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Old 11-29-2009, 05:04 PM   #1
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2007 19' Safari
Tualatin , Oregon
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Nissan Pathfinder TV

Hello,

Looking at purchasing a 16 or 19 ft Bambi 2006-2009, and plan to tow it with a 2010 Nissan Pathfinder, 4.0 V-6 - 6000lbs towing capacity. If anyone has towing experience with a pathfinder I am interested to hear about your experiences, advice, recommendations, etc etc. I realize that an 8 cylinder vehicle is a better option for a TV but want something we can use as a family commuter vehicle during the week and also able to tow a bambi on an occasional weekend getaway.
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:27 PM   #2
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1963 19' Globetrotter
Laguna Beach , California
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My first Airstream was a 2004 19' Bambi CCD and my TV is a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder.
Having never towed before, I felt that it was a pretty good match.
After driving thru the Grapevine with some HUGE trucks speeding by and experiencing the dreaded white knuckles, I rather changed my opinion!
It's not that the Pathfinder can't tow a Bambi, it can, and fairly well.
I went from Orange County to Albuquerque, NM and back with no problem whatsoever. I believe the wheelbase is partly the issue when going downhill and on curvy roads with Semi trucks whizzing by!
I now tow a 'vintage' 19 foot Globetrotter and find it a much better match!
I believe being 1500 or so lbs lighter makes a big difference.
If you decide on the 16 foot Bambi, you may be quite happy.

One question for you if I may ask? Are you looking for gas mileage?
My Pathfinder gets 15.5 on a regular commute day and 10.5 to 12.5 towing.
I know people with much larger new Suburbans which can tow a 26' Overlander with power to spare and they get 19 miles in the city commuting!
If I had my choice again, I would get a Suburban which could tow most anything you put behind it and be in total control than the Pathfinder which guzzles the fuel.
You could get the Nissan Armada, but city driving you're lucky to get the 10 mpg.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:59 AM   #3
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2007 19' Safari
Tualatin , Oregon
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Nissan Pathfinder TV

I appreciate the response. Thatís good to hear first hand. This will be our first airstream as well. We are also first time RVers so as I mentioned we are hoping to use this thing as a weekend getaway platform and we will probably stay close to home with an occasional trip to a National Park here and there. Thatís the goal at least!! So I am hoping our Pathfinder will due the trick without me losing too much hair on the trip. We will be within the vehicles capacity for sure and as you know under the maximum tow capacity.

One question? Did you consider putting airbags on the rear end or is that an option with a pathfinder, and would it help with the wheel base issue????
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Old 12-06-2009, 12:50 PM   #4
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
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Our 19ft Bambi has 60,000 KM behind our 2003 Pathfinder.

The white knuckle issue with passing trucks can be dealt with by purchasing a Hensley Arrow (lots less expensive than buying a bigger truck) - this hitch made a monstrous difference in towing comfort. We also changed out our P series tires for LT tires - and now use a Tekonsha P3 brake controller with a boost feature. Towing comfort has become very relaxed.

The 03 Pathfinder will be retired soon - to be replaced by either a new Pathfinder or Nissan Frontier.

The Bambi will be with us for the duration.



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Old 12-06-2009, 04:55 PM   #5
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We have a 2007 Xterra 4x4 with the same engine as the Pathfinder. Because of the smaller wheelbase, the Xterra tow rating is 5000 pounds. We have towed a loaded up double axle cargo trailer behind our Xterra without problems. Also we have towed a BMW Z3 on a two axle car trailer with the same satisfactory performance.
I think it will tow your Bambi without problems. Our fuel economy was about 10.5. The engine is thirsty. A small fuel tank makes for frequent stops. However the engine has lots of power to tow at highway speeds if you don't mind frequent downshifts.
Is there a better tow vehicle, yes, a Suburban type vehicle or a truck. Our 25 foot Safari goes behind a diesel Excursion. However, since you already have decided on a Pathfinder, it make sense to use it for towing since it is rated for the job.
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:31 PM   #6
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2007 19' Safari
Tualatin , Oregon
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Pathfinder TV

So the Hensley Arrow comes recommended?? What about a equalizer hitch?? Or are they equivalent products?? I am still in the market for a hith.
Thanks for the feedback!!
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:07 PM   #7
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2002 19' Bambi
Northwestern Ontario , - on the backside of the map and just above the big green spot
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I should also have also mentioned the ProPride hitch - it is a recent entry to the market that is comparable to the Hensley - look them both up:

Trailer Sway Elimination Guaranteed - Hensleyģ the ONLY trailer hitch guaranteed to totally eliminate trailer sway.
ProPride, Inc. Trailer Hitch - The Next Generation in Trailer Sway Elimination

Do a search on this forum with both names

... and good luck - no matter what your decision.



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Old 12-08-2009, 06:21 PM   #8
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2007 25' International CCD
Sugar Grove , Ohio
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Braking has been my biggest complaint with my Armada pulling an '07 International. As one person suggested to me, go to a NAPA dealer and compare replacement brakes for the Armada and for a Chevy 2500 HD. The Chevy brakes will weigh around 11-12 lbs. while the replacement brakes for the Armada will weigh in around 4-5 lbs. - much smaller! My Armada has more than enough power to pull the 25' International but it has about 10" too short a wheelbase! Power to pull ISN'T the only thing to look for! The differential in the Armada is very good - just not good enough for the International's weight. I have an equalizer hitch that works very nicely - it pulls the AS better than I could ever expected but then I pull it on a lot of flat land. I worry about heading into the mountains of the southwest which is our plan next year. The tranny heats up way too much just pulling through the "mountains" of Ohio and also in Pennsylvaia and West Virginia. It makes for some scary driving watching that needle go so high! It isn't any fun!!

With my Armada, I get mileage in the high 20's while not pulling the AS - when I am pulling it, I get 13-15 m.p.g. I was hoping for mileage in the double figures and am happy with what I get after hearing of others averaging in the single digits. And, having boated for years on the Great Lakes and averaging 24-25 gallons per hour, I find this mileage very satisfactory. BUT, I'm not happy with too many other driving conditions of the Nissan. THis summer I have started my search for a Chevy 2500 HD with the diesel dura max engine and six speed tranny - not an easy vehicle to find.

Good luck with your combo but be safe, not sorry. With the smaller AS, the Nissan is close to being adequate BUT look at more than the towing capacity. ENJOY whatever you end up with.
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