Nissan Qashqai Tow-Bar Help

Hi there,

This might be a silly question but bare with me (female with a bit of knowledge on cars). I have a Nissan Qashqai ST 2019 and want to equip it with a tow-bar for a trailer/boat. I have asked Nissan and they are quoting me over $1000 for it. I thought that was a bit steep (please let me know if that is a decent price) so I thought I would ask my OzBargain experts for help.

Specifically, what is the best way of fitting one on?
Should I go to Nissan or somewhere else?
What type of tow-bar is best for my situation? (anyone with one on a Qashqai here?)

Thank you so much for your time!!


  • Seems about right for stealership pricing. It will be a 50/50 split between the cost of the parts and cost of the labour. And if it is anything like the Mitsubishi Outlander I had to do recently, it’s about a 1/2 a day job to pull half the arse end of the car apart.

    • Best way of fitting one, use someone who knows what they are doing.
    • Should you go to Nissan, absolutely not. Use a tow bar fitter. They will have fitted more than the dealer and be substantially cheaper on labour and parts costs. (The dealer will probably get the tow bar fitter to do it anyway and just throw their cut on top.)
    • Which type of tow bar? Get the tow bar with the removable tongue. It will allow you to remove the ball and stop you bashing shins on it and will also allow you to fit other accessories.
  • There are plenty of after market towbar makers online, Google is your friend there.
    Most cars these days already have the mounting bolt holes in the body/chassis so no drilling required.
    Some do need a cut out for the tongue, some don't.
    I have fitted one to a 2007 Camry and it was a simple process.
    Most cars have a socket in the boot area for the wiring making the wiring simple also.
    One here…
    Another here..

  • If you are in Sydney, I would highly recommend TJM Southside Sydney -

    I called around various places and these were by far the cheapest. Also when you call, the receptionists give you a fixed cost for the exact vehicle.
    This way you know you wont get ripped of by "Bobs Towbars" who will mansplain you into a massive fee.

    Best of luck.

  • equip it with a tow-bar for a trailer/boat

    A tinny I hope

  • The advantage of the dealership should be that they'll use the genuine plug in harness for the install. Another installer would like just tap in which is fine until something goes wrong and Nissan rejects warranty because of the mod if they can. Of course there's also a reasonable chance that the dealer will do the same (or rather whoever they farm it out to) instead of using the OEM harness but at least you don't have the same warranty concern. Either way, check up front that it'll be integrated with reverse sensors etc.

    It's not likely something will go wrong, it's a simple install and would really have to be dodgy to get it wrong but I thought it worth mentioning given the car is still under warranty. Get other quotes and compare. If there's not much in it, might be worth the peace of mind going through the dealer.

  • Installing a towbar should be a fairly common thing to get a quote on. Ring a few suppliers and get a few prices. Pick your favourite (may not be cheapest, you might favour convenience or quality of product).

    I used a mobile towbar supplier once. Easy. came to me and he had it done in an hour or so, price was good.

    As for what type, depends on the vehicle but a 50mm square hitch receiver means you can remove the towbar part quickly so no risk of shin bashing, but even tongue types that bolt on aren’t very hard to remove. A big shifting spanner and a couple of bolts will do it.


    Mine is 2019 Ti. Slightly different bumper bottom bit. It has cut out. Hope it helps.

  • Before you spend any money, double check the weight of the items you wish to tow.
    The car will have a maximum weight rating. You can’t tow anything that exceeds that, and I would be leery about going close.
    There is also different requirements for lightweight trailers (like a tinnie or a box trailer) which do not require brakes, and heavier trailers that do.
    Some heavier braked trailers require an electronic controller to be wired into the towing vehicle.

    If you are unsure, the trailer manufacturer can offer advice on what is the best setup.

    • Car has a GVM (gross vehicle mass), which is made up of the weight of car, passengers, cargo, and townball down-weight. You cannot exceed this.

      Car also has max towball down-weight - can't exceed this.

      Car also has a max unbraked/braked towing capacity - can't exceed this.

      Exceed any of these and have an accident and your insurance will be void.

      • And don't fit one for added protection, jic someone runs up your ar5e, as it will cost you more than it did to buy and install in other things, such as:
        - writing the car off after any collision of substance (rear impacts transfer directly to the frame of the car propelling it forward unless it can't, in which case the frame of the car bends (aka end of car). Not uncommon for people to just reverse into a tree or a post at low speed and poof! Car is gone.
        - more in fuel (more weight to move every time you put your foot on the accelerator)
        - more in tyres, brakes, suspension wear
        - raise the front, lower the rear.
        - sag the rear springs over time
        - unbalance the car, making it stop and handle incorrectly, reduce its ability to avoid obstacles, possibly assist rolling, etc.

