Last post on Nov 09, 2011 at 11:36 AM
You are in the Mazda CX-9
What is this discussion about?
Mazda CX-9, SUV
#6 of 35 Mazda CX9 Travel Trailer Towing
Feb 20, 2009 (6:42 pm)
Just completed a 1200 mile tow of a Starcraft Travelstar Sport 18RB hybrid travel trailer with a 2007 CX-9 GT AWD. Based in Houston, located desired trailer in Cincinnati, Ohio at very favorable price (due to nearby factory location). I had spent quite a bit of time researching travel trailers, versus mazda towing capacities etc. As stated in earlier discussion on this forum, the Mazda CX 9 is rated for 3500lbs in US, while 2 mtons or 4400lbs in Australia. Since my 2002 audi A4 is rated for 3900lbs in UK and Germany I always felt US Mazda tow rating was related to factory Class 2 hitch and liability, warranty reasons more than general capacity of vehicle. To get straight to the point, CX9 had no problems towing 2850 light trailer through the hills of Tennesse, Kentucky. We could have easily run 70mph on the interstate. Tracking was true, no issue with breaking or sway motion from Semis. I had a 600lb reese load distribution system along with sway control installed at the dealer. Made 1200 mile trip in 23hrs. What is worth noting is fuel consumption at 63-65mph or more , can drop down to single digit 7-9mpg. Slowing doen to 58mph i got 12mpg. I think 55mph would be perfect for long trips as 200-230miles per tank is achievable. The initial 130-140miles per tank was quite depressing. So issue here is the fairly large sail area of this trailer. Unfortunately US small travel trailers are years behind European trailer in regard to areo dynamics and overall packaging for light to mid size tow vehicles. An 18ft Airstream would be nice but 3-4 times the price!! Taking your time and you will refuel every 3-4 hrs, which works out pretty well . CX9 diesel and 25 gallon tank anyone !!
With trailer light weight of 2850lb, i have 650lb for stuff before trailer max's out at 3500lb (single axel). With skinny wife and two small kids to offset my 225lbs, I figure a total 600lbs in vehicle. Should be dead on or slightly higher than GCVR of 8558. not concerned about 10-20 % reserve as i think US version already has that built in. Would love to see what AUS GCVR rating is!
As a final comment, i personnaly swapped out factory class 2 hitch for 4000lb / 400lb Hidden Hitch from e-trailer and had Hayes break controller installed. I also had hitch modified to fit flush into factory location. Rear end of Mazda did not sag 1/4 in with trailer hooked. Expect a small dip once full loaded. Anyone else out there with similiar set up. I'll try to post pictures.
#7 of 35 Re: Mazda CX9 Travel Trailer Towing [tbo01]
Feb 20, 2009 (10:47 pm)
Thanks for sharing. Very informative to read.
I assumed that you meant GCWR, not GCVR.
I personally have not done any towing. I installed a Hidden Hitch myself for bike rack. (Yeah, it sounds outrageous, but Mazda did not offer the class II as accessory until 2009).
CX9 has enough horse power and torgue to tow up to 5000lb (think Pilot, which has less power/torque but tow rating is higher than CX9). The problem lies in the cooling. Both radiator and transmission cooler need to be larger. The Tow Package gives you larger ones, but obviously not large enough (probably due to limited space or else). Anyway, among the two, transmission cooling is the key. Overheated transmission fluid shortens transmission lifespan greatly. You can opt for installing an aftermarket transmission cooler if you tow heavy load a lot.
BTW, there is a TSB on loss of power while climbing hill (see TSB thread).
You might want to have it taken care of since you tow more frequently.
It is just a re-programming of transmission temperature control (i.e. allow a higher transmission temperature before it shuts your transmission down into a limp-mode).
#8 of 35 Re: Mazda CX9 Travel Trailer Towing [tbo01]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Feb 20, 2009 (11:38 pm)
I'd be a bit concerned if I had an accident and the insurance adjuster discovered that my towing set up wasn't rated for the vehicle. You know how insurance companies love to deny claims....
#9 of 35 Re: Mazda CX9 Travel Trailer Towing [steve_]
Feb 22, 2009 (6:26 pm)
Agree on that comment. I'll be carefully monitoring overall weight loaded and target the 8558 GCVC. This means packing light, not carrying water in tanks etc and checking the TV and trailer combined weight on first trip at a truck stop???
