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Old 03-11-2011, 11:04 PM   #1
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OMG! Horrible wind

Today we towed our Surveyor (only 5,000 pounds) from St. Paul, MN to Kansas City. We hit the worst headwinds that I have ever encountered. Our F150 has a 4 speed auto. We couldn't hold 55 mph in 3rd with the torque converter locked! It would unlock from the load!! On the slightest of inclines, it would even seek 2nd! So we drove for several hours at 50 mph. That was the only way I could hold 3rd with the converter locked. Unbelievable! Huge gusts would hit that felt just like you hit the brakes. Makes for a LONG DAY . . .
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:07 AM   #2
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Thanks, and that is why many on here recommend a 3/4 ton for towing. Didn't say what engine, or gearing you have, or actual weights, but at least it was a head wind and not a cross wind with an improper hitch set up. Glad you made it safely, although slowly.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:42 AM   #3
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Just think, that would be like driving 100 mph on a calm day. Imagine how hard that would pull!
Yes, headwinds are our worst enemy. Before we bought our Flagstaff, we had an aerodynamic 28-ft fifth that we could pull at 60 mph into a 50 mph headwind. With the Flagstaff and its much less aerodynamic shape, the difference in power required is astounding.
But the solution is siple, and as you did, just slow down. None of us are in that big of a hurry anyway!
Glad you made it home ok. Good lesson learned, and no one got hurt.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:05 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by windrider View Post
Thanks, and that is why many on here recommend a 3/4 ton for towing.
My DD & SIL have a 2004 350 with a 5.4 engine, and a 3.73 final drive ratio.....the same setup as Bob and I on our F150s. Are people suggesting that my kids 1 ton truck would do better in a headwind than our Bob's and my truck ??? I can't think so, but maybe I am missing something.

Now if you mean a more powerful engine, then I can understand better pulling into a headwind.

BTW, my kids F350 is rated to pull less than my F150 with the same running gear....go figure.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:22 AM   #5
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"my kids F350 is rated to pull less than my F150 with the same running gear....go figure"
================================================
Pulling rating is based on the drivetrain, and since his truck will be heavier, the ability to pull is diminished.
A 5.4 in a one-ton sure seems an odd combination, sure isn't meant for towing.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by crocus View Post
Pulling rating is based on the drivetrain, and since his truck will be heavier, the ability to pull is diminished.
A 5.4 in a one-ton sure seems an odd combination, sure isn't meant for towing.
There is an 2100 lb. difference....the kids F350 is rated @ 7100 lbs., and my F350 is rated at 9300 lbs. Can't imagine that their truck weights 2100 lbs. more.

Now, I didn't explain that their truck is a 2004 and mine is a 2006. The 2006 F350 is rated to pull 9300 lbs. with the same running gear.....go figure.

The point I was trying to make is that I don't think a heavier truck with comparable running gear is going to tow better in a headwind. The heavier truck may actually do worse, since it weighs more from the git-go.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:45 AM   #7
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the wind up here was insane yesterday! I heard by Moose Jaw one friend in a semi could only get up to 40 km./hr because of the winds. if he caught another gear it would just run out of power!
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:00 AM   #8
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I've had both, F-150 with a 5.4 V8 - 3:55 rear gears and now a F-250 with the 5.4 V8 and 3:73 rear gears. Even though the F-250 is heavier I can't tell any difference in towing power. Probably due to the difference in the rear gear ratios. MPG's while towing are about the same as well.
However, the difference in stability is night and day. The 172" wheelbase I now have makes a big difference, but the F-250 also handles the tounge weight and braking a lot better.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:51 AM   #9
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There is an 2100 lb. difference....the kids F350 is rated @ 7100 lbs., and my F350 is rated at 9300 lbs. Can't imagine that their truck weights 2100 lbs. more.

Now, I didn't explain that their truck is a 2004 and mine is a 2006. The 2006 F350 is rated to pull 9300 lbs. with the same running gear.....go figure.

The point I was trying to make is that I don't think a heavier truck with comparable running gear is going to tow better in a headwind. The heavier truck may actually do worse, since it weighs more from the git-go.
The 2004 5.4L is the 2 valve engine and the 2006 is the 3 valve engine. The 3 valve has much more power. You are mixing apples and oranges trying to compare these two trucks.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:55 AM   #10
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The 2004 5.4L is the 2 valve engine and the 2006 is the 3 valve engine. The 3 valve has much more power. You are mixing apples and oranges trying to compare these two trucks.

Maybe so. My point is that 2 trucks with comparable 5.4L engines and the same final drive ratio should react to towing into a headwind (or any towing situation) the same.......a 3/4 or 1 ton truck with that running gear should not out do a 1/2 ton truck.
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