2012 Frontier Gooseneck setup - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-28-2014, 12:33 AM   #1
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Name: John + Linda
Trailer: Scamp 19
Washington
Posts: 23
2012 Frontier Gooseneck setup

Hi Everyone
Here is my 5th wheel towing solution - I did not want the hitch that just attached to your bed floor and wheel wells. I found an almost unused 5th wheel hitch on Craigslist with the bed rails and frame brackets. I traded away the horseshoe plate and cut off its mounting brackets. I had a piece of 3" X 5" X 1/4" angle - cut it to fit in the top U shaped bracket, drilled a 1" hole for a 6000# rated ball - and welded the angle to the bracket, installed the ball. About 1 hour time.
I next tack welded some 1/4" square tube to the bed rails with the uprights installed so I wouldn't have to keep measuring them for correct spacing when mounting to the frame rails. I originally had the ball centered over the axle but due to interference on the truck frame with the mounting brackets - moved the bed rails back approx. 2 1/2" After several 1/8" practice holes to verify I was in the right position - drilled through the truck bed with a 1/2" drill bit. I then installed the truck frame brackets hand tight to make sure everything fit - clamped them in position and drilled through the truck frame. Installed the mounting bolts. 1 frame bracket had to be notched to clear a shock absorber mount bolt - otherwise, everything good. Shims were placed between the frame brackets and bed rails so that the truck bed would not be squished. Cut off the 1/4" tubing. 2 coats of black Rustoleum. Spent more time getting the rails in position BRFORE drilling the BIG holes than actual work time. The top plate bolts to the 2 uprights and has about 3" up and down adjustment and about 2 fore and aft. 4 - 1/2" bolts ties them together. Rock solid!
I pull a Scamp 5th wheel with my Frontier - 4 cyl / 5 speed, Voyager brake controller. Average 16.8 - 18.3 MPG depending on mountains or flat. Truck only squats down less than 2" when hooked up.
I am sure this can be adapted to other vehicle makes.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:48 AM   #2
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Name: David
Trailer: Escape Trailers
Massachusetts
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Scamp hitch failure

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Originally Posted by frog49 View Post
Hi Everyone
Here is my 5th wheel towing solution - I did not want the hitch that just attached to your bed floor and wheel wells.
Have there been instances of the standard Scamp 19 Hitch setup failing? We have pulled our Scamp 19 with a 2007 Frontier 25,000 miles or more using the hitch Scamp sold and installed in 2011. Are there signs we should look for that would indicate future problems?
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:33 PM   #3
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Name: John + Linda
Trailer: Scamp 19
Washington
Posts: 23
2012 Frontier Gooseneck

I never mentioned a Scamp Hitch, just that particular method of attaching a hitch to your truck bed. I did mine this way for several reasons.
With the removal of 4 pins I can remove/install the hitch and have full use of my truck bed - takes less then 2 minutes. Leaving just the bed rails.
As a retired mechanic, it made more sense to me that a hitch bolted to brackets bolted to the frame would be much stronger than a hitch attached to sheetmetal side walls and bed floor. The hitch as received was rated at 15,000 lbs, so this is definite overkill on my part.
If you are happy with your installation - that is what counts
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:57 PM   #4
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Trailer: 22' Airstream Formerly 16' Scamp
British Columbia
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David it looks good but when I was shopping for my Frontier I noticed the various models had different payload specs and if I am not mistaken the 4 cylinder only had a payload of about 950lbs? What does your Scamp 5th wheel weigh? Looking at the Trailer Weights in the Real World thread it looks like most are in the 600/700lbs range on the tongue... doesn't seem to leave you much room for passengers & fuel etc? Are you worried about that?
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:28 PM   #5
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Name: John + Linda
Trailer: Scamp 19
Washington
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2012 Frontier Gooseneck

Hi Carol
If you check with Nissan - the Frontier is rated at approx. 1450 lbs payload. This has nothing to do with the trailer weight. If you are getting a 600 - 700 tongue load, you are definitely loading your trailer wrong. My Scamp 5th wheel averages 250 - 300 lbs on the ball. Also our 5th wheel hitch is located over the rear axle, not like a tongue pull trailer at the rear bumper.
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:04 PM   #6
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frog49 View Post
Hi Carol
If you check with Nissan - the Frontier is rated at approx. 1450 lbs payload. This has nothing to do with the trailer weight. If you are getting a 600 - 700 tongue load, you are definitely loading your trailer wrong. My Scamp 5th wheel averages 250 - 300 lbs on the ball. Also our 5th wheel hitch is located over the rear axle, not like a tongue pull trailer at the rear bumper.
Are you absolutely sure of the tongue weight? Even Scamp lists it at approx 400 lbs and we've seen a lot higher on the Trailer Weights in the Real World
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frog49 View Post
Hi Carol
If you check with Nissan - the Frontier is rated at approx. 1450 lbs payload. This has nothing to do with the trailer weight. If you are getting a 600 - 700 tongue load, you are definitely loading your trailer wrong. My Scamp 5th wheel averages 250 - 300 lbs on the ball. Also our 5th wheel hitch is located over the rear axle, not like a tongue pull trailer at the rear bumper.
Actually the tongue weight of a trailer whether it be a pull trailer or a 5th wheel does indeed have a lot to do with the payload. One needs to include its weight into the total payload.

I am well aware that some models of the Frontier do have a higher payload which is why I carefully choose the model I did But while shopping for mine I noted the lower payload on the 4 cylinder S base model you indicated you owned which was for example on the 2014 model and a number of earlier years only about 950lbs. You can check your manual or call Nissan for the actual payload rating on yours.

