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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have a 2007 Frontier SE CC 4x4 with a 4.0 engine. I am towing a 3000 lb
pop up camper and would like to up grade to a bigger hard side camper but I am not sure if this truck is capable. It seems to work hard going up hills. Is anyone pulling a 4 or 5000 lb trailer with a Frontier? Thanks
 

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I tow a 17' 8" self contained Sunline with my truck. The maiden voyage will be tomorrow evening. So far I towed the trailer about 20 miles and it seemed alright but we are going up into the mountains tomorrow so I'll let you know how it goes when we get back. My trailer only weighs 2435 pounds though... That must be one big pop up to be 3000 pounds.

Obviously O/D needs to be off.

I believe the 6 cyl 4.0L is rated to tow 6500lbs, so shouldn't have any problems.
That is correct. The Edmunds review said that they towed a car on a car trailer at pretty close to 6500 lbs and it handled it well but it was looking for gears a lot.
 

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I haven't hauled anything of that size yet with the fronty. However, I've been searching around on here a lot (the advanced search feature here is your friend) because I was wondering what it would take to tow a trailer that size as well, and this is what I have learned:

1) Yes, the Frontier can handle it, with help.
2) Weight distributing hitch is almost a must.
3) I would NOT pull one that big if it didn't have some form of trailer brakes.
4) AALs or air bags would be a good investment if towing often.
5) Be prepared for crappy gas mileage.
6) Make sure the loaded weight of truck and trailer with all gear is not over the trucks GVWR.

Most of this is common sense stuff but just thought I'd say it anyway. Also, if you are a long bed, the longer wheel base on the truck will help with stability also.
 

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You may want to invest in the gauge pillar GB and then a trans temp gauge and possibly a voltage gauge. This way you can monitor your trans temp as you are towing. This way you don't cook your trans.

Plus the voltage gauge will help if you end up running accessories off your truck and need to keep track of your battery lift.

Ohh, last words on towing. Don't be afraid to drop it from 4th into 3rd if you are going thru some hills or crappy areas. The higher your revs, the more fluid that is being pushed thru the trans cooler thus not overheating your trans.
 

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I haven't hauled anything of that size yet with the fronty. However, I've been searching around on here a lot (the advanced search feature here is your friend) because I was wondering what it would take to tow a trailer that size as well, and this is what I have learned:

1) Yes, the Frontier can handle it, with help. I'm bone stock and it seems okay
2) Weight distributing hitch is almost a must. Don't have one.
3) I would NOT pull one that big if it didn't have some form of trailer brakes. Absolutely true. With the tow pack its too easy to set up to let something like that go to chance!
4) AALs or air bags would be a good investment if towing often. My trailer is a tandem axle so most weight is at the axles (I forget what the tongue weight it) so it doesnt really sag my truck at all.
5) Be prepared for crappy gas mileage. I've been told to expect about 12! Ouch!
6) Make sure the loaded weight of truck and trailer with all gear is not over the trucks GVWR.
My responses to your concerns.
 

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My responses to your concerns.
You say that your truck is bone stock and that you have no problems pulling your trailer and I believe that 100%. The difference here is, he's asking about a 4 to 5000 pound trailer and yours is only 2400 pounds with tandem axles. A trailer that weighs roughly twice what yours does is going to feel completely different behind our trucks. Also, let's face it, the Frontier is a mid size truck. While that 4 to 5000 pounds is within our towing limit, the length and height of the trailer will play a big role in how it handles. A 4500 pound, hard side, travel trailer is going to be pretty big and will most likely catch wind like a sail, and you won't have quite as much control over it with a mid size truck that you would with a full size. That's why I asked him if he had a long bed, because the longer wheelbase on the truck will help with stability issues. It's also, most likely, going to have a much higher tongue weight than your trailer too. In the long run if he's going to be pulling a big trailer like that very often, a weight distributing hitch and some rear suspension help will pay off. With the minimum towing that I have done my springs are already close to flat.

Is all the stuff I listed required? Definitely not, but they will make life easier in the long haul. I just wanted to give him some things to look at that would greatly improve his towing experience.
 

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I have towed several cars on my buddy's trailer with weights around 5000lbs. I have a weight distribution hitch and trailer brake controller along with some timbren helper springs in the rear. The suspension and brakes are fine, but you will quickly run out of power towing that much weight. If you are going to tow 5000lbs often or over hilly terrain you will want a bigger truck. If you are going to tow a camper twice a year and not that far it would be ok. My boat is around 3000lbs and it does perfectly fine anywhere I want to go. Towing 5000lbs on flat highway it does fine, but hills, steep grades, etc. and you will struggle.

The pathfinder with V6 is rated the same towing capacity as the frontier, the V8 pathfinder is rated for 7000lbs which shows we are power limited, not chassis limited.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks

Thanks for the input on towing. I forgot to mention that my truck has the 5' bed. I understand these Frontiers are rated to haul over 6,000 lbs but I just can't see how this truck would be stable with a 5,000 lb camper behind it. I had to work it up the hills pulling my almost 3,000 lb pop up. Just got back from the beach (700 miles). It did average 16 mpg using over drive on the flat roads and no over drive on the hills.
 

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I towed a long trailer full to the brim possibly 3 cords of oak wood.No problems going but stopping wasent very fun.Eletric brake kit might help.
 

