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dwbark

Towing a Legacy II with Nissan Frontier

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I'm going through the motions of considering a Legacy Elite II.

I am currently camping in an Airtream 16 Sport. I tow it with a Nissan Frontier 2010, V6 Automatic. It does fine with that trailer.

 

But, as I look at specs, I suspect that I am under rated for the bigger Oliver. My Nissans curb weigh is 4480 lb., GVWR is 5815lb, max tongue weight is 610 lb.

 

I would appreciate any observations - am I in the ballpark, lost, or need a new truck?

 

Dave

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Dave, I'm planning on towing with a Tacoma. There are a couple of owners out there doing it now, maybe they can offer some thoughts. I will post my towing experience after we pick in May and go on a 2 week trek back home. Mike


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Good info Buzzy. To that it should also be pointed out that tongue and tow weights are published depending upon whether or not one uses a weight distribution hitch. The tow/tongue specs are cut in half ± a few % points if not using a WDH. I brought this up on another thread and also the FGRV forum a couple of years ago that created a bit of consternation to at the time.

 

This info can usually be found stamped on the underside of your factory installed hitch where they provide specs for both situations. So for instance on my F150 it has a tongue weight of 1000lbs, but only 500 if NOT using a WDH, while the towing is just shy of 10,000 lbs but cut to 5000 if not using a WDH. IOW's I'm at my limit ± a few lbs on tongue and total towing weight. Personally I wouldn't want any less than what I have for a TV for the Elite II.

 

With a WDH I could theoretically pull some 10,000 lbs and be at my limit, but with no reservations this is not something I would want to do other than hauling something a short distance across town. A long camping trip across country, no way.

 

Hope this helps.

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I too want some headroom; pushing up against limits is nowhere to operate on a daily basis.

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We decided to purchase a new Legacy Elite II later this year.

 

We currently tow a 2000lb LivinLite CampLite 11 TT with a 2013 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab 4.0L 262HP with 6300lb max tow capacity and 630lb max tongue weight. The Frontier handles the CL11 easily. We camp all over the nation and towed the CL11 on steep grades out west to almost 10,000', and happy we had the Frontier to tow the lightweight camper on steep grades. It really surprised us how the Frontier had to work on steep grades. We have not towed to the highest elevations in western US, yet.

 

We currently own a 1st generation 2003 Toyota Tacoma with 2.4L 142HP 4 cylinder and manual tranny. We like the durability of our Tacoma. After our positive experience with the Tacoma, we're considering a Toyota Tundra with 5.7L gas engine, 10100lb tow capacity, 381HP to tow the Oliver Legacy Elite II with out west.


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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Bill,

 

The Toyota Tundra 5.7L V-8 should be able to tow the Oliver filled with gold bullion! My tow vehicle is a 2015 VW Touareg TDI (diesel). 7700 GVWR and a maximum of 660 lb. tongue weight. I weighed my Olliver Elite II on a Iowa Department of Transportation scale and it tipped the scales at 5,100 lbs. It's loaded with options and I had the galley fully supplied and gear and clothing for 1 person. The three tanks were all below 20%. My tow vehicle tipped the scales at 6,000 lbs--it was carrying 1,000 lbs. in gear and me.

 

The Touareg diesel has 225 hp and 406 lbs-ft of torque. I towed the Olliver from the factory into Mississippi and then north to Iowa--about 1,000 miles. The Oliver tows really well--no sway or issues with the standard bulldog hitch. The high torque allowed me to get to 55-60 mph pretty quickly. I haven't been to the mountains yet, but I'm pretty confident that I won't have problems with mountain passes.

 

Don


Don

 

2020 Conqueror UEV 490 Extreme Platinum

 

 

2019 Ram Rebel

 

 

States I visited with my Ollie (Sold October, 2019)

 

 

States Visited Map

 

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Thanks, Don!

 

Looked up the 2015 VW Touareg TDI online, and it looks like strong TV!!!!!!

 

All I need now is some Gold Bullion? ;)


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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The Fronty with 4.0L has 261HP and torque @ 281 lb-ft.

