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Towing Package (Or Lack Thereof) And The Dealer Makes It Right

 
Old 04-08-2019, 09:22 PM
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Default Towing Package (Or Lack Thereof) And The Dealer Makes It Right

You may have seen my other post about trying to upgrade my "towing package-less" new 2018 XLT SuperCrew with the 3.5L. It was equipped with the 53b "Class IV Hitch" option. After going around and around with Ford customer service and reading the 2018 Towing Guide, the official Ford policy is this: If you tow anything over 5000lbs. without the 53a Trailer Towing Package or 53c Max towing package, you void the warranty. This is straight from Ford and is in the towing guide. When you have the 3.5L and the 53b hitch, you have every single option included in the 53a package with the exception of the upgraded font stabilizer bar. The 3.5L automatically gives you the bigger radiator and higher power cooling fans. But the lack of the upgraded stabilizer bar drops the official towing capacity from 10000+ lbs down to 5000lbs. Sounds insane but that is Ford's policy.

The whole reason that we needed a truck is that our old Jeep Liberty, with its 5000lb towing capacity, was no longer cutting the mustard. When we went to buy the truck, we told the Ford salesperson we were cross shopping a Silverado that had a 9600lb tow capacity and that towing was the main reason that we are shopping for a truck. He scoffed and said the the 2018 we were looking at with the 3.5L beats the Silverado's towing by over 1000lbs.(10700lbs) We saw that the truck came with the hitch option and stupidly assumed that he was correct that it could pull over 10000+ lbs. (The Silverado didn't require a specific towing package so we thought this was the case with Ford. I should have done deeper research like I normally do. We stopped by the Ford dealership on a whim.) So a few days ago, I started gathering all of the towing information about my new truck as we were getting ready to go on a trip pulling our camper. I started seeing information in the manual and towing guide that contradicted the info from the salesperson. There was specific language in the fine print that said that there is a 5000lbs towing limit without the 53a or 53c towing packages. I called Ford customer service to clarify. They are useless. I gave them the VIN and at first they quoted the towing capacity if I had the max towing package. I told them to look again and pointed them to the pages in the owner's manual and RV guide that I had seen. After being on hold for what seemed like forever. they came back and said that if I tow more than 5000lbs without a towing package, I would void the warranty. I was looking at a very expensive paperweight...

So I went back to the dealer today (a week after buying the truck. We put 700 miles on it. Long road trip over the weekend.). We asked to see a manager and the salesperson that sold us the truck. We presented the information from Ford that the truck was limited to 5000lbs. The manager looked at the information, verified it, and then profusely apologized. He instantly offered to take the truck back and give us a deal on a similarly equipped truck that had the 53c Max Tow package. (I heard him admonishing the salesperson in his office.) He said that it was salesperson's responsibility to know the product and that he was wrong to sell us the truck knowing that towing was our priority. So now I have a 2019 3.5L XLT Supercrew 4x4 with the Max Towing package. I have zero complaints. Dealer recognized their error and made it right.
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Old 04-08-2019, 09:31 PM
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That is an awesome story and a great outcome. They showed real integrity there. I wish all dealers were like that. I'm happy to hear it worked out for you.
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Old 04-08-2019, 09:54 PM
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What is the name of this unusual dealer?
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:10 PM
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Your dealer will probably sell more trucks because of the post depending on your location.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:19 PM
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Little advice to others shopping for Ford trucks (new or used) whether or not it has a tow package. Check the tailgate and look for the trailer assist light by the release handle. That light only comes with the tow package. No light no tow package.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by RL1990 View Post
Little advice to others shopping for Ford trucks (new or used) whether or not it has a tow package. Check the tailgate and look for the trailer assist light by the release handle. That light only comes with the tow package. No light no tow package.
My truck has the light and it was purchased without a tow package. Is this a new thing?

I can't figure out why Ford is so deceptive in their tow packages and setups. Class IV hitches that really aren't class IV.
My truck was configured from the factory with:
Class IV? receiver
4/7 Way Connector
Tow Haul Mode
Trailer Sway Control
Electric Brake Controller
Pro Trailer Backup Assist
Smart Trailer Connect

BUT, without the towing package. Also, my salesman stated it had the tow package at time of sale. Two other dealerships who looked at it when I discovered the discrepancy stated it had the tow package too. It took me 3 months to convince the dealership that my truck did not have the towing package because ETIS said 53B (Medium Duty Tow Package). I later learned that it just means I have a receiver. 6 months and $450 later I finally had all the components of the tow package (front stabilizer bar and new auxiliary transmission cooler), Despite all of my efforts, Ford engineering still tried to convince the regional and dealership service managers that I could tow the maximum limit, to include 55 sq. ft. frontal area) without either of those components installed despite being contradicted by the owner's manual and 2016 RV & Trailer Towing Guide.

Last edited by GMC to Ford; 04-09-2019 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by TomD View Post
What is the name of this unusual dealer?
Haley Ford in Chester, Virginia. About 30 minutes south of Richmond. They definitely have a level of integrity that I've rarely seen in auto dealerships.
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Old 04-09-2019, 12:54 AM
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So who, exactly, stated that you are limited to 5000lbs. The note on Page 15 of the towing guide states a trailer tow package or max tow package is required to tow over 5000 lbs.

Page 16 calls the 53b package a trailer towing package right in the title of the table. Ford's 2018 towing guide actually calls the 53b package a "trailer towing package" on page 37 of the guide. The notes on page 18 and 19 note that the weight is limited to 5000lbs when towing with the bumper. Getting the 53b package makes that go away.

To be blunt, Ford has done nothing to eliminate confusion over these packages on the F150 going back to at least the 2004 model year (when I went through a similar exercise). Their interest is in marketing the 53A package so more profit is made on each truck (though the upgraded sway bar is nice).

So your dealer worked with you, but I'm not sure that makes the interpretation right. Also not sure a 53c equipped truck was what your requirements were.
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by RL1990 View Post
Little advice to others shopping for Ford trucks (new or used) whether or not it has a tow package. Check the tailgate and look for the trailer assist light by the release handle. That light only comes with the tow package. No light no tow package.
Are you talking about the little round light that's real bright and shines on the ground with the tailgate up?
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:52 AM
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Can someone be so kind to explain the differences in the 53 a, b and c packages? Also where this can be found on the truck?

Thanks!
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