Skip to Content

Dodge Nitro Towing Capacity: Trailer, Boat Or Jet Ski?

What is the maximum towing capacity of a Dodge Nitro? And what kind of trailers, boats, or jet skis can it actually tow? In this article, we explain all the ins and outs of the Dodge Nitro’s towing. First, let us give you a quick answer:

Dodge Nitro’s with a 3.7 or 4.0 L and an automatic transmission can tow 2,000 lbs. If the car has a manual transmission or cooler installed, it will be capable of towing 3,500 lbs. 2009 – 2011 Nitro’s also have the option of a towing package which increases the towing capacity to 5,000 lbs.

However, that doesn’t tell you the whole story. In the table below, we’ll first explain the maximum towing capacity of this car based on the model year and the available engine types. After that, we also made a list of 22 different types of trailers and told you when the Nitro can tow that trailer and when not.

Also read: How Many Miles Can A Dodge Nitro Last? (Answered)

Maximum Towing Capacity Per Year

First of all, it’s important to look at the maximum towing capacity of the Dodge Nitro. In the table below, we’ve tried to give a conclusive answer about how much the Dodge Nitro can tow. We went through all owners’ manuals of all the different model years to ensure that the info provided in the table below is correct.

You’ll see that the towing capacity of the Nitro depends on three different factors: the type of transmission the car has if it has a cooler or not, and if the car comes installed with a towing package. Furthermore, we added extra information in the table, such as whether or not the car has 2WD or 4WD.

YearEngineMaximum Towing Capacity (lbs)Notes
20113.7 Automatic                                      2,0004×2, 5,000 lbs with towing package
 3.7 Automatic                                      2,0004×4, 5,000 lbs with towing package
 4.0 Automatic                                      2,0004×2, 5,000 lbs with towing package
 4.0 Automatic                                      2,0004×4, 5,000 lbs with towing package
20103.7 Automatic                                      2,0004×2, 5,000 lbs with towing package
 3.7 Automatic                                      2,0004×4, 5,000 lbs with towing package
 4.0 Automatic                                      2,0004×2, 5,000 lbs with towing package
 4.0 Automatic                                      2,0004×4, 5,000 lbs with towing package
20093.7 Automatic                                      2,0004×2
 3.7 Automatic                                      2,0004×4
 3.7 Automatic W/ Cooler                                      3,5004×2, 5,000 lbs with towing package
 3.7 Automatic W/ Cooler                                      3,5004×4, 5,000 lbs with towing package
 4.0 Automatic                                      2,0004×2
 4.0 Automatic                                      2,0004×4
 4.0 Automatic W/ Cooler                                      3,5004×2, 5,000 lbs with towing package
 4.0 Automatic W/ Cooler                                      3,5004×4, 5,000 lbs with towing package
20083.7 Manual                                      3,5004×2
 3.7 Manual                                      3,5004×4
 3.7 Automatic                                      2,0004×2
 3.7 Automatic                                      2,0004×4
 3.7 Automatic W/ Cooler                                      3,5004×2
 3.7 Automatic W/ Cooler                                      3,5004×4
 4.0 Automatic                                      2,0004×2
20073.7 Manual                                      3,5004×2
 3.7 Manual                                      3,5004×4
 3.7 Automatic                                      2,0004×2
 3.7 Automatic                                      2,0004×4
 3.7 Automatic W/ Cooler                                      3,5004×2
 3.7 Automatic W/ Cooler                                      3,5004×4
 4.0 Automatic                                      2,0004×2

Also read:

Can It Tow A Trailer, Boat Or Jet Ski?

Besides knowing how much a Nitro can tow, it’s also essential to know what practical implications this has for you as the car owner. Therefore, we’ve outlined the average empty and loaded weight of 22 different trailers in the table below. For each trailer, we’ve identified whether or not the Dodge Nitro can tow it or not. The short conclusion is as follows:

All Dodge Nitro’s will be able to tow a kayak/canoe- or jet ski trailer. All models with a manual, cooler, or the ones with a towing package installed will be able to tow a motorcycle-, teardrop-, small utility-, a-frame-, fishing boat-, pop-up- trailer. If the Nitro has a towing package, it’s also capable of towing a small travel trailer or tow dolly.

However, let it be clear that this does not tell the whole story. Below the table, you’ll find extra information for each type of trailer that the Nitro can carry. There, we will further elaborate on if the Nitro can carry all types of trailers of that specific kind or if there are certain exceptions that you should take into account.

