My '09 AWD Traverse doesn't have the towing package. On one side we didn't realize what that meant when we bought it and on the other I rarely tow much beyond a small trailer to haul some stuff from the lumber yard.

Now, we want to buy a camper. My wife doesn't want a pop-up. She wants one of those small hard shell campers (with a toilet) and A/C. Can you blame her? We haven't look too seriously yet, but it looks like they have a 3,500 lbs and less market for those smaller campers. I know the towing capacity on my Traverse is 2,000 lbs and that with the towing package it is about 5,200 lbs. Is there anything I can install that would comfortably allow me to tow around 3,000 to 3,500 lbs?

The dealer mentioned adding a transmission cooler, would that be enough?

  • It's look they only have one engine/transmission in 2009. So my guess is that the towing package included a transmission cooler, trailer wiring and rear hitch. Did you check with your dealer? And now some high end pop-up camper have toilet :) Jul 25, 2011 at 17:16
  • It had that, and oil cooler, and a special button that changes the shifting points in the transmission. The transmission piece based on research is factory installed only.
    – Mike Wills
    Jul 25, 2011 at 18:44

2 Answers 2


Some towing packages include beefed up suspension and brakes as well as additional cooling.

You may be better off upgrading to a Traverse with the factory towing package than trying to retro fit your vehicle.

There's also the issue of warranty servicing, which probably won't be covered since you're exceeding the recommendations

  • That would require me buying a new vehicle which isn't in the cards. It appears like the whole package can ONLY come from the factory. You can't install in after delivery.
    – Mike Wills
    Jul 26, 2011 at 3:24
  • That is the plan. If I knew what I know now then, I wouldn't have bought it. My Equinox could have towed more. But honestly, it can pull my 3500 lb camper just fine. I just don't want to go too long of a distance with it.
    – Mike Wills
    Apr 6, 2012 at 0:50

You can increase your trucks towing capacity. You just need to upgrade your axles, upgrade your hitch, have a trailer brake controller and a power programmer. make sure the weight you want to tow and the maximum vehicle towing capacity do not have a difference of 1,000 to 2,000 pounds because this means you need another vehicle. The power programmer will help increase your vehicle's horsepower therefore the vehicle can carry heavier load. upgrade the brake systems so that braking becomes even more powerful. upgraded axles will reduce stress on the drive train of your truck as you tow. The upgraded hitch should be able to handle the weight you want to tow.

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