anyone ever do any towing?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by twoodcc, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #1
    so next month i will be moving about 475 miles away from where i live now, for my new job. i was thinking about towing my stuff with my truck, but have never towed anything before.

    can towing for about 8 hours in one day be bad on my truck?

    my truck is a 2005 nissan frontier crew cab, and it is a v6.

    anything else i should know about towing that far?

    thanks in advance
     
  2. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

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    #2
    It won't hurt your truck unless you try to tow more than it is capable of pulling. Just watch your speeds and give yourself plenty of braking room with cars in front of you. Are you going through any mountain passes? Winter weather factors?
     
  3. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #3
    thanks for the reply!

    as far as braking, should i get my brakes checked before i make the trip? they have been squeeking a little lately.

    not going thru any mountain passes. and i guess there could be some winter weather though, but i doubt it.
     
  4. tkidBOSTON macrumors 6502a

    tkidBOSTON

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    #4
    Yes!!!

    Traveling that far you should be sure of your brakes, towing or no towing.
    ...but especially with the towing, obviously.
     
  5. RITZFit macrumors 65816

    RITZFit

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    #5
    check the whole car. brakes, tires, suspension, engine fluids. Those things should be checked before any long trip.
     
  6. statik13 macrumors regular

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    #6
    Silly question, but would you be towing off the bumper, or do you have a hitch mounted? What about the electrical wiring? Trailer brakes?

    Look into your owners manual to see what the maximum tongue weight / trailer weight is for your model. It should also give you any other towing restrictions (Like turning off overdrive)

    Make sure your load is balanced right and take it easy and you should have no troubles with that distance.
     
  7. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #7
    Towing will put more wear and tear then normal, but that is what the truck is designed to do.

    How heavy do you estimate the trailer with all of your stuff in it? The Frontier is rated up to 6500 lb of towing.

    And +1 on getting both trailer and truck fully inspected before leaving.
     
  8. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #8
    I think the tow rating is about 4500-5000 pounds for that truck, but I would look that up to be 100% sure. Now that 5000 pounds is sometimes just includes the driver (150-200 pounds) and 1 tank of gas. Anyone else and thing you must subtract from that tow rating. The hitch is about 70-75 pounds, crap in the truck, subtract and the weight of the trailer.
    Also some car companies will say "5000 pounds" but that is with a tow package (trans cooler, heavy duty cooling system, heavy duty brakes and so on) so again read the service manual.
    Also depending on weight, it's not a good idea to tow in over drive also.
     
  9. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Make sure it can handle the weight. You have be be advised that they say the maximum tow rating is XXXXlbs but that could be assuming you're in low range 4wd and have brakes on the trailer.

    I am sure for one trip you'll be fine. It really depends on how much you're towing though. The frontier isn't really a full size pickup. If you were going to be doing it regularly I would go for a little bit beefier of a truck with a V8.

    Just make sure your truck can really handle the load and take your time. Make sure your car is ready for the trip- fluids, tire pressure, etc. Brake check would be a very good idea.
     
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    #10
    If you do a lot of towing, then you'd have to modify your fluid change schedule to severe duty -- making sure you go from 10k to 3k on motor oil, and down to the severe duty transmission fluid schedule (aka, change it more often instead of the mechanical reverse flush $99 special - hate that service personally)

    For a single tow, it isn't really a big deal unless you are doing a max haul for a long haul on fluid near EOL.

    Short/long haul with a small/medium load won't be a huge deal.
     
  11. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #11
    This part is crucial. For short distances and/or light loads, not a big deal; but if you're taking a heavy load a long distance make sure that the complete "tow package" has been installed.

    If the tow package has not been installed, and if you have more than a minimum amount of stuff, you might look into renting a moving truck and towing your truck behind it. Put the wear and tear on someone else's truck -- and one that's made to take the heavy abuse to boot.

    If you don't make a habit out of towing heavy loads long distances, it might be more economical to rent the moving van rather than paying to install a tow package that you will hardly ever use. That's if you don't have the tow package already installed.
     
  12. bassproguy07 macrumors 6502a

    bassproguy07

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    #12
    I also might suggest doing some trial runs around town with the trailer, get used to driving with it on there. Hitting a curb fully loaded might dislodge your load etc. Also, learn how to park the damn thing. I always see people with trailers taking hours to park it and looking like fools. I do think your truck will be capable but please please get your tires, brakes, brake fluid, coolant, oil, everything checked haha. If you decide to tow, let us know how it goes please!
     
  13. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #13
    On some vehicles the tow package is everything. I have seen some light trucks out there that will have a tow rating of 5000 with a tow package but only a 2000 pound tow rating with out a tow package. This is why you need to read your owners manual.
     
