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Author Topic: Trailer Hitch without "towing package"  (Read 70965 times, 143 Replies)
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f3qu3t
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2008, 06:44:24 PM »

Quote from: JLF
As far as towing capacity i see no reason the Acadia wouldn't be able to tow the 4500lbs.  I would think the only thing the factory installed tow package does is change shift points and this can be accomplished manually with the shifter up/down button.  The trans is the same, brakes the same etc. etc.  As far as cooling, unless you're in a high heat area towing up hills, there shouldn't be any problems.  My .02 worth anyway.

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The factory installed tow package includes heavy-duty cooling (heavy-duty rad and oil cooler).  Without such components your vehicle is not designed to tow more than 2000 lbs.
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« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2008, 06:51:11 PM »

Quote from: JLF
As far as towing capacity i see no reason the Acadia wouldn't be able to tow the 4500lbs.  I would think the only thing the factory installed tow package does is change shift points and this can be accomplished manually with the shifter up/down button.  The trans is the same, brakes the same etc. etc.  As far as cooling, unless you're in a high heat area towing up hills, there shouldn't be any problems.  My .02 worth anyway.

 Shocked

The factory installed tow package includes heavy-duty cooling (heavy-duty rad and oil cooler).  Without such components your vehicle is not designed to tow more than 2000 lbs.

You believe what you want to and i'll believe what i want to.  Extra cooling and an oil cooler are nice but not a necessity for towing.  We towed a 28' enclosed car trailer with a 90 Suburban for years with no extra cooling or oil cooler and never had a problem.  If you pay attention to what you're doing there should be no problems.
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« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2008, 07:52:27 PM »

Quote from: JLF
As far as towing capacity i see no reason the Acadia wouldn't be able to tow the 4500lbs.  I would think the only thing the factory installed tow package does is change shift points and this can be accomplished manually with the shifter up/down button.  The trans is the same, brakes the same etc. etc.  As far as cooling, unless you're in a high heat area towing up hills, there shouldn't be any problems.  My .02 worth anyway.

 Shocked

The factory installed tow package includes heavy-duty cooling (heavy-duty rad and oil cooler).  Without such components your vehicle is not designed to tow more than 2000 lbs.

You believe what you want to and I'll believe what i want to.  Extra cooling and an oil cooler are nice but not a necessity for towing.  We towed a 28' enclosed car trailer with a 90 Suburban for years with no extra cooling or oil cooler and never had a problem.  If you pay attention to what you're doing there should be no problems.

I think you both are right.

The manual says that the car can only tow 2000 lb without the coolers etc.  And if you just straight forward drive when towing, and don't want to pay attention, this is probably all you can tow and still be 100% sure you won't break anything.

The reality is, that all tools and equipment are speced out to ensure the manufacturer is safe.  I have hauled way more than the payload in 1/2 ton trucks.  I'm careful, don't go fast, and avoid bumps.  I've never had a problem.  I think this will be true of the 2000 lb towing limit as well.  If you watch your RPMs to ensure that you don't go too high, don't go to low in RPMS causing the system to have high torque, and if you watch the temps to keep them down as well, my guess is you can tow way more than 2000 lb without the towing option.

I also think that the car with the towing option will be able to tow more than 4500 lbs too.  But only by someone that knows how to operate the car as a machine.

Just my 2 cents.

PS - If you are really concerned with towing capacity with the after market hitch, you can have after market transmission and oil coolers put on as well. 
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« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2008, 04:55:33 PM »

Does anyone know if there is more than one type of vehicle light harness available for the Acadia (the one that wraps along the rear bumper as shown in "Reply #6" above)?

My non-tow package equipped Acadia came with a harness and it just seems odd there are more wires going into that harness than going out at the connector in the right wheel well.  I put my ownw hitch on and got the fuse panel updated and everything works except the back-up circuit, which I need because I have surge brake release on my boat trailer.  Before I do the 'jumper wire' process as outlined in the TSB, I wanted to be sure the correct harness was on there in the first place.  Thanks in advance for any help out there.
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« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2008, 08:26:58 PM »

ok, well here's our predicament. i'm picking up a vehicle that will be used for track events here and there and want to be able to tow it when doing so. we do not have the tow  package on our acadia. i was thinking about geting an aftermarket hitch. would i be able to tow  a car on a light trailer and be ok or do i need to get all the extras? i will never  tow it very far and it's not a big heavy car either. i'm not in a hurry as i won't be racing my car often, but want to get everything figured out to see what i need in the near future. when towing i would neverr be towing farther than 1-2 hours away tops. just want to tow it incase i break something on the car at the track. LOL my buddy just had this happen yesturday 150 miles away from home and his LSD gave out. $440 tow bill!!!! Oh No
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« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2008, 08:36:10 PM »

Here would be my concern - if your Acadia did not come with a tow package, you tow anything, something happens to the tranny, engine, whatever; you probably won't be covered under warranty and have to eat the cost of the repairs.

