Chevy Silverado is an iconic pickup truck, especially famous for its towing capabilities among truck enthusiasts. But all Silverados might not come with the same tow package. Or, some of them might not have any tow packages at all. So, how to tell if Silverado has a tow package?
The easiest way to tell if Silverado has a tow package is to check the RPO codes on the spec sheet of the truck. You can also check the window stickers to determine whether it has two packages. But these are only possible if you buy a new truck. If you are buying a used truck, you can check against the VIN of the truck online to find out its packages.
I will tell you all the details about how to determine the tow package of the Chevy Silverado from my experience. Let’s get started.
What Is a Tow Package?
Before I get to the checking methods of tow package, let me clarify what tow package actually is. You might assume that all trucks having just a tow hitch has a tow package. Apparently, that’s not correct.
A Chevy Silverado is considered to have a tow package when it has all the necessary elements. These elements include a tow hitch, necessary electrical connection, upgraded braking and suspension components, upgraded transmission cooler, and modified drive train.
You will most commonly see a ball and receiver hitch on the back of the truck. When towing, the receiver hitch will accept a ball to pull the load. It will be fixed using a hitch pin. The size of the hitch will depend on the load.
There will be extra electrical wires to connect the trailer lights to the battery system of the truck. It will ensure the trailer lights will work in the case of braking, turning, or emergencies.
The braking and suspension systems of the vehicle are also upgraded in tow package. This is because the vehicle needs to have better stability on or off the road with a heavy load. The transmission system is upgraded so that the truck has a higher gear ratio than standard packages. It is helpful to generate enough torque to carry a heavy load.
Read also >> What Does The Z71 Package Add To The Silverado?
How to Tell If Silverado Has Tow Package? (3 things to check)
Well, expert technicians can easily tell by looking at different components of the truck whether it has a tow package. But it might not be as easy for a general user. I will tell you three methods of identifying a GM tow package. Check them out.
#1- Check the VIN Online
You can check the VIN or Vehicle Identification Number of your truck online. It is a 17-character string containing letters and numbers given by the vehicle manufacturer. By running this number online, you can find the built sheet of the truck to check whether it has a tow package.
But sometimes, it becomes difficult to get detailed information about the tow package. For example, if you are buying a used truck, it is difficult to tell whether the previous owner has upgraded the package or not. In some cases, dealers are found to offer some extra with the standard package on their own.
So, it can be an effective idea to contact the dealer directly.
#2- Check Electrical Connections or Tow Hooks
If you are still in the dark about the Chevy Silverado towing capacity or the complete tow package, you can check the electrical connections or type of tow hooks. Depending on the package, various tow hooks are attached to the truck body, depending on the package.
You may find a standard connector at the back of the truck. The connector is usually located close to the hitch slides. You should plug the trailer’s electrical wiring into the connector. If the different lights of the trailer work perfectly, the truck might have a tow package.
#3- Check RPO or Package Code
RPO or Regular Production Option codes are used to denote certain features of the GM trucks. You can check the glovebox of the truck to find the package codes of the truck. These codes will help you determine whether the truck has a tow package.
For example, a Chevy Silverado containing the package code Z82 is supposed to have a trailer hitch, Bergman seven plug, and four plug connectors with hitch guidance.
Read also >> How To Reset Transmission Control Module Chevy Silverado?
Advantages of Having Towing Package In Silverado
You get several advantages with a Chevy Silverado truck with the tow package over a truck without the package. Check the following.
- The towing capacity of your truck drastically increases with the tow package. For example, a Chevy Silverado 1500 towing capacity without the tow package is 9,000 lbs. But it will go up to 12,000 lbs if the truck has tow package.
- You get better suspension tuning in a truck with tow package.
- Even with a heavy load, upgraded chassis and trailer brakes ensure a stable driving experience.
- Trucks with tow package are usually more durable than those without.
What Alternative Can Be Installed If There Is No Tow Package In Silverado?
If your Silverado truck doesn’t have a tow package, you can install third-party alternatives. For example, you can install curt hitch slides on the truck and use T-one connectors to attach your trailers. Electrical wiring should be connected properly to ensure the trailer lights are in working condition.
As this task is not easy for most truck owners, I suggest you take your truck to a renowned service shop to get things fixed.
Frequently asked questions – (FAQs)
I will try to answer some commonly asked questions about the Silverado tow package here.
1. Can you tow without the Silverado tow package?
Even if your Silverado doesn’t have a tow package, you can still tow light loads using a ball mount at the back. Installing the trailer ball into this round hole will allow you to tow loads. But I won’t suggest this. You should contact your local dealer to get a customized tow package.
2. How do I find out the towing capacity of my Silverado?
You can find the GMC towing capacity in different ways. Firstly, check the spec sheet of the truck if it is new. You can also find the maximum towing capacity of your vehicle on the manufacturer’s website. I am providing the 2021 Trailering Guide from Chevrolet so that you can find the towing capacity easily.
3. Can I go over towing capacity of my Silverado?
Though you can go slightly over the towing capacity of your Silverado, you shouldn’t do it. If you go over the maximum towing capacity, it will put stress on the engine, transmission, brakes, tires, and chassis of your truck. Serious accidents can occur if this continues for a long time.
Does My Truck Have A Tow Package >> Check out the video below:
Almost all potential customers of Silverado trucks wish to have the tow package on their vehicles. Though it is easy to check the package when the truck is new, you may not find enough documents while buying a used truck.
This is why I thought to help you learn how to tell if Silverado has tow packages. Now that you know all the ways of checking the tow package on a Silverado truck, it will be easier for you to choose the right truck.
And you will also have a better understanding of what tow package contains and how they work to lift the performance of the truck.