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So, I see RVs towing various vehicles w/o a trailer and was wondering what's involved other than some kind of light hook up. Do you some how unlock the steering? How do they track? Is there excessive wear on the drive train? We have '11 with manual tranny if that matters.
 

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The X is not flat towable. There is no way to put the T-case in neutral like on jeeps, and the tranny can be damaged by flat towing (uto by not pumping, manual if it bumps into gear). I believe it explicitly states in the owners manual it's a no-go.

**without removing the drive shafts


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**without removing the drive shafts


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True, but realisticly lying on the ground, crawling under the Xterra unbolting and rebolting the drive shafts every time you stop somewhere is tedious, dirty work, and the bolts need replacing, they stretch, etc. not practical for most RVers.
 

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So, I see RVs towing various vehicles w/o a trailer and was wondering what's involved other than some kind of light hook up. Do you some how unlock the steering? How do they track? Is there excessive wear on the drive train? We have '11 with manual tranny if that matters.
Two primary issues arise when trying to flat tow a 4WD MT Xterra:

1. You must have the ignition unlocked and leave the key in the ignition so that the steering does not lock; and

2. You have no "neutral" position for the transfer case meaning that although you can leave your transmission in neutral your transfer case will be in 2H but not getting any lubrication as you go down the road.

Two solutions:

A. Leave a key in the ignition with it in the unlocked position, using a separate key to lock the doors when you are stopped, ANDremove the rear driveshaft when towing. [Requires changing the slip yoke on the driveshaft to a fixed yoke or the use of a plug to prevent fluid loss from the transfer case when the stock driveshaft is removed.]

or

B. Tow on a car hauler trailer.


Option A is in my humble opinion a royal pain in the a**.

Option B is easier, much less of a hassle, with minimal risk of damage to your Xterra. It is also more expensive, requires a tow rig that can tow 5,000+# of Xterra and gear plus over 2,000# of trailer, and you will need a place to keep your trailer when not in use.

You will find a lot of discussion on the RV forums about suitable "Toads." Unfortunately, the Xterra is almost never on anyone's list.

.
 

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True, but realisticly lying on the ground, crawling under the Xterra unbolting and rebolting the drive shafts every time you stop somewhere is tedious, dirty work, and the bolts need replacing, they stretch, etc. not practical for most RVers.
Oh, I completely agree. That would be a pain.
 

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Read the manual again. Wheels down towing is permitted with a manual transmission only. Not permitted with automatic.
But there is a 500 mile limit where you have to run the engine, which will circulate the oil in the transmission.

Typically the key is in the ignition (copy without a chip for security) to keep the steering unlocked.

Tracking is too much of a wild card. Depends on what you are trying to tow it with. The bigger/heavier the tow vehicle the less noticeable it will be.
 

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Read the manual again. Wheels down towing is permitted with a manual transmission only. Not permitted with automatic.
But there is a 500 mile limit where you have to run the engine, which will circulate the oil in the transmission.
I'd like to know where the 500 mile limit is in the manual.

From Tow Truck Towing in the General Information section of my 2011 manual.

CAUTION:
• Never tow 4WD models with any of the wheels on the ground
as this may cause serious and expensive damage to the
transfer case and transmission.
 

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I'd like to know where the 500 mile limit is in the manual.

From Tow Truck Towing in the General Information section of my 2011 manual.

CAUTION:
• Never tow 4WD models with any of the wheels on the ground
as this may cause serious and expensive damage to the
transfer case and transmission.
It's in section 9 page 24 (9-24) in my 2005 manual. They may have changed it in the newer manuals though. Screenshot below.



 

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Hey that's me!!!

I'm Brandon from Drive Dive Devour. I've been dragging my X around by the face since last summer.

Ask me anything.


The owners manual is section 9/28. Believe me I read that multiple times and confirmed it 3 times at the dealer before I signed on the dotted line.
 

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It's very easy to tow once set up correctly.

We have a 2015 Manual Pro4X

1. Leave the Key in position 1. This unlocks the steering wheel but doesn't turn on the battery.
2. Make sure transmission is in neutral
3. Make sure parking brake is off.
4. Make sure it is in 2wd not 4wd or you will be screwed.

