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Guest Message by DevFuse

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NVP 3500 SL (V8) travel trailer towing


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18 replies to this topic

#1 optic462

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 04:38 PM

I just bought my new NVP last weekend, primarily for trailer towing. It's my wife's van, but she drives less than 9K miles per year. I tried checking YouTube for NISSAN NV towing videos, but couldn't find anything. So, I joined this forum for like-minded help and information.

 

Right now I will be pulling our 2017 Forest River 2716G pop-up camper. I have about 150 miles before I reach the 500 mi break in period, so I can update on that at a later date (not trying to void my fancy 5yr/100,000mi. warranty). My Tekonsha Primus IQ brake controller should arrive this week. Having the tow package made this really easy, it already has the harness available for a quick connection.

 

As it stands now, I have my eyes set on a 2017 or 2018 Keystone Passport 3220BH. Dry weight 6100#, TW 690#, GVW 7500#. I doubt I will ever reach that max, our trips are generally short and we don't boondock, so our water tanks will be empty. I will add a WDH w/integrated sway control once I make the purchase.

 

My only current concern is the length of the trailer, 35.5 feet from hitch to bumper. I have seen other posts with NVP's pulling 33 footers but didn't see any follow ups. How did they tow? How did they maneuver through the streets?


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#2 ASD Dad

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 05:21 PM

Nice camper you are looking at!  We love bunkhouse campers and we had a Salem Sport SP295 prior to our Toyhauler we tow now.  The TH is more or less a bunkhouse with how it is setup for us.  

 

Those weights are fine for the NVP.  My TH is around 7500-ish pounds when we are loaded for a big trip and the NV pulls it well even in the mountains of NC and TN.  Do I wish it had more power?  Always!  Does it maintain speed on the inclines?  It does, but it does it in 3rd gear with the RPM's wound up which is normal for a newer gas motor like ours.  It may sound alarming but there really is not much harm being done at all.  The other nice things about the NV is the monster sized transmission and oil cooler sitting right behind the grill.  Even in 100* heat nothing gets too hot when towing.  

 

Towing through streets is just fine, if you are not used to towing something that long just make very wide right turns and make some practice runs on empty streets.  Be Very aware of the tail end of the camper swinging wide.  The axles are near mid point to keep tongue weight down but that means you have 10 plus feet of camper hanging out the back pivoting when making tight turns like in gas stations or through a campground.  You can clip things with it when you think you had plenty of room.  I did it with our first long camper even after towing it over a year...  Not fun!  

 

My biggest caution for you is to make sure you get a GOOD WD hitch.  Not the cheap ones they toss in for free with the purchase of the camper.  Those are usually the EZ or Curt round bar hitches with a single friction bar.  At that length they require two friction bars, one per side.  Do they work?  Yes!  Are they a pain?  Yes!  You have two bars to hook up then you have two friction plates to hook up every time.  They are also LOUD when turning at slow speeds (to be fair, so are other higher end models like an Equalizer).  With all the newer hitches out there you would be better served by upgrading a little.  Check out review sites or places like RV.net for suggestions.  Everybody has a favorite.  I happen to prefer a Blue-Ox Swaypro for my setup.  Easy, clean and quiet and it just works well.  Downside is that it is very heavy with a huge one piece head that is around 70 pounds to carry around.  There are lots of new hitches out there though.

 

Second caution - do Not trust the dealer to setup any WDH correctly.  They want you in and out fast.  They will go by some generic setting that will get you close and call it a day.  When you do pick a hitch, read up on it and then read up on proper WDH installation so you can either check it at home if you have the tools are watch over them to make sure it is right before leaving the dealer.  You would be surprised how one extra link on the bar chains or a small angle change on the head will affect the actual weight and handling.  

 

Lastly - Check your trailer tires religiously.  Most likely they will be cheap generic tires and they are well known to literally blow up going down the highway.  We just witnessed one blow up 3 days ago on a fifth wheel.  We were next to him on the highway and it sounded like a shotgun went off.  Looked over and his tire was in shreds.  I've had it happen twice in many years of towing and it is not fun!!  The only fix is to swap out the cheap tires for better ones.  I did that immediately on my TH, I only had 50 miles on my brand new dealer tires and I swapped them out.  It is not worth the headaches and risk.  If you keep the originals on there, keep them inflated to max cold, keep them covered from the elements and do not go over 65 mph on the highway.  Period.  Some owners get several years out of OEM tires.  Others get several weeks.  It is a roulette spin to see if it happens.

 

Sorry for the novel...  We love camping as a family and have been going for many years even before kids.  I started in tents, got married and we had a pop-up, had kids and moved up in camper size as we had more kids (and dogs).  You'll be fine and the NV will be fine, just take your time and read up.


