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Discussion Starter #1
I'm setting my x up to pull a hybrid trailer, I've done a lot of searching are trailers going to be between 19 and 21 ft and the heaviest one we're looking at has a dry weight of 3500 lb but I'm really wanting to get closer to 3g. My question is with the rear leafs, I'd like to end up with a 1 or 2 lift and help with the sag during towning. Lot of options out there with helper springs and full replacement is there one preferred for towing?

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You have to have a realistic idea of what the actual tongue weight of the trailer you are towing. Then you can tell how much spring you need to hold that weight. You can’t go by the weight (dry or otherwise) of the trailer as the tongue weight could be way off. My 3000 lb pop up has a 425 lb tongue weight due to the equipment built into it. Was totally surprised when I actually measured the tongue weight. Ended up installing Air springs on my stock suspension to handle it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Airbags was my first choice, I had them on my last two trucks and they made a night and day difference when towing and that my be the way to go again. I was reading up on weight distribution hitches and they recommended not using them with airbags. Also notice the X will sag with just our utility trailer and I thought maybe stiffer springs might be a better option this time plus I would like to achieve a small 1-2in lift. I'm a little out of my element here, I've never owned or towed a camper, used a weight distribution hitch or sway control and I've never lifted a vehicle. We've looked at it 19 ft hybrid today, it seems like alot of camper for the x.

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Can you add airbags to any suspension setup? I've towed a few times with the x but nothing super heavy. First time was with warn oem suspension and that wasn't ideal. Next time was with ome leafs and bilsteins 5100s. About 2" of lift and handled the largest uhaul trailer fully loaded quite well. Only issue was starting on a steep hill. Had to use 4 wheel low due to the clutch slipping.

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Discussion Starter #6
Did you ever try to pull your pop up without the airbags and how's the ride when you're unloaded? Emu lists there leafs as medium load, I'm going to give them a call and ask what that means. Looks like there is a few guys adding spacers to the top of the bags when lifted.

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Airbags was my first choice, I had them on my last two trucks and they made a night and day difference when towing and that my be the way to go again. I was reading up on weight distribution hitches and they recommended not using them with airbags. Also notice the X will sag with just our utility trailer and I thought maybe stiffer springs might be a better option this time plus I would like to achieve a small 1-2in lift. I'm a little out of my element here, I've never owned or towed a camper, used a weight distribution hitch or sway control and I've never lifted a vehicle. We've looked at it 19 ft hybrid today, it seems like alot of camper for the x.

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The X will handle a 19 ft/3500 lb hybrid no problem after beefing up the rear suspension.
 

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The X should be able to handle it just fine. Find out what the tongue weight is, then go from there. A good AAL should be fine.

I have a boat that’s right under 5000lb when fully loaded for the water, 375lb tongue weight. With a cheap Rough Country lift. Pictures for reference below the 33’s.

The last picture was on a 4 day camping trip with 3 people, a pup, food, tents etc. I ended up pulling my buddy’s pop-up after had some issues with his tow vehicle. The pop up is right around 1,700lbs fully loaded.


 

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Did you ever try to pull your pop up without the airbags and how's the ride when you're unloaded? Emu lists there leafs as medium load, I'm going to give them a call and ask what that means. Looks like there is a few guys adding spacers to the top of the bags when lifted.

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I towed my 3000 lb pop up/425 lb tongue weight with the stock suspension for 8 yrs and it sat like the white X with the Starcraft pop up posted by Ccg1018. The ride without the air springs pumped up (but with the required min 10 psi) rides like stock. I’m sure the min 10 psi helps the stock rear leafs but I don’t notice a real difference. My 08 X with 75k miles have no sag in the springs.
 

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I towed my 3000 lb pop up/425 lb tongue weight with the stock suspension for 8 yrs and it sat like the white X with the Starcraft pop up posted by Ccg1018. The ride without the air springs pumped up (but with the required min 10 psi) rides like stock. I’m sure the min 10 psi helps the stock rear leafs but I don’t notice a real difference. My 08 X with 75k miles have no sag in the springs.
Note I had about 400lbs of gear in the truck at the time. The suspension didn’t sag any more when the trailer was attached.


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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys, I have a little more insight on how to move forward. Keep hearing about the soft leaf springs and when I started to sag with just a utility trailer, I didn't think there was anyway it could handle a heavier trailer without help. Also by trying to do a lift and boost the towing all at once might have overcomplicated the whole thing. New plan is just to add the bags and find a camper, see how that work. Figuring once the towing is dialed in a lift shouldn't really affect anything.

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Thanks guys, I have a little more insight on how to move forward. Keep hearing about the soft leaf springs and when I started to sag with just a utility trailer, I didn't think there was anyway it could handle a heavier trailer without help. Also by trying to do a lift and boost the towing all at once might have overcomplicated the whole thing. New plan is just to add the bags and find a camper, see how that work. Figuring once the towing is dialed in a lift shouldn't really affect anything.

