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mybelle
Apr. 4, 2011, 12:46 PM
I know a lot of people are going to say don't do it - you can only haul with a half ton - 1 ton truck.

Is there anyone out there that thinks its doable? I have a friend that hauls a 2 horse with a dressing room with a Tacoma just fine, so this is why I wonder what truly can haul and what can't

morganpony86
Apr. 4, 2011, 12:57 PM
I know a lady who hauls a 3 horse bumper pull with an Audi station wagon. I know another girl who hauls a two horse bumper pull with a Ford Ranger.
I would NEVER do it, but everyone in those situations is still alive (so far).

I don't know much about the Xterra; it looks big. My concern always with "overmatched" towing vehicles is stopping. Maybe ask on the Car Talk forums about weight and that type of thing. I would hate to slam on the brakes with the Audi and 3 horse trailer. Everyone is toast in that situation.

Luckydonkey
Apr. 4, 2011, 01:08 PM
And people wonder why so many states would like to pass laws in regards to towing horse trailers and requiring cdl licenses.... :(

mybelle
Apr. 4, 2011, 02:08 PM
Thanks for your candor MorganPony. It would be a temporary option for when I do not have access to a family member's Yukon and until I purchase a more suitable option - not that I need to explain myself.

Lucassb
Apr. 4, 2011, 02:14 PM
I know a lot of people are going to say don't do it - you can only haul with a half ton - 1 ton truck.

Is there anyone out there that thinks its doable? I have a friend that hauls a 2 horse with a dressing room with a Tacoma just fine, so this is why I wonder what truly can haul and what can't

Depends, I guess, on how you define "doable."

If you are asking if you can move a trailer with that vehicle? Answer is probably yes, with the caveat that you aren't encountering any adverse conditions, such as hilly terrain, challenging road conditions, large trailers whizzing by, etc. Can you stop it? Again - probably yes, with the caveat that you aren't encountering the need to stop quickly, navigate a situation where someone cuts you off, etc.

There are plenty of people who have driven while drunk, and who made it home without crashing or causing an accident. Does that mean driving drunk is "doable"???

The thing about choosing towing vehicles, IMO, is to consider everyone's safety in less than perfect situations...

GoForAGallop
Apr. 4, 2011, 02:15 PM
Your Xterra has a 5000lb tow rating. You can tow a two-horse no-dressing room trailer with one horse and minimal tack.....and you sure as heck better have a weight distribution setup, cause that much weight on just a regular hitch is going to sit your Xterra right down on it's rear wheels. It is really not a very safe set up, and you are going to put some major wear and tear on your vehicle. You should consider upgrading your brakes, springs, and adding a transmission cooler for sure.

A safer option would be a $2000 half-ton truck off of craigslist. Will probably cost you about that much just to do some quality upgrades on your Xterra anyway.

That Tacoma, if it is post-2000, actually has a greater tow rating than your Xterra. In addition, the Tacoma is a truck, albeit a smaller one, with different springs and a different weight setup than your grocery-getting, family-hauling SUV. The models recommended for towing have a bigger engine than the Xterra.

GoForAGallop
Apr. 4, 2011, 02:26 PM
I know a lady who hauls a 3 horse bumper pull with an Audi station wagon. I know another girl who hauls a two horse bumper pull with a Ford Ranger.
I would NEVER do it, but everyone in those situations is still alive (so far).

I don't know much about the Xterra; it looks big. My concern always with "overmatched" towing vehicles is stopping. Maybe ask on the Car Talk forums about weight and that type of thing. I would hate to slam on the brakes with the Audi and 3 horse trailer. Everyone is toast in that situation.

Luckily, with the invention of electric brakes, stopping the trailer with the truck is no longer an issue to consider. ;) Your trailer stops itself--if it is pushing on the truck, then that means you need to take a look at your controller and see what's up, and boost the trailer brakes up a bit. Of course, if something goes WRONG with those electric brakes, then it's nice to have the bigger vehicle that has a chance of stopping.

What is more concerning is the overall stability of the rig (a Xterra is a very high center of gravity vehicle) and the overall capabilities of the truck. Pulling with a smaller, unfit vehicle is going to wear it out awful quick. In addition, you may find yourself seriously struggling to move the trailer in tougher situations, like up hills or in mud.

The Audi is actually probably a safer choice in the world of unsafe towing vehicles than the Xterra, actually. It's a much lower, more stable vehicle, longer too. And chances are the engine is bigger, to boot. Surprised she hasn't burned out the transmission on it yet, though...that won't be cheap!

As for the Ranger, well, that depends on a lot of variables. The base models are barely rated to tow 1000lbs. But the 4x4 Super Cab with the Long Bed, when PROPERLY EQUIPPED (which via the Ford website = a weight distribution hitch, and the proper hitch/ball ratings) can pull up to 6000lbs, which is adequate for a lightly-loaded two horse.


And people wonder why so many states would like to pass laws in regards to towing horse trailers and requiring cdl licenses.... :(

Right?

mybelle
Apr. 4, 2011, 02:34 PM
Yes, I think you're right about the Tacoma having a greater hauling capacity - 6500 maybe? And I think the Xterra is only 5000. I was wondering about the shape of the Xterra. Since it's higher and skinnier than most SUVs (at least it looks that way to me) how would the shape of the Xterra affect its ability to tow?

