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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey folks, first post and I’m hoping you can help. I’m very interested in the palisade but based on the limited tow capacity without trailer brakes, I am being forced to look more at the explorer which is less appealing to me. I have a 2600-2800 lb boat without trailer brakes. In my state, brakes are required at 3000 lbs. I have towed with my wife’s Lexus rx350, rated at 3500 lbs with no issues but this 1650 threshold seems ridiculously low, and most trailers of 2500-3000lbs don’t have brakes. With that said, I,m concerned about buying the limited palisade given this published threshold.

can anyone offer any insight into this low figure ? Im not going to add trailer brakes to a boat that doesn’t need them but I’m still hoping to get into the palisade vs the explorer
 

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The Palisade is physically capable of pulling up to 5000 pounds, the issue is the extra weight is more than the braking system was designed to handle. I've had boat trailers with and without trailer brakes and the trailer brakes make a huge difference.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I guess you are right on the braking system. It just seems like an easy thing to have addressed given it is an suv and something they are designing to be used for towing. ive towed for 30 years and have never seen such an unusually low figure when the vehicle is otherwise designed to tow 5000 pounds. I will look more close at the competition but I don’t think they have such low thresholds for trailers without brakes, unless it is in very fine print and I haven’t seen it.

ps. I did look up disc brake size difference and the explorer is .2” larger in front and .6” larger in rear. That doesn’t sound like a material difference but I know braking is much more than disc size
 

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You also have to remember that certain suv models such as the Pathfinder, Durango and Explorer are built on truck frames, makes a big difference when it comes to towing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
You also have to remember that certain suv models such as the Pathfinder, Durango and Explorer are built on truck frames, makes a big difference when it comes to towing.
durango yes the other two no. Same with jeep grand Cherokee L, not truck frame based and tows up to 7200. Something unique about the palisade, it seems.
Actually, Durango isn’t truck based either now that I think about it. Explorer hasn’t been truck based since 2010. These things all have the unibody architecture
 

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Most jurisdictions require trailer brakes starting around 1500 to 2000 pounds regardless of vehicle size or towing ability. It's simple physics, that a vehicle's braking system is only designed to stop its own weight plus a small margin of error.

From the Nissan towing guide: "Never connect a trailer brake system directly to the vehicle brake system. Most states require a separate braking system on trailers with a loaded weight of 1,500 lbs. (680 kg) or more."
 

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If you like the Palisade and the only issue is trailer braking, why not have surge brakes installed on the trailer. they make a significant difference. I did it 2 years ago and it cost $700 turnkey in CT. I was towing the trailer with a 2015 Pathfinder that was rated by the manufacturer to tow up to 3000 lbs without trailer brakes. The difference in emergency stopping distances before and after the installation of the trailer brakes was significant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you like the Palisade and the only issue is trailer braking, why not have surge brakes installed on the trailer. they make a significant difference. I did it 2 years ago and it cost $700 turnkey in CT. I was towing the trailer with a 2015 Pathfinder that was rated by the manufacturer to tow up to 3000 lbs without trailer brakes. The difference in emergency stopping distances before and after the installation of the trailer brakes was significant.
I suppose I could if I like the vehicle that much more than anything else, which I’m still determining but the big thing to me is, 1650 just doesn’t make any sense. I really don’t get it. I can’t find anything in this class with such a peculiar limitation. I estimate my rig at 2800 to be safe but I know it is meaningfully less than 2800 but there is no way that I get to such a crazy low 1650. My suspicion is, the palisade would handle my load just fine as it is but with them putting that limit out there, I’m hesitant for a variety of reasons
 

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1650 just doesn’t make any sense. I really don’t get it. I can’t find anything in this class with such a peculiar limitation. I estimate my rig at 2800 to be safe but I know it is meaningfully less than 2800 but there is no way that I get to such a crazy low 1650.
You're overthinking this. 1650 is more of a legal issue than a strict technical limitation of the Palisade. My smaller, less powerful 2008 Santa Fe had the same 1650 unbraked limit, and nothing ever broke when I exceeded it. It just took a little longer to stop, and in the event of an accident I could have been fined and/or denied an insurance claim.

Read Page 9 of the Nissan towing guide and you'll see that 1500 pounds is the recommended unbraked towing limit for all Nissans, from the 6000 pound-rated Pathfinder right up to the 9310 pound-rated Titan truck. Nissan is just a little sneakier about disclosing it.

Buy another vehicle if it makes you feel better about towing 2800 pounds without trailer brakes. But depending on your choice, you might only be fooling yourself.

Edit 1: One exception could theoretically be warranty-related (say, transmission damage caused by excessive deceleration loads). If anyone has evidence that Hyundai treats this any differently than any other manufacturer, it would be helpful to post it here.

Edit 2: I just checked the owner's manual for my previous Chevy Silverado, which had an optional towing package good for nearly 10,000 pounds. Page 230: "A loaded trailer that weighs more than 900 kg (2,000 lb) must be equipped with its own braking system". This was a Canadian requirement, with a caveat that every state in the U.S. has its own requirements along these lines.
 

