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Hey guys, been reading up on my towing stuff here. I have minimal experience towing, none with this truck as I have just bought it. I'm not out to attempt to out tow a Dodge 3500 Cummins but I have concerns. First things first. I am sure my truck doesn't have a big tow package, as it's an '04 XE king cab 4x4 without a hitch. I purchased the truck used with 37k miles. I am looking for a hitch but am only finding class III/IV(how they're listed on websites), I am hoping for a class IV mostly for the occasional chance that I may end up hauling my sisters 6500lb 24ft camper(not 100% sure on specs so if I'm wrong I apologize).
Now I read something disturbing but not sure it is entirely true because of experience Read here Now I have used steel wheels on my old 1989 Chevy 1500 short bed, 2wd, 350 TBI truck and towed my old boat as well as camping stuff in excess of 5000lbs and never had a problem or even a concern. Did someone have an issue with the steel wheels on this truck? Is 6500lbs really the capacity of an XE 4wd with 2.94's and steel wheels? I do plan on upgrading wheels but was hoping to make a swap after summer and the arrival of my 2nd child.

Next my boat and other crap. It's an '89 Wellcraft 190 classic. Dry weight of 2400lbs, trailer weight of 750lbs. Add in my ATV for a trip to camp, which weighs about 450lbs dry and the 120lbs of ramps and riding gear in the bed and 2 adults, 2 children, plus gear and I am not sure. Too some of you guys this probably sounds nominal as the total weight is only just shy of 4000lbs. However those are all dry weights and I am unsure of the exact amount of other miscellaneous things that will add to the weight. With my ATV in the bed and a trailer on the back I am concerned that my weight over the rear axle as well as the weight on my possibly shoddy steel wheels is going to hinder me from carrying all of this. Any inputs?
I have already been looking for a new differential cover, trans temp gauge, deeper and finned tranny pan and even considered a big tow gear swap. Am I being "too" cautious or concerned over these things? I mean I used a 25 year old truck with a decrepid motor and brittle tranny to haul before and wasn't all that concerned, now I have a barely used 7 year old truck and I am being a bit of a girl. Sorry for the long post guys, thanks in advance for any help.
 

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I'll try and help you answer your questions: supposedly yes with the steel wheels your capacity is 6500lb if u change out ur wheels it should put you around 7500lb or whatever the capacity is on a SE with 2.94 gears. I do think your being too cautious about the weight of the boat/4wheeler and changing front and rear gears both, will run big money and be over kill for your purposes. I also think the tongue weight on that boat will be light so the atv will be ok. If I was you I would pull that boat without thought and if you wanted to pull your sisters camper then changing out the wheels might be a good idea. While the diff cover, trans pan, temp gauge, may be good preventive maintenance I wouldn't be scared to pull the boat setup without them. Just tow in 4th gear and not drive, change out your fluids every 30k miles and you should be fine. Also I'd put LT tires on if you do buy new wheels.
 
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You're down in my model year so I'll see if I can give you some answers. I can speak to most issues.

First on the hitch: Have a professional shop install the hitch. This is safety for you and your family. There's too much riding on it to be worth saving the few dollars in getting something off the Internet. Plus the shop has to stand behind the job, so they'll make sure it's installed RIGHT.

About the truck and the towing capacity: I had a conversation with a Nissan powertrain engineer and EVERYTHING load-carrying, that is everthing that matters in the axle, is the same for the standard axle and the Big Tow. He told me the reason for the BT gearing was to get the engine's RPMs up to promote better transmission cooling.

Here's the kicker: Both axles, standard and Big Tow, can pull the SAME amount of weight. Max rated for the vehicle, 9500 pounds, period.

The reasons they rated the towing capacity higher for some models were:
BT gears, faster engine speed, better transmission cooling.
SE (18") wheels and tires, full weight-carrying capacity.

I tow a 7,000# trailer with my truck, and have done so with this truck for the last SEVEN years, and I have had no problems with it. I've towed trailers and such with half-ton trucks for at least 30 years. I don't try to drag-race or win speed competitions with the trailer on. In short, I treat this truck like a half-ton truck pulling a heavy trailer. I let the truck 'lean into' the load, by gradually putting the pedal down as I get speed on instead of slamming it off the line; this is easier on the axle. I seldom use more than 3/4 throttle when driving, and also watch my following and stopping distances and cornering speeds. I run with Tow Mode OFF (TM is useless in the early years) and just use Manual Mode on the transmission to keep the engine speed up on grades for better cooling, same as you would with any other truck if it didn't have an overdrive lockout.


