What do I need to tow a Casita with a Nissan Frontier? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-12-2015, 09:53 PM   #1
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Name: William
Trailer: Casita SD17
New Jersey
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What do I need to tow a Casita with a Nissan Frontier?

I have a 2014 V6 4x4 Nissan Frontier, that came with a tow attachment-receiver, and a wiring plug to the left. I plan to get a used/new 17ft Spirit Deluxe Casita trailer. I have no idea what I need.

I'm pretty sure I need a straight pipe with the ball-thing on it, and maybe a brake controller. I don't know if a Casita has brakes that the brake-controller would manipulate. I have read about a Prodigy P2 controller, and see a P3 version on Amazon.

Do I need anti-sway bars, weight-distributing hitch, or other add-ons?
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:36 PM   #2
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Welcome. I think you are probably fine with your truck as long as it is in good shape.

I had a 1996 Jeep Cherokee a couple years ago when we bought a used 2007 Casita Spirit Deluxe. The Jeep had the old inline 6 cylinder and I had to put on a proper hitch and Curt brand brake controller. We had OK power, but I wouldn't have trusted that Jeep on a trip through the mountains. It was just too old and had no reserve power.

We bought a new Jeep Grand Cherokee last year. I started out thinking I needed the V8, but ended up getting the six cylinder engine and have been totally satisfied.

I added a Prodigy P2 brake controller and just a 2" ball hitch. I don't have any issues towing and have no sway stuff added. The rig went halfway across the continent last year and rode very nicely.

You have to have a minimum class III hitch with a 2" ball and a brake controller. You also need wiring with the round trailer plug for lights, brakes and charging your trailer battery. The rest depends on your feelings about the ride down the road.
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:35 PM   #3
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California
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Originally Posted by whoot View Post
I have a 2014 V6 4x4 Nissan Frontier, that came with a tow attachment-receiver, and a wiring plug to the left. I plan to get a used/new 17ft Spirit Deluxe Casita trailer. I have no idea what I need.

I'm pretty sure I need a straight pipe with the ball-thing on it, and maybe a brake controller. I don't know if a Casita has brakes that the brake-controller would manipulate. I have read about a Prodigy P2 controller, and see a P3 version on Amazon.

Do I need anti-sway bars, weight-distributing hitch, or other add-ons?

Your truck is fine for an SD and will have plenty of power, even in the mountains. You won't need a WD hitch nor sway bar. Your truck is very close to mine and I think you have more horses than I do. I have the SD 17, long mountain grades have not been a problem. No WDH or sway bar and everything has been fine, even with 30+ mph cross winds. The 17' Casitas have plenty of weight on the ball. All 17's have brakes on them from the factory....and unless your towing with something less than a Hummer you need to add a controller to your tug, the P2 is probably your best bet. The P3 has things on it you will never need. BTW, the "straight pipe with a ball thingy" is typically called a stinger.
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:35 AM   #4
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Name: William
Trailer: Casita SD17
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Your truck is fine for an SD and will have plenty of power, even in the mountains. You won't need a WD hitch nor sway bar. Your truck is very close to mine and I think you have more horses than I do. I have the SD 17, long mountain grades have not been a problem. No WDH or sway bar and everything has been fine, even with 30+ mph cross winds. The 17' Casitas have plenty of weight on the ball. All 17's have brakes on them from the factory....and unless your towing with something less than a Hummer you need to add a controller to your tug, the P2 is probably your best bet. The P3 has things on it you will never need. BTW, the "straight pipe with a ball thingy" is typically called a stinger.
Wonderful news, thanks! I am ordering a P2, and I think I also need the "stinger". Is something like this adequate?

Amazon.com: CURT Manufacturing 45036 Class III 2" Loaded Ball Mount with 2" Ball: CURT: Automotive
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:53 AM   #5
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Before you buy the ball mount, you need to know the rise/fall of your hitch. Also what height Casita requires, the height of your receiver. Etrailer gives an explanation of their products and videos of how to, for your specific tow vehicle. Just Google etrailer they can explain it a lot better then I, Good Luck, Carl
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Old 04-13-2015, 04:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by whoot View Post
Wonderful news, thanks! I am ordering a P2, and I think I also need the "stinger". Is something like this adequate?

