Nissan Frontier quad cab V6 4x4 short bed and Scamp 19 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-19-2017, 11:06 AM   #1
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Nissan Frontier quad cab V6 4x4 short bed and Scamp 19

From searching and reading here I've learned that many people use a Nissan Frontier short bed quad cab pick up to tow a Scamp 19. I'm wondering what you give up regarding the hitch installation if you have to have the short bed. I'm in the possible position of buying a new car and the Nissan Frontier I described could work for me. I'm a backpacker and hike in remote place that requires fording streams - got to have the 4x4. I also need the 4 real seats for family use. I just don't like the long bed. I could live with it but I'm probably buying used and the long beds aren't as plentiful - the other consideration.

It seems that the standard scamp 19 hitch would have to be mounted aft of the axle which has to be less than ideal for towing. So two questions:

1) Does the hitch behind the axle location cause any towing and/or stability problems?

2) Does the short bed result in a clearance problem - for example not able to maneuver the truck fully without the scamp hitting the back of the cab.
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:09 PM   #2
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Will anybody with a frontier and scamp 19 help me out? I figured that these 2 questions I posted are pretty easy questions for someone running that combination. There are plenty of threads here indicating that it can be done but I found nothing about my two questions. If you own neither the truck or the camper its a little tough to get started.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:26 AM   #3
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My only advice, other than patience (probably 90% of the members on this site don't visit anywhere near every day), would be to send a private message to one of the people in the threads you found who indicated it was a doable setup.

Is the 5th wheel really important to you? Solves a lot of issues if you can just pull a regular trailer, but I know people have their reasons for what they want/need and that's cool. There are a lot of benefits to a 5th wheel. If my truck's payload limit allowed it...I still wouldn't, but would be very tempted

I prefer to have a topper on my truck and store stuff in there, to keep it out of my way. But there are some really tempting things about a 5th wheel.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:34 AM   #4
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I would suggest you read the Nissan truck towing guide before deciding on a trailer . The guide list several towing restrictions for the Nissan Frontier which do not apply to the Nissan Titan and they may help shape your decision.
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Old 05-20-2017, 03:26 PM   #5
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My only advice, other than patience (probably 90% of the members on this site don't visit anywhere near every day), would be to send a private message to one of the people in the threads you found who indicated it was a doable setup.

Is the 5th wheel really important to you? Solves a lot of issues if you can just pull a regular trailer, but I know people have their reasons for what they want/need and that's cool. There are a lot of benefits to a 5th wheel. If my truck's payload limit allowed it...I still wouldn't, but would be very tempted

I prefer to have a topper on my truck and store stuff in there, to keep it out of my way. But there are some really tempting things about a 5th wheel.
My wife has to have a queen bed and a place for her single friend to sleep. This really restricts what you can get in a camper. I'm not stuck on a 5th wheel but it seems like the only thing that would meet our needs.
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Old 05-20-2017, 03:29 PM   #6
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I would suggest you read the Nissan truck towing guide before deciding on a trailer . The guide list several towing restrictions for the Nissan Frontier which do not apply to the Nissan Titan and they may help shape your decision.
I drive 40 miles to work and only can afford one vehicle. A full sized trick has poor gas mileage as a daily driver.
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Old 05-20-2017, 04:37 PM   #7
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I drive 40 miles to work and only can afford one vehicle. A full sized trick has poor gas mileage as a daily driver.
Then ignore the Nissan towing guide . My post was based on your original post and I was unaware of other personnal limiting factors .
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Old 05-20-2017, 04:50 PM   #8
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We have 2 crew cabs, a 2007 Silverado and a 2012 Nisan Frontier and they get almost identical fuel mileage. The Frontier is a bit better but not by much. Chevy is a 5.3 V8 and the Frontier is a V6. Both are automatics.
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:07 PM   #9
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Yeah it's definitely worth looking into the actual fuel mileage of different vehicles. I've never been impressed with the efficiency of these little Japanese trucks. You'd figure a small truck like my Tacoma (the older, smaller style) would get pretty good mileage.

I'm not sure I've ever broken the 20mpg mark. I pretty much always come in at 19mpg, whether I drive 65 or 75. 19mpg is really just not good for a little truck like mine. Seems like they could do better. Otherwise I've always owned and loved Toyotas. Towing I get 14mpg.

