to the interior (that would be the case regardless of TV) Mountain Driving Tips For RVers: How To Drive Up Hills & Down Hills Without Burning Up Your Brakes - The Fun Times Guide to RVing
before the test tow locate a scale close by and get your weights and learn how to balance the setup
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:51 PM   #5
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one thing you didn't check, is what the frontal area limit is for your Pathfinder.

since i live in the West Coast, i would bet that you won't be happy with this combo.
if you lived in Florida or Iowa, then maybe. but you live near mountains and hills and that Nissan will be overmatched trying to drag that big of a trailer out here.

if you had an older tow vehicle, i'd advise you to trade it but yours is a 2013.

and DON'T believe the dealer. that's the #1 newbie mistake. "Sure, you'll have no problems towing it" are famous last words that i've seen way to often on RV forums, from newbies that took the dealer's word.

you really need a v-8 to tow out here with all the mountains/hills that we have.
the only v-6 that's capable, is the F-150 Ecoboost.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:02 PM   #6
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I agree with dan. The frontal area with the wind resistance is the biggest hurdle for any TV. When I have to pull downhill on interstate hiways that have runaway truck ramps on them, then you know how much an anchor you have.

Main thing, don't be scared while driving. It only makes things worst. Take things slow. 55 to 60 is what I do on the interstate.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sullione View Post
Greetings I am new to towing and the whole RV lifestyle and kind of jumped in headfirst. We have decided on a Rockwood 2306 Mini Lite with the murphy bed option. I am picking it up in about a week and am starting to get some jitters about my TV. I cant change the TV as I bought it (rather leased it) about a month ago.

I have a 2013 Pathfinder SL AWD. I am having a WDH with sway control included. My Pathfinder is rated for 5000# with 500# tongue weight. We aren't planning on dry camping so I wont need to load it up with water and generators and am thinking loaded i'll be sitting in around 4200-4400#'s

The GVCW is 10000#'s so I "may" be sitting in around 9000-9200 loaded but that is just a high side guess. These numbers are including the wife and two small kids and

I live in Vancouver BC and am not planning on trips through the Rockies anytime soon but I may take the Coquihalla up to the interior of BC once in a while.

The RV dealer says I should be fine with this and they are to the best of by knowledge on the hook somewhat with selling you too much trailer. One dealership said if I wanted to buy this other model that was 4170# dry I would have to sign a waiver and he did NOT want me to buy it.

How much trouble am I getting myself into? I have negotiated in a subject to sale of a test tow so worst case scenario if I bail I am just out the cost of the brake controller I am having them install.

Any feedback is appreciated
Take the trailer for a test drive straight to a weigh scale so you know for sure. If your concerned about having enough truck stay off the coq and the 8% grades, use the canyon instead. You will have less climbs and a slower speed limit for a safety cushion.
Happy holidaying.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:05 PM   #8
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Videos

Watch and check out as many sources of information you can get your hands on, especially on things you can fix yourself. If not you will be running back to the dealership for things that are simple for them, and could be for you if you had known. Most things to repair or in fact simple, just get a book on making small repairs and what items and tools you need to have with you. If I can be of any help with a list, just let me know, been doing this camping thing for a number of years and with several campers:



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sullione View Post
Greetings I am new to towing and the whole RV lifestyle and kind of jumped in headfirst. We have decided on a Rockwood 2306 Mini Lite with the murphy bed option. I am picking it up in about a week and am starting to get some jitters about my TV. I cant change the TV as I bought it (rather leased it) about a month ago.

I have a 2013 Pathfinder SL AWD. I am having a WDH with sway control included. My Pathfinder is rated for 5000# with 500# tongue weight. We aren't planning on dry camping so I wont need to load it up with water and generators and am thinking loaded i'll be sitting in around 4200-4400#'s

The GVCW is 10000#'s so I "may" be sitting in around 9000-9200 loaded but that is just a high side guess. These numbers are including the wife and two small kids and

I live in Vancouver BC and am not planning on trips through the Rockies anytime soon but I may take the Coquihalla up to the interior of BC once in a while.

The RV dealer says I should be fine with this and they are to the best of by knowledge on the hook somewhat with selling you too much trailer. One dealership said if I wanted to buy this other model that was 4170# dry I would have to sign a waiver and he did NOT want me to buy it.

How much trouble am I getting myself into? I have negotiated in a subject to sale of a test tow so worst case scenario if I bail I am just out the cost of the brake controller I am having them install.

Any feedback is appreciated
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:13 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the feedback its greatly appreciated. From this forum and other things I have read as well as friends I have talked to it seems to come down to wehter I am comfortable with the drive and if I load it properly. Will it tow it, of course it will. Am I going to enjoy towing in hilly or windy conditions? NO Am I safely within the specs? I guess that is within my control. Am I going to be doing trips through the rockies, cruising up hill at 70, absolutely not. But for what I need it for which is weekend trips it should do. My only alternatives are a bigger truck (not an option) or a smaller trailer or pop up (neither of which are too appealing)

I am going to take the advice and take this thing on a nice long test tow, hit the scales and see how she feels.

Like a good friend of mine told me yesterday don't rush yourself and give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go. If it takes 3.5hr by car dont expect to do it in 4.5 with the trailer.

I may be eating my words in a couple weeks but I'll know more Friday.

Thanks again for the feedback
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Doering View Post
Make sure you know how to adjust the brake controller!

Good luck!

X2
I am pushing the limits of my TV as well and was very nervous too (I had very little towing experiance...and still do!) My first time out was in windy weather to boot. The one thing I didn't do was get used to the brake controller and learn how to set it up properly. Bottom line I turned it the wrong way and drove over half the trip with no trailer brakes.
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