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Old 10-22-2020, 01:27 PM   #1
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Nissan SV3500 SL as a TV

Mention was made by "UralJohn" of the Nissan SV3500 SL during a discussion of the Ford Expedition Max as a TV. Don't want to steal that thread so thought I'd ask others views here of the Nissan as a TV. This could answer our needs for hauling bikes etc. Wonder though if the Nissan could be a bear to control in wind.

Here is his post:

Take a look at a Nissan NV3500 SL passenger van. Rated to tow 8700 LBS and it has a 2500 LB cargo capacity. Remove the 2 back rows of seats (still have seating for 5 after seat removal) and I bet you can put you bikes in with room and lots of cargo capacity remaining. The seats that you remove will weigh about 400 LBS so you now have 2900 LBS of cargo capacity. The NV3500 is a tow horse and does not drive like a 1 ton rated vehicle. You owe it to yourself to go test drive one. They are priced very well. You can get a new one completely loaded for just over $40k!!!! a heck of a bargain for the amount of vehicle you get. My good friend just scored one to pull his Lance trailer. Very nice!

Could the Nissan SV 3500 be a good tow vehicle for the 27 Flying Cloud that we plan to purchase shortly? I know it won't be the comfy F150 or 250 that is the alternate TV but I love the idea of the space in the Nissan.

TIA
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Old 10-22-2020, 01:56 PM   #2
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Are your sure you don't mean NV3500? If so there's been a number of threads on that. Try googling "airstream NV3500".
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Old 10-22-2020, 02:42 PM   #3
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Towing with NV3500 SL passenger van

The NV3500 would be a great choice to tow your 27' AS. Specs are 9400 GVW, 2500 LB cargo capacity, 8700 LB tow rating. Engine has 375 HP and just under 400 LB FT Torque with 7 speed automatic. The 2020 version has a 3.54 axle ratio (2019 and earlier had a 3.36 axle ratio).

These come with seating for 12 but you can easily remove the back 2 rows of seats for huge cargo area. Your stuff is safe, secure and out of the weather. You can put the generator in if you have one powered by propane.

These drive very nice. Not like a 1 ton rated truck. They are not the prettiest face in town but sure can get the job done.

Disclaimer: Yes, I tow with a van. 2013 Ford E150 XLT Premium. If something bad happens to my E150 I will get a NV3500 to do the towing work.
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Old 10-22-2020, 03:05 PM   #4
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Coming back across Montana and Wyoming pulling a 27FB GT, we encountered the typical winds for that area. Even with the wind and semis blowing by, our NV3500 was very stable and comfortable. No handling issues and the V8 handled all of the various up and downhill grades with no problem. I definitely recommend this as a TV.
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Old 10-23-2020, 12:21 PM   #5
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NV3500 Nissan

Don't forget one of the most important things. The NV3500 comes with a 5 year/100,000 warranty. I pull my Airstream with a Nissan Titan XD. Your will love the NV3500.
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Old 10-23-2020, 03:10 PM   #6
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I agree with the others.

Setting aside appearance and such things, the NV3500 SL is a great choice. It is a well designed vehicle and will feel, ride, and handle while towing nicer than the typical 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton pickup. It has a good drive train and competent suspension design. The oversteer and understeer programing is a nice safety touch you probably will never need but if you do it could make all the difference in the world. The dimension, weights and geometry will make it a safe tow vehicle. Cargo capacity is fantastic and easy to load and unload also. You will have to drive it to see if it is comfortable and pleasant, and if you think so, great.
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Old 10-23-2020, 04:40 PM   #7
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Nissan NV2500

I towed my Airstream 23í with a NV2500 cargo van. I use the van to carry dogs and bikes and other gear. Never a problem and easy tow. I believe it has a 10k pound towing capacity.
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:13 PM   #8
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Glad to see people using and talking about something different than a pickup truck. I tow with an express van, love the space and the availability to the stuff I carry. I also think the van helps punch a hole in the air for the trailer,
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibbs View Post
Glad to see people using and talking about something different than a pickup truck. I tow with an express van, love the space and the availability to the stuff I carry. I also think the van helps punch a hole in the air for the trailer,
My TV's have always been vans. I do not understand why anyone would tow with a pickup (other than 5th wheel). Towing with a pickup, everything in the bed is exposed to wind, rain and dust, while everything in the van is warm and clean. Anything in the bed of the pickup can be stolen just by reaching over the tailgate, or worse yet they steal the tailgate.

