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Paul Clarke Profile
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Date Registered: 09-2007
TOTAL POSTS: 17
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Towing a jayco camper trailer


I have not yet hooked up or towed my offroad jayco outback camper with my new xtrail. I used to tow it easily with a patrol but even my patrol needed stiffer rear coils to stop the rear sagging. I think the xcy will sag too and am wondering whether anyone has used heavier rear coils or maybe air adjustable shockies. Because the shocks are inside the coils I think that poly air bags for the coils are out of the question. Any ideas or experiences here would be appreciated.

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Paul
2007 X-Trail ST-S Manual
28/Sep/2007, 7:19 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
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Date Registered: 02-2007
Location: North Shore, Sydney
TOTAL POSTS: 302
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


Hi Paul,

You must carry an awful lot of stuff in the front (boot), have you tried leveling the load more by putting the really heavy stuff over the axle and properly distributing the load? I'm sure my tow ball weight is no more than around 75Kgs and I do not carry any equipment in the car itself, it is all in the trailer. Hence I have no need for load levelers or other. Fully loaded when looking at the combination from the side both car and trailer should be pretty much level which makes it easy to drive and keep all wheels of the exy on the ground.

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Ron X563

2011-current X-Nissan owner
2008-2011 X-X-Trail owner
2005-2008 X-Trail Ti-L

Turramurra, NSW
28/Sep/2007, 9:44 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
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Date Registered: 01-2007
Location: Bardon, Brisbane
TOTAL POSTS: 20
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


Hi Paul

I am in the process of setting up my beastie for the big grey nomad thing. I tow a Avan Cruiseliner with an all up weight of 1210kgs. Fully loaded the ball weight is approx 115kg's. With that weight the rear of the exy drops 42mm. The van is an off road model so its level height is 85mm above the standard Nissan goose neck. I have fitted a high rise goose neck (extra 45mm) & that helped a lot. I have just ordered a Cat back exhaust to get a bit more power & will be fitting springs next. See you on the road some day.

Mike - X486
06 Ti - Strut bar, bash plate & just about every factory extra.
29/Sep/2007, 10:37 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
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Date Registered: 10-2005
Location: Orange. NSW.
TOTAL POSTS: 1999
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


 Two words for you Paul,

PEDDERS SUSPENSION !!!


 Although I don't tow and van, I have seen heaps of x-trails both coming through Orange and also whilst on trips, of x-trails with vans. Some were outright dangerous and the front wheels were barely in contact with the ground. I agree it is all in the packing and the ball weight, but for a cheap investment of under $500, a Pedders or King spring lift will solve all your problems.

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BRETT72 - X235

1/Oct/2007, 7:04 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message MSN
 
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Date Registered: 07-2005
Location: central coast nsw
TOTAL POSTS: 1123
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


yep, do a spring lift!

On a recent camping trip, we had the exy fully loaded, BBQ's tents etc plus a fully loaded roof pod. Looking at the side of the car, you would be hard pressed to tell it was loaded up. The rear had virtually no sag. We have King springs fitted. I would definatly look in to either the pedders or king lift.

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1/Oct/2007, 8:12 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
jalalski Profile
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29044
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


I would support a spring lift requirement and would totally understand the need for it for towing a heavy camper trailer, but in all honesty I NEVER felt the need to have the exy lifted for that off-road and camping trips I used to go to. If you look at my Members Ride thread under "off-road fun" you will see a pic of me doing the water crossing in a FULLY loaded upto the roof exy and a fully loaded roof-pod. This attempt was made on our way home from the campsite and the exy with factory suspension handled that and MUCH more (including a mountain climb) with ease. The trick was, no bulky muffler to worry about emoticon

I found and still believe that the xtrail suspension is very adequate for what it is designed for and never really required that extra ground [sign in to see URL] am the odd one out in this, but so far I didn't see the need for it.

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1/Oct/2007, 9:33 pm Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
Paul Clarke Profile
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Date Registered: 09-2007
TOTAL POSTS: 17
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


