What does everyone tow?

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AS_The_Crow_Flys
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Re: What does everyone tow?

Postby AS_The_Crow_Flys » Mon Nov 14, 2022 2:57 pm

Thanks for this. Wife and I have been looking into a trailer option for 5 that would be pulled by our 2007 pathfinder s 4x4 with a 2-inch lift and almost 33's. Not sure how the lift would effect this, but would probably need airbags to tow anything heavy.


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pathy-logical
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Re: What does everyone tow?

Postby pathy-logical » Tue Nov 15, 2022 8:19 am

How much affect a lift has on towing and handling when towing would depend on how it was done I suppose. Your tire size could be an issue then again it could be benificial. If your R51 was originally equipped with 245-75x16" tires they are 30.5" so 33" tires are the same as an 8% change in axle ratio. This means you are affectively going from a 3.13 ratio to 2.88. That change is applicable to the ratio in every gear so depending on trailer weight and/or frontal area you could have a lot of shifting between 4th and 5th and the torque converter could be even more prone to continually lock and unlock, even on level ground. Personally I don't like that. On the other hand lets say a grade which you would normally climb at 45 mph in 3rd gear would now be taken at nearly 49 mph, 8% faster, for the same engine rpm or still taken at 45 mph at 8% less engine rpm.

The fact that you mention 5 people is pertinent if they will all be in your vehicle. Your R51 has a max payload capacity. It's not the same for all of them. The weight of optional equipment, engine option, 4wd or rwd and I think OEM wheel/tire size determine the payload of each individual R51. The payload is found on the tire specification sticker inside the driver's side door opening. Once you know that number deduct the weight of passengers, cargo and hitch weight from it and the remainder is what you have left for trailer tongue weight. You should not exceed 600# for V6 and 700# for V8 tongue weight. And those numbers are only when using a frame mounted receiver and load equalizing hitch. Also there is a number called GCWR. This is the combined, loaded weight of the trailer and tow vehicle. Again each specific R51 has a number depending on how it's equipped. I've found Edmunds to be a good general source for some of this information but always rely on manufacturer's specs. All of the information you may find of course applies to stock specification vehicles. Once you start changing things on the tow vehicle, for better or worse, some or all of it flies out the window.

One very important thing to note is air bags have a very specific purpose. That purpose is to control ride height and thus ride quality and stability. They do not increase the vehicle's max payload capacity.

Those are just my thoughts. Hopefully someone with experience towing with a setup similar to yours will share.
Last edited by pathy-logical on Mon Nov 21, 2022 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AS_The_Crow_Flys
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2022 1:28 pm

Re: What does everyone tow?

Postby AS_The_Crow_Flys » Tue Nov 15, 2022 11:47 am

Thank. I have some homework to do on this for sure.

Or maybe I should go buy a tundra and burry my head in the sand ... and then by feet. ;)

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pathy-logical
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Re: What does everyone tow?

Postby pathy-logical » Wed Nov 16, 2022 3:56 pm

The bigger hammer solution. LOL. The whole thing is a numbers game if you want to stay within recommended safety margins.

I'll use the numbers from my vehicles as an example. Just take it for what it is, an example of what I did, not a model to be duplicated.
My 2012 Pathfinder S 2wd, your numbers may vary.
Curb weight: 4428# (Edmunds)
GVWR: 6000# (Door jam sticker and Nissan Owner's Manual)
Max payload:' passengers, luggage, etc.: 1102# (tire size label on door jam)
Towing capacity, tongue wt/trailer wt: 500/5000# deadweight; 600/6000# weight distributing hitch (with Nissan frame hitch; Nissan Owner's Manual)
GCWR, max combined weight of V6 PF and trailer: 11,135# (Nissan Owner's Manual, Section 9)
*Note the total of my curb weight and the max payload (5530#) is less than 6000# GVWR
**Note that deducting 5530# from the GCWR 11,135# leaves only 5605# for max trailer weight
***Trailer tongue weight and hitch weight are considered as part of Payload

My trailer 2020 Jayco 212QB
Curb weight: 4303# (Label on trailer from the factory, no dealer installed options)
Payload: 1197# (same Label on trailer)
GVWR: 5500# (total of above two)
*Max trailer tongue weight is not specified, the dry trailer tongue weight of this trailer is 480#

The weight of my PF before coupling is 4428# (curb weight) + 509# (my wife and I, two dogs, personal items and trailer hitch) = 4937#
5530# (curb wt + max payload) - 4937# = 593# (allowable for tongue weight as additional payload)

I'll use a loaded trailer weight of 5000# as an example which is still 605# below the max to stay within the GCWR.
It is recommended to keep tongue weight at 10% to 15% of the total trailer weight to help prevent trailer sway. However anything over 12% in this example would take the tongue weight well over 600#.