I do understand the difference between being able to tow and being able to tow safely. I would really like to understand specifically why the Xterra is not a good option. Knowledge is power especially in this situation

And not that I'm disagreeing because I'm really not, but I'd say 75% of the towing setups I see are unsafe according to the standards I've come to understand from reading this forum over the years. So to those towing gurus out there that'd like to dismiss my question - when average people see that kind of stuff they wonder

MistyBlue
Apr. 4, 2011, 02:37 PM
Beef up the hitch, don't haul more than one horse and use a BUP if possible...if it's 100% necessary to haul using an Xterra.

Just test it out in a parking lot on turn and any swerving...the Xterra is on the tall and narrow side. Same as a trailer. Not always the best combination for balance and safety.

SunkenMeadow
Apr. 4, 2011, 02:40 PM
Wheel base is the biggest concern. Audis, Xterras etc, just do not have it. Is it doable? Yes. So is driving with your infant on your lap...

Sure most of the time you will be fine. But its that one time when your horse falls down in the trailer and it starts rocking or on a slippery road when you start jack-knifing. I "might" move an empty trailer with one of these vehicles, but there is no way on God's green Earth that I would put one of my horses (or anyone elses's) in that. Besides the safety factor, there is the liability. You can (and most likely would) be picked apart by vultures in court if you were ever in an accident.

I agree with the poster, about no wonder why they want us to get CDL's. To eliminate this type of danger. Whenever you put a horse on a trailer and head on down the highway, you are a moving liability and a danger to yourself, your horse and others...even under the best of circumstances.

mybelle
Apr. 4, 2011, 02:42 PM
Right?

Again, having an intelligent rhetorical discussion about WHY something is a bad idea rather than dismissing your fellow horseperson as a moron probably breeds a safer way of thinking in general. And then you don't have to live in fear of sharing the road with uninformed, unsafe morons

The condescending tone is unnecessary. I believe I made it clear I was seeking information and opinions, not looking to run out and haul tomorrow. I feel like that's the true purpose of this BB in general and why so many people choose to use alters rather than risking asking a "stupid" question and then enduring the condescension.

GoForAGallop
Apr. 4, 2011, 03:19 PM
I would really like to understand specifically why the Xterra is not a good option. Knowledge is power especially in this situation

And not that I'm disagreeing because I'm really not, but I'd say 75% of the towing setups I see are unsafe according to the standards I've come to understand from reading this forum over the years. So to those towing gurus out there that'd like to dismiss my question - when average people see that kind of stuff they wonder

Again, having an intelligent rhetorical discussion about WHY something is a bad idea rather than dismissing your fellow horseperson as a moron probably breeds a safer way of thinking in general. And then you don't have to live in fear of sharing the road with uninformed, unsafe morons

The condescending tone is unnecessary. I believe I made it clear I was seeking information and opinions, not looking to run out and haul tomorrow. I feel like that's the true purpose of this BB in general and why so many people choose to use alters rather than risking asking a "stupid" question and then enduring the condescension.

I wasn't being condescending, I was agreeing with the other poster that that would be a fabulous idea. BTW, you are asking for opinions and asking for help in regards to why the Xterra is not a good tow vehicle....and I already posted two significantly-sized posts explaining why that you didn't see/chose to ignore/whatever. I'll explain it again, sparks note style:

1. The tow rating does not allow you to tow very much. You are ideally not going to want a dressing room, and may not even want to load up two horses depending on what sort of horses you have. You are going to have to pay very careful attention to what is going into both the vehicle and the trailer....that includes hay and tack in the trailer, and people/dogs/food/etc in the vehicle. This is not something that I worry about in my 10,000lb-rated truck, obviously. :lol:

2. To deal with the low tow rating, you are going to need to look into a weight distribution hitch. They can get pricey, but are absolutely not a negotiable piece of equipment with your setup. In fact, I imagine without one your Xterra is just going to sit down on it's back wheels and you won't be able to go anywhere anyway!

3. The Xterra is not a vehicle built for towing -- it is built for comfort, for hauling people around. To deal with the weight of a trailer, you are going to want to upgrade lots of different things: start with the springs (stiffer), the brakes (heavy duty) and a transmission cooler. The transmission cooler is another option that you are not allowed to go without, if you want to have that vehicle for any significant period of time. (Ie, more than like a year..:lol:)

4. The Xterra is a very high-centered vehicle, ie, not the most stable. That's why I suggested the Audi station wagon was a better option in terms of general safety; it is long and low to the ground.

5. Engine size - no, engine size is not everything. But a heavy weight is going to be a strain on the Xterra engine....I'd say with a full load you can expect your gas mileage to half itself. My 1500 diesel Suburban had trouble getting up some big hills.....so you can expect to be CRAWLING up anything of substantial size.

6. In terms of more upgrades: I don't know what sort of hitch they toss on there outta the factory, but you are going to want to go with a Class III at least...preferably a Class IV to be safe, as the Class III tops out at 5000lbs and it's better to be safe than sorry.


The better (and honestly, probably cheaper) option is to just buy a $2000 truck off craigslist. Buy something that's actually meant for hauling loads, and take the wear and tear off your vehicle that was really just designed to haul a nice boat or something.

