Towing Gear Advice - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Towing Gear Advice

All, I have read the many posts on towing. I have not found a post that combines specific equipment recommendations on which everyone prefers, and was hoping to get all this in one post.

For what it is worth, I regularly haul a 4000# boat ~100 miles round trip to the lake. I have also now purchased a utility trailer & UTV's that will be 'up to' about 4900# that I will haul around the country. I have PRG coil overs, AAL on rear, and just removed leaking Firestone air bags. Also Shrockworks bumpers/skids/sliders and Duratracs.

Brake Controller:
Everyone seems to like the Prodigy 2. Anyone else have a different suggestion? I did not look at mounting options yet.
https://www.amazon.com/Tekonsha-9088...ake+controller

WDH - (Weight Distributing Hitch for newbies)
Equal-i-zer seems expensive. Any reason not to go with EAZ Lift Camco?
https://www.amazon.com/EAZ-LIFT-Dist...h%2Bhitch&th=1

Helper Springs/Airbags
Debating replacing airbags or buying new helper springs. The leaking sucked, and also didn't like how much those bags got pulled on when wheelin' over large rocks.

BullyDog or Just Bluetooth and iPhone App
BullyDog is up to $429 on Amazon now, but would get "towing" tune.
Dash Command app is $10 and Bluetooth adapter is about 30. (No tuning)

CAI
I know its not necessary for towing, but thought about it for extra umph. So easy...
Eveyone seems to like the older Volant sealed intake. Any other thoughts?
https://www.amazon.com/Volant-12740-...issan%3Axterra
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 12:07 PM
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My 2 cents....

The CAI is a waste of $ for added umph.

The Bully Dog does not support a Towing tune for the Xterra, and you cannot change the tune on the fly like you can with some other vehicles. You get choices of 3 tunes, all based on fuel octane.

IMO the biggest thing you can do to improve your towing experience is gears. If you are an auto running 33's go with 4.10's, if you are running stock tires and don't plan on 33's the go with 3.69's

The stock 3.36's suck while towing that much weight.

Also for the rear suspension....Alcans.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 12:12 PM
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I use the P3 and like it. I found I could adjust it so I couldn't even tell the trailer brakes were coming on, but they still brake strong under emergency braking.

https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Contr...sha/90195.html

I like the adjustability of airbags, but I don't wheel. If you aren't going to use it I'd suggest selling it here since Firestone recently discontinued making them for the X.

I bought a used BD off eBay for half the price of new and like it for the live display as much as anything, but I'm running a stick so I can't comment on the towing tune.

I wouldn't bother with a CAI unless you're looking for the extra noise. The stock intake runs about 10f above ambient at highway speeds and isn't restrictive. If I was rock crawling in a desert it might be a different story...
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboardr View Post
I use the P3 and like it. I found I could adjust it so I couldn't even tell the trailer brakes were coming on, but they still brake strong under emergency braking.

https://www.etrailer.com/Brake-Contr...sha/90195.html

I like the adjustability of airbags, but I don't wheel. If you aren't going to use it I'd suggest selling it here since Firestone recently discontinued making them for the X.

I bought a used BD off eBay for half the price of new and like it for the live display as much as anything, but I'm running a stick so I can't comment on the towing tune.

I wouldn't bother with a CAI unless you're looking for the extra noise. The stock intake runs about 10f above ambient at highway speeds and isn't restrictive. If I was rock crawling in a desert it might be a different story...
Thanks for the feedback. I already have Alcan AAL on, but headlights are still up in the air with heavy loads. WDH will help with big trailer, but not the boat. That's why I thought about Helper Springs as well.

I like the P3. I hadn't reviewed it yet. Thanks again..
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsquaredatx View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I already have Alcan AAL on, but headlights are still up in the air with heavy loads. WDH will help with big trailer, but not the boat. That's why I thought about Helper Springs as well.

I like the P3. I hadn't reviewed it yet. Thanks again..
It's a compromise, enough helper to keep it level when heavy probably will ride stiff empty. That's why I like bags with a helper on my setup, best of both worlds, but then there's the problems if you wheel...
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 01:18 PM
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I did a 600 mile round trip pulling a pair of heavy Sea Doos earlier this summer, though significantly lighter than what you are talking about, and tongue weight is pretty low, so minimal sag with my DAAL + shackles. I filled up with 91 and loaded the high-octane tune into my BullyDog (normally do regular tune, +2 timing, and WOT restrict off). I think the tune helped some, plus I have an IMS, so the truck hardly struggled. But the trip did make me think more seriously about regearing from my AT 3.36 w/285s.
So in summary, a BD does help some, but regearing may be the better thing in the long run.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Any more feedback from the community before I order the P3 and the WDH hitch listed above?

Thanks for the feedback on gearing as well...that will have to wait for after my first couple trips here shortly.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 04:20 PM
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I tow a 4K boat regularly. Air bags are a must. WD hitch helps a lot, particularly for handling. If you are running larger than stock tires, I agree on regearing to 4.10.

In stock form, the main thing you need to address is the rear leaf springs. Obviously air bags and wd hitch both help with that. Obviously you need trailer brakes too. Not much else you “need” imo.


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 05:02 PM
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If you decide to keep the bags you might appreciate being able to fill/adjust them with a dedicated compressor and pressure gauge. This is what I put in my X.

https://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how...g-control.html
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-20-2018, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboardr View Post
If you decide to keep the bags you might appreciate being able to fill/adjust them with a dedicated compressor and pressure gauge. This is what I put in my X.

https://www.thenewx.org/forum/15-how...g-control.html
Thanks for the write up. I like that controller. That would have been good for me when my bags weren't leaking. I'm going to call for warranty today and maybe I'll go ahead and replace.
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