If the tongue of my 16' weighed in at 600lbs your correct I would indeed be loading it wrong But my question was in regards to the tongue weight of your 5th wheel as I have been considering changing trailers and a 5th wheel is on the list of possibilities. And although I have one of the Frontiers with the higher payload the 5th wheel tongue weight regardless of which brand of fiberglass trailer I go with concerns me a bit. My thoughts on the actual tongue weight of Scamp 5th is based on the thread Real world Weights which Donna has linked to were most on the Scamp 5th wheels weighed in at 3 times the number you believe yours weighs. The 250lb tongue weight your 5th wheel weighs is the same weight as my lightly loaded Scamp 16' so it would be a real surprise to me if it was possible to get a 5th wheel down anywhere near that number. Which is why I asked.
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Old 06-29-2014, 10:08 AM   #8
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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Hmmmmm... In the same spirit that this thread might being about a nicely done cure for a problem no one may have, I gathered the following information that no one may one to know..... LOLOLOL
I looked in the 2012 Nissan Frontier manual:
and, at least there, they don't actually specify any vehicle load capacity and refer the owner to the weight certification label on the specific vehicle, this is from section 9:
.
VEHICLE LOAD CAPACITY
Before driving a loaded vehicle, confirm
that you do not exceed the Gross Vehicle
Weight Rating (GVWR) or the Gross Axle
Weight Rating (GAWR) for your vehicle.
Both the GVWR and GAWR are located
on the F.M.V.S.S./C.M.V.S.S. certification
label. See “Measurement of weights” later
in this section.


But that said, they do show substantial differences in towing and total weight capacities for the 4 cylinder vs. the V6 chassis with the same cab configuration. Also from Section 9.
.
Maximum trailer weight/maximum tongue weight.
4 cylinder: 3500/350 lbs.
V6: 6505/650 lbs.
Maximum Gross Combined Weight (Vehicle + vehicle loading + trailer
4 cylinder: 7940 lbs.
V6: 11135 lbs.
.
What all of this sez is that Nissan doesn't want to publish a maximum bed load figure and that they put it upon the owner to read the exact specifications for their vehicle on the certification label, get things weighed, and do the math to compute the bed carrying capacity.
.
Which leaves the following to ponder:
1. Everything added to the truck, peeps, fuel, and all sorts of "stuff", will reduce the available carrying capacity, it's a constantly variable number.
2. The published values seen elsewhere are apparently based on a fairly empty truck, with fuel and driver on board and nothing else.
3. The published significant differences in towing and tongue weights between the 4 cylinder and V6 versions suggests that there is also a substantial difference in the load carrying capacity figures shown on the weight certification labels.
4. Without the weight certification label information and the actual ready-to-tow weight of the truck, actual carrying capacity is only a W.A.G. and is most likely, incorrect.
.
FWIW: I did this exact same dance with GM trying to find the bed carrying capacity of my 2003 Sonoma many years ago.
But again, nice work on the hitch.....
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:11 PM   #9
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While doing my research on which Frontier would give me the highest pay load I also discovered there is a big difference in ratings between trim levels such as models S vs SV vs Pro X as well as the seating configuration - king cab vs crew cab. Regardless, as you mention the numbers for the S 4 cyl. no matter what trim level it had remained lower than the other models.

I also found that the dealers can tell you or you yourself can easily determine the actual number by reading the label on the truck as well as the owners manual.

In the case of the manual you have linked to if one reads through the towing sections Nissan is pretty clear on how to calculate your payload & whats should be included in calculating your trucks actual loaded weight - not a lot left to ponder. Pages 9-14 through to 9-16 includes examples of how to do the calculation with nice little pictures to help. Pages 9-23 through to 9-28 gives lots more information on towing and calculating your loaded weights, with pretty clear (at least to me) instructions with pictures as to how to determine loaded weights.
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:33 PM   #10
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IMHO: Things NOT to do:

Never just ask the dealer what your tow rating is. There is a 75% chance that it is a WAG based on a different vehicle. And another 75% chance that they will guess high, or both

Start out by looking in the owners manual for your vehicle. If you don't have one, many owners manuals are available on-line or contact the manufacturers customer service line & have your VIN ready, If they don't ask for the VIN, they may be guessing as well, ask them.....
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
IMHO: Things NOT to do:

Never just ask the dealer what your tow rating is. There is a 75% chance that it is a WAG based on a different vehicle. And another 75% chance that they will guess high, or both


.
Actually the dealer is able to print off all the factual info using the trucks VIN in only a matter of minutes - no WAG required.
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:11 PM   #12
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That's a ton better than a verbal answer, if it gives you the information you need

I have seen them, but what is printed out is often just the "Build Sheet" and may not have additional specifications such as towing limits etc.
But it will tell you if you have towing options factory installed.
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:51 PM   #13
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I E-Mailed Ram and asked for an as built printout for my Ram 1500 truck , They sent me a printout showing year ,model ,standard equipment ,optional factory installed equipment ,payload capacity and towing capacity based on the VIN#
The values I got from the dealer did NOT match the values I got from the manufacturer
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Old 06-29-2014, 02:14 PM   #14
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I have found the service manager rather than the salesmen is the man to ask as they have access to all the info that Steve indicated he got. It all on Nissan's central computer system. They can tell you what was on the truck when it left the factory and what its weight ratings are/where. In addition he was also able to tell me what options where added at the dealer itself after the truck arrived from the factory. He was also able to tell me what if any warranty work may have happened on the truck prior to purchase at other dealerships if any.
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