What Is A Tow Package and Do You Need One?

What Is A Tow Package and Do You Need One?

Do you frequently use your vehicle to haul large loads? You might be hauling camping gear, a boat or a motorcycle for use in recreational activities. It could be hauling large loads of inventory to or from a warehouse, tools and equipment to a job site, or any number of instances when you load your truck to capacity.

If your truck’s bed space is not big enough to accommodate all your cargo or equipment you need to add a trailer and towing package to satisfy your needs.

Tow Package

If you frequently use your vehicle to tow you can improve its overall towing capability. Installing a tow package can help prevent mechanical problems and reduce accident risk.

Tow packages vary greatly in terms of the equipment they cover. These are some items that may be included:

  • Tow bar – This is a secure attachment point for towing.
  • Wiring harness – Lets you connect lights and signals on your trailer.
  • Towing mirrors – Allow you to see the road behind you.
  • Heavy-duty suspension and brakes – provide more stability and braking for increased safety.
  • Engine and transmission cooling system -prevents overheating of your transmission.
  • Upgraded rear-end gearing – increases your towing capacity.
  • Larger battery and alternator – ensures reliable power when towing.


A tow package offers an assortment of potential benefits:

  • Higher towing capacity
  • Better handling
  • Improved safety while towing
  • Reduced wear and tear on vehicle components

A tow package makes your weekend camping getaway with your boat or RV much more enjoyable.

Types of Tow Packages

There are two main types of packages.

Aftermarket – These are designed to upgrade your existing ride so it’s ready to tow. You pick and choose the parts you need.

Factory – They come straight from the vehicle manufacturer.  The vehicle itself is part of the complete setup that’s specifically designed for towing.

For light loads like bike racks or small trailers carrying jet skis, you can probably bet away with a basic aftermarket kit that has a hitch receiver and some other essentials.

For heavy-duty towing, you will need a more complete kit with beefy receivers and weight distribution systems.  With a factory tow package, the manufacturer makes sure the engine, transmission, suspension, cooling and frame can handle the extra load.

Regardless of the kit you install, your towing capacity is only as good as your vehicle’s rated capacity. If your vehicle maxes out at 2000 pounds, that’s all you are legally allowed to tow. That is one of the arguments for a factory tow package. Since they are designed specifically for towing they give you greater towing capacity.

Towing can be a tricky subject with lots of numbers, ratings and equipment.  It can be hard to keep it all straight.

If you are towing light loads or small trailers you likely only need a simple aftermarket kit. If you are constantly pulling a boat, camper or heavy equipment, you should consider checking into a factory-installed kit.

Towing safely makes your work or your weekend safer and more enjoyable.

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