And when I need to boon dock and when the ambient temperature gets too hot (or too cold) I can grab my pillows, climb into the sofa bed in the back of a van, start the engine for 20 minutes, turn on the AC or heat, and get ready for a comfortable night sleep. Try that in the backseat of a pickup!
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:00 PM   #10
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I would go into the potential purchase of a NV3500 very cautiously. How many folks have done research on availability of these vans? I read somewhere that they may stop being sold in Canada soon, which is a great indicator of the vehicles sales success, or lack thereof. I wonder if it will follow a similar path of the Titan XD Cummins diesel? I have to wonder how many diesel technicians Nissan has at their dealerships to perform maintenance on this engine? Fortunately, the NVís driveline is similar to the Titanís and everyone I have talked with at various RV parks that tow with this configuration speak highly of the reliability and drive ability of these engine/transmissions.

We checked them out before purchasing a Super Duty pickup, but questioned how a one ton vehicle that would be towing trailers and had factory tow mirrors, did NOT have a brake controller? We were extremely interested in the many seat arrangements since we have three grandchildren that love to camp with us and would love to bring their parents along. The appearance of the exterior and the dash were disappointing for $40K or more purchase price, so we ended up ordering a Super Duty and love it!

Availability of these vans on CarGurus and TrueCar apps is very limited. We looked for these vans at the local Nissan dealer and were told they were only sold at commercial designated dealers, so we had to drive to another town to test drive one and the three 3500ís on the lot had exterior colors that we are not interested in.

Comment on EASTCOASTENG waxing on about the joy of owning and sleeping in a van - Did you consider that pickup beds can have toppers or tonneau covers that keep all the weather off camping Eqmt? IF you bring some messy/smelly stuff into the van, usually it is put at the back of the van and that area you sleep will have a nice aroma, fuel, propane, BBQ, generator, etc. depending on the stuff you bring along to camp. Vans are great for hauling people, but few are available to tow our Airstreams! We checked the Chevy/GM full size vans and it seems their interiors have not been updated for over a decade.

How many folks have wished for the old heavy duty suburbans, excursions or E series Ford vans? Sprinter and Transits are not up to the task. IF NV3500ís were so great at towing I theoretically should see a lot of them at RV parks and Campgrounds. Unfortunately, they are very limited in usage from my camping and just driving down the road looking at what TVs people are using. Today on I-95 between Savannah and JAX, we did not see any of these NVís towing a trailer, but there we saw over 60 RVís during our RT to visit the JAX zoo!
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:09 PM   #11
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These are really helpful comments, folks! I'm going to try to test drive one next week. Of course my wife hates the look....but the price might possibly get her over the line. Can't beat a new TV for under 40k. Will keep you informed.

Steve
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Old 10-23-2020, 10:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superChop View Post
I would go into the potential purchase of a NV3500 very cautiously. How many folks have done research on availability of these vans? I read somewhere that they may stop being sold in Canada soon, which is a great indicator of the vehicles sales success, or lack thereof. I wonder if it will follow a similar path of the Titan XD Cummins diesel? I have to wonder how many diesel technicians Nissan has at their dealerships to perform maintenance on this engine? Fortunately, the NVís driveline is similar to the Titanís and everyone I have talked with at various RV parks that tow with this configuration speak highly of the reliability and drive ability of these engine/transmissions.

We checked them out before purchasing a Super Duty pickup, but questioned how a one ton vehicle that would be towing trailers and had factory tow mirrors, did NOT have a brake controller? We were extremely interested in the many seat arrangements since we have three grandchildren that love to camp with us and would love to bring their parents along. The appearance of the exterior and the dash were disappointing for $40K or more purchase price, so we ended up ordering a Super Duty and love it!

Availability of these vans on CarGurus and TrueCar apps is very limited. We looked for these vans at the local Nissan dealer and were told they were only sold at commercial designated dealers, so we had to drive to another town to test drive one and the three 3500ís on the lot had exterior colors that we are not interested in.

