Is Tounge Weight Really Critical? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-25-2018, 11:54 AM   #1
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Is Tounge Weight Really Critical?

After browsing "Search" on this topic I am still unsure of its importance. I would like to get an Escape 21 which has a 360lb. tounge weight and pull it behind my 2010 Nissan Pathfinder which shows a 350lb. capacity. The Pathfinder is rated at 6000lb. tow capacity, however. An inquiry to Escape techs advised there would be no problem towing an Escape 21 with this Nissan Pathfinder. There was no further discussion or qualification of their comments. If, in your experience, it is a safety or structural concern, will an "Equalizer" hitch remedy the discrepancy? I would appreciate any input or insight on this before I make a big mistake. Thanks.

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Old 07-25-2018, 11:59 AM   #2
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First off, I think you may have some numbers wrong. I would verify the Pathfinder's 350# capacity, perhaps what is on the hitch? In addition the 360 # weight of a E21 is empty from the factory. Loaded, they approach 500#....Ever the 19 is around 450#. Perhaps a E17 will work with the Nissan?

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Old 07-25-2018, 12:01 PM   #3
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I believe tongue weight capacity is usually 10% of towing capacity. At least it is on my Chrysler/ Jeep vehicles.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:27 PM   #4
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I just did a search using "2010 Nissan Pathfinder towing capacity" and got lots of good information. I recommend you do the same.

It looks like the V-6 has a towing capacity of 6,000 lbs, and a tongue weight capacity of 600 lbs, so you should be in the adequate range.

Most 21s will weigh 4200 to 4400 lbs., ready for travel, depending on build sheet choices. Tongue weight will be 475 to 500.

It would be best to have an experienced person take a look at your particular vehicle and it's receiver (hitch) and your door panel sticker to double check everything, before concluding that your vehicle is a good choice.

Some people tow 21s without a weight distributing hitch. Most use one. It reduces the tow vehicle's rear end sag when the 500 lbs is weighing down on the hitch, but most weight distributing hitches also reduce sway and bounce.

Talk to as many people as you can. Everyone has an opinion on tow vehicles and hitches.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:34 PM   #5
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Hi Thruxton,
I'm not an expert but I think Jim's right. It doesn't make sense that a Pathfinder with a 6000 lbs tow capacity would only have a 350 lbs maximum tongue weight. My guess is you have at least a 500 lbs tongue weight. I'm wondering if maybe you have a light weight class 2 hitch installed. A class 2 hitch would have a 350 lbs limit. But if that's the case it is an easy inexpensive fix to replace the class 2 hitch with a class 3 hitch. For what it's worth, we tow our Escape 21 with a Hyundai Santa Fe V6. It has a 5000 lbs tow capacity and a 500 lbs tongue weight limit. We use the Pro Series WDH that ETI installed. We are very happy with how it tows.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:38 PM   #6
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Thank you for the feedback. Your advice is well taken. I don't doubt this combination is at the outer limits and would be temporary until I can get another vehicle with more of a margin. Thanks again.
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Old 07-25-2018, 01:17 PM   #7
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towing is also a much much bigger set of variables.

for example - in our experience - we have a 2011 Acura MDX with factory tow kit...

and while our medium loaded 21' with HVAC,

with a mostly empty MDX....

full clean water tank and empty black and empty grey tanks .... is well within limits, and we run about 450 lbs tongue weight.... and we also use the WDH.... it is safe and stable...

it is a little hair raising merging onto a busy Cali freeway, especially up a bit of a hill.

or passing a truck doing 45 MPH going up a very long steep hill...... not easy.

I wish we had more torque. and a few more horsepower.

so just a heads up. Depends how you load, how you travel, where you travel, how you load the tug. Tons of variables.

just a heads up.

maybe check the HP and torque of your tug, compared to our 2011 MDX.

A quick google shows your torque as 288 to 388 lb-ft..... and 266 to 310 hp

what engine (torque & hp) do you have?

we have 270 lbs & 300 HP.

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Old 07-25-2018, 02:29 PM   #8
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The 2010 Pathfinder is very capable just be sure that all installed equipment and accessories are up to the task. Nissan produced a very informative towing guide for the 2010 model year. Would be informative for more than just Nissan owners.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2010 pathfinder tow specs.JPG (38.9 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg 2010 pathfinder tow specs notations.JPG (38.6 KB, 8 views)
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:40 PM   #9
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The measured tongue weight of my 2017 Escape 21 is 500 pounds. The average tongue weight from the Trailer Weights in the real World spreadsheet is 453 pounds. If the Pathfinder is limited to 350 pounds, I think you would be pushing the weight on the axle & vehicle. You also need to check the payload of the Pathfinder. With 500 pounds of tongue weight, it is easy for you & your stuff to go over the tow vehicle payload limit.
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:16 PM   #10
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I don't know where I came up with that 350 lb. tongue weight figure in my original post, but on further inspection I found it shown on a barely readable sticker located on the hitch as 500 lbs. or 600 lbs. with WDH. So load and tow capacity would be O.K. However, I also found that I have the smaller 270 hp. V6 / 291 lb.-ft. motor which would not measure up to the sometimes marginal Acura MDX performance noted above. It appears my best option would be to upgrade to a capable TV as going to an Escape 19 would only net about 260 lbs. less dry weight and nothing in GVWR. You guys have been great about indulging my concern and caused me to examine the specs on this Pathfinder more thoroughly. Thanks again.

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