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Old 07-21-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
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Towing in the Frontier

Hi: There... So just how many of us are there towing with a Nissan Frontier anyway? How many wanna bees are there waiting in the wings with Frontiers to tow too!!! Alf
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:24 PM   #2
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We just towed our new to us 2008 5.0 home from Chilliwack to New Mexico with a 2011 Frontier Crew Cab SHORT bed!
Seems to work fine. I'll be posting some pictures in the next day or so.
We had a B&W Patriot hitch installed by a local shop who rigged it to attach to the frame without drilling or welding the frame...which Nissan said would make our souls shrivel up and die. Or some other dire consequence related to the warranty or the ability to ever sell the truck as anything but salvage.
If we had been able to fit the 6 foot bed Frontier into our garage we would have gotten the bigger bed and I would recommend that to folks who have not yet purchased one....just simpler. But with a creative hitch shop the short bed works too.
Fran & Dave
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:12 PM   #3
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Alf, if you are keeping tally, count me as a a wanna be with a Frontier. I actually learned of the recent super nice pricing on by reading this forum
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Old 07-22-2013, 01:28 AM   #4
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(Edit) "....learned of super nice pricing on 2012 model year Frontier...". My excuse for not proof reading is that the lights were going down and the performers were starting the second set.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:30 PM   #5
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Hi Fran and Dave,

I'm wondering, were you able to maintain a good speed, say 60 MPG on the freeway and how well did the Frontier perform in the mountains? The reason I am asking is that I too have a 2011 Frontier short bed, and am considering the 5.0.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:38 PM   #6
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Hi Mike,
The Frontier seemed to do fine. We had no trouble maintaining highway speed (usually travelled at about 60 to 62mph). It was a little slower on the mountain passes and long climbs but no worse than it was with the Scamp. Note, that we have the Pro4X 4WD model which has the towing package and Bilstein shocks.

Our average mpg for the entire return trip (1600 miles towing in all terrain) was about 15mpg. The mpg for the trip up (not towing) was about 20mpg.

Our impression is that the Escape tows/tracks a little better than the Scamp did and it does not seem to bounce like the Scamp did. We like the real fifth wheel hitch better than the Scamp proprietary hitch.
Hope that helps!
Fran & Dave
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:15 PM   #7
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Fran and Dave,

Yes, that helps a lot. The towing mpg is actually better than I expected. I have the exact model you have and also is 2011 (white). I'm very encouraged by your experience. You've been a big help, thanks so much for sharing.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:47 PM   #8
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Frontier Crew Cab Short Bed plus Escape 5.0

Here are some photos of our 2011 Frontier Crew Cab Short Bed Pro4X with the 2008 Escape 5.0. We are using the B&W Patriot hitch mounted 29" from the back window. If need be we can change the pivot point of the hitch to 4" further back. Don't know if that will be necessary yet....so far the 29" has been enough.
The installation of the hitch required a creative hitch shop! Could not weld anything to the frame or drill into the frame or the truck's title would be limited to salvage according to Nissan. So they worked around that.

Fran & Dave
Attached Images
File Type: jpg hitch in bed.jpg (167.4 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg hitch from top.jpg (237.0 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg hitch from side.jpg (174.9 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg hitch bolt and bracket arrangement.jpg (213.2 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg attachment to bed support welded to frame.jpg (298.1 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg Tow and Trailer at home.jpg (327.9 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg Hitched up.jpg (159.4 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg Frontier hitched closeup.jpg (346.2 KB, 37 views)
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:08 PM   #9
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Fran and Dave,

Very impressive! I'm sold, your truck is exactly the same as mine. Your hitch installer is local to where you live in NM? Also, do you feel you have enough storage space inside the trailer?

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:03 PM   #10
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Yes, the hitch guys are here in New Mexico. One thing to keep in mind is that if you are planning to get the yet to be released, larger 5er then you might have trouble. The word is that it will be a little wider and that would increase the necessary distance from the cab....
I think we may be pretty close to the limit with our setup....
I think the storage will be fine in the trailer but we have not loaded it up yet. My sense is that it has a little less storage space than our 2005 Deluxe Scamp 5er but there are more overhead cabinets in the Escape so that may even it out.
Fran
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:10 PM   #11
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Fran,

I agree, if I were to step up to the pending 21 5er, I think that would dictate are larger vehical, something I really would like to avoid. The cost to change vehicals as you know is significant. I hope you don't mind if I continue to ask questions. And, if I do decide to go with the 19-5.0, I may ask you for your hitch installers contact info., I would not mind at all making a trip down to NM since they did such a good on yours...my better judgement tells me I should go with the 19 5.0, but I don't always listen when I should...-

