2008 Nissan Towing Guide 2 Finally, there are state and local laws on towing that you should review to ensure compliance
with all regulations.
The first thing to keep in mind when renting a trailer is to rent only from professional
companies that specialize in towing and towing equipment. More than likely, specialized
companies hire professional staff that can assist you in selecting and installing the proper
towing equipment for your Nissan vehicle.
When renting, make sure you have your vehicle owner’s manual on hand so that you can
reference the towing capacities for your specific vehicle. Never rent a trailer that exceeds
these capacities, and make sure that any related towing equipment you rent will be sufficient
for the loaded trailer.
While you’re there, ask questions. How much does the empty trailer weigh? How much
weight will the trailer hold? What is the trailer’s tongue load? With what type of brakes is it
equipped (if any)? All of these factors have an effect on whether your Nissan vehicle is
capable of safely pulling that type of trailer or piece of equipment.
Make certain that all of the trailer stoplights, taillights, and turn signals are connected and
are operating correctly, and that all safety equipments are properly installed. Check the safety
chains/cables, tie-downs, etc.
For safer operation, carefully inspect the condition of the trailer and towing equipment.
Specifically, check to make sure the tires are not worn excessively and are properly inflated.
Make sure there are not any broken welds, missing bolts, and that the hitch components are
Towing safety should be a high priority when choosing and renting towing equipment,
including hitches. NEVER RENT A CLAMP-ON-TYPE HITCH. Your vehicle’s bumpers are
not designed for using this type of hitch. Using it will damage your vehicle and could even
result in the trailer separating from the towing vehicle; this can cause death or serious injury.
To avoid this, use only a permanent-type hitch.
If you are buying a travel or boat trailer, be sure that your Nissan vehicle has the towing
capacity to pull it. See the SPECIFICATIONS section of this guide or refer to your vehicle
owner’s manual for detailed information regarding the towing capacity of your specific vehicle.
2008 Nissan Towing Guide 14 example, to determine the proper trailer tongue load for a 1,500-lb. trailer, multiply the weight
of 1,500 lbs. by 10% to arrive at a figure of 150 lbs.
5th wheel and gooseneck trailer king pin load must be kept between 15-25% of the actual
trailer weight, within the limits of the king pin load allowable.
See the SPECIFICATIONS section of this guide or refer to your vehicle owner’s manual to
view the maximum conventional trailer tongue load listed for your vehicle.
NOTE – The vehicle weight ratings (GVWR, GAWR, GCWR, etc.) must not be
exceeded, regardless of trailer or hitch type.
HITCH & TRAILER HEIGHT
It is important that your trailer floor
and tongue ride as level as possible.
This will help prevent over-angling,
bottoming-out, and improper load
transfer. Therefore, the hitch or trailer
tongue must be adjusted during the
initial vehicle/trailer fit-up to ensure a
level ride. Ball mounts are available in
different configurations to
adjust the hitch ball height.
When towing a trailer, increase tow vehicle tire pressures to the recommended cold
specifications. You will find these figures in the vehicle owner’s manual and on the tire
pressure chart located in the vehicle. Trailer tire condition, size, load rating, and inflation
pressure must be in accordance with the trailer and tire manufacturer’s specifications.
Towing can dramatically alter the handling and performance characteristics of your vehicle.
Plus, it puts increased strain on the engine and drivetrain. Therefore, it is always a good idea
to approach towing from the standpoint of safety — whether you’re purchasing equipment or
actually pulling the trailer.