Buying a truck with the towing package - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 08-31-2015, 01:45 PM   #1
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Buying a truck with the towing package

We've test driven most brands of trucks out there that can pull the trailer we want to order, the 5.0TA. Two of the trucks had a towing package already installed.

I was wondering if it's better to purchase a truck that already has the towing package installed by the factory and suck it up in terms of other options it might or might not have.

Or is it okay to find the truck we like and then have them install the towing package at the dealer? Are there enough changes made (generally speaking, as I know each brand could have different things going on with their towing package) that it's better if the truck was built that way to start with as opposed to adding them later (and more reliable if it's built that way to start with)?

I know, it may sound like a really silly question, but we are quite clueless about all this towing stuff. So, please keep the eye rolling to a minimum.

Thanks much.
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:03 PM   #2
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It is really nice to have the factory package as it may also include the brake controller. Otherwise it becomes a screw on option inside which may not look as nice. In addition the factory will include the heavy duty cooling and electrical whereas the dealer installed may not.
If the truck has factory towing it should have the transmission cooling and hitch set up, Ideally if it also has the controller and rear view mirror set up.
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:09 PM   #3
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Thanks Jim, that's kind of what I was thinking. The rear view mirrors will be different? How so? Wasn't aware of that.
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:33 PM   #4
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Depending on the truck, an integrated brake controller can do more then just apply the brakes evenly. Supposedly, on the F150, they will adjust the brakes to control sway as well. How it knows you're swaying I have no idea.

"Trailer Sway Control builds on the F-150's AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control system to help maintain trailer control through selective wheel braking and reduced engine power. The result is noticeable stability and control, which provides greater driver confidence when towing the largest loads."
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:34 PM   #5
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Another thing we just bought a new GMC Sierra with the Max Trailer Tow package and aside from the items Jim and Bob mentioned you get different gearing and a bunch of other features which make towing easier.

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Old 08-31-2015, 02:45 PM   #6
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Good catch Doug, the F150 comes with tow/haul mode as part of the package. Makes a big difference on hills. Also on the F150, their is an extra display on the computer when you are hooked up, shows towing miles and so forth.
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Old 08-31-2015, 03:06 PM   #7
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Typically a vehicle with the factory tow package will have a higher tow capacity rating vs the same vehicle without the tow package. If you add the components later, you may have the same capability, but the rating stays the same. For example, a Toyota Tacoma 4.0L without the factory tow package has a rating of 3,500 lbs and 6,400 lbs with the factory package. IMO, I would try to buy a vehicle with the factory tow package.
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Old 08-31-2015, 03:48 PM   #8
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Agree with all the above sentiments, the transmission cooler, gear change, better springs and heavy duty electrical alone is worth it. The mirrors on the towing package should be larger and on some models will actually slide farther away from the cab of the truck making your field of vision much better around the trailer. With a towing package most any truck will tow the 5.0(check the fifth wheel rating) but be sure to check the payload capacity, this is the amount of weight you can put in the truck including passengers, gear, and the pin weight(600 lbs) of the 5.0. Some trucks are pretty low on this part but again it will really go up with a tow package.
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:00 PM   #9
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Also most include the back up camera.....VIP....
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
With a towing package most any truck will tow the 5.0(check the fifth wheel rating) but be sure to check the payload capacity, this is the amount of weight you can put in the truck including passengers, gear, and the pin weight(600 lbs) of the 5.0. Some trucks are pretty low on this part but again it will really go up with a tow package.
Yep, we're looking at those numbers and only looking at trucks that can pull it just fine, along with all my stuff for when I go to shows to sell stuff.
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