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:32 PM   #12
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Hi: FMLNM... As I've said before a good hitch shop is a must. Your rig looks great!!! You could gain some distance between the truck cab and trailer by lowering the hitch head and then letting out the pin box. It's a bit of work... for a few inches tho.
Your 5.0 doesn't appear to have the axle lift so you still need to stay with a good level tow. I'd run the rig by your hitch guys for a second opinion. I know my guy was interested in seeing ours as he did the hitch install without the trailer being there. My bro-in-law and I did the pin box at his welding shop.
Thanks for the pic's... they're worth a 1000 words. Alf
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:53 PM   #13
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Hi Alf,
Yes the hitch shop was a life saver! We can adjust the hitch so that the pivot point is 4" further back...we have to see if that is necessary. I had read that extending the pin box doesn't actually give you more distance because the pivot point is the same place but I could be mistaken.
When we were at Escape, Tammy's dad worked with us on hitching up and actually raised the hitch up a notch to lift the nose a tad. He said he prefers the nose to be a little up.....hmmm....I thought it was better to be level...
If the pin box adjustment does give us some space it might be worth doing.
Thanks for the suggestions!
Fran & Dave
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:57 PM   #14
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By all means. We're happy to help.
Fran & Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba55 View Post
Fran,
I hope you don't mind if I continue to ask questions. And, if I do decide to go with the 19-5.0, I may ask you for your hitch installers contact info., I would not mind at all making a trip down to NM since they did such a good on yours...my better judgement tells me I should go with the 19 5.0, but I don't always listen when I should...-

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:39 PM   #15
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Hi Fran and Dave,

If you don't mind, I would like to get you hitch installers contact info just in case we somehow lose contact. I am impressed with both your hitch and installation, and am leaning towards going with the 19'6 5.0, which will allow me to keep my Frontier short bed.

Thank you,
Mike
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:46 PM   #16
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One question I forgot, does the width of the 5.0 feel comfortable and not too narrow? I've yet to be in one, so not sure...

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:52 PM   #17
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Sure! It is Sandia Trailer Sales and Service They are located on Route 66, 12 miles east of Albuquerque.
Their website is: www.sandiatrailer.com
The fellow we dealt with was Nick Williams...he is their parts and service guy.
Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba55 View Post
Hi Fran and Dave,

If you don't mind, I would like to get you hitch installers contact info just in case we somehow lose contact. I am impressed with both your hitch and installation, and am leaning towards going with the 19'6 5.0, which will allow me to keep my Frontier short bed.

Thank you,
Mike
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:59 PM   #18
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Mike,
We were a little concerned about that too but it actually feels quite open...certainly compared to our previous Scamp 5er. Having the bed area open to the rest of the trailer and the additional interior height really makes it feel bigger - especially for Dave who is 6'2" and is loving the headroom!
Also, our windows have the pleated shades and so there is always lots of light even when the shades are down.

I do miss the counter space by the sink and stove that we had in the Scamp but there is good counter space between the bed and the door along with storage space. We will put our microwave over there since it did not come with one built in.

Hope that helps - you should try to find one nearby that you can look at...it will ease your concerns.

Fran & Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba55 View Post
One question I forgot, does the width of the 5.0 feel comfortable and not too narrow? I've yet to be in one, so not sure...

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:06 PM   #19
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Fran and Dave,

Thank you, this is very helpful, and your suggestion to find one nearby is a great idea. However, I am starting to believe this might not be an issue, your husband is much taller than I.

Also, thank you very much for your installers contact information!

Mike
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMLNM View Post
I had read that extending the pin box doesn't actually give you more distance because the pivot point is the same place but I could be mistaken.
Most pin boxes are angled, so that when the bolts are removed and the lower section is pulled further down, it also moves further forward. Your 5.0 pin box looks like it is at a 45° angle, so it moves the same distance forward as down. The pivot point is the pin, so moving the pin forward does change the pivot point relative to the trailer body (but not relative to the cab) and so allows a bit more clearance (not nearly as much as moving the hitch back from the cab the same distance); it also very slightly reduces the weight carried by the pin, without hurting stability.

Since your hitch is only one step (of one inch) from its lowest position, you would only be able to move the pin one position forward/down, and would move the hitch back down to compensate.

Since we're talking about the 5.0 pinbox... these are usually regular production components from a supplier such as Lippert, purchased ready-made by trailer companies such as Escape. Is there a manufacturer's name and model number on the pinbox? I'm just curious about some other options for hitching.
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