Towing is one of the benefits of owning large vehicles like pickups and SUVs, but can the relatively small Nissan Rogue handle towing duty? Tow ratings depend on many factors, so we can never tell just from the size of a vehicle how much it can pull. That's why, in this article, we are going to dig into all of the relevant information. This article will help to decide if there is anything this small crossover can tow. And, as you will see, there are more details to consider than just the tow rating:
The Nissan Rogue is rated to tow up to 1,100 lbs. Meanwhile, it can handle a tongue rating of no more than 110 pounds, and the gross combined weight of the vehicle and trailer can be no more than 5,291 lbs. That means that the Rogue can only tow small utility trailers and perhaps some of the lightest teardrop camping trailers and boats on the market.
Now let's dig into those terms and find out what they mean. After all, towing anything is dangerous to you and everyone around you on the road. So it's essential to get this all right. Also, this guide will help you decide if the Rogue is even capable of handling everything you need it to.
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Towing With A Nissan Rogue
When it comes to towing, there are some essential concepts to understand. This section will cover all of the most critical specifications (mostly sourced from the 2019 Rogue owner's manual) to consider when it comes to towing.
Maximum Tow Capacity
The 2019 Nissan Rogue can barely tow more than 1,000 lbs. That's not much weight, and this means the Rogue can't handle the vast majority of travel trailers, even the small pop-up versions. There are some niche trailers, like the upcoming Little Guy MyPod, however, that the Rogue should be able to handle (barely - the tongue weight on these maxes out the Rogue's capacity).
There are some small utility trailers, like this 300-lb trailer from Lowe's, that fit within this rating. Just watch that you don't exceed your tow rating by piling too much weight onto the trailer, because the payload of this particular utility trailer is an impressive 1,700 lbs.
Maximum Tongue Load
As we saw above, the maximum tongue load (the total weight pushing down on the hitch) is just 110 lbs. That means, even if you find a small trailer that falls under the Rogue's tow rating, its tongue weight might exceed your limits. And exceeding that weight capacity can result in a dangerously overloaded rear suspension.
To find out what your trailer's tongue weight is, check out this tongue weight scale on Amazon. Be sure to measure the weight with everything loaded onto the trailer just as it will be while driving.
Maximum Gross Combined Weight Rating
The gross combined weight rating (GCWR) refers to the total weight of your vehicle (and everything inside of it) plus your trailer (and everything inside/on it). According to the owner's manual, the GCWR for the 2019 Nissan Rogue is 5,291 lbs for all trim levels.
To get an idea of how the GCWR affects your towing, locate your vehicle's curb weight that is listed on a sticker inside your drivers-side door jamb. A quick search indicates that this figure is somewhere between 3,464 lbs and 3,761 lbs. Add to this number the weight of all passengers and cargo inside the vehicle. For math's sake, let's assume this number is a nice round 500 lbs and your Rogue's curb weight is 3,700 lbs:
3,700 + 500= 4,200 lbs
Now, we have to add the trailer weight to this amount. Let's assume you are maxing out your tow rating at 1,100 lbs:
4,200 + 1,100 = 5,300 lbs
As you can see, in this scenario, the GCWR has been exceeded, and it will not be safe to tow this trailer. And that means that even with just two adults, camping gear, and maybe a dog, it is easy to overload your Nissan Rogue.
The Rogue owner's manual also lists several technology systems that cannot be used while towing. This includes the Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), Moving Object Detection (MOD) system, Automatic Brake Hold, Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and Steering Assist. This might come as a disappointment, especially if those safety systems were the main reasons you purchased your Rogue.
Does A Nissan Rogue Have A Trailer Hitch?
When you purchase a new Nissan Rogue, a trailer hitch can be installed as an accessory. Just note that, according to the owner's manual, this will require re-programming the liftgate electronic control unit (ECU) for the Motion-Activated liftgate to function correctly.
Nissan sells the various items necessary for towing in their accessories catalog, so it is possible to add these into the purchase price of your Rogue at the time of sale.
How Do You Put A Hitch On A Nissan Rogue?
There are two ways to get your hitch installed, either by paying someone else to do it or doing it yourself. If you purchase the kit from Nissan themselves, the installation will be done by the dealer technicians. If you are buying an aftermarket product, most mechanics and trailer shops can do the job in under an hour.
If, however, you would prefer to do the job yourself, it's not a complicated procedure as long as you have minor mechanical know-how and the right tools. There is no welding required - attach the included bolts to your vehicle. And, because of the Rogue's elevated ride height, you might be able to do the job without needing a jack.
How Much Does It Cost To Add A Hitch To An SUV?
Nissan currently charges $315 for the tow hitch receiver kit in their accessories catalog. Adding items such as the hitch ball ($15) and wiring harness ($180) will add on to that price.
Now, if that seems to steep, you can always buy these items from aftermarket manufacturers. This might be a good idea as well, seeing as how even highly established names such as Curt cost many times less than dealer-supplied hitches. For example, check out this Curt 3,500-lb hitch on Amazon:
If you decide to install the hitch yourself, there will be no additional costs unless you need to purchase some tools. Going to a shop will be mean paying for the installation as well as the parts. This installation cost will most likely be somewhere between $50 and $150, although the total cost is up to the shop you go to.
Can You Tow A Pop-Up Camper With A Nissan Rogue?
Yes, but just barely. A Nissan Rogue with only 1,100 lbs of towing capacity will not be able to tow the vast majority of pop-up tent trailers on the market. However, there are some smaller brands that make exceptionally lightweight pop-up trailers nowadays.
For example, check out this Livin Light QuickSilver Tent Camper with a total unloaded weight of 694 lbs and a hitch weight of just 92 pounds. As you can see, this is about as basic as a pop-up trailer can get, with one flip-out bunk and a sofa inside.
Can a Rogue tow a boat?
As was the case with trailers, most boats will far exceed the Rogue's tow ratings. Still, it is possible to find some boats and trailer combinations that will work. For example, this small boat trailer on Amazon weighs just over 200 lbs:
You can then choose a lightweight inflatable boat like this one (engine not included):
Many fishing boats should allow you to stay under your weight limits, such as this one from Dick's Sporting Goods.
Finally, another option for water-related fun would be a jet ski. As you can see from this handy guide, there are plenty of jet skis that weigh under 600 lbs, and a single jet ski trailer can weigh just 195 lbs.
How Much Weight Can A Nissan Rogue haul?
Each Nissan Rogue that rolls off the assembly line has a different payload (cargo-carrying) weight limit. The exact figure depends on how much the various accessories and items fitted to the vehicle weigh.
Finding your payload is simple - find your GVW (gross vehicle weight) listed on your doorjamb sticker and subtract your vehicle's curb weight from that figure. It should be somewhere around 900 lbs.
Stay Safe and Have Fun!
While the Nissan Rogue might not be able to tow much weight, we have still managed to find several fun things that it can handle. Whether it's a superlight teardrop camping trailer, fishing or inflatable boat, or jet ski, there are plenty of options when it comes to fun things to tow. Just make sure to stay under all of your weights and drive safely!