V8 Towing? V6 Towing? A lot of questions....


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V8 Towing? V6 Towing? A lot of questions....

Postby Tillyboat » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:29 pm

I was wondering who has been towing with the V8? How much do you tow? How fast do you usually travel when towing? How is the gas mileage at your towing speed? Does anyone know how much of a difference it would be, how it would feel, if you go from the V6 to the V8?

I have the V6. The reason I am asking everyone is because I recently purchased a travel trailer which weighs around(or what the salesman told me) 3500lbs. Does that kind of weight usually make the gas mileage really bad? I was travelling around 65mph and the rpm's were very high, around 2600 - 2800. Is that right? Is that the same for anyone pulling that amount of weight? And of course, it went up to around 3000 - 3200rpm when pulling up a slight grade. I'm also guessing that the wind drag from the trailer wouldn't have helped either heh? The trailer is very tall, as it is not a tent trailer. I left the overdrive on, but it never really seemed to go into overdrive though. Only when I was going down a hill it the rpms would drop.

I was not impressed with the tow as I used a lot of gas. :x I was wondering how much of a difference it would be if I purchased the V8 model? Or possibly a Armada or Titan instead?

RacerZX. What about the supercharger? How much weight do you pull with your 300Z loaded up? What kind of mileage do you get? What are your rpms usually running at while at cruising speed?

I'm just curious about possibly trying to get more power out of the V6 or switching to the V8. If anyone could talk about their experiences, or knows how much of a difference is between the V6 and V8 while towing, please let us know. Thanks. Have a great day everyone.

One more thing.... Looking for possible towing/extendable mirrors :wink: .

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Postby Gray » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:35 pm

Here are a couple of interesting articles on the use of toluene to improve the power output of pump fuels in modern engines...maybe when towing for example. :wink:



The use of the term 'Sherwin-Williams speed shop' cracks me up;

http://www.sherwin-williams.com/oem/us/ ... uene_r2k1/

Not commonly known, but the RV and towing crowd are always looking for an edge, welcome to that club. :wink:


Last edited by Gray on Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:33 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby 08Datsun » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:46 pm

We just towed for the first time this weekend. We have a V6 and towed a 2,000lb. tent trailer. It stayed in overdrive most of the time only downshifting on steep grades and held speed easily in 4th. We averaged 16.2 mpg driving about 65. I've had other trucks that wouldn't tow in overdrive, and some where it wasn't even recommended. I don't think 3,000 rpm is going to hurt the VQ40. The VQ30 in my Maxima does 3,000 rpm at 70. Driving out across the desert, which we do a lot, it spins @3,500 all day in 110 degree heat with never a complaint. The stroke is a little shorter in that engine, though.

I've driven the V8 but haven't towed with it. Torque is 100 more than the V6, which is significant. It has slightly higher gearing, but I imagine it would be much less strained when towing. I spoke with someone that towed with a V8 Pathfinder pulling about the same load as you, and he got 14mpg. Several people have V8's on here, so hopefully one will chime in for you.

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Postby Billy T. » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:34 pm

I have gotton as good as 12.8 pulling about 5000 pounds with my V8. That was with the cruise at 65. 75 got me around 12 even witht he same load on a different trip.

Powerwise, the V8 kills it. Gets going as well as the 6.0 PSD my friend has and pulls better than every other rig I have ever owned, from 5.3 to 6.0 to 454, all chevys. Suspension is a completely different story, though.

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Postby SHAWNATGERBROCK » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:42 pm

hMM, I have towed a few times , 2500lb boat, 3000+ Lb Jeep and my Sentra 3000 lb ish ... Really happy with how it works .... and I do NOT have trailer brakes, power was good and didnt have any issues running up Mt Hood at 65 MPH with the boat and a weeks worth of camping gear ( Path FULL and Boat FULL !! ) Gas mileage ?? really dont even look ...

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Postby Fofiddy » Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:36 am

08Datsun wrote: I've had other trucks that wouldn't tow in overdrive, and some where it wasn't even recommended.
My 05 manual reccomends OD off as well.
2000+lbs 6x12 covered trailer 1600mi @~65mph 12.3mpg (/w OEM 30.5" P rated)
1100-1300lbs 3 rail bike trailer 800mi @~60mph 18.3mpg @65-78mph 16.4mpg (/w 31.6" LTs)(OD on)

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Postby 08Datsun » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:27 am

Fofiddy wrote:
08Datsun wrote: I've had other trucks that wouldn't tow in overdrive, and some where it wasn't even recommended.
My 05 manual reccomends OD off as well.
I looked for this in my '08 manual and found nothing. It mentions downshifting for control on hills but nothing about not towing in overdrive. I wonder what the other years say.

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Postby amr40509 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:45 am

I pretty much use my '06 V6 to tow a boat every weekend in the summer. The boat is right around 4000lbs and does generate wind drag as it is wider then the truck. This is with a single axle trailer with surge breaks. Usually there the truck is full of people/coolers/gear when towing too, probably an average of another 800lbs in addition to me.

