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Old 06-11-2018, 08:50 PM   #1
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Nissan Frontier towing capacity?

Hi,
We are considering a 2018 21ft Escape trailer to be towed by our 2013 Nissan King Cab 2wd 6 cyl Frontier truck. We would appreciate any feedback as to the suitability of this truck towing this trailer.
Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Stephen
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:54 PM   #2
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Can you give us the spec's listed on your driver side door jamb, that would be helpful. Also, welcome to our Escape world....
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:01 PM   #3
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Can you give us the spec's listed on your driver side door jamb, that would be helpful. Also, welcome to our Escape world....
Sure, the GVWR is 5730 lbs, the vehicle tow capacity is rated as 6000lbs and weigh of occupants and cargo should not exceed 1000lbs.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:25 PM   #4
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So the limiting factor here is the 1000# number. The tongue weight of the 21 will be around 500#, what will be the occupants and other items in the bed of the truck. With 2 average adults of 200# each, you will be approaching your limit. Throw a couple of items in the truck and you are there.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:51 PM   #5
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Jim is correct, the weight of occupants and contents will be a limiting factor. I thought that the capacity rating did include the driver. Just because I read that somewhere does not make it correct, you need to confirm it. I always wondered what weight they gave for the driver, the usual 200 lbs or ?

Some careful calculations will make it possible, but you need to evaluate what you will carry in the tow. Bringing two other passengers, a couple of big dogs and some bikes on the roof and you are in over your head. That tongue weight takes a lot of your capacity. A tongue scale will help you get an accurate figure before departure, for some typical tongue weights on an 21, Google - Trailer Weights in the Real World and look for the .xls file.

Does the Nissan have a tow package? What does it consist of?
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:57 PM   #6
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Sure, the GVWR is 5730 lbs, the vehicle tow capacity is rated as 6000lbs and weigh of occupants and cargo should not exceed 1000lbs.

I have just a wee bit more carry capacity at 1150 Lbs with a Toyota Tacoma v6. You can do it but you will need to carry anything other than you and your wife in the trailer. ( not kids !!! ) We keep a small cooler in the truck and all else is in the trailer. Even with this you will need to watch your hitch weight, I use a small scale sold by a Canadian company called a powerfist hitch scale. The Sherline works too but is a bit harder to set up. I try to keep my hitch weight around 450 to 475 Lbs. You can do the same it will involve careful packing and use of any water tank behind your axle to help lower hitch weight if needed.
One day I might upgrade the tow vehicle but it is working fine as long as I stay within its limits. We added a larger transmission cooler in place of the tiny one it came with and use an Ultragauge to monitor the transmission pan and torque converter temperatures. On flats I can stay in 5th but always drop to the lower gear for any up grades or headwinds. My mileage average from Fla to Canada and back was 13.23 MPG. Not spectacular but acceptable considering I did not use premium.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:59 PM   #7
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Jim is correct, the weight of occupants and contents will be a limiting factor. I thought that the capacity rating did include the driver. Just because I read that somewhere does not make it correct, you need to confirm it. I always wondered what weight they gave for the driver, the usual 200 lbs or ?

Some careful calculations will make it possible, but you need to evaluate what you will carry in the tow. Bringing two other passengers, a couple of big dogs and some bikes on the roof and you are in over your head. That tongue weight takes a lot of your capacity. A tongue scale will help you get an accurate figure before departure, for some typical tongue weights on an 21, Google - Trailer Weights in the Real World and look for the .xls file.

Does the Nissan have a tow package? What does it consist of?

If they check the drivers side door panel they will find the carry capacity. If any add-ons were installed by the dealer there will be stickers lowering it. That includes the driver and passengers for all except some Fords if I remember right.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:22 PM   #8
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Tongue weight

I ran the average of the 9 loaded trailers on the real world spread sheet.
469 lbs. for the 21. I know of two others recently weighed that were 500lbs. Fresh water will help lighten the tongue. Like a lot of other situations youíre close but doable. Personally I believe that attention to detail, properly operational brakes, judicious transmission shifting, and not being in too big a hurry will allow safe towing. Clearly, every time Iím on the Interstate I see mismatched tow heights, over loaded utility trailers and pickups going down the road tipped up like theyíre hunting raccoons with the headlights. You could do a lot worse than your Frontier pulling a 21. This is my opinion, developed over 50 years of towing. YMMV.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:26 AM   #9
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Keep in mind if you typically travel with fresh water in the tank and bikes off the back your tongue will be lighter. Of course, if you are driving around with a full black tank the reverse happens.

