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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, little set up. I've got a 2003 Xterra XE 4WD Manual Transmission and I'm trying to do some towing lol. I'd like it to tow a truck, but the primary goal is to be able to tow a large uhaul towing trailer (as to free myself from the expensive trucks for rent).

I've seen a lot of information floating out there but I'm kinda confused.

1. I can get a class II hitch rated at 3500 or 5000 if evenly spread. But what the heck does that even really mean?

2. What happens if I go over the 3500lb mark on that moving trailer? Is that even remotely feasible for just a moving trailer?

3. What is the MAX towing capacity for my X?

4. How well does the X tow at all? Is it even practical to tow at or near the max capacity?

5. How well would the X tow with the rear sway bar removed?

Sorry to bombard everyone with these questions, but I can't seem to find everything laid out well at all. I've been nitpicking information all night and I don't think most of it is relevant to my X because almost all the information I've found has been for an automatic or different year model. Thanks in advance guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That seems so backwards. Normally you can tow MORE with a manual transmission. Why is it different for the Xterras? And I gather BadNewsMike isn't the only person to haul far above the 3500lb manual capacity.
 

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FWIW, the max trailer weight the Xterra is capable of towing, and how much the Xterra can safely tow are two different numbers. Also, tow capacity consists of two numbers; tounge weight, and trailer weight. The first deals primarily with load on the suspension, and the 2nd with load on the engine and drive train. Towing capacity is further defined by the design rating of the hitch and hitch ball mount / ball. How far you intend to tow, and over what sort of terrain, are also important considerations. A lot to consider for sure. On the plus side, uHaul will tell you on their website what size trailer they're willing to rent you based on your tow vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, but I've done the uHaul rentals before. Their system is not very accurate to be honest. But when I check it says I can do the 6x12. It's unloaded weight is 1920lbs and my hitch is rated for 3000lbs - 5000lbs. So I guess as long as 3 bedrooms isn't over 1000lbs I should be okay, lol.
 

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Yeah, but I've done the uHaul rentals before. Their system is not very accurate to be honest. But when I check it says I can do the 6x12. It's unloaded weight is 1920lbs and my hitch is rated for 3000lbs - 5000lbs. So I guess as long as 3 bedrooms isn't over 1000lbs I should be okay, lol.
The sources I've seen state max towing capacity is 3500 for the v6 with manual trans, but that seems like an awful lot of weight. My 01 with v6/auto feels woefully underpowered with no load.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
See and that's what kills me. Mine doesn't feel like it's lugging around gasping for air lol. It's not a fast car but it feels mighty torque-y. That's why the 3500lb limit for the manual transmission seems so low to me...
 

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i think any thing with trailer brakes over 3500 is not a good idea . In Texas DPS would be all over that, they have portable scales and weigh on the spot with expense tickets.
 

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i think any thing with trailer brakes over 3500 is not a good idea . In Texas DPS would be all over that, they have portable scales and weigh on the spot with expense tickets.
What's the law in Texas? I pulled my xterra loaded on a uhaul "auto transport" (not a good fit btw) with my v8 Tundra literally the entire way across Texas without issue (I10 border to border). I even had to stop at an immigration checkpoint just east of El Paso.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Why is it a bad idea to tow it if it has trailer brakes? Doesn't the trailer braking system make it safer?
 

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What's the law in Texas? I pulled my xterra loaded on a uhaul "auto transport" (not a good fit btw) with my v8 Tundra literally the entire way across Texas without issue (I10 border to border). I even had to stop at an immigration checkpoint just east of El Paso.
U-haul would not rent if you were over the limit. I cant remember what the limit was but you have to have a commercial drivers license and the trailer had have a inspection sticker on at some were around 4000 lb load.
 

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I just looked up Texas were i am from and the weight of the trail and load can not be + or - 5% more than the rating on the rear axle.
So my door sticker says rear axle is 2800 lb so plus 5% would be 560 lb or a total 3360 lb that a lot of weight to stop at 60 mph.You put 4 people in the truck that's another 700lb plus gear 200 lb full tank gas another 140 lb
 

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Discussion Starter #16
In regards to the raining issue. Isn't rain a problem anytime for breaking? I always adjust my braking habits in inclement weather.

And okay, maybe you guys can help me out then. About how much do you think a 1920lb 6x12 uhaul trailer fully loaded with your belongings to move would weigh?

I don't think it could even come close to the 3500lb capacity. I mean I guess I could get to that but I'd have to be trying pretty hard I think. But maybe I'm wrong, again. I have very little knowledge in this area.
 

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I'm with you. I think it would near impossible to get 1500 lbs of household items in a trailer of that size. As for trailer brakes, you most definitely want them, rain, sleet, snow, or shine!
 

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On the internet we dont know you, your skill or the condition of your 13 year old truck.... so everyone will tell you to stick to the number in the book.

But past that US has the LOWEST rating system of anywhere in the world. In Europe they would use a truck are size to hall 30+' travel trailers.



I towed the Xterra across NY IN the snow.... Ive towed across the country they have NEVER made me hit the scale in my non-commercial truck.
Now I daily a double Flatbed for work and have been forced to scales with that.

Ive rented trailer well out of class from uhaul... I dont always mention its stick and they usually assume the later.
the higher rate for the auto is because the Manual trans is weaker. also its lighter so your limited with how heavy the truck is.

know that towing increases wear on your truck, I updated my rear leafs, and shocks, I keep decent brand brakes on the truck, Ive upgraded the Alt to the Quest 120amp, and i have a newer OEM clutch.
but these where things to make the driving and towing nicer... I would tow in stock form.


The trailer brake is custom install i threw it on myself. was fairly easy just tapped into the brake switch then ran the wires back to the trailer harness, then i have the 4 pin to the round connector adapter for the other parts, jumped off my Subwoofer power for constant power to the trailer. I should do a write up took more time pulling trim panels to hide the wires more then anything else.

and I say try it. if your not comfortable don't do it. I towed wellllll over what i should
I towed my pop up with a Jetta. it was NOT safe. will probably never do that again.

 
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