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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, we're looking at getting into the world of travel trailers and of course a truck to pull it. I've had a couple half tons in the past, as well as a 3/4 ton with the 7.3 and a 3/4 with the 6.4 ... had that 6.4 deleted and tuned and couldn't have asked for more, loved that truck in a way that made my wife a little uncomfortable! lol Currently have a zero ton as I sold my trucks to make more room in the family budget when the kids came along. I'd really prefer to stay in the half ton range for this truck because it will mostly be a daily driver so fuel mileage and maintenance costs are a big consideration. Towing the travel trailer will likely consist of 1 big trip per year, plus 10-15 regional "weekend warrior" trips per year.

I'm looking at a 2017 3.5L with 10 speed AT, max tow, 6.5' bed.

My wife is in love with the Puma XLE Lite 31BHSC but I think it's too much trailer for the F-150.
UVW: 7,946
GVWR: 9,600
Listed Hitch Weight: 912

I've ran all the numbers and even if I max the trailer weight out at 9,600# (and I can't imagine I would actually do that) everything still falls within the towing specs / capacity of the truck.

The question is just because the truck can tow it, SHOULD IT?? My thought is no but I don't have any experience pulling anything this big or heavy, I've only pulled flatbed trailers with cargo in the past. I'm wondering if the truck is setup properly, air bags, WDH, etc ... can this truck realistically pull this trailer on a big coast to coast trip safely?

The next trailer down that she likes is the Puma XLE Lite 30DBSC - only a foot shorter, but a lot lighter.
UVW: 6,338
GVWR: 8,000
Listed Hitch Weight: 754
 

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People do it. You are going to have to be meticulous setting up the WDH and making sure everything is happy otherwise I think the tail is gunna wag the dog. That's just a really long trailer.

You are going to need a low option truck I would imagine to stay under the trucks GVWR. A loaded up Lariat, Platinum, or King Ranch is going to have ~1550 lbs or less of payload and you will likely eat a large portion of that with the tongue weight. An XL of lightly optioned XLT will put you up closer to 2000 lbs.

Also, in 2018 they beefed up the rear end of the trucks which increased the maximum tongue weight rating as well as increasing the rear axle weight rating, both of which I think you will be pushing the limits on. You should really try to find a 2018+ max tow.

Either that or try to find a truck with the HD Payload Package and then you shouldn't have to worry about payload capacity or axle ratings.
 

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Also, not sure where you are located, but I can tell you right now I would not pull a trailer that big or heavy in the rocky mountain states. I pull a 24' total length, 5500 lb trailer and it kicks the crap out of my truck sometimes. Mostly the cooling system can't keep up. Stability is good but I am also 12' shorter and have a much heavier 2014 F150 with a 6200 lb curb weight. You will be lucky to get much over 5500 lbs with a 2017.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are you saying I'll be lucky to pull a travel trailer that weighs over 5500# with a 2017 3.5L Lariat with max tow? I see people all day saying they pull much heavier across the mountains without any problem. That's not to say you should do that, hence why I'm here asking that very question. Here are the numbers I came up with based on Ford's online posted numbers but maybe I missed something or used the wrong number based on the setup I'm looking for. Granted these are posted numbers online and not the actual numbers from a truck's sticker so I know it's not perfect, but should be in the ballpark at least.

Truck
  • Curb Weight: 4,937
  • GVWR: 7,000
  • GCVWR: 16,200
  • Payload: 2,650 (do you have to have the HDPP to get this much payload)
  • Towing Capacity: 11,600
31BHSC Trailer
  • Dry Weight: 7,946
  • GVWR: 9,600
  • CCC: 1,654
  • Hitch Weight: 912
Payload
  • Passengers: 530
  • Truck Cargo: 300
  • Trailer weight (fully loaded): 9,600
  • Hitch Weight: 1,152 (estimated)

Using those numbers everything falls within the trucks towing limitations. Please, please correct me if I'm miscalculating something! Again, even if my math is right and the truck can handle the weight, I'm really interested in the "why" you wouldn't pull it. Is it just so big that wind can push it around too much with it hooked up to a half ton, making it unsafe? With proper modifications can it handle it safely? And at what length / weight would you personally bump up to a super duty? The second option I listed above is still long at 30', but drops down to a GVWR: 8,000, which is considerably lighter ... which is worse, the weight or the length because you're adding a bunch of surface area for the wind to push around?
 

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Are you saying I'll be lucky to pull a travel trailer that weighs over 5500# with a 2017 3.5L Lariat with max tow? I see people all day saying they pull much heavier across the mountains without any problem. That's not to say you should do that, hence why I'm here asking that very question. Here are the numbers I came up with based on Ford's online posted numbers but maybe I missed something or used the wrong number based on the setup I'm looking for. Granted these are posted numbers online and not the actual numbers from a truck's sticker so I know it's not perfect, but should be in the ballpark at least.

