Towing with Pathfinder, I can answer that question soon - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-12-2018, 08:38 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: alpharetta, Georgia
Trailer: 2014 21' Escape
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Towing with Pathfinder, I can answer that question soon

Hello All,
As of Wednesday of last week we are the proud new owners of a 2014 21' Escape so we are very excited but the journey to get it to it's new home has been interesting so far.

I live in GA and by what I understand not one on the referral program to look at here so basically planned to buy site unseen but then did not like what I was reading about the automatic awning (understand 2019 going away) plus I was pretty sure I would prefer the older style since we have a Casita now. I like my cars square and travel trailers a little curved so decided to try and find a used one. I placed an add in the looking for and lucky for us it found me .

I have a 2017 Pathfinder 4 WD and to be honest felt confident it would tow it fine but now starting to wonder after reading the recent thread regarding this.

First issue I guess I can say is my fault, drove the 6 hours to see it, knew I wanted it as soon as I saw it so I bought it. I have always towed our Casita without an electronic braking system so did not even think about that so was not able to take it that day.

Here is where the real frustrations kicks in, one hitch place close to my office wanted $480.00 for the braking system and two of my partners that are pretty smart about this kind of stuff said WOW that seems a little much and recommended I check into a full service Uhaul so I did. WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!!!

First I have to drive to a location 20 miles away because they were only one with all the parts. Takes them almost 3 hours, they tell me I'm done and I leave. Stop to get gas about 1/2 way back home a notice hey wait a minute there is no 7 wire installed. Call them and, oh sorry sir we had a miscommunication if you bring it back tomorrow we can finish it (they did not have it in stock after all)

I go back the next morning, another 3 hours later they are finished.

Yesterday I drive the 6 hours back to MS and guess what the ^%$$&&^ is not working when I get there. I start calling U haul and they are really NO HELP except for two really nice ladies that you could tell they were also frustrated they could not help me. One was just a place they rent equipment but she was sympathetic to my plight and got hold of a very nice person at a CS center in Arizona. She tried to get one of their road technicians out there but after several attempts reaching out to her management they said no that is not what they do I would have to take it to a local U-haul that does that kind of work, all about an hour back in the direction I came from. Total of 3 of them and NONE had a technician on hand after being told one location did and after driving there found out NOPE. So very frustrated I drove the 5 hours from there back home.

Will be at the Uhaul center first thing Monday and they are either going to give me at least $100.00 credit and even this no way covers my lost expenses and fix it or I will be telling them take it all out and give me my money back. Either way every forum like this I will be bashing Uhaul, this whole experience has been a nightmare with them.

Hopefully one day next week I can let you know what it's like to tow a 21' Escape ( we have decide to name him Grover) with a 2017 Pathfinder. Stay tuned.

Safe travels to all,
Steve and Patty
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:04 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Los Osos, California
Trailer: 2014 21 2013 Yukon
Posts: 2,772
Very sorry to hear of this and not only would I be at least as upset as you, I would also be wondering if those clowns somehow damaged my wiring harness.

Our first tow vehicle was a 2011 Murano and first got a receiver put on for bikes. A few years later we wanted a 7-pin so we could drive up to Bend. OR to buy a 17B sight unseen. Went back to the trusted hitch shop for a brake controller and he suggested the Tekonsha Prodigy as he said there was too much risk in trying to wire into the harness. I still needed the 7-pin so went to Nissan and bought the factory harness and they quoted an hour labor. They had the car for two days, had to re & re the headliner to do the job! Still stuck to the original quote though. Told my hitch guy about the experience and he said an aftermarket harness would have been much easier. I didnt have him do that work as he was slammed and I of course was in a big hurry to get up to Bend. His advice for the controller was great though and the Prodigy worked out great for us.

Hope you get this sorted out.
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Old 08-12-2018, 09:45 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: alpharetta, Georgia
Trailer: 2014 21' Escape
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OOPS, sorry must have not been a wake yet after my long day, it is a 2012 4WD Pathfinder, not 2017 that I have. The 2012 was the last year for the square body style that I like. Would not buy the newer version just for that reason. Sorry for the confusion.

Happy travels,

Steve
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Old 08-12-2018, 03:12 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
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I'm sorry to hear about all of the problems. A 2012 Pathfinder could have one of three wiring configurations:
  1. no wiring for trailer
  2. 4-way connector and converter for lights (no provision for trailer brakes)
  3. 7-way connector, converter for lights, and pre-wiring for controller

The factory 7-way setup would have required only plugging in a controller - under US$200 with the required wiring adapter.

Did this Pathfinder come with a suitable hitch, but no wiring? Usually the hitch and wiring are purchased together as an optional "trailer tow package" from Nissan. Whether from the factory or later, it is strange that proper wiring was not installed along with the hitch.