        On a truck, even an old falcon or a commode they were useful in a bygone era. Now it's likely better to hire a van when u need to move stuff, than attempt old school trailerin' like Old Uncle Wayne with his fridge, money jar and a few slabs beer going fishing.

        • Wtf are you on about.

        • Your vehicle’s suspension doesn’t usually need to be upgraded to accommodate a towbar.
          “Weight generally isn’t a problem. Lighter-duty ones start at around 20kg, while heavy-duty ones can weigh up to 35kg,” says Ranken.

          Oh noes, an extra 20-35kg of weight in the rear of the car…

          • @spackbace: Big deal on an already 2 tonne TANK

          • @spackbace: Suspension: destroyed

          • @spackbace: Yep, oh no! That 25-35kg is about as far away from the front of the car as it can be.

            If it were in the middle of the car, I'd not be concerned. But Archimedes shocked the world generations ago by explaining the power of a lever. F=ma in a dynamic situation makes it far different to adding dead weight inside the cabin.

            That much weight, all the way out back, has a massive impacts cornering, pitching and yaw, far more than if ti were above the rear axle, for example. Yet if made with that much extra weight at any position, both the front and rear springs (and other things), would be stiffened by the manufacturer to compensate. For them, it even impacts the brakes and tyres they fit.

            A towbar on any car will immediately change the ride height at the rear, and the front. And I know a lot of towbars heavier than 30kg, one factory bar I had on a normal sedan was made out of 75x25x4.0mm section, and weighed 40kg without the cast iron tongue! Removing it allowed the car to return to near original height, radically improved the handling and consumed noticeably less fuel.

            • @resisting the urge: Are you seriously worried about 30kg in something that weighs probably 1500-1800kg?

              • @Euphemistic: I'm pretty sure they drive an F1 car so I think it's a fair enough concern.

              • @Euphemistic: Whatever you do, don't get them started on bull bars or nudge bars

                • @spackbace: At least if you need a bull bar, you can opt for an aluminum one to reduce the impact on performance.

                  And you can re-balance the car by fitting a tow hitch ;-)

                  And if needing those extras, adding a lift kit without might be beneficial enough off-road to make any loss in ride height a moot point. Of course it won't handle anything like it did with its factory settings, but until you lift it, it won't be too far off.

                  Not sure anyone adds bull bars to Qashqais tho

              • @Euphemistic: 1331-1641kg on a Qashqai.

                So that is 2-3% extra fuel, slower accel, slower to stop…. likely 5% more wear, plus impacted driving dynamics.

                None of that is inconsiderable given it is all the time, not just when you are actually towing.

                That's the extent of it, no more

                • @resisting the urge: Jeepers. I hope you never fill your fuel tank more than 1/4 and don’t ever take the groceries home. While you are at it , start stripping out the sound deadening, the stereo and the seats you aren’t using.

                  • @Euphemistic: Splitting hairs. This site is about savings, so feel free to share your math if you disagree:

                    Fuel tank weight gets you there and back, and if you leave your tank full of air, you get condensation that causes acidic water to form and corrode the fuel system.

                    Sound absorbing material has purpose, and only a front seat weighs enough to give you a saving.

                    Plus, in the context of this thread, everything you mention is in the middle. Nor does it exert any real leverage over the rear axle as a tower does.

                    • @resisting the urge:

                      That much weight, all the way out back, has a massive impacts cornering, pitching and yaw, far more than if ti were above the rear axle, for example

                      I made my comments in the context of the above, and the bit about settling suspension and stuff. Sure, when actually towing a heavy load it has a dramatic affect on handling, but 30kg of tow bar has less effect than the difference between a full and empty tank, or having a different number of passengers.

                      Having a towbar fitted is a minor change to the vehicle that makes very little difference to operation especially if you use it. Of course it’s a waste if you never use it.

                      • @Euphemistic: No it doesn't. 30kg that far away from the centre of the car has a lot of leverage effect. Towing a load is a whole different thing. A hard corner at 2/3 normal speed can cause enough articulation to cause total loss of control.

                        On its own though, a towbar applies a great deal more turning moment than 30kg of fuel does above the rear axle. E.g.

                        30kg weight at 1m= 30Nm
                        30kg weight at 2m= 60Nm

                        And in the real world, hitting dips and humps, the difference can equate to many multiples of the above, causing pitch and yaw, and to cause unexpected loss of grip much earlier when cornering.

                        This makes any car with a towbar significantly less safe. But as I've said also increases wear and reduces performance over the cars' entire usable lifetime- all just to occasionally tow a small trailer.

                        Any cheap mod that improves performance and functionality is welcome. I only point out that the impact a towbar has is widely misunderstood, esp on a small vehicle. It is a sad fact that uneven loading has seen many thousands of transport related crashes over the ages, whether it be planes flown by professionals, trucks and cars driven by experienced drivers, and animals and carts, boats… the list is long.

