2015 NISSAN Towing Guide 8
will allow the chains/cables to drag on the ground.
WARNING- Do not use S-hooks for attaching the safety chains as they may become un-
hooked while towing. If the emergency chains/cables are detached and the tow hitch breaks
or becomes disengaged, it will allow the trailer to completely break away causing property
damage and possibly personal injury or death. The use of S-hooks is illegal in many states.
CAUTION- To avoid damage to the bumper and chains/cables when making a sharp turn,
do not attach the chains/cables too close to the coupler. Consult your trailer manufacturer for
the proper location of the chain/cable attachment to the trailer.
REAR VIEW MIRRORS
WARNING- In many cases, a trailer can block your rear vision when you are using only the
standard NISSAN rear view and outside mirrors. Be careful when changing lanes or turning.
Using only these mirrors could cause an accident as they were not designed for towing.
Trailer tow mirrors specifically designed for trailer towing can be adjusted for better visibility
when your rearward vision is obstructed while towing a trailer. Trailer Tow Mirrors are available
as an accessory for certain Nissan vehicles. Before using these mirrors, make certain that
they comply with state and local regulations. Contact your NISSAN dealer for details.
On a trailer with electric brakes, a breakaway switch can automatically activate the trailer
brake system if the trailer becomes separated from the tow vehicle. Should the trailer become
detached, a breakaway switch may help prevent the trailer from wandering into another lane.
WARNING-A breakaway switch relies on the power of a trailer battery, so make sure to
maintain the battery’s charge. Never use the breakaway switch to “park” the trailer on a
grade. The battery would eventually discharge and release the brake, allowing the trailer to
roll, which may cause property damage, serious injury or death. Be sure to leave enough
slack in the tether on the breakaway switch to turn corners without binding. If you do not, the
electric trailer brakes will lock-up and not release. See your trailer manufacturer for proper
installation of a breakaway switch that is compatible with your trailer braking system.
Trailer lights should comply with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations, and should
be in proper working order at all times. A trailer’s taillights, stoplights, and turn signal lights
must be wired into the tow vehicle’s electrical system.*
Most trailers operate on a four-wire system in which the stoplights and turn signal lights
utilize the same wire. Most all NISSAN vehicles have separate wires for the stoplights and turn
signal lights, therefore a device called a “converter” is needed.** Specifically, a “powered
* Vehicles equipped with LED taillights require that wiring be connected at a specific location. For
assistance in hooking up trailer lights, contact your NISSAN dealer or a professional supplier of towing equipment.
** Armada, Frontier, Pathfinder, and Titan, vehicles are pre-wired for trailer lighting and do not require a converter.
If your trailer is equipped with a 4-pin connector, an adapter will be needed to connect the trailer lights to the
vehicle. Vehicles equipped with the optional trailer tow package are equipped with a 7-pin trailer harness
connector. A NISSAN 7–pin tow harness kit is available from your dealer
2015 NISSAN Towing Guide 22 1 Maximum Trailer Weight values are calculated assuming a base vehicle with driver and any
options required to achieve the rating. Additional passengers, cargo and/or additional
optional equipment will add weight to the vehicle and reduce your vehicle’s maximum
towing capacity and trailer tongue load.
2 Use of a weight-distributing hitch system is re when towing over 5,000 lbs.
3 The Maximum Trailer Weight and Gross Combined Weight ratings for 5th wheel and
gooseneck trailer towing are the same as specified for conventional trailer towing.
4 Most states require a separate braking system on trailers with a loaded weight above a
specific amount. Check local regulations where you plan to tow. 7-pin connector trailer
wire harnesses are required for use with trailer brakes (available separately).
Other Recommendations and Information – Towing performance and speed are affected by
vehicle payload, tow weight, road grades, and weather conditions, including high
temperatures. See your vehicle owner’s manual for details.
HITCH Located just forward of the rear axle centerline, this hitch uses a king pin to
serve as the pivot point for the trailer.
BALL MOUNT A bar that holds the hitch ball and is inserted into the hitch receiver. Also
commonly called a drawbar.
BREAKAWAY SWITCH A safety device using a trailer battery that automatically applies the trailer’s
brakes if the trailer accidentally becomes separated from the tow vehicle.
A breakaway switch may be used with both electric or surge trailer brake
BUMPER HITCH A reinforced bumper designed to accommodate a hitch ball.
BRAKES When the brakes on a tow vehicle are applied, an electric current is sent to
an actuator, which applies the trailer’s brakes.
BRAKE CONTROLLER A device that controls the electric trailer brakes.
GOOSENECK HITCH Located just forward of the rear axle centerline, this hitch uses a ball to serve
as the pivot point for the trailer.
WEIGHT RATING (GAWR) The maximum amount of weight each vehicle axle (front and rear) is
designed to safely carry.
WEIGHT RATING (GCWR) The maximum allowable combined weight of the vehicle and trailer,
including passengers and all cargo.
WEIGHT RATING (GVWR) The maximum allowable weight of the vehicle, including passengers, cargo,
fuel, hitch, trailer tongue load, and any optional equipment.
LOAD The amount of trailer (5th wheel or gooseneck) weight pressing down on the
tow vehicle hitch.