#10 of 35 Re: Mazda CX9 Travel Trailer Towing [ceric]
Feb 22, 2009 (6:41 pm)
Cant comment on whether factory tow package transmission cooling system is adequate or not. Was a frequently discussed topic with my father inlaw on the drive back, as he had some interesting transmission failure stories from his buddies towing Jeeps CJ7s up to the Rubicon trail (6000ft) (Lake Tahoe), though most all were related to poor maintanence (3/4, 1 ton trucks???).
A couple of precautionary actions, include transmission fluid inspection / replacement on more regular basis, monitoring the speed during windy days, paying attention when dealing with 100F days here in Houston during the summer (Too hot to camp anyway) . Our initial plans consist of weekend getaways 200miles or less and its relatively flat here in this part of Texas. Will provide any feedback should it develop into a problem.
#11 of 35 Re: Mazda CX9 Travel Trailer Towing [tbo01]
Feb 22, 2009 (10:13 pm)
paying attention when dealing with 100F days
And surface temperatures on the road and parking lots can be in excess of 150° F on those days. Transmissions are exposed to that too.
SUVs and Smart Shopper
#12 of 35 life-time transmission fluid
Feb 22, 2009 (10:49 pm)
CX9 has the life-time transmission fluid.
Read the maintenance schedule if you don't believe me.
There is no schedule to replace transmission fluid.
However, being a disbeliever of "life-time fluid" (bad experience from BMW), I asked my local dealer about it. They said, they will replace the fluid (no flush, just drain and refill) for $138. The synthetic fuild (therefore, so called life-time) is more expensive than usual.
#13 of 35 Re: Mazda CX9 Travel Trailer Towing [tidester]
Feb 27, 2009 (7:55 pm)
Heat is no different than Australia, where 4400lb is the rating. Like I stated earlier, I had no issues with power, was forced to last minute evasive manovers in Memphis during rush hour traffic . No issue with Madza swaying, lack of power or lack of braking power, overheating, actualy father inlaw was quite impressed. A 3500lb lb load behind a 5500-6000lbs TV is quite different than Bubba in his 7000lb truck and 14000lb+ trailer.
I have big breaks, low profile tires to prevent tire swaying motion, relatively long wheel base and solid hitch set up. Three things I yearn for, are 3.7 liter engine for some extra torgue, better mileage??, larger gas tank, 20 gallons is a joke, and a diesel option would be perfect to allow 300miles plus between refills. Hopefully manufactures get with the rest of the world and offer strong diesel options, My biggest pain in the ass was having to stop for gas!!!!!!!
#14 of 35 CX9Travel Trailer experience
May 17, 2009 (8:36 pm)
Unfortunately my second attempt at posting this thread. Some difficulties in posting a photo, Someone help me out please!
Anyway for those of you desiring to use the CX9 for some backcountry excursions with a travel trailer, we have successfully towed a Starcraft Travel Star Sport 18RB Travel Trailer around for 4 months in Texas. Quite a few looks from the rednecks in there big trucks, but overall, I would not be surprised that our setup handles miles better than theirs. Driving a Audi A4 Sport Quattro 5 Sport as a daily driver , I am very impressed by how my wifes CX9 GT AWD handles the trailer including acceleration, and more importantly breaking and lane changing. Zero issues with sway from Semis or wind. Proper load distribution, sway control units from Reese and smart loading of trailer and vehicle. Quite a pleasant setup.
Currently looking at mods to allow to bikes on trailer rear bumper and canoe on roof of CX9, knowing well what this does for aero dynamics. Just means 55-57 versus 60-65mph. Fun factor will overcome.
Who has replaced or added a second set of wheel/ tires 17/18" for winter / light offroad use, Looking at Big Bend National park and Colorado excursions and want some 18X8.5 / 9" wheels for slightly FATTER tires
#15 of 35 Re: CX9Travel Trailer experience [tbo01]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
May 17, 2009 (10:13 pm)
Photo posting instructions can be found in the Help link below.
A good place to "host" your photos is on your CarSpace page in an album there. I've hauled a canoe to Big Bend btw - my mpg hit usually was only around 1mpg on my minivan. I think the pointy ends help a lot.