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Towing Products: From Engine Performance to Rubber Meeting the Road and Everything in Between

Posted in News: Features on August 12, 2019
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Contributors: Courtesy of Manufacturers

There are, give or take, a zillion and one products to make towing and hauling a better experience. And it's pretty easy to find out the areas in which your truck is finding the struggle real. We've dug up a bunch of towing solutions, focused mainly on performance, ride, and the hitch area of a truck. However, we've also included a sidebar on other super-useful towing accessories to collect.

 

Performance

Supercharger
What: E-Force supercharger to improve towing/hauling capacity and performance.
Quote: "At the heart is a high-efficiency Eaton TVS rotor assembly housed in a specially designed manifold with an integrated dual-pass air-to-water intercooler. "
Expect: Preformed hose kit, matte-black powdercoat, and hardware.
Cost: MSRP is about $5,610.
Buy: Edelbrock LLC, edelbrock.com

Towing Turbo System
What: The compact Vortex 5000 Plus Kit adds a 5000 turbo to the factory (or ATS Aurora 3000 Variable Factory Replacement) turbo. Get more airflow, torque, and power for '13-present 6.7L Ram pickups.
Quote: "Vortex manifold allows smooth charge air and exhaust transfer while being compact and ensuring simple installation. "
Expect: Retains the factory exhaust brake, so just hardware.
Cost: $3,990.
Buy: ATS Diesel, atsdiesel.com

Intercooler Pipe Kit for Diesels
What: Doesn't matter if you have a heavy haul or are towing on the lighter side, EGTs can ramp up, and that becomes wear and tear on your truck.
Quote: "Maximize airflow with larger-diameter piping and less restrictive bends. Expect quicker turbo spool-up, lower EGTs, and an increase in overall power and efficiency. "
Expect: 3 or 3 1/2-inch mandrel-bent pipes, silicone boots, and factory-style stainless steel clamps.
Cost: Starts at $280.
Buy: Deviant Race Parts, deviantraceparts.com

Allison Transmission Cooler
What: Direct bolt-on, high-performance transmission cooler for Allison-equipped '01-'10 GM heavy-duty trucks.
Quote: "For individuals who tow, race, or simply run their diesel hard, proper cooling of your transmission fluid is one of the most important things that you can do to prolong the life of your transmission. "
Expect: The cooler is a direct bolt-on replacement.
Cost: About $350-$390.
Buy: PPE, ppediesel.com

Sealed, Brushless Fan
What: SBL Plus Series 500W motors with 14- and 16-inch drop-in mount fan assemblies.
Quote: "SBL fans feature integrated power and signal electronics, "soft start" technology, digital control for smooth and reliable operation, temperature sensor options for full variable speed control, reduced axial dimensions, low weight, and high efficiency. "
Expect: Sine Wave technologies. That equals a quieter, smoother-running motor and automatic power de-rating in severe over-temperature operating conditions so the fan runs at lower speeds to avoid motor failure.
Cost: Around $400-$600.
Buy: SPAL USA, spalusa.com

Shrouded Fan Kit
What: This redesigned, compact Dual Powerpack is part of the High Output Extreme series.
Quote: "Designed to cool even through thick, tight-configuration radiator cores. For maximum cooling efficiency, the fans feature high-watt, IP68 motors and quiet S-blades for a combined 1,650 cfm of cooling power. "
Expect: A low-profile, aircraft-grade, aluminum shroud; mounting kit; and upgraded fans.
Cost: Around $225.
Buy: Derale Performance, derale.com

Auxiliary Fuel Tanks
What: In-bed, 50-, 75-, and 100-gallon auxiliary tanks with cover box for '99-'19 Ford and Ram and '01-'19 GM short/longbed diesel trucks.
Quote: "The patented recessed cover box protects the preassembled sending unit, rollover valve, and fuel filter as a more efficient and elegant solution for shielding these critical components from potential damage or weather conditions. "
Expect: TRAX 3 operating system with AutoTrans technology to transfer fuel at predetermined fuel levels and in-cab LCD that displays fuel levels (including remaining).
Cost: Starts around $1,500.
Buy: Transfer Flow, transferflow.com

Turbos
What: KC300x line of 7.3L Power Stroke turbos.
Quote: "The heart of these new turbos is the s300sxe-style turbine and compressor wheels. Three sizes: 68mm, 70mm, and 73mm. The smaller turbine wheels are 100 percent drop-in; the 73mm comes with a thicker shaft and is only offered in our larger turbos. "
Expect: The larger, higher-flowing turbine wheel and reworked compressor cover for larger MAP groove for helping with turbo surge and more airflow.
Cost: Starts at $990.
Buy: KC Turbos, kcturbos.com

 

For more products like these, check out companies such as Perma-Cool, Hypertech, Banks Engineering, Hypermax, Auto Meter, Rtech Fabrications, Scheid Diesel, Strictly Diesel, Dieselsite, Xtreme Diesel, Power Products Unlimited, Powermaster, Diesel Performance Parts, and Source Automotive.

