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Towing: Is This Too Much?
#1
I recently purchased a 2013 Frontier SV CC 4x4 with the tow package with the express intent of towing a small, light-weight TT.
Now I'm trying to consider all the factors that will determine if I can safely and comfortably tow a 21' Ultra-Lite. I've divided by analysis into 3 parts... 1) Trailer data, 2) Truck data and 3) Combined data. As you will see, I'm pushing the limits, but not going over them... unless I've missed something. I'll be using a WD hitch w/Sway Control and a Trailer Brake Controller for the TT's electric brakes.

If you experienced RVr's think I need to reconsider, please advise and give reasons why.

TRAILER - (TT):
GVWR = 4,698 lbs
Dry weight = 3,665 lbs, plus...
Selected options = 150 lbs
WD Hitch = 75 lbs
TT cargo when traveling = 500 lbs
TT Estimated Tow Weight = 4,390 lbs, which is...
93% of TT GVWR
72% of truck's 6,100 lbs tow capacity
TT Frontal Area = 61 sq. ft., per following dimensions.
TT frontal width = 96”
TT frontal height = 91" (Excludes the 20" between the ground and the bottom of the TT)

TRUCK - (TV):
GVWR = 5,815 lbs
Unloaded weight = 4,433 lbs
Front axle GARW = 3,296 lbs
Front axle curb weight = 2,527 lbs, plus...
Self and Wife = 330 lbs
Truck cargo when traveling = 150 lbs
Estimated Front Axle weight = 3,007 lbs, which is...
91% of GARW

Rear axle GARW = 3,331 lbs
Rear axle curb weight = 1,906 lbs, plus...
Hitch Receiver = 198 lbs
Full Gas Tank = 130 lbs
Tongue Weight = 483 lbs (11% of TT Est. Towing Weight, above)
Estimated Rear Axle weight = 2,717 lbs, which is...
82% of GARW

TV Estimated Tow Weight = 5,724 lbs, which is...
98% of Truck GVWR

COMBINED:
Gross Combined Weight Rating - GCWR = 11,133 lbs
TT Estimated Tow Weight = 4,390 lbs
TV Estimated Tow Weight = 5,724 lbs
Combined Estimated Tow Weight = 10,114 lbs, which is...
91% of GCWR

Hope some of you who have actual experience towing a travel trailer will review what I've done and give me the benefit of your experience and help me start off right.

Thanks!
Bill & Lynne
2013 Frontier SV CC 4x4
2014 Flagstaff 21FBRS
Reply
#2
Welcome to the Spot.
I always said I was going to get a smaller TT but never did. I have a friend in Smyrna, TN that towed one to California and back over a 3 week period in addition to using it around TN. He said his Frontier pulled OK. It struggled with a few of the mountains in CA and the fuel mileage was terrible, but he made it OK. He recently stepped up to a Titan.
I think your setup sounds OK. I would probably add a tranny cooler separate from the stock radiator. If I was going to be pulling it long distances, I would get one with a fan to assist with cooling.
06 nismo CC 4X4: SOLD and replaced with 2017 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon; Teraflex 3" lift, 315/70-17 Cooper STT PRO tires on Fuel Trophy wheels, JCR bumpers front and rear w/Warn 9.5cti winch in front, Ace sliders, GraBars, Weathertech window deflectors and floor liners
98 Jeep Wrangler in the garage, 2" lift, 33X12.50 BFG MTs on 15X8 MT Classic Locks, Pioneer/MTX/RF P3 Sound, Borla Header w/Flowmaster
63 and 67 Nissan Patrols (under construction)
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#3
Haven't it done it regularly and don't have the stats broken down like you do; but I have towed flat bed trailers with 6000-7000 pound loads of construction debris (weight of debris and trailer combined) with little issue.
Reply
#4
(12-24-2013, 03:43 PM)mdawg4x4 Wrote:  Welcome to the Spot.
I always said I was going to get a smaller TT but never did. I have a friend in Smyrna, TN that towed one to California and back over a 3 week period in addition to using it around TN. He said his Frontier pulled OK. It struggled with a few of the mountains in CA and the fuel mileage was terrible, but he made it OK. He recently stepped up to a Titan.
I think your setup sounds OK. I would probably add a tranny cooler separate from the stock radiator. If I was going to be pulling it long distances, I would get one with a fan to assist with cooling.
Appreciate the feedback. I'll keep an eye on the temp gauge when I do my first pull into the foothills of Missouri and see how it handles the ups and downs. If it gets too hot then I'll consider the extra tran-cooler you suggested... providing everything else is okay. I'm hoping to get around 10-12 mpg and will probably run at 55-60 mph.