                        • @resisting the urge:

                          This makes any car with a towbar significantly less safe.

                          No it doesn’t. Sure, I fully agree that it make some difference, but it’s not significant. I’ve owned 4 cars for a while before fitting a tow bar to them. I haven’t noticed any difference in handling before and after. I’ve hung a couple of bikes off the back and haven’t noticed ‘significant’ handling changes.

                          It’s the same as loading 50kg of groceries into the boot, or adding a passenger or two. Sure it’s going to affect the ride a bit, but there are so many other variables in loading, tyre pressures, road grip, wind conditions that unless you are driving a race prepped car at the limit or aren’t going to feel anything significant.

                            • @resisting the urge:

                              So for now, we remain free to make modifications that cause a vehicle to cost more to run, pollute more, or affect performance.

                              Or alternatively we remain free to make modifications that make a vehicle more useful or prevent us from buying a newer or larger car that would use more fuel and cost more to run for 90% of the usage.

                              My point still remains that it does not make a significant change to handling, performance or economy unless you actually attach something pretty big to said towbar. 1-2% is not significant and if it gets to the point of a towbar making the difference between crashing or not, you are too close to the limit in the first place.

                              • @Euphemistic: Lol. Why are you even bothering, Euph?

                                The maths is simple. The fulcrum point is the rear suspension mount, not the “centre of the car”. Also, this extra 30kg is spread between the fulcrum and the furthest point, it’s not all loaded onto the furthest point.

                                There would be more load on the rear of the vehicle if it were full of camping gear or groceries than what a tow bar creates. Hell, there would be about 3 times the amount of downforce on the back of that car if anyone decided to actually connect a trailer to said tow bar.

                                I should get out the crayons and make an MS Paint diagram for @resisting to learn how levers work. :D

                                • @pegaxs:

                                  Why are you even bothering, Euph?

                                  There was something wrong on the internet!.

                                  It just one of my pet hates, exaggerating or overstating stuff like this. It borders on conspiracy theory thinking.

                                  • @Euphemistic: The internet is an echo chamber for stupidity. People have this great tool to be able to research something, and they still won’t use it.

                                    That’s why I don’t bother any more. The people who are wrong won’t listen or change their mind, so I have gotten to the point where these types just deserve each other.

                                    They get that way that anything you say, no matter how right it is, is taken as a personal attack on them that they need to defend. No amount of proof you can offer up and sources you can supply will change the fact that they think you are attacking them personally when all you are trying to do is clear up the bullshit and misinformation.

                                    And I did particularly like the part about tow bars adding to under steer… I think that was my favourite part.

  • but bare with me

    Bare (verb): meaning to uncover (a part of the body or other thing) and expose it to view. To undress. To strip naked.

    How very presumptuous of you, internet stranger?🤨

    (female with a bit of knowledge on cars)

    Oh, in that case…. can I at least keep my 👒 on?

    The correct expression is ' bear with me' meaning 'please be patient with me' :)

    -A lady with a detachable flange towbar (no pun intended!) and a cycle carrier.

  • $1,000 is pretty well the ball park figure.

  • I would just get it from the dealer if the car still has many years of the warranty. $1000 doesn't seem too bad considering VW charges about 2k for Tiguan.

    • Look at the type of bars they fit, the OE ones are often a bull-horn shape like those that Westfalia made popular in the 80s. They are far stronger (in practical, if not real terms) as they are tailored to the car, and better protect the car's structure than most of the aftermarket ones. In comparison, many aftermarket ones are just cheap steel sections welded together with a few pieces of flat bar as mounts. Electricals often require manual splice-in, instead of connecting to the factory connector, and even those that have some form of e-integration can upset a modern cars' on-board networks (CANs) and also cause false alarms in lightbulb monitoring systems. At age many suffer from poor splicing and oxidation in the connections.

      The factory kits are always designed to fit the car well and in a way that the factory engineers find acceptable, so minimise physical and functional impacts. Many have an easily removable hitch, and a locking mechanism that is resistant to corrosion. Usually also they've made sure it stows in a secure location when not in use.

      I can't count the amount of cars (esp 4WDs) that I've seen that have a 5kg+ ball hitch, all covered in sharp edges, loose in the back. In a slow roll-over, the would be a lethal projectile, let alone a collision at speed.

      • Lol… good lord, you have no clues.

        Pieces of flat bar… bull horn shaped… spliced in wires… things have come a long way since you last fitted a tow bar back in the 70’s…

        • Clueless?

          So the cheap and nasties that make up most of the market may not count in your world, but the average, but the average buyer seldom gets something decent in the Oz market.

          When so many come with an inadequate connector or solid state module, or have wiring to suit 'universal' fitment that seldom fits the particular application… and, why is it so many use flat-bar, basic S/RHS, standard sections when purpose made pressed metal gets a far better result in the OE approved products, or come with rattly, pinned tongues, etc.