 

Suspension and Braking

AMP Wireless Air Spring Controls
What: If your towing already includes the use of air springs, this Bluetooth app lets you adjust them from your phone.
Quote: "Connects instantly to your onboard air system, giving you total control of your air springs in the palm of your hand. No more fiddling around with an air chuck and pressure gauge at the gas station, no more running wires and drilling holes through your vehicle's dash, no more plastic remotes. "
Expect: The app, solenoids, controller, plug-and-play harness, and connectors.
Cost: MSRP is $615
Buy: Pacbrake, pacbrake.com/wireless

Electronic Brake Control
What: Draw-Tite I-Stop IQ brake control is for one- to three-axle trailers.
Quote: "Includes the Boost feature that gives users the ability to apply more initial trailer braking when towing heavier trailers. It works proportionally in Reverse for backing into tough spots. "
Expect: Digital readout of a secure electrical connection, amount of voltage delivery to the trailer brakes, and diagnostic features in an LED display.
Cost: About $94.
Buy: 4 Wheel Parts, 4wheelparts.com

Brake Upgrade Kit
What: Z36 Truck & Tow bolt-on brake upgrade kit.
Quote: "Carbon-fiber ceramic brake pads give you severe-duty stopping power with everyday drivability, while zinc-plated, drilled-and-slotted rotors keep temperatures down and performance up, no matter how much weight is behind you. "
Expect: Brake pads, rotors, lubricant, new pin bushing kit, and stainless steel hardware.
Cost: Complete front/rear kits start at $400.
Buy: Power Stop Brakes, powerstop.com

 

For more products like these, check out companies such as EBC, BDS, Offroad Power Products, AirBagIt, and MKM Customs.

 

Accessories

Ball Mounts
What: 21,000-pound trailer tongue-weight-indicating ball mounts.
Quote: "Over- or under-loaded tongue weight causes sway, unsafe ride heights and unstable load-carrying capability. This gives you an instant, real-world measurement of your loaded trailer weight. "
Expect: 2- and 2 5/16-inch stainless balls and 6061 T6 aluminum and stainless steel construction.
Cost: Starts at $289.
Buy: Desert Rat Off Road Centers, desertrat.com

Receiver Hitch for Jeep Wrangler
What: When you need a receiver hitch, this is for the '18-current Jeep Wrangler JLs.
Quote: "With a 3,500-pound towing capacity and 350-pound tongue weight, you'll be equipped for getting your gear to wherever the adventure is. "
Expect: 2-inch receiver hitch assembly (it's a one-piece welded assembly for strength).
Cost: About $78.
Buy: Rugged Ridge, ruggedridge.com

Synthetic Shackle
What: The Gator-Jaw Series has expanded to include the 6.5-ounce NexGen PRO with 47,000-pound breaking strength.
Quote: "Used recreationally and commercially for safely connecting vehicle or equipment recovery ropes and tow straps. It's a shackle that is flexible enough to wrap around or through almost any pulling point, and with a higher tensile strength than steel. "
Expect: New slider design, epoxy rubber slider that slips over the knot, and high-modulus polyethylene fiber rope.
Cost: $43.99.
Buy: Bubba Rope, bubbarope.com

Class II Receiver Hitch
What: The 2-inch VersaHitch has a 3,500-pound tow/300-pound tongue rating for the four-door Jeep Wrangler JK and 2,000-pound tow/200-pound tongue rating for the two-door, and it features patented dual 1 1/2-inch accessory receiver tubes.
Quote: "Easy, no-drill installation—bolts to the rear crossmember. Two designs to fit with either factory plastic or steel bumper. "
Expect: Logo hitch plug, black powdercoat finish, and plug-and-play wiring harness.
Cost: $135.
Buy: Quadratec, quadratec.com

Custom Tow Mirrors
What: CIPA custom towing mirrors provide more visibility for towing.
Quote: "They slide over your truck's stock mirrors, are fully adjustable, and do not obstruct vision from the factory mirrors. "
Expect: Installation is easy—you won't even need any tools. They'll fit many late-model Dodge/Ram, Ford, and GM trucks and SUVs.
Cost: Starts around $23.99.
Buy: Summit Racing Equipment, summitracing.com

Shock-Absorbing Ball Mount
What: Rebellion XD cushion adjustable ball mount that fits trailer hitches with a 2x2-inch receiver tube opening. Rated for 15,000-pound gross trailer weight and 1,500-pound tongue weight.
Quote: "At the core of this heavy-duty, adjustable ball hitch is a cushion isolator that resists jerking, jarring, bumps, vibrations, chucking, and rattling noise at the coupling point. "
Expect: Adjustable six-position head, cast-steel construction, and 1 1/4-inch trailer-ball hole.
Cost: About $595.
Buy: CURT, curtmfg.com

 

For more products like these, check out companies such as 4 Wheel Parts, Mopar Performance, Ford Accessories, Chevrolet Accessories, Mac's Tie-Downs, Iron Rock Off Road, RealTruck.com, Brothers Mailorder, Harbor Freight, Merchant Automotive, RockAuto.com, and LMC Truck.