And yes, I am correct about the tow ratings, because I went to the appropriate websites (ie, the manufacturers) and looked them up. :)


As to why 75% of people are hauling with unsafe rigs....I don't see that in my area, so I don't know that I agree. Almost every horse owner I know has either a half-ton truck or the equivalent full-body style. (Suburban, Expedition, etc)


Besides the safety factor, there is the liability. You can (and most likely would) be picked apart by vultures in court if you were ever in an accident.

I agree with the poster, about no wonder why they want us to get CDL's. To eliminate this type of danger. Whenever you put a horse on a trailer and head on down the highway, you are a moving liability and a danger to yourself, your horse and others...even under the best of circumstances.

This is #7 on the list. If you get in any sort of accident that injures other people, you are going to be screwed. Royally. Because it is going to be very easy for a lawyer to prove that your setup is not safe. And trailer accidents are really not as uncommon as you think--there are several members of this board who have gotten in very serious ones while using the proper equipment, nevermind sub-par setups.

You should actually call up your insurance company and see if they'll cover you at all under their policy. Most insurance companies will very clearly state that they do not cover vehicles being "mis-used." I have an insurance policy on my trailer and the rep asked me what I would be towing with. (GMC 2500) He was relieved to hear my answer because "you don't know how many idiots I turn down for insurance. And then they get angry at me because I'm not going to cover them towing their giant horse trailer with a Cherokee!"



Oh, more that I thought of!

Reason #8: Tires. I suspect that the tires you have on the vehicle right now are light-duty passenger tires. Yeah, you're going to want to upgrade to real truck tires if you're going to be carrying any sort of weight, so be prepared to fork up about $1000 for the tires alone.

mybelle
Apr. 4, 2011, 03:40 PM
I'm honestly appreciative for the info and all 7 points are well taken. I just found some of the other extraneous comments distracting and could not help but comment on them. I apologize for not acknowledging the information you provided sooner

I think the references to driving drunk and driving with a baby on the lap were a bit on the condescending side. There's no need to point out the more passive agressive forms of condescension since I'm interested in towing/hauling info not finger-pointing. I understand a point was trying to be made and maybe someone was just trying to be funny, but I personally take someone's advice seriously when I don't get the feeling they think I'm stupid or may be trying to imply that I am. Since others are probably reading this thread that are not responding, this is your chance to educate without insulting.

I probably should've not posted the question at all in retrospect since a few of the responses were more annoying than informative, but I was honestly interested in the feedback.

Not all of us have the resources we would like to have and when someone offers a possibility that may not be a good option (or is it an option? let's ask the Chronicle BB!) its nice to know what other more informed horse people out there think.

mvp
Apr. 4, 2011, 03:47 PM
OK, ok. People have given you plenty of good advice about why this isn't a good idea....or how much you'd spend to make your Xterra minimally safe for you and your horses....or how much it would cost to buy a beater 1/2 ton hauler for the occasional trip you'd do versus blowing up the engine and tranny on this one.

And then y'all got into a quick fight. Nay-sayer posters implied this was a stupid question. Op said it was her right to ask. Not that she should have to explain herself. Not that she planned on doing this soon.

Wait a sec. If you aren't planning to do this, then why ask? You *do* need to explain a bit because you aren't the only person on the road. If you lost control of your undertrucked rig, you'd be very sorry for the accident, I'm sure. It might not even be your fault-- some other a-hole could cause the accident by cutting you off. But damn! People and animals would still be hurt, and having chosen too little vehicle is your part in that.

I'll accept "hey, it's a free country" until it really isn't and sharing the road is one of those instances. I only comment on this thread in a hard-a$$ because the Xterra is, no offense, the most unlikely tow vehicle I have seen a COTHer inquire about.

The CDL would be a pain for most of us. It's a pretty involved test, as I understand it. But having gotten into hauling horses even with a 3/4 ton truck whose tow capacity I never approach, I have gained a new respect for professional drivers and their much bigger, heavier vehicles. Most truckers are great to drive with. They don't F around. I try to do the same-- be polite and predictable. Really, the CDL is to be imitated, IMO.

GoForAGallop
Apr. 4, 2011, 03:50 PM
I'm honestly appreciative for the info and all 7 points are well taken. I just found some of the other extraneous comments distracting and could not help but comment on them. I apologize for not acknowledging the information you provided sooner

I think the references to driving drunk and driving with a baby on the lap were a bit on the condescending side.

Not all of us have the resources we would like to have and when someone offers a possibility that may not be a good option (or is it an option? let's ask the Chronicle BB!) its nice to know what other more informed horse people out there think.

Well, the drunk/baby references were not from me. Although I think it's a point that should be considered...people do plenty of dangerous things all the time while driving. Just because they occasionally get away with it, doesn't mean that it's okay to assume that you can. Because that one time that they aren't so lucky, all we can do is hope that they hurt only themselves and not any innocent bystanders.

Bottom line is: No, the Xterra does not seem like a good option for what you want to do. I would instead take the $2000 for upgrades to the vehicle (which are not optional....those lightweight tires will blow/the weight distributing hitch is probably required by law/etc) and spend it on a cheap truck off craigslist. I got my GMC 2500 for a smidge over $1000. She's older (1999) and higher mileage (180k) but she is in excellent shape and used just for hauling/getting stuff in the bed around town. Four doors, too, so I can haul people in addition to horses! Costs me MAYBE $500 a year to insure, and I'm still a young driver with a speeding ticket or two in the very expensive Massachusetts, so my rates are higher than average. You could definitely find a Suburban/half-ton truck that's safe for towing for around $2000. Especially as gas prices continue to rise and rise.....there are so many lovely 'burbans (I LOVE them! Sadly needed the bed, though) being tossed on craigslist cause people can't pay for the gas on a 18mpg vehicle anymore.

