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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.

Cheers
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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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Old 08-31-2015, 04:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by PGDriver View Post
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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Oh pooh, forgot about this type of truck. Okay, now we have two more to test drive!
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:02 PM   #12
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I'd wait until Nissan Titan diesel comes out, pricing may be excellent.
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:09 PM   #13
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My 2014 Ram 1500 came standard with a transmission cooler, engine oil cooler ,
tow haul mode and sway control . It did not come with a tow package
because they don't offer one. Even though my truck has a tow rating of 10250 lbs, it is not rated to tow a 5th wheel trailer. I would read the specs on any truck very carefully.
Another thing to consider is that some features needed for towing are not addable at a later date. My factory brake controller is integrated with my vehicles computer and safety equipment ,the after market ones are not and may cause issues.
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:13 PM   #14
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I'd wait until Nissan Titan diesel comes out, pricing may be excellent.
I test drove one of those yesterday (well, the gas version), as well as the Silverado (which is now off my list). I really liked that Titan and Dirk said it had the most room in the cab of any that we've tested. He checks out the passenger side while I check out the driver's side since he's not too interested in towing the trailer himself.

He also said I was far more aggressive in my test drive with the Titan than I had been with the other trucks. I wasn't sure what he meant at first, but I realized I was far more comfortable driving that truck than I had been with the others, so I cornered faster and all that than with the others.

The salesman did talk about the diesel but I'm wondering if you really want to get a brand new (to them) style until they've gotten the bugs worked out. He also said they were going to change some things on the inside. He gave us a flyer on it and while it doesn't have too much information on it, it does have a pretty nifty looking truck on it in a color that was very similar to my Isuzu Trooper (cognac).
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:56 PM   #15
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Steve,
I think the Class IV receiver hitch, trailer brake control,trailer tow 7 pin wiring, back up camera, as well as the afore mentioned trailer sway control, tow haul transmission mode, engine and transmission cooling, all of which qualifies as a trailer tow package other models offer.
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:58 PM   #16
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The GMC Sierra is a fancier Chevy Silverado.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:29 PM   #17
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The GMC Sierra is a fancier Chevy Silverado.
Ah, so if I didn't like the Silverado for feel while driving, I might not like the Sierra then. I don't remember the salesgal telling us about the Sierra. Interesting.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:57 PM   #18
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Steve,
I think the Class IV receiver hitch, trailer brake control,trailer tow 7 pin wiring, back up camera, as well as the afore mentioned trailer sway control, tow haul transmission mode, engine and transmission cooling, all of which qualifies as a trailer tow package other models offer.
Mine also came with the Class IV hitch and 7 pin connector but no back up camera. I spent time on the internet and talked to several dealers and was told that the Ram 1500 does not
have a defined towing package per se . The dealer I bought my truck from had a list of suggested options for towing which were all sold ala carte. IE; hitch-camera -brake controller -3.92 rearend - air suspension. Assuming that all towing packages are equal can turnout to be a costly mistake. I bought my 2011 Ram without the factory brake controller and when I went to add one the cost to install and tie it into the vehicles computer system was double what the factory controller cost.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:01 PM   #19
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I second the nomination for a look at the Nissan Titan w/Cummins diesel. There going to available by years end. If I were in the market for a new tow vehicle I would certainly wait to compare the Nissan, or the soon to follow Toyota Tundra Diesel. The payload, tow capacity and fuel milage is an impressive package.
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Old 08-31-2015, 07:13 PM   #20
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I second the nomination for a look at the Nissan Titan w/Cummins diesel. There going to available by years end. If I were in the market for a new tow vehicle I would certainly wait to compare the Nissan, or the soon to follow Toyota Tundra Diesel. The payload, tow capacity and fuel milage is an impressive package.
So, is there going to be a Tundra diesel? Right now the Titan and Tundra were my two favorites of all I've driven, with the Titan a bit ahead. I do need to cruise the internet to get more info on these two rigs. one of these days!
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