Trailer TypeAverage Empty
Weight (lbs.)
Average Total
Loaded Weight (lbs.)
Can A Dodge Dakota Tow It?
Canoe / Kayak Trailer200                                                 400Yes
Jet Ski Trailer300                                              1,800Yes
Motorcycle Trailer500                                              2,400Yes, with manual, cooler, or towing package
Teardrop Trailer1,700                                              2,400Yes, with manual, cooler, or towing package
Small Open Utility Trailer700                                              2,500Yes, with manual, cooler, or towing package
A-Frame Camper1,7002,900Yes, with manual, cooler, or towing package
Small Enclosed Utility Trailer1,000                                              3,200Yes, with manual, cooler, or towing package
Fishing Boat Trailer600                                              3,300Yes, with manual, cooler, or towing package
Pop Up Camper2,300                                              3,400Yes, with manual, cooler, or towing package
Small Travel Trailer2,800                                              3,600Yes, with towing package
Tow Dolly600                                              4,000Yes, with towing package
Large Enclosed Utility Trailer2,700                                              7,100No
Small Horse Trailer2,900                                              7,200No
Large Travel Trailer6,700                                              8,300No
Car Trailer1,900                                              9,000No
Large Flatbed Trailer3,000                                            10,400No
Large Boat Trailer2,200                                            13,600No
Dump Trailer4,500                                            16,900No
Toy Hauler7,600                                            17,900No
Large Livestock Trailer7,300                                            18,700No
5th Wheel Camper12,700                                            18,700No
Gooseneck Flatbed Trailer7,200                                            23,200No
  • Kayak: All Dodge Nitro’s will be able to tow a kayak trailer. On average an empty kayak trailer will weigh 200 pounds. A loaded kayak trailer will weigh an average of 400 pound with a maximum of 800 pounds which is well within the range of the Dodge Nitro.
  • Jet Ski Trailer: the Dodge Nitro will be able to tow a jet ski trailer. On average an empty jet ski trailer will weigh 300 pounds. A loaded jet ski trailer will weigh an average of 1,800 pounds which is within the range of the Dodge Nitro. Some jet ski trailers will weigh 3,000 pounds and will be too heavy for some Nitro’s.
  • Motorcycle Trailer: A Dodge Nitro with a manual, cooler and/or towing package will be able to tow an empty motorcycle trailer. On average an empty motorcycle trailer will weigh 500 pounds. A loaded motorcycle trailer will weigh an average of 2,400 pounds with a maximum of 3,500 which is within the range of these Nitro’s.
  • Teardrop Trailer: A Dodge Nitro with a manual, cooler and/or towing package will be able to tow a teardrop trailer. On average an empty teardrop trailer will weigh 1,700 pounds. A loaded teardrop trailer will weigh an average of 2,400 pounds which is within the range of these Nitro’s. Some of these trailers will weigh 6,000 pounds which are too heavy for the Nitro.  
  • Small Open Utility Trailer: A Dodge Nitro with a manual, cooler and/or towing package will be able to tow a small open utility trailer. On average an empty small open utility trailer will weigh 700 pounds. A loaded small open utility trailer will weigh an average of 2,500 pounds with a maximum of 3,000 which is within the range of the Nitro.
  • A-Frame Camper: A Dodge Nitro with a manual, cooler and/or towing package will be able to tow an a-frame camper. On average an empty a-frame camper will weigh 1,700 pounds. A loaded a-frame camper will weigh an average of 2,900 pounds which is within the range of the Nitro. Some a-frame campers will weigh 3,600 pounds which is too heavy for the Nitro’s without a towing package.
  • Small Enclosed Utility Trailer: A Dodge Nitro with a manual, cooler and/or towing package will be able to tow a small enclosed utility trailer. On average an empty small enclosed utility trailer will weigh 1,000 pounds. A loaded small enclosed utility trailer will weigh an average of 3,200 pounds which is within the range of the Nitro. Some trailers have a maximum of 7,000 which is too heavy for the Dodge Nitro.
  • Fishing Boat Trailer: A Dodge Nitro with a manual, cooler and/or towing package will be able to tow a fishing boat trailer. On average an empty fishing boat trailer will weigh 600 pounds. A loaded fishing boat trailer will weigh an average of 3,300 pounds which is within the range of the Nitro. Some trailers will weigh a maximum of 6,000 which is too heavy for the Dodge Nitro.
  • Pop-Up Camper: Dodge Nitro’s with a manual, cooler or towing package will be able to tow a pop-up camper. On average an empty pop-up camper weighs 2,300 pounds. A loaded pop-up camper will weigh an average of 3,400 pounds which is within the range of these Nitro’s.  
  • Small Travel Trailer: Dodge Nitro’s that have a towing package will be able to tow a small travel trailer. On average an empty small travel trailer weighs 2,800 pounds. A loaded small travel trailer will weigh an average of 3,600 pounds with a maximum of 4,500 pounds which is within the range of these Nitro’s
  • Tow Dolly: A Dodge Nitro with a towing package will be able to tow a tow dolly. On average an empty tow dolly will weigh 600 pounds. A loaded tow dolly will weigh an average of 4,000 pounds with a maximum of 5,000 which is within the range of these Nitro’s

Also read: The Oil Type, Weight, And Capacity Of A Dodge Nitro

How Well Can It Tow Compared To Its Competition?

Finally, it’s also important to compare the Nitro to its competitors. This information is essential if you’re in the market for a car of this size and when towing is one of your bigger priorities. For this, we compared the Dodge to its three main competitors.

We found that the Nitro does seem to do pretty well in terms of maximum towing capacity. The Nitro has the highest towing capacity of these cars together with the Jeep Liberty. The Suzuki Grand Vitara and the Ford Escape have the lower towing capacity, probably because they don’t have an optional towing package.

The Dodge does average minimum towing capacity; it’s better than the Escape but worse than the Grand Vitara. Overall, we would say that the Dodge Nitro seems to be a solid car compared to its competition in towing capacity.

Year / Make / ModelMin. Towing Capacity (lbs.)Max. Towing Capacity (lbs.)
2011 Dodge Nitro                               2,000                                5,000
2011 Jeep Liberty                               2,000                                5,000
2011 Suzuki Grand Vitara                               3,000                                3,000
2011 Ford Escape                               1,500                                3,500