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Old 02-06-2020, 07:43 AM   #1
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Post Factory Towing Package worth the $$?

I'm looking at 2 2017 Ram 1500's that are nearly identical except one has a towing package and is $8k more. The tow package gets me different Mirrors, Brake Controller, Brake upgrade and 3.92 gears instead of the 3.21 and would give me an extra 2000lbs of towing capacity, which I would want.



But, could I buy the cheaper one and then upgrade the truck to get the same towing capacity for less than $8k?
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:59 AM   #2
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Many things included in the "Tow" package cannot be added on by the average consumer, such as oil cooler, transmission cooler, heavier duty suspension, proper rated hitch, oversized mirrors, and the list goes on.


$8000 does seem a bit high but rather go with the truck without the tow package I would try to negotiate for a lower price or find another dealer that has the same truck at a lower price. Going with the lower priced truck will make you regret it in the future
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:13 AM   #3
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$8K for a used truck that is nearly identical except for the tow package is way to costly. I would run away, and look some more.

Some items you can do yourself to Create a Tow Package. You can replace mirrors, you can add transmission and oil coolers, add a brake controller, all easy items.

You can change axle ratios, but it is a lot of work, and much easier to change the whole rear axle. But if it is 4x4 you have to do the front axle too, hence twice the work, and at least twice the cost. I suspect to replace a rear axle with a known good axle is $700 to $1000 in parts. The extra 2000 lbs of towing capacity is due to the rear axle ratio.

What you cannot do easily, is add the tow/haul button to the computer program. Tow/Haul button, keeps your TV out of OD, and changes the shift points to help keep the vehicle in the ideal torque range while towing. Maybe with some research you can find the wire harness, and maybe it is already wired for the tow/haul button. Maybe you can replace the necessary switch components and maybe it will work. But there is a lot of research that has to happen, and a lot of luck.

What do you have for a trailer?

Personally I would keep looking.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:21 AM   #4
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These are used, correct? If so, what's the mileage difference between the two? What other features does the $8k more truck have? $8k is not just because of the towing package.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:27 AM   #5
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I agree with the others here. Too many differences between the tow package and standard. If you were to purchase the cheaper truck, then try to add the components for the tow package, you'd be way deeper than $8,000 and it would be difficult to get the system to operate properly.

You would be much better off trying to find another truck with the tow package for less money.

Further, IMHO, it's worth it to make the effort and spend a little more to get the towing package options ($8K seems steep though, check out the manuf website, "build" the truck and see what the option cost really is). It may not seem like a big deal on paper, but when the rubber meets the road, it makes a difference. When I bought my 3/4T a few years back, I figured holding out for the 4.10 rear end wasn't a big deal. I ended up with 3.73 and I regretted that decision virtually from day one. Literally EVERYTHING else about the truck was just about perfect for my purposes, having the 4.10 would have made the difference.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:27 AM   #6
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They are both 2017 Ram 1500 Laramie 4WD 5.7L hemi with the same 8 sp trans. Both are white with black leather interiors.



The one with the towing package has 9,000 mils and is $36,000
https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/d...5969/overview/



the other one has 27,000 miles and is $28,400
https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...traderHomePage


here are the 2 listings, I pulled the build sheets for both and are gonna compare them later.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:30 AM   #7
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The mileage difference in itself would account for the $8K difference in asking price.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redphoen View Post
I'm looking at 2 2017 Ram 1500's that are nearly identical except one has a towing package and is $8k more. The tow package gets me different Mirrors, Brake Controller, Brake upgrade and 3.92 gears instead of the 3.21 and would give me an extra 2000lbs of towing capacity, which I would want.



But, could I buy the cheaper one and then upgrade the truck to get the same towing capacity for less than $8k?
Forgot about this part:

The basic answer is "no". The "towing capacity" is established by the OEM based on the components installed on the truck at the time of manufacture. So technically, you cannot change the "capacities" of the truck using after market mods. There is an argument to be made that from an engineering standpoint, you could modify the truck to make it more capable, but it will always retain the technical ratings it had when it left the factory.

Plus, like I said, the mods would likely cost significantly more than $8K to get everything included with the OEM tow package.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:52 AM   #9
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the 2 trucks in question

Thanks for all the info, Sounds like the towing package comes with more items than I originally thought.


Both trucks have low mileage, the one with the towing package has 9,000 miles and the other one has 22,000.