GoForAGallop
Apr. 4, 2011, 03:53 PM
I'll accept "hey, it's a free country" until it really isn't and sharing the road is one of those instances. I only comment on this thread in a hard-a$$ because the Xterra is, no offense, the most unlikely tow vehicle I have seen a COTHer inquire about.
.

Hey now, hey now, I think someone asked about a Cherokee once. Not a v8 7000lb Grand Cherokee, mind you, but a regular, 2000lb-rated Cherokee. And got upset when everyone's reactions were :eek::no::eek::no::eek::no::eek:

:lol:

SunkenMeadow
Apr. 4, 2011, 03:58 PM
It wasn't meant to be condescending, it was illustrating the fact that most of our horses (and our own lives) are very important to us. But people as a whole do not have a good understanding of the seriousness (is that the right word?) of the situation you are asking about. Of course you wouldn't drive drunk or with an infant on your lap, I was just pointing out that this is just as serious an issue. So, just because the Owner's Manual (and more than likely the car salesman) might say that its okay, it usually is not. I do not think anyone was trying to put you down, just trying to stress the importance of having the correct vehicle.

Maybe I am jaded, but I have seen too many trailering accidents that could have been prevented. So it happens to be a bee in my bonnet... so if I ruffled your feathers, sorry, but if I saved yours or someone else's butt by being blunt, that is way more important to me...

SaturdayNightLive
Apr. 4, 2011, 03:59 PM
I know a lot of people are going to say don't do it - you can only haul with a half ton - 1 ton truck.

Is there anyone out there that thinks its doable? I have a friend that hauls a 2 horse with a dressing room with a Tacoma just fine, so this is why I wonder what truly can haul and what can't

As I understood the OP (quoted above), mybelle only wants responses from people that think it's an okay idea to haul with an XTerra. No matter how polite you are in telling her that it's a bad idea, she's going to call you rude and condescending because, as per her OP, she only wants to hear from people that think she can haul with an Xterra.

mybelle, lots of people haul with lots of inappropriate vehicles. Usually, they live to tell the tale. Sometimes, though, they don't. There is a poster here that insisted on hauling with an Explorer. Was told by several members of this board that it was a bad idea. Insisted that he/she knew better and that it would be fine. The result? The poster totaled their Explorer and trailer and killed both of their horses.

Yes, hauling with an underrated vehicle that isn't designed to haul is a stupid idea. There is no way around it. That doesn't make everyone else condescending or rude, it just makes them honest.

mybelle
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:28 PM
Gallop - I appreciate your candor, once again. I have long considered the extra vehicle option as a possibility. It's good that you threw the $$ amounts out there for me because I've wondered if the costs of owning an extra, older vehicle like that would be prohibitive. It just sucks because the Xterra is free. I tried to dissuade friend who bought the Xterra to get something better for hauling (yes, I kind of sorta knew it wouldn't work, but I was hoping against hope), but its cute so she bought it. She didn't really buy it for me to haul my horse - how thoughtless of her! (now I made a joke! :)

And I get what you are saying about people making a point with the drunk driving/baby on lap thing, but my point was that saying those things differently would've been more productive (unless those people were just trying to be funny)

There's a father at my barn who hauled his daughter's horse to Kentucky maybe (?) and back with a Jeep Cherokee (I think it was a Grand Cherokee). I tried to mention the half-ton-ton truck (ie: I heard that's what you should use to haul) and he told me that's not true. So that's just one example of how its possible to become confused as to what is safe and what isn't. I do get what you guys are saying about people do stuff and that doesn't make it safe because no one dies.



Wait a sec. If you aren't planning to do this, then why ask? You *do* need to explain a bit because you aren't the only person on the road.

I asked in order to hear the answers. I was curious as to the reasons why it was a bad choice. I wasn't seeking a yes or no kind of answer but looking for a discussion and attempting to broaden my knowledge. My friend told me her Xterra came equipped with a towing package. This made me wonder - what kinds of things can this vehicle haul? I asked one friend about it and she never mentioned it as an unsuitable vehicle for towing a horse trailer. She just mentioned the need for an electronic braking system and an appropriate hitch and the weight distribution sway bars. I knew if I asked here my questions would be answered. I'm not sure I understand why you asked why I asked. I asked because I'm uninformed and I was looking for information. Is that not obvious? Why does anyone ask things on this BB? It seems that you are implying that even asking the question whether its ok to tow with an Xterra means I'm ignorant. YES. I don't know so I asked. What if I was wrong? Should I run around assuming for fear someone is going to call me ignorant? I'm a person that prefers to ask the stupid question and know the answer than to wonder and google aimlessly. And I did try googling the info and I was dissatisfied with what I found. Again, that could be because I'm uninformed. I'm trying to inform and educate myself so i'm not some dummy on the road endangering myself or others or my horse because I have no desire to do that and to imply that that could be my desire or aim is a strange accusation (and therefore I'm sure that is not what you meant)

And I gotta say, people appreciate me for being willing to ask those "dumb" questions. And if people think I'm dumb for asking a question with a seemingly obvious answer, I'm ok with that. It's not so much about it being a free country. I just don't think anyone should be afraid to ask a question. It may seem off the subject, but I feel like this is the true spirit and nature of this board - to spark discussion and have a debate and have us all be better horse people in the end for it. Because that's what its all about. I want to safely go out and have fun with my horse.

mybelle
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:31 PM
SunkenMeadow - Thanks for the explanation and I understand your choice now. Much appreciated! I definitely get the point now, so you're right that's what's important

mybelle
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:33 PM
As I understood the OP (quoted above), mybelle only wants responses from people that think it's an okay idea to haul with an XTerra. No matter how polite you are in telling her that it's a bad idea, she's going to call you rude and condescending because, as per her OP, she only wants to hear from people that think she can haul with an Xterra.