Comment on EASTCOASTENG waxing on about the joy of owning and sleeping in a van - Did you consider that pickup beds can have toppers or tonneau covers that keep all the weather off camping Eqmt? IF you bring some messy/smelly stuff into the van, usually it is put at the back of the van and that area you sleep will have a nice aroma, fuel, propane, BBQ, generator, etc. depending on the stuff you bring along to camp. Vans are great for hauling people, but few are available to tow our Airstreams! We checked the Chevy/GM full size vans and it seems their interiors have not been updated for over a decade.

How many folks have wished for the old heavy duty suburbans, excursions or E series Ford vans? Sprinter and Transits are not up to the task. IF NV3500ís were so great at towing I theoretically should see a lot of them at RV parks and Campgrounds. Unfortunately, they are very limited in usage from my camping and just driving down the road looking at what TVs people are using. Today on I-95 between Savannah and JAX, we did not see any of these NVís towing a trailer, but there we saw over 60 RVís during our RT to visit the JAX zoo!

Appreciate the comments. Honestly the only comment that really concerns me is the one about the lack of a brake controller. That is one thing I wondered about. Thoughts from others on this?

Steve
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Old 10-23-2020, 10:53 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 914Next View Post
Appreciate the comments. Honestly the only comment that really concerns me is the one about the lack of a brake controller. That is one thing I wondered about. Thoughts from others on this?

Steve
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Old 10-23-2020, 10:59 PM   #14
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Nissan SV3500 SL as a TV

I donít know of many tow vehicles that have a decent built-in proportional accelerometer based brake controller.

That said I plan to install a Tekonsa P3 controller on any tow vehicle I own. They work well, and I like the way they handle the brakes.
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Old 10-23-2020, 11:03 PM   #15
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Brake controllers cost less than $200 and are easy to install in under an hour. Assuming you get the towing package, the harness is pre-wired and a cable for the controller comes with the van. This shouldn't be a showstopper- although it does seem an odd thing to omit.
Things I would change:
1. Key lock on the passenger door.
2. Mirrors should extend another inch or two.
3. Tow mode switch should either be a toggle or remember how it was set when the engine was last turned off.
These are really minor issues - we're very pleased with our purchase.
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Old 10-24-2020, 09:35 AM   #16
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NV3500 Brake Controller

My friend that just bought a 2020 NV3500 SL installed a Prodigy P2. The van is already wired and the plug is just to the left of the brake pedal. Took about 15 minutes to install. It is plug and play. There is a short adaptor cord to make the P2 plug directly into factory plug. No splicing wires. Total cost for the P2 and the little adaptor cord was under $150.00. Piece of cake.

We run the same Brake Controller in our 2013 Ford E150 XLT van. It has the Factory Tow Pkg but did not have the Brake Controller. Again, plug and play in about 15 minutes.
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Old 10-24-2020, 11:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superChop View Post
I would go into the potential purchase of a NV3500 very cautiously. How many folks have done research on availability of these vans? I read somewhere that they may stop being sold in Canada soon, which is a great indicator of the vehicles sales success, or lack thereof. I wonder if it will follow a similar path of the Titan XD Cummins diesel? I have to wonder how many diesel technicians Nissan has at their dealerships to perform maintenance on this engine? Fortunately, the NVís driveline is similar to the Titanís and everyone I have talked with at various RV parks that tow with this configuration speak highly of the reliability and drive ability of these engine/transmissions.



We checked them out before purchasing a Super Duty pickup, but questioned how a one ton vehicle that would be towing trailers and had factory tow mirrors, did NOT have a brake controller? We were extremely interested in the many seat arrangements since we have three grandchildren that love to camp with us and would love to bring their parents along. The appearance of the exterior and the dash were disappointing for $40K or more purchase price, so we ended up ordering a Super Duty and love it!



Availability of these vans on CarGurus and TrueCar apps is very limited. We looked for these vans at the local Nissan dealer and were told they were only sold at commercial designated dealers, so we had to drive to another town to test drive one and the three 3500ís on the lot had exterior colors that we are not interested in.