Truck
  • Curb Weight: 4,937
  • GVWR: 7,000
  • GCVWR: 16,200
  • Payload: 2,650 (do you have to have the HDPP to get this much payload)
  • Towing Capacity: 11,600
31BHSC Trailer
  • Dry Weight: 7,946
  • GVWR: 9,600
  • CCC: 1,654
  • Hitch Weight: 912
Payload
  • Passengers: 530
  • Truck Cargo: 300
  • Trailer weight (fully loaded): 9,600
  • Hitch Weight: 1,152 (estimated)

Using those numbers everything falls within the trucks towing limitations. Please, please correct me if I'm miscalculating something! Again, even if my math is right and the truck can handle the weight, I'm really interested in the "why" you wouldn't pull it. Is it just so big that wind can push it around too much with it hooked up to a half ton, making it unsafe? With proper modifications can it handle it safely? And at what length / weight would you personally bump up to a super duty? The second option I listed above is still long at 30', but drops down to a GVWR: 8,000, which is considerably lighter ... which is worse, the weight or the length because you're adding a bunch of surface area for the wind to push around?
I am saying that any full width travel trailer is going to max out your cooling system in the Rockies during the summer. Look around here, there are plenty of threads about overheating. I don't know how the 31' trailer will do in winds, but I have pulled my smaller trailer in some crazy conditions in Wyoming and Utah and it was stable, but again it was a 24'/5500 lbs behind a 6200 lb truck. Not a 36'/9000 lb trailer behind a 5300 lb truck.

Yes you need HDPP to get up near 2650 lbs. An XLT crew cab 4x4 with HDPP will be in the 2400-2600 lb payload range depending on how it is optioned. Most seem to be around 2500 lbs.

A non-HDPP XLT crew cab will be in the 1600-1800 lb payload range depending how it is optioned.

Again, A 2017 will have a lower maximum tongue weight and maximum rear axle weight rating. If you run that trailer at 9600 lbs with the generally recommend 12-13% tongue weight, you will be at 1150 to 1250 lbs tongue weight. That is pushing the limits of the tongue weight rating for a 2017 but you would have a little room on a 2018(1320 lbs).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok that makes sense, I'm heading off to look at some trucks tonight (150's and 250's) and will take a look at their stickers to see what the weights are. The cooling makes sense, and I'm pretty well in agreement that the 31' trailer behind a 3.5 EB is a bad idea even though some people do it. It just seems like the wind would push that thing all over the place, and with it being nearly twice as heavy as the truck, would push the truck around ... or like you said it'd be the tail wagging the dog!

Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate your perspective and experience. It pretty much confirmed my own thoughts based on the research I had done, I'm just trying to gauge how big / heavy I can go with a trailer and stay with the EB. I have a feeling a super duty is in my future though.
 

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I know I'm coming in late, but I'm with mass on his assessments of the towing experiences with these Eco's of any era..

I've always wondered how the lighter trucks got higher tow ratings, or at least the same as the heavier ones with less GVWR and lighter curb weights??

I'm towing a #7000 GVWR 26' TT and I pack heavy, so I figure it's maxed out on it's weight.

I also pack a lot in the bed of my truck, so I know I'm probably using up all of my #1900 payload easily.

I get along just fine with my MaxTow 13 F150, since it being at it's max GVWR of #7700, it still is at least a bit heavier than the trailer, but I do have to watch the coolant temps and not put too much boost into it on the long grades. Otherwise, the coolant temps get pretty high for my comfort level (*230 is what I've seen before and that's too hot for me..Yes, I know it'll go to *250, but that's when it goes into limp mode and I don't want that either)

In the end, it's all up to you what you can "safely" tow.. To me, being "safe" is being comfortable with the tow on long hauls and if you are not comfortable, it can't really be safe at that point, right?

Good luck! Mitch
 
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I'm about where Mitch is on this. Similar trailer even, just the older style, different floorplan. It's about all I would tow with a 1/2 ton truck. I mean 10K tow in a pinch, sure why not? But for routine towing,- I'll take a pass. I just wouldn't do that routinely. Besides if you're buying a truck, why buy one that BARELY is going to meet your needs today? You know these hobbies have a way of expanding and growing into larger/heavier/bigger operations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
DNA Dan your last question is exactly why we ended up decided on stepping up to a 3/4 ton. I don't want to just get by with the limits of the truck, I want to know I have some capacity to do more and go bigger if needed, or carry more passengers, or whatever. I appreciate all I've learned from you guys on this forum!!
 

