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Author Topic: Towing with F150 Ecoboost & other questions  (Read 1046 times)

hycalon

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Towing with F150 Ecoboost & other questions
« on: March 15, 2017, 04:50:07 PM »
Hi,
New soon-to-be trailer owners, though we have experience borrowing small travel trailers from our friends. We know what features we want and we have our eye on a couple of keystone hideout models at our local dealership, but am struggling with the calculations to figure out what we can tow.

I've found some online calculators but I don't know where to find the variables for my truck.

I'm hoping until I do (I've posted on another f150 forum), someone here can tell me if I'm way out to lunch.

According to the specs, my preferred trailer is 5742lbs and 28.5ft. The slightly bigger one we're contemplating is 6288lbs, 30.11ft.

We will be traveling in the mountains and I know elevation reduces gas efficiency/power.

Any feedback about keystone hideouts is also appreciated.

Also - how much does a few extra feet length matter in terms of driving? I drove a 24ft trailer around for 3 years for work and am very comfortable with it. Will increasing to 30 feet be a big adjustment?

Thanks.

Larry N.

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Re: Towing with F150 Ecoboost & other questions
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2017, 05:54:51 PM »
Before meaningful answers on the trailers can be given, you need to indicate which (of several) weights you are giving. The only useful one, for towing calculations, is the GVWR (see glossary, link near top of page), the max weight for the trailer, since that's probably close to the weight when you tow. You also don't mention the age of your F-150, but assuming it's recent, there should be a sticker (perhaps yellow and white) at the door pillar giving weight and loading info for your truck. Your owner's manual will also give the max tow rating for your truck, but you should probably knock 20% off of that for towing in the mountains, especially the high ones in the west.

Going from 24 to 30 feet on trailer length shouldn't be a big deal, just be aware of the extra length.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

pip

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Re: Towing with F150 Ecoboost & other questions
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2017, 09:26:44 PM »
What gearing and trim package do you have?  That's where I would start.  After that, take a look at the sticker on your drivers door.  That will tell you what your available payload is.  Next, the dry weight of the trailer is a worthless number.  By the time you put all your stuff in there you're looking at quite a bit more.

On your truck, I would say that jump may make a bigger change than you think.  As I've posted on other threads, I have a 13 ecoboost crew cab 4x4 with the towing package and 3.31 gears.  It has the factory brake controller and a hellwig anti sway bar.  It tows fantastic.  I don't even switch on tow/haul below 3,000 pounds. 

My father in law has a 28' bunkhouse.  The overall length is about 31' and with all of our wares it's 7300 pounds.  I'm just under my max payload and total weight with my truck, but I don't like the way it drives down the highway.  Now, I do have P rated tires, but I don't even think the LTs would give enough difference to warrant going to them and losing MPG on my daily commute.  In a crosswind or with a semi passing it really wants to push me all over the road.  With two young children, I don't want to be white-knuckling down the road. I think I'm going to stick with something smaller for now because I'll be doing the driving and setting up while my wife corals the kids. I spent most of my college years driving 40,000 pound fuel trucks at the airport so I know what my limits are, and I know what I'm comfortable with.

I'm also not a fan of the brakes on this thing.  One of my rotors feels like it's developing a little bit of a warp which I understand is common on these around 50k on the odometer.  I had EBC towing pads and rotors on my last truck and I'll probably make that switch this spring.  They had much better stopping power and no fade which is something I feel in these from time to time when I get on them hard.

Your eco (assuming it's the 3.5L) will have no problem pulling either trailer.  The turbos will do a great job of taking care of the altitude.  As long as your truck is rated for it, the rest will come down to you.

I helped a friend that bought a 65 impala project a few weeks back by towing it from Arkansas to the St. Louis area, about 350 miles through very some very hilly terrain.  I don't know what the car/hauler weighed but I bet it was every bit of 6,000 pounds.  Even in strong winds I felt none of the sway caused by the travel trailer.  Lower profile and shorter length likely paid a huge role.

scottydl

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Re: Towing with F150 Ecoboost & other questions
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2017, 06:45:22 AM »
Travel trailers are giants sails and pick up crosswinds like crazy, moreso as you go bigger.  With a 1/2 ton truck (which is what your F-150 is), towing a ~30ft. trailer could be a white-knuckle experience on any terrain other than a straight, empty road on a windless day.  Larger trailers have a LOT of upright square footage to pick up gusts from wind and passing traffic.  Trailer sway and bucking can pull your truck all over the road in those cases... "the tail wagging the dog" as we often say around here.

Can the truck do it on paper?  Probably.  Will you enjoy the experience?  Unlikely.  3/4 ton (F-250 or 2500's) or 1 ton (F-350 or 3500's) are much more capable of towing larger trailers, not only because of larger engine/transmission combo's, but also because of enhanced stability/performance from beefier suspension, tires, brakes, and engine cooling.

