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Towing with a 2019 Ford F150 3.5 Ecoboost - What size TT?


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I did not see a category for Towing or Tow vehicles so I posted this here.

Looking at possibly buying a 2019 F150, 3.5 ecoboost, 4x4, supercrew cab, 145" wheel base, 6.5' bed.  It has a tow package on it, but not the MAX Tow package.  Has a payload of 1,772 lbs.  This vehicle also has a 7000 lbs GVWR package, but I don't know what that is.  According to Ford it can tow 12,700 lbs.  I would be new to owning a truck, never owned one before.  Also, new to RV'ing.  Not looking at getting TT right away, probably within 6 months to a year.  Would not be towing in any mountain regions, mainly in Florida.

Realistically, what is the maximum size TT I could comfortably tow with this F150?  Any one have one and what weight are you towing with it?  If you mention weight, is that weight going to be dry weight or gross weight of the TT?  It is only me, no other passengers, nothing else would be in the truck.  All necessary items would be in the TT.  

TT would be used initially for weekends and week long vacations.  Eventually would like to full time it in when I retire so would like something fairly good size.

Edited by rollindowntheroad
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There is a lot to consider when you begin to consider the towing ability of a vehicle and probably the worst place to ask is a salesman. I suggest that you start by reading this article from Pickup Trucks 101. I would also look at the information and calculator from Changin Gears web page.

When you look at the RV weight, always consider gross weight since you will probably only tow it with dry weight one time when you take it home after purchase. Another factor that plays into both safety and comfortable driving is the comparison of the wheelbase of your truck to the length of the travel trailer. The general rule of thumb is that you need 110" of wheelbase to tow 20' of trailer and that you need 4" more wheelbase for each additional foot of trailer. There may be others here who have better information on this ratio, but I did find one article that seems to address it. It has long be said and I agree that it is true that you can't have too much truck. 

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Wife and I are a few years from full time but I have owned several eco boost ford trucks. What I do not like about them is simple if you are pulling anything the mpg is horrible. Also they lack the power of a v8. I got rid of the last one because a 6 ft atv trailer and small atv were just too much for it even with the dual turbos.

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Here are a couple of more links to discussions of wheelbase and trailer length: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4.

2 hours ago, rollindowntheroad said:

It is only me, no other passengers, nothing else would be in the truck.  All necessary items would be in the TT.  

Depending on the trailer you choose and its carrying capacity, that may not be possible. Many small travel trailers do not have much cargo carrying capacity and may not have large enough storage compartments for larger items.

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According to Ford it can tow 12,700 lbs.

This weight is likely calculated using a trailer with a much smaller frontal area than a typical travel trailer. Check the specifications carefully. There may be a statement about the frontal area used (i.e. 60 sq.ft., etc.) The larger the frontal area of the trailer the greater the drag and work for the tow vehicle.

Edited by trailertraveler
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IMHO.... don't, just don't (with that truck). If your serious, get a a bigger truck.  Think over-kill.  IMHO

Edited by NDBirdman

2002 Fifth Avenue RV (RIP) 2015 Ram 3500 Mega-cab DRW(38k miles), 6.7L Cummins Diesel, A668RFE, 3.73, 14,000 GVWR, 5,630 Payload, 27,300 GCWR, 18,460 Max Trailer Weight Rating(For Sale) , living in the frigid north, ND.

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4 hours ago, rollindowntheroad said:

Looking at possibly buying a 2019 F150, 3.5 ecoboost, 4x4, supercrew cab, 145" wheel base, 6.5' bed.  It has a tow package on it, but not the MAX Tow package.  Has a payload of 1,772 lbs.  This vehicle also has a 7000 lbs GVWR package, but I don't know what that is.  According to Ford it can tow 12,700 lbs.  I would be new to owning a truck, never owned one before.  Also, new to RV'ing.

Realistically, what is the maximum size TT I could comfortably tow with this F150? If you mention weight, is that weight going to be dry weight or gross weight of the TT?  It is only me, no other passengers, nothing else would be in the truck.  All necessary items would be in the TT.  

TT would be used initially for weekends and week long vacations.  Eventually would like to full time it in when I retire so would like something fairly good size.