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Exactly right there. Any tow vehicle will sag somewhat, my setup with a heavy boat (at least for what the X is legally rated for) is great. You’ll find you’ll be limited by wheel base before you’re limited by drivetrain.


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Thanks guys, I have a little more insight on how to move forward. Keep hearing about the soft leaf springs and when I started to sag with just a utility trailer, I didn't think there was anyway it could handle a heavier trailer without help. Also by trying to do a lift and boost the towing all at once might have overcomplicated the whole thing. New plan is just to add the bags and find a camper, see how that work. Figuring once the towing is dialed in a lift shouldn't really affect anything.

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With a trailer above 3k lbs you really should think about a weight distribution hitch. Also trailer brakes mandatory. airbags work fine with WD hitch. A reasonable squat when trailering is 1" to 2". This is one reason trucks & SUVs are built with a rake.
On Frontiers (lifted or stock), airbags are very popular. It gives you all the load handling you need/want with a stock ride. If you're hauling heavy, when unloaded the ride will be STIFF. This is why leaf packs built for towing are progressive and multi-leaf (double or triple the number of leafs you'd see stock).
The WD hitch isn't JUST for transferring weight to the front of the truck (but that is its primary purpose) a secondary design is to control sway. (Yes, you can get WD-only hitches but its stupidity). The longer the towing truck, the less critical it is to have sway control. With a short SUV like an X, with a light rolling sail, like a 3500lb trailer, an 18wheeler or gust broad side on will toss that trailer and it'll take you with it. With sway control, it now needs to shift the trailer AND the truck. Now its 6 wheels all "equally" weighted that gust is trying to push.

As to what size bags, you have to measure. Do your lift first, and then measure the height of the truck sitting as it normally would (without the trailer connected).
Also, a good quality leafpack can be built to handle the extra weight without being stiff. You just have to talk to the mfr before ordering.
 

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I added Timbrens to my X and it has totally transformed the ability of the truck to haul our boat (approx 3500lbs) and carry motorcycles on a hitch carrier. I would guess that the carrier and the bike together are roughly 300-310 pounds, and it extends back considerably further than where the tow ball would be. No sag, and it is super stable now. An advantage of the Timbrens is that they are really simple and require no maintenance or adjustment.

Regarding the lift, the kit they send you for the Xterra comes with an extra spacer that you are supposed to leave out, but if the truck is lifted, you could probably use the spacer.

When you tow, make sure you lock out the overdrive to keep the trans from "hunting". That will help keep down the temperature of the oil. Remember that a camper has more wind resistance than a boat. This makes a huge difference at highway speeds. In hill county, I put my X in 3rd when towing, again to minimize hunting, and get a little more engine braking on the downhills.
 

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Sway Control - Something to consider. I towed a utility trailer and a boat with different vehicles for decades and didn't need sway control. Got the popup and almost lost it due to sway. Had to hit the trailer brake switch in a panic or it would have taken our whole rig off the road. Dumped my coffee cup in my brother's lap in the panic reach for the trailer brake switch (he understood). The soft suspension of the popup allows a lot of motion in the trailer and the sway to start. Right after that trip, installed a friction bar sway control that is mounted between the trailer hitch and the tongue of the trailer. No more sway.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I hadn't thought about using sway control with a pop-up, probably a good idea with wife and grandbaby riding with. Visited over at the frontier forum, surprising how big of campers some of those guys are pulling. We looked at quite a few campers over the weekend, I really think the 19 foot hybrid is my max and I didn't like the layout of the smaller tt. Wife like the price of the pop-ups a little better but surprisingly doesn't really care either way as long as she gets to go camping lol.

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I have a 17ft Coachman Clipper single axle.....Definately NEED weight distribution
Also adjustable height hitch head , Ideally you want the trailer close to level or you start having sway issues
NOW is the time of year to buy a trailer , end of season
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I just picked up a 2003 Rockwood freedom Pop up Friday night, single axle with trailer brakes. If it wasn't for the wife I would have walked away, drove two and a half hours after work to pick up an camper that was described as extremely nice. Unfortunately it wasn't as described and going to need some work, but the wife is extremely excited and that's the most important I guess. On a positive note I'm getting ready to order some goodies for the x

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Discussion Starter #20
Little update, only thing I've done so far is added to brake controller and the E rated tires. The pop up is 2700lb and we packed really light, 120mi round and besides bottoming out the rear suspension a few times it went great. Power-wise it was on par if not better then my f150 ever was and once I got the trailer brakes dialed in, it stop pushing me coming to a stop. The tires stiffened up the ride and took that squishy feeling out of the back and I think with my old dynapros I would have been looking for some sort of sway control. The airlift bags are sitting here and should fix the bottom out issue. You guys were all right this thing is impressive.


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