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Old 11-27-2020, 01:05 PM   #1
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Fresh Advice/Perspective on towing

Need some advice from the experienced towing group. I understand the basic GVWR, CCC,UVW and such, albeit, I remain confused.

I reviewed the posts on this forum about towing with an Xterra, but are dated. Also reviewed a Xterra forum…..nonetheless I remain confused. I would like to be reassured by those of with actual road towing experience.
Here is what I have:
Nissan Xterra 2008, 500# tow limit Payload # 113 5-speed automatic w/OD without “tow package”
Engine 4.0 L 261 HP V 6, hitch weight #350, curb weight 4152

This is what I want to tow: R Pod 192

22 foot travel trailer Hitch weight 440, dry weight 3185, gross weight 3750

Question: can I comfortably** and safely pull this camping trailer? **Comfortable being without putting excessive load on the engine/suspension Could use a weight distribution system* Any suggestions? Blue Ox reads well, but costly

Travel locally to State campgrounds, 2-3 hours away encountering some small hills at times, otherwise mostly level terrain, no mountain ranges. Camping equipment, bikes, etc add about #300. Water tank travels empty, to allow for the beer 😊

P.S. Additional suggestions ideas or considerations are very welcome. Thank You

Camp for PEACE Larry
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:25 PM   #2
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it looks like the XTerra has a payload of right around 1000 lbs and a towing capacity of 5000 lbs (properly equipped). you will be pushing the limits with your trailer. the curb weight is without the propane tank(s), water, any gear, etc. if you keep your numbers in check and check using the truck scales you might be ok. you will for sure know that its back there and a weight distribution hitch (with sway control) is a must. this will remove about 80-100 lbs of payload capacity from your tow vehicle.

for comparison i have a similar sized camper, the 17RP and tow with a 2009 crew cab F150. it tows fine but you know its back there.
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the boss927 View Post
Need some advice from the experienced towing group. I understand the basic GVWR, CCC,UVW and such, albeit, I remain confused.

I reviewed the posts on this forum about towing with an Xterra, but are dated. Also reviewed a Xterra forum…..nonetheless I remain confused. I would like to be reassured by those of with actual road towing experience.
Here is what I have:
Nissan Xterra 2008, 500# tow limit Payload # 113 5-speed automatic w/OD without “tow package”
Engine 4.0 L 261 HP V 6, hitch weight #350, curb weight 4152

This is what I want to tow: R Pod 192

22 foot travel trailer Hitch weight 440, dry weight 3185, gross weight 3750

Question: can I comfortably** and safely pull this camping trailer? **Comfortable being without putting excessive load on the engine/suspension Could use a weight distribution system* Any suggestions? Blue Ox reads well, but costly

Travel locally to State campgrounds, 2-3 hours away encountering some small hills at times, otherwise mostly level terrain, no mountain ranges. Camping equipment, bikes, etc add about #300. Water tank travels empty, to allow for the beer 😊

P.S. Additional suggestions ideas or considerations are very welcome. Thank You

Camp for PEACE Larry
Hi Larry,
I don't tow with an Xterra, so can't help with that. I think you have some typos above? 500# tow limit? and Payload #113? One quick observation is this. Assuming the 350# hitch weight noted above is Max Hitch weight, then your dry 440# hitch weight on the trailer (which will be heavier when trailer is loaded) is already over the Xterra max.
Mitch
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the boss927 View Post

I reviewed the posts on this forum
Here is what I have:
Nissan Xterra 2008, 500# tow limit Payload # 113 5-speed automatic w/OD without “tow package”
Engine4.0 L 261 HP V 6, hitch weight #350, curb weight 4152
Your payload number is not 113lbs. Is it 1113lbs?
You biggest issue will the Xterra's high center of gravity, combined with short wheelbase.
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:31 PM   #5
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I towed the TT in my signature with a long bed, crew cab Frontier with the same engine as your Xterra. It struggled on grades and high altitudes. The biggest problem with the Xterra is the short wheelbase which means it will be more susceptible to xwinds and sway.
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Old 11-27-2020, 09:08 PM   #6
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I noticed in your vehicle description it has no tow package.

If you go forward with this combination I'd STRONGLY suggest you install a Transmission cooler properly sized for your Gross Combined Weight. That's essentially the core of a tow package, the extra tranny cooling.

I personally like the Long Tru Cool coolers which are plate type coolers that adjust the amount of flow thought the cooler as it heats (and thins) or cools (and gets somewhat thicker) so you trans doesn't overcool in cold weather.

Here's the info on selecting the right size:

https://www.trucool.com/products

Available on Amazon too.

