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Towing tips for non-towers 


Are you planning on towing a boat, trailer, or even a caravan and don’t know where to begin?

Well, you’re in the right place.

Our friends at Nissan have put together this handy guide for novice haulers, full of excellent general advice.

And because towing is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach, they’ve also added a few tops tips specifically for towing a trailer, boat, and caravan.

It’s time to get hitched…

We want you to arrive at your destination safely, and enjoy the surrounds. Location: BIG4 Wallaga Lake Holiday Park, NSW.

General towing advice

What are some handy on-road tips?

Towing a trailer, boat, or caravan can have adverse effects on a vehicle’s handling and stopping abilities. This means you will need to maintain a larger gap between your vehicle and any vehicle in front of you. Accordingly, you should approach corners at a more moderate speed.

What should I absolutely avoid doing when towing?

With the added weight of towing, your vehicle will become less agile on the road. Avoiding abrupt steering, acceleration, and braking will ensure your vehicle and whatever it is pulling will stay settled on the road, and you can stay in control.

It's recommended that you avoid abrupt steering, acceleration, and braking.

What are some common towing mistakes?

Poor preparation for your towing trip is the most common and crucial mistake. We’ve all seen that trailer with faulty or completely inoperative lighting. Secondly, make sure your load is properly secured, whether it’s a caravan, boat, or trailer. Poorly secured loads are a common pitfall and can become dangerous to you and other road users.

If you are covering long distances, ensure you are taking breaks more often to prevent fatigue.

It is essential to secure your load prior to hitting the road.

What is the number one safety tip?

Be aware! Towing should be met with a high degree of focus and awareness of your surroundings and other road users.

Fortunately, Nissan has technology to make life easier. The Nissan Intelligent Around-View Monitor uses four cameras to give you a virtual composite 360-degree bird’s-eye view of your vehicle, with selectable split-screen closeups of the front, rear, and kerbside views, so you can get a better look.

Be aware of your surroundings, even if you have the road to yourself.

What are the legal requirements?

Firstly, you should be sure that the vehicle and associated towing equipment meets the ratings required. Most importantly, this includes ensuring your Gross Vehicle Mass, Gross Trailer Mass, and Gross Combination Mass ratings are not exceeded.

We always recommend that our customers fit Nissan Genuine Accessories, as these will provide you with high-quality standards for a perfect fit and increased safety and reliability. Your vehicle is an investment, and Nissan Genuine Accessories are covered by the Nissan New Vehicle Warranty.

Correct weights are vital. Get to know them.

Top tips for towing a trailer

What must I know before I depart?

When towing a trailer, there are key checks that the driver should make prior to departure. Always ensure your hitch, safety chains, and trailer lighting plug are connected and secured properly. With the help of a friend or travelling partner, you should determine that all lights are operating correctly.

Check out the Nissan Navara N-TREK Warrior how-to-tow video below for more info.

What are the best tips for parking a trailer?

Parking with a trailer can be intimidating if you aren’t confident with reversing. Finding a parking space that doesn’t require reversing can save time. When this isn’t possible, remember when reversing that your trailer will turn in the opposite direction of which you turn the steering wheel.

Use this principle to get the trailer turning in the direction you need to reverse; then you can start to turn your steering wheel back towards the direction your trailer is going, so you can complete the turn.

Parking with a trailer takes practice.

Tips for towing a boat

How do I negotiate a boat ramp safely?

If you’re inexperienced at reversing a boat, we recommend you practice. Find a quiet car park or street and set up traffic cones at roughly 4.5m wide – the common width of a single-lane boat ramp – and build your confidence in reversing and manoeuvring your vehicle and boat.

Check out the Nissan Navara N-TREK Warrior Margaret River video below. You can watch and learn how to navigate a boat ramp, using Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology, to keep you on the straight and narrow.

What are some common boat towing mistakes?

Remember your increased size and presence on the road, and allow enough space when merging or changing lanes.

Nissan has a huge array of technologies that will ensure your driving safety. Across the range, you’ll find technologies like:

  • Lane Departure Warning.
  • Intelligent Lane Intervention.
  • Blind Spot Warning.

What are the key things to remember?

These three simple tips will go a long way to helping you and others:

  • Secure all equipment before heading out.
  • Don’t hold up the boat ramp.
  • Tow your boat off the ramp and into the parking area to reorganise before departure.

Efficient use of a boat ramp benefits all.

Tips for towing a caravan

What must I do before I depart?

This 11-point safety check is an excellent general guide.

  • Check that the 7pin or 12pin is connected properly.
  • Make sure chains are crossed and connected correctly, as well as the d-shackles.
  • Check that the hitch on the car is connected properly.
  • Check the emergency break away is connected correctly.
  • Check that the pin on the hitch is in the lock position.
  • Check the indicators on each side are working, as well as the brake lights.
  • Make sure the handbrake is off.
  • Remove the jockey wheel.
  • Make sure all van items are secured, i.e. windows, hatches, and doors.
  • Check that the fridge is operating.
  • Check that the electric brake is working. 

Check, check, and check.

How do I reverse a caravan safely?

It’s best to get out and assess the area before backing in. It’s also beneficial to have somebody guide you in safely. Don’t rush – it’s not a race. And if you have a reversing camera, take advantage of it.

What is the number one safety tip?

Prepare a written checklist prior to departure. It is sure to come in handy time and again.

Have a checklist prepared prior to setting off.

What are some key things to keep in mind?

It’s best to avoid concentrating too much on trying to maintain the speed limit. Remember, it’s natural to drive slower with a caravan attached to your vehicle.

Also, braking early is essential to stopping correctly and safely.

It's not a race. Drive within your limits.

What are some of the best towing vehicles?

The Nissan Patrol and Nissan Navara make excellent towing vehicles. They carry maximum braked towing capacities of 3500kg* plus have plenty of power and exceptional torque.

Both are designed to handle the toughest of situations with ease, from off-road adventure to hauling a 23ft caravan.

Both models come with Advanced Drive-Assist Display, putting essential information like tyre pressure, fuel economy, driver safety alerts, and a compass right in front of you.

Black beauty: The Nissan Navara is an exceptional towing vehicle. 

Explore the comprehensive range of Nissan vehicles for any purpose here.

*Towing capacity is subject to towbar/towball capacity. The capacity may be reduced if a non-genuine Nissan towbar is fitted.  

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