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Old 03-16-2023, 06:51 AM   #1
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X213 Towing with Pathfinder

Looking for advice here before I go ahead with purchasing a 2016 Jayco X213. Currently tow with a 2020 Pathfinder Rock Creek that tows up to 6,000 lbs (600lb tounge weight). Max weight of cargo & occupants is 1150lbs.

Dry weight of the x213 is listed as 4,300lbs with a GVWR of 5,500 and dry hitch weight of 460lbs. Based on this even with a load I should be OK but I've been reading some people experience a hitch weight of well over 700lbs.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-16-2023, 07:10 AM   #2
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Dry hitch weight is meaningless. You will never tow at the dry weight. The trailer weighs more leaving the factory with installed options.

Your true hitch weight is 10-15% of the loaded weight. 715# is 13% of 5500#. So that's the max the trailer can weigh. So it's very realistic to expect close to a 700# hitch weight when you are loaded ready to camp. What you need to find out is that the max hitch weight with, or with without (sometimes called dead hitch weight) as weight distribution hitch.

And yes, you will need a WDH. Strongly recommend an Equalizer E4 or Fastway E2. Easy to use, sway control is built in, no chains to fool around with, and setup properly it will be a really smooth towing experience.
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Old 03-16-2023, 07:31 AM   #3
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Thanks, that's what I've tried figuring out but it's tough to measure. I will be using a WDH but do you think that would get me down to <600 hitch weight on my SUV? I know that WDH doesn't necessarily "reduce" weight it just distributes but would that be doable?
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Old 03-16-2023, 08:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by siguy13 View Post
Thanks, that's what I've tried figuring out but it's tough to measure. I will be using a WDH but do you think that would get me down to <600 hitch weight on my SUV? I know that WDH doesn't necessarily "reduce" weight it just distributes but would that be doable?
Be careful. A lot of SUVs are not rated to handle weight distributing hitches--don't know about the Pathfinder. I think it's because of the stress it puts on the back of the vehicle.

You also want to make sure the hitch itself can handle WDH. The one that I had put on my Highlander says right on it not to use WDH. You may have to crawl around under the back with a flashlight to find any messages stamped into it.
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Old 03-16-2023, 08:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by siguy13 View Post
Thanks, that's what I've tried figuring out but it's tough to measure. I will be using a WDH but do you think that would get me down to <600 hitch weight on my SUV? I know that WDH doesn't necessarily "reduce" weight it just distributes but would that be doable?
Correct, only redistributes the weight, but it's still 700# on the hitch. That's why you need a clarification from the manufacturer.
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Old 03-16-2023, 08:40 AM   #6
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I wouldn't tow much over 3500 lbs with one. 1st it has a CVT which is not the best for towing. You'll need to really watch the trans temps.
2nd it's built on a unibody platform. Not the best for towing.
3rd is it front wheel drive or AWD? I wouldn't want to tow 6000 lbs with a front wheel drive SUV.

I would stick to smaller TT's like a Nucamp Tab 400.
https://nucamprv.com/tab400-camper/
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Old 03-16-2023, 10:50 AM   #7
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X213 are notoriously hitch-heavy. Do some searches here.


Which is why I can't have one though I love the layout.
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Old 03-16-2023, 12:31 PM   #8
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I tow an x213 with a Silverado 1500 V8 5.3L. I wouldn't want to tow it with something smaller. Most likely, you'll be limited by payload. It seems the Pathfinder maxes out at around 1,600 lbs. Assuming a 750 lbs tongue weight (the x213 is tongue heavy, as someone else said), and 100 lbs for the WDH, you have 750 lbs left for passengers and cargo, assuming that you have the best possible payload. The first thing to do would be to check the payload number in the door jamb.

