View Full Version : What do I need to equip my truck for towing?

Nov. 27, 2009, 07:33 PM
I bought myself a Toyota Tundra today...it's got a ball hitch on the bumper, but that is obviously not going to allow me to pull a horse trailer. The seller showed me the transmission cooler, and I'm not sure how to tell if it has a brake controller installed? I am assuming I need a female hitch receiver that would be bolted onto the frame, with a class 3 ball hitch (i will only be towing a 2-horse with 1 horse in it). Where do I get my hitch supplies? Where do I have them installed? Are these things i can get on ebay used? Anyone have a ballpark idea of what it would cost to have this stuff installed? Anyone know of a website that sells this type of equipment? Thanks all!

Nov. 27, 2009, 08:03 PM
Here is just a few of many internet sites with information on what you need:



The second one also sells brake controllers. I don't think too many trucks have them built in, some of the new trucks this year are starting to include them, but most you have to install.

Nov. 27, 2009, 08:10 PM
I would advise taking your truck to your local mechanic and ask him to install the proper hitch and brake controller. The controller will have to be compatabile with the brakes on the trailer.

I am asuming that the truck (and trailer) has already been 'safety checked.'...

Nov. 27, 2009, 08:45 PM
Yes it has been safety checked...i paid $150 at the Toyota dealership this morning to ensure it was tow-worthy :). I have heard U-Haul installs hitch receivers and brake controllers...i think they will be my first stop

Nov. 27, 2009, 10:24 PM
I use my local horse trailer sales/service business for all my hitch needs and for modifications to my tow vehicle. There is definitely something to be said for dealing with someone who knows the ins and outs of hauling horses.

Nov. 27, 2009, 11:04 PM
If you are going to be pulling a horse trailer, you will definitely want a weight distributing/anti-sway gizmo for your bumper/frame hitch put in. It's an extra add on, but hauling BPs is so much safer with them that you need one.

Definitely as big a transmission cooler set up as you can possibly get. Sometimes with overloaded, undersized trucks for hauling, a 2nd transmission cooler can be installed. If the Toyota people said you were good to go on that then you probably are. :)

As to the brake controller, don't go for the cheapest. The cheap ones are pains in the tail and have to be leveled and adjusted every time you hook up the trailer for each day's load. The cadillac of the lesser brake controllers is the Tekonsha P3, but it's cheaper brethren, the Prodigy and the Primus would be fine for virtually all trailers. http://www.tekonsha.com/product/accessory.asp?cat=1435&titulo=Proportional%20Controllers If you don't have a controller already, you'll need to buy a wiring harness for the truck and pay someone to install it. However, most newer trucks come with the wiring from front to back already built in, so all you will need is an adapter for the controller that you buy. I bought my P3 and adapter new through ebay this summer when I was replacing an older model by the same manufacturer, but there are sites that come up in internet searches that also have good deals. Make sure that you are buying from a dealer, so you will have a valid warranty. I'd buy new technology and new product, i.e, self leveling proportional, since there have been many brake controller improvements in the last few years. Not that I know all that much, but I have never heard of incompatibility between a manufactured trailer with electric brakes and an electric brake brake controller. Not to say that it might not happen, but it is probably a 1 in 500,000 occurrence.

I second the horse trailer sales and service idea. If not that, then an RV dealer can do what you will need to have done. I would not recommend U-Haul unless they also sell and service big trailers.

Nov. 28, 2009, 12:03 AM
Oh, thanks Viney, I think I know what to put on my xmas "wish list" for my husband this year. The P3 sounds like what I really need!