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Discussion Starter #1
I went all the way to Appling, Georgia from Northern Indiana to get my 1997 Trailmanor 2619 travel trailer (www.trailmanor.com for info on the newer ones).
Had to tow it with the Murano as the only tow capable vehicle in the stable.
I used to have a Hidden Hitch class 2 with a 1 1/4" receiver installed, but for this task I decided to upgrade to the Draw-Tite Class 2 (pseudo 3) with a 2" square receiver. I will have to sell the Hidden Hitch now.
The Tongue Weight of the trailer comes in at around 350# so I opted for the dual round bar 350# rating Weight Distributing Hitch configuration from Reese (special order). In reality the WDH will be able to take around 600# if ever needed, not that I intend to do that.

Since the trailer had electric brakes, I bought a new Tekonsha Prodigy controller on eBay for $ 70.00 and installed it myself. Made a real difference in the mountains on downgrades.

I wired the RV style harness ( 7 pin ) using the Modulite 18146 and the greatly appreciated information found on this forum.

Anyway, the trip was 810 miles up through the TN mountains and my '04 Murano handled this trailer in a magnificent way. I forgot about it several times and when I looked in the mirror I got startled by the "vehicle following too close" behind me.
I averaged for the trip 64 MPH, did it in 13 hrs ( 10 first day+ 3 second) and the fuel economy average was 16.4 MPG.

The trailer weight clocked in at about 2800 # total with the optional equipment, luggage and full propane tanks. Water tanks were empty, had it winterized before we left the south. We slept in it on the way up, one night at a Rest Area, opened the trailer up in 10 minutes, spread the bedding, turned the Thermostat to 70 F and we were very comfortable throughout the night ( went down to 36 F ).

Overall very happy with the performance of the Murano and the purchase.


Marius
'04 Glacier White SL AWD
 

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I've been thinking about you.....

I am happy to hear you made it safe and sound and everything worked out well for you.
:D
 

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Any chance of getting some pix of the hitch, especially the weight distributing part? Hard to figure how they hook a WD hitch to a unibody.

Homer
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry the trailer is in the garage already and we have a blizzard outside right now. When the weather gets better I will take some pictures.

The WDH has 5 pieces. The "T shape Head" that goes into the hitch receiver (2" square), the 2 spring bars that attach on one end into the head from underneath and on the other end have chains, and the 2 hang brackets that get installed on the trailer tongue and tighten the chains on the springbars.

Nothing special except that the 350# bars are not usually available and the head has a different design. It made a difference that I work in Elkhart, IN and Reese is in Elkhart. Through some business connections I got my hands on one complete assembly in 24 hrs, once I decided to go that route.

The 550#, 750# and 1000# bars are made differently too, they are thicker and the head is much more beefier.

Marius
 

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I looked up the reese 350 unit, interesting.

A WD hitch head just plugs into a 2" hitch. I don't think it cares if it is on a unibody or not.

I would take a look at the front bolt area's on the hitch to see if it is pulling down on the surrounding metal. If it does, let me know, I may have something for you to strengthen that area.
:D
 

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hfelknor said:
Any chance of getting some pix of the hitch, especially the weight distributing part? Hard to figure how they hook a WD hitch to a unibody.

Homer
\
My 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee V-8 has a unibody construction (Jeep calls it "Uni-Frame") yet I was able to install a true weight-distributing hitch and have a 6,500 pound towing capacity.

The hitch had two mounting points on each side. The distance between points was at least 18".

-njjoe
 

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The jeep has a sub frame.

Homer
 

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hfelknor said:
The jeep has a sub frame.

Homer
Believe me, a 95 Jeep Grand Cherokee does not have a sub-frame. The sheet steel body has formed sheet steel channels spot-welded to the body, but there are no forged frame members anywhere. The Jeep Wrangler has a frame, and I believe the Cherokee did, but the Grand Cherokee does not.

-njjoe
 

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Of course it does.
Forged?
I don't believe I used the term.
I don't believe that a subframe has to be forged.


I used to run horses. And pull a horse trailer.
So, while I am not the worlds leading authority on trailering, I have done some 10,000 pound and below trailering.
I will find some of the old guidlines and post them.


Here's a test on a 2004 Grand Cherokee

http://www.usedtrailers.com/mrtruck.htm

And that's not a "new" thing. I know for a fact that the 93 Grand had a subframe too. I owned one and pulled a horse trailer with one.

Point is, I don't think the Murano has a subframe and therefore I was questioning the use of a WD hitch.
Seems that would put a lot of stress on the unibody.
OTOH, I guess limiting it to 3500 takes that into consideration. In fact, I would go so dar as to say that that is likely the reason for the limit.
It's just that I never heard of putting a WD on a non frame/subframe vehicle.
 

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I agree Homer.

I had a post all typed up about looking for access to the place where the hitch frame bolts up when Mariusg first posted about the trailer. I was going to suggest at least contemplating some stiffner plate be dropped in so the load could be distributed better....but I deleted it so I wouldn't be a damper on anything.
I guess we will have to wait to hear from him on inspecting the forward bolt areas of the hitch mount.
I hauled 2800 pounds of quickcrete on my utility trailer with no problems. I did distribute the load carefully though. The tongue weight still had me wishing I had air bags.

Hauling is different for everything. I have heard though that a "live weight" haul is the most worrisome. I hauled my camper with a suburban with 750lb WDH bars. I still put add-a-leafs on it though to get a better feel of the tongue weight. When I hauled it with my dually straight on the ball with no WDH, you could barely tell it was back there. Of course...it was rated at something like 27,000lbs and 650 tongue.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Inspected the receiver underneath and everything is as tight as it can be. No movement what so ever on any bolts. They were torqued properly by the Reese techs when installed . The bolts are M12 which are equivalent strenghth and hardness wise to a 1/2" Grade 8 bolt, at about 34-39 RC core hardness, I don't expect them to stretch, it would take many thousands of lbs. to stretch them.

Marius
 

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I wasn't worried about your bolts, more like the metal surrounding the nuts. But, like Homer says, they probably rated it as low as they did to keep the big bar WDH's off of it. I think yours sounds just right.
:)
 

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Interesting.

So, are these parts and p/ns now all available.
I.e. can I order this setup, or is it only available to guys with geographic or personal connections in the Elkhart area? :)

Very interested in it, or at least some sort of anti-sway
 

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Hitch Places in Austin

Take your pick. B&H carries WD hitches for sure. I'm sure Discount Hitch does too.
Some camping centers can be cheap as well. There are some antisway products, but, they usually are a pain to deal with.
 
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