Last updated on March 8th, 2021 at 02:33 am
A Ford vehicle is a very capable machine in itself, but a Ford trailer tow package, properly installed and used with the appropriate trailer, can really boost the towing capabilities of the entire setup. A Ford trailer package, or a Ford trailer selector as they are sometimes referred to in the manufacturer documentation, is a set of equipment options that upgrades the weight rating of the tow vehicle.
As a truck or SUV owner, you may find that your tow vehicle already comes with several features that support heavy duty towing. Ford F-150 trucks, for example, already come standard with Advance Trac, the proprietary electronic stability control system used in Ford vehicles, as well as roll stability control and trailer sway control.
Features like these help you stay in control of both your vehicle as well as your trailer, and they work very well for light to medium towing applications.
When you start getting into larger trailers, gooseneck and 5th wheel setup, or commercial level loads, you need additional features to get the best towing experience out of your trailer and vehicle setup. That’s where a Ford trailer tow package comes in.
Having the right Ford trailer tow package in your truck means you get a higher Gross Combined Weight Rating for the overall setup, which means your vehicle can safely support a much higher combined weight of the truck, trailer, cabin, occupants and cargo.
A Ford trailer package combines the optional items that need to be installed in order for your truck to safely and efficiently perform the towing tasks you expect of it. Ford dealers will also factor in the needed labor for the professional installation of this kits, so you can easily get an idea of how much a Ford trailer package will cost you, labor and all, when you request an estimate from the dealership.
There are different Ford trailer tow packages available for the various Ford models, and you also get a few extra options depending on your trim level as well. Depending on the tow vehicle that you have, you may be able to avail of a Class I trailer tow package for light duty towing, to something capable of commercial class towing with a gooseneck trailer tow package.
Ford labels its various tow packages depending on the maximum trailer weight the whole setup can safely carry. You get the weight class trailer tow packages, as you would expect, starting from the light duty Class I Trailer tow package kits, and upwards to Class IV Ford trailer tow packages.
Usually, these kits cover the basics for conventional towing, so you get the usual 4 pin and 7 pin wiring harness, the trailer hitch receiver, and a trailer towing prep.
Upgraded Towing Packages:
You also have the upgraded packages, which Ford usually refers to as Standard, Std, or simply Trailer Tow package.
Here you get everything that the basic trailer package has, along with a few important upgrades for the vehicle itself – for the F-150, for example, these kits include an auxiliary transmission cooler, Pro Trailer Backup assist, an upgrade for the front stabilizer bar, and a Smart Trailer Tow Connector.
When you move up to the elite package, the Max Trailer Tow Package, you get even more upgrades on top of the standard Trailer Tow Package. For the F-150, again for example, you get everything that the Tow Trailer kit has plus a trailer brake controller, an upgrade for your rear bumper, as well as an upgraded fuel tank with a 36 gallon capacity.
Depending on your truck model, trim level, or availability with your local dealer, you may also get a few optional features with your Ford trailer tow package. One of these may include what Ford calls its Blind Spot Information System, or BLIS, which is a handy camera system that shows a 360 degree view around your truck and trailer that you can see on an 8 inch screen.
What is Included in a Ford Tow Package?
The contents of a Ford tow package may vary, even between two kits with the same option code. The actual contents of your Ford tow package may depend on the model of your truck or SUV, its trim or the engine and powertrain it comes with. In order to get the exact tow package details for your specific vehicle, it’s best to consult with your dealer.
You can also look up Ford’s website to get an overview of the towing equipment and trailer towing packages specific to your tow vehicle. Do keep in mind that this information may be updated as Ford refreshes its CUV, SUV, and truck models every year, so for your research, it’s best to check with your dealer in any case.
A Few Examples…
As you might expect, you get a specific Ford Tow Package for just about every model, and each of them has an option code associated with it.
- Ford Transit Connect Vans and Wagons, the compact panel vans used mostly in Europe, can have a 53T Ford Tow Package. This tow package comes with a trailer module and a 4-pin wiring harness. It also comes with a Class I hitch receiver, as well as trailer sway control. Its max trailer capacity is rated at 2,000 pounds
- Ford Edge, a midsize SUV with a good variety of trim levels for a variety of purposes, can use the 53G trailer towing package with a 4 pin wiring harness, trailer sway control, and a Class II trailer hitch receiver, with the whole package rated for 3,500 pounds.
- A Ford Flex, the mid-size crossover SUV that superseded the Ford Taurus X, uses the same 53G kit, but with a 7 wire harness with a 4 pin and 7 pin connector. You also get an auxiliary engine oil cooler for the non-EcoBoost engine models. The receiver itself is rated at 2,000 pounds.
- The Ford Escape uses the 536 Ford Tow Package, and this comes with a 4 pin trailer wiring harness, trailer sway control, auxiliary automatic transmission oil cooler, and a Class II trailer hitch receiver.
- The Ford Explorer comes standard with Trailer Sway Control, so the 52R kit meant for it simply comes with a 4 pin trailer wiring harness as well as a Class II trailer hitch receiver.
This kit requires a 2.0 liter EcoBoost engine to be used effectively for towing. The Explorer also has another tow packages available for it, well. You have the 52R option, which comes with a Class III trailer hitch receiver rated for 4,500 pounds with a weight distributing mount.
