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Author Topic: F150 tow limits  (Read 7164 times)

mcnwil

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F150 tow limits
« on: February 12, 2006, 05:34:52 PM »
New to the forum, doing allot of reading, good information here. We are planning on moving up from a pop up to a TT and trying to decide if my 1999 F150 can handle it at least for a couple of years. Looking at a Wilderness 260rls which is a 29' and weighs 6640lbs unloaded and has a GVWR of 8400lbs. My f150 is a 5.4 with 3.55, truck GVWR is 6500, max trailer wt is 7700. I know I am pushing it but more than one person thinks the truck is okay to 7000lbs. I would be mostly on short trips and flat roads. Appreciate any recommendations.

Frizlefrak

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2006, 01:55:05 AM »
Being able to tow a trailer is one thing.  Being able to tow a trailer SAFELY is another.  As you approach the physical limitations of your tow vehicle, there is less and less room for error.  Remember, your TT weighs 6640 empty.  Let's say your fresh water tank is 30 gallons.....there's an extra 240 lbs right there.  Plus luggage, camping gear, clothing,  etc...and it all adds up pretty quickly.

Now....does 7701 lbs mean instant failure while 7699 is OK?  Of course not.  And under ideal circumstances, you're probably OK.  But lets say you're coming home from your trip and the nice weekend turns into a 45 mph crosswind coming home.  No problem, you just slow down, right?  Now how about the semi trucks coming the other way?  Suddenly you find your overloaded truck dealing with a nasty trailer sway that you may not be able to recover.  Not good.

Also remember, just because you can get it moving doesn't necessarily mean you can get it stopped.  Sure, you plan on driving on relatively flat surfaces....but suddenly all your camping buddies start bragging about this great spot up in the hills....and you find yourself wanting to check it out.  So you give it a shot.  The F150 begrudgingly drags it up the big hill at 20 mph and you get there.  Coming back down the hill, despite having trailer brakes and gearing down, you find the pedal starting to get soft.  1/2 way down the hill you start smelling that nasty burnt bacon smell of overheated brakes, and the pedal is approaching the floor as the fluid boils.  Not good.

And even on your fairly level roads.....your cruising along when someone blows a stop sign and you have to make a panic stop.....and your trailer is suddenly right up your.....uh.....bumper....as it sends the overloaded truck careening into the unfortunate car...

I care about your safety.  Buy a lighter trailer or a bigger truck.  JMHO, of course, some will disagree.  :)


Ron

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2006, 09:09:06 AM »
I agree completely but now lets add another scenario.  Say luck is on their side and all has gone smoothly and about 1 mile from home somebody runs a stop sign and the undersized truck and trailer broadside the offending vehicle.  Now had they been in their published weight limits the stop sign runner would have been 100% at fault.  However due to the overweight condition of the undersized truck and trailer, probably confirmed by weighing the wrecked truck and trailer the fault now is computed as persent of contribution since both participants in the accident were in violation of the law, the car for running a stop sign, the truck trailer for being overweight.  The liabilities one would expose themselves to would not be good.  It is conceivable that should a death occur in the stop sign running vehicle a charge of vehicular homicide or manslaughter could be in the future.

I know some of people do overload and get away with it but is the risk and possible consequences worth it.

All the addion of overload springs and airbags will not increase the GVWR or GCVWR of a vehilce.  Increasing the leagle weight ratings of any vehicle can only be done by the vehicle manufacturer.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2006, 11:12:28 AM »
An F150 is a really light duty truck, so pushing or exceeding its limits is just begging for trouble, both mechanical and safety. And your 7700 lb tow limit is the max for an empty truck and it is not likley your truck will be empty when you head off for a trip, so the real limit is lower, maybe as much as 400-500 lbs lower (wife, kids, dog, gear in the truck bed, bicyles, etc.).

I'm with Frizlefrak - get a lighter trailer or  a bigger truck.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
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Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

FX

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2006, 10:57:35 AM »
mcnwill - I have an 05 150, 5.4, 3.73, rated for 9,200 lbs.  My trailer is a little over 5,000 dry,, 27' long.  My advise is DON'T do it.  Like earlier mentioned...also think about braking.  Just last weekend I had to lock up the brakes when a car pulled in front of me while I was going about 40 mph.  I can tell you from experience, I would not pull a bigger trailer with my truck for braking reasons alone.   

mcnwil

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2006, 03:26:04 PM »
I went and pulled the trailer today, it pulled nice, ran 70 with no problem on I95. It was nice and smooth with no movement of the truck, tracked very well. It's a load and I know it's there on the hills, but it is only for a short time and I will upgrade to a 250. The higher rated new 150 or chevy 1500 will not change the feeling as far as I can tell. FX I am surprised your braking is not better I did test the brakes numerous times and actually adjusted my controller down, it stopped very well. From what I have seen the brakes are no better in a 3/4 ton due to the additional weight of the truck and tire sizes.This truck has nice 4 wheel disks, it also has rancho rsx shocks and ta/ko tires, those two items made a world of difference in the truck handling even without towing, in fact I will immedialty swap tires and shocks on a new truck. I appreciate everyones response and don't totally disagree but I think as I am doing shorter trips it will be okay for a few trips.

