Last post on Jul 31, 2013 at 6:18 PM
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Nissan Frontier, Truck
#1 of 27 Frontier, Tacoma or Dodge Ram for Towing TT?
Jun 14, 2007 (10:36 am)
I am trying to find a reliable truck with as good gas mileage as possible that can tow a maximum 5,500 lbs hard sided (not fold-down) travel trailer (that's the GVWR fully loaded up + 2 passengers) without overtaxing the engine going up hill and while still getting decent gas mileage towing and around town (particularly around town). Decent gas mileage to me is at least 20 mpg when NOT towing. I have now heard from three people who use a Tacoma to tow up to 5,000 lbs. and feel that it works quite well while still getting 12-17 mpg. A fourth said he white-knuckled it with a Tacoma until he bought a Dodge Ram 2500.
I just test drove a 07 NISMO 4 x 4 Crew Cab Short Bed Frontier last night and really liked it (sweeet ride), but I wonder if it could safely and comfortably tow a travel trailer, or if I should go with a Tacoma or Dodge Ram instead. For power and safety, the Ram seems to be in the lead, for reliability, the Tacoma.
I own a 00 Altima that has been a terrific car, so I do like Nissans, but I need the right truck for the job.
Can anyone out there speak to the real-world towing abilities and mpg (towing and not towing)of the Nissan Frontier with a hard-sided travel trailer?
Any input is much appreciated!
#2 of 27 Re: Frontier, Tacoma or Dodge Ram for Towing TT? [tent2tt]
Jun 14, 2007 (4:50 pm)
Check out the 05 tough truck shoot-out by Edmunds. They drove both trucks up a pass, in mid-summer, in Death Valley pulling a 5000lb. trailer. They both performed admirably. I'm a Nissan fan myself, the Frontier is my truck of choice.
#3 of 27 Re: Frontier, Tacoma or Dodge Ram for Towing TT? [driver56]
Jun 15, 2007 (12:13 pm)
Thank you for your response--I have spent days online trying to find all the reviews I could on each truck, but had not come across this review, which is exactly what I was looking for. The 07 Frontier doesn't get as good gas mileage as the Tacoma, but has more a little more HP and torque, so I wonder if it might have just a little more ooomph going uphill too. That's why I got my Nissan Altima over the other makers back in 00... it had the strongest engine in a 4 cyl. and still got decent mpg. I have never regretted that decision. The bottom line is I just want to feel safe and steady going up hills with that load... I don't need to outrace anyone.
#4 of 27 Re: Frontier, Tacoma or Dodge Ram for Towing TT? [tent2tt]
Jun 15, 2007 (6:32 pm)
I think you'd find the gas mileage (real world) figures very close with these two trucks. I'm happy with mine after driving a Toyota Van for 9 years. The thing is, you really have to discipline yourself cause these babies have the torque! I found the Frontier to have more fun built into it.
I can't respond in regard to the towing aspect, but I do know that these mid-sizers are very capable.
Enjoy your search and good luck!
p.s. I researched for 2 years before I bought. It pays to be patient.
#5 of 27 Re: Frontier, Tacoma or Dodge Ram for Towing TT? [driver56]
Jun 17, 2007 (6:59 am)
Test drove a Frontier this past week and the Tacoma yesterday--the ride of the Tacoma can't even begin to compare with the Frontier. It felt like a flashback to when I was test driving my Altima and competing brands: Toyota, Honda, Saturn. The Altima had the power and the smooth, easy ride. Felt the same in the Frontier. Now if I can just find an after-market product that will increase the gas mileage!
#6 of 27 Re: Frontier, Tacoma or Dodge Ram for Towing TT? [tent2tt]
Jun 17, 2007 (7:40 am)
Yea, that's how both my wife and I felt when testing both. I was more at one with the Nissan, she too. She preferred the Taco interior, I did not. There is also more headroom in the Fronty. Size wise, the Nissan makes more sense for our particular needs. I believe the Toy is a good truck.
That said, I'm O.K. with the mileage figures, but I drive with a light foot 90% of the time, and we only put 9-10 K on our vehicles each year, and only have the one.
This is a towing comparo thread, so enough said.
Aug 26, 2007 (4:53 am)
I work for the so called evil empire (oil business). We are in reality just working stiffs like everyone else trying to feed our families. As for gas mileage increasing wonder devices, there are none. If they existed the auto manufacturers would kill to add them to their vehicles. All the magic gas mileage pills do is take money out of your wallet. Go to the .gov website on how to save fuel. BTW I just bought a 2007 Frontier King cab and will trade my Tundra crewcab. Toy is just too big to park and maneuver as I go to a lot of meetings downtown. Ride in the Frontier was awesome and comfortable.
