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Old 03-04-2009, 08:42 PM   #1
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F150 for a tow vehicle?

Looking for some advise on a potential tow vehicle. I got a line on a 97 ford f-150 with low mileage and a good price. I need to know if it will pull my 2001 25 ft. safari. It has a 6cyl. engine, manual transmission and has a long bed. Any thoughts or information appreciated. Thanks. bill.
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:46 PM   #2
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An F-150 might be able to do the trick, but one with a 6 cylinder engine would be pushing it.

Brian
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Old 03-04-2009, 08:55 PM   #3
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:09 PM   #4
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In my opinion, to tow a trailer of that size, you need at least a moderate sized V8 engine, and a towing packaged equipped 1/2 ton truck. But, I'm confident there will be some that don't agree with me.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:23 PM   #5
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From my experience (not a fun one) it's not so much the engine size but the set up of the transmission and weight of the vehicle that makes the difference. We had a '75 AS 31 ft Excella and towed with a F-150 crew cab with 5.4 V-8. Needless to say we never had a problem accelerating with the trailer....it was stopping that was a challenge.

Our local dealer said that truck would be good up to about 25-27 ft. After that you don't know what you're going to get. So we bought an F-350 and now have a 34' Excella.
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Old 03-04-2009, 09:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Wilburstream View Post
Looking for some advise on a potential tow vehicle. I got a line on a 97 ford f-150 with low mileage and a good price. I need to know if it will pull my 2001 25 ft. safari. It has a 6cyl. engine, manual transmission and has a long bed. Any thoughts or information appreciated. Thanks. bill.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XX
Bill, with me being an avid ford fan that truck should be able to pull that trailer without much problem, but there are a couple of things you should look at; what is the gearing set up-With the 6 cyl ford had 2 setups on that engine towing and non towing, a good tip to know which it may have without looking it up is to look at the springs. if the springs are light 1/2 ton then it is most likely not geared for towing anything of weight and is a non-towing vehicle pretty much made for daily running. If you have the heavy 1/2 in it then it is a good chance that the rearend is also geared for towing.
If you are not sure have a ford mech take a look at it, from 95 to 99 ford used these 2 setups for small businesses that hauled light loads such as tools and parts which is what the second setup was real popular for, in 2000 ford replaced the 6 with the 5.0 & 5.3 or small V8.

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Old 03-04-2009, 11:23 PM   #7
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The truck will tow the trailer fine, just not very fast. It should cruise nicely at 60 mph.

Which transmission? The four speed with granny gear is ideal; you can get started on any kind of a grade with one of those.
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:16 AM   #8
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Here's the F150 section of Ford's 2002 Towing Guide, the oldest they have on-line. As you can see, the manual transmission model has very little towing capacity. I have a friend with a 1995 or so who had the same problem with it, even with a V-8. Check the owner's manual in the glove box and I think you'll find this to be the case.
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Old 03-05-2009, 08:38 AM   #9
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In my opinion, to tow a trailer of that size, you need at least a moderate sized V8 engine, and a towing packaged equipped 1/2 ton truck. But, I'm confident there will be some that don't agree with me.
You have the "NAIL" centered and hit it "on the head."

DO NOT over do the tow vehicle or hitch rating.

To do so, is an absolute guarantee that your trailer will receive damages.

We see it all the time.

But, for a body shop, that makes a nice kind of repair job, and "expensive" too.

And "yep," insurance doesn't pay for it, since it's not sudden, accidental or direct.

Andy
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Old 03-05-2009, 10:58 AM   #10
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Towing with a stick shift is not one of life's great pleasures.
Sure it is . . . behind a Cummins diesel!
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:51 PM   #11
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Thanks for the insight. I contacted an airstream dealer and he told me it would do the job but another vehicle might do the job better. He suggested a few things similar to what was mentioned here. I asked about a crown victoria and he said it would be a much better tow vehicle especially since i will be using a hensley hitch. Any thoughts on the crown victoria as apposed to a f 150? Thanks for your patiance everyone, i appreciate it, i know sometimes i ask too many questions. bill.
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:05 PM   #12
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An RV dealer will never tell you your tow vehicle won't tow what they're selling and a tow vehicle dealer will never tell you the tow vehicle they're selling won't tow your RV.

I can't remember the last time the towing capacity of the Crown Vic was greater than 1,500 pounds. I do recall it was 2,500 pounds sometime right before they began bursting into flames when rear-ended, which interestingly coincided with the drop in towing capacity.

Cars Section of 2002 Ford Towing Guide - Crown Vic
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Old 03-05-2009, 02:17 PM   #13
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Any thoughts on the crown victoria.
Good day Bill. Over the last few years we have traveled with two owners of Crown Vic TV's. The first was towing a 30' Award and the 2nd was towing a 34' Airstream (with Hensley).

We followed both combinations for a number of klm's. They looked fine and towed very true. Both owners were quite happy with overall performance, etc.

Good luck with the adventure of selecting a new TV. It can be an interesting journey.
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:55 PM   #14
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An RV dealer will never tell you your tow vehicle won't tow what they're selling and a tow vehicle dealer will never tell you the tow vehicle they're selling won't tow your RV.
As a seller of tow vehicles, I'm gonna have to disagree with that and I bet Inland Andy might too. I have told no less than three potential buyers this week alone that the vehicle they were looking at was not suited for what they intended to do with it.

Wilburstream, A little more info on the Ford would help. I assume they only used one 6 cyl in '97 - a V-6. If not, what is the displacement. If it was the old inline 300, I'd say it could handle it. How is it geared and sprung etc.? I see from other posts that Canadians seem to be comfortable towing with big RWD cars. I'd bet that the Crown Vic would do as well as the 6cyl truck with proper set up.

Roger
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