Dodge Offers Nitro Midsize SUV

1194301_enews_07dodge_nitro.jpgAll new for 2007 is the Dodge Nitro midsize SUV. The standard engine in
the Nitro SXT and SLT is a 3.7-liter V-6 rated at 210 hp and 235 lb-ft
of torque. Dodge’s Nitro R/T has a 4.0-liter V-6 engine rated 260 hp and
265 lb-ft of torque; a five-speed automatic transmission is standard
with this engine. A four-speed automatic is optional on the SXT and
standard on the SLT; a six-speed manual transmission is standard on SXT
models. All Nitros are offered with a choice of rear-wheel drive or
four-wheel drive. Nitro 4 x 4s are equipped with a part-time transfer
case with high- and low-range gearing.

Standard items on the base SXT include 16-inch wheels; a roof
rack; air-conditioning; a six-speaker stereo; a 120-volt AC outlet; and
power windows, mirrors and locks. The Nitro SLT gets 17-inch rims, a
power driver’s seat, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted audio
controls and a slideout cargo floor with tie-downs. The SLT’s R/T
Package adds the larger engine, 20-inch chrome rims, firmer suspension,
nicer trim and satellite radio.

Popular options include leather upholstery, sunroof, upgraded
audio system with CD/DVD changer, a rear entertainment system and a
multimedia system with navigation, MP3 capability and Bluetooth. An
auxiliary transmission-fluid cooler and Class III towing preparation are
available and, properly equipped, a Nitro is rated to tow up to 5,000

MSRPs range from $19,225 to $24,145.


  1. Trailer Life has put out some of the most comprehensive articles and information on travel trailering but there is too much emphasis on large rigs and tow trucks rather than vans and SUVs. 95% of the ads of unsold trailers on the last pages of Trailer Life are big trailers. The small trailers have been sold.

    The price of gasoline and diesel fuel are going up more again; $4.00/gal. and possibly $5.00/gal. within a few years. And yet Trailer Life keeps pushing big rigs and making statements that the minimum weight of a trailer includes a full fresh water tank which hardly any one would fill before a trip. The trailer manufacturers need to add to the present trailer weight the standard propane bottles and battery weight to both the trailer and tongue weight. Trailer Life should also address fuel economy of tow vehicles with and without a typical trailer near maximum load.

    We pull a 2011 Hartland Edge M21 that had a scaled axle weight of 3460 lbs. with food and clothes in it behind a 2006 Toyota Sienna with a Drawtite light weight equalizing hitch. This rig has gone from Troy, MI to St. Pete, Fla. and back as well as 2 state parks around Michigan, all without incident. This is the third trailer my wife and I have owned. The second was a Trailmanor 3023. Gas mileage is 24 mpg without and 12-14 mpg with the Edge trailer.

    The trailer weight is kept down by carrying the extra trailer wheel, table, lawn chairs, tool box and camp ground set up stuff in the middle of the minivan. The treated water for the trailer toilet and hand washing water are in gallon jugs for use during the trip. We hook up to fresh water when in the camp ground. I substituted a 2 lb. propane bottle for one of the 20 lb. propane bottles (35 lbs. including steel tank.). Most trailer users do not even use one tank of propane in 5 years, why carry 2 big bottles? The most extreme weight reduction was to order the trailer from the factory without a Carefree awning and installing a Fiamma awning that weighed 60 lbs. less.

    The 370 lb. tongue weight of the Edge trailer is distributed to the axles of the trailer and van by the application of the equalizing bars as the trailer is hooked up so that the rear of the van maintains its bumper height. In using a vehicle scale as you start a trip, I recommend stopping and writing down the vehicle front wheel weight and then driving the vehicle forward to add rear wheels on the scale and recording the entire vehicle weight. Then drive forward and weigh the trailer, all with the equalizer bars installed and all passengers on board. This saves time on the scale and provides all the weights to assure that the vehicle weights are distributed fore and aft the vehicle and trailer are below the maximum weight rating. Our van has a 1400 lb. total load capacity leaving 1000 lbs. for stuff for the two of us.

    When we leave the camp ground for home I drain the fresh water system and heater and refill the gallon jugs for toilet and wash water for the trip home. For my next tow vehicle, I am waiting for a hybrid electric minivan with a 3600 lb. tow rating and even better gas mileage.

    (pictures availabe)

    Mr. Jan Rooks, Troy, MI


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here