If you want to pull more, either for fun or for work, you might need a tow package.
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Tow packages are groups of equipment and/or upgrades that let you pull things behind your car that you might not have been able to do before.
Many vehicles can have a tow package added. To make it possible, though, it will take research, parts, and work.
The main thing that determines what you can do with a tow package is whether you are buying a new car with a tow package upgrade from the factory or if you want to add a tow package to your current car.
Now, let’s talk about how to set up a tow package on your car.
What Kind Of Tow Package Can I Get?
Almost any car can pull at least a small trailer if it has a tow package.
But before we talk more about how to do that, we need to talk about the two different kinds of tow packages: aftermarket tow packages and factory tow packages.
What’s an Aftermarket Tow Package?
Aftermarket tow packages are another name for trailer/tow hitches and the accessories that go with them. This type of tow package is the most basic.
Any vehicle can have a tow hitch installed on it as long as the frame is not broken or too old.
So, if you think you need to buy a whole new car just to pull a trailer or tow a few things, you’re wrong.
Most small cars can pull 1,000–2,000 pounds, which is enough for a small boat or camper.
Most newer cars make it easy to install a tow hitch by letting you bolt it right to the back of the frame.
Most of the time, the wiring is already on the car, making it easy to connect to the trailer. If it isn’t, you can reroute the wiring from one of the taillights to connect to the trailer.
Aftermarket tow packages are great, but they don’t add much to the amount of weight you can pull.
This is where factory tow packages come in.
What’s a Factory Tow Package?
A factory tow package is an upgrade that a car dealer puts on a new car to make it better at towing.
For example, a new Ford F150 without a tow package can haul about 5,000 pounds, but one with a factory tow package can haul up to 13,000 pounds!
If you try to pull something bigger than what your vehicle is designed to pull, you can seriously damage the engine and transmission.
With a factory tow package, a car that wouldn’t be able to pull much on its own can pull something big like an RV, a large trailer, or a boat.
They are more complicated, so you need a trained mechanic to help you put them in.
Installing tow package upgrades wrong is very dangerous and can lead to an accident very quickly.
Factory Tow Package Upgrades
Improve the front and/or back suspension
Added cooling to the engine
Better brakes and larger brake drums
Improved electric components
Factory vs Aftermarket Tow Package Considerations
Now that you know you can add a tow package to any vehicle, you need to decide whether you want a factory tow package or an aftermarket package.
Before you choose, you should think about the pros and cons of each choice.
I’ve made a list of pros and cons to help you out!
Factory Tow Package Pros
They make your vehicle able to pull more weight. This can only be done with a factory tow package. That’s because they change a lot of things inside your car to make it better at hauling big loads.
They are made to fit your make and model in particular. Most aftermarket tow packages fit more than one car, while factory tow packages are made just for your car.
The package is set up for you by a professional. If you don’t want to mess up the installation, you might want to get a factory tow package.
It could make it easier to sell. Adding a factory tow package could help you sell the car for more money.
Factory Tow Package Cons
They cost a lot of money. There are times when factory tow packages cost thousands of dollars.
They help you get better gas mileage. Adding upgrades to the engine and pulling big loads will make you pay more at the gas station.
Aftermarket Tow Package Pros
They cost less than factory-built tow packages. Options from the aftermarket can be bought for an average of $100.
You can put them together on your own. You can put together an aftermarket tow package yourself if you know how to use a few tools.
They are easy to put in place. Most package installations can be done in less than an hour.
Aftermarket Tow Package Cons
They could affect how much your car is worth when you sell it. If you try to sell a car that has a tow hitch, this might scare off potential buyers. That’s because it could cause a vehicle to wear out faster.
When installation is done wrong, bad things can happen. If you don’t put your tow package on right, you could damage your own car, your cargo, or even other cars if something goes wrong while you’re driving.
They don’t make it possible to pull more. Adding a tow package after the fact does not increase your vehicle’s ability to pull a trailer in any way.
Can I Increase My Vehicle’s Towing Capacity?
A factory tow package is the only legal way to increase the amount of weight your car can pull.
The changes you need to make to your car are technical and unique to each car.
To stay within towing laws, you will have to let the experts at the dealership handle the complicated factory towing package.
Most aftermarket tow packages don’t increase the amount you can tow.
How much you can pull with an aftermarket tow package depends on how much your vehicle can pull.
So, even if you add an aftermarket package that can pull 3,000 pounds but your vehicle can only pull 2,000 pounds, you can only put 2,000 pounds on that hitch.
How Much Does it Cost to Add a Towing Package?
Installing a towing package as an add-on can be very cheap.
The cheapest tow hitch kits start at around $50, and if you install it yourself, you don’t have to pay more than that.
The price of a factory towing package depends on the make and model of your car.
Call your dealership to find out how much it would cost to add a factory towing package to your car.
Prices for these packages can start at around $1,000 and go up from there.
Keep in mind that they will give you a price for both the materials and the time it will take them to put the package together.
Adding A Tow Package
It is possible to add a towing package to your car, but you need to think about which option is best for you.
You should have a better idea of what you need in a tow package now that you’ve read this.
If you still have questions about your vehicle’s tow package, call a car dealership near you.
They will be able to give you the specs you need based on the make and model of your car.