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Old 07-27-2013, 02:07 PM   #1
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Nissan armada 2004 or newer

Hello,

In another forum I informed what will be best for our 6 months travel in 2015. We are from holland, europe and will be travelling through canada and the us in 2015.
Sofar I think the travel trailer and nissan armada is the combo for us. Lots of space and possibility to do some site seeing and shopping and on occasion pick up guest at airport. Its still far away but before you know it it april '15 and we are on our way for our biggest adventure. I'm looking for the armada from 2004 to buy it somewhere in september november next year. Is the 04 just as reliable as the 06/07. Or does the 04 has some children deseases ( that's how we call it when there's a new car).

Thanks
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:34 PM   #2
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Hello, and I hope your planning and adventure go well.
Something that may not have occurred to you; I know my uncle has trouble with distances in North America when he visits from England.
The 11 year old Armada your looking for will in , N.A. average use have , 132,000miles or 220,000kms on it , and may require extensive repairs to prepare it for a 15,000 > 20,000 mile tour towing a trailer for 6 months.
In my opinion, you would be better off to consider spending more on purchasing a newer vehicle for the towing , than run the risk of having to sit while waiting for the vehicle to be repaired.
I would also say that , in N.A. coming in as you are, that buying a North American product, Chev, Ford, or Dodge, could save you time and money in the long run. There are more trained people available to repair these vehicles and parts are more widely available, and in the event of re-sale after use , these 3 would sell faster.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:21 AM   #3
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Not to mention that parts are much, much cheaper for american made models. Foreign car parts can get very expensive.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:52 AM   #4
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Not to mention that parts are much, much cheaper for american made models. Foreign car parts can get very expensive.
Chad
This was true way back when in the 80's, but during the 90's manufacturers started thinking more globally. This has not been my experience other than for German Brands. Japanese brands all seem to use the same suppliers for parts as the american made cars. And in fact Titan's and Armada's are only made for north american in the U.S. The global supply chain for parts has all boiled down to a handful of manufacturers for anything not built in-house for a particular item. They've also all improved their parts supply chains so while cost is usually not too much different now, shipping time on parts may be.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Hello, and I hope your planning and adventure go well.
Something that may not have occurred to you; I know my uncle has trouble with distances in North America when he visits from England.
The 11 year old Armada your looking for will in , N.A. average use have , 132,000miles or 220,000kms on it , and may require extensive repairs to prepare it for a 15,000 > 20,000 mile tour towing a trailer for 6 months.
In my opinion, you would be better off to consider spending more on purchasing a newer vehicle for the towing , than run the risk of having to sit while waiting for the vehicle to be repaired.
I would also say that , in N.A. coming in as you are, that buying a North American product, Chev, Ford, or Dodge, could save you time and money in the long run. There are more trained people available to repair these vehicles and parts are more widely available, and in the event of re-sale after use , these 3 would sell faster.
I drive alot, and most of my miles are highway miles. But 132kmiles is nothing to me. I'm only at the half life of the engine at that point, i may have to replace normal items like timing belt(100kmiles), brakes(50kmiles),shocks(150kmiles),and wheel bearings(150kmiles), and head gasket(175k miles). But generally i get well over 200k miles on any of my vehicles. Both my current vehicles have 105k miles and about 90k miles on them, and i don't plan on trading them anytime soon.

But every vehicle is different, the best people to ask won't be on this forum. I would look on Nissan Armada Forum: Armada & Infiniti QX56 Forums , start a membership and ask your question there. They could probably tell you when any common major repair issues start to pop up and any given mileage.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:15 AM   #6
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Actually i found a thread asking the same question as you.

--Seems the 04-05 models had a problem of inadequate front brake rotors, they warped but the design was changed and the problem has been fixed. Most people just buy good aftermarket rotors when they change out their pads.
--They also had cracking manifolds.
--The one person had problems with his differential and drivetrain, but if you look at his vehicles, it's jacked up with giant offroad tires on it. He fails to mention that when he talks about his failures. However differential seals are a common problem among many large 4wd vehicles like this, so check fluid level often.
-- Also some radiators have their transmission coolers integrated into them, most people recommend installing an external cooler when towing alot. Just install the cooler in front of the transmission and move the lines to the new cooler.
how reliable is the armada compared to other suvs? - Page 2 - Nissan Armada Forum: Armada & Infiniti QX56 Forums

All of the problems seem like easy to fix items. Cracked manifolds seems like the most worrysome item, it's easy to repair but about $350 in parts for a new manifold and probably about $100-$200 in labor, really shouldn't take that long to replace. When inspecting the vehicle, just listen and smell for an exhaust leak under the hood. Chances are if it hasn't cracked yet, it won't crack during the next 20k miles you'll be using it, although you will be using it harder.


