How to Install a Tow Packageby Don Kress
Installing a tow package onto a vehicle which was not originally equipped with one is now easier than it ever has been. Many tow packages today simply bolt onto the frame of the vehicle, and the wiring harness plugs between the factory wiring and the rear tail light. The most difficult aspect of the installation might just be choosing which tow package you want to install on your truck.
Orient the trailer hitch underneath the vehicle so that the square hitch coupler is facing the back, and the two hitch mounting rails are under the frame rails. Locate the mounting holes into which the mounting bolts will be fitted on both the frame rails of the vehicle and the hitch mounting rails. The holes will align in the necessary position.
Lift the trailer hitch up against the frame rails and run the bolts through the holes in the trailer hitch mounting rails and the vehicle frame. Use the socket wrench to run the nuts onto the bolts and secure them tightly in place.
Open the tail gate of the vehicle and remove the driver side taillight by unscrewing the mounting screws located beside the latch for the tail gate. With the screws removed, pull the taillight housing out of the fender.
Install the four pin electrical connector by first unplugging the wiring harness from the taillight. The four pin connector includes a wiring harness which installs between the vehicle's wiring harness and the plug located on the back of the taillight. Plug the male end of the four pin connector wiring harness into the taillight, and then plug the male end of the truck wiring harness into the four pin connector wiring harness.
Route the four pin connector cable down through the hole where the taillight is mounted. This hole opens up near the bumper. Pull the cable all the way down, then reinstall the taillight. Secure the four-pin connector wire near the trailer hitch using a plastic zip tie, and leave enough extra wire so that the four-pin connector will reach the trailer hitch.
- Install the right towing package for the trailer you wish to tow.
Items you will need
- 3/8-inch-drive socket set
- Plastic zip tie
- "The Complete Trailer Handbook"; Richard Newton; 2008
- "The Trailer Manual"; Brian Bate; 2006
- "Ready to Roll: A Celebration of the Classic American Travel Trailer"; Arrol Gellner; 2003
- Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images