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Old 08-05-2018, 12:32 AM   #1
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Towing an Escape 21 with a Nissan Pathfinder

Does anyone have experiences of towing an Escape 21, particularly a 2nd generation which runs a little heavier than a 1st generation, with a Nissan Pathfinder. The 2017 and subsequent and 2012 and prior years have a 6,000 lb tow rating and its a vehicle we would consider.

Thanks much in advance for any thoughts.
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:41 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Chris & Patricia View Post
Does anyone have experiences of towing an Escape 21, particularly a 2nd generation which runs a little heavier than a 1st generation, with a Nissan Pathfinder. The 2017 and subsequent and 2012 and prior years have a 6,000 lb tow rating and its a vehicle we would consider.

Thanks much in advance for any thoughts.
While I do not have any experience towing the combination you mention, I can say that over many years several automatic transmission technicians have told me it is wise, for reasons of longevity, not to exceed 80% of a vehicle’s tow rating. Given the Pathfinder’s 6,000 pound rating, and following the advice I have always been given, I would think that your Pathfinder is adequate for towing any trailer ETI currently produces, other than the 5.0TA of course.
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:15 AM   #3
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There is a sticker inside your driver side door jamb that has some capacity numbers, it would help if you could post a picture of those amounts for others to see and make a judgement call, thanks.
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:41 AM   #4
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+10 Every single vehicle is unique, not just the year or model either. There will be a sticker on the door giving you the ratings of your particular car. Payload, gross axle weights, etc. Then compare to weights in the real world over on the fiberglass RV forum. Figure tongue weight to be 13% of the total trailer weight. All of that tongue weight comes out of the payload rating on your car. Dry weights are quite misleading, they help sell RVs for sure, but don't provide useful information with which to make GOOD decisions.

FWIW, I run out of payload capacity at less than 60% of my towing capacity. Its all about the options on my truck (too many) which result in a relatively low payload. Realize every option comes out of the payload. Its frustrating!

Of course, people routinely exceed the ratings of their TV, basing their decision on what someone else does, or the RV sales person tells them, or whatever. I have friends that just bought a trailer at Camping World. Camping World's towing "expert" told them they could ignore the door sticker and just use his guidance instead. He told them they could handle the trailer they wanted to buy, no problem (go figure....). I asked my friends what credentials that Camping World expert had to overrule the Ford designers and engineers.
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:48 AM   #5
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There is a sticker inside your driver side door jamb that has some capacity numbers, it would help if you could post a picture of those amounts for others to see and make a judgement call, thanks.
Don’t have a vehicle yet, we are looking. We are trying to stay out of the full sized market. Although there are some smaller trucks (eg Tacoma/Frontier) that have an adequate tow rating, they feel small and cramped inside for us and the crew cabs are small and when we want to bring anyone else along, there’s not much space. There’s not many mid sized SUV’s that have a 6,000 lb tow rating and the Pathfinder is one of them.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:01 AM   #6
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Next time you go to the dealer, take a picture. Most internet ads now include a picture of the label for vehicle capacity.Weight capacity seems to be the limiting factor more than towing capacity, my Ram Hemi truck can pull close to 9,000 lbs but can only carry 15% of that number.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Chris & Patricia View Post
Does anyone have experiences of towing an Escape 21, particularly a 2nd generation which runs a little heavier than a 1st generation, with a Nissan Pathfinder. The 2017 and subsequent and 2012 and prior years have a 6,000 lb tow rating and its a vehicle we would consider.
While both may be viable tow vehicles, the 2012 and earlier and the 2017 and subsequent are completely different vehicles - experience with one will not be applicable to the other.
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Old 08-05-2018, 12:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
... I can say that over many years several automatic transmission technicians have told me it is wise, for reasons of longevity, not to exceed 80% of a vehicle’s tow rating.
Since the transmission doesn't know whether the load it is hauling is in the trailer or the tow vehicle, this doesn't make sense. One tow vehicle could be overloaded with a trailer only 70% of the rated maximum (because it is carrying a lot of passengers and cargo in the tug), while another of the same model could be well within limits with a trailer at 100% of the rated maximum (with just a driver). To the transmission, what matter is the gross combined weight of tug, trailer, and contents.

In fact, with a trailer weight limit of 6,000 pounds and a GCWR of only 10,000 pounds (from the manual), a 2017 Pathfinder can't possibly carry any passenger or cargo while towing a 6,000 pound trailer. It can't even carry all of itself, since an empty Pathfinder weighs substantially more than 4,000 pounds. The 6,000 pound rating appears to be a work of fiction, or the GCWR printed in the manual is incorrect.

The 2012 Pathfinder is even heavier than a 2017, but has substantially higher GCWR so it could actually tow a 6,000 pound trailer, and carry a driver but almost nothing else, while staying within GCWR. This is a normal rating situation for a light truck (the Pathfinder shares a platform with the Frontier pickup).

This sort of rule of thumb is probably an attempt to allow for passenger and cargo weight, instead of considering the actual values.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
Given the Pathfinder’s 6,000 pound rating, and following the advice I have always been given, I would think that your Pathfinder is adequate for towing any trailer ETI currently produces, other than the 5.0TA of course.
With a 5000 pound trailer and 1200 pounds of passengers and cargo the tow vehicle would likely be overloaded (combined weight over GCWR). I agree that with a typical load in the trailer, a few passengers, and reasonable cargo, a tug with 6,000 pound towing capacity is likely to be within its GCWR limit. The idea is that if the tug can handle 6,000 pounds of trailer, it can handle less than 5,000 pounds of trailer plus at least 1,000 pounds of people and cargo. It's still worth checking the weights and limits.
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Old 08-05-2018, 12:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chris & Patricia View Post
We are trying to stay out of the full sized market. Although there are some smaller trucks (eg Tacoma/Frontier) that have an adequate tow rating, they feel small and cramped inside for us and the crew cabs are small and when we want to bring anyone else along, there’s not much space. There’s not many mid sized SUV’s that have a 6,000 lb tow rating and the Pathfinder is one of them.
Forward of the rear seats, the 2005 to 2012 Pathfinder is the same vehicle as a 2004 or later Frontier. The Pathfinder has just a fraction of an inch more rear seat legroom than the Frontier Crew Cab, but in the front seats if the Frontier feels cramped the Pathfinder will be the same.

The current Pathfinder, on the other hand, has much more rear legroom than the old Pathfinder or a Frontier.
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Forward of the rear seats, the 2005 to 2012 Pathfinder is the same vehicle as a 2004 or later Frontier. The Pathfinder has just a fraction of an inch more rear seat legroom than the Frontier Crew Cab, but in the front seats if the Frontier feels cramped the Pathfinder will be the same.

The current Pathfinder, on the other hand, has much more rear legroom than the old Pathfinder or a Frontier.
Brian, thanks for your useful series of posts, which serve as a good reminder. I will go away, do some internet research, then do some arithmetic. I am allowing about 5,000lbs for the trailer, which is probably slightly on the high side, but, nothing wrong with being slightly conservative where safety is concerned. Obviously I will have to factor the tongue weight into they payload number. Anyway thanks again.
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