I'm sure you can find some common problems with Ford and GM vehicles they have from that era. In fact i know for a fact that Fords expedition has spark plug problems, and it costs about $350 to replace them. I wouldn't do the spark plugs yourself because these tend to break in half, leaving the other half in the block. GM i know had electrical gremlins in some of their vehicles of this era, my coworker had transmission control module problem which is common in his 2008 silverado which uses the same drivetrain. So many problems that he gave up and traded for a new toyota tundra.


Here's reliability data for this vehicles and others in comparison.
http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/Re...el=Armada#Engi

http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/Re...xpedition#Engi

http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/Re...model=Suburban
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:45 PM   #7
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Thank gggplay,

Me too was surprised with a nissan being at half his life cycle at 130,000 miles on it. Here in holland i'm driving a volvo v70 from 1997with just 100,000 miles on it. The volvo purist says it's just driven in and all starts now. They make 300,000 miles easily when well maintened and checked. Although holland is pretty flat land we have a lot of traffic lights and speedbumps, people tend to drive hard from one to anotherpoint. What you write about the brake rotor is true, I read it on the armada forum and other sites, the manifold and I assume you mean the outtake is new to me but something to remember. We will not drive the car very fast and when bought I'm planning to change the fluids from the enige, dif etc. I will check for the extra cooler, the few bucks we spend on it can save us a lot of trouble. When buying I will also check the seals from the drivetrain parts. I hope to find one with a tow package because they are upgraded to towing 9100 Lbs and a load capacity of around 1690 Lbs. Seems to be good numbers for towing. We are looking for a used Jayco Jay flight of 26-29 ft? Good TT in your opinion? Or do you know better brands.

As mentioned we will use it for 15,000 tilll 20,000 miles and then maybe be I hope a BIG maybe sell it. I hope my DW wants to keep it. LOL

I hope you don't mind asking me a bit more?

Do you have to pay salestax when you buy used from privat sellers?
When we buy from a used dealer we have to pay salestax in the state we register it but I believe oregon has no salestax, is this a wise option and do we have to show the car and TT in real life at the dmv?
We want to start in boise Idaho beacuse my wife's uncle lives there and we can park the car there before we go to the US.

Is it acceptable when we bring a small flag from Holland and put it up on our TT when we are at a campground? We just want to do this to show people, We are from holland so be patient with us if we do something wrong or not follow the unwritten rules.

Thank you evrybody for all the answers.

More questions coming up but for now enjoy the day.

JJ





, is it possible and wise to buy extended warranty on the car?
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:20 PM   #8
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Yes, it is possible to get many cars to about 300k miles, but at that point the compression is weak and the engine doesn't run very well. Although it does still run and gets you from point A to point B. I generally run my vehicles to about 200k miles and have only been stranded when an alternator went out. At 200k i usually sell it to a needy family member for almost nothing. They still continue to drive it around town, but i tell them not to go on any epic road trips with it.

But as in any part of the world, the car will only be as good at the owner which takes cares of it. I'm an engineer and very obsessive about maintenance. We have a yearly safety inspection in my state, and i usually inspect the vehicle myself before i take it in for inspection. I replace parts myself when rubber is torn or worn out, when bearings go bad, when shocks no longer dampen etc....... Plus it takes me 1 hour to get to work all highway, so the car has a very easy life just cruising steady. Anyone buying the car from me, will get a tip top vehicle even with 200k miles.

Like i said, just try and get a feel for the owner before making your buying decision. The problem with used car dealerships is they buy cars which were traded in at larger dealerships which only sell nearly new 95% condition vehicles. Buying at auction, you have no idea what you're getting, a well loved vehicle or an abused and neglected vehicle. In the U.S. we have a system called carfax. You can get the VIN number from the owner or most dealerships will have it with their online ad, and run the VIN number to check for accidents and major repairs.