Amazon.com: CURT Manufacturing 45036 Class III 2" Loaded Ball Mount with 2" Ball: CURT: Automotive
Well, as far as the stinger overall it's right but.....that's not as far as it goes for a good tow.
As you've probable read in posts your trailer, loaded for travel, needs to be level or just a tad low at the hitch. That adjustment is made with the stingers drop or rise. I towed mine home with a 2" drop hitch reversed with the ball up high, was pretty low but worked. With both the TV and TT on a level surface you can get a measurement for the correct drop/rise you will need. I borrowed a 6" drop stinger from a friend for testing. I turned it 180* and put the ball up high and that worked out for me for a level tow. Have no idea what drop/rise you may need. BTW, you can get 2" balls with a longer base for a 1" gain through Etrailer.com, good folks there.
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Old 04-13-2015, 04:07 AM   #7
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Carl Pa you beat me to it . Glad you mentioned the videos Etrailer has as they are great. Makes it easier to see it than try to write about something.
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:18 AM   #8
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Smile Shops install hitches

"I have a 2014 V6 4x4 Nissan Frontier, that came with a tow attachment-receiver, and a wiring plug to the left. I plan to get a used/new 17ft Spirit Deluxe Casita trailer. I have no idea what I need.

I'm pretty sure I need a straight pipe with the ball-thing on it, and maybe a brake controller. I don't know if a Casita has brakes that the brake-controller would manipulate. I have read about a Prodigy P2 controller, and see a P3 version on Amazon.

Do I need anti-sway bars, weight-distributing hitch, or other add-ons?"


************************************

You need to know the size of your receiver square tube.

You need to know what type of wiring plug you need.

I take my cars here:

Torklift Central | Home Page

So it would help if you can find a reliable similar type shop.

You can buy anything you need at J C Whitney:

Hitches, Towing & Trailers - JCWhitney

On page 3 they have a good discussion of all aspects of towing.

I recommend keyed alike hitch locks.

As far as sway bars, weight distributing hitches (WDH) and the like*, I doubt you will need any of that. You will need a safety chain and a break-away switch.

*After you have it all set up, take it for a short drive in different wind conditions. That should tell you if you need any of these things.


Sway bars fight trailer sway, but molded FG trailers don't catch the wind like the big slab-sided jobs.


Weight Distributing Hitch would only be needed if your trailer causes the rear end of your tow vehicle (TV) to sag dangerously.


Don't forget shops and auto stores are in the business of selling these things and a newbie to them can be like raw meat to a tiger.


BTW: Welcome to the forum and good luck in your adventure. (Your Nissan dealer could be a good source for a reliable shop reccommendation.)
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
I have a 2014 V6 4x4 Nissan Frontier, that came with a tow attachment-receiver, and a wiring plug to the left. I plan to get a used/new 17ft Spirit Deluxe Casita trailer. I have no idea what I need.

I'm pretty sure I need a straight pipe with the ball-thing on it, and maybe a brake controller. I don't know if a Casita has brakes that the brake-controller would manipulate. I have read about a Prodigy P2 controller, and see a P3 version on Amazon.

Do I need anti-sway bars, weight-distributing hitch, or other add-ons?
i have a 2010 nissan frontier 2wd and have been towing a casita 16' for over 24k miles with no issues at all. the v6 has plenty of torque/power for my rig and i'm sure it will handle your 17'er. you may want to consider a wdh since the 17' has much more tongue weight than my 16'. people who use the wdh sing their praises. i would suggest that you use the anti sway bar no matter what. it's inexpensive and much better to have it and not need it than ... well, you know. the prodigy controller(p2) is a "plug & play" device, it's what i use and i've never had issues with it either. imho you're set to hit the road with a great trailer and tug.

p@

oh yeah...if you're getting a new casita, when you pick it up the great folks at the factory will provide the stinger and set it up so the trailer rides level.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:22 AM   #10
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I have a Frontier Pro X as well and its got all the power I need to pull my Scamp 16' which weighs loaded up (but no water in tanks) about 2600lbs.

