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Old 12-21-2014, 02:50 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfocallag View Post
Hi, I want to make sure that I understand the frontal area issue. The frontal area for a 15 foot escape is 43.5 sqft based on the H X W X .8: 8.16 X 6.66 x.8 = 43.5. I assume the .8 is for ground clearance. I found this formula on the web.

The manual for the Nissan Frontier says that the maximum frontal area should be 30 sqft.
Where on the web? Anyone can post anything...

Multiplying the area by a reduction factor makes no sense to me as a way to account for ground clearance. One source suggests
Quote:
typically defined as width x (height - .75) in sq. ft.
which means subtract 0.75' (9") from the height, I guess because he has 9" of ground clearance... that makes more sense. Doing the same thing with a width of 6.66' and a height of 8.16' would be
6.66' x (8.16-0.75)' = 49.35 ft2
If the 0.8 factor is applied to the whole area, that sounds more like a high coefficient of drag (Cd = 0.80) applied to calculate CdA... but that's not what the tug manufacturer says is the area limit applies to.

Maybe the most likely is that it is allowing for rounded corners, as viewed in silhouette from the front... in that case, accuracy is just a matter of determining the correct factor.
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Old 12-21-2014, 10:02 AM   #62
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Basically the frontal area for a 15' Escape is between 43 and 55 sqft depending upon how you measure it. The maximum frontal area for the 2014 Nissan Frontier is 30. Used to be 60 based on 2013 manual. They have adopted the J2807 standard. Did they have to decrease the frontal area maximum in order to keep the rest of the ratings the same? Just conjecture. Only way to know would be to contact an engineer at Nissan.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:09 AM   #63
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I think frontal area maximums are recommendations, and rather silly ones at that. I called a friend who works for Ford and he gave me an example. His F150 has a max frontal area listing of 60. The total area that both the TV and the trailer expose to wind resistance should not be more than 60 sq feet according to this. The truck makes up some of that, and the trailer (the portion the TV doesn't block at least) makes up the rest. If you were to take that literally, they'd be saying you should only tow tiny trailers with an F150 - which is patently false.

The other thing is that Ford (and I'm assuming other manufacturers as well) won't try to void your TV warranty because you exceeded their maximum frontal area numbers. From all of this, I conclude its a number that is not worth worrying about.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:16 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jfocallag View Post
Basically the frontal area for a 15' Escape is between 43 and 55 sqft depending upon how you measure it. The maximum frontal area for the 2014 Nissan Frontier is 30. Used to be 60 based on 2013 manual. They have adopted the J2807 standard. Did they have to decrease the frontal area maximum in order to keep the rest of the ratings the same? Just conjecture. Only way to know would be to contact an engineer at Nissan.
The other surprise in the Nissan Frontier manual is "Nissan recommends the use of a tandem axle trailer whenever towing above 3,000 lb.". It is easy for a 15 to be over 3,000 if it is a B and a 17 definitely is and both single axle. The 12 pages of towing requirements , especially the MAXIMUM trailer frontal area of 30 sq ft, seems to contrast with Nissan's prolific ads touting the 6,100-6,300 pound tow capacity. Nissan also reminds us in the manual that the Frontier is primarily a passenger vehicle that may be used for occasional towing. Hmmm... And we JUST bought a Frontier as our new tow vehicle. Wish someone had started this frontal discussion 2 weeks ago. Still, there are a large number of folks towing more with their Frontiers AND we have towed over 19,000 miles with our Santa Fe so the Frontier has got to be AS good if not better, so guess we will just have to find out.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:17 AM   #65
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Did you click on 17B tab on post number 5 and read Gabe's story? To me this frontal area spec is an inconvenient truth for many out there.

For the Nissan Frontier, not sure what trans they are using now however the Pathfinder went to a CVT recently, and coincidentally when speaking with Gabe he relayed that a friend of his blew a CVT trans on their new Pathfinder and Nissan was a bear to deal with.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:53 AM   #66
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Out of interest I looked for my 2008 Tacoma, the manual makes not mention any frontal area spec. In a quick Google search I couldn't find any references in anything official from Toyota about towing and any frontal area specs.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:53 AM   #67
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Say, does Alf only count the area above the cab on his frontal calculations? How does that work for a 5th wheel?
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:00 PM   #68
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There are other frontal areas... (you got an app for that?)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg frontalarea2.jpg (291.1 KB, 10 views)
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:07 PM   #69
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Did you click on 17B tab on post number 5 and read Gabe's story? To me this frontal area spec is an inconvenient truth for many out there.
That is an anecdote, not evidence.
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Old 12-21-2014, 12:11 PM   #70
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The other surprise in the Nissan Frontier manual is "Nissan recommends the use of a tandem axle trailer whenever towing above 3,000 lb.". It is easy for a 15 to be over 3,000 if it is a B and a 17 definitely is and both single axle. The 12 pages of towing requirements , especially the MAXIMUM trailer frontal area of 30 sq ft, seems to contrast with Nissan's prolific ads touting the 6,100-6,300 pound tow capacity. Nissan also reminds us in the manual that the Frontier is primarily a passenger vehicle that may be used for occasional towing. Hmmm... And we JUST bought a Frontier as our new tow vehicle. Wish someone had started this frontal discussion 2 weeks ago. Still, there are a large number of folks towing more with their Frontiers AND we have towed over 19,000 miles with our Santa Fe so the Frontier has got to be AS good if not better, so guess we will just have to find out.
If you just bought a Frontier as your TV, I'd say 'congratulations on your purchase' and leave it at that. While I always appreciate the technical info, honestly I think some threads get people worked up about things that don't really matter - and 'maximum frontal area' is one of those. The specs I worry about are GVWR, tongue weight and towing capacity. Have a cushion and you'll be FINE, IMHO.
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