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Old 09-03-2006, 02:48 AM   #1
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My 1st and Last Towing Capacity Question

1998 Ford Expedition Weights and Capacities:

a. 3000# Gross Axle Wt Rating - Front

b. 3600# Gross Axle Wt Rating - Rear

c. 11,000# Gross Combined Wt Rating

d. 2548# Curb Weight - Front (lbs) 2548

e. 2260# Curb Weight - Rear (lbs) 2260

f. 6750# Gross Vehicle Weight Rating Cap

I know one way or another this has been asked before.

Would the actual weight of the vehicle be: d+e?
(an expedition then weighs 4808#?)
And then the most "stuff" your vehicle can carry (inside) is: f-(d+e)
(an expedition can carry 1942#?)
And lastly the most your trailer (fully loaded) can weigh is: c-f?
(your trailer, fully loaded can weigh: 4250#? . . . and if you stay at 80% the most it can weigh is 3400#)

Did I get it right? Does 3400# seem a little light to anyone else?

Thanks, MarkR
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Old 09-03-2006, 04:45 AM   #2
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Mark, I know nothing about Expeditions, but here are a few suggestions, fior what they're worth:

1. You need to know the definition of "Curb Weight" that Ford uses. It may be without driver, passengers, full fuel tank, etc.

2. The trailer could "theoretically" weigh more than c-f, up to its own maximum axle and total weight capacities, if the actual loaded weight of the TV was less than f, but see 3, below.

3. You have to know the axle loads when hitched up and with the load distribution bars correctly adjusted. The tongue weight of the trailer will affect the capacity of the rig. When hitched up with the bars tensioned, the ground reaction forces at all the tire contact points on both the TV and trailer will change. In effect, these changes will reduce the amount of "stuff" and people that you can carry in the tow vehicle. A visit to the local weigh station for a series of weighings is my recommendation. (TV alone,(loaded for a trip and with passengers and full fuel tank), trailer alone (loaded for a trip, including whatever tanks you would fill), tv and trailer on bare hitch, tv and trailer when bars are gradually loaded up, with individual weighings on each axle). I have found this to be of fundamental importance in taking the guesswork out of safe towing capacities. I checked first with my local weigh station to establish a quiet time when this was acceptable.

4. If you don't wish to go to a weighbridge, at least factor in that the TV will have to support some of the tongue weight, and make some approximate calculations taking that into account. (In fact, the ground reaction forces also increase at the trailer axle when the load bars are applied, so the TV doesn't take the whole burden). Bear in mind that the maximum permitted gross trailer weight is usually higher than the total of the maximum permitted loads on the axles, because some of the trailer weight (10 -15%) should be supported at the hitch, either by the jack or the TV. If you wish to get into more detail, you could go here:
http://www.airforums.com/forum...is-19236.html?

I'm sitting here jet-lagged at 4 a.m after a 17 hour air trip, so if my thinking is not straight, perhaps some kind person will gently correct it.
Nick.
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Old 09-03-2006, 06:04 AM   #3
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Some tidbits from the web (off a Ford site):
Important Towing Terms
Base Curb Weight: The weight of the vehicle including standard equipment, oil, lubricants and a full tank of fuel. Does not include the weight of driver, passengers, cargo or any optional or aftermarket equipment.
Option Weights: The weight of any added equipment that is not included in the base curb weight
Passenger Weight: Defined as 150 lbs. multiplied by the number of safety-belted seating positions, including the driver, that the vehicle can carry
Tongue Weight: The amount of the trailer's weight that presses down on the trailer hitch (usually 10-15 percent of the trailer's weight, approximately 25 percent for fifth-wheel applications)
Maximum payload is defined as the weight of all passengers, optional and aftermarket equipment, and cargo
Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR): The maximum allowable weight to be placed on an individual axle (front or rear). Gross Axle Weight Ratings are provided for both front and rear axles
Gross Combination Weight (GCW): Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR) plus the trailer weight
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): The maximum allowable weight of the fully loaded vehicle (including passengers and cargo) with NO Trailer


Same site had a link to the 2003 Ford towing guide which said a standard equiped Expedition was rated to tow ~4,000. So my guess is that your math was pretty close...

Keep in mind SUVs today are the stationwagons of 20 years ago - designed to haul families, not cargo.

Just my 2 cents, I'm sure someone more knowledgable will correct me later
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Old 09-03-2006, 06:06 AM   #4
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Mark.
Your numbers appear to add up, but I wonder about the "curb weight" numbers. I had an F150 that weighed pretty close to those numbers, but that was a straight cab. The best bet is to load the Expy up like you were headed out on a trip and take it to the scales and get some real world numbers to work with. From what I have seen the Expy does not make the best tow vehicle in the world. The short wheel base is going to come into play also. But that is whole 'nother set of calculations

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Old 09-03-2006, 08:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkR
...And lastly the most your trailer (fully loaded) can weigh is: c-f?
only if the truck is loaded to its capacity. its actually "c-whatever the truck actually weighs with the stuff you've loaded into it".