Thanks again for your input; every bit helps prepare me.

(12-24-2013, 11:03 PM)Phelan Wrote:  Haven't it done it regularly and don't have the stats broken down like you do; but I have towed flat bed trailers with 6000-7000 pound loads of construction debris (weight of debris and trailer combined) with little issue.

I'm hoping by keeping my speed in the 55-60 mph area I will decrease the wind pressure against the front of my TT; if I try to go 65-70 mph then I may feel like I'm towing 6k-7k.

Thanks for the feedback.
Bill & Lynne
2013 Frontier SV CC 4x4
2014 Flagstaff 21FBRS
Reply
#5
My 2013 Frontier has a rated tow capacity of 6100 lbs. My trailer has a GVWR of 3532 lbs. I don't think I would go much bigger than that.
2013 Crew Cab Pro-4X
Reply
#6
(12-30-2013, 08:22 AM)FRONT4X Wrote:  My 2013 Frontier has a rated tow capacity of 6100 lbs. My trailer has a GVWR of 3532 lbs. I don't think I would go much bigger than that.
Are there some particular reasons why you wouldn't feel comfortable going over that? Would you mind sharing your towing setup, i.e., does your trailer have brakes?, is it a single or tandem-axel setup?, are you using a WD hitch?
Bill & Lynne
2013 Frontier SV CC 4x4
2014 Flagstaff 21FBRS
Reply
#7
(12-30-2013, 10:10 AM)OldBill Wrote:  
(12-30-2013, 08:22 AM)FRONT4X Wrote:  My 2013 Frontier has a rated tow capacity of 6100 lbs. My trailer has a GVWR of 3532 lbs. I don't think I would go much bigger than that.
Are there some particular reasons why you wouldn't feel comfortable going over that? Would you mind sharing your towing setup, i.e., does your trailer have brakes?, is it a single or tandem-axel setup?, are you using a WD hitch?

I go strictly by GVWR of the trailer, the rest is salesman's jibber-jabber to confuse you. (IMO) My trailer is a Viking 14R and is plenty big enough for my wife and I and dog. The bigger the trailer, the less power your truck has, the less maneuverability you have, the more strain is on the truck. I have mod'd my trailer because I boondock on the desert here. The latest are new (bigger) wheels & tires. I had previously added a lift. I pull this thing up dirt roads and trails far beyond the RV parks and run a generator with a (just ordered) solar panel kit.
I did have a WD hitch but it was WAY over kill so I gave it to my son who tows a much larger trailer with a Titan.

My trailer does have brakes with a controller under the dash, (they just plug in now days to install)
The trailer has a two burner stove, microwave, and bathroom with shower and seperate crapper.

I must confess that I WANTED a rooftop tent mounted to the bed but the wife wasn't having any part of a tent, ground, popup trailer, NONE.

   

I learned way back when that your truck manufacterer will tell you towing caps. For our trucks, 6100 lbs max for 4wd and 6500 lbs max for 2wd. The trailer manufacterer will have the GVWR on a sticker front drivers side. Those are the two you need to know, the rest is "jibber-jabber" (IMO)

Here's a video testing our trucks

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=E2OiwgXOOXw
2013 Crew Cab Pro-4X
Reply
#8
(03-06-2014, 03:13 PM)FRONT4X Wrote:  
(12-30-2013, 10:10 AM)OldBill Wrote:  
(12-30-2013, 08:22 AM)FRONT4X Wrote:  My 2013 Frontier has a rated tow capacity of 6100 lbs. My trailer has a GVWR of 3532 lbs. I don't think I would go much bigger than that.
Are there some particular reasons why you wouldn't feel comfortable going over that? Would you mind sharing your towing setup, i.e., does your trailer have brakes?, is it a single or tandem-axel setup?, are you using a WD hitch?