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Well, I drive an Xterra rather than a Frontier, but I regularly tow a trailer that is over 3500 lbs empty and I'm sure pushing 5000 loaded for a long trip. Combine that with the added weight on my truck (armor, rack, ladder, 33" MT tires, etc) and I'm definitly pushing it. I live in Colorado and have towed over more 10k + passes than I'd like to count. Stability has never been a concern for me, though power on the steep climbs at elevation can be. Still, I've got no complaints. I'm using an Equal-i-zer hitch and Tekonsha P3 brake controller.
 

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I tow my 21ft mastercraft maristar 210 regularly with 0 problems. Boat dry weight is 3200lbs, trailer is 1400lbs, add 40 gallons of gas (for boat) 4 people and gear. Trailer does have surge brakes. I do not use a weight distribution hitch. And you can see how it compares in size next to my old titan.





 

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While it’s definitely not my first choice, I have sometimes towed a 24' fiberglass Rinker cuddy cabin boat with a 4X4 stock king cab frontier. The boat weighs in at 6100 pounds loaded with gear and everything (verified by vehicle scale). As far as power goes the truck for sure knows its back there, but the engine still manages it just fine and is able to maintain freeway speeds with little effort. The trailer has surge brakes so braking has never been an issue for the truck. The biggest issue I have run into is monitoring tranny temps and size ratios.
I pulled it on an 800 mile round trip last summer through some canyons and mountain valleys. The truck struggled a little bit getting up some the hills but I didn’t want to overheat the tranny so I wasn’t "balls to the walls" going over them, I was able to maintain 50 - 60 mph no problem. I know we have the transmission coolers but it was 110 outsides and I didn’t think that dinky thing was going to help much.
Coming across some of the valleys there was a fairly significant cross wind at times that was the biggest concern to me. The boat towers over the truck, is significantly longer, and is a little bit wider than the truck so I know it would have no problem tossing it off the road if conditions were right. I had to take it a little bit slower but it wasn’t really all that bad.
Now before some of you start kicking and screaming, let me note this. I don’t tow the boat all that often with it because I’d rather pull it with a bigger truck, but if I do any significant pull I usually do a drain and refill on the transmission with in 5000 miles (with synthetic fluid). All the other fluids are changed on the factory schedule. I have done probably 5 to 7 drain and refills and 2 complete flushes on the transmission and never once had a problem with fluid being horribly black or having the burned smell. I’m fairly gentle with the starting and stopping but I could see how it’d be pretty easy to toast a transmission in a hurry.
If you’re concerned about gas miles, find a different truck. I get 15 – 18 mpg without the trailer and around 5 – 8 mpg with the trailer. Oh yea I forgot the scale I used weighed each individual axle and then the whole damn thing (its quiet the process) I cant remember each axle weight but the tandem on the boat was like 6075 or so. The GVW was 11020… if someone else so desires they can do the math. Hopefully that answers some of your ?’s
 

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I've got an 05 Frontier Nismo with the V6. I tow a Fleetwood (now Coleman) E-2 off-road pop-up with a gross weight of 4600 lbs. i don't load it up to the limit, so my real towing weight is probably around 3500 lbs. The camper dealer insisted on using a weight distribution hitch and a brake controller since it had brakes. The towing hitch that attaches to the truck has a deep lip on it, reducing my ground clearance (angle of departure) for the bumper that wasn't great anyway. I've torn up 2 or 3 power connections. (Why don't they built these into the bumper) From what I've read on the camping forums, you do not want to go more that 2/3 to 3/4 of your tow limit. As for power, mine does ok on the highway although I've seen the RPMs up to 5000 while coming off a ramp and then hitting an incline. Biggest issue is stress on the transmission. I have to pull it about 1/2 to 3/4 mile up a steep hill to its parking place at my cabin in the Va mountains. The transmission is definitely heating up as I can smell it when I make it to the cabin. I pull in and let it cool off before parking and unhitching. Unfortunately, now that I'm retired, a tranny cooler isn't in the family budget. So, I hoping that the 5 or 6 times I use it during the summer and fall will not damage the transmission. My mechanic does keep his eye on it, but I'm going to have another talk with him about it next week.
 

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Well I'm in a slightly different boat having a 6 spd, but I have towed a 2500 lb pop-up and a snowmobile trailer with two sleds from time to time. I can't imagine towing anymore than that, honestly. It seemed to labor power-wise, and my gas mileage dropped to around 10-12 mpg on hilly trips. It may be rated to tow 6500 lbs, but I think you really need a V-8 to haul that kind of freight. Just my 2 cents.....
 

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Well I'm in a slightly different boat having a 6 spd, but I have towed a 2500 lb pop-up and a snowmobile trailer with two sleds from time to time. I can't imagine towing anymore than that, honestly. It seemed to labor power-wise, and my gas mileage dropped to around 10-12 mpg on hilly trips. It may be rated to tow 6500 lbs, but I think you really need a V-8 to haul that kind of freight. Just my 2 cents.....
I would consider that pretty much normal with these trucks as far as gas mileage is concerned. I get that running 70-75 pulling two Honda Ranchers (yes, I know the snowmobiles and trailer most likely weigh more) through the foot hills down here and, my cousin's Silverado only gets about 9-10 on the same roads with the same load. There is only one hill on our trip that the Frontier has issues with but it's one of those that 18 wheelers are restricted to 55 mph going down. I think that if I added much more weight than that I might need to travel a little slower to relieve some of the stress on the transmission but, I think what you're are talking about is pretty much normal for our trucks. Also, I haven't had the chance to haul anything since I got my intake and tuner, but I assume those can only help.
 

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