Both are 2017 RAM Laramie's with the 5.7 Hemi and same 8 sp transmission. 4x4
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:59 AM   #10
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the 2 trucks in question

$28,400 -

https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/d...4862/overview/


$36,400 - towing package
https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/d...5969/overview/
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:29 AM   #11
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Haven't looked SUPER close, but seems like there are some differences. Some that may make a difference are:

Mileage (probably a pretty big one in this case)
spray in bedliner
step bars
park assist

And of course, the towing package.

Interesting the cheaper one lists ventilated front seats. That's an option I sometimes wish we had held out for on our vehicles. The heated seats are nice, but ventilated seats would be FAR more useful for us here in TX...
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
Welcome Aboard!

$8K for a used truck that is nearly identical except for the tow package is way to costly. I would run away, and look some more.

Some items you can do yourself to Create a Tow Package. You can replace mirrors, you can add transmission and oil coolers, add a brake controller, all easy items.

You can change axle ratios, but it is a lot of work, and much easier to change the whole rear axle. But if it is 4x4 you have to do the front axle too, hence twice the work, and at least twice the cost. I suspect to replace a rear axle with a known good axle is $700 to $1000 in parts. The extra 2000 lbs of towing capacity is due to the rear axle ratio.

What you cannot do easily, is add the tow/haul button to the computer program. Tow/Haul button, keeps your TV out of OD, and changes the shift points to help keep the vehicle in the ideal torque range while towing. Maybe with some research you can find the wire harness, and maybe it is already wired for the tow/haul button. Maybe you can replace the necessary switch components and maybe it will work. But there is a lot of research that has to happen, and a lot of luck.

What do you have for a trailer?

Personally I would keep looking.
And none of that will change the legal tow rating. Just something to keep in mind.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:15 AM   #13
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Iíd go with the one with the tow package.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:52 AM   #14
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You don't say what size trailer you are considering towing with these trucks. Make sure you check the available payload out on the driver door stickers before purchasing to ensure it meets your needs. The Laramie trim is one of the higher trim levels meaning reduced payload capacity. RAM 1500's are somewhat notorious for having lower payload ratings, though I think they are getting a handle on that with the new the 2019+ non-Classic models. You don't want to spend the money only to find out the truck can't carry everything you need it to.
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:02 AM   #15
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As asked above what are you towing? Do you need the extra towing capacity?

I have a 2014 ram without the factory tow package and for roughly $300 I added the hitch and brake controller. Now I only have a jay feather 26bhsw which is well below what my truck is rated. I towed 1000s of mile with no issue.

Also as someone mentioned above, my truck did come with the tow haul button which changes the shift points even though it didnít have a factory tow package...Iím pretty sure itís standard on all ram trucks regardless.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:58 PM   #16
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"I want less tow and payload capacity", said no one ever!

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Old 02-06-2020, 02:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Midnightmoon View Post
The mileage difference in itself would account for the $8K difference in asking price.
Yep! That explains it.

If you can afford the one with less miles, and it has the tow package to boot, why not?
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Old 02-06-2020, 02:29 PM   #18
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I didn't read all the posts, so this may have been mentioned. One thing that is overlooked is the GVWR of the truck. Rim choice as well as other minor options you don't see could greatly affect the final payload allowed as well as towing capacity.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:30 PM   #19
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Look at all the additional items that you get with the tow package. Many also have a higher capacity alternator.
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:27 PM   #20
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A few years back I bought a suburban, it didn’t have a tow package, not even a tow hitch, one of the sales gimmicks I fell for was the dealer made the comment “well at least you know it isn’t worn out from towing a trailer”, in my purchasing negotiation they added the tow hitch and wired up the 7 pin plug. It was relatively low mileage, same engine and transmission as the another suburban on their lot with a hitch. I fell for their sales pitch, it towed fine, but the transmission always ran hot, I put an after market transmission cooler, still ran hot on even the slightest inclines. I regretted everything about buying that suburban, traded it in on a new Dodge with the Cummins diesel, manual transmission, and I am still happy with getting rid of the suburban.

Also, the aftermarket towing mirrors for the suburban were a real pain in the but, the Dodge Ram factory towing mirrors are awesome!

My recommendation would be go with the truck that is already equipped with your towing needs, don’t try to retrofit the other truck!
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