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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading so many negative post about traveling and towing travel trailers with out trucks, I have decided to create a thread about positive experiences traveling and towing. If you have had any good experiences please leave a post here. This can help those of us who are considering and wanting to use our trucks to the full.
 

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Many have done it successfully but some have overdone it weight wise. I won’t go over 2/3 of a vehicles max load rating so there is a safety margin. My Frontier had a 6300 pound rating so my limit was around 4000 pounds and there is also total frontal area to consider when moving against the air like a parachute. What’s the tongue weight, single axle or double axle? It all plays a part in it but over the years here I’ve seen some pull trailers that really push the limits of the truck as they fail to include their own weight, passengers and bed contents.
Do you already own a travel trailer?
Another thing to consider is where will the owner be traveling, is it flat lands or hilly terrain, it makes a big difference as well. My Frontiers I towed with were long bed crew cabs, they had better road manners than my one short bed.

Clint
 

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2007 LE 4x4 Crew Cab Long Box
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I helped by moving this to the Towing forum. I've pulled various trailers in the past, some were travel trailers, others had cars on them. Never had issues.
 

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2015 Nissan Frontier SV Crew Cab LWB 4x4
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I just borrowed a friend's double-axle flatbed to move my MIL out of her independent-living apartment and in with us. I found that it towed much more awkwardly empty than loaded. I suspect empty, the weight of the ramp and drag from it sticking up vertically was enough to cause the trailer to want to be too light in the tongue.

Loaded with simple housewares and furniture it towed nicely. Brakes worked well enough but admittedly were slow to release, my guess is this is normal for the release mechanism for the magnet.

I still have yet to tow my recently-acquired travel trailer but I don't expect it to be too bad for the ~3500# that I realistically will be towing. Single axle and I'll obviously need to get the tongue weight right, but it should do fine. I mean, I was accustomed to towing three ATVs up from the desert floor onto the Colorado Plateau behind an '86 Isuzu Trooper with a four cylinder, this truck has more than double the power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is a good start to a thread. Thanks all.
Clint, no I do not have the trailer yet. This is why I started the post. Seems to be negative situations out there while researching. I think it would be helpful to have positive experiences on what really works.
Thank you Zedbra for moving this to the correct area.
Twx, please let me and the readers here know how your trailer works out for you! (Thumbs up also for caring for your family so well!, and lay off the coffee, that can start interstellar wars, LOL)
 

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I find most people have really unrealistic expectations on towing....

I can remember I had a 1/2 Chevy that had a lower tow rating than my Frontier or Tacoma.

Some people seem to think that the tow rating means it'll drive the same at the tow rating....at least that is what I feel after reading most of the comments. Not just here, or Frontiers, but, plenty of others..
Anyway, MY general rule, is I try to stay near the half mark on weight.

My only gripe is the reverse gear ratio on my 6mt....
 
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I find most people have really unrealistic expectations on towing....

I can remember I had a 1/2 Chevy that had a lower tow rating than my Frontier or Tacoma.
Yep. The buddy whose trailer I borrowed normally tows it with a '96 F150 4x4. He said Ford rates it to tow 5000#. Now that's silly, he bought it factory with limited slip differentials front and rear and the rear axle from Ford is a Dana 70, but on-paper it's low.
 

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I just borrowed a friend's double-axle flatbed to move my MIL out of her independent-living apartment and in with us. I found that it towed much more awkwardly empty than loaded. I suspect empty, the weight of the ramp and drag from it sticking up vertically was enough to cause the trailer to want to be too light in the tongue.

Loaded with simple housewares and furniture it towed nicely. Brakes worked well enough but admittedly were slow to release, my guess is this is normal for the release mechanism for the magnet.

I still have yet to tow my recently-acquired travel trailer but I don't expect it to be too bad for the ~3500# that I realistically will be towing. Single axle and I'll obviously need to get the tongue weight right, but it should do fine. I mean, I was accustomed to towing three ATVs up from the desert floor onto the Colorado Plateau behind an '86 Isuzu Trooper with a four cylinder, this truck has more than double the power.
That’s a wonderful thing to do, having her come live with you, you will look back at it years from now and feel good about that. It also adds to the happy wife happy life theory.

Clint
 

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This is a good start to a thread. Thanks all.
Clint, no I do not have the trailer yet. This is why I started the post. Seems to be negative situations out there while researching. I think it would be helpful to have positive experiences on what really works.
Thank you Zedbra for moving this to the correct area.
Twx, please let me and the readers here know how your trailer works out for you! (Thumbs up also for caring for your family so well!, and lay off the coffee, that can start interstellar wars, LOL)
Good luck in selecting a travel trailer, there are so many nice ones out there and it’s so easy to buy into all the “got to have it” items that looking back at weren’t really needed.
With the current Covid situation, they are in short supply as they are a great way to find much enjoyment.

