What Is A Trailer or Tow Package? (Explained)

What Is A Trailer or tow Package

Have you ever wondered what´s a trailer or tow package? Look no more. We´ve got you covered.

If you are buying a brand-new vehicle, you may sometimes be offered a ‘bonus’ feature known as a trailer package. It may also be referred to as a tow package. It is highly dependent on the manufacturer of the product.

So, what is a trailer package? A trailer package or tow package is often an add-on to a vehicle that will allow you to pull extra weight on your vehicle. There are some people that will refer to a trailer package as simply a hitch and some electronics, but that isn’t really the case. It is more of a complete vehicle upgrade.

Do you really need one? Let’s look!

What is a Trailer Package or Tow?

The purpose of a trailer package is to upgrade your vehicle, this will almost always be purchased when you buy the vehicle ‘new’.

It isn’t really something that can be added to the vehicle later on down the line. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but in almost all cases it will be too expensive.

👉 The trailer package will be able to increase the gross towing weight of the vehicle. What is included in that trailer package will be heavily dependent on the manufacturer, as well as the base vehicle that you have purchased e.g. some vehicle’s base models are built for towing a bit better than others.

Take Ford vehicles, for instance, some of their trucks can be upgraded to have a bigger engine and stronger axles. In many cases, this will also include an upgrade to the braking system too.

In almost all cases, there will be a complete overhaul of the vehicle’s components. This may include better springs, etc.

👉 Some vehicles may see upgraded hitches and new electronics added in. Honestly, to discover just what you are going to get, it is important that you pay attention when you are buying your vehicle.

If you are unsure what components are going to be upgraded in the vehicle, then talk to a specialist dealer. They will be able to help you out.

👉 The trailer package will have a massive impact on how much extra weight the vehicle is able to pull too.

For example, some of the Ford trucks can have an increased pull weight of 6,000-7,000 pounds with one of these packages, which is a whopping amount if you are planning to pull a mobile home with your vehicle!

Read also: What Is The Camper Package On Ford F350? Facts You Should Know

What is a Tow Package? Learn About Your Trailer Hitch Receiver >> Check out the video below:

How Much Does a Trailer Package Cost?

It depends on the vehicle manufacturer and what is being upgraded.

In some cases, the trailer package could be as little as $1,500 and in some cases, it may be 3-4x that price.

A trailer package will be a lot cheaper if you buy it when you buy a vehicle new. This is because you are just swapping out components before the vehicle has been made.

If you buy after you have built the vehicle, then you will need to buy completely new components.

For example, in the case of Ford with engine upgrades, it is cheaper to have an engine installed that is slightly upgraded than buy one engine, and then have to buy a completely new engine to upgrade the towing capacity of the vehicle. 

Read also:  How Much Does It Cost To Install A 5th Wheel Hitch Near Me? [UPDATED]

Do You Need a Trailer Package?

If you are planning on towing heavier items e.g. mobile homes, vehicles, etc. then yes, we would recommend that you get a trailer package. It is going to make your life a lot easier.

This is because you will have more leeway on how much weight that you are going to be able to tow with the vehicle. 

If you are not towing heavier items, then you probably won’t need a trailer package as much e.g. if you are just pulling a light trailer with small items in. 

Since you are on this website dedicated to RVs, then we are going to assume that you may want to pull an RV at some point.

In that case, yes, we recommend spending a little bit of extra money buying a tow package. It saves so many headaches. 

What Can You ACTUALLY Tow? Payload -Tow Capacity – Travel Trailer >> Check out the video below:

Can You Buy Aftermarket Trailer Packages?

You can, but they are not going to be quite the same thing.

👉 An aftermarket trailer package is unlikely to increase the maximum weight that your vehicle is able to pull. It may be able to upgrade your towing hitch and electronics to help you pull heavier weights.

However, the actual vehicle will not be changed. Your vehicle is always going to have the cap that it received when it was originally built.

👉 Now, there are trailer packages that can help to increase the maximum towing capacity of a vehicle i.e. take it beyond the base maximum capacity.

However, these are expensive and rather complicated to install. This is because a lot of components will need to be upgraded.

To be honest, it is better to buy a new vehicle that has a trailer package installed (or a used one that you know has a trailer package installed) rather than upgrade a vehicle that you already own.

Read also: What Is The Camper Package On Ford F450? Facts You Should Know

How Do You Know if a Used Vehicle Has a Trailer Package?

You don’t know. Well, unless the owner is able to tell you for sure.

👉 When a vehicle is purchased with a trailer package, various pieces of paper will be included with the trailer package that basically signifies what has been installed in that vehicle.

If somebody does not have that piece of paper, then it is almost impossible for a ‘normal’ person to know what is inside of the vehicle without looking at it.

👉 A mechanic may be able to get a feel for which components have been installed in the vehicle. However, they will have to be familiar with the vehicle to know whether there are upgraded parts that have been put into place.

👉 Of course, there are also a ton of guides online that may be able to help you to identify whether a used vehicle has a trailer package or not.

However, we try not to take these as gospel. This is because you never know whether the included information is 100% accurate.

A lot of vehicle upgrades may also involve the same sort of upgrades that a trailer package involves but, often, some components that need an upgrade to increase the tow capacity are not upgraded.

👉 Basically, if you do not know for sure whether a trailer package has been installed on a vehicle, then you should assume that one has not been installed.

If you assume incorrectly and you try to pull a load that is too heavy, then your vehicle will break. You are going to have an expensive job repairing that, and your insurance company probably won’t be too happy with you either!

Read also: What Is The Camper Package On Ford F250? Facts You Should Know

Installing the Ultimate Trailer Tow Package

Installing the Ultimate Trailer Tow Package! >> Check out the video below:


If you are planning on towing an RV with your vehicle, then you will almost certainly want a towing package. It will drastically increase the amount that your vehicle is able to tow.

This can help to prevent a surprising number of headaches. After all, a greater towing capacity means less thinking about how much weight you are carrying.

It means that you may not have to leave some of those heavier items at home when heading out on vacation! 



Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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