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Old 06-24-2013, 09:32 AM   #11
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Sorry about contrdicting some of this advice above, but I would recomend you get the SP220 if you like it. I pulled a 2012 SP220 with a 4-Runner with a 5k # tow rating, slightly less than your Ranger's rating. As you are now understanding, you are close to the limit, a few suggestions just to make sure all goes well...

First item is stopping power - make sure you have the brake controller set right. Plus, replace the SP220 brakes with brakes that are better suited to stopping that trailer - the stock SP220 brakes were very graby when they got hot. Stopping was a miserable jerky experience until replacing them with a smooth braking system. Also make sure your truck brakes are rated for the full 5700 towing pounds.

Second is watch your weight. I never filled the propane bottles > 1/3 full and told wife she could only load 150 pounds of kitchen/bath stuff and never pulled it with any water. Before towing the trailer, empty all water - even dump the water heater. It isn't that hard to do and was just part of my pre-trip check list. Just remember all that weight when judging stopping distance.

Third is gearing down the Ranger for flat towing. Obviously downshift even more for hills. Pulling power isn't an issue with trucks/trailers - it's stopping power that is most critical (see 1st point). You aren't in a hurry to get anywhere - it truly is the journey that is fun. With a towing package you probably have a heavy duty transmission cooler - so that's good. If not, you'll need one.

Fourth is the weight distribution hitch (also needs to be considered when calculating total weight and hitch weight). Gettiong a good one with sway control is very important. You will definitely feel some sway with these intermediate trucks. Also adding a truck anti-sway bar helps the ride.

That trailer is very bouncy. I reduced tire air pressure so get the bounce out. But after 5000 miles I decided to replace the tires with better quality tires and put a Mor/Ryde suspesion on. I was about to do this but ended up going with a bigger trailer so never got around to it. (oh and I did get a bigger tow vehicle with the bigger trailer).

Those are the must haves - everything else is "nice". I put 5000 miles/ 12 trips on my trailer in one year. No problems and always made it home!

Rule #1 - Keep wife happy
Rule #2 - see rule #1

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Old 06-24-2013, 09:47 AM   #12
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I am not sure the OP is getting real world advice here that he can use. The two people that are towing SP220's and have responded are both towing with SUV's that are larger than his Ranger. This is the one exception to the rule that SUV's do not tow as well as pick-ups. Here the added weight of the SUV makes it a better tow vehicle than a very light Ford Ranger 4x2.

And both examples have more hp and torque than what the OP is using.

Perhaps the question you need to ask yourself, is just how much fun you all will have when you are constantly worried that you are at or more likely over that safety standards for your truck, you cannot load what you want into the trailer (only filling propane bottles 1/3 full?) and cannot bring what you with you. That just does not sound like fun.


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Old 06-24-2013, 10:16 AM   #13
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Started out towing with a Ranger. However, it was a 5 speed manual, which cut the tow rating in half. We pulled a popup, which was 1950 empty, about 2600 loaded. Even with the 4.0 liter V6 it was slow going on the hills and the enginer temp would really climb on hot days. Went to an Explorer, also with a 4.0 V-6, but auto and factory tow package. It was night and day - really never new the popup was there and the engine never heated up while towing. That, I think, is the difference between towing with a maxed tv and towing comfortably below the max spec.

I would absolutely consider the restriction on surface area that is in the owners manual. That lage area of the TT makes a difference in the drag on the tv.

You might be able to squeeze this setup in under the max ratings on the Ranger, or try towing slightly over the max rating. And if you are only taking short trips, it might work out. But, as the other post mentions, is it really enjoyable to constantly make sure you have no water, minmal gear, etc and then have a nerve racking ride everytime out? Plus the wear and tear on on a maxed out tv can lead to some expensive repairs - towing is tough on a lot vehicle components, especially if they aren't sized for the load.

There is always the desire to get the biggest rig you can, and the dealers almost always tell you its fine, but to me the enjoyment of that bigger tt is far outweighed by the problems caused by trying to pull it with an undersized tv.

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Old 06-24-2013, 10:23 AM   #14
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I tow the 220 with a V8 Silverado, towing package and Equalizer hitch, and I don't think I'd feel comfortable towing it with anything less. I've had a couple of Rangers in the past, and they are very nice trucks. I agree with others who say it might not be a happy towing experience with this trailer. I'd be a little concerned about the Ranger's wheelbase, as well.

Also, the 220 has a LOAD of storage space on board, which may be why the wife loves it so much. We sure do. It would be a shame not to be able to use that space.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:44 AM   #15
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One post was penny pinching weight. Unless you are cutting hundreds of pounds, a few pounds here and there won't make a difference. Biggest thing is the air resistance when towing. With my setup, I have to pull it down significant grades on the interstate.

I think it is possible to tow. Is he at or over his recommended limits? More than likely. Do we hope that he stays safe? Absolutely.

One word of advice from one small tower to another. Think long and hard. I wanted to go bigger, but didn't. Sure, my little diesel has the power, but it is a handfull in windy situations...especially a crosswind. Best of luck!
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:29 PM   #16
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Thank you all so very much for the advice both for the ranger and not. It all helps to make things a bit easier to decide. I do like the SP220, but I think we may start looking just a bit smaller just to be save.

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