New tow vehicle! Yay! Now what? - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 06-04-2019, 12:53 PM   #1
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New tow vehicle! Yay! Now what?

So, I upgraded my Kia Minivan to a Nissan NV mega-van.

My trailer is a Coleman CTS16FB. 21' TT, fully loaded at 3800# (full of fresh water and ready for a three day dry camping trip, weighed at my local weigh station).

My previous TV was a 2012 Kia Sedona. This actually rocked. It towed the trailer great, though I watched the tachometer like a hawk when climbing grades (and I avoided steep grades.) My biggest issue is that I expanded my side-gig vendor business which required hauling more stuff to shows (volume and weight). I felt that I had finally exceeded safe operation of my beloved minivan.

My new TV (and stuff hauling monster) is a Nissan NV SL. It's a V8 beast.

The big question ... what changes do I make to my tow set up? Camping World set my van/trailer combination up upon pick up ... so I realized that I'm not certain in my direction with this new vehicle of mine.

My current (minivan) set up included a weight distribution hitch with integral anti-sway. The NV documentation indicates weight distribution only required over 5,000#. Can I do away with the weight distribution? Is there a way to tell that without actually hooking it up?

I know my WD hitch ball is adjustable, but if I don't need that anymore, is there a trick to measuring if you need a ball with rise or drop? (Without buying/testing/returning/buying different?) And I assume I'd still want some sort of anti-sway?

Any tips to maneuvering with a TV that has a longer wheelbase? I think I need to go practice maneuverability again ...

(yeah ... just a smidge excited with a little nervous sprinkled in!)
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:06 PM   #2
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I think I'd go to a dealer and have then make the adjustments to your set up. They should know what you need and don't need.
A vehicle with a longer wheel base means the rear of the TT will get there faster in reverse. Cornering may be a little different too. As you suggested, do your test drives and get the feel.


Oh yeah, nice lookin Datsun!
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post
I think I'd go to a dealer and have then make the adjustments to your set up. They should know what you need and don't need.
A vehicle with a longer wheel base means the rear of the TT will get there faster in reverse. Cornering may be a little different too. As you suggested, do your test drives and get the feel.


Oh yeah, nice lookin Datsun!
"Datsun" ... that's a name I haven't heard in a long time!

But how do I tow the trailer to a dealer to get it set up if it's not set up to tow?

I guess I'm lucky enough that the nearest dealer is only a few miles away and it's decently straight line driving...

I'll give them a call today. Maybe I can have them install my brake controller as well. My brake controller has four wires, the truck pre-wire harness has five ... gah!
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:55 PM   #4
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"Datsun" ... that's a name I haven't heard in a long time!

But how do I tow the trailer to a dealer to get it set up if it's not set up to tow?

I guess I'm lucky enough that the nearest dealer is only a few miles away and it's decently straight line driving...

I'll give them a call today. Maybe I can have them install my brake controller as well. My brake controller has four wires, the truck pre-wire harness has five ... gah!

Sometimes the 5th wire isn't used. I have 5 on my Chevy and the 5th (orange) wire is used.
I cut my foreign car mechanical teeth on Datsuns and Toyotas back in the 70's when they first started making their presence in the US.
The dealer may be able to match your van with a like TT in order to get it to them for final adjustments.
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:51 PM   #5
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Curious as to what the towing specs are on the new van? That is one ugly vehicle
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:55 PM   #6
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Curious as to what the towing specs are on the new van? That is one ugly vehicle
Ugly as sin, my dear! The color "Java" is available, but that brown color really made it look like a duck-billed platypus! LOL

With the V8 engine the listed tow cap is just under 9,000#. This now gives me room to upgrade the TT if/when my husband decides that the bathroom in this one is REALLY too small! (Hey, at 5'3", it's perfect for me!)
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:54 PM   #7
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Personally, as your are so far below the 5,000 lb requirement for the WDH I wouldn’t bother. As far as adjusting the height of the hitch ball I would try to adjust it so that when the trailer is connected both the trailer and TV both appear level. Or possibly have the trailer just a touch nose high.

I think your biggest concern would be the front bumper height of the tow vehicle being too high, for two primary reasons, the first is that if too high you will blind oncoming traffic with your headlights which will be angled up and the second is that if the front tires have too little weight on them then under braking it will be way worse and your TV could understeer or “push” when turning under braking which would be very dangerous as you would be forced to go straight under a hard braking situation or panic stop while turning—like you are going downhill on a turn and come up on someone or something you didn’t see before the turn.

If you are not able to keep things level without the WDH then you should probably use it.

BTW, there are probably some reference materials on line with more details on how to set the correct hitch height. And for what it is worth I would trust one of those shops that installs hitches only (like Eckert) or a trailer service and repair far more than a dealer for the setup, but that is just me.

Good luck!
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Old 06-04-2019, 04:14 PM   #8
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I'm the biggest advocate of weight distribution... you have way more dog than tail. That van weights over a ton more than the trailer does. It's probably built close to a 3/4 ton pickup, you should be able to tow the wheels off of that camper. You'll know immediately when you test it. As mentioned, just get the new hitch height setup.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:35 PM   #9
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So, the trailer is a bit nose up, but I there's no water on board (the fresh water tank is stupidly at the nose of the trailer).

I was able to get out and practice today. It tows great and the fact that I don't have to deal with the WDH is awesome!

I did get a anti-sway bar as I'm super paranoid about cross winds and semi-truck air pressure. The instructions that come with it, though, are super vague. "Turn to tighten"...but how tight?


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Old 06-09-2019, 07:43 PM   #10
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looks like you should drop your hitch ball down about 4" Your butt will be dragging when you go over a bump! Nice choice by the way for a TV. I have the Nissan Titan XD PLATINUM with the 5.0 cummins!
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