Ford's Tow Capacity chart is a good place to start as it does give some values. For your truck, look at the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating to see what it's maximum capacity is by... GCVWR - 7,000 lbs (your truck's rating) = ________. ( The GVWR is the most that your truck is designed to weigh when loaded, same with the trailer). On paper this would be the max a trailer could weigh, the max that you can tow, the GVWR to look for in a trailer. Real world numbers should be no more than 80% of this number though for less stress on you & your truck. When you weigh your truck at a CAT Scale you'll have another number that you can work with as that 1,772 Cargo Cap is affected by you and your load and whatever you happen to have in the cab or box. All necessary items will not be in the TT, your truck bed will absorb some, guaranteed. The trailer will also have a GVWR and a Cargo Cap is why. You may want to add a cover or cap to the truck bed, more weight but rain proof :)How each is loaded, truck & trailer, is your choice but keep Trailer Tongue Weight in mind when loading the trailer so your ride will be safe & comfortable. This Tongue Weight will become a part of the math involving your truck's Cargo Cap so having an actual weight on your truck from a CAT Scale seems a must. Take 10% to 15% of a trailer's GVWR and apply this to your truck's Cargo Cap. When doing calculations, always use the GVWR of a trailer. It provides a margin of safety if you don't load it to max, which apparently many people do, or more 😲

Some items you'll come across... CCC= Cargo Carrying Capacity, UVW=Unloaded Vehicle Weight (sometimes called Dry Weight), we've already seen GVWR & GCVWR (Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating, sometimes listed as GCWR as well), GAWR=Gross Axle Weight Rating (ideally the same or more than the GVWR when the axle's ratings are added to each other, unless it's a single axle trailer whose rating should be equal to or greater than the GVWR, it's the "weakest link in the chain" concept). You'll see these in brochures and websites as part of the Specifications. While we're here, water weighs 8.3 pounds/gallon so examine tank size on trailers for this and for your comfort, as well as traveling style... carry water, if so how much (nice to have some if you find yourself in a pickle). So then...

Truck's GCVWR-GVWR=GVWR of trailer at the most, 80% max of this please

Payload Capacity of your truck at 1772 is affected by the trailer's tongue weight.

Trailer tongue weight should be 10% to 15% of the trailer's total weight.

Use the GVWR of a prospective trailer in your calculations, become accustomed to looking at trailer sticker specs.

     Spot

 

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Start here:  3rd down

Shows up as: [PDF]

2019 Ford F-150 Trailer Towing Selector

Scroll down to find your truck/engine.

Edited by NDBirdman

2002 Fifth Avenue RV (RIP) 2015 Ram 3500 Mega-cab DRW(38k miles), 6.7L Cummins Diesel, A668RFE, 3.73, 14,000 GVWR, 5,630 Payload, 27,300 GCWR, 18,460 Max Trailer Weight Rating(For Sale) , living in the frigid north, ND.

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Sounds like you are trying to hard to justify that small truck hauling a camper.  Do what makes you happy, it's your $$.  Until you get sued and it becomes someone else's.  IMHO

 

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2 hours ago, rollindowntheroad said:

 So I plugged everything in there, because I have those numbers and it says the maximum loaded trailer weight that I can tow is: 7,600 lb to 11,400 lbs. 

Nearly 4,000 pounds is quite a range, I'd like to see a Speed Limit sign like that... Speed Limit 60MPH to 100MPH 😄 The link presented here, Ford's Tow Capacity Chart is where I would put my trust, it is as vehicle specific as a chart of this type can be. And that's key, each vehicle has it's own individual capabilities. Towing capacity & cargo capacity are very vehicle specific depending on how that vehicle was optioned including tire size/type, electronic packages, gear ratios, engine type/size, and even the bling will have an affect on your truck's capabilities. As you own a Ford, use the Ford Chart & your truck's specific cargo capacity, your truck's GCVWR, your truck's GVWR, and find your truck's towing capacity. It should be a number, a maximum if you will, and not a range. The range of numbers doesn't appear to be specific to your truck which is exactly what you want. I've done this, others have done this, and when you do you will have no doubt what your truck is capable of.

