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Old 09-05-2010, 10:30 AM   #1
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Clueless On Hitches

I have the Nissan towing package on my 09 Xterra. The hitch i s a class III with a 5,000 lb tow rating and can take 500 lbs on the hitch. I just read that class III hitches are all weight distributing hitches. Does anyone know if that is true? I need to know because we asked the dealer to put on a WDH on our Nissan Xterra when we pick up our trailer, but IF ours is already a WDH what would be the point? I can't find any info online about this. Our trailer weighs 3,500 pounds wet with a 465 pound tongue weight. Is the 465 lbs too much? I read we should have ten to fifteen percent of the trailer weight resting on our SUV hitch.

I should have used Clueless as my moniker since I have so many questions.
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Old 09-05-2010, 11:48 AM   #2
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Sabina,

The weight distribution hitch consists of two separate assemblies: 1) a special receiver with a ball that slips into the hitch receiver opening on your Nissan and 2) weight distribution bars that connect to both your receiver/ball assembly and the tongue of your trailer. Here is a link to the Reese hitch website: http://www.reese-hitches.com/product...tribution_kits

You will be fine with the tongue weight as your Nissan is rated for 500lbs.

Keep asking questions--gives us old codgers an opportunity to share some of our wisdom (you know, stuff we learned by "failing forward" as Mary Kay Ash was fond of saying).
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Old 09-05-2010, 03:03 PM   #3
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Question on Class III hitches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Sam View Post
Sabina,

The weight distribution hitch consists of two separate assemblies: 1) a special receiver with a ball that slips into the hitch receiver opening on your Nissan and 2) weight distribution bars that connect to both your receiver/ball assembly and the tongue of your trailer. Here is a link to the Reese hitch website: http://www.reese-hitches.com/product...tribution_kits

You will be fine with the tongue weight as your Nissan is rated for 500lbs.

Keep asking questions--gives us old codgers an opportunity to share some of our wisdom (you know, stuff we learned by "failing forward" as Mary Kay Ash was fond of saying).
LOL!

Thanks, I really appreciate your quick reply. I will go to the site you give me here and try to figure out if that is what Nissan put on my Xterra. Do you know if all class III hitches are weight distributors?
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:00 PM   #4
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Think of the Hitch as two separate components (like Sam said)-- the Hitch
http://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitc...eid=2009300532
Which looks like the above, is the thing being bolted on (or welded) to your Xterra.

That hitch will have two separate ratings--
a rating without a weight distribution system
and one with a weight distribution system

For example, there will be a sticker on the hitch which says:

Weight Carrying Capacity (without the weight distributor)
Gross Towing Weight (GTW):
4,000 lbs.
Tongue Weight (TW):
400 lbs.

Weight Distribution Capacity
Gross Towing Weight (GTW):
6,000 lbs.
Tongue Weight (TW):
600lbs.

That means if you buy a weight distribution system your Xterra can have up to 600lbs on the pressing down on the hitch (tongue weight on the trailer) and that hitch (can pull up to) 6000lbs. That doesn't change what your vehicle can do though it's just what that hitch is rated for
So that number is kind of worthess to you.

If you didn't get a weight distribution system and just went with a ball mount that hitch could take 400lbs on of tongue weight and could pull up to 4000lbs (again that has nothing to do with what your Xterra can do it's just what that hitch is rated for).

The second part of the system is what actually connects your trailer to your Xterra
http://www.etrailer.com/Weight-Distr...ese/66154.html
(just an example of one)
All that stuff connects to your shank which goes into your hitch.

They call it a weight distribution system because what it does is takes the downward weight from the trailer and instead of all that weight pushing down on the rear of your SUV it distributes some of that weight onto the front axes of your SUV.

Here is a video--

that can explain how it works better then I can.

Hope that helps
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:28 PM   #5
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If you already have the hitch -- then the dealer is just installing the hardware that needs to be installed on the trailer and putting together the shank and weight distribution head that slides into your hitch.

Hitch is a generic term for "everything" that relates to the physical towing components of the system.

1) hitch is the thing that is bolted on your SUV
2) shank is the thing that slides into the hitch
3) WD head is connected to the shank-- it is the thing connects one end of the WD bars to your Xterra-- it also connects the ball (the thing that the trailer rides on)
4) the WD system (those bars that are connected to the trailer)

Sorry I miss read your first post
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Old 09-05-2010, 04:30 PM   #6
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Are you confused yet?

Just watch this:


forget the RV--
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPBeck View Post
Are you confused yet?

Just watch this:


forget the RV--
Ha, ha, I really liked their hitch. Maybe it is the one I'll get. I am embarrassed to say, after all the help all you people are giving me, I am still not sure what I need to know. Maybe the boys in the video have the right idea - I'll just get a truck and sleep in the bed.
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPBeck View Post
If you already have the hitch -- then the dealer is just installing the hardware that needs to be installed on the trailer and putting together the shank and weight distribution head that slides into your hitch.

Hitch is a generic term for "everything" that relates to the physical towing components of the system.

1) hitch is the thing that is bolted on your SUV
2) shank is the thing that slides into the hitch
3) WD head is connected to the shank-- it is the thing connects one end of the WD bars to your Xterra-- it also connects the ball (the thing that the trailer rides on)
4) the WD system (those bars that are connected to the trailer)

Sorry I miss read your first post
Seriously now, I do think I have the idea. And I loved that someone went to the trouble of finding a Nissan hitch site. I had tried that and could not find it anywhere.
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Old 09-05-2010, 06:34 PM   #9
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I know I will be accused of being sexist but it does seem that men know more about these things and understand them better than woman of my generation. That is most men - this does not include my husband who just wants to build the fire at camp - the bigger the better.
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Old 09-05-2010, 07:43 PM   #10
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On your walk through-- ask all the questions that come to your mind-- write them out on a note pad if you have to. You paid for the walk through one way or another, so don't let the salesman or tech rush through it.

There is plenty you need to know and I've even seen whole books written on RVing-- they cover all the systems and FAQ. Might want to look into one. Also Trailer Life magazine is a good source for info. You'll get the hang of it one way or the other. It's hard to visualize some of this stuff if you've never played with it in real life.
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