 

The Tundra 5.7L has 381HP and 401 lb-ft of torque.

 

The Touareg has 406 lbs-ft of torque, very impressive! My guess is the Touareg diesel is running closer to max torque RPM (probably lower RPM) at tow cruise compared to the Tundra gas 5.7L at tow cruise. Just a guess.


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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As noted on another forum, "Trailer Life" April edition featured a Toyota Tacoma towing an Elite II. Toyota lists specs slightly more optimistic than my Nissan, but the comparison is close. Both are pushing the limits to the edge.

 

As a side note, I started looking into the F150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost engine - very capable. Then, I started measuring my garage and found that that truck, would have to be shoe-horned in. LAME.

 

I am now considering the Ford Expedition - featuring that capable 3.5, 9000 lb. towing capacity, and a lockable gear stash. At a svelte 206 inches, my days of hauling landscaping rocks and mulch might be over.

 

Any observations on the Expedition?

 

Dave

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All good features, for sure - some of those are standard on the Expeditions. The 3.5 Ecoboost; it appears to be the current "gold standard," doesn't it?

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Learned more about towing the 2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II with our 2013 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab with 4.0L and automatic transmission.

 

Purchased the Ollie in MO earlier this month and towed it home over 600 miles with the Frontier. We got 14.5MPG at 60MPH on I40 through TN & NC mountains. At 60MPH the Frontier indicates 2150RPM with overdrive off.  Found a 3" lift ball mount is needed to keep the Ollie level, on our stock 2WD Frontier. The 3" lift ball mount measures 21" from the ground to top of ball before connecting to the Ollie. Originally ordered a set of Firestone rear differential air bags, but they were back ordered, so placed an order for Timbren rear differential rubber suspension enhancement. Did have some bounce on rougher roads, Timbrens should reduce or get rid of bounce, will see.

 

http://www.etrailer.com/Vehicle-Suspension/Nissan/Frontier/2013/TTORTUN4L.html?vehicleid=2013306607

 

Had one car to pull out in front of us during the trip home and the rig performed an emergency stop nicely. Really like the brakes on the Ollie and how stable it is while towing on the interstate passing or being passed by tractor trailers. Did not use WDH or sway bar, and probably will not use them in the future with this rig.

 

Weighed the Oliver & Nissan Frontier at the local county landfill, have not been on a CAT scale, yet. Included some of the Frontier capacities with Class IV hitch & ball mount:

 

2013 Nissan Frontier Crew Cab 4.oL

 

GVWR  5730 pounds

 

GCWR  11,135 pounds

 

Maximum tow capacity  6300 pounds WDH hitch recommended over 5000 pounds

 

Maximum Tongue Weight  630 pounds

 

Scale Results:

 

Frontier ready to camp with two occupants  4860 pounds

 

Our Legacy Elite II ready to camp with empty tanks including tongue weight     4940  pounds

 

Frontier & Ollie Rig  9800 pounds

 

Our Legacy Elite II Tongue Weight ready to camp with empty tanks  420 pounds

 

Our Legacy Elite II tandem axle weights ready to camp   4520 pounds

 

Frontier ready to camp with two occupants and 420 pounds of tongue weight added  5280 pounds

 

Frontier with 3" lift ball mount and no rear suspension modifications added yet:

 

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Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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Installed Timbren rear suspension modification this afternoon on the Fronty. Will probably be towing the Ollie later this month or early next month to check out the ride.

 

Nissan rear differential Bumper blocks:

 

Timbren during installation on rear differential:

 

Unloaded hitch with Timbrens:

 

Loaded hitch with Elite II and Timbrens:


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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I would appreciate hearing about your experiences, Mike. Thank you.

Dave, picked up last week.  Towed from TN up to KY over to MO (Ozarks) down through AR, over to TX and down to San Antonio.  1000+ miles.  80% highway/secondary roads, 20% interstate.  While on the interstates I kept it at about 65mph, other roads less.  MPG was 12/13 per towing tank.

