2005 F150 SuperCrew 5.4 with 3.73 gearing... towing experiences from others?

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snowguy800

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Jun 14, 2006
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Hi everyone.

We're doing travel trailer research as well as learning all the towing capacities lingo (can make your head spin if you let it) trying to find the best fit for our needs as well as our tow vehicle.

I know we need to be within the towing specs and I've seen the rules of thumb that folks here recommend (10% cushion for flat terrain, 15-20% for the mountains), but I was wondering what types of real world experiences people have had towing their trailers with the same tow vehicle I will be...

So, if you pull a travel trailer with an F150 Supercrew, I'd love to know what you pull (it's weight) and how the truck does... gas mileage, maintaining speed on hills, etc.

I've never pulled anything more than a snowmobile trailer with my truck.? So, I'm interested to hear what people think about towing a bigger rig with the F150.

Thanks in advance!? It's really great having this forum as a resource for information.? Nice job everyone!

David
 

tbart16

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Jun 5, 2006
Posts
23
Good question!! I am going to start towing with an '04 expedtion 5.4/3.73 I am going to be pulling a 30' wildwood. We won't be towing until next week because I am waiting for a part for the receiver. I will post as soon as I hit the road
Tom
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I've never pulled anything more than a snowmobile trailer with my truck.  So, I'm interested to hear what people think about towing a bigger rig with the F150.

Generally speaking, the light duty trucks and their SUV brethern will tow the weights given as their max towing capacity.  However, they are working hard when anywhere near that max number and several things happen, not all of which are immediately obvious. Fuel mileage can drop substantially, hill climbing gets slow and noisy,  and the transmission & rearend gets much hotter than in normal driving.  This heat build-up occurs in all towing conditions but is especialy bad in stop & go traffic and hilly terrain. Heat causes the transmission fluid to deteriorate quickly and can damage the internal parts as well.  The brakes also work extremely hard (even though the trailer itself has brakes), causing excess wear and tear on the tow vehicle brakes.  Shocks, suspnsion, other components are also stressed near their limits.  And you can get in further trouble when the tow vehicle is loaded with other gear and passengers because folks don't realize that ANYTHING else  placed in the tow vehicle subtracts from the max tow capability. It is not unusual for a light duty truck or SUV to have a total load that equals or exceeds its total capability.

The light duty trucks and SUVs like the half ton Fords are designed to provide more passenger car-like ride and handling. This is great for the usual around town use but the opposite of what is needed for towing heavier trailers. The 3/4 ton and 1-ton models have a much sturdier transmissions, rear axles, frames,  and rugged suspension/steering components and are generally better designed for the stresses of heavy loads and towing.
 

relaxingtimes

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Jul 23, 2006
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http://www.rvtowingtips.com/what-can-i-tow.htm

This site may be helpful. You need to take into account your vehicle wheelbase also.

By the way the newer F-150 and F-250 are not much different underneath. And Ford is looking at putting the diesel engine in the F-150.

Weights are the big factor and a lot of people with an F-250 (and 2500 series) truck are towing more than they can safely tow. And if you see someone towing more than they should then call the state police and they will check it out. Don't let someone elses ignorance kill you or your family. Someone that is not safe is just as dangerous or more dangerous than a drunk driver. More states are starting to crack down on RV'ers. People that are towing legally have nothing to worry about.
 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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west Los Angeles
So, if you pull a travel trailer with an F150 Supercrew, I'd love to know what you pull (it's weight) and how the truck does... gas mileage, maintaining speed on hills, etc.

I pull a TT with a '95 Bronco.? ?The Bronc was a bobtailed F-150 cabbed over.? ?It has a 5.0L V8 and a 4 EOD transmission.? ?The suspension is a typical off road suspension -- robust components,? high compliance, high stance, and quad front shocks.? ?15" wheels with a set of LT31x10.50x15R BFG ATs.? ?87,000 miles.? All equipment original.? ?The Ford tow rating was 6600 lbs.? I tow in the west so my 20% safety factor is appropriate bringing that rating to 5280.? Rear end is 3.73.? ?Brakes are inspected annually and have been serviced once, at 35K as I remember.?

