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Old 02-19-2009, 10:55 AM   #1
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Hello,

My wife and I want to purchase a travel trailer. We plan to spend a few months in it (not necessarily towing it the entire time), so a larger size is desirable. However, she does not feel comfortable driving a large truck. She prefers smaller SUVs. I am looking for a safe compromise. I have found a 1978 27' Argosy. From what I can determine, the dry weight is between 4,000 and 4,300 pounds and the GVWR is 6200#.

Will a 2WD 1998 Ford Expedition with a 5.4L V8, 355:1 axle ratio, and a wheelbase of 119" handle this well enough? The tow capacity on this particular vehicle is rated at 8,300 pounds. This puts the fully loaded trailer just under 75% of the TV's tow capacity. The wheelbase is about 19" short of the "rule of thumb" chart I looked at, but will that difference be acceptable with a good sway control hitch or anti-sway bar? I am willing to sacrifice some power when towing with the vehicle so that she can feel more comfortable driving it around town. Thank you for your replies.

-Mark
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by overturfs View Post
Hello,

My wife and I want to purchase a travel trailer. We plan to spend a few months in it (not necessarily towing it the entire time), so a larger size is desirable. However, she does not feel comfortable driving a large truck. She prefers smaller SUVs. I am looking for a safe compromise. I have found a 1978 27' Argosy. From what I can determine, the dry weight is between 4,000 and 4,300 pounds and the GVWR is 6200#.

Will a 2WD 1998 Ford Expedition with a 5.4L V8, 355:1 axle ratio, and a wheelbase of 119" handle this well enough? The tow capacity on this particular vehicle is rated at 8,300 pounds. This puts the fully loaded trailer just under 75% of the TV's tow capacity. The wheelbase is about 19" short of the "rule of thumb" chart I looked at, but will that difference be acceptable with a good sway control hitch or anti-sway bar? I am willing to sacrifice some power when towing with the vehicle so that she can feel more comfortable driving it around town. Thank you for your replies.

-Mark
Yes, it will work. Power will be entirely sufficient, as long as you are not impatient. You will need to pay attention to hitch setup and sway control, you should consider buying the narrowest LT tires you can get for the Expedition, and you will want to have good shock control. New heavy-duty gas shocks are probably in order, especially given the age of the vehicle.

That "rule of thumb" chart is not particularly helpful. Yes, a longer wheelbase helps, but a short wheelbase is readily offset by a shorter rear overhang, a lower centre of gravity, stiffer tires, better suspension, and precise hitch setup. My TV has a 107" wheelbase, and I have no stability issues.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:10 AM   #3
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Hey Mark,

Sounds like you're doing your homework on this subject, which is great news. The combination you've posted above seems reasonable, and I think many of us here in the forum fall into this catagory. As always, refer to the TV owner's manaul for specifics unique to your drivetrain combination. The use a good quality equalizer hitch setup, and a brake controller should make your ride safer, and ultimately more comfortable.

There are many others here that will offer thoughts on your post.

Oh and by the way........Welcome to the Forum!!!

Regards,

Kevin
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:54 PM   #4
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The Expedition will have plenty of power but the short wheelbase will give you fits with that length of trailer if you decide on a conventional style hitch.

I've towed a 29' trailer (6500lbs) thousands of miles with a Chevy Tahoe (roughly the same vehicle as the Expy). The power wasn't always adequate but the stability was fine with the pivot point projected.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:07 PM   #5
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I agree...you've done your homework...looks like a good combo to me.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:10 PM   #6
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Mark;

Welcome to the forums from SW Colorado. My first A/S was a 27' 1971 model. My TV was a Chev. Suburb 1500 2 WD. It handled the unit O.K. Make sure you have a transmission cooler and get a good company in Ft. Collins to set up the hitch system for you. I used a Reese Weight Distribution with a friction sway control because on the interstates the trucks caused a few problems. We have a lot of members in the Four Corners Unit that use 1/2 tons to tow their 25-27' units. We have some older units that are lighter weight (1950-60's) that use Tundras so you should be o.k.
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:41 PM   #7
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choose your tow vehicle carefully.... I dont like driving around in big p/u's or SUV's when I get to my destination.... over 80,000km';s with this vehicle. Sad they dont make them anymore

http://www.airforums.com/forums/atta...1&d=1235086640
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:00 PM   #8
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Hey there Mark... You may want to check into one item with regards to the Expy. I while ago I read something about the optional air suspension. They found it very difficult to set up the WDH and the Hensley Hitch was the solution.

Also it was suggested the 2003 or never Ford Explorer with IRS would work better than than the older Expys.

Also... WBCC, Luv your rig!!! My BIL worked on the Magnum project at Chrysler in Brampton.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:49 PM   #9
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The Expedition will have plenty of power but the short wheelbase will give you fits with that length of trailer if you decide on a conventional style hitch.
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Hey there Mark... You may want to check into one item with regards to the Expy. I while ago I read something about the optional air suspension. They found it very difficult to set up the WDH and the Hensley Hitch was the solution.
Hi, Mark this set up or combination will work fine. Your trailer is almost the same exact weight specs as my Safari 25-B. My Navigator is a more powerful and fancier version of your Expedition and I have rear air suspension; With the rear air suspension it only takes two more little steps while hitching up and un-hitching. I use an Equal-i-zer brand hitch and it works just fine. On my Lincoln I replaced the Continental tires with Goodyears of the same size and rating, LT's not necessary.
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