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  1. #1
    Senior Member Schmitty's Avatar
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    trailer question

    We want to get a bigger trailer and I'm trying to understand this gvwr and gamer stuff. I need a simple yes or no. I'm looking at a 6×12 trailer but I only have a Nissan pathfinder and it says it hs a 5000# you're capacity. I think the dry weight of the trailer is 900+ lbs. I pull my pop up pretty easy and it says it's 2200 gross weight. I figure 4 bikes would be less then 1200 +the 900 and I should be ok. Does anyone have experience

  2. #2
    Senior Member Phantom99's Avatar
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    Schmitty, it's not really that simple. Yes, your Pathfinder should have no problem pulling a trailer weighing 2000-2200 lb. If you are just speaking of dirt bikes, your average of less than 300 lb. per bike is realistic. If it includes one or more street bikes, maybe not.

    The big problem regardless, will not be pulling, but stopping. If the trailer does not have brakes, it will extend your stopping distance noticeably when loaded. Some states advise brakes on trailers carrying over 1500 pounds. At moderate speeds on dry roads you should be OK, but it is a consideration.

    One critical factor for stability is to have a hitch weight at least 10 % of the total weight. Too much weight in the rear makes a trailer very squirrely.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    If you pull a 2200 pound pop up pretty easily, I guess I can't imagine why you would have trouble with a trailer and bikes weighing a combined 2100 pounds, but maybe I am missing something. Is it hitch weight you are worried about?
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    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    How tall and how wide is the trailer? Frontal area is wind resistance. Double your wind resistance, you need double the power to go the same speed.

    Make sure the vehicle is set up with the proper hitch. Is that 5000 pound rating with equalizers and/or sway controls or not? Drop a 500 pound hitch load on a trailer designed to use equalizers and you'll have a miserable tow. Deduct tongue weight from net cargo capacity--if you are hauling much in the vehicle, such as people, fuel, camping gear, will the hitch load overload the GVWR? What about GAWRs? Trailer brakes are mandatory.




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    Senior Member small's's Avatar
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    I pulled a 6x14 trailer to TN and back with 3atv's on it behind a 91 single cab 4x4 toyota truck 4cyl. It drove fine but was a little slow stopping. Secret is following distance and driving with some sense and how you load the trailer. If you have a tongue weight limit of 350lbs dont but 800lbs up front and the same for the rear. If you get the rear to heavy it will get alls kinds of crazy on you. When I was in high school a buddy put two atvs on a small trailer behind an older s10 and he put most of the weight toward the rear of the axle and I tols him it wont work out well and he laughed and said ok. I was following him down the highway when he hit a bump and the back of the trailer started bouncing and it lifted the rear of his truck about 3 inches off the ground. Needless to say he pulled over at the next pull off and re arranged the atvs
    Last edited by small's; 04-08-2014 at 04:00 PM.

  7. #6
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    Hitch weight should be 10-15% of weight of loaded trailer. Don't guess. $10 to weigh truck and trailer, $2 to weigh just truck, difference is weight of trailer. Park carefully and you can get axle weights--the scale platform is in pieces, try to get each axle on a separate piece. Use bathroom scale or 2 on blocks to weigh at coupling, not somewhere along tongue. Highly recommend CAT Scales at truck stops as they are the most accurate of any I've seen. If you can get both truck axles on one

    Deduct hitch weight from carrying capacity of vehicle. Balancing loads in the vehicle to stay within axle ratings may be surprisingly difficult with a heavy hitch load without equalizers. Loaded ball height should have both trailer and tow vehicle frames level, though the frames can be at different heights, they should be parallel.

    Most states require brakes on a 5000 pound trailer. You will never regret having them, and setting them up properly.

    Highly recommend you do some googling on trailering to see what you are getting in to. A 5000 pound trailer is enough to kill if it gets crazy.




  8. #7
    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    All of the above but I think you will be fine. Wind resistance with an enclosed trailer will eat up lots more fuel and give your engine a work out and braking is always a concern with heavy trailers behind you.

    I don't see this trailer at 3100 pounds being a big issue as long as you load the weight so it is over the axle or axles and never too heavy at the tongue or too light on the tongue.

    I helped a buddy one time move an 18 foot boat on a trailer designed for a 14 foot boat. The overall weight was not an issue but the weight hanging behind the axle of the trailer sure was a major problem. We hit 50 MPH and all of a sudden the entire works went real squirrly like the tail wagging the dog.

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    Senior Member small's's Avatar
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    If you do get the "tail wagging the dog issue" then hit the throttle hard until it pulls out of it then slow down when things are back to normal. Yeah it sounds crazy but it works. Usually it happens because of to much weight or to much on the rear of the trailer and when you hit the brakes when its wagging it just magnifies the problem.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Schmitty's Avatar
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    It says the trailer is 1120 dry weight plus 4 bikes. My pathfinder is rated at 5000# tow capacity so it looks like I'd be at half that. I'm not positive that my camper is 2200 but that's what my registration says. Thanks for the info. I've been googling all day. I was gonna go with a 6×10 but it's only 100 lbs lighter and I'd like that extra 24 square feet

  11. #10
    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmitty View Post
    It says the trailer is 1120 dry weight plus 4 bikes. My pathfinder is rated at 5000# tow capacity so it looks like I'd be at half that. I'm not positive that my camper is 2200 but that's what my registration says. Thanks for the info. I've been googling all day. I was gonna go with a 6×10 but it's only 100 lbs lighter and I'd like that extra 24 square feet
    A pretty good rule of thumb is to never exceed one half of your vehicles capacity, your vehicle will last a LOT longer. The real difference between the 6x10 and the 6x12 is not weight, but wind resistance and handling in crosswinds. However, it is impossible to say without a trial which one will handle better. It could actually be the 6x12, but my guess would be the shorter one. The 6x12 will definitely have more wind resistance, since both are open trailers.

    You are getting into pretty deep territory with that little Pathfinder....do you really want to go 45 to 50 mph in winds and hills all day? Personally, I would not want to tow a 6x12 with four bikes and camping gear or whatever with anything less than an F250, but then I'm in the West where wind and hills are the norm.

    Don't forget that pop-ups are very aerodynamic and open trailers full of bikes are definitely NOT! I tow my 2,000 lb. pop-up all day long at 75 mph with a Tundra getting about 14 mpg, but when I tow my 5x8 enclosed utility trailer with two bikes, at only slightly more weight but an additional 4 feet of height my mileage goes down to 10, and I'm out of overdrive half the time....BIG difference! YMMV
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