I go strictly by GVWR of the trailer, the rest is salesman's jibber-jabber to confuse you. (IMO) My trailer is a Viking 14R and is plenty big enough for my wife and I and dog. The bigger the trailer, the less power your truck has, the less maneuverability you have, the more strain is on the truck. I have mod'd my trailer because I boondock on the desert here. The latest are new (bigger) wheels & tires. I had previously added a lift. I pull this thing up dirt roads and trails far beyond the RV parks and run a generator with a (just ordered) solar panel kit.
I did have a WD hitch but it was WAY over kill so I gave it to my son who tows a much larger trailer with a Titan.

My trailer does have brakes with a controller under the dash, (they just plug in now days to install)
The trailer has a two burner stove, microwave, and bathroom with shower and seperate crapper.

I must confess that I WANTED a rooftop tent mounted to the bed but the wife wasn't having any part of a tent, ground, popup trailer, NONE.



I learned way back when that your truck manufacterer will tell you towing caps. For our trucks, 6100 lbs max for 4wd and 6500 lbs max for 2wd. The trailer manufacterer will have the GVWR on a sticker front drivers side. Those are the two you need to know, the rest is "jibber-jabber" (IMO)

Here's a video testing our trucks

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=E2OiwgXOOXw

Thanks again FRONT4X. I'll post an update on how my first towing trip goes. Plan on a 300 mile route through the foothills of Missouri in early April.
Bill & Lynne
2013 Frontier SV CC 4x4
2014 Flagstaff 21FBRS
Reply
#9
Looks like your GVWR should be around 5535 and your tow cap is 6100. That's a little more than I like it but I usually fail more conservative on things like this than most. Your fresh water tanks, and grey/brown wtr tanks most likely will not all be full at once. That's a nice trailer you got, Forrest river is a great brand. Can we get a pic?
2013 Crew Cab Pro-4X
Reply
#10
(03-07-2014, 08:01 PM)FRONT4X Wrote:  Looks like your GVWR should be around 5535 and your tow cap is 6100. That's a little more than I like it but I usually fail more conservative on things like this than most. Your fresh water tanks, and grey/brown wtr tanks most likely will not all be full at once. That's a nice trailer you got, Forrest river is a great brand. Can we get a pic?
Here it is setting in my driveway. The front of the trailer looks like it's really high, but that's because my driveway slopes quite a bit. I put a solid rubber wheel chock in front of each tire, just to make sure it doesn't move.

I appreciate your replying to my query. I was wondering how you arrived at GVWR 5535; I came up with the following estimates:
  • Truck GVWR at 5,780
  • Trailer GVWR at 4,200
  • Combined GCWR at 9,980


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
   
Bill & Lynne
2013 Frontier SV CC 4x4
2014 Flagstaff 21FBRS
Reply
#11
I added all your cargo, and liquid weight. (Added total of all holding tanks, fresh water + brown and gray, by assuming water is approx 8lbs per gallon.) to your dry weight.

Dry weight (ship) + fresh wtr, gray,brown + cargo wt = GVWR

3865+(96x8)+943= 5576

Nice rig btw, you have excellent choice in trucks and colors.
2013 Crew Cab Pro-4X
Reply
#12
Looks like a nice camper. Give us some updates on how well it pulls.
06 nismo CC 4X4: SOLD and replaced with 2017 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon; Teraflex 3" lift, 315/70-17 Cooper STT PRO tires on Fuel Trophy wheels, JCR bumpers front and rear w/Warn 9.5cti winch in front, Ace sliders, GraBars, Weathertech window deflectors and floor liners
98 Jeep Wrangler in the garage, 2" lift, 33X12.50 BFG MTs on 15X8 MT Classic Locks, Pioneer/MTX/RF P3 Sound, Borla Header w/Flowmaster
63 and 67 Nissan Patrols (under construction)
Reply
#13
(03-15-2014, 07:48 AM)mdawg4x4 Wrote:  Looks like a nice camper. Give us some updates on how well it pulls.

