A Nissan Pathfinder has been the only tow vehicle for our 19' Bambi for 9 towing seasons and 81,000 KM - 2003 Pathfinder for 7 seasons and 2009 Pathfinder for 2 seasons.
Several upgrades in hitches, brakecontrollers and tires have dramatically improved towing comfort and, I believe, safety. Today's equipment includes:
- LT tires (E load rating)
- Tekonsha P3 brake controller
- Hensley Arrow
- McKesh Mirrors
- ScanGuage II
Although I'm comfortable with the 09 Pathfinder in pretty much any towing situation I'm not quite as cocky to sing their praises as I might have been a few years ago - today I recognize that any short wheel based vehicle with a high centre of gravity is not the best of tow-vehicles (regardless of horsepower). In addition to the equipment above I make sure that both the running gear of the Pathfinder and the trailer are meticulously maintained (before and during the trip), my maximum driving speed is very much dependent upon road conditions (not on the guy behind me) and never exceeds 100 KM/Hour at any time, serious hills (up and particularly down) are taken at lower gears and speeds.
Not sure what the Xterra's hitch height is but if you are using a Hensley the 09 Pathfinders height was quite a bit higher. Hensley only manufacturers a stinger with up to an 8" drop - I had to have one fabricated with a 10" drop - works fine but it was a pricey little fabrication.
Attached are a couple of pictures of both Pathfinders with Bambi in tow - also a map of our travels since its purchase in 2003.
Bambi - 2002 (The Toaster)
Pathfinder - 2009 (The Buggy)
"I'm not young enough to know everything ....."