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Add Towing & Trailering to your Chevy Traverse / GMC Acadia / Buick Enclave

Discussion in 'Chevy Traverse Forum (GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave)' started by ChevyFan, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    How to turn a Chevy Traverse from NON-TOWING to TOWING using (mostly) Factory OEM Parts
    (Similar concept works for the GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook - and it's actually pretty cheap too!)

    2013 Traverse Photos Videos Interior Stage 1920X1080 12.jpg

    I BOUGHT A NON-TOWING TRAVERSE

    So I found a great deal on a 2010 AWD Chevy Traverse 1LT. Three rows of seats, low miles, looks great, what's not to love. Part of the reason I found it at least $3500 cheaper than any other Traverses that I had seen is the fact that it was a rental return vehicle, there were no floormats and this unit had the OnStar/Satellite radio delete added to it.

    NOW I NEED A TOWING TRAVERSE
    Fast forward nine months ... and life has changed for us and we want to tow a travel trailer. Nothing crazy, probably looking for a 22 to 26 foot ultralight trailer that we can use to take out on short weekend trips and the occasional week-long trip here and there. Looking up the information pertaining to Traverse towing, she can trailer 5200 lbs with the factory towing package.

    2012_Traverse_LTZ_00926-medium.jpg

    FACTORY TOWING OPTIONS?
    What about the towing capacity for a Traverse WITHOUT the factory tow option? Yeah, it drops down to only 2000 lbs. Wow, that's a big drop, 5200 lbs to 2000 lbs? So, the question is raised, what's the trailer package option do to the overall nature of the vehicle more than just adding physical stuff like the receiver/hitch, the connector plug to the trailer itself and an engine cooling system? There is one more piece added ... it's called the MULTI SWITCH and there are a few different options for your Traverse depending on what options you have.

    You see, there is more to being able to tow more than 2000 lbs than just being able to hook up a trailer in the rear. The way the engine and transmission shift and other factors are changed when you click the little TOW/HAUL button on your multi switch. It's all computerized and it's designed to keep you from blowing out and overheating your engine and transmission. Moreover, if they can prove that you hauled more than 2000 lbs, it will void your 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

    ALL TRAVERSES CAN TOW FROM THE FACTORY (You just need the right switch!)
    At least this is what all of the research I have shows me. As of this writing, I have not read any reports of anyone NOT being able to upgrade their Traverse to the same onboard computer state as the factory OEM towing module, just by ordering and installing the proper multi switch that includes towing.

    Don't call your dealer! It's not in any books! They'll tell you that it can't be done. However, just like adding the Driver Information Center to the 2007+ Silverado, all you have to do is hook it up and it works. All Silverados are built to handle the DIC from the factory. In the same way, the argument goes, that all Traverses are built to handle the Towing multi switch from the factory.

    GETTING THE PROPER SWITCH
    So my Traverse came with the Multi Switch #22824077 (w/o Trailer Pkg w/o Power Liftgate). Can it really be just that easy to add in Multi Switch #22824079 (w/ Trailer Pkg w/o Power Liftgate) and my Traverse will suddenly act as if it came with the factory Trailer Package?

    I've got it on order and on Monday I will install and give everyone the final answer. (This statement will be replaced when I confirm that it does in fact work with "Yes, it works, here's proof!")

    WHAT ELSE DO I NEED?
    If I get these parts OEM, then with the exception of the engine cooling add-on, it will be exactly as it was designed to be from factory. I can easily do all of this myself, getting parts from www.gmpartsclub.com. All of these parts are listed for a 2010 Traverse LT.


    • Multi Switch (w/ Trailering w/o Power Liftgate) #22824079
    • Trailer Hitch #20781543
    • Wire Harness #25910884
    • 7-pin Plug #12191503
    • Trailer Hitch Bolts #11519537 (x4) & #11589273 (x4)
    • Radiator w/ HD Clg #20841738 (Radiator with HD Cooling - this is hard to install and the most expensive part)

    2010-chevy-traverse-trailer-hitch-package.png chevy-traverse-multi-switch-towing.png 2010-chevy-traverse-heavy-duty-cooling-radiator.png


    DISCLAIMER
    So, I am going to get everything factory OEM (maybe not the Radiator) but I have no clue if it will void the factory 100,000 mile warranty if I tow over 2000 lbs. I can't see how it is any different than the factory setup, but still those are the rules. However, if you have any questions about doing this, stick with what your dealer and/or your manual tells you.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  2. duci905

    duci905 New Member

    Please keep me posted on this!! i will be doing the same thing you are if this all works out.
  3. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I'm going to be doing this upgrade this week. I'll add photos and a step-by-step later. The only thing I'm not going to do is add in the extra Transmission cooler this week, I will do that on a different upgrade.
  4. duci905

    duci905 New Member


    Did you get this all worked out?
  5. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I actually never did get it worked out. I have heard from others though that it does work.
  6. poncho62

    poncho62 Member 100 Posts

    Interesting stuff...However, I find it hard to believe that even with the towing package, that SUV is capable of towing 5200#. My 05 Chevy Uplander with the towing package, is I believe 3600#

    That said, I have seen some pretty small SUVs (small Jeeps etc) towing some pretty big trailers.......Hope they have good trailer brakes on them
  7. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    The Traverse is light years ahead of the uplander. Even better than the trailblazer ... which was the best suv I ever owned by far.
  8. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    ... and i'm not knocking the uplander ... but the Traverse is just that well engineered.
  9. poncho62

    poncho62 Member 100 Posts

    LOL...I know it doesnt take much to be light years ahead of the Uplander
  10. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I'm still planning this for the summer. :)

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