FX

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2006, 03:44:07 PM »
mcnwill - I am assuming you pulled the pu today and not the 'new' trailer?  If that is the case then of course that truck will pull it with relatively no problem.  I had a Coleman Westlake which was the largest of the Coleman pu's and that was pulled fairly easy by my Tundra.  My thinking is that once you get up to and over that 3,000 lb mark, every 1,000 lbs makes a big difference. 
My 150 has the FX4 package so it too has the offroad shocks, as well as the 4 wheel disk brakes.  I don't want to make it sound as though my truck didn't brake good enough, I was just trying to say that going much heavier would be a concern in a 'panic type' stop.  I would bet that if I was pulling the 9,200 max weight when that car pulled out in front of me, there would have been an accident. 
I wanted the F250 as well but the diesels were just a tad more than I...uh, the wife, wanted to spend. 


mcnwil

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2006, 07:24:15 PM »
I pulled the new trailer today, told the rv dealer that I wanted to take it out and see how it felt. I did not have the height exact but close, no sway control either and it was smooth and steady. I have been pulling a Westlake also, I never felt it behind me. I will probaly upgrade the truck but need a little time to do that. I feel like I will go with the diesel to make it worth while. I do not believe the increased rating on the new 1/2 tons makes that much of a difference in actual towing. With Ford I think the engine got 30 more horses but very little torque increase. I do not expect any better braking though, if I am wrong great, but as with all trailers including 18 wheelers you have to extended following distances and properly functioning brakes but it still takes longer to stop. Are you happy with the power in that truck?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2006, 08:25:01 AM »
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My 150 has the FX4 package so it too has the offroad shocks, as well as the 4 wheel disk brakes.  I don't want to make it sound as though my truck didn't brake good enough, I was just trying to say that going much heavier would be a concern in a 'panic type' stop.  I would bet that if I was pulling the 9,200 max weight when that car pulled out in front of me, there would have been an accident.

FX,
You might want to have the trailer brakes checked out and also check the wiring from the truck to the trailer. It may well be that your trailer isn't doing an adequate job of braking itself.   It's common to find inadequate wiring (insufficient gauge of wire) in either/both truck & trailer, corroded or poorly spliced connections at the trailer axles, and inoperative or poorly adjusted trailer brakes.  Even in a new trailer. A good brake shop that know electric brakes (may be hard to find) can do wonders for your stopping distance.  Just increasing your brake wire from truck to trailer to 10 gauge can often make a big difference.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

FX

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2006, 03:35:16 PM »
mcnwill - Overall I am very happy with the truck.  I must admit though I am disappointed with the power, or lack of.  I towed my new trailer about 2-3 times before upgrading to the 150.  My thinking was: much larger engine, 2,000 lbs more towing ability, more torque, horsepower...should = big difference.  There is very little difference between the 2 when towing my new trailer.  I have to give the Tundra engine credit!


Gary - Thanks.  I had no idea about changing the wiring.

mcnwil

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2006, 05:03:18 AM »
An update to my post. After much reviewing of this website and thinking over everyone's comments and advise I decided to change tow vehicles. I got a 2006 GMC 2500HD Duramax/Allison 6 speed. This should give me some room to spare and a little more piece of mind. After studying the numbers with the f150 I am quite sure I would be close to max trailer tow weight but would go over Gross Combination Weight. Thanks for the help and thanks for a great site with loads of good information, still reading!!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2006, 09:08:35 AM »
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I got a 2006 GMC 2500HD Duramax/Allison 6 speed.

Excellent choice - that's a far better tow vehicle than any F150 ever dreamed of being. I would have said much the same if you had chosen an F250 Superduty diesel.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Ron

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2006, 09:21:13 AM »
Good choice. I am quite certain you will have a much more enjoyable RVing experience with a truck the the capacity to tow safely.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

John From Detroit

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2006, 11:20:51 AM »
I pulled the new trailer today, told the rv dealer that I wanted to take it out and see how it felt. I did not have the height exact but close, no sway control either and it was smooth and steady. I

That is the very best way to see if it will work.. .Try it and see how it feels.  Sounds like it felt good.

As for proper trailer brakes,  Every state, EVERY ONE, has a weight above which you MUST have brakes on the trailer,  IN Texas it's 4,000 lbs (the exact weight of my towed) anything over 4,000 lbs you must have brakes on it,  In the other 49 states it's lower,  Some are as low as 2,000 lbs  So you must, by law, have safety brakes on the trailer.  (I am not sure without re-checking if the requirement is just for break-a-way braking system or operating brakes, but since most of the system is the same for both types, why not do it right and put in the Tekonsha brake controller)

A sway control bar will help to control sway should you expierence it.  I have towed both with and without, and in at least one case it was a poorly designed trailer that felt like a flag in a wind storm (Swaying back and forth) even at fairly slow speeds... Put the sway bar on (Set a bit heaver than what I should have for the trailer) and it felt like I was driving a straight truck (no sway at all)  Great devices.  I would suggest them even if you don't think you need them... Not much cost there
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mcnwil

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2006, 04:16:55 AM »
I have the prodigy brake controller and have ordered the Reese equalizing hitch with the dual cam set up. I should have a solid combination here from what I have read and understand. Now if our new trailer will come in on time!

Frizlefrak

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Re: F150 tow limits
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2006, 11:04:29 AM »
Congrats on the new truck.  You will be much more at ease towing with a 3/4 ton.....makes the trips a lot more fun.  Enjoy!

 

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