edit: A helpful(?) example is my truck, an F250, on the Ford Towing Guide shows a GCWR of 19,500 pounds along with a 12,900 pound towing capacity. Needing to go further I used my truck's GVWR of 10,000 pounds to reveal a 9,500 pound weight (19,500 GCWR - 10,000 GVWR) that I will focus on in my activities. Could I tow more? Probably. Should I? I choose not to due to the effects that it will have in both the short and long term. (I could wear the cutest little sundress, but as a 60+ year old six foot tall bearded gent, should I?) I've been itching to make that analogy 😀 So what I've done to help with my truck's capability is make a few choices to focus on cargo capacity which would then help with my towing. My choices gave me an F250 with a 3,838 cargo capacity which helps with both the tongue weight of the trailer as well as the cargo that the truck bed inevitably absorbs. So the limits that I've personally placed on my truck's towing capacity fade as I can load the truck instead of the trailer and be within the self imposed guidelines, and I say self imposed only because I've chosen the lower number... 12,900 pounds towing on the chart vs 9,500 pounds towing in my math, for an F250. The 12,900 pound towing capacity that is on the chart reflects an empty truck. On the CAT Scale my truck is about 6,500 pounds when void of all the stuff so the 19,500 GCWR - 6,500 = 13,000 pounds, close enough right?

     Spot

 

Edited by $Spot
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I have owned Ford trucks since 1978. Only thing I drive. Again i don't care what Ford says the eco boost dual turbo v6 is great if you are using the truck as a nice ride around. (I am in sales) I have driven the top of the line ecoboost. This engine loves flat road - hills will suck the fuel. Try driving unloaded from Mississippi to Arizona and you will see what I mean. Straight out hwy 40. Drive it to KY and drive around the hills. Now put a 6 wheel Max on a 6 ft trailer no other gear you will note that the gas mileage drops. Now picture hooking it to what you want to pull. This engine is designed to be used in a car not a truck. Yes it will tow what Ford says but take it from a Ford guy. Get a v8 around 4-6k lbs F150. Next up F250, F350 will pull about anything you need. You do not want to get in the mountains with an udersized power plant. First step is get the truck you need to pull it. I am looking to downsize myself and I am telling you at minimum stay with a v8. My wifes Rav4 adventure says it will tow 3500 lbs, but I do not believe that either. 

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I also found a Ford Truck website that you can look up individual truck information according to the VIN number.  I called, got the VIN number and plugged that in.  According to this site says max towing is 7,000 lbs.  Every website, every person, even different Ford websites say something different.  Don't know who or what to believe.

Regarding GCWR:  According to the Ford Truck VIN site is says that it is 10,200 min. to 12,400 max.  Using these numbers as an example GCWR 10,200 - 7,000 = 3,200 lb.  At the max 12,400 - 7,000 = 5,400 lbs.  Doesn't seem like a whole lot, when they advertise in their brochure that with this particular truck I should be able to tow a little over 10,000 lbs.

The more I look the more I get confused.  About to forget the whole idea of trucks and RV'ing!

Edited by rollindowntheroad
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1 hour ago, rollindowntheroad said:

With people like you responding NO ONE will ever gain from what I thought are people who have experience.

Yea, 40 years experience so I guess I have none....  My answer may be a little too harsh for you, but it is the truth.

Each truck is different from the factory.  What FORD site tells you per VIN is what your particular truck will handle.  There are very few TTs you would feel comfortable towing with that small truck.  Get a lightweight tear-drop style.  ANYTHING that truck can pull is lightweight and won't last long if you tow lots of miles.  Everyone here, and elsewhere will give you a different story.  $Spot and the rest said it spot on. 

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Rollindowntheroad - I am either a fountain of knowledge or a cesspool of ignorance. It just depends on how you look at it.

None of us mean to be discouraging but at my age and in my generation we just say what we know and not what we wish. We all want you to enjoy being an Rver but doing that means getting somethings right on the front end.  I grew up on a farm by age 12 I could drive a bean truck from the delta to Channel street in Memphis, TN. 

We know what trucks will do. It's like the Class C mercedes sprinter that is pushing 186 horsepower and the manufacturer wants us to believe it is a great vehicle (24 footer). No thanks my 2108 Sling shot has 175 hp. The truck you describe is real close to what I drive now and at 1800 lbs in the bed you cannot hit a bump or shocks bottom out. Yes it is accurate but not usable as far as payload. The best way to do this if you want to join the tremendous fun of traveling and being an Rver is to figure out what you want to pull and then buy your truck accordingly.

I am downsizing to a 20 - 24 footer. Weight range will be 5500 - 7000 lbs. The minimum set up that I am considering is F250 (hate to admit been looking at some Rams too.) The reason is actual reality of hooking up something that heavy to a truck and starting to pull it. Once the load is rolling a volks wagon will pull it (on flat ground). But highways are not flat. In my case I have to make frequent stops. Wind is often blowing in your face. You must have enough weight to stop (even with trailer brakes).

