Towing trailers doesn’t necessarily mean you need a big vehicle. In fact, you can pull some trailers with a compact SUV, such as the Nissan Rogue. Rather than buy a full-size SUV or pickup, which can be cumbersome to drive on a regular basis, you can go with an option that’s more practical for daily life. The Nissan Rogue towing capacity won’t be as large as a full-size SUV or pickup, but you can still haul plenty of trailers without any problem.
Before you just hitch a trailer onto your vehicle, take the following tips into consideration. Each one will help you stay safe on the road, and protect against damage to your SUV, plus make the experience far more enjoyable.
Consider Towing Capacity
If you have something like a Rogue, do some homework before tackling the towing job. It’s best to look up the Nissan Rogue towing capacity as one of the first steps. After all, taking on a task without knowing the limits of your vehicle could easily turn into disaster.
There is a way to exceed that maximum towing weight. If your SUV has a weight-distribution hitch, a trailer sway control device, or both, you can use those devices to push to only the limits that should be listed out for the hitch or sway control device.
Is Your Vehicle in Good Health?
Your compact SUV needs to be in great shape to take on any towing job, even if you’re just going a short distance. Of course, the longer you plan to drive, the steeper the terrain, or the hotter the temperatures outside, the more strain will be put on your vehicle. To avoid damage or possible problems, check all of the fluid levels before setting out, topping off any that are low.
While in a regular situation being a little down on coolant or oil might not be a big deal, adding in the extra weight from a trailer can really test the limits of your ride. Also, follow any recommendations from your SUV’s manufacturer about oil change intervals if you’re towing trailers often.
Check Your Trailer Before Setting Out
Taking care of the trailer itself is something far too many people completely forget. Just like your vehicle, running the trailer with low or overinflated tires is just plain dangerous, especially in rainy, foggy, or dark conditions. Always check the tire pressure before setting out, adjusting it as needed. Before towing anything, perform a quick visual inspect for damage, excessive corrosion or other problems with the trailer.
When making the connections, pay special attention to the safety chains. You need to cross them directly under the hitch, forming an “X.” If for some reason the hitch does come undone, it will fall on the chains and not the road, avoiding a serious accident.
Always tighten the straps securing a load fully before starting out. Even though you get them all the way tight, the straps can loosen up at least a little over time, thanks to giggling from the suspension bouncing, which can cause whatever you’re transporting to get damaged. Instead of wondering if that will happen, after going several miles stop and check all of the straps, tightening them as necessary.
Drive Safely When Towing a Trailer
You can’t drive on the road like you aren’t towing a trailer, because doing just that will lead to problems. For starters, your compact SUV won’t handle like it normally does, thanks to the added weight from the trailer. Expect that stopping and accelerating will take significantly longer, and plan accordingly. Also, maneuvering through tight areas that otherwise wouldn’t be a challenge might not even be possible.
Going above a certain speed when towing can be downright dangerous. Just how fast you can go really depends on the vehicle, trailer, load and road conditions. As a general rule of thumb, if the trailer starts to rock back and forth or vibrate, slow down immediately until it stops.
While it’s bad to drive with distractions, they’re twice as dangerous if you’re towing a trailer. You simply can’t be chatting on the phone, starting at an electronic device’s screen, or even playing with your SUV’s onboard electronics. Towing can be dangerous and demands your full attention all of the time, thanks to the diminished stopping ability and maneuverability of your vehicle. If you actually concentrate and plan ahead, towing isn’t stressful at all. But not taking the situation seriously can ironically lead to some stick scenarios where you might not come out okay.
If you’re planning on towing a trailer with a Nissan, Toyota, Infiniti, or Lexus vehicle, first make sure your vehicle is up for the job at T3 Atlanta. Our experienced mechanics can ensure that your vehicle is in top condition before you hitch up your trailer.