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Old 11-24-2015, 11:08 AM   #1
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1973 25' Tradewind
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NV 3500 Nissan Van as TOW VEHICLE

Hi Folks

I would be interested in knowing what peoples impressions are of the NV 3500 Nissan Van as a Tow vehicle especially those who own one and have been using it for towing.

I would also like to hear from people who almost bought one and decided not to buy it and why.

Of course I am looking at the NV3500 with the V8 with the low top.

I currently have a 1973 Tradewind but would wants something that would tow a 25- 27' flying cloud. I have no plans to change but I don't want to be caught with too little tow vehicle again.

I don't want a PU truck because my natural daily driver is a van.

Thanks in advance
Tony
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Old 11-27-2015, 08:32 AM   #2
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???no love or experience with theses beasts

NV3500
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Old 11-27-2015, 08:48 AM   #3
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2012 27' Flying Cloud
W , New England
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I don't. But Google it and you'll see a Nissan forum discussion and an rvnet discussion about it. Maybe someone here toes with one and will chime in.

Good luck!
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Old 11-27-2015, 01:29 PM   #4
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1986 31' Sovereign
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I have a 2004 Nissan Titan which has the same power train so I can speak to that aspect. The truck is just rolling up on 197000 miles.

I have replaced the exhaust headers (which seem to crack on all Titans sooner or later -- I don't know if the NV uses the same headers)
I have replaced the input seal on the rear differential
I have replaced the center drive shaft support bearing
When they were worn beyond spec, I replaced the front brake rotors with slotted/dimpled units

And of course, tires, batteries, wipers, brake pads...

The engine and transmission are rock solid to this day. It doesn't use any oil between changes, there is no smoke, it starts immediately in any weather and tows like a mule.

On a 6 degree climb in Utah, you will be in third running 3600 rpm doing 60 mph as you climb. The gauges (engine and transmission) will not budge.

Life is swell EXCEPT:

It is a big old gas hog. Towing (roughly 65000 miles so far) my 31' Sovereign is pretty much 10 mpg. Unhooked, the Titan gets maybe 15 on the highway, averages 12 around and about.

Nissan paint is pretty cheap. Pretty much any Nissan over 10 years old will have crazed or eroded clear coat.

Hope this helps

Mike
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:18 PM   #5
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Just noticed awetoekirrekt used "toes" for "tows" in my reply above. I apologize pro few sleeves.

😜
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:59 PM   #6
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2007 25' International CCD FB
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Isnt that the same vehicle epicdetour.com uses?
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:22 PM   #7
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Thanks n2916s That is the kind of information I am after. I don't want to blow it by not thinking ahead to the next AS not that I can see a change coming any time soon, since I am still finishing up the Tradewind reno/rehab.

The mileage sounds about like my 1/2 AWD Express van. The Express has a 5.3 and 4 speed transmission and a 3.73 rear end. It is a great van it also has doors behind drivers seat too. That is a feature that I have come to love. It has on it a 119,000. truly easy miles on it but it combined weight is 12,000 and I come in a little high fully packed with a canoe on top. I bought it new when I had a tent trailer and thought I would be all set when I moved up to a hard sided trailer and was a little off.

I then bought a sweet 1996 F250 Power stroke that I just sold with 95,000 miles on it and mechanically real nice. My wife called it S & L. Stinky and loud. We came to a truce after I wanted to call it Nellie, she said Snellie and we have a deal. I loved the truck but my 13 year old lab mix couldn't jump up in the bed ( built her a ramp but she was indignant) and it was too nice an interior to have her in it. Well, I would of let her in if it didn't sell. Did I day I loved that truck, it was a nice truck. First person who saw it bought it.

Anyway,

NV3500 Combined Weight is 16,000. With a pay load of about 3750lbs give or take.

I will miss knowing my van is AWD. I know snow tires make more of a difference but the two combined I think would be the way to go with some winter slop.