If its the factory tow package on your truck its real easy to set up for pulling. Its a 2" receiver from the factory and Dave has given you good advise re the stringer/ball mount. You may find you end up owning a couple of different ones in order to get it just right. If I recall correctly I am currently using one with a 4" drop for my Scamp. Found the truck needs the trailer to have a little more weight on the tongue than my previous tow vehicle for the most stable tow, particularly in windy conditions - suspect it due to the truck being a bit lighter in the back end than previous tow vehicle. Its the most stable with at least 12% on the tongue .

You will also need a brake controller. I have used for a number of years the Tekonsha Prodigy P2 its one of the more popular controllers.

The factory tow package includes the plug in for the brake controller - it just under the steering wheel in the cab. When you purchase the brake controller you will need to also purchase the correct Plug & Play wiring adaptor for the Nissan Frontier - about $14 - if you buy your controller from E-trailer they will if you specify it include it with the package deal. Although any RV supply shop will be able to sell you the correct wiring adaptor for it. With the correct wiring adaptor its a simple plug it in and it will work.

Hardest part will be deciding where to mount the brake controller. I ended up mounting mine using heavy duty velcro - wedged between the upper radio/heat console and the lower centre console. I like it there as I can see it at all times and its within easy reach should I ever need to pull the lever in an emergency situation.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by patrick crawford View Post
you may want to consider a wdh since the 17' has much more tongue weight than my 16'. people who use the wdh sing their praises. i would suggest that you use the anti sway bar no matter what. it's inexpensive and much better to have it and not need it than ....
I have the Pro X which has a slightly beefed up suspension so have not found any need for a Weigh Distribution Hitch (WDH) but I have added a anti sway bar.

I would suggest that before adding the anti sway bar that you will want to work on getting your set up as stable as it can be - balancing out the trailers load and different drops on the stringer etc - so you are sure the anti sway bar is not whats keeping the trailer stable and its only for that one off emergency - only way to do that is to try towing it a few times without one.

I picked up this awesome Reese Sway-control mounting bracket for the ball so that the anti sway bar on the trailer can be easily moved over to any vehicle the trailer is pulled with without the need to weld a plate onto the stringer for the anti sway ball mount.
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Old 04-14-2015, 05:32 PM   #12
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To add a brake controller you need to go the dealer and buy a cable with a special plug. About $25 as I recall. It will plug into a socket under the steering column. It's taped up. Get them to show you where it is. Your controller will come with a cable as well. Connect each of the 4 wires together and you're done. I soldered mine but you could use wire nuts if need be. I mounted my controller under the dash near the door. (I'm braver than Carol, I mounted my holder with screws. ) You'll see the plug that goes into the controller in the picture. Enjoy your Frontier. It's a very nice tow vehicle. Raz
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:04 PM   #13
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Name: RogerDat
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Vehicles with tow package have a built in place to plug in the brake controller under the dash. eTrailer will probably know if your vehicle ever comes with that option and what plug you need.

Dealer can tell you if you have the towing brake controller option available. Some vehicles also have a pre-designated fuse circuit available or wired in for charging the camper battery while you drive. Again dealer will be able to tell you quickly if this is available and/or hooked up in yours.

Worst case you have to have someplace connect the individual wires and maybe run a wire back to the trailer hitch for the brake controller to brake connection and house battery charging connection.

The round plugs are designed with pins for these connections but will sometimes only have the 4 wires used by lighter trailers actually hooked up. My Ford Escape was that way, had hitch and plug but was not wired for charging or brakes.

Getting the ball at a good height really makes a difference in how the trailer tows. Borrowed a vehicle once that was a little high, was miserable trying to keep from swaying at 55 mph. Hitch was too high.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:24 PM   #14
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Vehicles with tow package have a built in place to plug in the brake controller under the dash. eTrailer will probably know if your vehicle ever comes with that option and what plug you need.

.
Yes the Frontier as mentioned previously is totally Plug and Play in regards to the controller - the connecter for the controller is already installed. I had no problem picking up the cable needed from the local RV shop that simple plugs directly into that connection. No need for wire nuts or soldering. E-trailer sells the cable that will plug into the factory installed connection for $14.
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