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Hornswoggle 03-04-2013 01:04 PM

New Member - 2012 Armada pulling Coachmen 320BHDS
New member here...

I have a 2012 Nissan Armada (9000 lbs tow capacity, 123" wheelbase). I worked with a dealer in Pontiac Illinois and we ordered a 320BHDS. I am nervous about it, but the dealer and a few other owners think it will be okay.

I even called Coachmen and gave them the details of my tow vehicle and they said it was designed to be pulled by a half ton.

I live in Illinois and things are flat here, so I am pretty confident I won't be taking it to CO, but am hopeful it will be okay behind my Armada.

If not, I guess I will trade it in or upgrade the tow vehicle...

Any thoughts?


jeeplj8 03-04-2013 01:33 PM

I wanted to give you some idea on the actual weight on that trailer. Ours is the Liberty edition with upgrade package (never seen one without, but they do make them) the yellow sticker said 7900 lbs dry. We brought it home after PDI (so add in the battery and propane weight on the front) and put some gear inside (plates/cookware) the normal hoses/cords etc. and ran it across the scales and it weighed 8640 with a tongue weight of 1160.

The trailer weighed at 9220 pounds loaded up for a week of camping with all tanks dry.

TURBS 03-04-2013 02:02 PM

Normal average user added weight 1000#
Dealer added items after factory published "dry" weight.....
Propane tanks full of propane 60# each
Spare tire and mount. 100# more or less
Television /televisions.
Sometimes awning

You also have to include wdh in ccc

Triguy 03-04-2013 02:08 PM

I really don't think this is a good match-up. That's a 36' trailer weighing in at over 9,000lbs loaded (going by jeeplj8's real-life experience).

Besides the towing comparison that jeeplj8 provided above, one of the first items you should consider is your truck's cargo capacity. This is usually the most obvious problem with most any half-ton SUV or pickup. I am painfully aware of this because my Sequoia runs into the same issue and we are close to our maximum with my family and a much lighter trailer than your's.

Basically, you have a limited amt of weight that can be carried by the truck. This includes all passengers, luggage in the truck and the tongue weight of the trailer. At 9,000 lbs that TW will be somewhere between 900 and 1300lbs. Your Armada has a cargo cap rating of around 1,400 IIRC.

So, I think you can see the issues with at least two of your truck's ratings - tow cap and cargo cap.

Hornswoggle 03-04-2013 02:22 PM

I hear what you are saying...not sure what to do at this point. My wife trusts the dealer and even though my research shows we are pushing and most likely exceeding our Armada's limits, the dealer keeps telling us we are fine.


jeeplj8 03-04-2013 02:27 PM

I hear you. Dealers say a whole of stuff that is no where near true. Most of it is simple ignorance, but occasionally they are just lying to try for a sale.

Seeing you have an Armada I am guessing you are camping with a family (like me). The amount of weight in the truck is then at a minimum the weight of your family plus all their road gear (coats, ipods, snacks, movies etc.) the more weight you can move to the trailer, the better you will be on your cargo capacity, but then closer you will be to your max trailer is a double edged sword.

Love our 320BHDS - but I would hard pressed to tow it with a 1/2 ton. Maybe the new Dodge 1500 diesel when it comes out the current Ford Ecoboost with max tow only.

Triguy 03-04-2013 02:32 PM


Originally Posted by Hornswoggle (Post 318770)

I feel for you, too.

This calculator from Changingears should help explain a lot

Forest River Forums - Downloads - Calculator - Travel Trailer Weight Calculator

Its a way to look at the different weights and ratings and to see how they all interact.

I hate to say this, but my own experience with what dealers tell me I can tow is hit or miss (to put it nicely). I'd guesstimate that more than half just don't have a clue, that a third don't care and the rest will tell it to you straight. The last group are the ones you want to do business with as they have your best interest at heart.

My advice is to play with the calculator so that you have a very good understanding of how this stuff works.

Best of luck.

Hornswoggle 03-04-2013 02:38 PM

Thanks for all the help guys!!!


P.S. once I get this all worked out, I am REALLY looking forward to creating some good memories with the family

Cajun Po-Boy 03-04-2013 02:40 PM


Originally Posted by Hornswoggle (Post 318770)
I hear what you are saying...not sure what to do at this point. My wife trusts the dealer and even though my research shows we are pushing and most likely exceeding our Armada's limits, the dealer keeps telling us we are fine.


I hate to hear when Dealer's tell someone "your good to problems"!
As others stated above, camper is out of your SUV's league...IMO slow down this purchase and think about what your willing to do: scale down TT size or trade in SUV for more capable tow vehicle.

It's a thrill to purchase a new camper but you also want to maintain that thrill each time your towing to your destination!

Good luck and folks on this Forum will not lead you down the wrong path :)

hockeytownmom 03-04-2013 02:52 PM

I have a hybrid (GVWR 5964) and a 1/2 ton Suburban; I wish I had a 3/4 ton. We didn't take into consideration growing children.

I was also told by the dealer I could tow a slightly smaller hybrid with my (old) Honda Pilot. I don't trust dealers.

Good luck, I know it's frustrating.

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