Hayden is a long known name but their coolers (as I recall) and "tube and fin" type and any heat regulation requires a separate thermostat. Also tend to be physically larger than plate types. Hayden's are cheaper but the Tru Cool does a better job of shedding heat. Regardless, you will need one or the other.

Others have covered the remaining important parts.
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:59 AM   #7
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Xterra

This is one of those questions where there are no right answers. It appears that your Xterra has the ability to be within the limits that will allow you to pull a travel trailer of that size, especially in shorter runs in Wisconsin. TitanMikes suggestion of an additional transmission cooler is a relatively inexpensive improvement to the Nissan that will help it survive the chore. Take extra precautions regarding your Nissan's condition, especially tires and brakes, suspension. Since you don't have the trailering package I would also check the receiver hitch that is on the vehicle to be certain it is not an add-on bumper type that would not be up to the job. The last new one I had installed was about $300
A mid range equalizer type hitch can provide some of the sway control, add brake controller kit, add a little caution and enjoy next summer.
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Old 11-28-2020, 02:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by updhaul View Post
Since you don't have the trailering package I would also check the receiver hitch that is on the vehicle to be certain it is not an add-on bumper type that would not be up to the job. The last new one I had installed was about $300
A mid range equalizer type hitch can provide some of the sway control, add brake controller kit, add a little caution and enjoy next summer.
Basically the OP will have to duplicate the factory tow package to get the 500lb hitch capacity and 5000lb towing capacity. This also means having it wired for installing a brake controller and a 7-pin cord outlet.
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:25 AM   #9
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Ok so like others said , I don’t have a an exterra and short wheel bases are known to have stability problems when towing. That said I view things differently.
First I don’t expect when I am towing for the vehicle to perform as if nothing was being towed. It’s just not practical if the weight isn’t felt the huge parachute I’m pulling sure is. ( r pod don’t have a lot frontage area so that won’t be felt as much.) When going up a grade that requires an empty vehicle to down shift and the use of more acceleration, I expect the same from a loaded vehicle. In all my travels threw most if not all the western mountain ranges. It is my opinion that there aren’t that many true uphill grades where you don’t have to slow down for a corner or switch back anyway. Plus unless you live in or around a mountain range what is the actual amount of time actually going up the hill. Probably less than 1%.
Second my advice is if both the truck and the trailer were already purchased, and YOU felt safe driving the combo then I would advice not to upgrade the tow vehicle or downgrade the trailer. There was a mother this summer who bought a pathfinder and trailer and had no experience. She was told a lot of negative can’t do things for two weeks or so. She went silent for a few days only to post that she had completed her trip and vehicle did good.

Third and final while I might buy the trailer, I would do so with the understanding that my tow vehicle may not feel safe to me even if I was within the numbers and that if that’s the case then I would upgrade. If your in position to do that or make upgrades like a trans cooler ( highly recommended) or possibly higher rated tires if needed then yes go buy the trailer. If your already doubting think twice about a smaller trailer or bigger truck. You haven’t made the leap yet so you have a chance to get it right for you.
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Old 11-28-2020, 01:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the boss927 View Post
Need some advice from the experienced towing group. I understand the basic GVWR, CCC,UVW and such, albeit, I remain confused.

I reviewed the posts on this forum about towing with an Xterra, but are dated. Also reviewed a Xterra forum…..nonetheless I remain confused. I would like to be reassured by those of with actual road towing experience.
Here is what I have:
Nissan Xterra 2008, 500# tow limit Payload # 113 5-speed automatic w/OD without “tow package”
Engine 4.0 L 261 HP V 6, hitch weight #350, curb weight 4152

This is what I want to tow: R Pod 192

22 foot travel trailer Hitch weight 440, dry weight 3185, gross weight 3750

Question: can I comfortably** and safely pull this camping trailer? **Comfortable being without putting excessive load on the engine/suspension Could use a weight distribution system* Any suggestions? Blue Ox reads well, but costly

Travel locally to State campgrounds, 2-3 hours away encountering some small hills at times, otherwise mostly level terrain, no mountain ranges. Camping equipment, bikes, etc add about #300. Water tank travels empty, to allow for the beer 😊

P.S. Additional suggestions ideas or considerations are very welcome. Thank You

Camp for PEACE Larry
Maybe I missed it but what Class Hitch do you have? Class 2 or 3?
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:53 PM   #11
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three
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:31 PM   #12
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three
Is that that the factory installed hitch receiver or an aftermarket hitch receiver?
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:21 PM   #13
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AFTER MARKET,,,INSTALLED FROM DELARSHIP....STICKER READS 500k PULL Ability
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by the boss927 View Post
AFTER MARKET,,,INSTALLED FROM DELARSHIP....STICKER READS 500k PULL Ability
That 500 number is the rating for the receiver only.
Slapping one on, doesn't automatically mean your vehicle is rated for the 5000lbs of towing capacity.
You have to have ALL the other pieces of the factory tow package, to have the 500/5000 rating.
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and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
4pt Equal-i-zer WDH and 1828lbs of payload capacity
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
STICKER READS 500k PULL Ability
You really need to proof-read your posts... lots of errors... ABOVE you say 500,000 PULL Ability ( k means times 1,000)... so we will all assume you mean 5K (5,000) pounds tow ability.

