Why would an RV website discuss the Nissan Rogue? This small SUV looks as if it’s made for the city streets, but the Rogue can pull a boat or trailer. The 2020 Nissan Rogue can tow and haul a decent amount of weight.
According to the Houston Chronicle, 37% of the Millenial Generation now make up total RV ownership in the United States. The author of the article quotes an RV dealer to express one viewpoint as to how this generation’s interests have changed.
“Video games have run their course … being outside is where it’s at.”
Young couples are looking for fuel-efficient vehicles to tow small RVs that are a step or more above a tent. It allows them to camp and explore longer. Modern coaches are now built with off-grid electric capabilities that enable people to stay connected to the world with their mobile devices.
For this discussion, we’re going to explore how capable the 2020 Nissan Rogue is for RVs. If you own a Rogue and are thinking of purchasing a coach, we’ll examine some great RV options on the market. This sampling will feature towables that fit a wide variety of lifestyles.
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Understanding Vehicle Weights
When you research the Rogue and RVs, you’re going to see figures like towing capacity, Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, Unloaded Vehicle Weight, Tongue Weight, and others. All of these calculations are important. The goal is to avoid overloading your vehicle.
U.S. News and World Report give a great explanation of what these ratings mean. We’ll give you a brief explanation of each and how it applies to your particular needs. Don’t worry, we promise to keep the car lingo down to a minimum.
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW): This figure is also known as “dry weight.” It’s mostly used for your RV but can refer to your tow vehicle (Nissan Rogue). The term refers to the weight of the vehicle before you put your things or people in it. It does include all of the factory-installed parts, though. Everything that’s installed when you bought your SUV or RV counts in the UVW. Don’t think of the UVW as just the chassis and an empty shell. The furniture, cabinets, and appliances you saw at the dealership are included.
- Gross Trailer Weight (GTW): This measurement is the UVW and all of the cargo that you have loaded into your trailer. Generally speaking, you should assume your clothes, camping gear, cooking supplies, and other essentials can add up to 400 pounds. If your RV’s dry weight is close to your Nissan Rogue’s towing capacity, you’ll want to be strategic with what you load into your coach.
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): The rating comes from the manufacturer. This rating factors the dry weight of the Rogue as well as all of the people and cargo you put in the vehicle itself. If you were going on a road trip without a trailer, its the total amount of weight your SUV could safely hold.
- Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR): This is the total amount of weight between what your Rogue can hold and tow combined. According to the owners manual for models made between 2014-2020, this cannot exceed 1,400 pounds. Therefore, between the passengers, cargo, and the RV itself, you cannot exceed this weight without damaging your SUV
These weight ratings are based on many factors. It comes from how much pulling power your engine has. Other factors include how much stress your transmission, suspension, and chassis can take. Overstressing these parts can lead to them fracture from the strain.
Bigger SUVs and pickup trucks that have tow packages are built with oversized parts and transmission coolers to compensate for heavier loads. Their chassis are manufactured by the factory to handle the heavyweights as well. Nissan didn’t design the Rogue to handle heavier weights.
It’s not recommended that you add aftermarket components to give you extra pulling power. You may gain a little more strength, but the risk to your chassis buckling under the pressure could be fatal. The only advantage of oversized suspension parts and a transmission cooler for your Rogue would be to lessen the stress on the vehicle itself.
- 3 Models: S, SV, SL
- Seats up to 5 people
- Fuel Efficiency (estimated): 26 city/33 highway
- 2 Drivetrains: FWD or AWD
- Engine: 4 cylinder 170 HP @ 6,000 RPM
- Torque: 175 LB/FT @ 4,400 RPM
- Towing Capacity: 1,102 pounds
- GCWR: 1,400 pounds
- Starting MSRP: $25,300- $33,040
As you can see from the quick facts above, the Nissan Rogue is a small, fuel-efficient SUV. It comes in three trim levels that come in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. It comes with sensors all around the vehicle to assist with braking, detecting blind spot obstructions, and lane departure warning.
You can keep your media going with Apple and Android connectivity. When your hands are full, the SV and SL models have motion-activated liftgates to make loading easier. There’s also a remote engine start with intelligent climate control.
For those of you that like to make your own road with your camping experience, the all-wheel-drive will give you extra control on dirt roads. It automatically adapts to road conditions by sending power to the wheel that needs it. When you’re up to speed, the SUV switches to front-wheel-drive for the best fuel efficiency possible, even when towing on the highway.
Towable Options Available
RV technologies have come a long way in the past 10- 15 years. This discussion wouldn’t have been a possibility 20 years ago. The development of lightweight building materials has made it possible to tow a trailer with a Nissan Rogue.
The towable classes of RVs are numerous. They can range from five feet in length to over 40 feet in length. One independent RV maker developed one that can be towed by a compact hybrid car, and others must be hauled by a one-ton pickup truck. If you were to put the two next to each other, it’s like comparing a Chihuahua to a Great Dane.
Most of the RV examples we’ll look at are in the teardrop class. They get their name from the shape of their predecessors. The front of the trailer is long and curved for aerodynamics. The back end comes to a point at the back bumper.
Many RVs are shaped like teardrops today that are actually small travel trailers. The difference between a travel trailer and a teardrop trailer lies in self-containment. All of the amenities in a travel trailer are accessible inside the unit.
In teardrop trailers, the kitchen and other amenities are accessible outside the coach by lifting a hatch at the back of the unit. The interior of the teardrop is used for sleeping space. There may be a TV and climate control inside for added comfort.
As far as daytime living, your living room, kitchen, and guest area exist outside the coach. The RV’s interior only supplies a place to sleep.
