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Author Topic: Not sure what to add to tow?  (Read 3013 times)
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« on: February 20, 2016, 11:17:05 AM »

Hello, we are purchasing a 2004 Aztek without a towing package.
We live in Key West Fl. and are moving to Seattle so basically driving across the country. We are going to get a 4x8 uhaul trailer which weights 850lbs empty and will be loading it up with approx. a 1000lbs of goods to haul so around 2000lbs total.
What should I add, trans cooler, rear shocks ect?? Or do I just need a hitch and away we go?
Thanks for any help!
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2003 in Electric Blue

« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 11:25:04 AM »

Hi partshd1, welcome to the AFC - hope to see you around the site!

I have a 2003 that does not have the towing package, and I tow a pop-up camper that probably weighs in at about 1500 lbs loaded, plus likely another 600 or so for the family and cargo riding inside. I put on a tranmission cooler when I put the hitch on and I highly recommend that - from previous experience, I've seen the wear that can occur without a cooler, and my mechanic brother-in-law swears by them.

Remember that the Tek has a rating of 3500 lbs, but that's total load, not just the trailer - and generally speaking you want to not go above 85% of your capacity. Heard some stories of really bad brake wear from some other members who have towed right at the limit. I would recommend checking your brakes and making sure they're in good shape, cuz they definitely have to handle more load when you're towing, especially if you end up having to make an emergency stop after a fellow citizen cuts you off lol.

I also sprang for some cool new shocks that I can adjust via an air pump to level off the load, but those I haven't used once, the default pressure is fine, so you may not want to spend the money, as long as the ones on the Tek are in good shape.

Finally, for the hitch - a Class 1 is rated up to 2,000 lbs, but in your case I would definitely recommend going for a Class 2 hitch, which is rated for the full 3500 lbs. I have  a Reese hitch and really like it.

Hope this helps a little - congrats on the new ride and be sure to update us after the trip!!

Former owner of a 2003, Electric Blue beauty who met her end at 271,000 Kms.
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