Can our V6 tow this?

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Trudy

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We have a Ford Heritage F150, 4.2, V-6 with the factory towing package. The book says we can tow 5700#. So..........one of the trailers we like is the Jay Flight 20bh, dry weight of 4200#. There will just be 2 of us and we're thinking loaded we shouldn't be over 500-600# (just guessing).  Are we dreaming?

Thanks!
 

Carl L

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Trudy said:
We have a Ford Heritage F150, 4.2, V-6 with the factory towing package. The book says we can tow 5700#. So..........one of the trailers we like is the Jay Flight 20bh, dry weight of 4200#. There will just be 2 of us and we're thinking loaded we shouldn't be over 500-600# (just guessing).  Are we dreaming?

Thanks!

1.  What year is that Ford?

2.  What is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating GVWR of the trailer?

3.  Where in the country do you plan to do your towing? 
 

Trudy

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I know, I know..................  :(    I've read enough posts here that I have a feeling I already know the answer. Just thought I'd run it past you anyway. The truck is a 2004 and the trailer GVWR is 6000.  I don't think we'd get anywhere near that 6000# though (famous last words).

We have the Equal-i-zer Hitch and the Protegy Brake Control. We had a Zeppelin Z242 for about 3 days (long story) and the F150 pulled it great at 3855# dry.  We had such a bad experience with the Zep, that now we're afraid of the ultra light trailers. Guess we probably don't have a choice though.
 

kbfeip

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Let's see how well Carl has taught me:

I suspect that he would really like to see you at a 20% margin on your vehicle's tow capacity.  That would mean that you could tow a maximum of 4560 lbs.  If you allow for one additional passenger weighing in at a slim 150 lbs. you are then left with 210 lbs. of cargo capacity to stay within that 20 % margin, which the forum gurus like to see if you're towing anywhere in the West due to the many high elevations and steep grades.

I seem to recall however by your posts on Keystone Camping that you may live somewhere other than the West.  In the East as an example, a 10% margin is reasonable given the more level terrain.  In that case, you could load up with 780 lbs. including your 150 lb. passenger.

Carl is however a Ford man, so you may gain favor with him right off the bat. 

How'd I do Carl?    :D
 

Carl L

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If that truck has a regular cab, is not 4wd and has a 3.55:1 rear end (and not all do) it has 5700 lbs.   You do not specify a towing area so I will assume that you intend to visit the great national parks and mountains of the west and discount that 5700 lbs by 20% and say that the maximum GVWR of the trailer should be 4560 lbs.  --  300 lbs above your dry weight.  

Frankly that is a rather heavy 20 footer.  Those weights are the weights of a Fleetwood Pegasus TT of 24" length.  If I were you I would look further, you should be able to do better -- especially for a vacation quality trailer.

By the way, my 1996 23' Prowler lightweight scales at 4650 ready to travel.   I would not want a trailer an ounce heavier for my 5.0L V8.
 

Carl L

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Carl is however a Ford man, so you may gain favor with him right off the bat.

Wrong.  I drive a Ford.  However, I am a numbers man.  Everything that is not numbers tends to be BS -- as in sales hype.  At least with respect to RVs and trucks.
 

kbfeip

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Another question:

Does length of the trailer effect the handling of the tow vehicle at all?  

If I were to pull Carl's 23' Prowler at 4650 loaded, would it feel much different than my 30' at 4800 lbs. dry?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Does length of the trailer effect the handling of the tow vehicle at all? 

If I were to pull Carl's 23' Prowler at 4650 loaded, would it feel much different than my 30' at 4800 lbs. dry?

No, unless it were windy or the road extremely curvy. In either of those cases, the extra length and side area becomes a factor.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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We have a Ford Heritage F150, 4.2, V-6 with the factory towing package. The book says we can tow 5700#.

If it does, you are one of the rare folks who bought a 2WD, regular cab Heritage.  If it is the more popular Supercab version, it is 5500 lbs with the 3.55 axle or only 4500 lbs if it has the economy-oriented 3.31 axle. With the 3.31 axle you aren't even in the hunt. With the 3.55 there is [barely] room for discussion.

Here is the relevant page of the 2004 Ford Towing Guide.

With a very light duty truck like the Heritage and its smallish V6 engine, I would be very skeptical of trying to load it anywhere near its max. And remember you have to subtract the weight of everything carried in the truck (except the driver & fuel) from the max tow rating. A passenger and the trailer hitch alone will make a substantial dent in the available tow capacity.

And it is quite unlikely the trailer weighs in at its dry weight. Dry weight does not include factory or dealer options, nor any propane or water. That's one of the reasons we never base calculations on dry weight - it's a fiction.
 