Today’s teardrops have expanded outside the traditional teardrop shape. Independent RV manufacturers have many “outside the box” approaches to this category that have reimagined the classification. Their creativity has given the teardrop type a lot more features than their ancestors.
Small Travel Trailers
We mentioned previously that travel trailers are fully contained. This means that all of the amenities and furniture can be used inside the coach. The majority of these units do weigh above the 1,102-pound maximum, but there are RV makers that are tapping into this ultra-lightweight market successfully.
The benefit of this type of towable is the multi-purpose living space. On a cold rainy day, there are dinettes and couches you can sit on while you binge your favorite series on the TV. You’ll have full kitchenette capabilities with running water, and other creature comforts teardrops aren’t designed for.
The Best Nissan Rogue Capable RVs
The RVs below are great examples of what the Nissan Rogue can safely tow. If you go to their websites, you may see them advertise that smaller vehicles can pull them. Technically this is true.
In that scenario, this would work if only one person was driving the tow vehicle. Both the RV and the tow vehicle would be completely empty of any personal belongings or camping gear. On a theoretical level, this approach is true.
Our thinking is more realistic. We’re assuming that one or two people are going on the camping trip. They are bringing clothing and essential camping gear. Overall, our approach is more realistic.
Many of the RVs at this weight level will get close to your towing capacity. When you’re planning your trip, we recommend that you plan your gear as well. Between your GCWR of 1,400 pounds and your coach’s UVW weight allowance you have to work with.
- Type: Teardrop
- 10.7 feet in length
- 990 pounds UVW
- Sleeps up to 2 people
- $9,200 MSRP
The Taxa Outdoors Woolly Bear combines creativity and utility. At first glance, it looks like a rectangular box with a platform above it. This basecamp style trailer allows you to set your 2-3 person tent safely off the ground to avoid the critters bothering you at night.
The trailer itself houses a kitchen, room for a cooler, and plenty of storage space for your things. There are plenty of hooking and latch places to lockdown your bikes and kayaks as well. The trailer had a weight capacity of 600 additional pounds of cargo.
For electrical power, it comes pre-wired for solar panels. There are USB ports to keep your mobile devices charged. There are also LED lights throughout for night use.
Logistically, you could add up to 100 pounds of cargo to the trailer, leaving you just under towing capacity. That would leave you about 300 pounds left on your GCWR for your Nissan Rogue. A weekend getaway or a week-long trip is possible with a trip to the grocery store after you set up.
- Type: Teardrop
- 8 feet in length
- 670 and 1,000 pounds UVW
- Sleeps up to 2 people
- $10, 325 and $13,225 MSRP
The So Cal Buzz Teardrop is shaped in the classic style. The video above shows the upgraded 1,000-pound UVW Buzz Off model. The basic Buzz model is only 670 pounds UVW.
The Buzz Off upgraded off-road construction and galley adds the additional weight. You can also purchase a five-gallon water tank and front storage bin on the upgraded unit. Otherwise, they are the same dimensions.
They both have steel frame construction, torsion axle suspension, and an aluminum shell. They also have a four-inch-thick mattress that allows two adults to rest comfortably at night. During the day, there is an optional side-mount table that connects next to the back hatch.
For Nissan Rogue owners, the Buzz gives you a lot of opportunities. The trailers come wired for electric and pre-wired with solar. There are many portable energy-efficient appliances you could bring with you and still stay underweight.
If you are staying at a campground, you can plug into the campsite’s power station (shore power), for maximum power. Bring a dorm-sized refrigerator, propane stove and lanterns to live like camping royalty. Don’t forget your fishing gear.
- Type: Pop-Up/Tent trailer
- 11.9 feet in length
- 840 pounds UVW
- Sleeps up to 2 people
- $8,995 MSRP
Is it a teardrop or a pop-up? Sylvansport defines their Go trailer as a tent trailer. This trailer is an aluminum structure, with a fold-out nylon tent that comes from the roof pod. You can watch how it sets up in the video above.
The frame is very versatile. It allows you to tie down your bikes and kayaks for your camping adventures. You can also remove the camper pod and use the flatbed for utility purposes.
For your Nissan SUV, this teardrop type allows for some extra cargo weight. The trailer itself doesn’t have storage bays, but the Rogue has a big enough truck and backseat for whatever you would need. There is plenty of room for surfboards too.
- Type: Ultra-lite travel trailer
- 13 feet in length
- 950 pounds UVW
- Sleeps up to 3 people
The Prolite 12V was new in 2019 for this Canadian manufacturer. It comes fully equipped with a solar system from the factory. The travel trailer sleeps up to 3 people between the fold-down sofa and two-person dinette.
Additional features include portable heating, a 1.7 cubic inch refrigerator, and a full kitchenette. Air conditioning, a microwave, and installed radio are optional factory features you can choose. The travel trailer does have water and electric hookups to shore connections.
The RV has a 15 gallon fresh and grey water tanks. It doesn’t have a black water tank since there isn’t a bathroom. The floor uses laminate flooring for easy cleaning.
For the Rogue, strategic weight planning is recommended. If you are going on a long road trip, it’s a good idea to have some fresh water with you for emergencies. Remember, water is heavy, and can quickly eat up your weight tolerance.
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RVing for the First Time, Try Renting
If this is your first RV experience, welcome to the lifestyle. What you may want to do is try renting an RV first. Peer-to-Peer renting programs like Outdoorsy gives you the ability to take a weekend to try one of these coaches out. If you don’t like it, you can choose another one to rent for another weekend.
Real people own these RVs. When you meet up, they’ll tell you everything you need to know about the RV and share some of their own experiences with you. When you are ready to buy, you’ll be an experienced buyer and know what you want.
Product data was last updated on 2020-04-09 at 07:50.