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Old 06-07-2014, 02:53 PM   #1
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Towing to the limit (and beyond...)

Went to my local dealer to order a x213 this morning. After touring the lot my DW and I decided to put a deposit on a leftover 26bh. The price was substantially less, no wait time, and so much more room and storage. I was a little nervous about the upgrade in size. Not so much the weight, necessarily, more the increased "sail" effect of the extra height and width. I was going to be close on the numbers either way.

The numbers: TV 11 Pathfinder v6 6000 tow 11133 GCVW. TT dry sticker wt 4909. WD hitch w/sway control purchased.

I guess I'm looking to hear from people that tow jay flights with mid size suv's. Real world experience and stories please. I've been reading the forums long enough to know about the negatives of short wheel base SUVs, the 80% weight rule and I know I'm flirting with the limits. If you've ever flirted with your limit, I wan to hear from you.
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:11 PM   #2
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I once owned a 20 ft Jay Feather, cant remember the dry weight, the total loaded trailer weight was probably in the mid-high 4000 lbs. My tow vehicle was a 2000 Jeep Cherokee, rated for 5000 lbs. Had weight distribution hitch of course, no anti-sway bar, and the trailer was low-profile. I never encountered any problems, the trailer was stable. Towed some in the local Appalachian Mtns. Slow going up and slow going down, but I'm not generally in a rush anyway.
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Old 06-07-2014, 03:50 PM   #3
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My first combination was 2012 26BH and 2004 Tahoe. I was within GCVWR and published tow rating but over on the Tahoe GVWR once I added the TT tongue weight + Me, DW, 2 kids and a dog -- nothing else in the Tahoe.

Once loaded my 26BH had a tongue weight >800lbs, if I recall from the factory w/o batteries it was ~550lbs. So adding a couple batteries plus gear in the pass through & WD hitch I imagine you too will get up there in TW.

Although I exceeded the Tahoe GVWR due to much higher than expected TW + family it still towed OK, certainly not great. The 5.3 V8 was plenty of engine, but the 4 speed transmission had a hard time once we got into some hills. After one trip to the mountains (not hills) we stopped using the Tahoe and started using my pick-up and crated the dog in the back.

Buying a travel trailer should be an exciting fun time, and I don't want to ruin that for you but I think that Pathfinder will NOT be a good tow vehicle for 26BH
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Old 06-07-2014, 10:45 PM   #4
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I'm towing right up at my maximums with my current setup, but it's a bit different because I'm in a truck. The truck tows ok, but not great. I would love to not worry about weight, but it's my trade off because we don't tow a lot right now and it's my daily driver. I am technically within limits, but a bigger truck would make things more enjoyable. Bigger truck is already on my radar.

I also have a 2006 XTerra that I've towed a boat with and have had loaded up plenty of times before. Towing our boat it did better than my 01 Tundra did, hauling payload sucks with it. It bumps the stops empty, load it up and you're just riding on them. Air bags/springs/Timbrens/upgraded shocks are a must for SUVs. It has a 5000 lb tow rating, and I probably would never tow more than 4K low profile with it for two reasons:

1) very short wheel base will get pulled all over the place with that long trailer even with the best sway control setups
2) really soft rear suspension creates all kinds of problems.

Don't forget, with smaller vehicles, payload is where you're going to run out first. Also, I thought the Pathfinder specd out at 5000 lbs towing? I drove a late model Pathfinder from Texas to Michigan and back a couple years ago, and I would never own one; we would hit bumps and by the time it settled down, the front end was somewhere else, made for some interesting midnight wake ups for the passengers.

Bottom line is that you CAN do it, but maybe you shouldn't. It's up to you and your level of comfort. Personally, I will never tow at maximum limits again, it's just not worth the constant worry.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:42 AM   #5
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Thanks to all for the responses. Due to my situation I need an suv, not a truck-three kids all still in carseats. Looking at the Armada would give me more power (317 hp/385 ft# vs 266 hp/288 ft#) but not much more wheel base (123" vs 112"). Also, payload would only go to 1453 from 1047. My thinking is not much improvement but worse gas mileage for the 51 weeks out of the year I'm not towing. Also thought about suburban, but even the used ones in my area are out of my price range.

Thoughts appreciated.
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:53 AM   #6
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Towing to the limit (and beyond...)

In my opinion I would take a hard look at the Volks Wagon touareg diesel. Sorry for spelling. Here is a link http://www.edmunds.com/volkswagen/touareg/2014/
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:00 AM   #7
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I tow a x23B, gross weight 4950lbs, with a 2005 Pathfinder. I've taken it out on several trips, and average around 10mpg through our flat Midwest highways. With WD hitch and anti-sway, it does a good job down the interstate. However, a trailer with "empty" weight of 4900lbs is likely too much for the Pathfinder. I know I wouldn't go any heavier than the X23b that we have. Like you, I need the SUV for people; I have 4 kids with 3 still in car seats; camper-towing maybe just 6 weekends out of the year. I'd say the Armada would be a much better choice of TV for the trailer you just purchased. Our next TV will probably be an Armada, Yukon XL, or Suburban....Need room for Grandma and Grampa... Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2014, 11:13 AM   #8
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I'll jump in... Just completed a 200 mile round trip yesterday with the 314BHS and Tahoe. Camper is 6900lbs and some change empty and the Tahoe is rated for 7400lbs, so I suspect its over when loaded. It's not the best combo one could ask for, but for now, the Tahoe is my only option. I personally don't tow over 60mph and always have it in 3rd gear with the tow/haul on. I do notice that I get "pushed" around a bit with cross winds or when a larger vehicle passes me. I also don't use cruse control and I try not to let the trans downshift into 2nd unless I am below 45mph climbing a hill on the freeway. I do have loadrange D tires on the Tahoe to help support the extra weight. There is one benifit I can think of over a larger truck... The shorter vehicles typiclly have a tighter turning radius, therefor allowing you to manuver a larger camper into some of those tighter spots.
I think you will be fine, just take it slow and easy to your destanation. Good luck! Dave
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:36 PM   #9
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Since you've decided to look into a full size SUV, I would give the Expedition a really close look. From what I've seen and heard, those things are tow beasts...
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:50 PM   #10
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I understand the need for passenger space with kids, but I still would not rule out a truck. My Dodge quad cab has seating for 6. We travel regularly with 2 kids and the dog (shepherd mix) all in the cab. Just a thought.
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