Thanks for the responses to date fellas. I have had pedders shocks and coils fitted to my previous GU patrol, so have been down that road before and some points to note. By replacing all 4 coils on the patrol (or xtrail)the problem of rear end sag will not be solved because you simply now have a vehicle which has more ground clearance all round, but the relationship between front and rear suspension height is still the same. The rear will still sag unless the rear coils are much stiffer (and as I have discovered, MUST be longer) than the fronts, but even with pedders coils on my patrol, the rear still sagged when fully loaded and towing. I know all about pedders and king coils from past experience on other fourbies (by the way, the kingys and lovells are not good compared to the pedders as they quickly lose their strength after only about a year or two when made to work hard)and even with a stronger coil, the only way to really reduce rear end sag is to fit a longer or taller coil on the rear only,to create a bigger difference between front and rear suspension height, which unfortunately means the rear of the car sits much higher when unladen and therefore creates handling issues. Really strong and longer coils on the rear will work, but unladen the car drives horribly, as the rear bangs about badly, or at least it did initially on my patrol. Poly air air bags inside the rear coils on my patrol worked in conjunction with the pedders coils to stop rear end sag but I cannot see how these can be fitted to my xcy because the shocks are inside the coils. I note that on the soon to be released 2008 x trail, nissan have moved the shocks to be outside the coils on the rear. [sign in to see URL] I know that an air shock should not really carry the load (the coils have this job)perhaps I may have to use air adjustable shocks on the rear of my new xcy to stop rear end sag, as the amount of towing I will now be doing will be much less than before with the patrol when I lived up north and I want good day to day handling too! Oh and I checked my spec book for my jayco off road Dove camper and the tow ball weight unladen is 140kg. My nissan towbar is rated at 150kg so I am close to this anyway. I always pack the van carefully but 140kg unladen is 140kg unladen. All other jayco outback campers have a lower load on the tow ball but it is still around 120 kg for most outback models according to Jaycos website specs. Any ideas other than air adjustable shocks on the rear? And does anyone actually make air adjustable shocks for x trails?

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Paul
2007 X-Trail ST-S Manual
2/Oct/2007, 2:31 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
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Date Registered: 07-2005
Location: central coast nsw
TOTAL POSTS: 1123
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


quote:

jalalski wrote:
but in all honesty I NEVER felt the need to have the exy lifted for that off-road and camping trips I used to go to..





quote:

jalalski wrote:
I found and still believe that the xtrail suspension is very adequate for what it is designed for and never really required that extra ground [sign in to see URL] am the odd one out in this, but so far I didn't see the need for it.



Yes, the x trail suspension is adequate. But from a saftey point of view (IF the car is loaded up on a long trip) you are better off with the lift. The stock suspension sags under load. Alot. this afftects the way the car drives and can make it quite dangerous. With the heavy duty springs, whatever brand they are, the exy has virtually no sag when loaded. this results in a car that still handles well. Are car that is sagging in the back due to heavy load will be very hard to control in an emergancy situation.

We have proven in our off road trips that the stock exys go everywhere the lifted ones have gone. no one is disputing the ability of the stock suspension. But from a saftey point of view, il take a lifted exy any day.





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3/Oct/2007, 4:42 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
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Date Registered: 02-2004
Location: SUTHERLAND, SYDNEY
TOTAL POSTS: 29044
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


Matt,

Maybe this debate is better shifted to the "suspension thread" instead but I will say this.

Our xtrail is designed to take a certain and maximum load, both in the back and on the roof racks and with such a load the stock suspension only sags marginally and certainly does not affect the handling in terms of safety, it will only impact on the fuel consumption as I have experienced.

If lifting the exy is the answer to load up the exy with more than it can take/handle, then am afraid you have solved one problem and introduced another.

One would not drive with a load like shown in Kev's profile everyday and this is the only situation where the suspension lift would have helped him in this instance (in terms of carrying excessive load)

Please don't get me wrong, I am NOT against the suspension lift in any way, I just have a feeling that it is being done for the wrong purpose or just to make the exy look a bit tough (I don't mean you personally)

In addition to that, some of those with a suspension lift will get a false sense of superiority and/or advantage in certain off-road conditions, as their exy will be able to take them a bit further than a stock one, this is a dangerous combination if driver experience off-roading is questionable.

Those xtrail owners who have towing in mind and more than just occasional towing of 6x4 box to the tip, have every right to consider this mod.

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3/Oct/2007, 6:17 pm Link to this post Send Private Message MSN Blog
 
Paul Clarke Profile
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Date Registered: 09-2007
TOTAL POSTS: 17
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


Guys I have hunted high and low and nobody makes air adjustable shocks for an x trail. So that idea is out of the equation. Heavier rear springs will make my xcy ride rough when unladen around town, although I have some suspension places currently researching this option for me. Towing my Jayco will not benefit by changing the front springs I have decided. I am now looking into a weight distribution hitch system from Hayman Reese to use with my Jayco outback Dove camper to help level the car and camper, and this is around $600 but I think will be better than just heavier rear springs, which afterall, will not take any actual weight at all off the rear axle. But, [sign in to see URL] have a treg hitch and I don't think the HR weight dist system works with this, only works with a normal tow [sign in to see URL] this is getting tricky.

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Paul
2007 X-Trail ST-S Manual
3/Oct/2007, 6:30 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 


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