Trailer towing tips

In order to gain skill and an understanding of the vehicle’s behavior, you should practice turning, stopping and backing up in an area which is free from traffic. Steering stability, and braking performance will be somewhat different than under normal driving conditions.

- Always secure items in the trailer to prevent load shift while driving.

- Lock the trailer hitch coupler with a pin or lock to prevent the coupler from inadvertently becoming unlatched.

- Avoid abrupt starts, acceleration or stops.

- Avoid sharp turns or lane changes.

- Always drive your vehicle at a moderate speed. Some states or provinces have specific speed limits for vehicles that are towing trailers. Obey the local speed limits.

- When backing up, hold the bottom of the steering wheel with one hand. Move your hand in the direction in which you want the trailer to go. Make small corrections and back up slowly. If possible, have someone guide you when you are backing up.

Always block the wheels on both vehicle and trailer when parking. Parking on a slope is not recommended; however, if you must do so:

If you move the shift selector lever to

If you move the shift selector lever to the P (Park) position before blocking the wheels and applying the parking brake, transmission damage could occur.

1. Apply and hold the brake pedal.

2. Have someone place blocks on the downhill side of the vehicle and trailer wheels.

3. After the wheel blocks are in place, slowly release the brake pedal until the blocks absorb the vehicle load.

4. Apply the parking brake.

5. Shift the transmission into P (Park).

6. Turn off the engine.

To drive away:
1. Apply and hold the brake pedal.

2. Start the engine.

3. Shift the transmission into gear.

4. Release the parking brake.

5. Drive slowly until the vehicle and trailer are clear from the blocks.

6. Apply and hold the brake pedal.

7. Have someone retrieve and store the blocks.

- When going down a hill, shift into a lower gear and use the engine braking effect.

When going up a long grade, downshift the transmission to a lower gear and reduce speed to reduce chances of engine overloading and/or overheating.

- If the engine coolant rises to an extremely high temperature when the air conditioning system is on, turn off the air conditioner.

Coolant heat can be additionally vented by opening the windows, switching the fan control to high and setting the temperature control to the HOT position.

- Trailer towing requires more fuel than normal circumstances.

- Avoid towing a trailer for the first 500 miles (800 km).

- Have your vehicle serviced more often than at intervals specified in the recommended maintenance schedule in the NISSAN Service and Maintenance Guide.

- When making a turn, your trailer wheels will be closer to the inside of the turn than your vehicle wheels. To compensate for this, make a larger than normal turning radius during the turn.

- Crosswinds and rough roads will adversely affect vehicle/trailer handling, possibly causing vehicle sway. When being passed by larger vehicles, be prepared for possible changes in crosswinds that could affect vehicle handling. If swaying does occur, firmly grip the steering wheel, steer straight ahead, and immediately (but gradually) reduce vehicle speed. This combination will help stabilize the vehicle. Never increase speed.

Do the following if the trailer begins to sway:
1. Take your foot off the accelerator pedal to allow the vehicle to coast and steer as straight ahead as the road conditions allow.

This combination will help stabilize the vehicle.

- Do not correct trailer sway by steering or applying the brakes.

2. When the trailer sway stops, gently apply the brakes and pull to the side of the road in a safe area.

3. Try to rearrange the trailer load so it is balanced as described earlier in this section.

- Be careful when passing other vehicles.

Passing while towing a trailer requires considerably more distance than normal passing. Remember the length of the trailer must also pass the other vehicle before you can safely change lanes.

- Down shift the transmission to a lower gear for engine braking when driving down steep or long hills. This will help slow the vehicle without applying the brakes.

- Avoid holding the brake pedal down too long or too frequently. This could cause the brakes to overheat, resulting in reduced braking efficiency.

- Increase your following distance to allow for greater stopping distances while towing a trailer. Anticipate stops and brake gradually.

- Do not use cruise control while towing a trailer.

- Some states or provinces have specific regulations and speed limits for vehicles that are towing trailers. Obey the local speed limits.

- Check your hitch, trailer wiring harness connections, and trailer wheel lug nuts after 50 miles (80 km) of travel and at every break.

- When stopped in traffic for long periods of time in hot weather, put the vehicle in the P (Park) position.

- When launching a boat, don’t allow the water level to go over the exhaust tail pipe or rear bumper.

- Make sure you disconnect the trailer lights before backing the trailer into the water or the trailer lights may burn out.

When towing a trailer, the transmission fluid should be changed more frequently.

For additional information, see the “8.

Maintenance and do-it-yourself” section earlier in this manual.

    See also:

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