The ratings that you are looking at are max values. You want a buffer on those quantities and most importantly someday we want to meet you on the road some day and say hi. We want you to be safe and happy. Not discouraged.

 

 

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1 hour ago, rollindowntheroad said:

Regarding GCWR:  According to the Ford Truck VIN site is says that it is 10,200 min. to 12,400 max.  Using these numbers as an example GCWR 10,200 - 7,000 = 3,200 lb.  At the max 12,400 - 7,000 = 5,400 lbs.  Doesn't seem like a whole lot, when they advertise in their brochure that with this particular truck I should be able to tow a little over 10,000 lbs.

Your plugging the wrong numbers into your formula here.  The GCVWR (can also be expressed as GCWR) or Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating is the maximum your truck and trailer combination can be.  Your truck should have a GCVWR rating listed for it.  Take this number and subtract the actual scale weight of your truck from it to get the maximum trailer weight your truck can tow.

Vehicle tow ratings are specifically dependent on how your individual vehicle is equipped.  Gearing, tow packages, accessories added, axle ratings and many other things can affect your vehicles tow rating.  Many places will list generic tow ratings for a particular vehicle model.  If Ford has a website that gives a specific tow rating based on a VIN number, that is the number I would believe.  It will be taking into account exactly how the vehicle is equipped based on the VIN information and therefore should be the most accurate information.

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1 hour ago, Chad Heiser said:

Your plugging the wrong numbers into your formula here.  The GCVWR (can also be expressed as GCWR) or Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating is the maximum your truck and trailer combination can be.  Your truck should have a GCVWR rating listed for it.  Take this number and subtract the actual scale weight of your truck from it to get the maximum trailer weight your truck can tow.

Depending on viewpoint, yes. In an earlier post I said my truck has a 19,500 GCWR and that I used the truck's GVWR to obtain a towing capacity, and this is a self imposed limit providing me a margin to not push the limits. With my truck at 6,500 pounds on the CAT Scale I could also use 19,500-6500 to get a 13,000 pound towing capacity. On the scale it was just me and some tools in the truck, not a true traveling weight but a starting point, and one that provides room to work with. I'll probably not get to the 10,000 pounds of my trucks GVWR but I'll use that number in my calculations to ensure that I don't make a regrettable move. I'll probably not get to the GVWR of the trailer either but I'll use that number as well. When I look at what I could be towing/living in and their weights it is tempting to use a sharper pencil when working the numbers, believe me. But the thought of stopping the entire rig along with the mountain passes have me choose the lessor of the two weights. Not wanting to send our new to RVing friend on a ride that needs warming up to was in my mind when suggesting the use of GCWR & GVWR when crunching the numbers. If a mostly flat tow is all that our friend will do (did say mostly Florida, the future is adjustable 😉) then adjusting the numbers in his/her favor by using the actual CAT Scale weight, with a camping load, will certainly gain them a few pounds advantage. Gotta get to the scale though. 5,228 pounds is what I show based on the OP for a truck weight, then to include our driver & stuff, could very well bring the higher tow capacity they found, keeping in mind the affect of tongue weight on the Cargo Capacity. Playing the numbers will open up other trailer opportunities beyond something called Ultra Light and the like. Lance Campers and the Keystone Cougar apparently make a line of 1/2 ton towables that can be considered. Load the truck & get to the scale :)

     Spot

Edited by $Spot
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2 hours ago, rollindowntheroad said:

According to the Ford Truck VIN site is says that it is 10,200 min. to 12,400 max.  Using these numbers as an example GCWR 10,200 - 7,000 = 3,200 lb.  At the max 12,400 - 7,000 = 5,400 lbs.  Doesn't seem like a whole lot, when they advertise in their brochure that with this particular truck I should be able to tow a little over 10,000 lbs.

It is not uncommon for the GVWR of a light duty truck + the Max towing rating to exceed the trucks GCWR. If you read the footnotes about max towing rating you will likely find that it is based on a basic vehicle with a 150# driver and less than a full tank of fuel not the GVWR. As I mentioned in a previous post it may also be based on a trailer of a certain frontal area. A driver over 150#, options, cargo and fuel will decrease the available weight before exceeding the GCWR.

Edited by trailertraveler
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Wouldn’t it be nice if there was only one criteria for safe towing, and all vehicles of a particular model had the same capability? But it doesn’t work that way. Length matters. Frontal area matters. Weight matters. Tongue weight matters.