 

Tires

Trailering Tire
What: Goodyear Endurance special-purpose trailer tire for everything from travel trailers, pop-up campers, and boat trailers to toy-haulers and fifth-wheels.
Quote: "Designed with durability in mind to reduce impact-related failures. "
Expect: A scuff guard molded into the sidewall for durability; symmetric tread with closely spaced ribs for straight tracking, stability, and wear; and a rounded profile for cushioning the trailer's ride.
Cost: Starts at $116 per tire.
Buy: Tire Rack, tirerack.com/trailer

Towing Tire
What: E-rated, all-season Open Country H/T II.
Quote: "Light-truck and SUV owners will appreciate the dual-sidewall design—sporty on one side, classic on the other—that lets them choose the look that complements their vehicle. "
Expect: Wet-braking performance and handling has been improved, plus more consistent traction and longer tread life.
Cost: About $182 per tire.
Buy: Toyo Tires, toyotires.com

Tow-Friendly Tire
What: Tires matter when towing—and the Geolandar X-AT is among the rubber that can handle heavier loads.
Quote: "Most sizes are E-rated, but does include load-range F sizes for heavier carrying capacities. "
Expect: New HD2 compound for long tread life, large shoulder blocks, and Geo-Shield puncture-resistance technology.
Cost: MSRP is around $175-$425.
Buy: Yokohama Tire, yokohamatire.com

Trailer Tire
What: The ST200 tire is ST-rated, and for up to 75 mph.
Quote: "The ST200 features four channels to help with wet traction and a solid center rib for tracking the tow vehicle on the highway. Offering a variety of ply ratings and high-load index applications for utility, recreational, and work trailers. "
Expect: Interlocking shoulder and inner tread blocks for traction and a quiet ride quality.
Cost: Starts at $30 per tire (load-rated truck tires are also offered).
Buy: Atturo Tires, atturo.com

TPMS for Trailer/Vehicle
What: Series II tire-pressure monitoring system for off-road vehicles and trailers.
Quote: "Trailer-tire monitoring can be achieved by adding the optional trailer repeater to the system, which provides support to monitor up to four extra tires (nine tires in total). This addition allows you to monitor the tire pressure for your trailer and vehicle at once. "
Expect: Depending on kit: on-/off-road/trailer modes, user-adjustable functionality, USB outputs, pairing tool, and sensors.
Cost: Depends on if trailer-only kit or vehicle/trailer. MSRP starts around $41 for a single sensor; up to $285 for internal multisensor system.
Buy: ARB 4x4 Accessories, arbusa.com

Towing Hybrid Tire
What: The Trail Country EXP is a hybrid design of mud-terrain and all-terrain.
Quote: "With three F-rated sizes, and many E-rated models, the Trail Country EXP is purpose-built to take on towing. "
Expect: Silica-reinforced compound for wet traction and high-tensile body ply cord for a strong sidewall and less ride harshness.
Cost: Starts at $135 per tire.
Buy: Dick Cepek, dickcepek.com

Tow-Ready Tire
What: Baja Boss mud-terrain in E- and F-rated sizes.
Quote: "Silica-reinforced compound for on-road treadwear, cut and chip resistance, and improved wet handling and braking performance. "
Expect: PowerPly XD for puncture resistance, angled shoulder scallops for traction, and asymmetrical tread pattern for better handling, noise reduction, and on-center feel.
Cost: Starts at $335 per tire.
Buy: Mickey Thompson Tires, mickeythompsontires.com

Multi-duty Tire
What: Xtreme MT2 E-rated tire.
They say: "The aggressive open tread design was optimized using computer modeling to deliver unsurpassed grip and control without excessive noise. "
Expect: Full-length elliptical siping for wet traction and enhanced upper sidewall for abrasion and cut resistance.
Cost: Starts at $190 per tire.
Buy: Pro Comp, procompusa.com

 

For more products like these, check out companies such as Continental, Michelin, TireGet, Hercules, Fury Off Road Tires, National Tire & Wheel, Cooper, and Nitto.

 

Don't Forget These Towing Accessories, Too

  • Hitch cover
  • Hitch lock
  • Tow strap
  • Sway control
  • Wiring
  • Trailer lighting/taillights
  • Safety chain
  • Tow bar
  • Backup camera (like for tailgate or rearview mirror)
  • Winch
  • Towhooks

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