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Old 07-12-2012, 12:06 PM   #1
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Chapel Hill , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3
Can the Infiniti QX56 make the grade...

For the last couple of years we've owned a 2004 QX56 with the tow package installed. We've long wanted to buy an airstream so we can do some more touring (we moved here from England in '08).

I've spent the last few nights up until the early hours each night trying to do the maths on whether I can safely pull an airstream. My conclusion pretty early on was that the modern ones are going to be too heavy if I go for a 25' or more.

We've found a vintage 1970 Overlander International Double 27' which is not too far from home and a good price to get us going. I'm struggling, however, with the realities of tongue weights vs. published specs. According to the original specs the tongue weight was around 465lbs but I'm pretty sure with adding a WD hitch and LPG tanks this is going up by at least 150lbs+. The original spec weight is listed at 4575lbs for the trailer so loaded with everything I suspect it'll be upwards of 5500lbs (I think GVWR for the AS is about 6400lbs total).

We'll be traveling with 2 adults and 2 children (aged 10 and 7) to take into account on the car payload but whichever way I run the calculations, I think I'm going to be limited by hitch weight not tow capacity (8900lbs theoretical max tow capacity).

Does anyone have an idea of a realistic tongue weight for an AS of this age? The TT has no awning (which helps keep the weight down a little). I'm thinking if the tongue weight is in the 600 to 700 lb range we're probably fine (based on the GVWR of the QX56 = 7099lbs). If the tongue weight is in the 700 to 800lbs range then I'm going to get pretty nervous about being close to the limit.

Am intending to use WD hitch / anti-sway bars etc. as I think 27' is a long trailer to tow regardless. I'm just worried about the overall weight on the SUV.

I've seen a few people on this forum using Armada/QX56 with much more modern trailers which seem to weigh substantially more...

The geek in me has been freaking out the last few nights about acronyms, weights in lbs, safety margins etc. etc. The dealer clearly thinks there wouldn't be an issue (no surprise there...) but I'm after a sanity check from people who have pulled longer trailers with an SUV rather than a truck

all thoughts appreciated


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Old 07-15-2012, 02:01 AM   #2
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2011 28' International
Chatham , Ontario
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As an English ex-pat as well, I thought I'd better chime in here seeing as no one else has.

I always advise people to seek professional help in these cases. We were lucky enough to stumble upon Andy Thompson at Can-Am RV in London, Ontario. Whilst you might not be intending to heade to Canada, give him a call because he'll almost certainly have customers towing with the QX and will know its strengths and weaknesses.

If it helps, we tow a much heavier trailer with a minivan that was set up by Andy T. Plenty of people think we're lunatics but I'd rather trust Andy's judgement and I know he wouldn't have let us off his lot if it wasn't a safe and workable set up.

I would normally put a link to Can-Am RV in here but I'm on my tablet PC and it gets a bit fiddly. Just Google Can-An RV!

Good luck!

Steve; also known as Mr UK Toad

"You can't tow that with that!"
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:13 AM   #3
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2010 28' International
Richmond Hill , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 120
We just bought a 2012 QX and set it up to pull a 2010 28 ft International which has an advertised tongue weight of 980. With my old WD setup I couldn't bring the QX up to level even after hooking up and letting the auto leveling air suspension cycle. Consequently I contacted Sean at PP and he set me up including the 1400 lb bars. It's been a fantastic pulling experience since. Recognize my TV is different from the Armada based QX but just giving you a data point.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:43 AM   #4
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1975 27' Overlander
High River , Alberta
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 385
I've got a 1975 Overlander. I'm guessing tongue weight loaded is 650-700 lbs, but that after the weight distributing hitch is employed, it puts about 500 lbs on the car.

My current tow vehicle (2001 Volvo S60) has an effective payload capacity of just over 1100 lbs, so it's close to GVWR when travelling. (Yes, I've weighed it. We were under GVWR with the trailer weighing a total of about 5700 lbs.)

You will want to employ 1000 lb bars on the WDH. Just make sure you put plenty of tension on them to level the QX.

From a power perspective, you should find the 5.6 litre V8 more than adequate.

(My next tow vehicle is a 2008 V70 3.2. Already purchased, no receiver yet. I'm looking forward to the surfeit of power!)
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:49 AM   #5
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1974 31' Sovereign
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 19,574
Several people tow with either the Armada or the QX56. Both are the same vehicle, the QX just has a bucket of money sitting in the back seat.
First, Rich Luhr (Rluhr here) towed for many years with his Armada a 30' Safari. He did get a Hensley Arrow hitch, since the Armada has a relatively short wheelbase. It towed the Safari very well.
Second, one of my customers (Bab here) has a new QX56 that he uses to tow his new 27' (I think it's a Flying Cloud). He uses a ProPride hitch, and has no problems towing it.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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