Towing with a Nissan Navara

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 at 19:25
ThreadID: 109817 Views:5535 Replies:8 FollowUps:11
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Hi All (again) As per our previous Thread (thanks to all who responded), we have decided against the Triton.
We are now requesting your thoughts on towing with a Nissan Navara ST D40. Looked at one today - an automatic Diesel 2011 Model with around 50,000km on the clock.
We are thinking of a 21ft / 23ft Jayco Heritage / Sterling.
As we are a couple of female Grey Nomads, so your help and advice would be greatly appreciated

Thanks in advance
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Reply By: steamfire01 - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 at 19:46

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 at 19:46
Hi folks
I wouldn't go the auto option if you're planning on towing 21 or 23 ft.
Find the towing information sticker on the Navara and you will see that the auto is rated to tow much less than the manual.
As a comparison my 2012 3 ltr Patrol auto is rated to tow 2500 while the Patrol manual is rated to tow 3200.

A 21 or 23 ft, especially with a few add ons is getting up towards that weight.
Definitely worth a very close check.

Stay safe out there.
AnswerID: 540362

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 00:19

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 00:19
That's news to me. My D40 diesel auto is rated to tow 3,000 kg.
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Reply By: Travelling - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 at 19:55

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 at 19:55
Hope you have deep pockets to repair the Nissan Navara and turbo issues etc. An automatic is well down on power and totally unsuitable for towing a 21ft/23ft Jayco Heritage/Sterling. As a grey nomad you will have at least 500kg payload in the Nissan and 500kg payload in the caravan. There is nothing worse than been a moving road block on the highway as you will find it so stressful. You need to look to a vehicle with greater power and towing equipment than a Nissan Navara for that size caravan. If you check the Nissan website and the Navara towing specifications you will see you cannot possibly be close to legal with that payload. You want to have an enjoyable time travelling not a time of heartache.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 17:46

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 17:46
That's funny, my brother's D40 tows his 25' fifth wheeler with ease!

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Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 at 20:50

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 at 20:50
With a D40 Navara make sure you first measure the tyre to wheel arch clearance on both sides at the tub.
Although the rear axle bump stop clearance may be the same, the tyre to arch clearance can vary a significant amount on some D40 utes.

If the tyre to arch measurement isn't very close to the same both sides as it should be, it is likely it is one of the many Nissan has sold or are selling with a malformed chassis. They know of the problem but are selling them throughout Australia anyway.

It is against consumer law to sell a defective vehicle as a new unblemished vehicle without informing the prospective buyer.

I am dealing with one such case and know of others as well.

I have also detected two side by side 2wd D40's which have 17mm difference from side to side and the other has 23mm difference. Both brand new and ready for sale.

This malforming has been missed by both Nissan and the dealers who a re selling them.
It goes to show, NO checks are done by Nissan and also the predelivery cost you pay for a vehicle when new, is a complete waste of money as the bent chassis/malformed is not detected by people who claim to be the Guru's of the brand.

A few people are currently taking either Dealers or Nissan or both to Tribunals throughout Australia. ie, NCAT or VCAT as a result of being sold new defective vehicles.

Quality control has been by passed in these cases. It doesn't affect the majority of vehicles but the numbers appearing are becoming more and more.
Some D22 models also have malformed tubs and, bent from new chassis.
One has it's tail pieces of the chassis welded 17mm wider than the specs state it should be.
Just be careful in what you look at and Nissan warranty in these cases appears to be severely lacking, almost not there. You will be left to fend for yourself.

