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Old 09-14-2015, 10:33 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Troy, OH
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Tow Vehicle Recommedations

Hello Group,
My wife and I have recently upgraded travel trailers. The 'new' one is a Rockwood Signature Ultra-Lite Model 8313SS. It is 33 ft. long, and has a dry weight of 7100# as determined at a CAT scale on the way home with it in tow. I believe that our loaded weight will not be more than 8000#. As it turns out this trailer is a real load for our 2000 Ford Expedition having a 5.4 L gas engine and 3.55 axle ratio. Thus we are researching a more suitable vehicle to tow this coach as well as serve as our second family vehicle. I need some recommendations to help assure a much better towing experience.

Here's my criteria: It must be a Ford product, probably one from the late 1990's to about 2010 in order to stay within our budget. I'm leaning toward a Supercab version as I don't think a crew cab will fit in my two-car garage. I would like from the group any recommendations as to engine size (gas only), transmission, axle ratio, etc. that I should look for. The new TV will probably be the 5.8 L gas engine, if the truck is from the mid 1990's, or the 5.4 L gas engine if newer. Any cautions about reliability of any of these features would also be very welcome. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see any real advantage to four wheel drive as we don't plan to use this rig off paved surfaces and only in the warmer months of the year. From the published tow ratings I've seen, a properly equipped F150 can do the job, and even some F250's aren't rated high enough.

Thanks in advance for any and all recommendations.

Good day,
Richard Pittenger
Troy, Ohio

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Old 09-14-2015, 01:18 PM   #2
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Yeah, they give the Expy a 8700-9200lbs rating with the HD towing package, regardless of what axle ratio you get. Does not make sense.

Given your requirements, this is a difficult task:
-Fitting in the garage, pretty much eliminates a Crew Cab pickup or Excursion.
-However, IMO, you will not be happy with growing kids in a SuperCab.
-Therefore, a pickup really will not work for you.
Needing to be a Ford product, that leaves only the Expedition/Navigator 5.4L V8.

As far as getting the right drivetrain:
a. 3.73 axle ratio. You won't see an improvement on paper, but you will obviously feel it.
b. Get a 2007 or newer, which will include the 6-speed auto (versus the old 5-speed). 1st gear is super-low, which has the effect of an additional bump in axle ratio. This is exactly why my Mounty gets 7000 lbs rating with only the 4.6 V8 and 3.55 axles. They didn't even offer the V8 with 3.73 axles.
c. Skipping the EL version gets it into your garage (?), and gives you 9000-9200 lbs rating.
d. Sticking to the 4x2 will give you the full 9200lbs (4x4 is 9000).

9200 - 8000 means you have 1200 lbs capacity for people and cargo in the tow vehicle. You could also look at things from the 15,000 lbs GCVWR, subtract the 8000 lbs loaded trailer, and you have 7000 lbs capacity for the loaded tow vehicle.

I would not take this combination into any serious hills, but you'll do OK.

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Old 09-14-2015, 02:05 PM   #3
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33 foot 8K wet and loaded?

You're looking at ~960 lb tongue weight.

You don't mention how many pounds of people will also be in the vehicle.

with 960lb tongue, 100lb hitch, 300lb adults and ??? pounds kids/dogs/stuff you are going to run out of payload fast on a 1/2 ton.

In addition to that, a 3/4 ton or greater will have much better control of a 33 foot wind sail.
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:25 PM   #4
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Yes. I should add that I would not recommend the Expedition, even thought you can probably barely keep it within specs. I only went thru what I did, because you ruled out everything else.

Plan on keeping the tow vehicle out of the garage, and the plan should definitely be an F250 SuperCrew (or F350 if you want to protect for a future 5th wheel).
thebrakeman ('70), DW ('71), DD ('99), DD ('01), DD ('05)
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Old 09-15-2015, 09:30 AM   #5
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^^^^Ditto^^^^...on what the guys above said. Are you sure you wouldn't consider a diesel F-250 or F-350?
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Old 09-15-2015, 09:38 AM   #6
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X2 don't make the mistake a lot of us made - just figure that your "final" RV is going to be a 18K 5er and get the 350 dually now and avoid truck buyers regret
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:26 AM   #7
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I wont comment on what you "should get" but there are many other factors than just "tow rating" You need to consider handling, safety, comfortable tow experience and payload capacity.

You are looking at 1000# TW at least once loaded. For instance the expedition has a 1500# payload capacity, the TW alone eats 2/3rds of that before you even add anything else to it the vehicle.

You just have to look at all the factors not just "ma tow rating". It helps to go look at the vehicle you want and look at the door jam load sticker and it will tell you in black and white.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:33 PM   #8
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Just a quick add, longer wheelbase trucks do better at controlling longer TT. i.e. 4 door 8' box.

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Old 09-16-2015, 07:02 AM   #9
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uhduh camping, you mention a longer wheel base truck does better towing a TT.
I have to buy a truck in a couple weeks becoming I'm buying anew trailer next week also.
My new trailer's GVW will be around 10,400# so you are saying I should get a long beed over the short bed version for a safer tow?
I just bought a SUV a few months ago anticipation of getting a TT. It turns out the TT grew from a 15 footer to a 30 footer. I had to sell the SUV because it could not handle the weight.
So I don't want to b=make the same mistake twice. I want to get the right truck. I don't think I will ever go bigger because of my budget. So long bed is better than short bed?
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Old 09-16-2015, 07:58 AM   #10
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mid 90's ford'll be lucky to find one not beat up...20yrs reconditioned motor....besides the aged look,well warn seats...rust if it comes out of snow country...and.. not much payload.
if I were you,i'd look at a 7.3 diesel.. not the IDI .. 99- 03. I've had ford diesels since 1987...and a big bonus right now is price of in south west up to 50c cheaper than 87 reg... I believe its going to stay that way.
anyway good luck with your choice...older decent shape trucks are hard to find.. and be sure to lift floor covering...lots of trucks been buried in water.

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