  14. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #14
    thanks everyone for the replies.

    so, first of all, my truck is a 6-speed manual. should i stay in 5th gear the whole way?

    second, i do not have a tow package. i was planning on installing that this weekend. it is cheaper than renting a uhaul truck. so i would not be towing from the bumper.

    i will get the brakes checked. i do regular maintence on the truck, so i don't want you to think that i never get it serviced or anything.
     
  15. jknight8907 macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

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    #15
    Only in an automatic can it be beneficial to keep it out of overdrive. In a manual, as long as you aren't lugging the engine, drive in whatever gear you feel like.
     
  16. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #16
    thanks. what about driving over 70 mph? or should i keep it 70 or under?
     
  17. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #17
    Since it is a one time deal I would not worry about the extra wear and tear on truck.

    As for you truck make sure you have everything check out before hand. Fluid change (aka oil) have your brakes check out because you will putting a lot of extra load on them.

    As for the towing part just remember you have a longer stopping distance because of the extra weight. Also when you are accelerating just be slower accelerating. As for the gear just listen to your engine. You can use 6th on the flat areas as long as you are just cruising.
     
  18. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #18
    thanks.

    i have heard some people consider high-gear, 6th in my case, is the same as overdrive in an automatic. in which case, i'd be safer towing in 5th. but maybe not
     
  19. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #19
    Unless Nissan includes a heavy-duty transmission cooler, etc in the Frontier( I didn't see any reference to a tow package when I looked it up on the site) I wouldn't want to pull anything heavy for long. That will put even more wear and tear on your vehicle's powertrain.
     
  20. twoodcc thread starter macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #20
    how much is heavy?
     
  21. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

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    #21
    No more than 65.
     
  22. jknight8907 macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

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    #22
    It's really up to you. I've towed for thousands of miles and have no problem doing 70+ if conditions allow it. In your case it may be a better idea to keep it down a bit. When towing it's always better to have people passing you instead of you passing others. Every lane change with a trailer and inexperienced tower is a chance for disaster.

    The problem with overdrive in an automatic is that unless it's a diesel, every hill makes the transmission downshift, then upshift. All that constant gear-changing causes wear, and HEAT. Overheat the tranny and your wallet is about to be thinner.

    In a manual, it doesn't downshift unless you do it, so it won't overheat, even without a oversize tranny cooler.
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #23
    Talk to the dealer or a good mechanic about what exactly the tow package includes.

    It's likely to be more than just a hitch kit and wiring harness.
     
  24. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

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    #24
    I do a bit of towing here and there...

    What gear to use really just depends on how the transmission was designed. An example is the Ford E4OD used in the late 80's and early 90's in pickups. It has very poor cooling ability in overdrive so towing in OD is a No-No. The transmission they replaced it with has MUCH better cooling ability in OD so towing in OD is just fine. The best thing to do would be to find a forum for your car and see what those people have to say about using OD while towing.

    A LOT of the trailers I see being towed by 4-wheelers have lights that either don't work at all or don't work properly. Make sure all the lights function as they should before you set out.

    If your trailer starts to fishtail you are either driving too fast or you have the weight distributed improperly. Try to get the weight fairly even. Too much weight in rear of the trailer will make your job MUCH MUCH harder.

    Make sure you can see behind you. A see a lot of people who have spent the coin on big trailers but they can't see behind them because they don't want to upgrade their mirrors. You should be able to just see the rear corner of the trailer in your mirror when driving in a straight line.

    Watch your trailer when you turn, you can easily run things over and cause damage if you aren't watching what you are doing. If you are turning right and looking left in the middle of the turn you are NOT watching that trailer. This seems to be the hardest thing to get my students used to.

    Don't drive tired. You should be able to cover 500 in a a day, but once you get tired it is time to stop, even if you have only driven 200 miles. Energy drinks and caffeine will not keep you awake when you are not used to driving so much, they will barely get you to a safe place to sleep when you are used to driving a lot.

    Don't drive in a hurry. You aren't used to what your vehicle can or can not do with a load. Getting in a hurry will only get you killed faster. Leave plenty of braking room between you and the car in front. Watch traffic as far ahead of you as you can. Don't wait until the car in front of you is slowing down, to finally slow down. You should start slowing the the car 5 cars ahead is slowing down.

    Big hills. If you have to descend any big hills, take your time. Your brakes were likely not designed to hold your speed back down a long grade. Down shift and use the engine to control your speed. In big trucks, if we use the foot brakes at all, we slow down by 5mph over 5 seconds then let the speed build back up by 5mph, rinse and repeat. If it is taking more pressure to do this or it is taking longer then you are in too high of a gear. You can go down big hills millions of times going too slow, but only once going too fast.

    -----

    My advice comes from several years of driving big trucks on the highway and in city traffic. I am accident free and intent to stay that way.
     
  25. nickspohn macrumors 68040

    nickspohn

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