I pull a 23' trailer that weighs in on a scale at 4650 and has a 5300 GVWR.? ?Tongue weight is 750 lbs as scaled.? ?I use a Reese WD hitch (class IV) with dual cam sway control.

The unit is capable of 70 mph and will tow in OD on low altitude level highway.? ?I lock out OD on curvy roads and in hill country.? ?A 6% pass finds me in 1st going up and 2nd and 1st going down? ?I have pulled 9% passes.? ?My highest operating altutude under tow has been about 8000 feet.? That and head winds can find me in 2nd to make 45-50mph.

The 4EOD has borne up just fine -- I have it power drained annually.? Oil change and lube is religiously performed every 3000 miles or 3 months, the severe maint schedule recommended by Ford.? ?Mileage under normal tow 10 mpg.? ?Speeds over 55 do seem to eat into that.

Wishes:? Bigger engine.? ?Other than that, the Bronc has been an excellent tow vehicle.? ?It is rock stable in high crosswinds, emergency handling is great, and has never been in a sway condition.

?
 

Ride Everything

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Sep 12, 2006
Posts
60
I have the same truck, although mine's a 2006.  Two weeks ago I pulled a 6,400 pound toy hauler to the River (about 280 miles away). The site at the river had full hook ups, so we didn't need to lug the water, but we had our share of crap in there.  Truck did great!  I was really impressed. The trailer had the anti-sway bars, etc, so that helped, but I really never got over 4K RPM and the truck's temperature didn't move the whole way. I don't have a tranny temp gauge so I couldn't tell you how that was but if felt like the cooler was doing its job.  There were a lot of steep grades and the truck did fine.

I'm actually in the market for a toy hauler, and I'm not going to go that heavy. After four grown ups, gas, water, and motorcycles, etc, the F-150 really doesn't pull that much.  I'm trying to stay in 5,000 lb range empty.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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By the way the newer F-150 and F-250 are not much different underneath.

I missed this statement back in July, but I have to take exception to it even now, just in case other readers notice it when researching their tow vehicle.

An F150 is a totally different animal underneath when compared to a Superduty (F250/350/450/550). The chassis (frame) is completely different construction and so is the front suspension, which is coil spring over shocks versus leaf spring I-beams on the Superduty. All the suspensionis softer riding, a concession to the factthat most 150's are used more like cars than trucks. Wheels and brakes are are smaller too, a major consideration when towing or carrying loads.
 

rbell

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Sep 29, 2006
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Jackson, Michigan
I tow a Maxlite M28RL with an 04 Expedition & it does a good job. Same engine and rear end. You've got a slightly longer wheelbase & 40 more HP with the second intake valve they started to use in 05. Both help as far as towing goes. The Expedition has independent rear suspension which may or maynot help. I've heard it both ways. According to this Towing Guide you have a tow rating of 9200 lbs. with a 4x4 & heavy duty trailer Pkg. which I'm assuming you have.
Just don't skimp on the hitch and brake controller. Good stuff like the Equal-i-zer and PRODIGY make the whole thing easier also, at least from my experience.
 

KEYSTONERV1

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Oct 2, 2006
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IOWA
When i first bought my Keystone VR1 i had a F150 SC FX4 and 3.55 limited slip rear end. Rated at 7700p towing weight and i also had towing package in it. I towed to Ill. 220miles it did OK but wasn't enough truck. Had problems up some really steep hills to go up. It would loose mph even with floored. So I deiced to go out price 06 F250SD SC 6.0l powerstroke diesel. With all the towing packages it could come with and the trailer brake control by Ford built into the dash. Best thing i ever did. It has the power the muscle to handle my TT which with 8,000p and 900p tough weight. It did much better and towed lot better, because the truck has 12,500p reg. tow and 15,000 fifth wheel towing cap. With 3.73 limited slip rear end and torqshift auto. It is big and beefy truck for what I need. I towed it again to Ill. much better. :) :)
 

FordTruck

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Oct 25, 2006
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Lynchburg VA
I've got the same truck except in a SuperCab.  Tow a 22' Airstream with GVWR of 5k and WD setup.  I don't even know it's back there unless I'm being passed by speeding 18 wheelers on the interstate (negative air pressure).  Based on advice from others here I'm going to stiffer shocks but even with it "as is" it works like a champ.
 
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