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Old 07-08-2009, 07:20 PM   #1
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Default 2010 189FDS

Well, we did it.
After two years of looking we finally bought a camper.
Me the wife, two very loud, high energy children ages 3 and 6.
We have looked at just about every camper there was to look at on the internet there was. Then we would find it at a dealership and do the walk-thru. Over and over again we left undecided and never satisfied.
Two years I tell you. We looked over and over and over again. Making sure we did a very thorough walk thru at each and every camper we thought we liked on the internet. Still no luck.
Finally the wife found the 2009 189FDS. Hey, this thing looks like it might work. Well wouldn't you know, there wasn't a dealership anywhere near us for at least sixty miles. So she calls up the dealership while I'm at work and begins to negotiate over the phone for the 2009 FDS. So then the dealer offers us the 2010 FDS for the same price. Figure that out.
Remember we still have not done a walk-thru or even seen the 2009 not to mention that we have never even seen the 2010. Not even a picture on the internet. He assures her they are the same except for a very few minor exterior changes. So I get the call at the office and the deal is good, but I remind her we still have not even walked into one of these nor have we even seen it...SOLD.
So, here we are. About two and a half weeks into the six week wait to get the 2010 FDS. Lots of challenges to come though.
My neighbor, an experienced camper, tells me I should be in good shape with my tow vehicle...we just got to start getting it ready and we got six weeks to do it. Here is where we are.
My tow vehicle, 2000 Nissan Xterra with a max tow rating of 5500lbs with the WD hitch. Got that. Dry camper specs were 3300 so I'm feeling ok there.
Next, the brake box for the camper brakes. Everywhere I look the big name out there is the Prodigy for about $90 to $120. I guess that is my next purchase.
Then the electrical plug, 4pin to 7pin flat. Haven't quite figured that one out yet but the dealership tells me they have it for about $17. Guess I'll go that route.
Finally, the trans cooler for about $60 to $80. another job for the neighbor.
Back to the tow vehicle. 2000 Nissan Xterra. I have had this thing from mile 1 to mile 213000 and this thing is still strong. (my last vehicle, a Jeep 215000). Some are telling me I don't have enough truck to pull this thing. So, I think I'm going to give it a couple of runs close by and cautiously approach the hills in our area of Nashville, TN. I really want this to work with the Xterra, however, I'm not opposed to having my arm twisted and buying a new truck. So about three more weeks and I'll let you know how it goes.
Any comments, thoughts, criticisms, hints and etc...will be appreciated.
I am at least going to give this thing a couple of pulls before I make my decision.
Back to the camper, If anyone has any idea what this new 2010 camper looks like, please let me know. Like I said earlier, there are no pictures on the internet to be found and according to FunFinder, it is still being built...
Ok. That's my story. For now.
Mark
Gallatin, TN
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:13 AM   #2
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Quote:
2000 Nissan Xterra with a max tow rating of 5500lbs
You may want to check (your manual) for this. I thought the old style xterra was 5000lbs.

And be very careful with weights. Dry weights are an estimate done by the factory with no options (a/c, awning, tv). First thing I would do, it pack up the trailer (clothes, food, water, etc.) and find a weigh scale. I'm willing to bet you will be closer to 4000lbs.

Now this is still under the xterra's tow rating, so in theory you should be ready to go. Just make sure you get the WD hitch & sway device, tranny cooler & gauge, prodigy and mirrors.

With your TV/TT combo, you will probably have to make some compromises. ie..slow down for the hills.

Quote:
Some are telling me I don't have enough truck to pull this thing.
This frustrates the hell out of me. Another forum I'm on, tells anyone no matter what sort of travel trailer you have, you need a diesel. Now mind you, if I had the money I'd probably get one. But then if I had the money for a diesel, I wouldn't be wasting my time buying a truck & trailer (Diesel pusher here I come).

These trailers are designed to be towed by mid to fullsize suvs (and some small), that's the whole point of them.

Here's what I would do if I were you. Try out a couple of trips with your current setup. See if you are happy. If not, consider upgrading to a newer Xterra. More power, higher tow rating.


I wish they had that floor plan a couple years ago when I bought mine. Definitely would've got that instead.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:10 PM   #3
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Hello Mark, welcome and congrats on the new trailer!

jb_bb is right on in what he said, and I will add my take to that. Your plans are sound as far as I can see, WD bars, a good brake controller, factory 7 pin setup, trans cooler, and like jb_bb suggested, get some good extension mirrors and you should be set.

