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Old 03-09-2014, 12:22 PM   #1
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Help a noobie -- Nissan NV passenger van

Would someone please help me determine if a Nissan NV passenger 3500 SL van with 5.7L and OEM tow package with an advertised tow rating of 8700 pounds, a GVWR of 9520, a curb weight of 6862, a GCWR of 16,000, and a max tongue weight of 870 would be able to safely tow a 25' or 27' front bed airstream FC with a GVWR of 7,300 and 7,600 respectively. Here are the assumptions:

--We're going to be towing A LOT (20,000 miles a year)
--I will be using a hensley or Pro pride WD hitch
--We (passengers) weight 500 lbs combined
--I would be removing several of the rear-most seats from the van (it has seating for 12), freeing up prob another 300 lbs. of payload.
--I want a good deal of safety margin and cargo carrying ability
--Yes, I know the van is ugly

I know it will "pull" it, but I want to know if it can safely control and stop it and stay under weight limits.

Thanks… this stuff is so confusing for a newbie.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:58 PM   #2
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Just glancing at the number it looks like you might be close on the GCWR with the 7600 lb trailer and much more than passengers in the van, but that's not why I initially though to comment.

The Nissan 5.7l has proven to be quite thirsty in the Titan, and you said you're planning to do "a lot of towing." It might be worth looking up Titan fuel economy when towing... if it's the same 10-ish MPG that most 5-6 liter pickups return when towing, it probably doesn't matter, but it's something to check.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:03 PM   #3
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That's good advice. Luckily I don't own either the AS or the TW yet. We really don't want a pickup and there will be times we'll want seating for more than 5 (not while towing). I don't see much else out there.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:56 PM   #4
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How about the Ford commercial vans? Ample seating, and the tow ratings you're looking for. Also, ample weight carrying capacities.
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:10 PM   #5
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What about a 3/4 ton or 1 ton Chevy Express/GMC Savana?
Very capable and a little less ugly...
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:16 PM   #6
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Is that an official "no" for the Nissan's capabilities? Even for a 25fb?
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:24 PM   #7
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No, it's not a no...
I don' really "know" a lot about them except that they are ugly...
Imhaven't seen an NV towing a trailer, yet, but I have seen Titans, Armadas, Pathfinders, and Frontiers towing travel trailers...
I'm sure an NV could, too, but, wow! That thing is unbelievably ugly...
Whatever Ford's new van is, maybe a big Transit Connect, may be capable- I don't know-
Or the new Ram Pro- I don't know-
The Ford Transit or Ram Pro might be as ugly as the NV...
But I do know about the Express/Savana...
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:25 PM   #8
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Real world capabilities and numbers are often two very different things. Were it me, I'd tow both a 25' or a 27' with a Sienna or Odyssey.

However, it sounds like it's important to you that you stay within the manufacturer's published capabilities. The Nissan should work out just fine, just as the other commercial vans.

In the end, it's a personal choice. Looks, fuel economy, payload, I'd go and compare.
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:40 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone. So I'm guess right now I'm just looking for a definitive answer if either of those AS (25 or 27/28) would put me over any official published limits of the Nissan NV. If it does, or it's too close for comfort, then I'll bail on the idea.
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:45 PM   #10
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I think any Airstream of that length will exceed the tongue weight of the NV.
If you will exceed the tongue weight anyway, you can get a 30- the 30 has less tongue weight than some 27's...
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:50 PM   #11
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Sorry for all of these questions. So even if you use a WD hitch, are you still trying to stay within the tongue weight rating from the vehicle mfg or is that published number just for using a traditional ball hitch?
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:13 PM   #12
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The weight distributing hitch will transfer some weight to the tow vehicle's front axle and some weight to the trailer's axles.
I don't really know how to calculate those weights without having the tow vehicle and trailer and making a trip to the Cat scales- make a pass with weight distributing hitch and a pass without-
It would be nice if you could hear from someone using a Nissan NV.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:20 PM   #13
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OK, I see. So that's the hard part is you won't know until you buy and weight it. But then it's too late. So maybe the only way to go is to go overkill. What's reasonable overkill on a 25' - 28' AS? A 2500-series pickup with a tow package and a Diesel?
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Old 03-09-2014, 04:26 PM   #14
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Pretty much...
Or if you want a van a 2500 or 3500 Express/Savana...
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