They could be a good ute if it wasn't for the actions of the dealers and parent company.
AnswerID: 540366

Reply By: Member - iijmartin - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 at 21:33

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 at 21:33
Hi Penzance,
I had a 2010 D40 auto towing a 23' Crusader. They were tow rated to 3000 kg then but I felt were under powered and the 5 spd auto was not good. I had mine chipped which improved power but I believe I was getting some transmission problems and sold it.
My current tug is 2012 Mazda BT 50 6 spd auto and it is light yrs ahead of the Navara for power and stability.
Could not recommend the Mazda (and Ford Ranger) more highly.
AnswerID: 540367

Reply By: Ron N - Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 at 22:02

Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 at 22:02
You need to view a 2.5L Nissan D40 engine, out by itself on a display stand - as I have, at a large agricultural show - to see just what a tiny engine they are.
I was taken aback, it looks like something that powered a little old Austin of the 1950's and '60's.
I would be very leery of just how durable those engines are, particularly with the power levels they are reputed to be putting out.
I know metals technology has improved in leaps and bounds in recent years - but that doesn't stop manufacturers from trying to make little engines do a big engines job.
You will need at least 3 litres to pull a 21'-23' van comfortably, and be able to overtake trucks climbing hills, and keep up good highway speeds.
AnswerID: 540368

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 00:32

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 00:32
What a load of misinformation this thread contains. A couple of friends of mine tow 23' Future Systems vans with Pathfinders (same mechanicals as the D40.) The Future Systems vans are heavier than your Jayco. They are both happy with the performance. I tow 2 T with my D40, I have no problems keeping ahead of most vans on hill climbs.

This business of needing 3 litres to tow large vans is pure fantasy. The early Discos only had 2.5 l engines. Both my D1 & D2 would tow better than the then current Toyota sluggish diesels.

As far as manual Vs auto goes, the D40 manuals (like any modern twin cab ute) has too high a first gear for low speed work and getting off the mark. The autos do it much better.
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 06:54

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 06:54
I think the main point is that the smaller engines really struggle towing a van at a constant 90 kph on the highway. You cannot beat engine capacity for towing. The bigger the better. Both in terms of longevity and peace of mind on the road.
Like many other travellers on the roads you get sick and tired of being stuck behind vans being towed by twin cab utes that struggle to sit on 80kph. Either the engine is too small, the load is too great or the driver is not competent. If your one that wants to sit the road at 70kph and admire the scenery then I suggest you be prepared to cop a lot of abuse.
I wouldn't tow a heavyvan of any size without at least a 4 liter motor. The nissan 3 liter is known as the hand grenade of the motor world. With good reason too.

The current system of towing heavy vans with small twin cab utes defies logic to me.
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Follow Up By: Andrew D7 - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 08:36

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 08:36
that is provided the towbar hasn't fallen off the Pathfinder and the disc brakes actually work and haven't failed early and you can get into the vehicle because the door handles haven't failed and the gearbox is till operational

Future Systems are LIGHTER than Jayco Heritage or Sterling

The 2.5l Triton is a superior engine and vehicle to the Nissan Navara and still don't rate the Triton as sufficient power. Forget the over priced engine failing VW Amarok. Triton dual cab $31k and VW Amarok is $45k for a vehicle nowhere near as good as the Triton and a Toyota Hilux is crazy $49k for an old sluggish outdated engine

coming up Moonbi 3 weeks ago was Nissan Navara with 22' van and he would have to have been in low range he was travelling so slowly. you couldn't travel that slow in 1st gear
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 10:38

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 10:38
Sounds like a crusty old mob of Toyota drivers that can't accept that there are more capable vehicles than theirs.

The two Future Systems vans I travelled weighed in at 27 & 2800 kg. We had no problems keeping ahead of the traffic, mostly, the only time we had problems was when we caught up with a convey of vans being led by a Toyota 100 series towing a light van. As far as lasting qualities go, my D40 has 110K km up on it with over 50% of that towing vans. My Disco D2 had over 260K km and was still a good performer when I traded it (reason for trading - I wanted to get back to a twin cab.)

Engine power is not the B all and end all of performance. Gearing plays a big part. One example I likes a mate quoting was from back in the days when the Valients were supposedly king. He had one. On the way back from the coast to Canberra he could see an Austin 1800 towing the same van as he was towing. He made every effort to get in front of the 1800 but when he got to the Clyde Mountain he was right behind it. When he got to the top of the mountain the 1800 was no where to be seen, it took him nearly a half hour to catch up to the 1800. Gearing won the day.

There are usual uninformed quotes of hand grenades and tow bars falling off. The tow bar problem was quickly fixed. There was only 2 years of the 3 l motor problems, this was corrected and then there has been over 10 years of reliable production. Toyota front suspensions falling apart was more worrying than the few tow bar problems.