 

My Tacoma is supercharged (306hp and 320ftlbs).  It had plenty of acceleration - up hills and on interstate entrance ramps. I wasn't worried about that.  My concern was stability and braking.  We drove in heavy rain one day and in very high winds one day.  The trailer never exhibited any bad behavior.  Semi's passing on the interstate did not cause any white knuckle moments.  I had one instance where I had to brake hard and my truck ABS kicked in but we came to a quick stop and apparently the brake controller and trailer brakes did what they were supposed to do.

 

My conclusion is that the Tacoma is an adequate tow vehicle.  Mine is almost 5 years old and has 95K miles.  I'll be keeping it a while longer.  When I replace it I will go with an eco boost F150 or big V8 Tundra.  But that won't be for another year or two.  I like being able to park it in the garage.  A bigger truck will be in the driveway.

 

Hope this helps.  Mike

 

 


Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpg

 

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Took the Ollie/Fronty rig out for a test ride today. Not using WDH or Sway bar. The Ollie has great towing manners. Overall rig weighs in at 9800 pounds ready to camp with empty water tanks. This Ollie weighs in around 4950 pounds ready to camp. Tongue weight around 420lbs.

 

Timbren suspension modification makes overall rig feel more stable and reduced bounce on rough roads. Fronty ride is firmer with Timbrens installed.  Happy with this rig for now, may eventually buy a F-150 for trips out west, current rig will serve us fine for trips east of the Mississippi River.

 

Try to average 60MPH towing with overdrive off in 4th gear (auto tranny), unless in the mountains.  Worst fuel economy in mountains so far at 14MPG no faster than 60MPH and slowing to 40MPH on grades.  Best fuel economy so far 15.8MPG in SC @ 60MPH in the flat lands on the interstate. Average fuel economy so far at 14.5MPG at 60MPH.

 

Height with 3" lift forged ball mount to top of ball is about 21". With Elite II connected, height to top of ball measures  19  3/4" with about 1  1/4" of sag with the Timbrens installed.

 

 

 

Timbrens installed:


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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Bill, I really like the look with the hitch set at 21″ top-of-ball. Nice and level. Sweet looking rig! Buzzy

 

Buzzy, Thanks!

 

We were going to buy a larger TV before buying a new Ollie at the end of the year. A 2015 Ollie came up for sale used, so we decided to try towing the Ollie home from MO with the Frontier. The Fronty surprised us how nicely it handled the Ollie on the trip home. We give plenty of credit to the Ollie's fine towing manners, too. We decided to use the Frontier as a TV for the Ollie in the eastern US this year.


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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So, I am gathering that towing "out west" with the Frontier is putting it too far towards its limits. Not enough power for steep or long grades? That's where I live...

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Initially I did not think the Frontier would be adequate towing the Elite II in the eastern US, until I tried it.

 

Towed the Elite II 470 miles yesterday in the NC & TN mountains without any issues. Something else surprised me, found towing at 62 to 63MPH, overdrive off, (2200RPM) and allowing to slow to 55MPH on slight grades and speed going up to 65MPH down hill averaged 15MPG yesterday. Have towed on 6% & 7% grades in 3rd gear, 2500RPM @ about 40MPH so far.   Going down 8% grades try not to go over 35 to 40MPH using a combination rig & engine braking.

 

I'm reluctant to say I would try towing out west using the Frontier for now.

 

 


Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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Finished a 940 mile round trip yesterday with another 470 mile towing day through the TN/NC mountains on I40.

 

Experimented with different speeds checking fuel economy. Got 250 miles out of one tank using 15.7 gallons out of a 21.1 gallon tank. Speeds around 55 to 60MPH yielding 15.9MPG on that tank.  Tested one tank at about 60 to 65MPH and it yielded 14.6MPG. On the previous leg of the trip the fuel economy was 15.1MPG @ about 62 to 63MPH. Overall round trip fuel economy was 15.1MPG.

 

The Timbren rear suspension enhancements reduced rear end sag and bounce. Downside of this modification while on rough roads, ride is stiff while towing.

 

We have towed the Ollie with the Fronty about 2000 miles so far.

  • Thanks 2

Bill

LE2 Tundra

 

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