- The Ford Expedition, the brand’s flagship full size SUV, comes standard with a 7 wire harness, a standard Class IV trailer hitch receiver, and trailer sway control.
- For heavy duty towing applications, you can boost it further with a 536 tow package that includes a radiator upgrade, electronic traction assist, pro trailer backup assist and trailer brake controller. You can also get a 2-speed automatic 4WD if you have a 4×4 model.
- A Ford Transit gets an extensive 53B tow package that includes 7 wire harness, trailer wiring provision, hitch receiver, tow/haul mode, and electric brake controller tap-in. A Ford Ranger, on the other hand, comes standard with a 4 pin trailer wiring harness and trailer sway control, so all you get with a 53R tow package is a 7 wire harness and a hitch receiver.
- The F-150 Raptor, the high performance off-roading variant of the F-150, comes with a standard tow package that’s got a lot of options. You get a 7 wire harness, hitch receiver, auxiliary auto transmission oil cooler, radiator upgrade, smart trailer tow connector, upgraded front stabilizer bar, and engine oil cooler.
- The regular F-150, on the other hand, comes with a standard tow package that you can upgrade with three additional tow packages. With the standard model, you get a regular 4 pin trailer wiring harness, tow/haul mode, trailer sway control, and engine oil cooler.
Ford F-150 owners have a choice between 53A, 53B, and 53C in addition to the standard tow package. You get 7 wire harness, hitch receiver, radiator upgrade, smart trailer tow connector, tow/haul mode, trailer sway control and engine oil cooler in common across all these three tow packages.
Depending on the kit you get, you may also get tailgate LED lights, pro trailer backup assist, trailer brake wiring and feed kit, upgraded rear axle, an upgrade for your rear bumper, a 36 gallon fuel tank upgrade, and trailer brake controller. For more details on these kits, you can look them up for your specific model on Ford’s website, or consult with your dealer.
What Is Ford Max Trailer Tow Package?
Ford offers a Max Trailer Tow Package for its F-150 trucks, and the manufacturer claims that it upgrades your vehicle up to the best in class towing capacity. The actual numbers may vary depending on trim, engine and the other options you have selected for your truck, but in general, you can expect to increase your max trailer capacity to more than 13,000 pounds.
For the 2019 F-150 model, the Ford Max Trailer Tow package is also referred to as the 53C option. As listed in Ford’s reference materials, this kit comes with a 7 wire harness with a 4 and 7 pin connector, as well as a heavy duty hitch receiver.
You also get a radiator upgrade for the 2.7 liter EcoBoost V6 and the 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 engines. You get additional components in the form of higher power cooling fans, smart trailer tow connector, and an upgraded front stabilizer bar. You also get an upgraded rear axle and rear bumper for your truck, as well as trailer brake controller, pro trailer backup assist and a bigger 36 gallon fuel tank.
The rear axle upgrade that comes with the package is the electronic locking type, with a 3.55 or 3.74 axle ratio designed for better fuel economy and improved torque for towing applications. With integrated trailer brake control, trailer sway control and pro trailer backup assist, you get complete control of your trailer especially with the standard Blind Spot Information System that the F-150 comes standard with.
What Is Ford High Capacity Trailer Tow Package?
Ford refers to its heavy duty trailer kit for the F-250 Super Duty pickup truck as the High Capacity Trailer Tow Package, or the 535 option. It’s an improvement over the standard tow package that the F-250, the F-350 and the F-450 Super Duty pickup trucks already come with.
Adding the Ford High Capacity Trailer Tow Package on your F-250 upgrades a lot of its components, in addition to equipping it with some new features. The standard tow package comes with 7 wire harness with 4 and 7 pin connectors, hitch receiver, smart trailer tow connector, trailer brake wiring, Tow/Haul modes, trailer brake controller and trailer sway control.
The High Capacity Trailer upgrades adds lightweight Aluminum wheels with what Ford calls a “Polished Platinum” finish to the whole setup, as well as a rear axle upgrade and increased GCW. An F-250 without a trailer tow package comes with a standard 2 ½ inch receiver, while an upgraded truck uses a larger 3 inch receiver. You also get a 2 ½ inch reducer adapter for it, so you can still use your existing mounts without having to upgrade.
What Is A Ford Trailer Tow Prep Package?
Ford also offers various prep package options of its line of Super Duty trucks, and they usually include rails for the installation of 5th wheel hitches and gooseneck balls.
The prep package provides a manufacturer standard hardware that provides all the necessary mounting points under the bed. This lets you install a 5th wheel hitch, or a gooseneck ball. These hitches offer higher max trailer weight capacities compared to conventional towing, since a good part of the trailer weight is now directly supported by the rear axle of the tow vehicle.
Most of Ford’s Trailer Tow Prep packages provide you with five pickup bed attachment points, which fits most factory and aftermarket 5th wheel hitches. You also get attachment point plugs for added protection when not in use, as well as an integrated 7 pin connector for your trailer wiring.
Towing Package Examples:
The diagram below shows a lot of different models that Ford and Lincoln make and shows what equipment comes with what package on what vehicle. Feel free to look it over and see for yourself.