Bigger alternator needed for towing?

Discussion in 'GM Electrical Tech' started by nos351wcm, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. nos351wcm

    nos351wcm Rockstar

    I plan on doing some towing in the near future with a trailer that has electric brakes. I do not have the brake control module yet, but want to know if a bigger alternator is needed. Thanks guys.
    Cheers from NJ
  2. 2ToNe04

    2ToNe04 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    i dont think you need a bigger alternator.
  3. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    You don't. Trailer brakes may pull 10 amps, if that. They should only have somewhere between 12 and 14 gauge wire running to them. The alternator isn't majorly oversized for the vehicle, but it can handle small extra loads like trailer brakes with no issues.
  4. dbach

    dbach New Member

    No. you will not need to upgrade the alt.
  5. nos351wcm

    nos351wcm Rockstar

    good to know, i looked at the rpo codes and it turns out my truck has a 105 amp output alternator
    Thanks guys
  6. 2ToNe04

    2ToNe04 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    nos whey what did you use to look up the rpo codes.
  7. nos351wcm

    nos351wcm Rockstar

    hey bud, i dont remember the exact website, but i googled 2000 chevy rpo codes and i clicked on a link thaat took me to a forum, (i think it was full size i clicked on a link from the forum and it brought me to a site that had all the codes.

    the second link takes you to a forum for chevy blazers, if you scroll down you will see a link posted by the user name swartlkk. click on it.
    hope this helps bud
  8. 2ToNe04

    2ToNe04 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    alright thanks man.
  9. 2COR517

    2COR517 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    It depends to some degree on what you are towing. If you are towing a trailer with many running lights, or will be charging a big bank of batteries, like if you are dry camping, you might need to upgrade.

    But for the electric brakes, no upgrade necessary. While the elec brakes can draw 10-30 amps (depending on number of axles) this is a short term draw. The battery will support this even if the total amp draw exceeds the capacity of the alternator momentarily. Then the alternator will recharge the battery if needed.

    As for controllers, the P3 is the best, followed by the Prodigy.
  10. hotrodking86

    hotrodking86 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Not necessarily. If it is just for the electric brakes than that stock alternator should be sufficient.

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