Clint
 

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That’s a wonderful thing to do, having her come live with you, you will look back at it years from now and feel good about that. It also adds to the happy wife happy life theory.

Clint
In some regards it was more pragmatic really. Our house has a basement, she was willing to spend the money for a stair-lift to be installed, and at the facility all the drivers and half the front office staff had quit within a matter of a few weeks. The place is clearly having problems that aren't being addressed by the owners. It just made sense to get her out.

But either way we borrowed the trailer and in two only moderately packed loads got all the furniture and other large items. Much easier than loading into the bed of the truck and I didn't have to remove the canopy for the oversized stuff. I still need to go back to clear stuff that is going away and to get the tools I'd left with her and her late husband in case I needed to do any simple maintenance tasks, but I expect that'll take all of a couple of hours and I have until the end of the month, so will probably do Monday.
 

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Yep. The buddy whose trailer I borrowed normally tows it with a '96 F150 4x4. He said Ford rates it to tow 5000#. Now that's silly, he bought it factory with limited slip differentials front and rear and the rear axle from Ford is a Dana 70, but on-paper it's low.
A '96 F150 did not come with a Dana 70 axle. It would have been a Ford 8.8 axle. The same axle as a Mustang, or even a Ranger. But a 5000# tow rating does sound correct for that vintage F150. Want to tow more, look at a 1-ton.

That Dana axle would be under a 1-ton dually, which in '96 the Chevy C3500 only had a 10,000# rating with a big block

As for towing with the Frontier. Aero is the killer. Hauling a big empty box sucks. Wind drag hurts. A flat bed trailer or a boat tow so much better at highway speeds. Weight only holds you back when accelerating or pulling a hill.

With that said, 5,000# trailer is what I generally limit myself to as a comfortable tow. It will do more, but the comfort level drops off. A loaded enclosed car trailer is where I draw the line. That will still comfortable run above any highway speed limit in the country.
 

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My boat is a 17' fiberglass bass boat, single axle trailer, 115hp, frontier tows it flawlessly. I need to weigh it, keep forgetting. For the tongue weight and total weight.
Towed a buddies 21' fiberglass bass boat, 250hp, tandem axle. The frontier did good. I was impressed by it.
Wife and I are looking at travel trailers, probably two years out. We both like this one - Bullet Crossfire Comfort Travel Trailers - Model 1850RB Floorplan. Will definitely get a weight distribution hitch, and brake controller.
Good thread !
 

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Well, it's not much, but I finally had an opportunity to take my Jayco Jayflight around for a short (and I do mean short) drive in-town, basically just around five miles or so, to confirm that it would be safe and to figure out how I needed to set the trailer brakes. For this jaunt I didn't turn off overdrive, partly because I couldn't remember where the damn button was, but for the two miles I was at freeway speeds I didn't observe any unpleasantness with the shifting pattern.

With the weight distribution hitch and being a long wheelbase it was fine for this short trip. After lunch we're going to go up to grandma and grandpa's house around twenty miles away, so after I've put those 40 miles on today I'll update my appraisal.

The only annoyance, to get the trailer brakes strong enough to where they felt effective in a panic-stop I had to crank 'em up high enough that they're not especially pleasant on a normal gentle stop. But that may just be the way that trailer brakes are.
 

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Ok, observations after ~40 miles of predominately freeway driving towing ~3500lb of travel trailer, with the fiberglass camper shell in place and some random stuff in the bed adding weight plus some 4'x6' timbers the previous owner left in the forward cargo hatch of the travel trailer:

327403


The truck can do it, but realistically the driver needs to be mindful of overdrive and cruise control. In a nutshell, the fuel economy is pretty terrible when out of overdrive and the absolute max speed realistically is 65, and that is mildly uncomfortable. On flat terrain or slight downward grade overdrive didn't feel like a struggle though, and brought the RPMs down. Uphill or if there's a headwind, you're not going to remain in overdrive. Be prepared to shift as if you were driving a truck with a manual transmission. Cruise control drops out if the required throttle to maintain or return to speed is too great.

The feel was decent enough, it did not feel like the trailer was shoving the truck around. This being a long wheebase truck that probably gave me an advantage. Stopping required some attention obviously and other drivers are just idiots, but because I was generally the slowest vehicle on the road it was generally easy enough to leave room. I am glad I had my towing mirrors on the truck though, I widened them out and it helped on turns or as the road wound around.

