Whats In A "tow Package" Reagarding Our 2002 Windstar?

Discussion in 'General Community Discussions' started by NorthernIllinoisPlumber, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. NorthernIllinoisPlumber

    NorthernIllinoisPlumber
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    We have a 2002 Ford Windstar. Great vehicle, 118k. It has a hitch that can tow either our 1988 jayco PUP, or our utility trailer. It does not have the tow package. If we add it, we can tow the PUP. Are we talking about a tranny cooler and some heavy duty rear springs? The Ford dealer was no help as to info.



    Thanks.
     
  2. mdcamping

    mdcamping
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    The old rule of thumb is what ever your towing that it's no more than 80% of your vehicle towing capacity including cargo & people. lots of different opinions on this but this is how I've always understood it.

    As far as tow package it's usually something you order when you buy a new tow vehicle.
    Things that it "could" include would be a receiver, break controller wiring and controller, transmission cooler, heavy duty battery & alternator, and higher rear end gears (3.08 gears would not as good for towing but 3.87 or over 4.0 would be much better) Again I'm just providing a general idea, not giving pacifics. lots of opinions on this also...

    oops... forgot to add as long as your popup fits within your Ford Windstar specs.. it should be fine, especially for weekend trips or short vacations, Tow Packages are more for larger TT's or 5th wheels...IMO


    Hope this helps,
    Mike
     
  3. grim509

    grim509
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    There are many different ideas of what a tow package should include. But if you're only towing a PUP, you don't need the whole kit and kaboodle.

    If you have the hitch, you're off to a good start. Make sure it has the proper wiring harness for the lights. www.etrailer.com is a good site to find harnesses specific to your vehicle.

    Heavy duty battery and alternator is not needed for just towing a PUP, you're only running the few extra lights on it.

    If your PUP has electric brakes, you'll need that setup on your vehicle as well.

    The big one is the transmission precooler. I recommend it. If you can install it yourself, they're not that expensive, and can potentially save you HUGE bucks down the road. If you plan on doing any long hauls or through hilly terrain while you tow, definately get one.

    Don't bother with the dealer for a tow package on a used vehicle, they'll charge you blind. Check with a local U-haul place that installs hitches. Many will install all the needed wiring and transmission pre-coolers as well for a decent price.

    Hope this helps and clears it up for you!
     
  4. NorthernIllinoisPlumber

    NorthernIllinoisPlumber
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    Thanks for the information. I was told that a tranny cooler and some heavier duty rear springs would be the way to go. The springs would take on the added weight from the tongue, and the tranny cooler for obvious reasons.

    I will check with some trailer/camper/u haul places for pricing.
     
  5. grim509

    grim509
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    Oh yeah, I can't believe I forgot to mention springs! lol

    I wouldn't replace the ones you have with heavier duty springs. It's a pain in the patootie!

    Stop by any autozone, napa, advance auto, or other autoparts store and pick up a set of "universal helper springs." I use them on my Grand Caravan, and they're great! You just have to jack up the vehicle, taking the weight off the springs and install the helper springs. Depending on the springs, mine only use 1 bolt and a "u" bolt to attach. Takes me maybe 5 minutes to do.
     
  6. NorthernIllinoisPlumber

    NorthernIllinoisPlumber
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    I will look into the springs. Thanks!
     
  7. NorthernIllinoisPlumber

    NorthernIllinoisPlumber
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    QUOTE(grim509 @ Feb 17 2010, 03:27 PM) [snapback]20970[/snapback]

    Oh yeah, I can't believe I forgot to mention springs! lol

    I wouldn't replace the ones you have with heavier duty springs. It's a pain in the patootie!

    Stop by any autozone, napa, advance auto, or other autoparts store and pick up a set of "universal helper springs." I use them on my Grand Caravan, and they're great! You just have to jack up the vehicle, taking the weight off the springs and install the helper springs. Depending on the springs, mine only use 1 bolt and a "u" bolt to attach. Takes me maybe 5 minutes to do.




    I saw those helper things you mentioned. After they are installed, how is the ride? Smooth or rough? Also, when do you take them out?
     
  8. grim509

    grim509
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    QUOTE(NorthernIllinoisPlumber @ Feb 18 2010, 03:50 PM) [snapback]20977[/snapback]

    I saw those helper things you mentioned. After they are installed, how is the ride? Smooth or rough? Also, when do you take them out?



    As far as rough/smooth ride, it doesn't seem to change the ride any in our Caravan, but I had just replaced the rear shocks on it as well.

    Actually, I just left them on the van, because I have a utility trailer I use often, and it just saved time. They're not hard to put on or take off. If you plan a long break between towing, I would remove them, then.

    Having them in will definately help with the bounce, or "porpoising" of the tow vehicle while towing. Far as I know, if left on when not towing, they will not cause damage, just makes the van look funny with the rear end higher in the air. lol
     

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