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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody towing pontoon boats out there? I'm getting a 21' fishing pontoon and was wondering if with a class III Xterra Tow Hitch - would it be stupid to pass on the trailer brakes? I think the trailer and boat weight will be around 3200 pounds, total. Thinking about Timbrens too, just not sure if I really want to spend on things i don't need. I just want to make sure it's safe at highway speeds and on uneven roads.
 

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I had towed a wood chipper this past weekend that weight about 3800 lbs. and you can definetly know that there is something behind you.
 

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:cheers:

i getting a 21' pontoon too!!!!.....in about 5 years, lol...never too early to start planning, the ones i've looked at run 3500 lbs. including trailer, the X should be able to full that fine, the max is 5000, although i don't know if i would pull something that heavy without brakes on the trailer.

you may want to upgrade the leaf springs in the back (do an add-a-leaf kit) so the back end doesn't sink lower then the front when you're towing (just a thought)
 

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I think you should consider trailer brakes. The truck will pretty much tow anything you throw at it, but trying to come to a complete stop for an emergency situation with something that heavy behind you will no trailer brakes is not a situation you want to be in.
 

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It might be tough with the MT. A few folks have burned their clutch towing heavy loads.
 

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i towed once..

I have an 05' 2wd auto, I moved using one of those Uhaul trailers the 12ft one I prolly maxed it out at 2600 lbs and it had the trailer brakes so i was fine. Somthing I learned when I was still in FL towin stuff for mt dad is that if I am going to be towing more often I need to get air-bags for the rear, my dad uses these on all his towing trucks, which are an f250 and a honda pilot...heres the link to the site,
http://www.accessconnect.com/mercury_mitsubishi_nissan_oldsmo.htm
I think this is better than adding a leaf becasue you adjust the ride hight back to normal when your done...and its only $205...thats what i would use :faroah:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I just got the Class III hitch on yesterday, and we're picking the boat up tomorrow. Thankfully, the boat trailer was shipped with "surge breaks" included, which should make this a much better situation for highway and long trips.

The dealership even threw in the electrical harness in case i need hard-wired electric breaks. I guess the surge break works at the point of contact on the hitch, and apply when they sense pushing from rear to front. Plus, no electrical hookup, beyond the 4/7 harness for lights. The air bags that Martezza linked to are interesting! One version looks like a Timbren bumpstop.

I guess I'll check the ride quality and rear squashability, and see if the Timbrens or Airbags would be a good option. I've not towed anything this large before, so it's uncharted terrain for me. Thanks for the advice! :alien:
 

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your not going to have any issues towing it, the x can handle that on its own, the reason why you would need the air bags is for a situation where its you and 4 of your friends in the x towing the boat...thats where and when you'll get the sagging rear end, and when you will need airbags...more importantly if your going a long distantace towing youll need them for short spurts from the house to the boat launch its over kill, but up here in New Hampshire, its a good 45 mile drive to the lake and its not flat so I would need them...have fun and be safe with the boat! :drunken:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, the X towed the boat like a champ, but I was surprised at the strain on the vehicle. The back end did indeed sag, carrying 3 people and the boat.+ 150lbs of gear. I attribute this sag to the leaf setup and too far a drop on the X's hitch post. I Should have used a 2 inch drop instead of 3 - 1/4.

As for maneuvering, no problems, just kept it low and slow and kept a good line. I also figured (as this is WV) going up and down mountains, I would keep the OD off, so it locked out that last gear, and we managed about 60-65 miles an hour around 3000 RPMs. The people who trained us on the boat also recommended an AT oil cooler - is this needed? I think the total weight ended up being closer to 4,000. The the AT oil cooler is a cheap add on, but only if it's doing what it should be doing.

- Surge breaks worked perfectly, and it was no trouble stopping all the weight behind me.

- The air bags would have come in really handy too...and a half-ton pickup. :profileleft:
 

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I am not sure if it was stock or not, but I know my 2005 s 4x2 has a tranny and oil cooler....take a look see whats there
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Cool, looks like we have our very own oil cooler on the X, (not mentioned in the manual), but I don't think we have a tranny cooler.
 

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i had my grill off yesterday, there is a smaller radiator looking thing half the size of the actual radiator......from the look of the connections it looks like it is an oil cooler....but i wasn't in there to look at that, so i didn't give it a thorough look over.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That's gotta be it, a good thing too. I almost dropped 64.00 on an aftermarket B&M cooler. I don't know how I missed this in the service manual, but I did. Thanks for the info guys!

Good looking out on Nissan's part as well. Sometimes you have to pay extra for these items in overpriced tow packages on other vehicles. :eek:ccasion5:
 
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