I've found that if I tow on the highway (not back roads) at 60-65 the torque convertor will unlock on uphill grades. You can see this when the truck doesn't downshift, but the revs still climb at a constant speed. This also generates more heat, which is a bad thing. My MPG is in the 11-12 range on our Kentucky hills (nothing is flat around here) doing this. If I bring my speeds up to 72-75mph the engine is makeing more power and the torque convertor almost never unlocks. I get more like 13-14mpg doing this.

I also always tow with the Overdrive off, even towing my 14' utility trailer that is about 1500lbs it hunts in/out of overdrive if I have it on due to all of the hills here. So I just leave it off.

I would said I towed the boat about 5000 miles so far and other lighter trailers about 1000. I did not do my own tranny fluid change, I had the dealer do it at 30,000 miles. I spoke w/ the tech about looking at the fluid when he changed it, he reported back that it smelled a little burned, but looked pretty good overall.

I know a lot of boating people and we talk trucks a lot. It sounds like the only way to NOT get 10-14mpg when towing something over about 3000lbs is to use a diesel.

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Postby blink32 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:56 am

I just went through the 08, 07, 06 and 05 manuals and they all reference staying out of OD but not for reasons I would expect.

"To maintain engine braking efficiency and electrical charging performance, do not use overdrive."

There are also other small differences like the entire towing sections have gotten much larger comparing the 08 section to the 05 section. A lot more information which includes calculation examples and what not to help the consumer. There was another odd change, 05 & 06 were warned to "use trailer brakes with trailers exceeding 1000lbs" where as 07 & 08 the weight was raised to 3500lbs. Better braking components installed or just a bureaucratic thing?

At any rate, depending on the weight I would be dropping out of OD if the trans ever hunted 5th to 4th and/or if the TC never locked up in OD. All that extra heat is the main killer of any auto-trans.

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Postby Gray » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:56 am

The 04+ Armada models equipped with the Tow Package received a transmission temperature gauge that would be great to install in a PF used for towing.


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Postby Krafty » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:25 pm

I have no doubt that the V8 model would be much better for your load. However, if your going to try to justify the upgrade with fuel costs and handling advantages, then you're on the wrong track. Suspension for the V8 virtually the same as the V6. Gas mileage may improve a little since the V8 would be working much less but if you figure you'll sink $10k in upgrading from the V6 model to the V8 model then you'll never be able to justify it.
Have you considered adding the airbags to your suspension? I pull a tent trailer and although I don't have the air resistance you have, I have a fairly high hitch weight which tends to make the independant rear suspension get a little jumpy.

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Postby Tillyboat » Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:22 pm

Thanks for all your input, advice and stories guys.

Next on my list is to order a set of the airbags for the rear suspension. I noticed when I hit a bump, it would hit the bottom pretty hard.

As for going for the V8, it has something that I had thought about right away when it first came out. However up here in Canada you can't get a V8 on the SE trim. It has to be the LE model, which costs at least 50 grand up here. I was looking into buying a US model SE V8 but wasn't sure about going through the whole process of the transfer, etc. One of the dealerships I spoke to stated that the Nissan factory warranty couldn't be transferred here, but would you really need it? The price difference between the two countries is just crazy. I figured that I might save 7 grand importing a US model though. But we'll see.

Everyone have a great day. peace.

Alan Fleming
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Postby Alan Fleming » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:43 pm

I tow a 24' 6000 lb holiday trainer with a 2007 Pathfinder. I average 90 - 100 KPH and gas mileage is double (23 L / 100 Km) which I expected. If I accept a lower speed (say 80 - 90) my mileage becomes about 19 L / 100 KM.
If this vehicle had better transmission/engine software that made better use of the claimed high torque engine the mileage could be kept about 18 - 19 L / 100 KM. This peeve also applies in my driving without the trailer. This vehicle is too quick to gear down and race the engine.

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Towing with V6

Postby pgleduc » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:40 am

My towing experience is nearly identical to Alan's. I too tow an RV with V6 Pathy '09 SE. Fully loaded, the 22' trailer is probably just over 5,500 lbs.

I always tow with OD off as the tranny hunts too much otherwise. I tried towing in OD on a reasonably flat section once and my gas mileage was actually worse.

At 100Km/h, my gas mileage is the same as Alan's coming in at 22-24L/100kms (~10mpg US gal) and it also improves by slowing down to 90km/h to about 19L/100kms (~12mpg US gal).

On a few very long, very steep inclines, the vehicle will slow down below highway speeds and might even downshift to 2nd gear to try to keep up. But even so, IMHO, the Pathy is a good tow vehicle for the "recreational" tower. Good value for money and good family vehicle too.

I recently purchased the rear suspension lift kit but have not installed it yet. I will report back next spring after my next towing experience with kit installed.

Pierre Leduc
Orleans (Ottawa), Ontario

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