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Old 01-20-2006, 12:32 PM   #1
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2000 F150 -- Enough truck?

Hey folks,

I bought a '79 31' Excella 500 last summer and have been poking around looking for a TV ever since. I'm not in a hurry as I wouldn't tow until late May, but have a line on a truck. I found a very clean 2000 F150 with the 5.4 V8 and 4spd auto/OD, and the interesting twist is it has factory installed LPG/unleaded fuel gas tanks. So I could run either fuel based on availability and price, each tank is about 25 gal. It's a reg. cab 4x4, if that matters.

But, the owner doesn't know much about it's towing abilities and so I am wondering how I could tell if it has towing packages or if it is the right TV in general. All he could tell me is that it has a class III hitch. The Excella fully loaded should be 6500 lbs or less.

I have mostly been looking at diesels up till now, but for the price of a gas 1/2 ton, I would be lucky to find a 1995 diesel with 200k+ miles... My intended use is to simply relocate the trailer in spring and fall (1800 miles each way, and yes, over the continental divide), so the TV will mostly be used sans trailer.

Thanks!!
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Old 01-20-2006, 01:06 PM   #2
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Probably not, you will need at least a class IV hitch for that weight, and I would want a 4.10 diff in that truck. I had a 2003 Avalanche with a 4.10 in it to pull my 30' Classic, a lot of people would say that that wasn't enough truck but it did just fine. I would not take it through the Rockies though. My 2 cents.
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Old 01-20-2006, 01:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinder
Hey folks,

I bought a '79 31' Excella 500 last summer and have been poking around looking for a TV ever since. I'm not in a hurry as I wouldn't tow until late May, but have a line on a truck. I found a very clean 2000 F150 with the 5.4 V8 and 4spd auto/OD, and the interesting twist is it has factory installed LPG/unleaded fuel gas tanks. So I could run either fuel based on availability and price, each tank is about 25 gal. It's a reg. cab 4x4, if that matters.

But, the owner doesn't know much about it's towing abilities and so I am wondering how I could tell if it has towing packages or if it is the right TV in general. All he could tell me is that it has a class III hitch. The Excella fully loaded should be 6500 lbs or less.

I have mostly been looking at diesels up till now, but for the price of a gas 1/2 ton, I would be lucky to find a 1995 diesel with 200k+ miles... My intended use is to simply relocate the trailer in spring and fall (1800 miles each way, and yes, over the continental divide), so the TV will mostly be used sans trailer.

Thanks!!
A 2000 F150 4X4 with the 5.4 V8 will probably have 3.55 or 3.73 gears, marginal at best for your trailer. A 2000 or newer 3/4 ton GM truck with the 6.0 V8 and 4.10 gears would be a much better choice and cheaper than a diesel as well.
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Old 01-20-2006, 03:04 PM   #4
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Probably not enough..

I'd echo the comments above.. Most of the F150 (Half Ton) models with the 5.4 Triton V8 and 3.73 rear axle ration had MAX towing capacity of 6000# or less, and empty weight of trailer is over that... Gross loaded wieght of trailer is on trailer data plate, or owners manual/binder, and Towing capacities are in owner manual for truck. Axle code is on sticker at bottom of driver door opening below seat, and you'll need to translate alpha numeric to ratio..

Is truck for daily use. and two tow trips a year? If so, and you're patiend, and truck a reeeaally good deal, you MIGHT get away with it, but you'll be going very slow and warm uphill, and probably need anti-sway help to maintain control on freeways...

This is a great time to find big long wheelbase SUV's or crew cab trucks based on Suburban 2500 or F-250 or even Excursions that people are dumping due to gas price worries. You could buy a late 90's Suburban 2500 or F250 for less than $10K, and have plenty of towing capacity...

John McG
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Old 01-20-2006, 04:04 PM   #5
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Ditto whats been said. You're near the high end of that trucks total ability and in the mountains, you could be in trouble. Have you looked at a gasser 3/4 ton w/4.10s?
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Old 01-20-2006, 04:48 PM   #6
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I had a 1996 Ford van with 3;73 gears and a 302 FI engine 1/2 ton chassis,remember I have a 25 footer, the van handled it fair,,,,, it braked good , the sway was there when a large truck passed,that was not fun , even with a weight distrubtion hitch , the motor was a weak link ,I had it to the floor all the time, I now have a 99 chevy 3/4 ton with a vortec power plant , no sway with the same hitch , it works great, it makes a trip so much easier
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Old 01-20-2006, 04:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I guess I knew it was a somewhat bad idea but was mostly intrigued by the LPG fuel option. I'll pass on the Ford. I have looked a bit at the 2500 suburbans, they seem to pop up occasionally in my area for amazingly low prices, much less than pickups. Guess its the cost of gas, and people can often replace a 'burban with a minivan or wagon; work trucks don't have that option. Maybe a 97 or so with a 454 is a much better option, towing-wise, but I still am not sure I'd want to drive it the other 350 days of the year I'm not towing. I am single with no kids, so the passenger hauling is not a big concern...
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