The Toyota Tundra is a popular choice among pickup truck owners and for good reason. Toyota equips many of its Tundra trucks with tow packages. But what exactly is included in a Tundra tow package? Also, how much weight can it tow? We did the research to bring you the answer.
Toyota Tundra tow packages generally vary for each version. For example, 2018 models may include a Trailer-Sway Control and Trailer Brake Controller. But the 2021 models can have a 170-amp alternator and a 4.300 axle ratio. Tundras have a maximum towing capacity of 10,200 pounds.
If you still have questions about the Toyota Tundra's tow package, don't worry. In this post, we'll discuss the topic in greater detail. We’ll also address whether all Tundras come with tow packages and how to know if a particular truck has one. Without further ado, let's get into it.
Toyota Tundra Tow Package Variants
Expect to get a different tow package for each Toyota Tundra model. For example, here’s what a 2018 Toyota Tundra tow package comes with:
- 4- or 7- pin connector: Allows convenient trailer wiring hook-ups
- TOW/HAUL Mode: Alters the engine and transmission settings based on user preference and current road terrain.
- Trailer-Sway Control: Detects and reduces trailer sway. Some variants may also automatically apply brake pressure if it detects significant swaying.
- Trailer Brake Controller: Automatically adjusts the intensity of the towed trailer’s brakes.
As for the standard 2021 Toyota Tundra tow package, it includes the upgrades listed above, along with the following features:
- Supplemental engine oil cooler: Helps maintain optimal operating engine temperatures to enhance vehicle performance and prolong service life.
- Supplemental transmission cooler: Helps protect the vehicle’s transmissions by reducing stress and heat caused by towing heavy objects.
- 4.300 rear axle ratio: A fairly high axle ratio to give the truck superior towing capability.
- 170-amp alternator: High-powered battery charger while the engine is running.
Furthermore, the different Toyota Tundra versions offer a variety of towing capacities. Here's a quick list that shows some of the different towing ranges:
- 2010 models: 4,800 to 10,800 pounds
- 2013 to 2011 models: 4,500 to 10,400 pounds
- 2014 models: 4,000 to 10,500 pounds
- 2015 to 2017 models: 6,400 to 10,500 pounds
- 2018 to 2019 models: 6,400 to 10,200 pounds
- 2020 to 2021 models: 8,800 to 10,200 pounds
As mentioned, the newest Tundra has a maximum towing capacity of 10,200 pounds. Here are some examples of things the Tundra is capable of towing safely:
- Large watercraft (e.g. sailboats, speed boats, etc.)
- Building materials (e.g., concrete, gravel, sand, etc.)
- Small- to medium-sized travel trailers
Interested buyers should ask sellers or consult the manufacturer for the details of the towing packages of their preferred Tundra model.
To learn more about which pickup trucks boast an impressive towing capacity, check out this post: What Pickup Trucks Can Tow 10,000 Lbs?
Do All Tundras Come With A Tow Package?
Not every Toyota Tundra has a tow package. For instance, some 2002 Toyota Tundra models don’t have tow packages. But owners of this model can install certain upgrades to it that would normally come with a towing package.
One particular enhancement is a brake controller which manages the electronic brakes of the vehicle.
Moving forward, those interested in buying the 2021 Toyota Tundra should take note that all models in this line will have towing packages. The upgrades in these specific packages include:
- Tow hitch receiver
- Improved battery
- TOW/HAUL Mode
- Trailer-Sway Control
- 4- or 7-pin connector
Also, some of the first-generation Toyota Tundra trucks don’t have pre-installed towing packages. But buyers can pay extra for additional enhancements such as anti-lock brakes, cast alloys for the tires, and a tow hitch receiver.
Interested buyers and current Tundra owners may want to know if their vehicles have traction control. Learn more in this post: Does My Truck Have Traction Control?
How Do I Know If My Tundra Has The Tow Package?
You can figure out if your Tundra has a tow package by following these simple steps:
- Look at the middle area of the dashboard.
- Search for a button marked ‘Tow/Haul’ underneath the air conditioner control panel.
If the Toyota Tundra model has this button, it has a towing package. Owners can also take a look at the underside of the back of the truck.
A metal object should be protruding from beneath the center of the rear bumper. This part is the hitch receiver, and it indicates the truck has a tow package.
What Does A Tow Package Add?
Tow packages often add many upgrades which may include the following:
- Engine upgrade
- Cooling and electrical system enhancements
- Upgraded alternator
- Rear-end gear
- Improved brakes and shocks
Additionally, a complete heavy-duty tow package will usually come with improvements like an auxiliary transmission cooler, larger-than-average brakes, and an extra spare tire.
Some tow package suppliers may also provide customers with full-sized spare tires, unlike the compact options that many vehicles commonly have.
How Do You Install A Tow Package?
The steps to install a tow package to a towing truck may differ for each make and model. However, the installation process is generally straightforward, as the equipment simply latches onto the vehicle’s frame. Here are the steps:
- Use the correct orientation of the hitch underneath the vehicle. Take note that the square hitch coupler should be facing the vehicle’s rear. Also, the two hitch mounting rails should be underneath the frame rails.
- Find the mounting holes and align them to the ideal position.
- Lift the hitch so it meets the frame rails.
- Drive the bolts through the mounting holes. Use a socket wrench to attach the nuts onto the bolts, securing the hitch in place.
- Open the vehicle's tailgate and remove the taillight from the driver's side.
- Unscrew the mounting screws for the tailgate and remove the taillight housing.
- Unplug the wiring harness from the taillight.
- Install the 4-pin connector to the taillight by plugging the male end of the connector into the taillight. Then, attach the male end of the vehicle’s wiring harness to the 4-pin connector.
- Route the 4-pin connector to the taillight’s mounting location.
- Pull the cable down and reinstall the taillight.
- Secure the 4-pin connector wire with a plastic zip tie or another appropriate securing tool.
How Much Does a Tow Package Cost?
Dealerships usually price their tow packages around $1,200, particularly for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) kits. These variants may include a trailer hitch, wires, and a transmission cooler.
Professionals may also install tow packages for a price. For example, an expert tow hitch installation may range from $100 to $800 depending on the parts required for assembly.
What Is The Difference Between A Tow Package And A Trailer Package?
A tow package equips a vehicle to be able to tow just about anything. Tow packages generally entail upgrades to the vehicle itself. Simply put, a tow package provides the vehicle with the equipment and features necessary to tow a wide variety of heavier loads.
A trailer package, on the other hand, is specifically intended to tow a simple trailer. Trailer packages generally only come with a hitch and wiring components. Thus, trailer packages are intended for lighter recreational use.
We hope this guide has helped you better understand the features and components included in a Toyota Tundra tow package. And when it comes to towing with your Tundra, be sure to tow safely and not exceed the vehicle's limitations.