factory towing package vs. 3rd party equipment? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-09-2014, 10:11 AM   #15
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Name: Mon
Trailer: 13' 2008 Scamp...YAY!
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2008 t&c

I have a 2008 (bought in 2010) T&C and tow a 13' Scamp I bought in 2012. Not had a problem towing, trailer follows RIGHT along behind me. Came back with it from NW Montana, down through Salt Lake City, through the mountains (THAT was memorable!) to Denver and on to ST Louis. The van tows like a champ.

However, I do NOT have the tow package on mine and if I WERE going to buy a new T&C with towing in mind, I'd get the package. You're already going to be paying a good 35K, what's 1K more? Besides which, Chrysler isn't known for their GOOD transmissions, so stack the deck your way as much as possible.

Mon
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:42 PM   #16
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Our Ranger, which we bought used, came with a tow package that included a transmission intercooler. When we had our transmission overhauled after burning the transmission oil while going down a steep, windy grade between Natural Bridges in Utah and Monument Valley in New Mexico in first gear, I added a second intercooler.

The moral of the story is either: A) A tow package is more than just wiring and a hitch, B ) The factory intercooler may not be enough when you're towing very close to your TV's rated max, C) Regardless of it being shorter and eye-poppingly scenic, the shorter route might not be your best choice when it comes with a warning about dropping 1100 feet down a windy gravel road (the Moki Dugway), D) All of the above.





(Images from Utah 261, The Moki Dugway - September 26, 2003 because I was too busy hanging on to the steering wheel and swearing at myself to take pictures.)
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:40 PM   #17
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Great pictures, Peter. Thanks for sharing. Raz
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:43 PM   #18
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Name: RogerDat
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An itemized list of what is in the towing package from the dealer would be nice to have. I can't imagine a reputable dealership not being able to list every item in a package. Personally given a choice between installed by a good dealer with it all under warranty and same or similar after market at anything near the same price I would go with dealer.

Some PU trucks include the wiring to the hitch for the brake controller plus a standard plug under the dash to plug the controller into. Aside from all the other things a stock wiring harness designed end to end for 7 pin hitch plug is a good thing.
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Old 01-10-2014, 07:54 PM   #19
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From the chrysler web page:
Class II Receiver Hitch
Load Leveling & Height Control
Trailer Tow Wiring Harness

This option features:
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Feature: Rear auto-leveling suspension
The rear suspension adjusts automatically to maintain a preset vehicle level, regardless of luggage weight or passenger load.

Benefit: Rear auto-leveling suspension helps maintain a consistent ride quality even when a vehicle is carrying a full load.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Feature: Compressed air rear shocks
SPECIFICATIONSMinimum Running Ground Clearance(curb load)5.6 (142.2)
Fuel Tank Capacity, gal. (L)20 (76)
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR),lbs. (kg)6,050 (2,744.2)
Towing Capacity, lbs. (kg)3,600 (1632.9)—with Trailer-tow Prep Package
U.S. Curb Weight, lbs. (kg) 4,652 (2115)


Automatic transaxle


Doesn't mention tranny or steering cooler, My Lumina did get those with the factory pkge, you might have to delve deeper into the website to get that info
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:33 PM   #20
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Name: Mon
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*Supposedly* Chrysler now has coolers on ALL their transmissions. And *supposedly* it is the same transmission used in the tow package.

One thing important about the factory installed wiring harness and connection...it is installed at the factory. This is very important because there is so much plastic that it is difficult to find a GOOD place to put that 7 pin connection.

On my T&C the choice was 1. cut out 6 - 12 inches of the bumper to install to the frame, or 2. attach by way of a thin metal plate. I went for the thin metal plate. I have to baby it, make sure it is supported when plugging in or unplugging, have to watch out for bottoming and squishing the plate....and the van DOES bottom EASILY.

Some people have had the bumper cut done and they say it looks VERY ugly.

And that's how it goes on aftermarket work.

monB
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:40 PM   #21
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Yeah, you might get a custom bumper with the tow package, to integrate with the hitch. Another reason to go factory installed. Beats someone trying to trim plastic, or mounting the hitch lower to clear the existing bumper trim.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:45 PM   #22
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Good point. It's getting harder and harder to custom cars/vans.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe MacDonald View Post
From the chrysler web page:
Class II Receiver Hitch
Load Leveling & Height Control
Trailer Tow Wiring Harness

Doesn't mention tranny or steering cooler, My Lumina did get those with the factory pkge, you might have to delve deeper into the website to get that info
Thanks Joe. I'm really leaning to going factory installed towing package. Seems to be priced right, covers any warranty issues, no cobbling retrofitting equipment, and if it needs servicing theoretically any dealer could do it.

I have also heard that it may jack up my insurance premium -- but we'll see.

I had a Lumina and loved it! Traded in with 150K miles on it. My kids called it The Mothership!
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Old 01-10-2014, 10:17 PM   #24
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Go for the factory install because then you are covered for transmission repairs.

I might say, my transmission had to be replaced at 47,000 miles, 8 months after I bought the van and **BEFORE** the van had anything installed for towing. It must have had a VERY rough life in the 20 months it was with its prior owner!

Mon
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:11 PM   #25
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Backroads of Utah

Ahh, those backroads of Utah, they are something. Your post #16 reminded me of our drive up the Shafer Trail in the Canyonlands NP. I wasn't towing anything then, and I do not think I would tow anything up or down that road now. We had a rented Jeep and we were exploring. Shafer Trail used to be a seasonal cow path that was made into a road in the 1950's in order to move uranium ore out of the valley by trucks. Neither I nor my wife will ever forget that drive!
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:05 PM   #26
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Factory tow package is not only my vote, but it seems to be the overall winner of all respondents. You asked a good question. You are getting clear feedback. I'd call that success!
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:26 AM   #27
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Yes! Success. I have a clear plan. Can't wait to hit the road!

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:52 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Many of the better tow packages (IMHO) contain a larger radiator
So true Steve and I have found that out from my own experience.

Our 1993 Nissan Mini van GXE model came with a factory tow pkg. It had a huge 4 core rad. Worked fine for the 14 years we drove the van.

We then replaced the van with the 2003 G35 sedan. No tow pkg was available.
It is interesting to note that both vehicles towed our TT many years with no cooling issues.
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