A Suburban is designed for towing!  Big things at that!  You can't compare the abilities of the Lambdas to a Suburban or Tahoe or the like.  Bigger engines, wheel differentials, transmitions, etc...

With or with out the Acadia/Outlook/Enclave... towing package, you can tow what you want.  Just how much life you take out of the vehicle without the proper equipment is you risk.
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« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2008, 11:00:55 PM »

So has anyone out there figured out a way to setup the wiring on an 08 that doesn't have the factory package?  I was thinking of using a tail light converter (2 lights to 1) under the dash and wiring into the brake and turn signals up there and running my own harness to the back.  This way I am pulling the power directly from the brake and the turn signals are being converted for the trailer by a logic circuit so there is next to no load on the vehicles turn signals.  I don't care about having a brake controller as I am only towing my jet ski so I don't need to have the 7 pin plug I only need the flat 4.

Thanks for any info  Cheers
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« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2008, 08:13:39 AM »

So has anyone out there figured out a way to setup the wiring on an 08 that doesn't have the factory package?  I was thinking of using a tail light converter (2 lights to 1) under the dash and wiring into the brake and turn signals up there and running my own harness to the back.  This way I am pulling the power directly from the brake and the turn signals are being converted for the trailer by a logic circuit so there is next to no load on the vehicles turn signals.  I don't care about having a brake controller as I am only towing my jet ski so I don't need to have the 7 pin plug I only need the flat 4.

Thanks for any info  Cheers


I am in the process of putting a hitch onto my '08.  My initial use will be a bike rack, but I am sure that I will want to pull something sometime, so eventually I want to wire up for a trailer.  I think the best way is to buy the trailering fuse block and install it, then get the pigtail for the back.  But I think that is going to be expensive, although I have not priced the fuse block out yet.

I think something like the http://www.usa-trailer-hitches.com/products/119176 might be what I go with.  But if buying the fuse block is not too outrageous, I might go that way too. 

Is there a reason you would put the tail light converter under the dash?  I would think it would be much easier to wire in the back and tap of the wires back there.  Then, if you did need to run any wires from the front to the rear, it would only be the power wire to power the converter.

Good luck and keep us updated as to what you do.
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« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2008, 08:56:33 AM »

Yes that is the type of converter I would be using.  I haven't taken apart my rear tail lights yet but do both the right and left turn signal wires go through on the left hand side?  The only reason I would install this under the dash is so I can get at all the wires in one area.  With this type of converter you will need 12v power and mine has an outlet at the back on the left hand side but I don't want to have to run a single wire by it's self just to pick up the right side turn signal.

I can't believe that GM would make 2 different wiring harnesses and 2 different fuse blocks?  They should have known that people are going to outfit their non tow package units with a hitch!!  Bang Head

If that was the intent then they shouldn't have the mounting holes for an after market hitch and the removable cover on the bumper then state right in the manual that if you have a non tow equipped version do not tow anything.  flaming mad   (just had to vent a little  Grin )
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« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2008, 09:31:48 AM »

toyjunkie,

GM actually made 6 different fuseblocks for these cars.  It doesnt make sense to me either but this is what they did.  It also doesnt make sense that they fix THEIR mistake on the 07 Acadia and make the owners of the 08's pay for it themselves.  Somebody at GM has their head up their a$$.
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« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2008, 10:48:19 AM »

Ya I guess I can see the need for different fuses for all the different trim levels but they still should have some kind of dealer sold item that will allow the addition of a simple trailer wiring setup.  Something that is only $30 or $40 that just plugs in and would convert the tail lights into the flat 4 plug for a basic hookup. 