Bikendan mentioned you need wiring installed for 7 pin hitch PLUS an electric add-on brake controller PLUS the tranny cooler mentioned above. These are necessary. etrailer dot com would be an excellent place to get info and product... call them

I also believe you are going to be near the limits of the capability of the Xterra. There is not much you can do to help be safe at the limit, but a couple that you can do are: 1) check your brakes, and upgrade to premium brake linings 2) check your tire's ratings on the Xterra and UPGRADE to an LT rated SUV tire ( stay away from P rated tires)... this will give you a little stiffer rear end and help eliminate sway problems before they appear. 3) make sure your frame is not rusted on the Xterra... I once had an add-on bolt-on tow bar have a bolt pull through a rusted frame member on a trip on rough roads in Canada. I got it fixed, but it was a pain pulling a much lighter trailer. So inspect your frame real well.

Finally, with that small and light of a trailer I would look at the HFreight $200 weight distribution hitch. Anything more is just plain over-kill with a 3,500# trailer.
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Old 11-28-2020, 09:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
That 500 number is the rating for the receiver only.
Slapping one on, doesn't automatically mean your vehicle is rated for the 5000lbs of towing capacity.
You have to have ALL the other pieces of the factory tow package, to have the 500/5000 rating.
+1

Slapping Z rated tires on doesn't mean you can safely (or at all) go 150 mph, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsdata View Post
You really need to proof-read your posts... lots of errors... ABOVE you say 500,000 PULL Ability ( k means times 1,000)... so we will all assume you mean 5K (5,000) pounds tow ability.
+ another 1

It's concerning to see "is this safe?" questions filled with obviously wrong numbers.
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:44 AM   #17
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Just another thought --- Add an engine oil cooler - It screws onto the engine where the oil filter screws onro the engine. Your standard oil filter screws onto the cooler. Your heater hose outlet is connected to one of the hose barbs on the cooler and the other is connected to your water pump heater return connection. It will reduce engine oil heat 20-30 degrees-- reduce oil consumption. If you are handy try your local pick and pull wrecking yard. They can be had for a few dollars.I tow a 2020 Patriot 16 fq with a 2009 Ranger Sport 4.0 engine-tow package -4:10 gears -air bags-curt sway control. Cheers Robert
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Old 12-10-2020, 08:55 AM   #18
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R-pods actually are no better aerodynamically than a traditional box trailer of the same size. That taper in the back is just too steep and the air buckles and swirls just like a parachute (shaped almost exactly the same). You notice on the newer ones they added a spoiler above the rear window to try and get the air to detach cleanly. The front has about the same roundness to it as any other standard camper. They may be 7' wide instead of 8' on the box but the wheels stick out and disturb all the air moving down the side which is where most modern trucks move the air to off the grille and bumper.

Basically it's not an Airstream, just a retro looking normal camper, don't expect it to pull better than a cargo trailer or standard camper.
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Old 12-10-2020, 02:44 PM   #19
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R-pods actually are no better aerodynamically than a traditional box trailer of the same size. That taper in the back is just too steep and the air buckles and swirls just like a parachute (shaped almost exactly the same). You notice on the newer ones they added a spoiler above the rear window to try and get the air to detach cleanly. The front has about the same roundness to it as any other standard camper. They may be 7' wide instead of 8' on the box but the wheels stick out and disturb all the air moving down the side which is where most modern trucks move the air to off the grille and bumper.

Basically it's not an Airstream, just a retro looking normal camper, don't expect it to pull better than a cargo trailer or standard camper.
Exactly!
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and Zoe the Wonder Dog(R.I.P.)
2016 PrimeTime TracerAIR 255, pushing a 2014 Ford F150 SCREW XTR 4x4 3.5 Ecoboost w/Max Tow Package
4pt Equal-i-zer WDH and 1828lbs of payload capacity
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Old 12-11-2020, 02:10 AM   #20
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Please consider your trailer's full weight instead of it's dry weight.
Just a quick example: My 26 foot Sandpiper's dry weight is 5700 lbs. Forest River rates the trailer at 7700 lbs full.
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