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Old 05-09-2012, 01:22 PM   #1
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Opinion on upgrading tow vehicle

I currently have a 2001 Ford F-150 with the 4.6 V8 and the 3.55 rear end. Towing a 2013 Forest River Grey Wolf 26BH. Believe the shipping weight of the trailer was a little more that 4500 pounds.

Was able to finally able to take our first trip with it. Went to Melverne Lake, KS. It's about two hours from where we live and figured it was best to make our first trip kinda close to home. This is our first trailer and I did learn a couple things like make sure you check the side to side level of the trailer before you unhook from truck...(don't laugh to hard lol), won't see a flame on a hot water heater if using the electricity (duh..) . You know things like that.

Anyway back to my question. Truck pulled the trailer fairly well. Had to keep foot down almost all the way to get to and keep a decent highway speed especially when we hit the hills which got me to thinking that maybe a truck with a bigger engine might be a good idea especially since our big trip of the year will be in Breckenridge, CO.

How beneficial would it be to get a newer truck with the 5.4 V8 if I stick with an F150? Would it really get me enough more power to justify buying it? Current truck is paid off and have only had it about 8 months or so.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #2
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If you are looking at a new F150, the 5.4 L engine is no longer available. If you are looking at a used F150, the 5.4 engine is the way to go.

I have a 2006 F150 with the 5.4 L engine, and the 3.73 final drive gears. It does a great job of pulling my 5500 lb. trailer, while getting above average fuel mileage, at least with the numbers mentioned here on the forum.

Do get the 3.73 gears if you can.

Someone here called the 5.4 L engine a boat anchor 1 time. I just smiled and let it go by. I am happy with my setup.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
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I am not a fan of 1/2 ton trucks except maybe for getting groceries. Get a 3/4 ton. You gain so much and give up so little. Bigger/stronger frame, better brakes, better springs, better tires/wheels, and the list goes on and on. With the right combination you should not loose any on fuel economy, and it will pull much better. As a side benefit if you decide like 80% of first time buyers that you want to upgrade next year or so, you will already have enough truck to pull a larger TT.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
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There's something to be said for having your TV paid for. I would resist running out and replacing if at all posible. That being said, may want to check your vehicle specs just to see what wt it's rated for... I would be surprised if its not at least 1000 lbs greater than your 4500 lb TT.

Also suggest you consider weighing both your TV/TT on a CAT scale ($9.50) or free at a DOT Weigh Station just to be sure.

The new Ford F150 small V8's are now 5.0L and have 360HP/380lb torq. 4WD's are rated for 7700 lb tow capacity but this varies quite a bit depending on engine and 2WD vs. 4WD.

Once you have a chance to drive your rig a few times and look over the numbers, you will be in a better position to determine if your expected driving conditions warrant spending the additional money.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:09 PM   #5
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You're trailer is fairly light and I think you'd see a big improvement with a 5.4. My TT is almost 7000lbs loaded and my 5.4 does pretty well. I'm not going to win any races, but who cares. Average 10 MPG towing.

If you could swing it I'd go for the 5.0 or Ecoboost. I wouldn't even consider a 3/4 unless you tow a bunch or plan on upgrading to a larger TT.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donn View Post
I am not a fan of 1/2 ton trucks except maybe for getting groceries. Get a 3/4 ton. You gain so much and give up so little. Bigger/stronger frame, better brakes, better springs, better tires/wheels, and the list goes on and on. With the right combination you should not loose any on fuel economy, and it will pull much better. As a side benefit if you decide like 80% of first time buyers that you want to upgrade next year or so, you will already have enough truck to pull a larger TT.
Unless you're a fulltimer, a 3/4 ton for a 5000-6000# trailer is complete overkill.

I bought a truck to pull my trailer but I also knew it would be my daily driver as well because I'm not a fulltimer and need to go to work. A 3/4 ton wasn't even an option for me. I like the ride and size of my F150 and it pulls my TT with no problems.

A 5.4 in a newer F150 would be a good match for the OP's TT.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:58 PM   #7
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Your trailer is pretty light but you'd definitely benefit from going to a 5.4 or 5.3 if you go the chevy route. And a 3/4 ton would be way overkill plus they ride like a lumber wagon when used as a daily driver. If you go new you will benefit even more with the 6 speed trans they are using now. I'm pulling a 2012 puma at a little under 8k loaded with a 2012 silverado 1500 6 spd with heavy tow and cooling. It's rated at 9500 but still pulls it a lot better than I had expected. Now it don't pull it as nice as my buddies f350 psd but those cost a lot more money up front and to maintain.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:12 PM   #8
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I would have to agree with pappcam. I think a 3/4 ton is way overkill for that size trailer unless you're a full timer. My truck is a 2010 F150 with the 5.4 and 3.73 gears and it tows my trailer just fine. The last truck I owned was an 07 F150 with the 5.4 and the 3.55 gears and it towed trailers a little heavier than yours just fine. In my opinion the 5.4 would pull your TT without any problems.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:20 PM   #9
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My 2011 F-150 with the new 5.0 and 3.55 gears does a fine job of pulling my new TT at over 5,000#... probably approaching 6,000 with all the stuff.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:25 PM   #10
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There is a lot to be said for a vehicle which is paid for, even if it is slow. Although with all things being equal, a 5.4 would perform better towing than your 4.6, with your current set-up, those 3.55 gears aren't helping you utilize the full potential of the 4.6 for towing. If you are otherwise satisfied with your current vehicle and it is dependable, I would swap out the gears before dropping more $$$ on another vehicle. If you will being towing on mostly level ground, I would go with 3.92s, if you believe you might be towing in the mountains, I would go with 4.10s.

Just my .02 - Good Luck
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