  • radin2son, Gman65, andy_george and 2 others like this

2015 NVP SL - Silver, 20% tint, Bully Dog GT, AEM filter w/ snorkel mod, Topper Rack, Luverne Grip Step running boards, Hankook AT-M tires. DRL delete, LED's
2015 XLR Hyperlite 27HFS Toy Hauler
Blue Ox Sway Pro with Tekonsha P3 controller
Me, wife, 3 kids and 2 big dogs!


#3 radin2son

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 08:06 PM

ASD Dad, Great read...
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#4 Lj1983

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 12:44 PM

we tow a similar sized trailer, a 30QBSS which is about 34' total length.   we're in the black hills, so lots of up and down, and definitely struggle on the hills, but overall its not a bad tow.   length hasn't been an issue, it has a decent wheelbase for that length trailer on the highway.  and maneuvering a long trailer like that around smaller areas...well that is just a matter of practice and having a spotter if you get nervous. 

 

really the only big gripe I have, other than the usual towing with a gas engine frustrations, is the size of the gas tank.   28 gallons at 7 mpg means you start to get nervous with more than 150 miles between stops.    and in the wide open spaces of Wyoming that's not that uncommon. 


Edited by Lj1983, 25 July 2017 - 12:51 PM.

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#5 optic462

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 08:26 PM

No, it wasn't too long ESD Dad. That was a good read. With a 22.5' turning radius I was concerned how this NV would maneuver around city streets and camp sites. I guess I will need to practice once I make the upgrade.

 

I do like the Equalizer WDH. From my exhaustive research so far, I have learned that it performs better than the E2, especially at lengths over 30'. The E2 is better suited for smaller and lighter trailers, 25' - 28' and shorter. It looks like the Eq. is well built, and I would hope so with that price tag. LOL. The Keystone TT I am looking at comes standard with radials, I believe.

 

Lj1983-

I was shocked when I bought the first tank of gas. I thought I was going to need to sell a kidney, but when it stopped filling at 28 gallons I was baffled. My 2011 F-150 V6 has a 33 gallon tank. You would think the towing package would include a bigger tank. Does the MPG improve any after break in periods?


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#6 ASD Dad

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 08:28 AM

Your MPG will always be bad towing with any gas vehicle (vs diesel).  Just the nature of towing.  I average around 8 mpg when towing and we do need to stop after 150-ish miles to be safe.  That is fine for us right now since the kids are usually ready for a stop by then.  You do have to plan for stops though if you are someplace with gas spread out.  I use an Android App called TruckerPath.  It is made for big rigs but will use your phones GPS to locate the closest stations that are big truck friendly.  When towing with a new long trailer the last thing you want is to try and maneuver in a small station.

 

All trailers will have radials (they dont really sell bias ply anymore but Goodyear still makes some).  They will be very cheap ST (trailer) tires on them.  They will look fine but unless they are one of the better brands they are a roulette spin on longevity.  The best ST tires are Maxxis, Kumho, and some Carlisle and Goodyears depending on where they are made.  There are others but you need to research based on size and load rating.  The best upgrade is finding some LT tires that have the load rating needed.  Basically the same tires that are on our vans, they are heavy duty truck tires with a highway tread.  If you go to any RV forum - Keystones, Forest Rivers, RV.net, etc and look up tire threads you could read for months on debating the options you have.


  • radin2son likes this

2015 NVP SL - Silver, 20% tint, Bully Dog GT, AEM filter w/ snorkel mod, Topper Rack, Luverne Grip Step running boards, Hankook AT-M tires. DRL delete, LED's
2015 XLR Hyperlite 27HFS Toy Hauler
Blue Ox Sway Pro with Tekonsha P3 controller
Me, wife, 3 kids and 2 big dogs!


#7 optic462

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 11:16 AM

TruckerPath app; sounds extremely useful...thanks for the recommendation!!


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#8 andy_george

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 12:01 PM

I second ASD Dad completely on the cheap trailer tires. Our family has discussed on numerous occasions the complete garbage that is spit out as trailer tires. I've blown at least 4 personally.... And I check the tread and sidewalks regularly, make sure they are always at max inflation pressure, etc.

I've also heard some of the Goodyear tires are junk and some are good....I'll assume the 2 Goodyears that blew out on me were junk ones. No warning, cracking, bulging.... And they just disintegrate on the next trip. So frustrating....
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#9 ASD Dad

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 12:21 PM

andy-george; Goodyear Marathons used to be great tires but they are outsourced now like the other cheapo trailer tires.  That is the problem, there is very little QC going on at these plants.  Same with Carlisle, they used to be great and now it is hit or miss.  Maxxis was the step up for a long time but I actually blew one of those.  It was then I decided to switch to LT tires.  Have had zero problems over tens of thousands of miles of towing and I dont have to be super paranoid about speeds.  I dont tow fast regardless but the 55-65 mph limit on trailer tires is just too low, there is no margin for error.  