Comment on EASTCOASTENG waxing on about the joy of owning and sleeping in a van - Did you consider that pickup beds can have toppers or tonneau covers that keep all the weather off camping Eqmt? IF you bring some messy/smelly stuff into the van, usually it is put at the back of the van and that area you sleep will have a nice aroma, fuel, propane, BBQ, generator, etc. depending on the stuff you bring along to camp. Vans are great for hauling people, but few are available to tow our Airstreams! We checked the Chevy/GM full size vans and it seems their interiors have not been updated for over a decade.



How many folks have wished for the old heavy duty suburbans, excursions or E series Ford vans? Sprinter and Transits are not up to the task. IF NV3500ís were so great at towing I theoretically should see a lot of them at RV parks and Campgrounds. Unfortunately, they are very limited in usage from my camping and just driving down the road looking at what TVs people are using. Today on I-95 between Savannah and JAX, we did not see any of these NVís towing a trailer, but there we saw over 60 RVís during our RT to visit the JAX zoo!


Wholeheartedly agree with everything here. As someone that has owned a Titan XD Cummins since mid-2016, donít underestimate Nissanís willingness to abandon a platform and leave owners high and dry. Even if youíre willing to take that risk, things to consider:

Will you have a preferred dealership nearby that cares more about supporting obsolete platforms than Nissan does? The answer could be yes, which is great.

When you camp, how far is the nearest dealership along your traveling path in case of problems?

When my EGR cooler failed while towing, I was half-way across the state, the nearest dealer was 75 miles away, and not in the direction I was going or coming from.

My Titan XD has always towed like a dream, but dealer networks (and reliability) matter with modern vehicles.

My drivetrain warranty expires June/2021. Iím now waiting to trade-in my Nissan for a Ď21 Super Duty to be delivered in December.
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Old 11-06-2020, 07:31 AM   #18
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Quick Update.

My wife and I had the chance to test drive a 2020 NV3500 this past week. My wife was determined to hate it (after all it is not the most beautiful piece of machinery) and even I was hesitant when we got to the dealer. I will say, however, that we both left feeling like the NV is definitely for us. Loved the way it handled. Plenty of power, smooth riding, all the necessary accessories without going over the top like some of the pickups we were seeing today. AND....its a very affordable new vehicle. It will serve our purposes very well for more payload and ability to store our bikes inside when when we travel.

We will purchase an NV 3500 over the next few months and of course report back. First we need to purchase a Globetrotter 27. Anyone have a 2018-2019 they want to sell

Steve
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Old 11-06-2020, 08:24 AM   #19
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The physical capability of the NV3500 is certainly impressive. I'm glad you like it and hope you will continue to do so. Perhaps the looks will grow on you.
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Old 11-06-2020, 01:58 PM   #20
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Successful NV3500 SL test drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by 914Next View Post
Quick Update.

My wife and I had the chance to test drive a 2020 NV3500 this past week. My wife was determined to hate it (after all it is not the most beautiful piece of machinery) and even I was hesitant when we got to the dealer. I will say, however, that we both left feeling like the NV is definitely for us. Loved the way it handled. Plenty of power, smooth riding, all the necessary accessories without going over the top like some of the pickups we were seeing today. AND....its a very affordable new vehicle. It will serve our purposes very well for more payload and ability to store our bikes inside when when we travel.

We will purchase an NV 3500 over the next few months and of course report back. First we need to purchase a Globetrotter 27. Anyone have a 2018-2019 they want to sell

Steve
Glad you tried it. Yes, you do have to get past the styling a little bit. BUT, it does drive really nice and has plenty of power, tow capacity and payload capacity. Congrats! If you see an NV3500 SL that you want go ahead and get it. My friend wanted a white one. He found one that is the optional Frost White Metallic and immediately bought it. Loves it!!!! He removed the back two rows of seats and now has mega room to haul everything. He put moving blankets (my suggestion) over the carpet to keep it nice.

You will need a Brake Controller. He installed (Plug and Play) a Tekonsha Prodigy 2. Took maybe 15 minutes to install. You do need the adaptor cord that goes from controller to prewired plug under dash. Both available online for less than $150.00. Wish you luck now on getting your Airstream.
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