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Old 03-03-2014, 09:18 PM   #1
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About to purchase new trailer

Hello folks. New member here hoping to ask a few questions. I have used a motorhome for years, but decided to investigate using a TT instead. I am a nature photographer, and I spend much of Spring through Fall in the RV. I am about to purchase a new Jay Flight Swift SLX 195RB Baja Edition. I will be towing with a Nissan pickup (V6) with a tow limit recommendation of 3500 lbs. Any insight to the following questions will be much appreciated.

1. Should I purchase a towing weight distribution system? The salesman said he probably would not, but he's pulled many trailers over the years. From generic info I've read online today, I think adding this would be wise. Opinions would be appreciated.

2. I'm getting a Yamaha 2000W generator with the trailer. I've been told that will be sufficient to run the 8000 BTU A/C. Is that correct?

3. My truck averages 22 mpg. What should I expect with the trailer added?

4. For those who use solar panels on a new trailer, were you comfortable drilling holes to do the install or did you use an alternate approach? Also, I was told that if I ultimately used multiple panels and a bank of batteries, I would be better off starting off with 6V instead of 12V batteries. As is, the trailer will come with two 12V batteries. Thoughts on battery choices?

5. I found it somewhat odd that this trailer came out after the 2014 Jay Flight Swift product brochures came out. For those familiar with this company over the years, does this seem odd?

6. For help both backing the truck up to the hitch and also backing the combo up, I was looking at the iBall backup camera system. The camera attaches magnetically, so I can move from the truck to the TT as needed. Is that a good idea or is there a better suggestion?

Thanks for looking, and any input will be appreciated.
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:23 AM   #2
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hi, Norrell, and welcome to the JOF! You'll likely find a lot of information here, some of it might be useful for your situation!

Re: your questions, the main issue you should address first is to take your Nissan (TV) to the nearest CAT scale and weigh it, with you, your normal cargo load and a full tank of gas. Once you know what it weighs, subtract that from your GVWR (should be posted inside your driver door) and that will give you the amount of weight you can safely put on the truck. Jayco's website shows the gross weight of the 195RB to be 3500 lbs; your post indicates that your truck limit is around 3500 lbs, meaning you'll be right at your safely margin IF said truck limit is accurate. Knowing your TV true curb weight subtracted from the GVWR gives you the real amount of weight you can haul. Using 13% of the trailer's gross weight (rough rule of thumb) gives 455 lbs of tongue weight that will be transferred to your truck. (This is w/o a Weight Distributing Hitch, which further complicates the weight calculation! Said hitch can add 100 lbs to your truck, further limiting what more you can add to it. How much weight it re-distributes is a whole 'nother conversation!)

On the face of it, it seems to me that your TV will be at its limit with just the loaded trailer, not including the generator, your camera gear, and whatever camping gear you typically travel with. So I would point you here:

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forumdisp...d-Tow-Vehicles

Look at the "Sticky" topics at the top that pertain to "Actual tow rating", "RV & Vehicle Weight Definitions", "Measuring Tongue Load, what can I tow". Read all of those and you should get a much better idea of what trailer your Nissan can safely tow.

Best of luck in getting it all figured out, and keep us all posted as you go along!
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:46 AM   #3
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Thanks Mike for the input. I'm a bit confused. The listed GVWR on the door is 4700 lbs. While I've yet to weigh the truck, the curb weight I've found online is 3175 lbs. Subtracting leaves 1525 lbs, which is much less than what Nissan says it will tow. The owner's manual states the truck with a manual transmission can tow 5000 lbs, and with an automatic transmission, 3500 lbs. Any insight to the discrepancy would be appreciated.

- Greg
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:55 PM   #4
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"The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), or gross vehicle mass (GVM) is the maximum operating weight/mass of a vehicle as specified by the manufacturer including the vehicle's chassis, body, engine, engine fluids, fuel, accessories, driver, passengers and cargo but excluding that of any trailers."
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:35 PM   #5
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The GCWR for the truck is 7200 lbs. Truck weighs 3500 lbs with just me in it. With someone else in the truck and the TT water tank full, it will be close to the maximum but not in excess. I think the weights are close but fine.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:00 PM   #6
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Dry weight of the 195RB Baja is 3,065lb....add a pair of batteries and camping gear and you be over 3,500lbs in a wink.

Need more info on your truck (year, package options, 2wd / 4wd, factory tow , etc.)....what you mentioned above doesn't agree with most manufacturers tow ratings.....manual transmissions usually have a lower tow rating than automatics.

Next hurdle is the payload capacity/ You'll be loaded front heavy in that trailer with dual batteries an all storage WAY in front of the axle.....I'd bet the tongue weight on that unit can easily climb to 600# - depending on your loading habits.

If your towing capacity is 6,000+ I'm sure it will work out... but sounds like you may be tight on payload in which case you need a good set-up
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:50 PM   #7
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Thanks Threebutchers. My truck is 1993 Nissan King Cab SE V6 with auto transmission. I noticed newer trucks have higher tow ratings for auto transmission, but apparently at least this older vehicle was the opposite. The Nissan owner's manual lists a max towing weight for auto trans at 3500 lbs and for manual at 5000 lbs.

I think the heaviest single item I carry is my camera backpack, weighing about 50-60 lbs. We have two fairly light chairs, food in cabinets. Most of the added weight would be water. Jayco says the fresh water tank is 20 gallons, but it is actually bigger than that. The sticker on the TT says water weight is 341 lbs. I'd already concluded that I probably shouldn't have a passenger in the truck and more than 10-15 gallons of fresh water. Batteries add about 90 lbs.

- Greg
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:22 PM   #8
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OK...I thought you had a Frontier (which has a much higher towing capacity)...you may be asking a bit much of a 21 year old truck at the top of it's ratings....not saying you cant pull it, but you'll certainly know it's back there.....
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:33 PM   #9
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Thank you Threebutchers. The truck was my dad's and almost never was used. It has 100K miles on it now and is perfect mechanically. I expect it has 10 more good years in it.

I'll rethink the option of a 185RB Baja.That would be 150 lbs lighter. But I like 195RB appearance more.

Also, approximately how much do trailers diminish gas mileage? I get 22 mpg now. One person told me to expect 15 mpg. Another place said 11 mpg.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:36 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forum and good luck on your adventure!
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