I am not meaning to be a jerk here, but I do see an issue. Your Xterra has a max rating of 5000lbs, as does the newer X's (2005 thru 2010 Xterra). I have a 06 Xterra and tow the DS230 without any problems so I know your X will handle it. The thing that would concern me is to start towing with any vehicle with that many miles on it. You have the 4 speed with OD. The OD is useless when pulling a trailer so you'll be running in 3rd on flat land and you have just 2 gears available to drop down for climbing hills. The weight of the trailer is not the only big issue when it comes to wear and tear, its also the Sail Area, the front of the trailer. That large area creates quite a bit of wind drag at 60mph, enough that with any head wind or even the slightest bit of up hill grade, the trans unlocks and uses the torque converter for added grunt. If your trans is at all worn, you run the risk of trans failure in pretty short order. The newer X's have a 5 speed auto with over drive, and when I tow I turn the OD off so the trans ratio is 1:1, then use lower gears for pulling hills. On 7% grades I go down to 2nd, keep the RPMs at 4500 and can pull the hill at 55mph. Your X will do the job, but IMO, it will begin to have problems pretty quickly. I would start looking at upgrading to a newer X for your tow vehicle. Just my $.02, and good luck!
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:22 PM   #4
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Alan,
Thanks for the response.
I've got a lot to learn. I am trying to piece everything together and hopefully have it ready in the next three weeks.
I'm guessing I must have dreamed up the 5500lbs rating because I went back to the book and sure enough, 5000lbs....I don't know where I saw 5500.
I will give it a try and see how she does. I am really hoping this will do the trick. I would like to have a newer vehicle, but I really like my old X.
Been kind of leaning towards the Toyota Tacoma. Want to be able to get something to do the trick and still be able to park in the garage....The full size trucks won't fit with the crew cab options (two growing boys).
My philosophy is nice and slow starting and keep it straight. I understand that speeding is not an option here but want to at least maintain close to highway speeds.
Will continue the saga soon.
Mark
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:28 PM   #5
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JB,
Thanks for your reply also.
Tell me, are you totatlly satisfied with your 189?
We think we are going to be and I haven't seen any really negative postings on them.
This floor plan looked pretty cool. Our plan is to put the boys in the bunk
above us until the oldest out grows it and then to the dinette. We understand that it is going to be just a smidget small, but I think we will get through it. What are your thoughts.....not that we are going to change our minds now, but still not actually walking in one and making the purchase we are questioning.
Mark
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Old 07-10-2009, 04:30 PM   #6
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Default Congrats on the camper

I would be one of those telling you probably don't have enough truck to pull that camper. The point was made about dry weight vrs loaded weight which is appropriate. My 189 FBR weights right at 4000 loaded without water but with full propane tanks and the rest of the stuff that I think I need. (Dry weight is listed as ~3000 lbs)
I have had three Nissan Xterras. A 2001 first generation, a 2004 second generation and now a 2007 with the 4.0 V-6 and an auto. The 2000 X with a 3.3L V-6 is going to be really underpowed pulling that much weight. I thought it strange they listed the old generation Xterra's with a 5000 pound towing capacity and listed the new ones with the same capacity. There is really no comparison between the 3.3L and the 4.0L V-6's. The 4.0L have a lot more horsepower and torque. In fact, that's one of the reasons I got rid of my 1st and 2nd generation X's.. Underpowered and poor mileage!
I pulled my old Jayco popup with both my first and second generation X's with the 3.3L and I could definitely tell it was back there. Knowing what I do, I would never try to pull your camper with your X. It could be done but hills will be slow and painful and pretty hard on your truck.
I haven't pulled my 189 FBR with my X but I have a 2007 Frontier with the 4.0L and a six speed and I pull it with that. Same motor as the X and I can definitely tell that it's back there. (I could pull the Jayco popup with my Frontier and it never even affected my gas mileage. Didn't even feel it back there.)
Just something to think about from someone that actually has owned these vehicles.
Good luck!!
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Old 07-10-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
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Well, so far we love our trailer. We wish we had abit more room (ie slide), but we didn't like the couch in the other FF trailer and didn't want a larger tow vehicle. We knew that we would have to upgrade in a couple years anyways, once we have more kids. But right now and for the time being, it's great. The important thing is we have our own bathroom, and kitchen, a real bed and a solid roof over our heads.
We had initially looked at hybrid TTs, but didn't like how cold they would get. You will definitely not be disappointed with the trailer.

It also forces us to stay outside and make the best of the situation, instead of hiding in the trailer with the tv.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:18 PM   #8
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Default 2010 ff 189fds

Well, so far so good.
We have taken two trips in the ff and have loved it.
The tow vehicle has pulled well so far and have no complaints other than the huge amount of gas this thing devours. But I did expect this.
The boys love it and love camping. They want to sleep in it even when we
have it in our driveway.
For those of you who have replied on the posts, thanks for your advice and tips.
I have definately learned a lot. They say the best way to learn it is to get in there and get your hands dirty and this is exactly what I did. Still planning on buying the larger truck next summer, but for now the Xterra has more than surprised me as well as pleased me. We get no where fast, 55 - 65mph....but we still get there all the same.
Hope to have pictures posted soon.
So far we have made the weekender to Mammoth Cave, KY and Santa Clause, IN to the Holiday World campsite....let me tell you...this place is plush...not to mention how clean and friendly the people are...next week back to Mammoth Cave for golf and cave exploring with the kids.
Post again soon.
Mark
Gallatin, Tn
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