My first 2 years of towing my travel trailer was spent with a TV that was under all of the weight ratings, GCWR, payload capacity, tongue weight, frontal area, axle ratings. Trailer had a tongue weight of 12-13%, so it was loaded properly. But I didn’t know about that trailer length chart. According to that chart it was at the max for length for the TV. I didn’t have a problem with power, but I sure felt like I was getting blown around when driving in strong cross-winds. 

Last year I upgraded to a new 2018 F150, 4x4, FX4, Lariat, super crew with 145 wheel base, 3.5 eco boost engine, max tow package with power towing mirrors but without sunroof or power extending running boards. The sticker on the door says that the payload is 1528 lbs (up from my former TV which was rated at 1050 lbs), plenty for me and my rig, even though I was adding equipment and weight I hadn’t carried before. If I were to have bought the same truck with a sunroof or a higher trim level, the payload would have been less, and if I had bought an XLT 2WD without the FX4 package, it would be higher.  My trailer, at 5500 GVWR, is well under the truck’s tow weight rating, no matter how you compute it. 

While I’ve only been towing with it for 1 year and the truck has less than 20,000 miles on it, 17,000 of them have been towing that same trailer with the same WDH. It’s well under the length chart for the 145 wheelbase and the difference towing in the wind is huge. The mpg is mildly better than the previous TV (regular V6) which surprised me, I assumed I would get less with the heavier truck and twin turbos. It also has quite a bit more power - I innocently (not knowing anything about the road) chose to go to Death Valley on my first ever RV trip, driving Towne Pass with its long 7-10% grades. That scared me so much I wouldn’t go home the same way, choosing to go a long way around to avoid that pass. I returned in December driving the F150, towing the same trailer, and had no particular issue either direction. 

So my particular F150 is an excellent TV for my particular small trailer. I could probably tow a slightly bigger trailer without an issue. Would it make an adequate TV for a trailer 5 or 6 feet longer and 10,000 lbs? I don’t think so, and after towing with my first TV, which turned out to be more marginal than the numbers indicated, I sure wouldn’t do it.

 

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Hi rollin - I’ve done a fair bit of towing of different stuff - RV TT and 5th wheel, flatbeds, bales, equipment on transport wheels, on up to class 8 “semis”.

In general what makes a F150 (or “1/2 ton”) class vehicle less suitable for towing at max brochure rating is what makes them nice to drive around- they are not stiff enough, and final axle ratios are too “high” so they don’t feel as comfortable with the load. 

This applies all the way up the truck food chain. 

Ask the dealer if you can bring you trailer and do a demo towing with the 150, then with a gas 250 over the same route...

"Are we there yet?" asked no motorcycle rider, ever. 

 

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OK.  This will be MY final post to this subject.  Over the weekend I called numerous other Ford dealers.  Gave them the details on the truck and asked what it could tow.  ALL said it can tow up to 10,700 lbs.  I then asked "if" I were to tow something within what Ford says it can two and something happens would Ford be liable and they told me yes.  So a 5th is out, but a TT is certainly an option for me.  The other option is that it is a 4x4 and can be towed 4 down.  So a motorhome towing it behind is another option.

Thanks for all your replies, I think.........lol

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Here is the best I an do for you. Look up j2807 standards. Really read how they came about and what they are supposed to do. Go a little farther and see what it really did - not a lot - to solve the load and towing issue.

As a matter of fact I will suggest that any of you who are using the manufacturers calculations read about j2807 standards, why they came about, and how even then the automotive industry still fails in this regard.

 

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On 6/27/2019 at 6:59 AM, rollindowntheroad said:

TT would be used initially for weekends and week long vacations.  Eventually would like to full time it in when I retire so would like something fairly good size.

1 hour ago, rollindowntheroad said:

So a 5th is out, but a TT is certainly an option for me.  The other option is that it is a 4x4 and can be towed 4 down.  So a motorhome towing it behind is another option.

Sounds like an excellent plan, there are choices in travel trailers that'll be a good match for your truck. When the future arrives and retirement is at hand you will probably have a better idea what would fit you as you continue to research while using an RV regularly. FWIW, a while back I had an F150 Extended Cab 4X4 & a CAT Scale weight of 5300 pounds with me and about 100 pounds of tools, so if you still have the truck when you retire and go the Motor Home route that's a cost that you won't have to incur, with the right Motor Home. Good Luck & Happy Retirement ;) 

     Spot

 

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