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Smart move. And don't think that you needed to go up in class because it's a Ford. All the manufacturers overstate their numbers. Unfortunately towing numbers have almost become a marketing ploy like MPG. I've never owned a car or truck that ever got the sticker MPG, no matter what I tried. At least you'll have peace of mind that you have the right tool for the job at hand.

Post pics of the new rig!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I’ll probably drop the 4” lift back down and downsize the wheels and tires a little to make it a little better at towing and MPG. It’s EGR and DPF deleted with the H&S minimax tuner, traction bars, air bags, CAI, the whole nine yards!
 

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Nice, that should do it
 
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Very nicely done! Definitely drop that lift for towing the rig.
 
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Are you saying I'll be lucky to pull a travel trailer that weighs over 5500# with a 2017 3.5L Lariat with max tow? I see people all day saying they pull much heavier across the mountains without any problem. That's not to say you should do that, hence why I'm here asking that very question. Here are the numbers I came up with based on Ford's online posted numbers but maybe I missed something or used the wrong number based on the setup I'm looking for. Granted these are posted numbers online and not the actual numbers from a truck's sticker so I know it's not perfect, but should be in the ballpark at least.

Truck
  • Curb Weight: 4,937
  • GVWR: 7,000
  • GCVWR: 16,200
  • Payload: 2,650 (do you have to have the HDPP to get this much payload)
  • Towing Capacity: 11,600
31BHSC Trailer
  • Dry Weight: 7,946
  • GVWR: 9,600
  • CCC: 1,654
  • Hitch Weight: 912
Payload
  • Passengers: 530
  • Truck Cargo: 300
  • Trailer weight (fully loaded): 9,600
  • Hitch Weight: 1,152 (estimated)

Using those numbers everything falls within the trucks towing limitations. Please, please correct me if I'm miscalculating something! Again, even if my math is right and the truck can handle the weight, I'm really interested in the "why" you wouldn't pull it. Is it just so big that wind can push it around too much with it hooked up to a half ton, making it unsafe? With proper modifications can it handle it safely? And at what length / weight would you personally bump up to a super duty? The second option I listed above is still long at 30', but drops down to a GVWR: 8,000, which is considerably lighter ... which is worse, the weight or the length because you're adding a bunch of surface area for the wind to push around?
Typical Travel Trailer has 12-15% Tongue Weight loaded. I think your estimated tongue weight is a little optimistic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I simply listed the listed hitch weight from the manufacturer, which is about 10% of the max GVWR of the trailer. It would likely be a little higher than that, like you said like at least 12%. Not that that matters now that I've gone with a 3/4 ton, but what's super crazy to me looking back at those numbers is that F150 with a GVWR of 7,000# has a payload rating of 2,650, while the F-250 I'm getting has a GVWR of 10,000# but only a listed payload of 2,066#. Doesn't make much sense to me!
 

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I simply listed the listed hitch weight from the manufacturer, which is about 10% of the max GVWR of the trailer. It would likely be a little higher than that, like you said like at least 12%. Not that that matters now that I've gone with a 3/4 ton, but what's super crazy to me looking back at those numbers is that F150 with a GVWR of 7,000# has a payload rating of 2,650, while the F-250 I'm getting has a GVWR of 10,000# but only a listed payload of 2,066#. Doesn't make much sense to me!
This is a lesson in option weights. You have a well optioned Lariat F250 with leather, probably a moon roof, a bunch of other fancy interior stuff and a 1200 lb boat anchor(Powerstroke) sitting under the hood. Had you bought a 6.2L V8, you would likely have picked up another 800 lbs of payload capacity. F250 diesels are kind of a grey area. They don't offer payload much better than a 1/2 ton because that Powerstroke is so heavy.

You are comparing it to the payload values of an F150 with zero options and a lightweight aluminum V6. Also, you cannot get 2650 lbs of payload with a normal F150 with a 7000 lb GVWR. 2650 lbs would be with a HD Payload truck which has a 7850 lb GVWR. Realistically, a regular old Lariat F150 without HD Payload that is optioned similar to your F250 would have 1500-1600 lbs of payload, not 2650.
 
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Literally, the Powerstoke adds 800 lbs to the curb weight. So you effectively lost 800 lbs of payload vs a 6.2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Right on, I see what you're getting at and it makes sense. I guess what doesn't make sense is why they put such a low payload rating on a "super duty" truck. My family alone will eat up 1/4 of it and I know, I know, could always go up to a 1 ton ... probably should have but I think this F-250 will do what I need it to do just fine.
 
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