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Old 10-29-2014, 04:04 PM   #1
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Nissan Xterra & Intl 19' Towing Questions

We are picking up a gently used 2014 19' International CCD through a private party next week. I have been reading everything I can about towing on these forums as well as the Nissan Xterra forums as we will need to safely pull this home about eight hours. I have a few questions I would love some thoughts from the group on to make sure we avoid any issues on our first trip.

My basic concerns are:

1. Will my 2010 Nissan Xterra have adequate towing capability to safely pull the 19' AS? The tow rating is 5000 lbs with a WD hitch.

2. The previous owners had an Equal-i-zer installed so it seems we should be okay. However, they pulled with a F150 pickup and I will be pulling with an Xterra. Does the hitch need to be adjusted or any parts replaced for it to function properly with my TV? How do I ensure the appropriate amount of weight is transferred to the front axle or trailer axle?

3. I have made many aftermarket modifications to my Xterra and am unsure how these changes will impact my towing ability. I have replaced the front & rear suspension with high quality, aftermarket coilovers and a-arms (front) and a custom leaf pack with upgraded shocks (rear). The Xterra is lifted about 2" all around as a result. I have also put on larger tires (33" vs 32") with a more aggressive tread (Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs). I have steel bumpers front and rear, steel rock sliders, steel roof rack replacement as well as steel skid plates protecting the underside. This all adds up to a lot of weight over stock, although the custom leaf pack in the rear was designed to carry +450 lbs over the wimpy stock springs.

4. How much weight in passengers & cargo can I safely load into my TV?

I need to have a trailer brake controller installed this week as the trailers I have pulled up to this point have been in the 1500-2500 lb range and were without brakes. From what I have read the Tekonsha P3 sounds like a good option.

If anyone else has thoughts to share with a newbie Airstreamer I will take any suggestions with much appreciation. We are looking forward to meeting the fine people on these forums in the days and months to come!
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:39 PM   #2
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We are picking up a gently used 2014 19' International CCD through a private party next week.

3. The Xterra is lifted about 2" all around as a result.
I have also put on larger tires (33" vs 32") with a more aggressive tread (Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs).
These two changes are not going to help and will probably hinder performance and handling. When it comes to handling and control lower is better.

The larger tires will reduce rear end gearing ratio. Not ideal for towing. A better choice would be to go with a lower profile tire. Sometimes folks have found a smaller diameter tire than stock improves performance.

You really need to concentrate on the connection. Be sure the most suitable hitch is used and it is adjusted properly. Also research the Xterra receiver to be sure it is up to the task.

Good luck
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:41 AM   #3
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I towed a similar trailer with an unmodified 2006 Pathfinder. The drivetrain in yours is very similar. I can attest the drivetrain was good at towing, even here in the mtns of CO. I did have WD and Sway Control.

But the short wheelbase and narrow Xterra will probably have you hunting for a bigger tow vehicle soon. WD and Sway Control can only do so much, and then the actual size/footprint of the tow vehicle starts to be the stability limitation. I can't comment about your mods, I have no experience.

But maybe you'll only be towing short distances once it's home? We are/were planning on long distances, so we upgraded to an Armada. (I like the Armada, but my 2000 Xterra was one of the most fun cars I've ever owned. I miss it!)

BTW - the stock xterra receiver is totally beefy.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:04 PM   #4
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Appreciate the suggestions. I haven't even picked up the AS and am already researching a new TV. Leaning toward a 2-3 year old 1/2 ton truck - just need to research the options to find the best combination of towing ability and long range comfort. Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:30 AM   #5
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If you want or need a pick up then it will work but there are many types of vehicles that in many cases are a better choice. Consider payload, comforts, handling, overall towing performance, reliability, etc. Research is a good thing.
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Old 11-11-2014, 08:54 AM   #6
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The Xterra, although a nice vehicle, would be marginal towing the 19 footer. It has a short wheelbase and a rather long rear overhang. It was designed more for off roading than camper pulling. I think you are wise to trade it for something more suitable. A half ton pick up would suit you for a long time, and they are really comfortable daily drivers anymore. A large SUV would work well too.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:44 AM   #7
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and a rather long rear overhang.
??
The Xterra has a pretty short rear overhang. For the 2015 4x4 it has an angle of departure of 28.8 degrees, which is good. The site does not have overhang length, so we can't see what that is as a ratio of wheelbase, but I bet it's good.
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Old 11-14-2014, 08:09 AM   #8
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Almost all of the things that make a vehicle a good off-roader also make it bad bad for towing.

For towing you want a low centre of gravity, a long and wide wheel stance, etc. Having said that, it's only a 19' AS. You certainly don't need a truck to tow that trailer, unless you really want one.
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