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Whether you’re in the market for a new truck to tow your existing trailer, or already have a truck and are shopping pull behinds, knowing what a vehicle’s towing limitations are is important. Attach the wrong trailer to your truck and you can do some serious damage to your vehicle. If you have a Nissan Frontier, can you safely tow a travel trailer? We’ve done all the research to bring you the answer.
The Nissan Frontier is capable of towing up to 6,720 pounds. The average weight of a larger, thirty-foot travel trailer is under 5,000 pounds. Given that there are many travel trailers that are well under the Frontier’s towing capacity, it is safe to say that this pickup truck can safely tow a travel trailer.
Now that we know that a properly equipped Nissan Frontier is able to safely tow a travel trailer, we’ll dig into more detail of what you need to know before you attach one to the hitch. In addition, we’ll be exploring other questions regarding this pickup truck. What happens if you exceed the Frontier’s towing capacity? What is the Nissan Frontier Value Truck Package? To see the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post.
Towing With A Nissan Frontier: What You Need To Know
The Nissan Frontier comes with multiple trim levels and drive train options, each of which impacts the towing capacity of the pickup truck. It’s a good idea to know how much weight you’ll be towing so that you can select the right options and upgrades for the trim level that you choose.
As you can see by looking at the numbers below, there is a wide range between towing capacities by trim level. The major factor in the difference between towing capacities is the type of engine. Your engine options for the Frontier are the 2.5L 4-cylinder and the 4.0L V6. The V6 engine has more torque and horsepower, resulting in a much higher maximum towing capacity. Check out the towing capacity breakdown by trim level below:
Nissan Frontier S Towing Capacity
- 3,800 pounds for Frontier King Cab S M/T
- 3,790 pounds for Frontier King Cab S A/T
- 6,640 pounds for Frontier Crew Cab S 4×2 M/T
- 6,620 pounds for Frontier Crew Cab S 4×2 A/T
- 6,370 pounds for Frontier Crew Cab S 4×4 and SV 4×4
Nissan Frontier SV Towing Capacity
- 3,810 pounds for Frontier King Cab SV 4-cylinder M/T
- 3,790 pounds for Frontier King Cab SV 4-cylinder A/T
- 6,720 pounds for Frontier King Cab SV V6 4×2
- 6,510 pounds for Frontier King Cab SV V6 4×4
- 6,640 pounds for Frontier Crew Cab SV 4×2
- 6,500 pounds for Frontier Crew Cab Long Bed SV 4×2
- 6,250 pounds for Frontier Crew Cab Long Bed SV 4×4
Nissan Frontier Desert Runner Towing Capacity
- 6,690 pounds for Frontier King Cab Desert Runner
- 6,620 pounds for Frontier Crew Cab Desert Runner
Nissan Frontier PRO-4X Towing Capacity
- 6,320 pounds for Frontier Crew Cab PRO-4X M/T
- 6,290 pounds for Frontier Crew Cab PRO-4X A/T
- 6,450 pounds for Frontier King Cab PRO-4X
Nissan Frontier SL Towing Capacity
- 6,480 pounds for Frontier Crew Cab SL 4×2
- 6,240 pounds for Frontier Crew Cab SL 4×4
We retrieved these specs directly from the Nissan Motor Company web site. For more detailed spec information, you can visit their site.
Knowing the exact maximum towing capacities by trim level and engine option, you’ll be able to determine which travel trailer your Nissan Frontier can safely tow. Below are several models of varying weights that we believe will suit your travel needs.
The Winnebago Hike sleeps three and comes equipped with a small kitchen and an onboard bathroom and shower. This lightweight travel trailer weighs up to 4,360 pounds (depending on floor plan), making it a safe tow for the Nissan Frontier.
Taxa Outdoors Cricket Travel Trailer
This lightweight travel trailer is perfect for a couple traveling together. Its sturdy design makes it safe and durable while being light enough to not greatly reduce your Frontier’s fuel economy. The well-ventilated design lends for comfortable sleeping in the warmer months, and the onboard heater makes it suitable for chilly nights.
Jayco White Hawk
While not all available sizes of this travel trailer will fall within the Frontier’s towing capacity, the smaller models will be safe to tow. The Jayco White Hawk is spacious enough for a family to travel together, and each available floor plan contains a pull-out, adding to the level of comfort. External marine quality speakers and fifty-inch LED televisions are standard with this model, making it another home on the road.
Additional Safety Concerns
If you’ve never pulled a travel trailer, you’ll want to be fully aware of any and all safety concerns. Keeping all tires properly inflated is crucial, as is learning about how your blind spots will be impacted with a trailer in tow. Practice driving locally prior to heading out on longer trips. And never embark on a journey until you’re completely comfortable towing a trailer behind you.
What Hitch Can You Use On A Nissan Frontier?