A lot depends on how you travel with the trailer and the truck, such has how many passengers and how much gear.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:38 AM   #10
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While I love my Tacoma, I have a payload problem with the amount of stuff I carry on long trips. It may possible to keep within the 1000 pound limit, but you are going to be fighting it all the time.

Unfortunately, my solution is a new truck...
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:50 AM   #11
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I have trouble staying within a 1495 pound limit on my 19 foot. Can't imagine making it work with a 1000 pound limit. And any options added to your truck after the factory (whether by you or the dealer) come out of this number. In my case, that includes tow mirrors, side bed steps, spray in bed liner, camper top.

Lowering tongue weight on a 21 is not a really good idea, as you need adequate tongue weight to limit/prevent sway. Now if you have the front storage box full of stuff, then balancing that additional tongue weight is not a bad idea. Rule of thumb with a tow behind trailer is 13% of the trailer weight for tongue weight.

Sadly many trucks run out of payload capacity way before towing capacity. Towing above your truck's limits is a personal decision, and defending it later: "some person on the internet told me it was OK" does not work.


All the payload limits I have seen assume a full gas tank, but no driver or passengers.

Its really frustrating to me with a four door truck. Hey, the truck was designed to fit a family of FIVE. But you can't do it if you pull a trailer.

Somewhat interesting in the case of Ford anyway, the pickup trucks tend to have relatively low payload ratings with big tow ratings. Meanwhile, the Ford Transit van, that shares the same drivetrain, tends to have very high payload ratings and low tow ratings.

Tow ratings sell trucks, and few customers realize that the payload limit can make those tow ratings total dreamland.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:09 AM   #12
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Tow ratings sell trucks, and few customers realize that the payload limit can make those tow ratings total dreamland.
Its not just customers, I've found most salesmen are clueless in regard to actual payload, not the max payload listed in the brochure. The manufacturers don't seem to care either or they would list the weights of the options so you can actually calculate what your new truck would weigh and the available payload when adding/deleting options. The one defense I would give to the truck makers is we are talking about 1/2 pickups and complaining that the payload is only 1/2 to 3/4 of a ton.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:35 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by gone4awhile View Post
Hi,
We are considering a 2018 21ft Escape trailer to be towed by our 2013 Nissan King Cab 2wd 6 cyl Frontier truck. We would appreciate any feedback as to the suitability of this truck towing this trailer.
Thank you in advance for your feedback.

Stephen
Hi: gone4awhile... Time for me to weigh in on this topic. While I don't advocate breaking any laws, our 2010 Nissan Crew Cab Long Bed 4X4 V6 has now over 170,000 kms. almost all of it towing. On this forum there seems to be a lot of "Nay" sayer's to our combo... but it works. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 06-12-2018, 01:05 PM   #14
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Hi Jon,
Although the Tacoma didnít quite work out for you, it was still a sharp looking rig and Iím sure your new setup will be too. Hope youíre having a good summer and resting up for another winter trip. We enjoy the pictures and the narrative.
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:02 PM   #15
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Thank you for your reply. My research leads me to believe it will work, but getting distracted by incomplete information. So someone with a similar truck towing a similar trailer successfully is reassuring.

Thanks, gone4awhile (Stephen&Ginny)
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:26 PM   #16
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:47 PM   #17
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one thing to note on those small trucks (tacoma, frontier, etc) is that the all-to-popular 'double cab' versions have a heavier curb weight with generally the same gross (max) weight, leaving less payload. the 'access cabs' aka extended cabs are in the middle, and old school single cabs have the lightest curb weight and best payloads. actually, this is true for full sized trucks, too, but since their payloads tend to be significantly higher to start with, its less critical.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:20 PM   #18
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Hi: gone4awhile... Time for me to weigh in on this topic. While I don't advocate breaking any laws, our 2010 Nissan Crew Cab Long Bed 4X4 V6 has now over 170,000 kms. almost all of it towing. On this forum there seems to be a lot of "Nay" sayer's to our combo... but it works. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie

I always thought you should name your combo the Bumblebee,

It's scientifically impossible for the bumblebee to fly as it does not have the required capacity (in terms of wing area or flapping speed). But the bumblebee, being unaware of these scientific facts, flies anyway."
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:19 PM   #19
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The question stated in post # 1 was answered in post #1
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I always thought you should name your combo the Bumblebee,

It's scientifically impossible for the bumblebee to fly as it does not have the required capacity (in terms of wing area or flapping speed). But the bumblebee, being unaware of these scientific facts, flies anyway."
I like that.....
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