Even with the weight distribution hitch the rear of the truck did sag enough to be just a tiny bit lower than the front. I'll have to bear this in mind if I do install those 1.5" Alldogs Offroad helper springs that I have and what I'd need to do to the front, especially if I retain the overload leafs.

With the expected fuel economy reduction, doing a fuel tank swap like @AndysLog did might be even more important.

I'm also wondering if a tall camper shell might help with air resistance a bit.

Also when I was taking pictures, got a nice demonstration of how distance to the subject is important.

Close to the subject:
327405


Further from the subject:
327406
 

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Which NoBo is that? We were just looking at the 19.6 and the 19.8. We’d likely pair it with a frontier, too. The 19.6 was our favorite but with a gvwr of 7500 lbs we’ll probably go with the other. But I do like the tandem axles on the 19.6.
Sorry for my delayed response. I have been trying to get my water back working at the well - waiting for parts. I am down here in Texas where we had the big freeze.

The one I have is the 19.7. On the sticker on the side (with options that I have), it comes in at 3,600 dry. It has a cargo carrying capacity of 990 lbs (again, according to the sticker on the side). However, we never load it with much. Sheets, clothes, some food, and other misc. items and I figure around 500lbs. (We only run it with a few gallons of water in the tank in the event of an emergency pit stop). So, around 4,100 to 4,200 lbs loaded. The tongue weight is 388 lbs according to the manufacturer. However, I figure it closer to 435 lbs. It is just me and my wife and a 1.5 year old and a 3 year old. We don't pack much into the truck. Looking at my payload, towing capacity, an tongue weight - I am will within a 20% margin of the max numbers. The frontal area of the trailer is also within guidelines.

I came from an F-150 ecoboost (3.5L with 475 lb-ft of torque). That thing wouldn't even shift out of overdrive going up a steep grade with this trailer - and it would hold its speed. However, after a drunk driver got me, it was time for another truck. I like Ford and they make an awesome pulling machine, I just refuse to pay what Ford is charging for even base vehicles now. Outrageous really. So, I got the Nissan. Actually got the Nissan for a crazy good deal right when all this covid stuff started. It's 4 wheel drive with the midnight package, heated seats and some more. They wanted $23,900 for itbut got them down to $22,000. It pulls good I think. If I had never driven the ecoboost, I would say it is more then adequate. I use a WD hitch and keep it under 65 mph. When its windy or a rig passes, it can get a little wobbly, but I chalk that up to the wheelbase. This truck is heavy too - every bit of 4,500 lbs. That helps with stability as well.

328696
 

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Sorry for my delayed response. I have been trying to get my water back working at the well - waiting for parts. I am down here in Texas where we had the big freeze.

The one I have is the 19.7. On the sticker on the side (with options that I have), it comes in at 3,600 dry. It has a cargo carrying capacity of 990 lbs (again, according to the sticker on the side). However, we never load it with much. Sheets, clothes, some food, and other misc. items and I figure around 500lbs. (We only run it with a few gallons of water in the tank in the event of an emergency pit stop). So, around 4,100 to 4,200 lbs loaded. The tongue weight is 388 lbs according to the manufacturer. However, I figure it closer to 435 lbs. It is just me and my wife and a 1.5 year old and a 3 year old. We don't pack much into the truck. Looking at my payload, towing capacity, an tongue weight - I am will within a 20% margin of the max numbers. The frontal area of the trailer is also within guidelines.

I came from an F-150 ecoboost (3.5L with 475 lb-ft of torque). That thing wouldn't even shift out of overdrive going up a steep grade with this trailer - and it would hold its speed. However, after a drunk driver got me, it was time for another truck. I like Ford and they make an awesome pulling machine, I just refuse to pay what Ford is charging for even base vehicles now. Outrageous really. So, I got the Nissan. Actually got the Nissan for a crazy good deal right when all this covid stuff started. It's 4 wheel drive with the midnight package, heated seats and some more. They wanted $23,900 for itbut got them down to $22,000. It pulls good I think. If I had never driven the ecoboost, I would say it is more then adequate. I use a WD hitch and keep it under 65 mph. When its windy or a rig passes, it can get a little wobbly, but I chalk that up to the wheelbase. This truck is heavy too - every bit of 4,500 lbs. That helps with stability as well.

View attachment 328696
Seems like a great deal for that truck.
 

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Seems like a great deal for that truck.
Remember when COVID first struck and everything was closed? I went into the dealership and they said they weren't even sure they were staying open much longer. They offered 84 months at 0% PLUS rebates. I don't believe in 84 months, so I didn't take them up on that. But, COVID made for some unreal automobile deals.
 
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