Towing 8,000lbs on a regular basis in FL heat - good or bad idea? - Nissan Armada Forum: Armada & Infiniti QX56 Forums
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#1 Old 01-21-2013, 08:37 PM
carlfluk
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Towing 8,000lbs on a regular basis in FL heat - good or bad idea?

So I tow a 24ft enclosed trailer with a race car inside. I am here in Florida. Right now I have an F250 which because it has the wrong axle is only rated for 7400lbs.

Right now I have an X5 and the F250 just to tow.. its killing me owning two cars when I would really like one to do both jobs (-I need an SUV for my job really).

I know Armade and QX56 are rated for 9,000 lbs, but in your experiences would you tow 7600-8,000 once or twice per month distances of between 200 round trip and 600 round trip? The good news is its Florida it's flat. The bad news is its Florida its hot.

Interested your thoughts.. been looking at an 05 QX56 which I love, but wondering if it can take the work load? I know it's going to be thirsty and I am okay with that given the needs..

I would sincerely appreciate input from owners - you guys would be really helping me out as this decision is causing me a problem!
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#2 Old 01-21-2013, 09:28 PM
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Welcome! Lots of threads on this site about towing with the Armada / QX. Bottom line, they make a great tow vehicle. But, they are easy to overload, particularly with tongue weight. Make sure you have a good weight distribution / anti-sway hitch setup, and a good brake controller before you do anything. Also, since you're thinking of getting a used truck to do this, highly recommend you replace all of the fluids (diffs, trans, transfer case, etc.) before you go.

What's in the trailer? How bout some pics?

Keith


- 12 Armada Platinum, 4WD, Tuscan Sun (red)
- 06 Armada LE, 4WD, Red Brawn, QX56 Wheels (traded)
- 04 Armada LE, 4WD, Smoke (lemon lawed)
- 08 BMW 550i, Manual Trans, Sport Package
- 00 Maxima SE, Manual Trans
- 65 Buick Skylark Gran Sport Convertible, 401 ci, 2nd owner, original condition, 68,000 miles
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#3 Old 01-21-2013, 10:33 PM
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ditto above info.

Frequent, heavy towing requires shorter fluid change intervals. (says so in the owners manual) If you keep up with the maintenance, I think the Armada will give you many years of reliable service.

Most people agree, the weak link with the Armada is the rear suspension, it could probably do with a heavier spring and/or more damping. I added air bags, and inflate the rear tires to max and lower the front pressures a touch. Nevertheless, the motor / trans / differential / axle package is brilliant and it is very rare to hear of a failure. I can not comment on the Florida heat, but here in California, I never see the engine temp needle move.

My trailer weighs in at 8,160lbs (800# on the tongue) and the Armada does a very good job with it, but sometimes, for work I have to tow a race truck that weighs in at 8,500lbs, it is a nightmare because it has 1,000lbs of tongue weight. (no weight distro hitch). Not safe.

You have a race car so you already know how important setup is to make the car WORK on the track. Do a bit of setup on your Armada W/trailer, such as moving your race car forward or back, or load it backwards, play with tire pressures, play with the weight distributing hitch settings etc.

Yeah! What keith said! send some pictures!!

2008 Armada SE

Last edited by Beau; 01-21-2013 at 10:44 PM.
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#4 Old 01-21-2013, 10:46 PM
carlfluk
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cheers guys will do. Its a pretty standard Forest River 24ft.. we added A/C to the roof and painted the floor.

Did you use a pre-fab kit for the air bags beau? if so could you point me in the right direction? I think I'll be a jot under your weight, so if its good for you that gives me confidence.

Great advice on the tire pressures, also on the car location. There are normally 4 passengers too so its towing a fair old load..just didnt want something that will choke in the heat. Will post you guys some pictures asap.
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#5 Old 01-23-2013, 05:56 PM
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problems

if you do get the armada. there are problems with transmission hoses slipping off, and internal leak on the radiator. You will want to bypass the radiator atf heater/cooling lines and add a external cooler. Simple upgrade and will save you a lot in the end. Also many have had air bag problems. and you can only get nissan oem rear air bags no aftermarket has been produced at this point. well i think there is one but cost a lot. between the rear suspension upgrade and external atf cooler i think you'll love the car towing your trailer besides the gas mileage. I will post pictures of my set up (external cooler / and gauge temp upgrade) when complete.
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#6 Old 01-23-2013, 09:25 PM
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I have towed my travel trailer (granted, a few pounds less than yours) for more than 15,000 miles all over the western US, up some pretty severe grades in very warm temperatures, and never had a problem. Stay current with all of your maintenance, don't tow in 5th gear, don't thrash your truck (yes, it will go up the steepest grade at 70 mph, if you're willing to run it WOT to do it!!!), and you won't have a problem. I've said it before, I'll say it again. We have the best 1/2 ton SUV out there for trailer towing. Problem is, too many people treat it like a 3/4 ton truck, because it will do it, but then be prepared for the worst!!

Still waiting for pics of what you've got inside the trailer!!!!

Keith


- 12 Armada Platinum, 4WD, Tuscan Sun (red)
- 06 Armada LE, 4WD, Red Brawn, QX56 Wheels (traded)
- 04 Armada LE, 4WD, Smoke (lemon lawed)
- 08 BMW 550i, Manual Trans, Sport Package
- 00 Maxima SE, Manual Trans
- 65 Buick Skylark Gran Sport Convertible, 401 ci, 2nd owner, original condition, 68,000 miles
- Prowler Lynx 826M Travel Trailer, 26', 5000#'s

"How often we fail to realize our good fortune in living in a country where happiness is more than a lack of tragedy."
--Paul Sweeney, author
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#7 Old 01-23-2013, 10:25 PM
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I drove through Louisiana & Texas in 115* weather a last year I think, the dadgumned heat was popping my trailer tires like hot balloons, I pulled into every PepBoys there was between Shreveport & Mesquite replacing a trailer tire at each one of them. I did have to watch the engine and trans temps. The trans would shootup if I was in too high of a gear and the engine would shootup if I was in too low of a gear at high rev for too long so I slowed down and eased it at 62-ish mph in 4th gear and I let it slow down as much as 50 mph sometimes just to keep it in 4th at low rpms. That was towing a 6300-lbs TT on heavy 35" mud tires. 115-120 degrees is friggin' hot though, I started to sweat just by getting out and digging out the lug wrench.

Also, the OEM jack is a piece of junk, mine twisted and bent so I used the TT's stabilizer jacks for those tire changes then later picked up a Torin 2-Ton Scissor Jack and sold the Nissan pretzel at a garage sale.

http://www.clubarmada.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20601

- Bob
2005 Armada LE 4x4

Last edited by Pops; 01-23-2013 at 10:29 PM.
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#8 Old 01-23-2013, 10:30 PM
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Temp

Pops,

What are normal coolant engine temp and normal tranmission engine temps? I'm talking about number wise. I'm installing digital gauges tomorrow and want to know a base line where I should be at.
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#9 Old 01-23-2013, 10:30 PM
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I have no idea, it's been posted but I don't remember. I'll bet ya that Scr38 knows, he's an Armada/Titan encyclopedia.

- Bob
2005 Armada LE 4x4
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#10 Old 01-23-2013, 10:35 PM
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No luck

I looked through the fsm but no luck. I'll ask scr38 thanks.
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