Completely untrue and unfair assessment

But you did make me laugh by so completely misunderstanding me!

mybelle
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:34 PM
Hey now, hey now, I think someone asked about a Cherokee once. Not a v8 7000lb Grand Cherokee, mind you, but a regular, 2000lb-rated Cherokee. And got upset when everyone's reactions were :eek::no::eek::no::eek::no::eek:

:lol:

So, stupid question once again - it IS ok to haul with the Grand Cherokee?

joiedevie99
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:40 PM
I haul with a Jeep Grand Cherokee- Hemi engine, upgraded rear axle ratio, tow package. I'm rated to tow 7200 lbs. However, I chose not to purchase a regular 2-horse because the shorter wheelbase (even though mathematically solid). I bought a 2-horse Brenderup which is designed to be hauled by a smaller vehicle. It has been the perfect set-up for me so far, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

A JGC, properly equipped, can be a very safe towing vehicle- but don't think its a cheaper option. The Brenderup set me back quite a bit.

P.S. Yes, hypothetically, I'd prefer a F250 with a gooseneck, but I live in a city where I (1) have to pay $$$$ for each parking spot in the garage, (2) can't park a truck because it is longer than the maximum length allowed in the garage, and (3) need to drive on parkways where vehicles with commercial plates aren't allowed.

SaturdayNightLive
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:41 PM
Completely untrue and unfair assessment

But you did make me laugh by so completely misunderstanding me!

Now who's being rude and condescending? ;)

In your OP, you said you know that most people will say that you need a truck to haul. Then you asked if there was anyone that thought hauling with the Xterra was doable.

You didn't ask why most people don't think it's a good idea. You didn't ask why most people would say that you need a truck. You just asked if anybody thought it was doable to haul with the Xterra.

That, to me, sounds like you're looking for people who think it's doable.

You went on to call everyone that said it was a bad idea "condescending".

But hey, maybe I just can't read.

kookicat
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:42 PM
OP, what would you be towing? There's a big difference between a lightweight trailer like a Brenderup and a six horse head to head.

GoForAGallop
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:46 PM
Gallop - I appreciate your candor, once again. I have long considered the extra vehicle option as a possibility. It's good that you threw the $$ amounts out there for me because I've wondered if the costs of owning an extra, older vehicle like that would be prohibitive. It just sucks because the Xterra is free. I tried to dissuade friend who bought the Xterra to get something better for hauling (yes, I kind of sorta knew it wouldn't work, but I was hoping against hope), but its cute so she bought it. She didn't really buy it for me to haul my horse - how thoughtless of her! (now I made a joke! :)



There's a father at my barn who hauled his daughter's horse to Kentucky maybe (?) and back with a Jeep Cherokee (I think it was a Grand Cherokee). I tried to mention the half-ton-ton truck (ie: I heard that's what you should use to haul) and he told me that's not true.

My friend told me her Xterra came equipped with a towing package. This made me wonder - what kinds of things can this vehicle haul?

You're welcome. I'm a car girl and all of this is just knowledge that I've soaked up....not everyone has had the same exposure as me. :) (Hey, I was driving an 85hp tractor at age 8. Farm girl!)

What I am concerned about is that you've mentioned two different vehicles (the Xterra and the Yukon) that are owned by other people. Personally, I'd stay far away from that situation....what if you break something major? (Ie, transmission.) Are you even covered under the insurance to be driving it? More insurance nightmares in addition to if the vehicle is even suitable.

It must have been a Grand Cherokee. I am a Cherokee girl and my Cherokee, though I love her dearly, could not even move a horse trailer. Grand Cherokee's come in all sorts of models, some are appropriate for towing.

For towing with the Xterra, you are looking at things like smaller boats, landscape trailers with a riding lawnmower, cargo trailers, things like that.


So, stupid question once again - it IS ok to haul with the Grand Cherokee?

SOME of the Grand Cherokees. SOME. There is a V8 with a Hemi out there that I'm pretty sure can move close to 8000lbs. Then there are the smaller engines that top out at around 5000lbs, same as your Xterra. I don't have time to list all of the various engines and base stats (as the Grand Cherokee has had LOTS of different engines) but that is something that you could do more research into, I suppose. The Grand Cherokee is less reliable than a Suburban, though, when we're talking hauling. Smaller vehicle = more wear and tear.

mvp
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:47 PM
Hey now, hey now, I think someone asked about a Cherokee once. Not a v8 7000lb Grand Cherokee, mind you, but a regular, 2000lb-rated Cherokee. And got upset when everyone's reactions were :eek::no::eek::no::eek::no::eek:

:lol:

Oops! You're right. I think I blocked it out.