As for purchasing and registering the vehicle in Oregon, i'm not an expert on international buying. Also every state is different with different fees and taxes. In Pennsylvania we have a 6% sales tax. This has to be a check written to the state, not cash or credit card. Then you also have to buy a license plate for $40, and pay a yearly registration fee of $36 and pay the notary for their services, about $60. In pennsylvania, the vehicle does not need to be present for transfer unless the title of the vehicle is from out of state. Also you will need some sort of address, you can use your wife's uncles address, i'm sure he won't mind forwarding your mail. You will also need your ID, i'm not sure how it works with an international ID or passport. I looked it up, and in order to not pay sales tax in oregon, you must be able to prove your residency in the state.

Jayco is one of the better manufacturers of travel trailers, but a few considerations if you are fulltime. The locations you'll be visiting and the time of year you'll be there. Not all trailers are insulated the same. The south can be blazing hot in the summer time(humidity makes it worse), and the north can be super cold in the winter. The jayco flight has a thermal package with an insulated enclosed underbelly and extra insulation in the roof(heat rises, roof insulation is important). But it's an option, so if you're buying used, there is no telling what options are on it without looking and talking to the owners or dealer.

As for an extra car warranty. Yes, most medium and large car dealerships will offer an extended warranty. It's mostly related to powertrain and major items, also it's usually not 100% coverage, like they might pay a percentage of the total repair bill, or they'll cover all labor but you have to pay for parts etc..... Also not all warranties are national, they require you to take it to the original dealer you purchased it from. You'll have to check with your dealer before buying.

Also keep in mind the tongue weight for the armada should be kept as low as possible. I believe the max rating is around 900lbs, but with the weight of the hitch and cargo, that rating lowers quite a bit. I would try to keep the tongue around 500-600lbs if you can, people tend to blow up the rear suspension airbags when they overload the tongue.

Here's the nissan towing guide for 2006, http://www.nissanusa.com/pdf/techpub...owingGuide.pdf
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:34 PM   #9
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Jakimar, be prepared to get very poor fuel mileage with the Armada. I own a 2006 and at best, n a long trip (highway driving) the best mileage I've achieved is 14 mpg. Normally pulling a trailer figure less then 10 mpg. Just a thought.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:27 PM   #10
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You want to try and find a new armada that has the Stock towing package. This would include the factory hitch a auxiliary transmission cooler and automatic leveling airbags in the rear. We found the 2004 Armada To be a good vehicle for towing powerboats. Had plenty of power but use plenty of gas. We essentially had no problems with Armada and put about 60,000 miles on it. We traded it in when we bought a Saturn to use as a toad.
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Old 07-29-2013, 08:49 PM   #11
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Jakimar, be prepared to get very poor fuel mileage with the Armada. I own a 2006 and at best, n a long trip (highway driving) the best mileage I've achieved is 14 mpg. Normally pulling a trailer figure less then 10 mpg. Just a thought.
Yea, the fuel mileage is going to be poor on any vehicle that size from that era. Although i was getting about 16mpg on my Titan, all highway. Your comparisons are GM, FORD, and Dodge. The ford 5.4L has the same ratings as the titan at 17mpg highway, the Ram says 18mpg highway, and Gm says 19mpg highway. All of which are crappy, but necessary to tow so much weight. The GM and ford with 4 speeds feels like a dog with 6000lbs behind it and the ram likes to rev where the torque is available way up high. The titan is a class apart and makes 90% of it's torque at 2500rpm. This is why everyone says it's an awsome towing machine. I have yet to find someone that doesn't say that. Keeping the rpm's lower makes for a more comfortable tow and allows you to hold gear better.

So in summary, towing a 6000lbs travel trailer, all of these pickups will probably get about 9-12mpg. All of which are typical for any gasoline rv in the same weight range, whether it's a Class C or travel trailer.

You can also read this comparison of all the trucks. These are pickups from 2004 but the drivetrains are identical to their SUV counterparts. Expedition, suburban, armada, and Durango.
2004 Full-Size Truck Comparison Test
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:52 PM   #12
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You want to try and find a new armada that has the Stock towing package. This would include the factory hitch a auxiliary transmission cooler and automatic leveling airbags in the rear. We found the 2004 Armada To be a good vehicle for towing powerboats. Had plenty of power but use plenty of gas. We essentially had no problems with Armada and put about 60,000 miles on it. We traded it in when we bought a Saturn to use as a toad.
That should have read 'find a 2004 Armada'.
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