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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NOTE: This is posted in duplicate from the titanXD forums. Leaving it here for consumption as well.
Good afternoon all,
I ended up keeping my Carvana-found 2019 XD Cummins. This weekend I went to pickup my new-to-me fifth-wheel Toy Hauler. This is my experience.

The Rig
2019 Titan XD PR w/ Cummins 5.0L
2012 K-Z Sportsman Sportster 315TH w/ 6K Honda Genset.
Passengers: 2 (370 lbs)
Truck cargo: ~100lbs (tools)
Trailer cargo: ~500lbs? (Reese Goosebox 20K, generator, tools, misc equipment)
Total weight: 17220

Fuel Mileage
I traveled from South Bend, IN to St. Joseph, MN between Friday and Saturday. The trip was about 600 miles of highway with some intermediate city travel in Chicago to pickup a buddy. I averaged 17.8 mpg floating between 75-85mph with an average cost of $5.19/g for diesel. Total trip cost was $242.97.
We started the return trip Saturday evening and got to the East side of Minneapolis before shutting down for the night. The first leg was relatively flat and I would say my driving was 'overly cautious' as I got used to the rig. I got 11.1 mpg on the first leg of 134 miles. The second leg included some slow-rolling hills with long (but not steep) inclines on I-90. I averaged 9.45 mpg on that section of 185 miles. The last section from Chicago home was also relatively flat and saw slower (45-55 mph) traffic around Chicago which improved fuel mileage. I averaged 11.86 mpg on that section of 101 miles. Aside from the slowdowns around Chicago, I was targeting 70-75 mph with cruise control and never exceeded 80 mph. Tow mode was on for the duration of the return trip. A note about cruise control: I know that it brings down fuel mileage. I don't care, thank you. On the return trip I averaged 12.81 mpg at $5.18/gal for a return cost of $397.73. Total fuel cost for the trip was about $640 plus food. Note: My normal day-to-day fuel economy is 14.5-16 mpg with a 50/50 mix of state+rural roads and suburbs.

Towing Experience
While in cruise I found the shifting strategy the computer used to 'float' happily between higher RPMs or higher boost. There were a few times that it shifted at times that I wouldn't expect, and once where it downshifted twice unnecessarily, but overall I was very happy with the transmission. I don't have external monitors setup yet for real numbers but the transmission temp never crossed ~40% of it's bar graph in the dash. Acceleration was thoughtless. I was being pretty gentle on the pedal so as to not break the bank in fuel costs but the Titan had WAY more get-up than I dared play with given diesel prices. Braking was as expected...planning was necessary. One near miss with an over-zealous lane changer would have resulted in brake lockup and/or an accident had they not retreated when I laid on the horn. At any speed while under normal motion I couldn't detect the trailer behind me. The truck wasn't sluggish to change lanes, the trailer didn't have any sway with the wind, I felt nothing when passing (or being passed by) other large trucks and semis. I didn't feel any sway, pull, or push in corners such as on/off-ramps. It was honestly like the thing wasn't even back there unless I was accelerating or braking.

When we arrived in MN we set to work immediately removing the factory fifth-wheel pinbox and installing a Reese Goosebox 20K. I know the 20K is overkill, but eTrailer wasn't going to get me the 16K I ordered in time and the 20K is all I could find used in my area in time for the weekend trip. It took three guys about 90 minutes to complete the swap. We used hand tools almost exclusively but had a small Hazard-Frought Earthquake XT air impact with us for convenience. I couldn't find the 8x Grade 10 hardware the Goosebox calls for in my normal haunts so I used 12x Grade 8 5/16-11 2" bolts. This will be changed in the future. I elected to use the lowest holes possible in the frame tabs so that I could get as many bolts as possible in the hitch. Under load, the truck squatted 2.5" (top of wheel well: 40.25" down to 37.75"). Even with the squat the trailer had a 3* pitch 'up'. It gave me 7" clearance on the tailgate and 9.5" clearance between the bedrails and the front corners of the trailer. I acknowledge that this is not ideal. See plan below.

Weight Management
For weight distribution measurements, I hit the CAT scales 2x. Once in Chicago and once at my destination (without the extra passenger). The axles were: 4680, 5220, 7320 from front to back. This means my GVW on the truck was 9900, exceeding the GVWR by 910 lbs. The GCVW was 17220, under the GCVWR by 2230. The calc basis there is a GVWR of 8990 and GCVWR of 19450. The weight-on-truck is a little fuzzy so I'll edit this soon'ish when I can weigh the truck alone. I'm guessing the tongue weight on this trip was around 2150. My 'allowed' tongue weight on the truck (wet) should be around 1250. I know in the end I will exceed that, but I calculated ahead of time that the tongue weight would be closer to 1600. Thus, I was about 500 lbs higher than I anticipated.

Planned Changes
When I swap the mounting hardware/fasteners on the Goosebox I'm going to move it 'up' into the frame tabs 2" which will decrease the pitch of the trailer and allow the front axle of the trailer to take more load. I think it will also result in 0.5" reclaimed from the squat. I don't want to go below 4" clearance to the truck bed in any location. I will also VERY rarely tow this rig again without at least 1000 lbs of cargo in the garage at the back of the trailer. This will further change the dynamics of weight distribution on the trailer. Lastly, I'm considering adding airbags to the rear axle but again I don't want to drop my bedrail clearance below 4" and I don't want to have any 'nose-up' attitude on the trailer.

A note for the weight police: I have done an exceptional amount of research and calculations on the stressed components in this setup. I understand that when towing this rig home I was out of spec. At no time did myself, the truck, or the trailer leave a safe state of usability or control. I am an engineer. Put your tears and/or pitchforks away.

Post up if you have any questions or would like any clarification. I'm not looking for criticism regarding my intentions, especially with respect to the weight, but if you have a constructive modification to this setup aside from deleting the trailer, I welcome your feedback. This post was made for informational purposes only and to provide an in-depth real world experience for recreational towers to use in forming their own tow strategy.

Pictures include the rig, my gas mileage app, Weigh Sheet, and trailer weight research spreadsheet.


Premium Member
74,131 Posts
"It was honestly like the thing wasn't even back there."

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