          I may not fit them for my day job but the new ones are still heavy/clunky in the many places because they are made to a price above all else.

          • @resisting the urge: My factory towbar is a section of box tube with flat plates welded on the ends. The hitch receiver is then welded under the box tube with a couple of flat plat gussets. It’s rated for 3tonne.

            If you get a reputable brand it will have been built/engineered with a load rating which the manufacturer has to back. It’s a big risk to start making them cheaper than what is engineered in Aus. The liability isn’t worth it on a commercial scale.

            • @Euphemistic: So if the design is engineered for the application by a large company making big quantities, instead of made to a price by a small factory in a really small market, it will be made using more appropriate pieces that weigh less and perform better.

              Brand-wise, a big brand from a big market can equal or even exceed the quality of the OE option. Sometimes it is the same one the OE sells.

              But if you buy one from a local brand, or one from an aftermarket OEM supply chain, all of which compete primarily on cheap pricing…

          • @resisting the urge:

            I may not fit them for my day job…

            The problem is, I do. We also manufacture them for custom applications for mine sites and recovery vehicles. But you know, you know so much more than us.

            Try reading Australian Standard AS 4177.1 - 2004 and ADR 62/02… Even the "cheap nasties" need to be somewhat compliant. And most people end up going with something like a Hayman Reese on the Australian market, but I don't know if they are "decent" on the RTU Tow Hitch Standards…

            • @pegaxs: Well that explains everything. First, appreciate that the automative in Oz standards lack a lot as they lag the world by decades in almost every respect.

              And in this thread, we are not talking about 4WDs or anything with a full chassis. For these, the local brands compete well, as the structural design of the factory offerings are far more rudimentary and the wiring straight forward too.

              It is road going consumer vehicles like the OPs, that we are talking about.

              The bars in the link below show you what most people buy. They are all still standard sections, minimal press work, cast components, basic fastenings, minimal custom parts, mostly standard SHS and flat bar with gussets, welded by hand.


              Only one of these is based on the factory design, and none would make it past the factory engineers or be approved for use in say, the European market. But consumers in Oz will quite happily buy these products and actually think they are good.

              In europe, hitches are much bigger business, as almost one quarter of all cars there have them. The standards are far tougher, meaning that probably every tow hitch made here in Oz, incl Hayman Reese bars, cannot be sold there.

              Yes of course our standards mandate safety, but they aren't prescriptive, they just 'raise the bar' to a minimum level of safety (from global perspectives, this is decades out of date) and their main purpose is to provide a basis on which law enforcement can base penalties.

              BTW, if you are actually into standards, take a look at the Euro Directive for Tow hitches, full of formulae and detail, proper referencing to ISO standards, and makes our application of AS look simple, if not amateur.

              BTW, This is why a hitch company that makes the products we are most familiar with in Oz, does not sell any of their products in Europe at all- and AFAIK have not, ever. They may make heavy bars and get the welding right, but the designs are not optimised for strength in each specific use. To make their products compliant with global standards, every one would have to be re-designed. Instead, they focus on markets where they can sell their range without having to expensively re-tool production. And as just one example, think back to how many bars used to be made with raw steel finishes inside the flanges, or included only painted, steel parts: How long did it take them to simply start electroplating (let alone galvanising) parts to stop removable hitches corroding and jamming up in use? It might not be called for in the standard, but every customer with one of these has to grease and fight whenever they have to set a removable hitch, especially if saltwater has been anywhere near the back of the car.

              • @resisting the urge:

                And as just one example, think back to how many bars used to be made with raw steel finishes inside the flanges, or included only painted, steel parts: How long did it take them to simply start electroplating (let alone galvanising)

                This is Australia. We don’t salt our roads and simply don’t need much more than paint, although powder coat is tougher. I’ve seen decades old towbars with little more than surface rust. Do agree about removable hitch getting stuck, but the solution is to remove when not in use, it’s better for your shins anyway.

                • @Euphemistic: Sure we don't have salty roads, but we have salty boat ramps. Besides, in non-coastal applications, road spatter and rain is enough to make them pretty ugly within a few years of installation.

                  If we salted our roads, everything would need to be galvanised. Yet they are just zinc coated, or painted, or even still left bare.

                  And as the general fitment is poor (many are made form standard sections, internally welded, not deburred and not protected from rust). A lot of people end up greasing them to stop the rust and jamming up, and then store their hitch in a plastic bag. Hardly indicative of a product that 'anyone' can use easily.

                  • @resisting the urge: While I’ve heard of the occasional person greasing a hitch, I’ve never heard of someone putting one in a plastic bag to stop it rusting. If they do, it would be to keep the storage location clean not to prevent rust.

  • Not to stop it rusting, more to prevent the grease getting all over everything inside the wheel well or wherever else they decide to store or stow it i imagine