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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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What can I tow?

We recently picked up a 2009 F-150 FX4. We're planning on towing a camper and are wondering what our towing limits are. I do know that the rear end has 3.73 gears.

Based on what we can find, it either 9700lbs or 11,000lbs, but the dealer can't tell us if we have the "towmax" package.

Is there anything obvious that would let us know if we have the upgraded towing package?

Also, we're planning on towing using the bumper hitch, but what are your thoughts on fifth wheels and goosenecks? I don't want to waste the truck bed by filling it with a fifth wheel.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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Yikes! You're not going to tow 9700 lbs with a bumper hitch. That would be a class II hitch, at best (unless there's something special about F150 bumpers?).

Your GVWR will be on a sticker by the driver side door frame.

Go to Uhaul.com and make like you're renting a trailer. They tell you which of their trailers works by the model of your vehicle and hitch rating.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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Check on the sticker that's on the inside edge of driver's door. It will tell you your GVW. That is how much the maximum weight is allowed on the truck which includes truck itself plus fuel, people, tools, dog, junk, etc. It also includes the tongue weight of any trailer you will tow. So if your truck weighs 6800 pounds full and your GVW is 8800 pounds, then your trailers tongue weight can't exceed 2000 lbs. You get the idea? Really, you should hit a scale somewhere and weigh your truck with at least you and a full tank of fuel and that will give you a starting point. Some guys may talk you into putting air bags or other means of beefing rear suspension, but remember that it doesn't change your GVW at all.

As far as what kind of trailer you want, that's a personal decision. I like your idea of keeping the box for toys or whatever. So in that case you would have a travel trailer (aka bumper pull) and you'll need a frame mounted receiver and a hitch with sway bar attachments. I personally have a F-350 that I used to haul a slide in camper, but traded the camper for a fifth wheel trailer. I too had a dilemma as the truck had a gooseneck ball in the back when I bought the truck. So when I got the 5'er, I bought an adapter to convert the fifth wheel hitch to a gooseneck hitch. That setup is a bonus as I still have the whole back of the box when I unhitch the trailer. After unhitching, I simply "fold" the gooseneck ball under the box. I don't have the hassle of a cumbersome hitch that takes a lot of room, not to mention weight and pain to remove.

Good luck and happy camping.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 05:08 AM
 
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Careful about confusing "tongue weight" with gross trailer weight. There's no way your average 2" receiver hitch will take a 2000 lb. tongue weight. A couple of hundred at *most*.

The tongue weight is the weight the trailer tongue would be putting on the suspension of your vehicle -- not the actual weight of the trailer. Remember, the idea is to somewhat balance your trailer load (with a small bias in front of the trailer wheels), so that the trailer is carrying the deadweight, not your vehichle.

For example, the other day I was using a U-haul utility trailer to cart a load of broken concrete from my backyard to the dump. The weight of the broken concrete in the trailer just happened to be 2006 lbs. However, I could still wiggle the tongue on the hitch up and down with my bare hands. Which means I could probably have dead-lifted the tongue. I'd guess there was about 150 - 200 lbs. *tongue weight*.

You need a little bit of weight ahead of the trailer axle (ie., on the tongue) to keep it from weaving. I think the rule of thumb is 60/40. My drop hitch actually has stamped it's maximum tongue weight at 600 lbs., before it presumably snaps in half, or something.

Now, if the entire weight of my concrete would have been on the tongue, I probably would have snapped my leaf springs on the first pot-hole, assuming my front wheels could even touch the ground!

Tongue weight vs. trailer weight -- that's why even a compact 1/2 ton like a Ranger can pull almost 3 tons, no problem. I'd guess the braking capacity of the vehicle is the limiting factor?

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 05:37 AM
 
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Class 3 is 500 lbs tongue weight, 750 lbs with an equalizer hitch. Class 4 is 750 lbs tongue and 1000 lbs w/ equalizer. 5th wheel is above that, and depends on the individual setup.

You'd be amazed what a 2" receiver can handle though, my roommate has a '93 Dodge 4x4 diesel and he's pulled several uneven 12,000 lbs loads with his class 3 hitch Over long distances too. LR

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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b4000: sorry about the confusion, I was just giving an example. The two tag trailers that I used to have were 350-500 lb tongue weight IIRC.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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I have the Max Tow package and the difference is a built in brake controller, 5.4 / 3.73 LS gears, 7700# GVWR vice 7200# GVWR Super Cab and 7675# GVWR vice 7350# GVWR Super CREW, Class IV hitch and an extra leaf spring 4 vice 3 The standard steering ratio is 17:1. Max Tow 20:1 On the road with regular driving, the difference is unnoticeable. In a situation that requires a lot of positioning of the wheel while the truck is stationary or moving very slowly like backing up a trailer the 20:1 takes a little less effort. In the US tow mirrors are standard while in Canada they are an option. My Toy Hauler TT has a hitch weight of 900lbs empty but goes down as you load up with bikes or 4 wheelers. Hope this helps and welcome to the site.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 03:23 PM
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I know this probably doesn't help much, but having lived in Alberta for a few years I found you can pull whatever you want.

I know when we were there they had no limits.

Chris

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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Based on what we can find, it either 9700lbs or 11,000lbs, but the dealer can't tell us if we have the "towmax" package.

if you pm me with your vin# i can do a search and find what your vehicle was equipt with new.


a moments silence for the shelbyx,i hope her new owner enjoys as much.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordsforever6.0 View Post
b4000: sorry about the confusion, I was just giving an example. The two tag trailers that I used to have were 350-500 lb tongue weight IIRC.
Dang! I wish you hadn't said that. Now I feel like I typed a long-windy-explainy reply for nothing.

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