Any other experiences out there love to hear about it.

thanks all

Tony

Yes I have seen all the links mentioned. Nice conversion. I would love to hear an update on how things have worked out with epicdetour. Theirs is a high top. I am after a standard roof height.
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:41 PM   #8
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1986 31' Sovereign
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I have never owned a vehicle as reliable as my Titan. Yeah, it's a dinosaur with analog guages, nary a touch screen and kind of a monotone, plastic interior. But it is the energizer bunny.

I am waiting for the new Nissan Titan HD to be released. Out first is the pimped out Titanium version with the Cummins diesel which I don't really want. The one I want, the SV version of the HD with the 5.6 liter gas engine probably won't be available until this Summer.

We looked at the NV3500 at the Miami Auto Show a few weeks ago and thought long and hard about it but, we really like our pickup.

Basically, everyone on this forum has their own TV preference, Nissan is just mine.

Mike
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Old 11-28-2015, 07:24 AM   #9
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I wish pick ups would work for us.

A problem I have found out with the NV3500 is the inventory is not very good. I can order what I want. Waiting would be ok but the commercial Incentives I am eligible for now might not be available at the time the van shows up in 8-12 weeks.

I want silver ( I wonder why) and there is not one in the country.
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Old 11-28-2015, 12:47 PM   #10
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Well, they are mostly sold to commercial operators so I would guess 99% are white.

Hope you get the one you want!

Mikeu
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:37 PM   #11
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You have that exactly right, white. I usually go for white but I wanted something different. There are some vehicle that don't show best in white. The good thing, I think, is they show less scratches and chips.

Tony
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:03 PM   #12
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My tow vehicle is a 2010 Nissan Armada SE. It has the same 5.6l gas motor as the Titan and NV3500, which engine for us has been GREAT for 92,000 miles (about 2/3's have been TOWING). Because of the GCWR is 15,100#, we keep the Airstream at 8,500# MAX, which gives us a cushion of 600#. Our fuel mileage is about 11-13 mpg depending on the topography and speed, and we usually drive at 55-65 mph.

Of course the Armada has an independent rear suspension versus the Titan and NV leaf springs. We use Firestone 500# air bags, Rancho shocks and Michelin LT tires to stiffen the suspension. We are also looking for an alternative tow vehicle with greater capacity so we can more fully utilize the trailer's 10,000 GVWR so the NV's and the anticipated Titan HD (with the Cummins) are on our mind.

For your current Tradewind and a possible 'upgrade' in the future, the NV3500 gasser would seem to be a great tow vehicle choice given your work requirements. For us, more torque is what we need for the increased weight, and that will come only with a diesel HD or 3/4 ton diesel from someone else.

Good luck with finding your silver one! For me they look the best with an Airstream.
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Old 11-28-2015, 06:45 PM   #13
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Jrolls

Thanks for the info. That kind of sums up that it will do the job I need it to do and if you are happy enough towing a 30 footer

Not to expose my ignorance but here goes. The leaf spring is a stiffer set up than the independent rear suspension?

The NV3500 is pretty low to the ground with I believe 8.5 clearance

Tony
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Old 11-28-2015, 07:20 PM   #14
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After towing our new to us '69 Tradewind home with our '98 Tahoe 2 door it felt on the edge .
So I test drove the NV 3500 passenger van low top and pulled the Tradewind with it up and down I-5 near Lake Shasta, CA. without brakes and it performed great even did a panic stop and it stopped fast and straight. It seemed like it used a lot of gas, and the forums say the same thing . Towing 9-10 mpg, not towing up to 16 mpg. This is on par with a lot of other Tow Vehicles in its weight range.

I would have taken it home that day but the Sales manager only offered $ 350 of msrp on a vehicle that was in their inventory over a year and a half.

Needles to say I didn't bite and 4 months later they still had it but were willing to take $ 7 grand off and the sales manager was fired months before.

Instead I test drove a Tundra SR5 double cab and bought one. It towed the Tradewind a bit better and gets better mpg.

I would have preferred the Van though.

I think if the Cummins v-8 works great in the Titan it would be a great improvement for the NV's mpg. Alas that might be a year away.
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