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkR
...(your trailer, fully loaded can weigh: 4250#? . . . and if you stay at 80% the most it can weigh is 3400#)

Did I get it right? Does 3400# seem a little light to anyone else?
yup. that's why I think the "80%" rule is unrealistic. that means that if you want to tow anything bigger than my son's little red wagon, you *need* a 3/4 ton Suburban super-duper-duty. (or else what? I wonder...).

the manufacturer's already build a safety margin into their numbers. If you want to be "safe", stay home. There are a million bad things that can happen to you on the road that have nothing to do with the size or strength of your tow vehicle. exceed the ratings by any arbitrary safety factor you wish, and it'll still be a dangerous activity. you can't make it not dangerous.
The other day, my brakes failed on the highway. I'd have been better off if I did have the trailer attached. at least I would have had "some" braking. stuff happens.
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:21 AM   #6
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Chuck,
I use the 80% as a rule of thumb If you really get into the number crunching like some people on this board do you can get real world numbers. Maybe the manufacturer built in some fudge factor and maybe they didn't. The manufacturers also like to play games with the numbers to try and make their towing specs look better than the other guys. Sure I want to buy a SUV that gets 40 mpg and can tow 10k But if you overload the vehicle you WILL pay in one way or another. Whether it be in shortened life of the vehicle or various components, unsafe towing condtions (handling and stopping). Which by the way affect ME as I share the road with these improperly setup and loaded vehicles. I travel...a lot, and I see rigs all the time that are not set up correctly, are overweight for the vehicle doing the towing, etc. I have seen several vehicles with broken axles on the side of the road caused by overloading! The best one todate was the Honda Ridgline pulling a 28ft SOB toy hauler. I was behind them going up a steep grade on US74 outside of Sylva...they didn't make it. I pulled the trailer and the family into Sylva for them. Apparently they listened to the salesman who told them towing was not a problem. FWIW the trailer GVW was 7800# and the Ridgline IIRC is rated to tow 5000#. It probably could have towed the trailer empty, but by the the time they got 4 people and all of their toys on board and headed up a very steep mountain it was all over. And I am sure they voided what warranty they had on the Ridgline.

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Old 09-03-2006, 11:23 AM   #7
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I wouldn't advocate overloading; I'm just saying that "100%" isn't overloading. limited a big honkin' truck like the Expedition to a vintage bambi is going way overboard. No, I wouldn't pull a late model 34' triple-axle slide out full of anvils with it. but I think it can safely do just a tad more than 3400lbs without undue risk to the safety of the passengers, the vehicle itself, or the general public.
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:16 PM   #8
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towing weight

I do know that the book is very confusing and 1 way that is always very accurate for capacities is. Get the vehicles GCWR ( Gross Combination Weight Ratio) Then weigh the vehicle fuel full and people in it or factor them in. Rough weight for each person then subtract the weight of the vehicle by the GCWR and then the number is the vehicles towing capacity. I also know that the new 2007 expedition can to just over 9000 lbs. but it is on the f150 platform now I think. The GCWR is very accurate weight and it applies to all vehicles regardless of Mfg.
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:32 PM   #9
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Wahoonc is correct ,and his example is a big issue today as many vehicals
are rated very high to tow somthing ,such as the VW toreg debacle where
it was said it could tow 7000# or somthing airstream ,a big lie ,and VW had to
think up somthing to explain why they attempted to fool the public .some will say it was publicity ,well ,to what end ? Anyway,all these confusing numbers
going around ,weighing this and that ,I can't pull this or can I ? One of the
first things to figure out is how much is the dry trailer weight ,then what will
it be loaded to go? After that is figured ,is the tow vehical rated to tow it ?
simply put, is it or is it not ? If you need to go thru all this calculating and
weighing and so on ,it would seem that the vehical of choice is not up to the job if it is that close of a call so to speak.If you want to tow a 34ftr ,you
need an f250 not an expedition ,chucks read on the 9000 # expedition I
believe is a real stretch here ,thats like pulling two 4000 # cars and a 1000#
tent trailer behind them ,all with this new expedition ,Does that really seem
plausible? They say thats the tow capacity ? Much more thought needs to be
put into selection of tow vehical and trailer that are properly matched ,as
going to weigh everything hoping the tv has the capability to do the job
and all the calculating seems excessive .The pilot example is what I am
talking about right there.