I hear you on the beds. It's not an issue for me, luckily, but it's hard to find a good size bed in the fiberglass trailers.
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:11 PM   #10
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We have 2 crew cabs, a 2007 Silverado and a 2012 Nisan Frontier and they get almost identical fuel mileage. The Frontier is a bit better but not by much. Chevy is a 5.3 V8 and the Frontier is a V6. Both are automatics.
We went on a 500 mile trip with our Ram 1500 V8 last week . We averaged 21.8 MPG (Non Towing) . Last trip towing our trailer averaged 15.6 MPG ( We went South so half the trip was down hill)
My old V6 truck got worse mileage ( towing or non towing) than my present V8.
For me towing ability & safety ranks far higher on the list of desireable attributes in a tow vehicle than fuel mileage but to be fair , we have a small commuter vehicle and a designated tow vehicle.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:22 PM   #11
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Steve; you're getting better mileage than I am with our 2012 Ram with the Hemi engine. Towing, in tow/haul mode I only get around 12 mpg, and in a recent 2200 mile trip without trailer about 18. Maybe mine is geared different.
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:46 PM   #12
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Steve; you're getting better mileage than I am with our 2012 Ram with the Hemi engine. Towing, in tow/haul mode I only get around 12 mpg, and in a recent 2200 mile trip without trailer about 18. Maybe mine is geared different.
That' s the calculated MPG from my truck's EVIC.
In the past when I manually calculated my mileage and comparing it to the mileage shown on the computer there was a variance of about .02 MPG . The fuel mileage on my 2014 Ram 1500 Hemi is better than my 2011 Ram 1500 Hemi and hopefully my 2017 Ram 1500 Hemi will get better mileage than my 2014.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:38 AM   #13
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You gotta make your own call on this sort of stuff, just do it with your eyes open (i.e., not fooling yourself). Now I'll admit I like to make up statistics, but based on some thought... So here goes: I'll say that close to 50% or more of us, if we went strictly on what makes the most rational sense for our specific needs, would be driving different tow vehicles. And quite possibly towing different trailers.

So the best you can do...is look around, ask around, and believe it or not, check the owners manual and specifications of the different vehicles. They'll tell you quite a bit about what the capabilities are and what you should or shouldn't be towing. There was a longish thread here from a guy wanting to tow an Escape 5th wheel with a newer Tacoma. You could get away with it, but...according to the Tacoma manual, you just can't safely tow a 5th wheel with a Tacoma. The heavier tongue weight puts you over the payload limit, unless you want to always travel with no passengers, never more than a half tank of gas, and no gear in the truck at all.

I've always been a Toyota guy and a smaller truck guy, but I've driven a lot of full size trucks for work, and they've grown on me. When I was in the market, I looked really closely at full size domestics. It turned out that a Tacoma came up that I just couldn't pass up (was bought brand new by a friend of mine back in 98, I have a lot of history with it and know it's a great truck with great maintenance), but honestly, a full size would fit my towing needs better.

There's preconceived notions, like "bigger trucks get worse mileage", and connected to that is image. In my mind and many other like-minded people's minds, smaller trucks are more responsible environmentally, more socially acceptable etc. On the surface, my little Tacoma looks like the more responsible truck. In truth, I would be getting better gas mileage with certain full size trucks.

We're all free people and can make the decisions we want to make. If you want a Nissan Frontier, that's totally cool. Even if it doesn't make the best sense when you add up the numbers compared to a larger truck. But do it with all the facts, not with outdated info or self-deception as to what really makes the most sense. We all do it, myself included, but I try my best to be honest with myself. Sometimes I just have to decide that I'm ok with making decisions that don't make rational sense. I just want what I want.

Anyway...
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:43 AM   #14
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Thanks for the comments, but I'm looking for comments about towing a scamp 19 with a Frontier short bed and issues the short bed might cause for towing and installing the hitch.

I can look up mileage figures easily - the EPA publishes a document annually with the numbers for every vehicle on the road. The figures are only estimates and often are a few mpg high. I realize that the Frontiers mileage isn't great.