Hope that helps.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the replies fella's. I was sure when I bought this truck that it was a good towing and hauling truck. That's why I have been looking at them for years. I am still going to go for the differential cover and possibly tranny pan because I plan on keeping this one a while.

As far as the hitch goes any recommendations on where to get one installed? I was told Uhaul by my dealer but they don't list a class IV on their website. I want to be able to haul my sisters camper and it's above the 6,000lb capactiy of the hitch. Thanks again guys.
 

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I would get the one for the truck at the dealer. I don't know why and I could be wrong here but when it comes to something that important, I want the one made for my truck...however Reese and many others make them for your application.
The wheels is a crock though. The steelies still come on tow package equipped XEs in some cases so they should hold up just fine....I've never heard of such a thing.

As NBB said, don't nickle and dime the weights TOO MUCH. These trucks will handle a lot. The only difference you have is the gearing. You still have the 2 tranny coolers, tow mode etc. If you need to go over the tongue weight, just use a WD hitch and be sure to have a brake controller and electric brakes.
 

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It's an '89 Wellcraft 190 classic. Dry weight of 2400lbs, trailer weight of 750lbs. Add in my ATV for a trip to camp, which weighs about 450lbs dry and the 120lbs of ramps and riding gear in the bed and 2 adults, 2 children, plus gear and I am not sure. Too some of you guys this probably sounds nominal as the total weight is only just shy of 4000lbs. However those are all dry weights and I am unsure of the exact amount of other miscellaneous things that will add to the weight. With my ATV in the bed and a trailer on the back I am concerned that my weight over the rear axle as well as the weight on my possibly shoddy steel wheels is going to hinder me from carrying all of this.
You could pull two of those! AND...not even know they're back there. That's what this truck does. It hauls. And it does it amazingly well and feels safe and solid doing it. On my 2nd Titan and towing with Titans since 2004. The proof is in the pudding!!!!
 

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I don't think I would sweat the load your looking at. Like they said, don't tow in 5th. If you want to be cautious, you could add a Bully Dog GT since it will give you the trans temp (not for more power).

I would ONLY add a genuine Nissan hitch. It looks better and comes with the relays (I think). The hitch I bought from etrailer did not and I ended up dropping another $75 for the relays from the dealer.

I will have to specifically disagree with the above poster about installing your own hitch. I did my own and it was 6 large bolts. My petite wife helped me hold it to get the first bolt started. A good quality impact would make this job easier.

Nissan Receiver Tow Hitch - Class III towing for Titan :: Nissan Parts, NISMO and Nissan Accessories - Courtesyparts.com
 

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I don't think I would sweat the load your looking at. Like they said, don't tow in 5th. If you want to be cautious, you could add a Bully Dog GT since it will give you the trans temp (not for more power).

I would ONLY add a genuine Nissan hitch. It looks better and comes with the relays (I think). The hitch I bought from etrailer did not and I ended up dropping another $75 for the relays from the dealer.

I will have to specifically disagree with the above poster about installing your own hitch. I did my own and it was 6 large bolts. My petite wife helped me hold it to get the first bolt started. A good quality impact would make this job easier.

Nissan Receiver Tow Hitch - Class III towing for Titan :: Nissan Parts, NISMO and Nissan Accessories - Courtesyparts.com
Why is the Nissan Hitch only rated for 5,000lbs? That doesn't make any sense....I was/am concerned with the Reese I was looking at because its capacity was only 6,000lbs.:confused:
 

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Why is the Nissan Hitch only rated for 5,000lbs? That doesn't make any sense....I was/am concerned with the Reese I was looking at because its capacity was only 6,000lbs.:confused:
That is the nebulous issue with hitches now isn't it? I have not dissected the whole towing heavy weights thing with a non 5th wheel hitch BUT I believe the guys that are towing RV's are not using any special receivers, but weight distribution setups (also called hitches) that plug into the receivers.


If you want to get technical about it your typical ball is rated for 6000 pounds or 600 pounds of tongue weight.

Maybe some more knowledgeable posters can weigh in on this?

But I still would not sweat a 19 foot aluminum boat and a ATV.
 

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Why is the Nissan Hitch only rated for 5,000lbs? That doesn't make any sense....I was/am concerned with the Reese I was looking at because its capacity was only 6,000lbs.:confused:
That's not a factory hitch then although it is a Nissan hitch. The factory hitch is a class IV hitch which is rated up to 10k LBS. I would call though because it could just be misinformation on their site OR Nissan makes more than one hitch.
 
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