If the Pathfinder really came with no factory trailer wiring, $480 for the controller, wiring supplies, parts, and labour is not surprising to me. The current Frontier (the closely related pickup model which is closely related to the 2012 Pathfinder) comes with no trailer wiring stock; to fully equip it with optional genuine Nissan parts (in Canada) requires two wiring harnesses for CA$105 and CA$71, plus the aftermarket controller and wiring adapter... and there is also the installation labour for both the wiring and the controller.
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:55 AM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: alpharetta, Georgia
Trailer: 2014 21' Escape
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Thanks for the info. It came with the basic tow package the 4 wire system and as mentioned it pulls our Casita with no problem. Sure I can tell its back there but never felt like I needed a braking system for it.

Have an awesome day,

Steve
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:10 AM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape 21 due Dec 2018, formerly Escape 17B 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratos175 View Post
Thanks for the info. It came with the basic tow package the 4 wire system and as mentioned it pulls our Casita with no problem. Sure I can tell its back there but never felt like I needed a braking system for it.

Have an awesome day,

Steve
Steve, my experience with U-Haul in Canada, was quite exhausting, so much frustration. Several issues that we experienced when installing the 7 pin versus the 4 pin. The first issue was did they hook up the brake part of the wiring correctly. No, so this got fixed. Then we find out much later that they did not hook up the charging circuit which can be pretty important if you do not have solar and are planning on dry camping. Most of the time, the wiring on the charging circuit is not really robust enough to give a really good charge to the trailer battery; however, every little bit helps. In our case, it took about three or four visits to different U Haul branches to get it done right. Most of the time their teckkies just don't have the knowledge and nor do the managers.

In summary, my recommendation is don't go to U-haul. Spend the extra bucks and go to a proper trailer hitch installation shop.

Also looking at newer vehicles suitable for towing, many come with separate receptacles for 4 and 7 pin wiring connectors and many trucks now come with integrated trailer brake controllers, which is nice so you don't keep on bumping your knee with after market installations. Its also much more likely to be done properly.
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Old 08-13-2018, 12:52 PM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratos175 View Post
Thanks for the info. It came with the basic tow package the 4 wire system...
Okay, so it needed a 7-way receptacle, wiring to connect that to the lighting circuits from the 4 wire system, wiring to the battery, and wiring to brake controller from the brake pedal switch, battery, and 7-way receptacle. The $480 price may not have been unreasonable, although likely a little high - but whatever the U-Haul price was, the service was obviously unacceptable, especially for a routine job.

The 4-way-only wiring setup is typical for a vehicle equipped with only a light-duty hitch, often under 2000 pounds capacity and rarely over 3500 pounds. In this case, it does have a proper Class 3 hitch (rated for at least 5,000 pounds), right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stratos175 View Post
... it pulls our Casita with no problem. Sure I can tell its back there but never felt like I needed a braking system for it.
The problem with just living without the trailer brakes is not during normal towing, but that hope-it-never-happens-to-you emergency event, in which you cannot slow down the whole rig effectively with only the tug braking. I'm glad that you have the tug set up properly now
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:18 PM   #8
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Just an FYI, California law requires trailer brakes for any trailer over 1,500 lbs. so you could be held liable if involved in an accident and didn't have brakes. Here is a listing of other state's requirements:

State and Province Towing Laws


http://www.hitchemup.com/statetowinglaws.htm
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:44 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post

The problem with just living without the trailer brakes is not during normal towing, but that hope-it-never-happens-to-you emergency event, in which you cannot slow down the whole rig effectively with only the tug braking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilola View Post
Here is a listing of other state's requirements:

State and Province Towing Laws]

That's a pretty good summery graphic of what each state requires. I'm a little surprised that Oregon doesn't require trailer brakes. I've had a few of those hope-it-never happens situations over the years and without trailer brakes it really takes on an unpleasant feeling when the brakes seem to have much less effect than normal.


Ron
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Old 08-13-2018, 04:42 PM   #10
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Location: alpharetta, Georgia
Trailer: 2014 21' Escape
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UPDATE:

I spend another hour and 45 minutes at a different Uhaul once I found out they were corporate stores, no way O go back to original location. They were very nice and apologetic but after that time frame said I cant tell you why its not working maybe the relay you were told to buy is bad. (not sue I mentioned that earlier after the first trip they said I would need a relay to make it work, I installed that right before I had to take it back because they forgot the 7 wire) He recommended I take it back to the place I bought the relay, a Nissan dealership. Guess what it needs more then this relay, it also needs wiring harness that cost $32.00 and $130.00 to install it. Dealership acted like something I did not want Uhaul to do or do myself, said some of the paneling has to come off and it be fished trough dash. Now I will be almost at the $480.00 the other placed quoted.
I will be filing a 'formal complaint' with Uhaul tomorrow, they cost me 13 hours of driving time so plan on some compensation for that. Owner of Uhaul place I went today said push it hard enough and they will give you some credit.

Hopefully soon I will be able to tell you first hand what towing a 21' with a 2012 Pathfinder is like.

Safe travels.

Steve
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