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Hey folks, first post and I’m hoping you can help. I’m very interested in the palisade but based on the limited tow capacity without trailer brakes, I am being forced to look more at the explorer which is less appealing to me. I have a 2600-2800 lb boat without trailer brakes. In my state, brakes are required at 3000 lbs. I have towed with my wife’s Lexus rx350, rated at 3500 lbs with no issues but this 1650 threshold seems ridiculously low, and most trailers of 2500-3000lbs don’t have brakes. With that said, I,m concerned about buying the limited palisade given this published threshold.

can anyone offer any insight into this low figure ? Im not going to add trailer brakes to a boat that doesn’t need them but I’m still hoping to get into the palisade vs the explorer
You can add a trailer braking option to the Palisade but to be perfectly honest with you I would definitely go with the Ford Explorer. I am so very disappointed in my Palisade. Other than the Fantastic ride everything else leaves much to be desired.
 

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Hey folks, first post and I’m hoping you can help. I’m very interested in the palisade but based on the limited tow capacity without trailer brakes, I am being forced to look more at the explorer which is less appealing to me. I have a 2600-2800 lb boat without trailer brakes. In my state, brakes are required at 3000 lbs. I have towed with my wife’s Lexus rx350, rated at 3500 lbs with no issues but this 1650 threshold seems ridiculously low, and most trailers of 2500-3000lbs don’t have brakes. With that said, I,m concerned about buying the limited palisade given this published threshold.

can anyone offer any insight into this low figure ? Im not going to add trailer brakes to a boat that doesn’t need them but I’m still hoping to get into the palisade vs the explorer
We (my wife) have a 2121 palisades, and we’ve towed our utv many times with no problems, even a few trips from Fla to WV. Trailer and UTV combined weigh 4,000 lbs and I have NO trailer brakes. Use the smart drive mode setting and Transmission operates smoothly and doesn’t hunt. The auto leveling suspension works great also. Obviously you don’t want to do this every day, but the10-12 times a year we do this to me is no problem. And I’ve been VERY satisfied with how the palisades tows. And by the way my my vehicle is a tundra so I do have a comparison. Reason we used palisades over the tundra was we have 6 people with us. Hope this helps.
 

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I suppose I could if I like the vehicle that much more than anything else, which I’m still determining but the big thing to me is, 1650 just doesn’t make any sense. I really don’t get it. I can’t find anything in this class with such a peculiar limitation. I estimate my rig at 2800 to be safe but I know it is meaningfully less than 2800 but there is no way that I get to such a crazy low 1650. My suspicion is, the palisade would handle my load just fine as it is but with them putting that limit out there, I’m hesitant for a variety of reasons
As Ashdenburk said, I think ALL manufacturers have some sort of limit like this even though its not posted on their website. If you look at the tundra manual (Tundra Manual) on page 204, it states that the unbraked trailer weight limit is 1000lbs. The 2020 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 heavy duty owners manual Ram Manual on page 325 states that trailer brakes are recommended over 1000 lbs and required over 2000 lbs. I'm sure ALL vehicle models have something like this. Its a safety thing. Just because people 'feel' that its safe doesnt make it safe. Jackknifes happen due to this all the time. The trailer pushes the back of the vehicle out while the vehicle is braking and you have no way of stopping that trailer momentum. This is why semi's have emergency trailer brakes. When in a jackknife, its corrected by applying trailer braking and pulling some of that forward momentum back.
 
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Hey folks, first post and I’m hoping you can help. I’m very interested in the palisade but based on the limited tow capacity without trailer brakes, I am being forced to look more at the explorer which is less appealing to me. I have a 2600-2800 lb boat without trailer brakes. In my state, brakes are required at 3000 lbs. I have towed with my wife’s Lexus rx350, rated at 3500 lbs with no issues but this 1650 threshold seems ridiculously low, and most trailers of 2500-3000lbs don’t have brakes. With that said, I,m concerned about buying the limited palisade given this published threshold.

can anyone offer any insight into this low figure ? Im not going to add trailer brakes to a boat that doesn’t need them but I’m still hoping to get into the palisade vs the explorer
Lastly, since you mentioned the Explorer, the Explorer Manual on page 292, states:
"Safe control of towed vehicles requires separate functioning brake systems for vehicles and trailers weighing more than 1,500 lb (680 kg) when loaded."

So far, ALL the vehicles I have listed (larger vehicles) have a smaller unbraked trailer capacity than the Palisade.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lastly, since you mentioned the Explorer, the Explorer Manual on page 292, states:
"Safe control of towed vehicles requires separate functioning brake systems for vehicles and trailers weighing more than 1,500 lb (680 kg) when loaded."

So far, ALL the vehicles I have listed (larger vehicles) have a smaller unbraked trailer capacity than the Palisade.
thank you for this, very helpful. I was not aware of this across the line since the others don’t advertise it as prominently as the palisade. Very interesting.
 

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thank you for this, very helpful. I was not aware of this across the line since the others don’t advertise it as prominently as the palisade. Very interesting.
If you think about it, it's simple physics and probably why the trucks actually have a much lower rating for it.
Let's say you're moving down the highway with a 2,000 pound trailer without brakes. Something happens and you have to brake more aggressively than you planned. All that momentum will push into the vehicle on the hitch. The hitch being a pivot point, both horizontally but somewhat vertically also, will move. Now that weight that is pushing towards the vehicle can cause the rear of the vehicle to slightly lift up (trucks are lighter in back). Once the back lifts up the wheels can start losing traction and shift left/right. Since the front brakes are applied the rear axle and trailer will try to keep going by shifting sideways. This, like I said earlier, causes jackknifing.

This is also why you are required to have electronic trailer brakes in some states past a certain weight. Because although mechanical brakes help stop all that weight from pushing the car around, they're not very affective when the weight is almost as much as the vehicle itself, causing it to easily affect the vehicles stability
 
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