Do you want to buy a new car that comes with everything you need to pull a trailer behind it? You may only need to pull one thing, or you may want to be able to pull more than one thing.
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No matter what you decide, you will have to make some choices about the extras you want for your new car. But this can get a little confusing if you don’t know how a tow package is different from a trailer package.
What is the difference between a tow package and a trailer package?
The main difference is that a tow package is meant to allow for towing just about anything with your vehicle, but a trailer package is designed specifically for towing a trailer behind your vehicle. The upgrades that come with a tow package often range from engine upgrades to improved electrical and cooling systems.
If you want to know more about the differences between these two packages before you make your final decision, then read on as we will go over all the things that differ between these packages in detail.
What is a Trailer Package?
When thinking of a Trailer Package, it is best to think of this in terms of what you will be towing with this package. As the name suggests, this is specifically designed for those who want to tow a trailer.
These packages are often small and include things like a trailer hitch and a wiring package for the taillights. This simple package can be bought aftermarket, but the trailer hitch and wiring that comes with the truck when you first buy it will take away the guesswork for you.
This package is often made for towing only a trailer and doesn’t account for other items like boats, other vehicles, or heavy-duty loads. This is typically thought of as a low-tow package for recreational use like family camping trips or vacations.
This package is not made for larger loads and does not come with any upgrades to the vehicle itself because it is assumed that with recreational use, you will not be towing often.
What is a Towing Package?
A Towing Package may seem similar to a Trailer Package, but there are some major differences between the two. The Towing Package often comes with a hitch platform, a trailer wiring package, and a number of different upgrades to the vehicle itself.
The type of upgrades and what is offered with a Towing Package depends on the manufacturer, but there are some upgrades that can be included on this list.
Some of the vehicle upgrades may include:
improved cooling and electrical systems
improved shocks and brakes
a sturdier frame
an upgraded alternator
All of these additions are not typically found in each Towing Package, but several of the listed items can be included as one package with the purchase of the vehicle.
These packages also cost more money because they come with much more.
These packages are designed for heavy-duty towing and are often used for commercial use like when you use your truck for towing large items for work.
This is why they can sometimes be a write-off during tax time since you need the towing capabilities to do your job properly.
How To Choose Between the Two Packages
The easiest way to make your decision between the two is to look at the pricing between them. This will help you know if the amount you pay will be necessary for you.
If you know that you will not be towing heavy items often, then the price for the Towing Package will likely be much more than you would be willing to pay.
However, if you know that you need many of the upgrades to the vehicle for your work or business, then the amount spent on the package will not feel like overkill.
This is really based on your specific needs and what you will be using the package for.
Taking a trailer out on a camping trip once a year will not require the same amount of towing capacity as someone who works in construction and drives a truck that has to tow a trailer carrying tonnes of weight in lumber and glass.
So, take an honest look at what you will be using the package to tow and you can decide which package is the right one for your towing needs. This will keep you from spending money on something that you don’t need.
Although most packages are often very similar, they do come with different items.
This depends on what the manufacturer offers for a particular vehicle.
If you have a smaller-sized truck, then you will likely have less included in the package because you will not be able to tow heavy-duty items. If you have a large F-350, then this might come with more so that you can handle a heavy load with ease.
It depends on multiple factors, but you always want to speak with the dealer about everything included in the towing package before you decide to add it to the cost of your vehicle.
You don’t want to choose to get the towing package if you could easily, and for less money, add these specific items on yourself. If you really just need a few improvements to the vehicle, then you buying the items and doing the work yourself could be the better option.
However, if the Towing Package comes with all of the upgrades and items that were listed earlier, then the time and work that it would take you to purchase each item and do the work would be much more time and effort than you would want to put in.
In this case, the better option would be to buy the Towing Package so that you get everything you need right away.
What Your Vehicle Can Handle
If you are thinking about getting a Towing Package but decide to go with an aftermarket option that you do yourself, you need to make sure that the items you buy are made for your vehicle’s towing capacity.
It’s not a good idea to set up your car to pull a heavy load if that weight is more than what it can pull.
Also, you need to think about how much the new things will weigh. For example, if you go camping with an 800-pound trailer, you will also need to bring a propane tank, a camping stove, firewood, and two tents.
Add this weight to the total weight of what will be towed. If your car can tow up to 1,000 pounds, but the trailer and other items make it weigh more than that, you could damage your car.
You should think about everything that will be towed so that you can figure out how much it will weigh and make sure you’re not going too far.
This is also true for the towing equipment you buy after the fact. If you add your own full Towing Package, you will be making the vehicle heavier.
You also need to list the trailer hitch and any other equipment attached to the trailer. Or you might accidentally go over the towing capacity.
Trailer Hitch Max Weight
You will also have to think about how much weight the trailer hitch can hold. If the trailer hitch is designed to hold 1,000 pounds, you shouldn’t try to put more weight on it.
But you don’t want to buy a hitch that can hold more weight than your vehicle can. This is because the vehicle’s total weight limit still applies, even if the hitch can handle more.
If your car can only pull up to 1,000 pounds, buying a hitch that can handle 2,000 pounds will be a waste of money.
Most likely, the hitch will cost more, which will be wasted money since you can’t use the extra towing weight anyway.
Adding a towing or trailer package to a truck or SUV can be a big choice that you should think about carefully. Some people might find it hard to deal with adding extra money to their car loan or raising their payments to cover the cost of the package.
So, if you know the difference between a Towing Package and a Trailer Package, you can decide which one is best for your vehicle and the kind of towing you’ll be doing with the upgrades.
If you just need the basics, a trailer package is probably the best option for you. And if you need a higher towing capacity so that you can pull a heavier load more often, the bigger Towing Package is the better choice for you.
Just make sure to find out what the Towing Package includes so you can decide if the price is worth it.