There is a poster here that insisted on hauling with an Explorer. Was told by several members of this board that it was a bad idea. Insisted that he/she knew better and that it would be fine. The result? The poster totaled their Explorer and trailer and killed both of their horses.


I definitely blocked that out.


It just sucks because the Xterra is free. I tried to dissuade friend who bought the Xterra to get something better for hauling (yes, I kind of sorta knew it wouldn't work, but I was hoping against hope), but its cute so she bought it. She didn't really buy it for me to haul my horse - how thoughtless of her! (now I made a joke! :)....

There's a father at my barn who hauled his daughter's horse to Kentucky maybe (?) and back with a Jeep Cherokee (I think it was a Grand Cherokee). I tried to mention the half-ton-ton truck (ie: I heard that's what you should use to haul) and he told me that's not true. So that's just one example of how its possible to become confused as to what is safe and what isn't. I do get what you guys are saying about people do stuff and that doesn't make it safe because no one dies....

My friend told me her Xterra came equipped with a towing package. This made me wonder - what kinds of things can this vehicle haul? I asked one friend about it and she never mentioned it as an unsuitable vehicle for towing a horse trailer. She just mentioned the need for an electronic braking system and an appropriate hitch and the weight distribution sway bars.

On these parts of your posts-- for education purposes.

1) If you are a woman telling a man with a too small vehicle (read: penis) that he's wrong to think he has enough equipment for the job..... well, you might want to consider your source before you decide that he's giving you an unbiased opinion.

2) As to your inconsiderate and clueless friend who bought "cute" without regard to your hauling needs. You can share this with her or not depending on your mood:

There's more to a towing package than the hitch and electronic brakes. Stiffer suspension is part of it, engine size and gear ratios, are too. Most important/the most expensive part to not know about? A better transmission and tranny cooler.

You don't want to be implicated in the trashing of her transmission. They cost some bread.

GoForAGallop
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:48 PM
A JGC, properly equipped, can be a very safe towing vehicle- but don't think its a cheaper option. The Brenderup set me back quite a bit.
.

SOME Grand Cherokees....you mentioned the V8, are great options. Others, not so much. Jeep dumped a ton of different engines into the Grand Cherokees.

joiedevie99
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:53 PM
SOME Grand Cherokees....you mentioned the V8, are great options. Others, not so much. Jeep dumped a ton of different engines into the Grand Cherokees.

Absolutely true. That's what I meant by properly equipped. The V8/Hemi option and the Diesel option are both solid, as long as you also add the tow package. The SRT8 has a huge engine, but very low tow capacity and has to be avoided, as do all the the various V6 options, and the small V8 they used to offer.

GoForAGallop
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:57 PM
2) As to your inconsiderate and clueless friend who bought "cute" without regard to your hauling needs. You can share this with her or not depending on your mood:

There's more to a towing package than the hitch and electronic brakes. Stiffer suspension is part of it, engine size and gear ratios, are too. Most important/the most expensive part to not know about? A better transmission and tranny cooler.

You don't want to be implicated in the trashing of her transmission. They cost some bread.

Inconsiderate and clueless? Hey, the girl is forking up the cash for HER vehicle, if she wants to buy something cute, she can go for it! I know I certainly don't pick out my vehicles thinking "Hmm, will I have to lend this vehicle, for free, to my friend to haul her kids/her horses/bring trash to the dump/load up gravel?" :lol: I spend *MY* money on what *I* want. :biggrin:

GoForAGallop
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:58 PM
Absolutely true. That's what I meant by properly equipped. The V8/Hemi option and the Diesel option are both solid, as long as you also add the tow package. The SRT8 has a huge engine, but very low tow capacity and has to be avoided, as do all the the various V6 options, and the small V8 they used to offer.

I knew you knew what you were talking about, just wanted to make sure that the less experienced understood that not any $500 Grand Cherokee off of craigslist is going to be a proper towing vehicle. :) The ones that can tow are high in demand (and were more expensive to begin with) and therefore quite pricey, even for older models.

mybelle
Apr. 4, 2011, 04:59 PM
1) If you are a woman telling a man with a too small vehicle (read: penis) that he's wrong to think he has enough equipment for the job..... well, you might want to consider your source before you decide that he's giving you an unbiased opinion.

2) As to your inconsiderate and clueless friend who bought "cute" without regard to your hauling needs. You can share this with her or not depending on your mood:

There's more to a towing package than the hitch and electronic brakes. Stiffer suspension is part of it, engine size and gear ratios, are too. Most important/the most expensive part to not know about? A better transmission and tranny cooler.

You don't want to be implicated in the trashing of her transmission. They cost some bread.

Yeah her Xterra is beautiful and brand new. And she's scary for a small person. It's pretty nice of her to offer it and she was willing to pay for additions to it to make it "haul-worthy" since she thought she may need to haul stuff. Anyway, you're right, I have zero desire to destroy her car. That was my immediate reaction - I actually think I even asked her if it could tow/haul and someone mentioned that yes vehicles can haul stuff without being safe to haul horses. Hence my decision to ask the almighty Chronicle BB! And I did not mean she bought it for me - I think it was a side thought when she bought it. Now I'll just try to convince her to trade it in!

Oh and yes, she totally bought it because it was cute. No joke. She's one of a kind..

mybelle
Apr. 4, 2011, 05:04 PM
not everyone has had the same exposure as me. :) (Hey, I was driving an 85hp tractor at age 8. Farm girl!)