 

Just for info sake - I now use Goodyear Wrangler HT load E tires.  You really just need a good highway truck tire in the appropriate load range for your trailer.  


  • radin2son and andy_george like this

2015 NVP SL - Silver, 20% tint, Bully Dog GT, AEM filter w/ snorkel mod, Topper Rack, Luverne Grip Step running boards, Hankook AT-M tires. DRL delete, LED's
2015 XLR Hyperlite 27HFS Toy Hauler
Blue Ox Sway Pro with Tekonsha P3 controller
Me, wife, 3 kids and 2 big dogs!


#10 andy_george

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 04:23 PM

The LT tires are a great idea, something I've researched and considered before. The problem is that our older concession trailers have 14" wheels, and an LT tire that small is impossible to find. I should just check if I have clearance to move to a 15" wheel.... That would open up options I'd think. Thanks for the info!
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#11 ASD Dad

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 06:31 PM

The LT tires are a great idea, something I've researched and considered before. The problem is that our older concession trailers have 14" wheels, and an LT tire that small is impossible to find. I should just check if I have clearance to move to a 15" wheel.... That would open up options I'd think. Thanks for the info!

 

14" are a pain, I used to have them!  If you are diligent you can find them - look for commercial duty van tires for 14"!  Here are two that I remember and I am sure there are more out there.

 

This site wont let me link direct to Tire Rack for some reason!  Look up the Yokohama Y356.  They make a high load 14" commercial van rib tire.  

 

https://www.tirerack...=Y356&tab=Sizes

 

 

This is the Vanco tire, more of a 4 season but still has ribs.  They used to be more available with a smooth rib but are hard to find now.

 

https://simpletire.c...PcaAuvhEALw_wcB


Edited by ASD Dad, 26 July 2017 - 06:36 PM.

  • radin2son and andy_george like this

2015 NVP SL - Silver, 20% tint, Bully Dog GT, AEM filter w/ snorkel mod, Topper Rack, Luverne Grip Step running boards, Hankook AT-M tires. DRL delete, LED's
2015 XLR Hyperlite 27HFS Toy Hauler
Blue Ox Sway Pro with Tekonsha P3 controller
Me, wife, 3 kids and 2 big dogs!


#12 andy_george

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 08:33 PM

Dang, thanks a ton. That Y356 looks to be exactly what I need. A touch narrower than what I've used, but it would totally work. And the load rating is great. Seriously, thanks so much!
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#13 ASD Dad

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 09:24 PM

Not a problem, I know how tough it is finding good tires! That Y356 is sold many places so shop around. As long as the load meets your needs and the ride height isn't changed too much going with a smaller tire you should be good.

15" rims normally fit if you go with a smaller tire, it's only 1/2" per side increase. The trick can be finding a smaller 15" that has the high load rating needed.
  • radin2son likes this

2015 NVP SL - Silver, 20% tint, Bully Dog GT, AEM filter w/ snorkel mod, Topper Rack, Luverne Grip Step running boards, Hankook AT-M tires. DRL delete, LED's
2015 XLR Hyperlite 27HFS Toy Hauler
Blue Ox Sway Pro with Tekonsha P3 controller
Me, wife, 3 kids and 2 big dogs!


#14 radin2son

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 10:03 PM

Great exchange of info...

#15 optic462

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 10:06 PM

I will definitely be looking at new tires after reading through these posts. lol.

 

Update: I am a few steps closer to towing. I just crossed the 500 mi. break in period before towing and also got my brake controller in the mail and installed. I want to get out and go camping but SWMBO says its too hot out. So....we wait.

 

Attached File  20170727_1848241.jpg   80.42KB   1 downloads


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#16 andy_george

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 06:40 AM

SWMBO! Had to look that one up!

Funny.. I have one of those also! Lol!
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#17 Robert J Spanarelli

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 12:13 PM

I have a Coachmen 35' + TT, 7000 lbs Dry, with the Equalizer WDH. We just got back from a round trip NY to Fl...
I must say I was impressed with how the NV pulled. Even up and down some steep Pennsylvania hills the Trans temp and engine temp remained steady on the cooler side...

The real steep upgrades were a bit of a white knuckle ride, especially at 1am... but down grade the "Tow Mode" was excellent in slowing us down, barley needing the brakes...

image.jpeg


 


Edited by Robert J Spanarelli, 08 September 2017 - 12:14 PM.

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#18 andy_george

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 08:55 PM

I like the badging you put on the door. Nice touch!
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#19 Robert J Spanarelli

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 11:53 PM

Thanks, I don't get why Nissan doesn't have any badges on the doors...






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