I bought mine used (2 weeks ago) and never even thought it would be a problem, get the hitch, get the wiring plug, good to go! I have never had any issue before with any other car, truck, or van.  Then again none of them ever had LED tail lights, I will know better next time.
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« Reply #31 on: May 12, 2008, 10:50:14 AM »

I bought mine brand new with the salesman telling me its no bid deal to add on the towing package,  which i have done several of my chevy trucks over the years.  Now I know better.......  Hindsight is 20/20
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« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2008, 03:51:18 PM »

I bought mine brand new with the salesman telling me its no bid deal to add on the towing package,  which i have done several of my chevy trucks over the years.  Now I know better.......  Hindsight is 20/20

It is not a big deal to add on an aftermarket hitch and aftermarket wiring, but you can then only tow 2000lb vs the 4500lb.  When I bought mine, I was not clear if I really wanted the towing, and was quoted the hitch and wiring at $235, so I figured I would save the cash and knew if I ever did tow, it would be smaller stuff.  Looking back, I wish I would have gotten the towing package, but soon I will have the aftermarket stuff on.  (For $235 I think I will do it myself.)
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« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2008, 03:54:02 PM »

With this type of converter you will need 12v power and mine has an outlet at the back on the left hand side but I don't want to have to run a single wire by it's self just to pick up the right side turn signal.

Just a note of caution.  These converters will supply 2+ amps for the turn signals and 5+ amps for the brake lights.  I think they are rated to draw up to 8 amps off the battery.  I know that many of the newer 12v outlets have very light wire to them and are rated at 1 amp to be used for electronic devices like cell phones.  I would make sure that the circuit you tap into can handle the rated amperage of the converter.
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« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2008, 04:05:59 PM »

OK so here is what I have found so far in my travels.  Hoppy (P# 46365) makes a tail light converter that will isolate the vehicles circuit from anything that will go to the trailer.  The cost isn't bad, around here it is going for $60 and I found it on eBay for $66.99.  All you need with this converter is 12v un-switched (comes with it's own fuse), good ground, and tap into the park lights, left and right turn signal.  This is will now send power out for the trailer's wiring and not affect the vehicle’s lights. Each out put can handle up to 8 amps and I am sure that most if not all trailers that the Acadia could pull with or without the tow package would never need that much.

I don't like the idea of cutting into my new SUV's wiring but I am not going to spend hundreds and hundreds trying to fix what they omitted at the factory on the 08's.  
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« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2008, 04:11:46 PM »

With this type of converter you will need 12v power and mine has an outlet at the back on the left hand side but I don't want to have to run a single wire by it's self just to pick up the right side turn signal.

Just a note of caution.  These converters will supply 2+ amps for the turn signals and 5+ amps for the brake lights.  I think they are rated to draw up to 8 amps off the battery.  I know that many of the newer 12v outlets have very light wire to them and are rated at 1 amp to be used for electronic devices like cell phones.  I would make sure that the circuit you tap into can handle the rated amperage of the converter.

This is one of the reasons that I was considering placing this unit under the dash where I could get it near to a large power feed or even a bus bar.  I have only had my Acadia just over 1 week now and still haven't even started to look under the hood or dash ( I figured with an SLT-2 I wouldn't need to add anything, so much for that)
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« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2008, 04:23:57 PM »

Just something to consider,  my dealer replaced my fuse block for me.  They got GM to goodwill half of the cost so it cost me about 250.  I then bought the factory hitch and the factory harness and receptacle and installed that myself.  I think I have about 400 total in my setup,  but everything is factory..........
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« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2008, 12:00:23 PM »

Just an update for everyone:

I went to a transmission shop here in Columbus this morning to get a transmission cooler added to our 07 Acadia and I got a call about 20 minutes later after I dropped it off.  They told me that there was already a cooler on the vehicle and I should be good to go.  I asked them about adding any other coolers and they told me none were needed.  The setup looked good.  That was interesting.  I wonder if what other people have mentioned on the forum about the oil cooler is true.  Will I need it?  Thanks.

Bill
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« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2008, 03:21:09 PM »

The trailer package comes with an "oversized cooling system". It does not say an additional oil/trans cooler. Some people have reported that their Acadia's occasionally run hot but I have the trailer package with the bigger radiator and have never seen the needle budge above 210, even in the Texas Summer (over 20K miles now). (Except once when the dealer did some work on the rear A/C & heat and failed to properly refill the coolant!)
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« Reply #39 on: May 25, 2008, 11:08:09 AM »

ToyJunkie thanks for the info you have posted, I'm in the same predicament as everyone else '08 Acadia no towing package. Have you, or anyone else reading these posts, actually installed aftermarket wiring for a trailer. On my '08 there is a wiring harness just behind driver side rear wheewell, just above left rear muffler that has a open/unused four pin(three male/one female) receptacle. Anyone else notice it too? Could that be a receptacle for towing harness?? I already installed a tow hitch ( etrailers.com) custom fit, took 30 minutes to install (6 bolts). And I just bought a amall ski boat 2000lbs tow weight, but no wiring harness made for Acadia..#*@#!!
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