There are many reasons I don't want a full sized truck - mileage is only one of them. My main issue with the full sized truck is that the new ones are huge and I don't want huge. I'm sure there are full sized trucks that have better mpg than the frontier. And there are probably other mid sized trucks with better mpg than the frontier. I want great reliability and usually that means a asian make. That leaves toyota and nissan. The new tacoma is huge-ish and is expensive. Used toyotas are also expensive.

The frontier meets all my needs and a used one can be found with low miles within my budget.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:44 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by John_M_1 View Post
I drive 40 miles to work and only can afford one vehicle. A full sized trick has poor gas mileage as a daily driver.
Worst gas mileage vehicle I ever had was a Nissan Pathfinder. Small gutless V6. My full sized F150 with a 5.4 V8 gets 50% better mileage. And the new F150 eco-boost trucks do even better with great tow ratings.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:59 AM   #16
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Worst gas mileage vehicle I ever had was a Nissan Pathfinder. Small gutless V6. My full sized F150 with a 5.4 V8 gets 50% better mileage. And the new F150 eco-boost trucks do even better with great tow ratings.
Logic and facts often don't prevail in these types of discussions
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:01 AM   #17
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Sometimes I just have to decide that I'm ok with making decisions that don't make rational sense. I just want what I want.

Anyway...
Thanks. People took my thread way off base when I mentioned mpg.

I'm doing a screening process of picking a vehicle I can use in my other hobbies, drive to work and pull the scamp 19. The truck will not be primarily a tow vehicle, it will be ALSO a tow vehicle. The Nissan Frontier meets all of my criteria. I know the frontier can pull a scamp 19 because people here do it. I need a new commuter car, just bought my wife a new car and can't afford a new commuter AND a tow vehicle.

The issue and the question I originally posted deals with the fact that you can't necessarily install the hitch in an ideal way in the short bed. It looks like the ball ends up a few inches aft of the axle and you still may not have it far enough back to get proper clearance between the back of the cab and the front of the trailer.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:28 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by John_M_1 View Post
Thanks. People took my thread way off base when I mentioned mpg.

I'm doing a screening process of picking a vehicle I can use in my other hobbies, drive to work and pull the scamp 19. The truck will not be primarily a tow vehicle, it will be ALSO a tow vehicle. The Nissan Frontier meets all of my criteria. I know the frontier can pull a scamp 19 because people here do it. I need a new commuter car, just bought my wife a new car and can't afford a new commuter AND a tow vehicle.

The issue and the question I originally posted deals with the fact that you can't necessarily install the hitch in an ideal way in the short bed. It looks like the ball ends up a few inches aft of the axle and you still may not have it far enough back to get proper clearance between the back of the cab and the front of the trailer.
Hi: John_M_1... Pulling an Escape 5.0 then a 5.0TA was the reason I bought a long bed Nissan Fronty. I bought a year end truck and to get colour specific it had to be a dealer locate. You're right about long beds being rare!!!
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Old 05-21-2017, 12:51 PM   #19
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Might give Scamp a call as they set these trucks up to pull their trailers. They probebly have more experience with pit falls more than everyone else. But remember they dont sell many of these 19 footers in compairison to the number of truck vairations.
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Old 05-21-2017, 03:08 PM   #20
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My 2013 (before the last change) Tacoma V6, four door and the Scamp 19D is what I have and I am very happy with it. They also say not to tow a 5th wheel, but I am sure they never heard of a 5th wheel weighing less than 3000 lbs. My tongue weight is about 600 lbs, give or take. That leaves plenty of capacity for the two of us and a lot of junk in the bed and on the back seat.

Mounting the ball a couple of inches behind or ahead of the axle will make little difference. When it is mounted 3 feet behind, then you have the questions about WDH, sway control, etc.

The Tacoma can make a U-turn in three lanes easily, and with full steering, the cab is still about a foot from the Scamp loft. You better watch it if you are backing up, jack-knifing is a different story. In a rough, uneven campground, you also need to pay more attention.

My Reese ball mount worked out so that the front rail uses the bed mounting bolts, the rear one is bolted to the bed, but I have a steel bracket connecting to the middle pair of bed mounting bolts. The Tacoma has the composite bed, that I think is as tough as the thin steel they might use, or better, and it will never get weakened by rust.

The Scamp people will definitely tell you it is no problem to tow with the Frontier, and it is true, but ask how they would mount the hitch, etc.

So, not the answer you are looking for, but encouragement.
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