Many Nissan trucks and SUVs can carry a heavy load or pull a trailer, but not every driver knows how to properly do so. Know the ins and outs of towing and hauling before your next job.
Before anything happens, you have to determine the weight of the load that you want to tow or haul, and the weight capacity your Nissan can manage. Vehicles usually have a sticker on the metal near the driver’s door listing the information you need to know. For trailers, there is also a plate usually on the trailer itself that will list the weight of the trailer when empty, and its capacity of hauling.
Some terms to keep in mind
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) – This is the total amount of weight that the vehicle can handle, both in towing and hauling. For trailers, this is the total weight it can handle, including the weight of the trailer itself.
Tongue Weight (TW) – This is the amount of weight the trailer and vehicle connection point (the hitch) can handle. If too much pressure is on the ball, it will overwork the rear brakes. Keep the load level to prevent too much TW.
Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) – This is the total mass of everything: the weight of the vehicle, the passengers, the fuel, and the trailer.
Once you have found the vehicle’s weight ratings and matched them against the trailer’s, it’s time to hitch up.
The hitch and ball need to be the right compatible size. It’s critical to make sure the trailer hitch is completely down on the ball and snug. Be sure to clamp it down tight and insert a pin to prevent it from popping lose.
Connect chains by crossing them. This is a failsafe measure in case the trailer does come loose. It will fall onto the crossed chains instead of the road.
Do a pre-check before heading out. Make sure the load is level and secure. Check the tire pressure of each wheel to prevent potential blowouts. And put the trailer through a light test to ensure brakes, signals, and hazards are working.
Slow and steady behind the wheel. Everything changes with a trailer behind you, so be sure to give enough time to slow to a stop and ease into accelerations. You’ll need to take gentle, wide turns to be able to clear the trailer without jarring the load.
James Ceranti Nissan offers many Nissan vehicles that can tow and haul, like the Nissan TITAN. Contact us for assistance learning which models and equipment suit your needs.