Will do! 1st trip planned for early April will be a short one, 300 miles round-trip, but covering some Missouri foothills, so it should be a good test.
Bill & Lynne
2013 Frontier SV CC 4x4
2014 Flagstaff 21FBRS
Reply
#14
(03-15-2014, 02:49 PM)OldBill Wrote:  
(03-15-2014, 07:48 AM)mdawg4x4 Wrote:  Looks like a nice camper. Give us some updates on how well it pulls.

Will do! 1st trip planned for early April will be a short one, 300 miles round-trip, but covering some Missouri foothills, so it should be a good test.

Here's the update I promised!

Loaded the truck and trailer and headed out of town. Stopped at a Missouri DOT Weigh Station and got everything weighed, to wit:
Truck was 5540, which is 95% of GVWR. *485 of this was the Tongue Weight.
Trailer was 3940, which is 82% of GVWR.
Total Combined Weight was 9480, which is 85% of GCWR.
Towing with an Equal-i-zer hitch.

Total round-trip miles was 360. Kept highway speed between 55-60 mph. Cruise Control and Overdrive both Off. On long hills the tranny downshifted into 3rd, but RPM only went above 3000 one time. Temperature Gauge never left the normal operating range. Overall mileage for the entire trip was 12.4 mpg, and only 21 of those miles were non-highway.

This is one strong little truck.
Bill & Lynne
2013 Frontier SV CC 4x4
2014 Flagstaff 21FBRS
Reply
#15
Sounds great! I would love to have a small camper, but right now work wouldn't let me use it.
06 nismo CC 4X4: SOLD and replaced with 2017 Jeep Unlimited Rubicon; Teraflex 3" lift, 315/70-17 Cooper STT PRO tires on Fuel Trophy wheels, JCR bumpers front and rear w/Warn 9.5cti winch in front, Ace sliders, GraBars, Weathertech window deflectors and floor liners
98 Jeep Wrangler in the garage, 2" lift, 33X12.50 BFG MTs on 15X8 MT Classic Locks, Pioneer/MTX/RF P3 Sound, Borla Header w/Flowmaster
63 and 67 Nissan Patrols (under construction)
Reply
#16
(03-06-2014, 03:13 PM)FRONT4X Wrote:  
(12-30-2013, 10:10 AM)OldBill Wrote:  
(12-30-2013, 08:22 AM)FRONT4X Wrote:  My 2013 Frontier has a rated tow capacity of 6100 lbs. My trailer has a GVWR of 3532 lbs. I don't think I would go much bigger than that.
Are there some particular reasons why you wouldn't feel comfortable going over that? Would you mind sharing your towing setup, i.e., does your trailer have brakes?, is it a single or tandem-axel setup?, are you using a WD hitch?

I go strictly by GVWR of the trailer, the rest is salesman's jibber-jabber to confuse you. (IMO) My trailer is a Viking 14R and is plenty big enough for my wife and I and dog. The bigger the trailer, the less power your truck has, the less maneuverability you have, the more strain is on the truck. I have mod'd my trailer because I boondock on the desert here. The latest are new (bigger) wheels & tires. I had previously added a lift. I pull this thing up dirt roads and trails far beyond the RV parks and run a generator with a (just ordered) solar panel kit.
I did have a WD hitch but it was WAY over kill so I gave it to my son who tows a much larger trailer with a Titan.

My trailer does have brakes with a controller under the dash, (they just plug in now days to install)
The trailer has a two burner stove, microwave, and bathroom with shower and seperate crapper.


I must confess that I WANTED a rooftop tent mounted to the bed but the wife wasn't having any part of a tent, ground, popup trailer, NONE.



I learned way back when that your truck manufacterer will tell you towing caps. For our trucks, 6100 lbs max for 4wd and 6500 lbs max for 2wd. The trailer manufacterer will have the GVWR on a sticker front drivers side. Those are the two you need to know, the rest is "jibber-jabber" (IMO)

Here's a video testing our trucks

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=E2OiwgXOOXw

I think you have very nice trailer.. It is big one and I would love to get similar one soon..
Reply


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