Tow vehicle selection - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-24-2017, 02:18 PM   #1
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Tow vehicle selection

Hi all-I am a future buyer of Casita 17” and consider buying a small truck to tow Casita.

I am thinking of Nissan Frontier because of its affordability and relative reliability.

Since I am sensitive to price (like others), I am torn between Frontier S (2wd, v4, 3500lb) and Frontier SV (2wd, v6, 6000lb). Can I tow Casita 17” with Frontier S?

Can anybody help me select my TV?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 11-24-2017, 02:38 PM   #2
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A typically optioned and loaded Casita 17 averages about 3200# and carries 415# on the hitch (based on data in the "Trailer Weights in the Real World" thread in the General Chat section). I'd absolutely go for the higher-rated configuration.

Remember that tow ratings are based on two "average" people and no cargo. Most people with trucks carry at least a few things in the cargo bed.
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Old 11-24-2017, 02:50 PM   #3
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We own a 2013 17ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
Our Casita weighs between 3300 & 3400 lbs when loaded for travel ( Fresh water tank empty , a couple of gallons in black & gray tank)
Tongue weight is approx 430 lbs when ready for travel.
I am not a weight watcher or a careful packer so , when I go on a trip , I want to be able to take along what I want to take along.
Neither one of the named trucks appeal to me or fit my criteria.
Remember the trailer is not the only weight you need to be concerned with . Passengers , Cargo ,Pets , Options all have to be accounted for.
Don't worry someone will agree with your TV choices, someone always does regardless of the choice.
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Old 11-24-2017, 02:55 PM   #4
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If you're locked in to a choice between the two Frontiers, I would definitely go with the higher towing capacity model. No worrying about the trailer weight, just the GVWR and GCWR. But having checked the numbers, I think your fine on both accounts. With the 3500 lb towing capacity, there's not much margin.
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Old 11-24-2017, 02:59 PM   #5
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Thank Jon and Steve for your reply! It sounds that I need to have at least Frontier SV.

Steve—Can you further tell me what makes you uncomfortable with Frontier? Are you more fond of a larger sized SUV/truck?

We are a couple travelers, have no pets (possibly will have a small one), and have a simple lifestyle.

Thank you all!
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Old 11-24-2017, 03:15 PM   #6
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Thank you Bryan. I didn’t lock in Frontier yet. Will be open to any options.
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Old 11-24-2017, 03:19 PM   #7
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Thank Jon and Steve for your reply! It sounds that I need to have at least Frontier SV.

Steve—Can you further tell me what makes you uncomfortable with Frontier? Are you more fond of a larger sized SUV/truck?

We are a couple travelers, have no pets (possibly will have a small one), and have a simple lifestyle.

Thank you all!
A friend of ours owns a Frontier which we have used to haul a small cargo trailer containing firewood ( Approx 2/3 cord of oak)
I was not impressed with the Frontier's ride ,suspension, power and especially it's braking when loaded . I have towed the same trailer with the exact same load with a Ford F150 , a Chevy Silverado and a Ram 1500 without experiencing the same issues.
I was just uncomfortable driving the Frontier while towing what I consider to be a reasonable load ( 2500 to 3000 lbs) so I stayed off the highways and drove back county deserted roads. That works when going on a 5 or 6 mile trip but not so well if you plan on making a trip of a 1000 miles. Plus the Frontier lacked the leg room , interior space , options and comfortable seating we desired.
It's a young man's vehicle IMHO.



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Old 11-24-2017, 04:56 PM   #8
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It's a young man's vehicle IMHO.



.
Thanks Steve. .

I just bought my third Frontier. I'm not sure what model Steve drove but that's nothing like my truck. I have a Crewcab V6 4wd. The S vs SV ( I've had both) is just options. It's the V6 that makes the difference. Lots of power, very comfortable, very reliable. The Casita 17' towed by a V6 Frontier or a Tacoma (very similar) is a very common combination. Raz
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Old 11-24-2017, 05:21 PM   #9
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Thanks Steve. .

I just bought my third Frontier. I'm not sure what model Steve drove but that's nothing like my truck. I have a Crewcab V6 4wd. The S vs SV ( I've had both) is just options. It's the V6 that makes the difference. Lots of power, very comfortable, very reliable. The Casita 17' towed by a V6 Frontier or a Tacoma (very similar) is a very common combination. Raz
The friend of my son and I who owns the Frontier truck spent 6 nights with us this week ( Wisconsin Deer Hunting ) We drove my truck out and back everyday for hunting . The reason , he said it was too hard to get in and out of his Frontier with our hunting clothes on plus the road into our hunting land is muddy and he would probably get stuck.

Raz , I do not know which model or which engine his Frontier has , what I do know is that he's in his late 20's and single so for me he's a young man. He looks and acts like he would fit right in with the Tacoma crowd , hopefully some day he will grow up.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:22 PM   #10
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I had no idea there was a Tacoma Crowd. Thanks for the alert. I am 59 and out of touch....
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macro95 View Post
Hi all-I am a future buyer of Casita 17” and consider buying a small truck to tow Casita.

I am thinking of Nissan Frontier because of its affordability and relative reliability.

Since I am sensitive to price (like others), I am torn between Frontier S (2wd, v4, 3500lb) and Frontier SV (2wd, v6, 6000lb). Can I tow Casita 17” with Frontier S?

Can anybody help me select my TV?

