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I've got a 2008 4-banger Frontier and would like to be able to pull a small trailer occasionally, but not often. Other than appearance, is there an advantage or disadvantage to just attaching a ball through the back bumper versus installing a hidden receiver? Does a hidden receiver enhance stability? JD
 

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A hitch is always preferred. The ball on the bumper can only handle a small amount of weight. The cost of the hitch is pretty cheap when you think about the cost of replacing a rear bumper because you accidentially overloaded it and almost ripped it off your truck.

Also, make sure you get the Nissan wiring harness for the lights with the relays because the "splicing" wires technique does not work.
 

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How much weight can you tow with just the ball, and is there any thing else you need to do other than attach the ball to the bumper before towing something?
 

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The bumber hitch can haul 3500 lbs / 350lb tongue , which is the max for the 4 cyl anyways....

That said, no reason to get a hitch if you only tow a couple times a year.

I would get one anyways, because you can raise/lower the ball with the right ball mount to match the trailer. And you can put accessories in it like a bike rack.


Don't pay premium for the Nissan hitch, there are others by Hidden Hitch, DrawTite, Reese (all the same company if not mistaken) you can get one for about $120 bolts right up. U-Haul's are real nice too, especially if you don't want to fool with a torque wrench.

One thing to get from Nissan is the wiring harness that plugs right up. 4-pin is like $40 and the 7-pin is like $60.
 

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Just went through this with my '07 XE hauling a small Uhaul from LA to Northern Calif. From a tow capacity standpoint, there is no reason to use anything other that the Class II bumper hitch provided by Nissan which perfectly matches the tow rating of the 4 cyl. Frontier. Nissan did a nice job designing the bumper in that you can pop off the vinyl step bumper cover to expose the tow ball mount. No worries about trashing the bumper with the exposed center section and, after you've finished towing, you can remove the ball and pop the cover back on for a clean factory look. I did find the ball height to be higher than optimal and, if I ever tow again, I will probably invest in a "bumper hitch" receiver which can be had for as little as $40 and mounts to the underside of the bumper to better position the ball receiver assembly. Again, all this is rated for Class II hauling (3500# and 300# tongue weight). If you want to spend the extra $$ on a Class III hitch, that's you're business, but it's not necessary as you can't use anywhere the full capacity of such an item and it's more $$. I also second the motion to use nothing but the Nissan wiring harness. I paid $46 for the four pin version from Courtesy Nissan parts; it was a snap to install and worked perfectly.
 
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