What I am concerned about is that you've mentioned two different vehicles (the Xterra and the Yukon) that are owned by other people. Personally, I'd stay far away from that situation....what if you break something major? (Ie, transmission.) Are you even covered under the insurance to be driving it? More insurance nightmares in addition to if the vehicle is even suitable.


Yes! I know that some of this kind of knowledge is intuitive for some folks. I'm hoping to get there someday.

I am also concerned about borrowing a family member's vehicle and breaking something on it and the insurance situation. I think this all boils down to me needing to sit on my hands and wait til I can purchase my own vehicle. sigh..

mybelle
Apr. 4, 2011, 05:11 PM
OP, what would you be towing? There's a big difference between a lightweight trailer like a Brenderup and a six horse head to head.

There is no actual trailer in the equation just yet. I wanted to figure out if i could buy one, use the Xterra (& the Yukon) that I have access to for 6 months or so and then buy myself a hauling/towing vehicle of my own.

My future trailer would be a 2 horse, lightweight, used, no dressing room. Ramp or step-up. My ideal would be a Cotner with the tack trunk but those are hard to find especially at a lower price.

Coyoteco
Apr. 4, 2011, 05:30 PM
I don't know the year of your vehicle. However, I don't think the X-terra will not pull a trailer without damaging it. The predecessor car, the original Pathfinder, was a seriously underpowered car. Fun and zippy to drive on the flat, but just very underpowered (see the reviews in auto magazines). The X-Terra came out and was just the same; cute, fun and underpowered. I've driven 4-Runners and the Pathfinder and there is just no comparison on the power.

Before you plan to pull a loaded horse trailer, at least load up a uhaul trailer and see if your X-Terra will pull it without straining the engine.

mvp
Apr. 4, 2011, 05:35 PM
Inconsiderate and clueless? Hey, the girl is forking up the cash for HER vehicle, if she wants to buy something cute, she can go for it! I know I certainly don't pick out my vehicles thinking "Hmm, will I have to lend this vehicle, for free, to my friend to haul her kids/her horses/bring trash to the dump/load up gravel?" :lol: I spend *MY* money on what *I* want. :biggrin:

To quote the immortal Foghorn Leghorn: "It's a joke, son."

Appsolute
Apr. 4, 2011, 05:46 PM
I haven't read all the post here, but;

I OWN AN XTERRA AND WOULD NEVER TOW WITH IT!!!

Its my hubbie car (I call it a car, its certainly not a truck!), and I looked into using it as a towing vehicle. After researching, I decided NO WAY!

The tongue weight ratings were really really low. The Xterra is sprung for a smooth ride, not heavy loads.

It looked like the only thing I could get away with was my one horse and a small fiberglass / aluminum trailer. Its cheaper to just get an old F250 to haul with.

- Husband hauls his motorcycles with the Xterra.... you FEEL IT when just a dirt bike is on the hitch rack! Couldn't imagine a giant trailer with a horse!

-FYI, and I am not one of those, you have to have a HUGE rig to haul anything people... hell, my dad hauled me around in a LITTLE Toyota pick up truck when I was a kid. But honestly, even though it was smaller, that truck was better suited to the job (and needed an EXPERT to drive that sketchy rig!)

asterix
Apr. 4, 2011, 06:00 PM
You need to start with the numbers.
Go the the Equispirit site (www.equispirit.com) and read their articles about towing and safety. They explain all the numbers there.

You need to know what your hypothetical trailer will really weigh, loaded, along with the hitch and tongue weight numbers.

I would be surprised if towing a horse in anything but a brenderup would either feel stable or be acceptable wear and tear for this vehicle, but I could be wrong.

After making sure all your numbers add up, please haul empty (and not just in a parking lot -- on ROADS, with lights, traffic, etc etc) and see how it feels before you try a horse.

Luckydonkey
Apr. 4, 2011, 06:22 PM
some scary images embedded in my mind....
#1, when i was in 5th grade and at our 4H prefair I remember seeing someone load 5 horses into a 4H heavy steel trailer that was being pulled by a jeep cherokee...This would be mid 80's.that was a heavy trailer, and the cherokee could barely get it rolling in the parking lot. I can't imagine how they made it on the freeway alive- because not only did the loaded trailer out weigh the jeep, if a wind came up it could have flipped the whole thing over!

#2, 2 weeks ago I saw a tiny little hybrid car from washington state hooked up to a very tall, narrow brenderup trailer....we were loading up to leave the NW Horse Expo, and my 10yr old son says- I hope the horse is not very big! I don't care how good they say those brenderup trailers are- if you are pulling them with a rig that small, you are a risk and a hazzard!

mooonie
Apr. 4, 2011, 11:34 PM
Mybelle,

Thank-you so much for posting this thread. I too have a midsize SUV and was contemplating hooking up a trailer to it. You just may have saved others (like me) from tragedy. Glad you were willing to take the hit.

Is there any chance this thread could be bookmarked and referenced? Is there a link to the story about the Explorer?
Thanks again

thatmoody
Apr. 5, 2011, 08:01 AM
Just to throw it out there, I paid $1800 cash for a chevy silverado 3500 on craigslist, bought specifically to haul the horses. I did have to shop for a while to find it, but I think I got a great deal. The engine and transmission have both been rebuilt, and have about 60,000 miles on the rebuild. It's a little rough cosmetically, but my DH is fixing it up. We saw ANY number of trucks in the 2000-3000 range that would have done, but since I have to borrow a trailer and my trailer choices range from a 2 horse stock to a 20' stock, I needed something capable of hauling.