Thank you in advance!
Hi: macro95... Here's a pic of our Nissan Frontier at work... and it really can work. Been towing Escape 5th wheel trailers for the last 100,000 miles. BTW it's a 2010SE. 4X4 V6 crew cab long bed.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-24-2017, 10:53 PM   #12
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Thank you Raz, Alf, and All! It seems there are pros and cons of Frontier as a TV although I am tilting toward the Frontier. My another question would be if 4wd outweighs 2wd when towing RV (e.g., Casita).
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Old 11-25-2017, 03:54 AM   #13
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Thank you Raz, Alf, and All! It seems there are pros and cons of Frontier as a TV although I am tilting toward the Frontier. My another question would be if 4wd outweighs 2wd when towing RV (e.g., Casita).
My truck is used primarily as a tow vehicle. I store it in the winter to avoid salt damage. The 4 wd gets occasional use. The low range is handy especially getting out of my rather steep gravel driveway. While a 2wd pickup might work for me, being in Vermont I'd never be able to sell in. Then there was that time we encountered snow heading into Grand Teton. In June.
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Old 11-25-2017, 07:56 AM   #14
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...another question would be if 4wd outweighs 2wd when towing RV (e.g., Casita).
Depends on when and where you plan to travel. 4WD is useful when pulling up a slippery surface- gravel, sand, wet grass, and if course, ice and snow. If you plan to camp in the backcountry often, it would be a good idea. If you live in the snow belt, it might be necessary just to get out of town, though as a rule, towing during a snow event is not my idea of a good idea.

Downsides are 4WD adds cost, maintenance, and weight (reducing available payload and towing capacity). I don't see it as a "must-have," but it could be a "nice-to-have" for the occasional slippery situation. As Raz says, if most people in your area have 4WD, there is resale to consider.

Have you driven a Frontier? Others have mentioned comfort as an important attribute of a tow vehicle. I'll second that: you spend a lot of time in the vehicle when traveling. Since comfort is so subjective, you'll have to evaluate that for yourself.
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:06 AM   #15
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Thank you Jon and Raz!!!
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Old 11-25-2017, 10:54 AM   #16
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My another question would be if 4wd outweighs 2wd when towing RV (e.g., Casita).
I'd say 4WD is a necessity for me. But I like to venture off the super slab and into the forest or desert. If you only want to drive the highway and only camp at a KOA, then it's probably not too important.

You can get stuck just about anywhere and use of 4wd for a few seconds can make a big difference. Low range can also allow you to maneuver in a steep place where you might not be able to otherwise. Like a friends driveway or a grass covered hill. I've gotten stuck in a Starbucks parking lot and needed it just to move 50'!

But I draw the line on buying anything just so I can re-sell it later. Come on. Buy your truck to match your needs, not the needs of an imaginary person you'll never meet years from now. Besides, if it works for you, it will work for someone else too. I have never agreed with buying something based on the idea I can re-sell it later. Makes me wonder...............how many things are being bought right now, by complete strangers, that will fit my needs, years from now. Who are those generous souls that are looking out for my future by buying things and storing them for me?
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:15 AM   #17
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Tow vehicle selection

I have a Frontier SV, 4.0L V-6, Crew Cab. The truck has enough power to get up and go on the interstate as well as the city streets. I have towed my Scamp 16-ft, FB/SD more than 55,000 miles - up hill, down hill, flat land, in the woods, and crossed a couple of creeks with no problem. The truck is sound, well constructed and a work horse.

The interior is some what dated in that Nissan has not up-dated the gauges etc.
Color is simple gray or brown and I think black. Seats are ok but limited knee room in the back seat.

Get the factory installed tow package NOT THE DEALER installed package. Factory package include a little bigger oil cooler, better shocks etc.
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Old 11-25-2017, 11:27 AM   #18
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We had a Toyota Tacoma and mechanically it was great; however, the seats were very uncomfortable for us. I am 5’8” (female) and the lack of thigh support on the seat caused extreme back pain for me. It’s not very pleasant to ride 2,500 miles with your right leg on the dash. Fortunately I wasn’t the driver 🤪.
So I encourage you to give a lot of consideration to the comfort factor. We bought our truck new with the intent of keeping it several years, but ended up trading it in about 18 months. Cute little truck but didn’t work out for us.
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:32 PM   #19
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An acquaintance had a Frontier, 6 cly, pulled a 17' Casita here in TN. He decided to get a full size truck, not sure what he has now.

I have a 17' Casita and pull with a 2011 Toyo Tundra, 5.7l, 4x4 with tow package. I have a P3 brake controller, which is set up correctly. I have a camper shell and prob 700 lbs of stuff in the back. We do back country camping, mountain driving, both out west and east.

I thought when I bought the truck that if I put it in low gear it would hold the trailer down to 3k rpm, or say 30 mph when going down steep, paved mountain roads (not even considering dirt roads). It does not do that. I have to use my brakes. I don't like that at all.

I also follow the Airstream forum. There is a fellow on there that does not believe in overkill, meaning just enough is the correct approach.

I prefer a LARGE margin of safety. My next vehicle will be a 3/4 or one ton, maybe even a diesel.

On the other hand I have seen Casita's and small Airstreams being pulled by cars. Their owners are young, with good hearts, and .... have white hair...just sayin....
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:36 PM   #20
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Very good advice, Raspy, Gattopuin64, and Kentucky! Well said. What is holding now from Frontier is its safety rating, “marginal,” comparing to Tacoma, “good.”
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