There are a good number of different trailer hitches that can be safely installed on a Nissan Frontier. Let’s look at a few of them:
Topline Autopart Class III
This model trailer hitch is top-rated by consumers. It has a maximum tow weight of 5,000 pounds and a tongue weight of 500 pounds. It’s easy to install, durable, and very roadworthy.
Rigid Hitch Class III
As with the Topline hitch, the Rigid model’s towing capacity is 5,000 pounds with a tongue weight maximum of 500 pounds. The solidly welded hitch is also highly rated by consumers and will last for years of towing.
Curt 14000 Class IV Trailer Hitch
The Curt 14000 is designed to tow much heavier loads. Class IV hitches top out at 10,000 pounds tow capacity and 1,000 pounds maximum tongue weight. Keep in mind that class IV hitches have a towing capacity that greatly exceeds the maximum tow capacity of the Nissan Frontier itself.
Some travel trailers that you like might be too heavy for the class III hitches but still fall within the Frontier’s limits. For this reason, Nissan offers a brand of Class IV trailer hitch with its value truck package, which we’ll discuss later in this post.
How Do You Increase Towing Capacity?
What if the trailer you want weighs in a little too close to your pickup truck’s maximum towing capacity? Adding any additional cargo inside the travel trailer could easily make you beyond what is safe to pull behind you.
While you won’t be able to make modifications that will dramatically increase the amount of weight you can safely tow, you’ll be able to increase it enough to haul another few hundred pounds. The following upgrades can be made to most pickup trucks to increase the maximum towing capacity:
Reconfigure your programmer
The programmer is part of your truck’s computer system that controls how much torque and horsepower is exerted, based upon how much weight it senses is on board. By making the correct adjustments, you’ll be allowing your transmission to shift a little differently. While this will enable your transmission to work with more weight, it will decrease your fuel efficiency.
Upgrade the suspension
Towing too much weight can be really hard on a vehicle’s suspension system. Should you upgrade to better shocks, you’ll be able to better distribute the weight between the front and rear axles.
Upgrade the radiator
Part of the problem with the drive train being overworked is that it won’t properly cool. Consider upgrading to a bigger radiator. This will work better and faster at cooling your engine and transmission when they’re pulling weight beyond their recommended capacity.
Keep in mind that trucks that are built specifically for towing will have two radiators. One works to cool the engine, the other to cool the transmission. Upgrading both of these radiators to bigger models is a must.
Consider new exhaust
Allowing your truck to “breathe” easier will help increase its horsepower. Dual exhaust should be a consideration. Also, making sure your air filters are high-grade and clean will make a difference.
Install heavier duty axles
Heavier duty axles will help you avoid damage to your truck. One consideration is replacing the truck’s axles with ones that are built for RVs. These axles are made to withstand much more weight and will help you safely exceed your truck’s towing capacity.
The above modifications shouldn’t be performed without the help of a professional. Once each of these has been expertly completed, you’ll want to have a licensed mechanic give a thorough inspection of the work. It’s also important to point out that if you have a towing load that exceeds your truck’s towing capacity by close to a thousand pounds or more, you should consider getting a different truck for the job.
What Happens When You Exceed Towing Capacity?
The towing capacity that has been established by the truck manufacturer is something to both be aware of and to pay close attention to. There are dire consequences for haphazardly exceeding the tow limit, no matter what model truck you’re driving.
Overloading will most certainly cause tremendous damage to your pickup truck’s engine and transmission. While they are solidly built, they are only engineered to withstand so much force and torque. Exceeding the towing capacity places too much strain on the transmission, causing it to burn too hot. This can cause the transmission to burn up quickly.
The engine itself can only use so much force to safely move the weight. If the truck is overloaded, the extra force the engine must exert will greatly decrease the life of this crucial component.
If you’re overloaded, you may immediately notice that your truck is no longer steering properly. The extra weight will lightly lift the front of the vehicle so that the tires are not firmly on the ground. This causes issues with not only the steering but also with braking.
If your steering and braking are out of your control, you can imagine how easy it would be to crash. For the safety of yourself and for those you share the road with, always stay within the towing capacity set by your truck’s manufacturer.
What Is The Nissan Frontier Value Truck Package?
Adding this package to your Nissan Frontier will not only make your drives more comfortable but also eliminate some of the steps for heavy-duty towing.
On the interior, the value truck package includes dual climate controls and heated front seats. Frontiers with this upgrade also come equipped with a six-speaker stereo system, a rearview back-up camera, and rear parking sensors.
Outside the cab, the value truck package includes a class IV trailer hitch. Completing this upgrade are the sliding bed extender and the adjustable cargo tie-downs.
The Nissan Frontier is certainly capable of towing a travel trailer. Towing any trailer requires a travel trailer hitch, and luckily there are several models suited for this model of pickup truck. While there are ways to safely increase the towing capacity, you should be cautious when doing so. These upgrades should only be performed by a professional, and need to be inspected upon completion.
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