Note in edit, I didn't realize that you already stated the payload. With that number, you'll have about 350-400 lbs leftover for passengers and cargo. I don't think it's possible without overloading. If you buy it, my feeling is that you won't like the towing experience and will have to upgrade the TV soon.
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Old 03-16-2023, 05:48 PM   #9
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Thanks for your reply. I read some owners have gotten tongue weight to ~550lbs with a WDH and if the hitch was 50lbs that would leave ~650lbs for passengers and cargo (which most of the cargo I could load in the camper) so do you think that’s reasonable? You commented on not towing with something smaller than your silverado is that because of payload concerns or weight of the camper (or both)?
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Old 03-16-2023, 06:22 PM   #10
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Looking at the Nissan forums it seems most are towing 3500 or less with your model of TV
You have to consider how hard your tow vehicle has to work
An overheated transmission could cost you dearly
A 6000 lb boat has way different wond resistance tgan a shoebox on wheels
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Old 03-17-2023, 05:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by siguy13 View Post
Thanks for your reply. I read some owners have gotten tongue weight to ~550lbs with a WDH and if the hitch was 50lbs that would leave ~650lbs for passengers and cargo (which most of the cargo I could load in the camper) so do you think that’s reasonable? You commented on not towing with something smaller than your silverado is that because of payload concerns or weight of the camper (or both)?
First, the WDH does not change the tongue weight, it just redistributes it over the TV's front and rear axle (and some back to the trailer axles). In any case, this is opening a can of worms, for your calculation purposes, you should assume that the whole tongue weight of your loaded trailer has to be subtracted from the payload of the TV. No matter what the actual measurements are, the general recommendation is to have a tongue weight of 12-13% trailer weight for maximum towing stability. At 5,500 lbs loaded, 12% of this would mean 660 lbs tongue weight -- you are already over your tongue weight limit. Even IF the WDH only adds 50 lbs, you only have 490 lbs left over for passengers.

Second, you have to take into account that you have a V6. I am sure it can pull the trailer, but it will be strained.

Third, stopping power and towing stability (wheel base) are important for a pleasant towing experience.

With a TV that is 100% maxed out by the trailer, in all aspects, my feeling is that you won't like the towing experience, and that you'll soon think about upgrading the TV. Camping is supposed to be fun and a relaxing experience. If you are white knuckling it all the way to the campground, it will be the opposite of that.

BTW: Good for you asking for advice BEFORE pulling the trigger. Many people only ask AFTER they made a unwise purchase. I was in the latter group when I purchased my first popup on an impulse, soon figuring out that my then TV had no business towing it. Lucky for me, there was another interested buyer at the same time who took it off our hands. Only AFTER this potentially costly mistake did I start doing my homework on the numbers involved in safe towing.
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Old 03-17-2023, 06:03 AM   #12
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Redlining the towing numbers is always interesting. As many know there are always tolerances built in. Were they the lawyer tolerances of 30% or were they the marketing department of 3%?

You have to evaluate your towing. Ten miles across a prairie to a paved campsite or coast to coast a couple times a year with some mountain boondocking?

Finally, worse case scenario. You are slamming on your brakes with the family screaming. Can you control the vehicle and come to a safe stop? Going is easy. Stopping and controlling is when those limits really come into play.
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Old 03-22-2023, 12:55 PM   #13
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No way, not a chance. If a dealer told you if was OK, run away from that dealer. I towed our X213 with an F250 superduty, and I had overload springs on from a previous slide in. I could feel it back there, especially under braking. As the rumors state, the tongue weight is significant. You WILL die if you try to tow this with a Pathfinder. Seriously, don't do it.
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Old 03-22-2023, 01:03 PM   #14
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Of all the great advice and scads of wonderful ideas on this forum, one of the very best was a statement to the effect: you can never have a too-big tow vehicle.
Our I6 Trailblazer couldn't adequately handle our 3,500 gross weight trailer. It worked fine for a couple years on flat land but mountains and headwinds were a major problem. Now our V8 Tahoe is a dream. I would reconsider your setup.
Every RV salesman has the same mantra, "Oh, sure! You can tow this with that!"
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Old 03-22-2023, 03:02 PM   #15
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WOW .. a thread that I can actually provide some specific real world / relevant feedback on.

The short version of a long story is that in 2019 a few months after outfitting my 2015 Pathfinder as best as I could for towing my then new 2019 X213 (the RV which I love), I upgraded to a Chevy Tahoe with the tow package.

Adding picture of first trip with X213/Pathfinder.

As someone else stated, well done to you to ask before making the purchase. I thought I had done my research well enough at the time. However, the reality of a loaded trailer and that actual hitch weight does not compare to the dry hitch weight.

As others have stated, the Pathfinder could pull the X213 OK on flat ground which I was travelling for the most part in the state of Florida. I never had an issue with the towing part. However, the Pathfinder would not likely have held up long term to the pressure on the hitch and I was very close to the GVWR.

One day after backing into a campsite, I found one of the back panels had a large indentation. I believe that the trailer put so much pressure on the rear of the vehicle it caused it to buckle.

I hope this helps. Feel free to follow up with any additional questions I can help with. Best of Luck!
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