Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-09-2008, 08:45 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 173
Default Review of the X230DS on its first trip!!

Amazing, simply amazing! This past weekend, my wife and I, along with our two dogs, Roo and Tasha, embarked on the inaugural trip with the FF X230DS and had a great time. Our trip was just a weekend getaway from Phoenix up into the mountains of northern Arizona to Mormon Lake, elev 7000’. We choose Mormon Lake as it was the inaugural trip for our Coachman 24RBQ Spirit of America back in October of 2006 and thought what better way to break in the trailer, plus get an apple to apple comparison.

The biggest thing that sticks in my mind is how much the 230DS is like a small home, not a trailer. If you look at the floor plan of the 230, you see the bed is actually behind a door, creating a separate space that is quite roomy. The bed is on a slide which extends out the left side, (when viewed from the rear looking forward), and gives enough space to walk around the bed on three sides. Also of interest is the bed itself. The so called Queen Bed in the Coachman is actually a 3” thick Full size pseudo mattress. The bed in our 230DS is a real Queen Mattress, 60”x80”!! They advertise it as 60 X 74, but the one in our trailer is 80” long and like 7 or 8 inches thick!! Out in the main area, the angled wall unit is large enough for a 20” LCD TV and has a built in DVD/CD/AM/FM unit with 2 sets of speakers, 1 inside and 1 outside. The Jackknife sofa is a standard style, but shorter than most. It is very well bolstered and comfortable. The kitchen is at the head of the trailer and next to it is the bathroom. Both kitchen and bath are laid out very well, and provide above average appointments. The one problem with the kitchen and bath both being at the head of the trailer is it increases tongue weight due to appliances/plumbing/electrical concentrated at the front. The 230DS has an advertised TW of 497 lbs, which is heaviest of all the Fun Finder line, even the longer, heavier X240 and X250. Add another 60 lbs for propane, and another 40 lbs of kitchen supplies and the TW is approaching 600lbs! I was able to offset this a bit with loading our other camping supplies in the space under the bed, and loading items in the bedroom cabinets. Outside storage for the 230DS is a weak point. There is only one external storage compartment, located in the slide out for the couch and it is just large enough for hook-up and leveling supplies plus a couple tools. There is no space for chairs, firewood, dog toys, wet or dirty clothes or shoes, or anything. We are looking at possible fixes, like adding a cubby in the bed slide, or adding a rack to the rear bumper.

After getting her all loaded and adjusting the Equal-i-zer hitch for a heavier TW, we were ready to hit the road. Another advertised feature of the FF line is they are narrower than other trailers and do not require the wide mirrors. And while this may be true with the 84” wide units, the 90” wide ones really depend on what is towing them. For this trip I didn’t use our “Exendo” mirrors, but in the future I will. I didn’t have any major problems, but I like to be able to see the side of the trailer, to be able to visually oversee everything is riding safely and our Xterra mirrors are not wide enough to do the job.

The final item I would bring up is in fact how much easier it was to tow. Our 230DS weighs 4150lbs dry, add in propane and our supplies and this weight grows to 4450lbs. That is 200lbs lighter than our old trailer weighed empty! Add in the aerodynamic body and lower overall height and it is remarkable how well this trailer is towed with out drama, not to mention the fact our fuel economy increased from 9mpg to 11.25 mpg. We are very happy with our new trailer, and recommend the Fun Finder very highly!
__________________

__________________
Alan
2006 Nissan Xterra
B&M Trans Cooler
Equalizer Hitch
2011 Nomad 206
Panasonic/Pioneer/Kicker ~ Audio/Video System
Days Camped /2009 / 33
keyser soze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2009, 08:14 PM   #2
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
Default xterra

alan,
glad to hear others are pulling with an xterra.
we get our camper in a couple of weeks 189fds...3300lbs dry...about 20-21feet long...
i will also be pulling with an xterra. i am assuming no issues?
mark
gallatin, tn
__________________

4rollins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2009, 01:59 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 173
Default

Thanks for the reply Mark, and you assume correct, our X tows without any problems!