BTW, my dad was a long-haul trucker, and he taught me to drive a trailer when I was 16 (many long years ago). I wouldn't haul with an undersized vehicle if you paid me good money - it was instilled in me early that you don't take chances...You don't have to have a HUGE truck (I hauled for years with an F150 with an inline 6) but it needs to be big enough for the job - back then I was only hauling an aluminum 2 horse bumper pull...

deltawave
Apr. 5, 2011, 08:48 AM
Just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD.

I'd be OK if the trailer were a Brenderup--I used to tow mine with an S10 Blazer, but it had a big V6, tow package, and I beefed up the cooling system.

Other than that, not I. Not enough going OR stopping power.

Trixie
Apr. 5, 2011, 10:52 AM
There is a poster here that insisted on hauling with an Explorer. Was told by several members of this board that it was a bad idea. Insisted that he/she knew better and that it would be fine. The result? The poster totaled their Explorer and trailer and killed both of their horses.


I do remember this. It horrified me at the time – the poster was incredibly cavalier about how she was hauling with an Explorer and would another poster take care of her horses if she got herself killed. Unfortunately, she killed the horses first.

I would never haul with an Explorer, XTerra, or anything of that ilk - it's asking for an accident. It’s F-250 or better for us with anything larger than a Brenderup.

mybelle
Apr. 5, 2011, 02:16 PM
Mybelle,

Thank-you so much for posting this thread. I too have a midsize SUV and was contemplating hooking up a trailer to it. You just may have saved others (like me) from tragedy. Glad you were willing to take the hit.

Is there any chance this thread could be bookmarked and referenced? Is there a link to the story about the Explorer?
Thanks again

Sure thing! Happy to be of service and at least I now know my options (or lack thereof) going forward. That was kind of my point - you see people hitch trailers up to all sorts of crazy stuff, so its hard to distinguish who's being foolish and who is really making the safest choice, so I wanted to pose the question to the omniscient Chron BB! Always a great tool for getting much needed answers

wizzie
Apr. 6, 2011, 07:07 AM
i haul my brenderup with an xterra. It does just fine. I dont have any problems starting, stopping, accelerating up a hill. i only ever haul one horse at a time, two is just too much weight for my comfort level, and if the horses fight you really feel it. the wheel base is a little on the short side and if i buy a new car before i trade up to a car and truck with normal trailer Id probably try to get a larger suv like a 4runner. I wouldn't do long distance hauls (greater than 3 hours) but for the local stuff i want to do its perfect.

that being said there isnt enough money in the world to make me haul anything other then a brenderup with an xterra and i dont think id haul the larger brenderup model with an xterra. I actually was debating that when i bought my trailer and decided that the baron would push me too close to the maximum to weight and id feel better with the prestige model. With a regular trailer even if it can pull the trailer, the tongue load is just way too much and id imagine the wheel base would be way too short and it would just be too much for the car.

oh and i cant remember who said the xterra is based off of the pathfinder, thats not true, i believe its actually based off of the frontier.

wildlifer
Apr. 6, 2011, 08:59 AM
You'll see people hauling with all kinds of nutty things. I know a person who tows their horse with a camry. They're not dead yet, but I know of other horses that ARE dead because of similarly poor hauling choices. CAN such things be done? Sure -- but you sure a heck are not going to see my horse set one hoof on that particular exercise in spectacularly poor judgment.

sisu27
Apr. 6, 2011, 11:12 AM
I just hauled a two horse, no dressing room with an 800 lb pony and my 1300 lb thbd on it with an F-150 that is new and set up to haul. It works but to be honest I am not comfortable doing it. I know that I could not get it stopped in a hurry. It is not a good feeling.

How people can be ok hauling with anything less than a 3/4 t truck I have no idea.

We own and have owned every permutation of Jeep. I have hauled 1000s of miles with them and they are truly capable. BUT....I haul boats, ski-doos, utility trailers, cars on dollys etc. A loaded horse trailer is such a different situation. The short wheelbase and the high center of gravity of a horse trailer would be terrifying.

There should be laws (maybe there are?) regarding hauling and they should be enforced. I have seen some truly idiotic set-ups rolling down the highway and it scares me.

ponies123
Apr. 6, 2011, 06:43 PM
oh and i cant remember who said the xterra is based off of the pathfinder, thats not true, i believe its actually based off of the frontier.

My mechanic calls x-terras "Nissan Extras" because he said the design is all based off of extra parts left over from discontinued or old models of vehicles. Ie. chassis from the pathfinder, front end from the frontier, etc. (I don't know that those are the exact parts from those vehicles but you get the gist) rebuilt into a different vehicle.

That said I love my x-terra, love love LOVE it. Would never haul with it. Yes there is a 5000 towing capacity but horses are live animals and even with trailer electric breaks I want that extra security that comes with knowing your truck has the power to stop all that extra weight behind you. I tow a big jetski (3 seater) and occasionally a 4-wheeler or two with my x-terra and you can feel every movement and accelerating/breaking is definitely more work. I don't think I'd tow anything bigger than that.