What is a Tow Package?

When you are buying a car or a truck or want to upgrade, one of the options available for you is a towing package. Although most people consider it as nothing more than a trailer hitch, there are many things that go with this addition to your vehicle. You need to keep in mind that if your vehicle is equipped with a hitch that might be factory fitted, it doesn't mean that it comes with a tow package.

What is generally included in a towing package?

  • Tow Hitch

This is the core of a towing package and is available in the form of a receiver hitch or a simple ball, and you can bolt these to the frame members. When we talk about the receiver hitch, it is a square tube accepting the ball, which is then placed with the help of a hitch pin. The type of loads that you will haul will determine the size of the receiver and the ball.

  • Electrical Connections

Usually, a tow package includes the wires through which the trailer is connected with the vehicle's lighting system. This wiring has a connector available close to the hitch and provides electricity to the turn signal, the license plate light, and the brake lights. 

Sometimes, this connector can include circuits powering the trailer's braking system, and this can take the stress off the vehicle when it toes. In general, this option is helpful for heavy-duty applications.

  • Brakes and Suspension

There are a number of tow package applications that have upgraded to the brakes and suspension of the tow truck. This includes more robust shocks and heavier springs that can be very helpful for the tow vehicle for controlling any heavy loads. Larger disks or drums can be included in the brake upgrades for increasing the safety of the vehicle.

  • Transmission

It is not the engine or the brakes that happen to take all the load of the drive train component when towing, and it is actually the transmission, especially the automatic one. More heat gets generated by the transmissions during the tow, which is why they need some additional cooling.

Although the automatic transmissions have cooling lines passing the vehicle's radiator, a towing package has a large heat exchanger to compensate for the heavy-duty usage. Therefore, one should never overlook it during the hitch installation.

  • Drivetrain

The trucks and cars equipped with a tow package are geared differently compared to the non-two package vehicles because towing the heavy loads needs more force. This can include modifications in transmission gearing and can turn up as a high gear ratio in the rear of the differential end. This results in decreased wear and tear and increased torque to the drive wheels.

Bottom Line

You need to consider the kinds of loads that you can expect to haul and your requirements when buying a towing package. It is not necessary to go for a heavy-duty tow package, but you can choose the trailer hitch that comes with electrical wiring. This can be helpful for you to increase your fuel economy, and if you need to haul heavy loads like building materials and boats, then the towing package will be resulting in better performance and extended drive life.

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