I responded to your thread, looking forward to hearing back from you.
__________________
Alan
2006 Nissan Xterra
B&M Trans Cooler
Equalizer Hitch
2011 Nomad 206
Panasonic/Pioneer/Kicker ~ Audio/Video System
Days Camped /2009 / 33
keyser soze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 04:42 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Lincoln
Posts: 6
Default New camper

Alan:

Im glad you like your new camper. I have a 2007 Xterra and a 2007 Frontier, both with the 4.0L V-6. I ended up buying a 189 FBR because I was afraid of the heavier tow weights of the 210 and 230.
Having upgraded from just a popup I can really tell the difference between that and the 189. I did weight the 189 loaded and with all our (stuff) it's right at 4000 lbs without water but with full propane tanks and a cooler full of food.
I think my wife would have liked to have the bigger size of the 210 or 230 but we will have to stay with this one for a while.

Rog
__________________
"Of all the places I've been, this is one of them!"
airmedic1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2009, 11:36 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 173
Default

Rog,

I'm glad to hear you like your trailer too!

First let me appologize if this post gets long, detailing technical info can become wordy!!

Nissans tow rating of 5000lbs for the Xterra is a bit strange to me. The Pathfinder has a tow rating of 6000lbs, the Frontier has a rating of 6,500lbs, but they all share the same Box Steel Frame construction, same engine, same transmission (they do have slightly different gear ratios, they use the same torque converter, clutch pack, valve body, etc), same size brakes, same size radiator and all have very simular curb weights. When you look at the fact the older Xterra's had a 5000lb rating, and it had a smaller transmission, 95 less hp, 85 less torque, it seems odd this new, stronger, more capable truck retained the same rating. I believe it was more of a marketing decision, have the cheaper Xterra retain the 5000 rating, and have the more expensive Pathfinder have a higher rating. Now I can't get Nissan to admit that, but the service people at my Nissan Dealer have told me the rating on the Xterra is conservative. In my opinion, the Xterra should be rated at either 5500lbs, or 6000lbs, but that is my opinion.

Our first trailer was a Coachman Spirit of America 24RBS, which we bought off my Father-in-Law. The 24RBS had a sticker weight of 4680 empty, add in dealer options, full propane, fully stocked with food, clothes, chairs etc and loaded for camping it tipped the scales at 5400lbs, without water in the tanks and the Xterra towed that a couple thousand miles. I didn't like the layout of the Coachman and the plan initially was to get a larger truck, but first we thought we would look to see what ultra lite trailers were avail. When we saw the 230DS it was a all new model, just released from Cruiser and the sticker weight showed 4188lbs. My wife loved the layout, so we decided to grab it and keep the Xterra.

We used the Xterra to tow the Coachman a few times and it handled it without issue. When we began towing the FF it felt pretty much the same, except our mileage increased and steep hills were a bit easier. When I weighed our loaded (No water in tanks) 230DS it weighed 4720lbs. It is lighter than the old unit, but up near the limit of the truck. The combined weight of truck, trailer, supplies, my wife and I and our dogs is just at the 9650 rating of the Xterra, but again, in the 7000 miles we have logged towing we have not had an issue.

I do want to add that when I tow I use common sense and I don't push the truck hard. I keep the speed to around 65mph, I don't push the engine past 4500 rpms when towing, I use lower gears coming down hills, and I always use a weight distribution hitch to spread the tongue weight between the truck and trailer. I also perform vehicle service sooner than than Nissan's schedule says to. At 10K miles I drained and filled the trans fluid, then again at 20K, and did a complete flush and fill of the trans, radiator, rear diff, steering fluid and brake fluid at 30K.

I feel very comfortable towing our trailer with the X, it stays with traffic and performs without drama, it is a good match to our FF.

Your two Nissans are very capable trucks, they will handle any trailer in the FF lineup without problems, so go get a bigger one!!!
__________________
Alan
2006 Nissan Xterra
B&M Trans Cooler
Equalizer Hitch
2011 Nomad 206
Panasonic/Pioneer/Kicker ~ Audio/Video System
Days Camped /2009 / 33
keyser soze is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.