Scott
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Old 09-03-2006, 09:51 PM   #10
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The real numbers are out there. I found several references saying that the 1998 Expedition could tow up to 8200 lbs, but not one showed the actual equipment and relevant weights to do that.

Equipment. If the SUV is equipped the right way, it should tow that trailer. The original poster has not added any more information, so I'm not going to draw any conclusions here.

Lamar
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:01 PM   #11
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hello safeharbor ,

I for one would like to see it pull those cars and trailer up a nice long grade.
lets see what 9000# looks like .Just because the factory claims somthing doesn't make it so.The real numbers are numbers, I want to see the reality .
put it on the road ,temp outside at 100 degrees ,and lets use the grade coming out of vegas going west ,that ought to do it.

Scott
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:51 PM   #12
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Hi, I probably shouldn't have included the last sentence in my original post. I really just wanted to know if I was understanding what all the numbers the manufacturer gives and how to use them.

Currently neither trailer I have is moving anywhere for now - but the 60 Tradewind is going to be useable in a couple of months (translated: next spring). So I don't own an Expedition . . . AND I'm not going to be getting anything longer, newer, heavier than the Tradewind. If anything we'll eventually sell it when I'm done with the 51 Flying Cloud. I'm "window shopping" for a Tow Vehicle right now and want to make an informed decision. Thank you for all the responses and information.
MarkR
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Old 09-04-2006, 11:35 AM   #13
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Hi, MarkR,

Actually, it was a good question and got a good discussion going. I think we didn't resolve much, however - just added more questions.

For example, is your Expedition one of those equipped with the Ford-claimed ability to tow 8200 lbs? I imagine it would take a combination of options to do this. Axle weights are nice to know, but the GVWR should be less than both to have any safety margin in the axles. That's the more important number.

So, the thing to do is to load up the Expedition like you were going camping and take it to the scales to find out what it really weighs. That will tell you how much payload you really have in a towing/camping configuration.

Then research the car itself. Find out what factory options were included, what the rear end raitio is, whether it had the towing package, heavy duty suspension, class IV hitch, etc.

For now, you can guesstimate about the trailer - or take what Airstream says it CAN weigh (the trailer's GWR) as a basis. Since you're going to use a weight-distributing hitch, figure transferring 2/3 of the tongue weight forward to the tow vehicle, so subtract that from the payload of the TV and from the weight of the trailer. In the US, tongue weights are usually 10-15% of the trailer's weight.

And the part that looks a little worrying here is the car's 11,000 lb GCWR. 4250 lbs is a lot less than Ford advertised that this car COULD tow.

So if you want to find closure here, do some research and find out what combination of options were required in 1998 to give this car it's maximum towing capacity.

Yep, I'm focusing on that 8,200 lbs because I read it on about a dozen web reviews. So far, it's only ad copy to me, but it occurs to me that your SUV may have the softest suspension, the smallest engine, and a minimal tow rating. These are things you need to know before you start munching numbers.

My '92 Lincoln LSC owner's manual says it can tow 3,000 lbs, but folks on the Lincoln forums say not to tow AT ALL with it.

I hope that you do find out that you have the best towing-monster version Expedition in the entire SUV world.

Lamar
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Old 09-04-2006, 11:37 AM   #14
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Hello MarkR,

I myself went in a non number specific direction only to demonstrate that if
you can get a basis going first off with your trailer and so on ,it would be much easier to see which tow vehical might be suitable for your purposes
beyond all the involved calculations and weighing ,which still can be done
if desired of course ,like weighing your trdwnd after its ready to go camping ,see how heavy it then really is.I have to scrutinize large posted
ratings carefully that manafacturers lable there tow vehicals with such as the expeditions ratings .I think if we envision 8 or 9 thousand pounds being towed
such as the example I posted ,the real test then can be seen ,its a heck of
alot of weight there to pull up a grade for any truck ,those grades and conditions that exist are a reality that must be considered. so when a manafacturer ramps up these ratings as they do ,common sense needs to
be added in to the decision .the VW deal is a classic example of a manafacturer claiming a tow rating that the vehical was clearly not capable
of towing ,nor was it designed to .If a 2003 expedition tows 4000 max ,I would want to see what heavier duty rear axle and bigger brakes and how much more power does the triton 5.4 put out now than it did in 02 and what
other heavy duty features it now has , is the trans a bigger heavier duty unit? Has the rear suspension been upgraded also ? What has been done to increase its towing capacity almost 5000#s more ? We tow our 60 with
my 68 travelall ,a well matched combination ,I would think a suburban would
be great for your trdwnd ,vintage 60s or anything newer than that would do
great ,and be well matched .


Scott
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