As Larry mentioned, your truck's payload/towing info is on a yellow sticker on the driver's door or doorjamb.  Make sure trailer weights you're looking at are the GVWR (max weight) numbers and not the UVW (empty) numbers.  In reality, your loaded trailer would probably weigh somewhere between those figures, but better as a newbie to be prepared for the heaviest.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 06:06:53 PM by scottydl »
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
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wiredgeorge

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Re: Towing with F150 Ecoboost & other questions
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2017, 07:52:20 AM »
The F150 ecoboost?  Don't they have both a 3.5 and V8 version?  With close to 6000 lbs of trailer, neither will be very happy.  You will need the tow package, 10 ply tires and air bags and I would spring for the biggest engine.  Better to buy a used 3/4 or 1 ton if you are thinking trailer pulling is in your future.  The 3.5 L Eco Boost engine has good horsepower but not so good torque which is where your happy place would be with towing.  I had a 2013 F150 with the 3.7 Flex engine and bought a 96 F250 with 460 V8.  The 460 has about 60 hp (rated) less but about double the torque and can pull a battleship. 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Towing with F150 Ecoboost & other questions
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2017, 08:12:02 AM »
Quote
According to the specs, my preferred trailer is 5742lbs and 28.5ft. The slightly bigger one we're contemplating is 6288lbs, 30.11ft.

Those look like dry weights rather than GVWR. If so, forget those and use the trailer GVWR as the estimated weight you ill be towing. Trust me, the actual weight will be much closer to max (GVWR) than dry. The dry weight is obsolete before the trailer leaves the dealership.

Length [within reason] has small effect and the difference between 28.5 and 30 is negligible. I wouldn't want to go above 30 ft with that size truck, though. The suspension is too soft for larger trailers.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 08:14:10 AM by Gary RVer Emeritus »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Towing with F150 Ecoboost & other questions
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2017, 08:16:57 AM »
Look up the tow capacity of various configurations of F150's in the Ford Towing Guide. Editions back to 2002 are available at http://www.fleet.ford.com/towing-guides/
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

grashley

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Re: Towing with F150 Ecoboost & other questions
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2017, 06:04:32 PM »
Very good info above.

TRAILER:  Use the GVWR ONLY.  The dry wt is pushed by the salesman, but it is worthless.  Nobody goes camping with an empty camper!!
For any TT, the hitch weight must be a minimum of 10% of the actual trailer weight.  Without getting it weighed, use 10% of the GVWR as this estimate.  Hitch wt less than 10% will have lousy towing manners and a tendency to sway and bounce.

TRUCK:  The reference from Gary is great, but if you read the fine print, all of those must be reduced by the weight of options and accessories.  The Payload on the driver door latch post (Yellow Label) is accurate for how the truck left the factory.

The payload MUST be able to carry :  All passengers, All cargo, tools, pets, car seats, etc. carried in the truck, 80# for a WD hitch, and the TT hitch wt as described above.

For example, assume a 1600# payload, 700# passengers and pets, 200# other cargo, 80# hitch and 800# hitch wt (8,000# GVWR  TT) means the truck is carrying  700# + 200# + 80# + 800# = 1780#.  You are 180# overloaded.

The issue of a 30 ft TT is also problematic.  That is a big sail back there behind a fairly light truck.  The tail will wag the dog.

You mentioned P Metric tires.  What is their Load Rating?  Does this rating for the back tires exceed the Rear Axle Weight Rating?  This is on the tire label on the driver door.

Please continue your research and BE SAFE!
Preacher Gordon
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS - not yet received
2013 F350 Lariat LB SRW Supercab diesel 4X4
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It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

pip

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Re: Towing with F150 Ecoboost & other questions
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2017, 08:32:53 PM »
The F150 ecoboost?  Don't they have both a 3.5 and V8 version?  With close to 6000 lbs of trailer, neither will be very happy.  You will need the tow package, 10 ply tires and air bags and I would spring for the biggest engine.  Better to buy a used 3/4 or 1 ton if you are thinking trailer pulling is in your future.  The 3.5 L Eco Boost engine has good horsepower but not so good torque which is where your happy place would be with towing.  I had a 2013 F150 with the 3.7 Flex engine and bought a 96 F250 with 460 V8.  The 460 has about 60 hp (rated) less but about double the torque and can pull a battleship.

The 3.7NA engine and 3.5 ecoboost are completely different.  The ecoboost is a beast when towing.  It puts out more HP and torque than the 5.0 V8 and it's peak torque kicks in at about 1500rpm and stays until red line.  In fact, it's the only engine offered in the F-150 with max tow package.

Krow

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Re: Towing with F150 Ecoboost & other questions
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 03:45:45 PM »
We have a Hideout 25RKS - 6078lbs dry weight, 29'8" hitch to bumper - that we pull with a 2016 F-150 3.5 Ecoboost with Max Tow package.  Both bought last August.  This truck pulls this trailer without effort.  On our last outing in Oct past we headed home as a tropical storm was approaching.  Wind gusts were quite high with tractor trailers being moved a bit sideways in gusts.  I was concerned about towing in those conditions but was surprised how well the truck and trailer handled, maybe swaying a foot or so as crosswind gusts struck us.  We have an Equalizer 10000 WDH.  Tense but not scary.

We bought this trailer because it is the one my wife liked best :D but also because the ceilings were high enough for me (6'2") to stand comfortably in the shower.  No problems in the few months we used it before putting it to sleep for the winter.

Keith
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 04:13:16 PM by Krow »

 

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