As for the Navara struggling on the Moonbi Range. That sounds like the 3 l D22. They are not a patch on the later 2.5 l D40s. To me that's a good example of how a modern 2.5 l European engine will will out perform 3 l Jap crap.

How about you blokes crawling into the 21st century.
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Follow Up By: Travelling - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 12:44

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 12:44
"To me that's a good example of how a modern 2.5 l European engine will will out perform 3 l Jap crap."
to me that is a lesson not to buy European crap that blows turbos and every fault with the vehicle is not Nissan's fault but yours. Everybody knows Nissan's warranty is poor. Nissans and VW Amaroks are like a drovers dog they all go home on a back of a truck

and how much does your little matchbox caravan weigh without shower toilet facilities. a mini minor with your caravan would keep in front of anything reasonable size
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:23

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:23
PeterD, if you've ever seen the massive physical size of the donk in the Austin 1800's, you'd understand how that 1800cc got its torque. In addition, those old 1800cc motors were capable of substantial uprating.
A mate built a beach buggy using an Austin 1800 drivetrain mounted at the rear with regular swing axles - and he gave that Austin 1800 a "workover" until it sounded like something you'd hear on Mt Panorama on the 2nd Sunday in October - and it regularly thrashed V8 beach buggies.

We are living in the 21st century - and we who work in, and visit the workshops, and see the mechanical dramas - regularly see the results of little engines being used in positions, where we used to use engines twice their size.

You can lower gearing to get more power, but it's at the expense of engine RPM.
A little engine thrashing its guts out at 4000RPM on the hwy, working at peak output, isn't going to last like a larger engine working easy - no matter how much technology has improved in the 21st century.
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:43

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 15:43
NOMADIC...Google nissan 3.olitre motor and see the hundreds of complaints of blown motors...fact not fiction mate. Nissan even admitted they had issues with motor,
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Follow Up By: madfisher - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 17:33

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 17:33
Big fish I am far from a fan of d40 Navaras, but in fact the problems with the 3lt rarely happened in the navara as it had a diff turbo and a lower output. This engine in fact is superior to the current 2.5l, which seems to have timing chain problems which cost big money .
Cheers Pete
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Thursday, Oct 16, 2014 at 09:31

Thursday, Oct 16, 2014 at 09:31
The 3lt in the Navara's have been a very reliable motor as opposed to the 3lt in the Patrol.

The 2.5lt YD25 has an issue with the timing chain and can cost BIG BIG money if it fails......

But saying that the number that fail like all the rest of the vehicles with known issues is still very very small.

And yes you can not beat capacity for towing and Peter the old D1 and D2 would not be a scratch on the D4D Hilux and Prado when towing and general NVH.

I would not call the current Hilux or Prado sluggish.

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Follow Up By: cloughie - Thursday, Oct 16, 2014 at 11:30

Thursday, Oct 16, 2014 at 11:30
Enough is enough. Can't stand the grandstanding of the uninformed any longer. The patrol 3 ltr is no longer the grenade of 2000 - 2001. That is now 13 years ago. Time to move on. Why not concentrate on the positives of the vehicle that is as tough as they come whether on road off road or towing. Would have no hesitation in recommending this vehicle as an alternative to the triton or Navarra. My 2006 unit is approaching 250000 klms with no problems whatsoever.
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Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 09:45

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 09:45
Obviously of Cornish heritage.
Go and drive a New Dmax. no seems to have a complaint and the auto tows loads very well. No, it doesn't have the power of a BT50 or Ranger but for the money and reliability you will be far ahead of a Triton or a D40 Navara both of which have little engines, ie boys doing mans jobs.
AnswerID: 540385

Reply By: TomH - Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 10:12

Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 at 10:12
Have a look around for a 100 ser Landcruiser TD with the FTE motor and 5sp auto. Still some around with reasonably low Ks.
Will tow anything all day in 4th at 90kph anywhere. We got an average of 17L per 100k towing a 25ft 2850kg van.
Much more comfortable to ride in than a ute as well
AnswerID: 540386

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