Trudy

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Yes, we are one of those few folks who bought a reg. cab, 2 wheel drive, 3.55 gear ratio, 4.2L, etc.  OK, I'll forget about the Jay Flight. Guess it's back to the ultra lights.  We really like the floorplan of the Surveyor, Model SV-234, but have only seen pictures of it.  Found a new '05 about 100 miles from us, but I'm having trouble figuring out the exact weight of it. Dry weight is supposedly 3311#, but I can't find the GVWR listed anywhere. The salesman I talked to on the telephone "thought" the label inside the cabinet door said it was 3600# dry. If it is, am I getting closer?????????

By the way......... Kurt, everything still going good with the Zeppelin?  Hope so.

Trudy
 

kbfeip

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So far...so good!

Only one maiden voyage so far, with only a few minor issues to bring up to the dealer when we take it back in for a checkup.  One cabinet door that seems a bit warped, they forgot to give up our hub caps, (they leave them off so you will be sure to torque the lug nuts) etc.  Really no complaints yet.

I did read an awful lot of problems on the Keystone post about leakage though.  Mostly roof seals, several around the front cap.  With the full rubber roof, I'm hoping that won't be a problem, but I'm also realistic enough to know that they made these things ultra-lightweight and had to skimp at every junction to keep the weight down. 

I posted info on Eternabond tape on the Keystone post, as it seems a much more effective long term fix for roof seam/seal leaks.  I used it on the entire perimeter of my Class A which had a design know for leaks.  Never had to seal it again.

I can certainly understand your apprehension over buying another Zeppelin.  If I went through what you did I would probably feel the same.  I can only say that I'm glad that I have not (yet) had a similar experience, and hope to avoid it, because for the $ spent, the overall weight, and the huge amount of space in a floorplan that really fits our needs, we're happy campers!
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Trudy,
According to the Forest River web site, a 2007 Surveyor SV-234 weighs in a 3447 lbs dry and has a Load Capacity of 1544, for a total  of 4981, which should be the GVWR. Call it 5000 lbs for ease of computing. That would put you in the 10% safety margin zone, even with two people in the truck.
 

Trudy

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YIPPEE!!  

Now let me throw a wrench into the equation. The salesman called this morning and said the dry weight on the label is 3640# and the GVWR is 5480#.  So I'm confused. I thought the dry weight on the inside cabinet door was the weight with all the factory installed options. Is this not true for all manufacturers?  I wonder where he came up with the 5480# GVWR.

Thanks so much for your help.

And Kurt, you're one of the few I've ever heard of that went from a Class A to a travel trailer and was happy!  With all these weight issues, we've been wondering if maybe a Class C or A would not be a better choice. Who knows?  (I think our pocket book knows!!)

Trudy
 

kbfeip

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Trudy:

I'm cheap!

You can learn more at the beginning of my post:  "Lightweight travel trailer purchase"

Given our concern about the age of our Class A, and the relative cost of a newer motorhome vs. a TT, and the fact that we had just purchased this shiny new truck, it all added up in my book to a brand new TT with slideout vs. another used Class A or C without slide.

So far, so good!
 

Trudy

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Yeah, I'm cheap too!  ;)  That's why we're trying to make do with this truck. I hope we can.

I posted earlier today about being confused about the GVWR of this trailer. I think I figured out the discrepancy. The 5480# the dealer said sounds about right by the time you add the actual weight of 3640#, the towing capacity weight, and full water and propane tanks.  I still really think we'd be able to easily stay around 5000# or even less because we wouldn't be traveling with a full water tank and surely we wouldn't be able to find over 1000# of stuff to drag along.

So, what do ya think?

Here's hoping...............
 

kbfeip

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I'm cuttin' it close with my tow vehicle...your cutting it even closer.  Gary's post above gives you the best justification for moving forward, but only if you plan to tow on flat terrain.

Carl's post expresses experience.  Your V6 is relatively small on power output, and I think that's his concern.  I tow with a 1/2 ton truck also, but the Hemi engine in mine produces 345 HP and has proved to be a pretty significant power plant.

It's really unfortunate that you had such a bad experience with the Zeppelin product, as it's so right for your needs.  Having said that, I've got my fingers crossed on the quality of my unit.  I researched by truck extensively, and purchased it new for $20k.  I did the same with the Zeppelin Z303 and bought it new for $17,700, as it is a 2006 model year and several dealers were willing to close them out. 

With those figures, I felt like it was the right move for our needs.

Kurt

PS:  Just out of curiosity, how far up the food chain did you go at Keystone?  I would have been asking to talk with their President!

 

Trudy

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Me again.  Just have a minute for a quick question. My husband took the Heritage in for a little warranty work today and brought home a 2005 F-150 XLT Super Cab. 5.4L, 8 cyl, automatic.  We've been looking online for towing capacity, but are getting conflicting numbers. It has a tow hitch, so we are assuming it has the full tow package. He already talked to the previous owner and he never towed anything with it, so he didn't add it on.

What do you think about THIS one?    ???

 

Trudy

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Should have added, he didn't buy the truck. It's just a loaner while ours is being serviced.

Kurt, I'll answer your question later when I have a little more time.
 
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