Lets say I load the trailer to it's limit of 5500#. I'm still within the GCWR limit by 105# but now I'm limited to 10% to 11% of trailer weight on the tongue so as not to exceed 600#. Why is this important? Because sometimes a redistribution of weight inside the trailer can make a difference if the trailer sways too much or has a tendency to wag the dog. Typically what is done is to move weight forward to increase the tongue weight. If you're already at or near max allowable tongue weight this could be a problem.

There are those within the RV community who use a rule of thumb that says keep your trailer weight at or below 80% of your tow vehicle's maximum towing capacity. If one travels light it can be done in a trailer this size. 80% of 6000# is 4800#. At 4800# it's well within all the weight parameters but still allows only 10% to12.5% trailer weight to tongue weight ratio without going over 600#..

And finally three more important considerations - trailer frontal area (Max is 60 sqft for any R51), trailer side area and trailer height - all of which affect pulling, handling and stability in headwinds, sidewinds, gusts from any direction and passing or being passed by large vehicles.

I hope this is helpful and not just confusing because of the way I put it. It's pretty much all in Section 9 of the owners manual in general terms.
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palmerwmd
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Re: What does everyone tow?

Postby palmerwmd » Sun Nov 20, 2022 9:00 am

pathy-logical wrote:
Wed Nov 16, 2022 3:56 pm
The bigger hammer solution. LOL. The whole thing is a numbers game if you want to stay within recommended safety margins.

I'll use the numbers from my vehicles as an example. Just take it for what it is, an example of what I did, not a model to be duplicated.
My 2012 Pathfinder S 2wd, your numbers may vary.
Curb weight: 4428# (Edmunds)
GVWR: 6000# (Door jam sticker and Nissan Owner's Manual)
Max payload:' passengers, luggage, etc.: 1102# (tire size label on door jam)
Towing capacity, tongue wt/trailer wt: 500/5000# deadweight; 600/6000# weight distributing hitch (with Nissan frame hitch; Nissan Owner's Manual)
GCWR, max combined weight of V6 PF and trailer: 11,135# (Nissan Owner's Manual, Section 9)
*Note the total of my curb weight and the max payload (5530#) is less than 6000# GVWR
**Note that deducting 5530# from the GCWR 11,135# leaves only 5605# for max trailer weight
***Trailer tongue weight and hitch weight are considered as part of Payload

My trailer 2020 Jayco 212QB
Curb weight: 4303# (Label on trailer from the factory, no dealer installed options)
Payload: 1197# (same Label on trailer)
GVWR: 5500# (total of above two)
*Max trailer tongue weight is not specified, the dry trailer tongue weight of this trailer is 480#

The weight of my PF before coupling is 4428# (curb weight) + 509# (my wife and I, two dogs, personal items and trailer hitch) = 4937#
5530# (curb wt + max payload) - 4937# = 593# (allowable for tongue weight as additional payload)

I'll use a loaded trailer weight of 5000# as an example which is still 605# below the max to stay within the GCWR.
It is recommended to keep tongue weight at 10% to 15% of the total trailer weight to help prevent trailer sway. However anything over 12% in this example would take the tongue weight well over 600#.

Lets say I load the trailer to it's limit of 5500#. I'm still within the GCWR limit by 105# but now I'm limited to 10% to 11% of trailer weight on the tongue so as not to exceed 600#. Why is this important? Because sometimes a redistribution of weight inside the trailer can make a difference if the trailer sways too much or has a tendency to wag the dog. Typically what is done is to move weight forward to increase the tongue weight. If you're already at or near max allowable tongue weight this could be a problem.

There are those within the RV community who use a rule of thumb that says keep your trailer weight at or below 80% of your tow vehicle's maximum towing capacity. If one travels light it can be done in a trailer this size. 80% of 6000# is 4800#. At 4800# it's well within all the weight parameters but still allows only 10% to12.5% trailer weight to tongue weight ratio without going over 600#..

And finally three more important considerations - trailer frontal area (Max is 60 sqft for any R51), trailer side area and trailer height - all of which affect pulling, handling and stability in headwinds, sidewinds, gusts from any direction and passing or being passed by large vehicles.

I hope this is helpful and not just confusing because of the way I put it. It's pretty much all in Section 9 of the owners manual in general terms.
Great post! :)

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pathy-logical
Posts: 20
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Re: What does everyone tow?

Postby pathy-logical » Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:15 am

Thanks, that means a lot coming from you.

I followed your 2008 build with a great deal of interest and envy. I admire your commitment to the R51 and like you (I think) I appreciate it for being the great sUv that it is - emphasis on Utility. I love driving it, smile every time I see it and can't walk away from it without looking back at least once.


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