View Full Version : Rookie - still shopping

05-27-2021, 07:05 AM
We have a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder with a towing capacity of 6000lbs. What is our dry weight capacity for a camper trailer? We like a hideout but online it says itís 4496lbs.

05-27-2021, 07:26 AM
First off, thank you so much for asking here before buying the wrong unit and then regretting it.

Your "towing capacity" is pretty much a worthless number. It tells you how much you can pull, as long as it has a wheel at each corner. A TT doesn't. A TT loads your rear suspension, and that's the number you run out of first.

Look for the yellow sticker inside your driver door panel. It will have a payload number on it. That is the total weight you can bear: trailer tongue, passengers, vehicle cargo. For the trailer tongue weight, estimate 12-15% of the trailer's maximum (not "dry") weight.

Given that a Pathfinder is an SUV, not a truck, I estimate you may be able to tow a popup or an A-frame. I may be wrong, but I don't believe Keystone makes anything you could tow safely.

travelin texans
05-27-2021, 07:53 AM
There's 2 numbers that mean absolutely nothing to you at this point, #1 your Pathfinders max tow rating & #2 the dry weight of any rv, both are totally useless in pairing a tow vehicle to a rv.
As mentioned check the payload posted on your driver's door post along with the other numbers, those are the true numbers for YOUR vehicle, which includes the tongue weight of the rv, the weight of the weight distributing hitch (which is required), the weight of everyone/everything in/on your Pathfinder that wasn't there as it rolled out the factory door. Then compare 12-15% of the GVWR of the chosen rv from the manufacturers tag on the drivers side front corner of the rv to get the tongue weight.
You might also read the owners manual of the Pathfinder under trailer towing, if it's a unibody construction type vehicle it's most likely not recommended the use of a weight distributing hitch which as mentioned will be required.
DO NOT use any numbers from brochures/literature of either rv or tow vehicle & ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about towing ability from the rv or vehicle dealer, they have only 1 concern on their agenda......sell you something & most have NO experience with either rvs or towing.

05-27-2021, 07:58 AM
The Pathfinder has unibody construction. I think you will find that a weight distribution hitch is not allowed and the receiver on the vehicle will be limited to 500lbs. or less. That will put you in the realm of a pop up or the like. Post the stickers inside the driver door as LHaven suggested and we can help you determine what might work. Those are the only numbers that will mean anything except the gvw of the RV, not the dry weight (meaningless).

05-27-2021, 08:56 AM
The tag says 1149lbs

05-27-2021, 09:26 AM
This caution is from the 2019 Pathfinder Owner's Manual. I'd suspect it is in every owner's manual, so check your manual if your Pathfinder is not a 2019 model year:

∙ Special hitches which include frame reinforcements are required for towing above 2,000 lbs. (907 kg). Suitable Genuine NISSAN hitches, ball mounts and hitch balls for pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles are available at a NISSAN dealer.
∙ The hitch should not be attached to or affect the operation of the impact absorbing bumper.
∙ Do not use axle-mounted hitches.
∙ Do not modify the vehicle exhaust system, brake system, etc. to install a
trailer hitch.

travelin texans
05-27-2021, 09:34 AM
The tag says 1149lbs

That's the total weight of everyone/everything in or connected to that vehicle.
I'm assuming that with a SUV there could possibly be more than 2 adults in the vehicle so all of their weights must be accounted for & subtracted from that 1149 lbs. + the rv tongue weight & the WDH weight, which apparently isn't recommended on that vehicle but required for TT towing.

05-27-2021, 10:13 AM
The tag says 1149lbs

So then, if the people, pets, gear. etc. in the Pathfinder weigh no more than 500 lbs., that leaves you enough capacity for around a 4,300 lb. trailer. That's better than A-frame, somewhere in popup country.

05-27-2021, 12:05 PM
Keep in mind that in addition to the weight limits, as mentioned above, you must also consider the truck's ability to handle that trailer from a width x height perspective.

Again, to determine the max tow ratings, the manufacture didn't use RVs. They used some type of flat bed on which they loaded bricks or other low-profile cargo to get the weight they wanted.

In the case of a travel trailer, you are dragging what amount to a huge wind sail behind you, which will be affected by various forms of wind turbulence, like cross winds, wind from passing trucks, etc. - This turbulence on the RV can have a severe impact on the tow vehicle when it smaller, like your SUV.

Now, if your SUV is barely able to handle that load under good conditions, consider what will happen in the event of an emergency maneuver, like dodging a dear which jumped out in front of you while you are driving down the highway, etc.

I think you should be really careful if you elect for anything larger than something like a pop-up tent trailer.

travelin texans
05-27-2021, 12:25 PM
So then, if the people, pets, gear. etc. in the Pathfinder weigh no more than 500 lbs., that leaves you enough capacity for around a 4,300 lb. trailer. That's better than A-frame, somewhere in popup country.

That 4300 is the GVWR NOT dry weight, which will still be 500lbs +/- tongue weight.

05-27-2021, 01:09 PM
Right, out of the 649 pounds of remaining payload capacity.