#8 of 27 Towing Fleetwood E-2 with 05 Frontier NISMO
Sep 22, 2007 (12:26 pm)
The Fleetwood E-2 is an off-road popup that is more heavy-duty than the typical popup. Has a large front deck for hauling stuff, up to an ATV. The gross weight of the trailer is 4600 lbs. The Frontier's limit is 6100 lbs. so I'm within 3/4 of that limit. The issue is the tongue weight limit. For the Frontier, that's 600 lbs. The trailer's tongue weight with battery and two propane tanks is 540, so I'm close to the limit.
I would not recommend towing a heavier trailer with a 05 Nissan Frontier 4x4 or similar vehicle. I would not try to tow an E2 with a vehicle having a lower towing rating.
I could feel the presence of the popup (sort of a tension) except at cruising speeds of 65-70 mph on the Interstate. At all speeds, I could feel the impact on the suspension
system as the bumps was more noticeable. Fortunately, I have the off-road suspension.
I would use our Nissan Armada, with a towing capacity of about 9000 lbs., if I were driving a much longer distance. Need to get a brake controller installed in it first.
The weight distribution system seemed to work fine. I did drive off-road without it since this is at speeds 10 mph or less. Otherwise, the arms would not be hitting the bumps and humps. I had to remove the wheel since it was hitting everything. I asked Fleetwood why they used this design and they said due to the weight of the trailer.
I was not pleased with the extended hitch attachment that connects with the E2 tongue.
It is an adjustable model and is currently using the setting best suited for the Frontier which means the lower part of it is about 4 or 5 inches off the ground. It hits every bump and hump, but given its construction, I think it can take it. Even without it installed, the trailer hitch occasionally hits in some places. I have had to have the electrical connection replaced once, and Iím now more careful.
When I got the brake controller installed in the Frontier, the Nissan installed wiring would not work. Trailer dealer had to redo it at 2 hours labor cost to me.
When I took the E-2 camping last week in the GW National Forest, my only problem was that the battery was defective and died. Had it replaced for free this week. The Frontier had plenty of power for towing the E-2 up steep hills. However, I wonder about the strain it's putting on the suspension and transmission.
Regarding gas mileage, I normally get 19-22 on the Interstate averaging around 70-72 mph. With the E-2, it dropped to 12-13mpg. I had expected a drop of up to 50%, so
this was not a surprise.
#9 of 27 Frontier Towing
Mar 05, 2008 (8:10 pm)
I bought my 2008 Nissan Frontier CC 4x4 LB to tow my 2001 Ford Windstar from Littleton, CO to Winston-Salem, NC. I found out that Uhaul will not rent a tow dolly to me because the truck is not 750lbs heavier that the Windstar. I assumed just because the Frontier can tow 6100lbs that it could tow 6100lbs!!!! Found out also after buying the truck that according to the owners manual that Nissan does not recommend towing over 1000lbs without electric brakes. So your warranty would be invalid if you are towing a 1001lb trailer without electric brakes. If you are looking at buying and using this vehicle for towing within it's parameters , alot more is involved than simply hooking up and plugging in the trailer lights. I am disgusted by Nissan advertising that the Frontier can tow 6100lbs and not qualifying their statements.
#10 of 27 Frontier towing safely
Mar 08, 2008 (11:33 am)
Crew Cab 4WD Frontier will safely tow a 4,000 lbs Windstar with the proper towing equipment.
Under Uhaul rules they could not knowingly rent a dolly for towing a Windstar as the Windstar exceeds the 3,450 lb max wt. of the vehicle (FWD) being towed. This is true even if the tow vehicle was an F350.
A flat bed (auto transport Uhaul definition) from Uhaul would not have been an option either due to required weight ratios.
There are many tow dolly with electric brakes that would safely and legally tow the Windstar behind the Frontier.
See your owner's manual or Nissan Towing Guide for specific towing information.
It is your responsiblity to know the specifics of your individual towing requirements and compare them to specified Frontier capabilities, not Nissans.
About 2/3 of all vehicles I see on the road that are towing are towing at improper speeds, equipped improperly, or overloaded. An endorsement on drivers license and rigourous qualifications to obtain it are needed to be added for towing IMO.
I've used Frontier CC 4WD to tow a tractor on a flatbed (combined weight 5200 lbs) over 700 miles. Frontier handled the task very well.