As far as tracking. With the right towbar and towplate set up it tracks just fine. Since it is on all 4 wheels you don't get a tail wagging the dog situation like you might with a boat trailer. Since it is supporting it's own weight on it's own suspension there is no tongue weight on the tow vehicle, other than the weight of the tow bar.

When you turn a corner the steering turns on the X and it follows right behind. It tracks slightly inside on turns just like anything would when you tow it.

You can not back up when towing 4 down. The X will try to go the wrong way and if you are lucky things will just bind up and stop. If you aren't lucky you'll be buying a new towbar and maybe tow plate on the X.

You can pull the X with a towplate. You have to remove the factory tow hook to mount it, but the tow plate is very stout and I believe I could hook a snatch strap to it, if I had to in an emergency.
You can also have the towbar modified to pull on the d-rings of an aftermarket bumper. So then you can have your winch and all that too! I'm probably headed down this road.

The X is heavy so you have to have a braking system installed. If you look on our site you can see the system we went with. It is difficult to install, but once installed it's plug and play and we don't ever have to do anything special other than hook up our normal cable that makes the turn signals and brakes work on the X.

As far as pulling it. Like I said it's heavy and the larger AT tires have some drag to them, so you can feel it more than I felt my Mini Cooper back there. I used to tow it with a 32,000 pound 400hp diesel motorhome. Now I tow it with a 20,500 pound gas motorhome. Both handle it well. When we get back to colorado with the steep uphills and high elevation, I will probably take the X off and have my wife follow me on the mountain passes, just so I don't strain the gas RV engine too much.

All in all it's been great and it takes us so many cool places we couldn't go before.

 

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One more note:
If you do want to tow it, I recommend the Roadmaster Tow Plate. It comes out of the middle of the front end in the gap between the upper silver grill and the lover silver grill on my model.

The Blue Ox option comes out underneath the front bumper.

From the looks of my front skid plate, I would have definitely messed up the Blue OX tow bar if I had it hanging down there.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oops! Didn't mean to go two years w/o thanking 00wabbit for his helpful suggestions. Shortly after originally posting, a family situation raise it's ugly little head. Cool drone footage.

We may still do this, but it's changed from towing with a MH to towing it with our F-350 6.7 and a TC.
 

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The X is not flat towable. There is no way to put the T-case in neutral like on jeeps, and the tranny can be damaged by flat towing (auto by not pumping, manual if it bumps into gear). I believe it explicitly states in the owners manual it's a no-go.
The first generation Xterra se v6 automatic transmission 4x4 is flat towable, the transfer case has a neutral setting, and so does the transmission, they even have spacific plates made just to hook up a tow bar, the base plate is expensive though, if you can weld make your own it's cheaper.
 

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The first generation Xterra se v6 automatic transmission 4x4 is flat towable, the transfer case has a neutral setting, and so does the transmission, they even have spacific plates made just to hook up a tow bar, the base plate is expensive though, if you can weld make your own it's cheaper.
And you don't have to unlock the steering wheel 😂 your rv doesn't turn that sharp😂
 

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The first generation Xterra se v6 automatic transmission 4x4 is flat towable, the transfer case has a neutral setting, and so does the transmission, they even have spacific plates made just to hook up a tow bar, the base plate is expensive though, if you can weld make your own it's cheaper.
Thank you for your info on 1st gen Xterras. I'm sure it'll be helpful to someone.

This is a 2nd Generation Xterra forum so it is implied when you join, that the info we discuss on here are for 2005-2015 Xterras, and the 2nd Gens are not flat towable.
 

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Since this was started things have changed.

1st gen, we don't care around here. There are probably other forums that cover them, don't care.

2nd gen manual transmission, as per discussion, 500 mile limit.

2nd gen auto (and manual), there is a new option now. Not cheap. You can still get an Atlas transfer case. But the Atlas wasn't flat towable in the past. But now there is a flat tow option. Internal oil pump. Can only be added as an option to new transfer cases.
 
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