Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums banner

1 - 20 of 101 Posts

·
on line
Joined
·
616 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Towing with the Xterra

I just got back from a trip which involved towing a 6x12 U-Haul weighing about 3500's. While no where close to the tow rating of the X, it gave me a pretty good idea of how the X handles towing.

Here's my impressions:

Power: There's plenty for towing at this weight. On the flats and slight inclines, 6th gear and cruise control worked at speeds up to 75mph.

On larger hills, a downshift to 5th was all that was required. Cruise control would hold up to 75mph with out any problem.

Accelerating up to speed was a snap, especially once the engine was above about 3000 rpm's.

Technically, I could have left it in 5th the entire time, but I wanted a little better mileage.

Mileage at speeds from 65 to 75mph varied from a high of 13.5 to a low of 11.8. This is a 6 speed manual that is just past its break-in period.

Brakes worked well. The U-Haul has hydraulic surge brakes. I didn't test full bore stops, but stopping power seemed adequate.

Handling was good. The very responsive steering of the X requires a bit of getting used to, but it's no different than when it's unloaded. There was no sway evident, except after my first attempt to load the trailer. I had temporarily loaded a Dana 60 and 14 Bolt axle in the back half of the trailer to transport them a short distance before I reloaded the trailer. Once I reloaded the trailer, all was good. Weight distribution ended up being about 70% front and 30% back, so it was a bit front heavy.

Suspension: This is the only thing I can find fault with. The rear of the Xterra sagged more that I would have liked, but this is not unexpected. Overall sag was about 2 at the hitch. It was not on the bump stops and did not bottom out very often. I would run a weight distributing hitch at tongue weights over about 300's but these are not recommended with U-Hauls.

Overall, this is a pretty good little tow vehicle within its limits.



-Old Army
 

·
on line
Joined
·
20 Posts
First of all..great post!

The xterra has a fairly high rating for towing capacity for a vehicle of its size.

I have towed quite a bit of rock (on a trailer of course :blackeye: ) with the new X and I too noticed the rear end sag on my first load of rock which was about 3400 lbs. Distribution seems to be a key element with the X. On my 02 frontier (which had a lower tow capacity) I could load 70/30 loaded towards the front and everything was A-OK, not so with the X. It seems to need to be about 55/45 heavy on the front to be able to tow correctly.

I plan on doing some testing (unless someone posts up that they already did it) with tongue weights and an approximate drop in inches on the rear bumper to ground clearance based on tongue weight. I seem to have found (by eyesight) that any more than 2 inches drop when loaded is too much. The bump stops should never hit the frame of a truck carrying a properly loaded trailer.

Thanks for the great post as I was thinking of posting something like it. I definately agree that power seems to be no issue with the 4.o!
 
G

·
Guest
Joined
·
0 Posts
do you guys think the X is capable of towing an XJ (3200 lbs) on a typical car trailer?

not sure of trailer weight, but gross should not be over 5000 or would it?

just brainstorming here, any thoughts?
 

·
on line
Joined
·
616 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
It depends on the trailer. The lightest aluminum car haulers in the 18’ range weigh about 1000#’s. A more typical steel utility trailer of that size will be over 1500#. At that weight, you will be approaching the limits of the X’s rated capacity. I would ensure the trailer has good working brakes and invest in a weight distributing hitch. If you stay within those capacities, you should be OK.

-Old Army
 

·
on line
Joined
·
240 Posts
Why is the towing capacity of the new fronteir more than the X? Don't they both have the same drivetrain?
 

·
on line
Joined
·
3,484 Posts
U Haul don't recommend a weight distribution hitch because it won't work with the surge brakes as it won't allow the stopping pressure to activate the surge brakes. (That action takes place at the back of the ball on the coupler) Or can become erratic to the point of a hazard.
About the time you need a weight distributing hitch, you will also need bakes activated by an electronic controller. Just for info. MC
 

·
on line
Joined
·
295 Posts
I never use above 4th gear towing. think it's in the towing suplement to the owner's manual. It was in my 02's. No overdrive.
Generally speaking, wouldn't that lug the engine too much. Kind of suprised you didn't notice that in your post.
Next time i'm towing on the flats I'll try fifth.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
616 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I've got the 6 spped manual. Towing with an auto is a different story. Leaving it in overdirve builds heat in the tranny and the general recommendation is to tow in your 1:1 ratio. For the 6 speed manual tranny, thats 5th gear. For the 5 speed auto its 4th gear. For a four speed auto its generally 3rd gear.

I'm not worried about heat with the manual, only lugging the engine. At 70mph its turnning over 2000 rpms and holds its speed without lugging. So as long as its holding its own, I wont downshift. In reality, the savings in fuel is probably small over leaving it in 5th.

Old Army
 

·
on line
Joined
·
295 Posts
Thanks for the tip. I'll try 5th.

EDIT: Hey I'm over 200 posts!!
 

·
on line
Joined
·
51 Posts
goXJ said:
do you guys think the X is capable of towing an XJ (3200 lbs) on a typical car trailer?
3200#, what's left of your XJ? Mine's in the neighborhood of 3800#. I'm planning to tow my CJ, which is very stripped down, with it. It'll be a few weeks, but time will tell.

--Matt
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
656 Posts
goXJ said:
do you guys think the X is capable of towing an XJ (3200 lbs) on a typical car trailer? not sure of trailer weight, but gross should not be over 5000 or would it?
In another thread, http://thenewx.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?p=24159&highlight=#24159 , I was asking a similar question about towing a lifted TJ. At 3500#'s (maybe more), a 1500# trailer would be at max towing capacity. Using a towing bar would eliminate the weight issue, but I'm not comfortable with the handling problems this might create, and no brakes behind me. Aside from the wheel base difference between the Frontie and the X, it should be able to tow over 5K, right? Do you think it would be unsafe to tow the Jeep trailered, or should I stick w/ tow bar?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
I have been pretty happy. I towed an enclosed trailer with Formula 500 in it. It was a brick and just pulled hard even behind a 3/4 ton suburban. It pulled that okay. Better that a V8 Explore I pulled it with once.

Flash forward 7 years and I am pulling a pair of Yamaha Waverunners. Weight about 2400lbs with trailer. Pulls them really well and better than the gen2 MDX I had before this.

Pretty happy with it and love the size in general.
 

·
on line
Joined
·
2,243 Posts
You realize you woke up a thread that has been sleeping for over a decade?
 
  • Like
Reactions: OffRdX

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
295 Posts
I towed a friends dump trailer about 25 miles weight of the trailer is about 4600lbs the suspension was maxed but there was plenty of power was running 5th and sixth on the flats and down to third and fourth on inclines. Was running about 65mph easy I have an '05 with the 6 speed manual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Look out for tongue weight. I tow a 3000 lb popup with electric brakes, so easy-peasy for the X. But the known softness of the X's rear springs causes the 400+ lb tongue weight to make the rear squat 2-3 inches. Not an issue with just the wife and I driving during day light hours on paved roads. But will be taking additional passengers and gear, so I added rear air springs to level things out.

(btw - the 400+ lb tongue weight is due to the layout of the RV, nothing I can do about it)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
I towed in the Mississippi River Valley this weekend with a pair of Wave Runners. (3000lbs with trailer/gas etc)

It was pretty windy, but it held strong in 4th most of the time with a few shifts to 3rd on tough climbs. It had a lot easier time holding 75mph than 80mph.
 
1 - 20 of 101 Posts
Top