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Old 08-05-2003, 12:29 PM   #1
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1960 18' Traveler
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f150 w/ a 4.6 vi

We maybe buying a 2003 f150 supercab 4.6 v8, 4x2, with the 3.55 differntial axle. Our trailer is a 60 Traveler with wet weight(guessing from what we've read) about 3,500. Dry is around 2,300 to 2.500. The towing capacity on the f150 is 6,800. We would be using the trailer maybe 3-5 times a year and the truck will also have to be used as an in city car. Being also conscious of price....are there any thoughts on this vehicle in particular for towing a smaller A/S? Thanks, Stacia and Martha
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Old 08-05-2003, 12:38 PM   #2
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I towed my '71 Safari which is under 4000lbs with an Expedition that had the 4.6L and 3.55 gears.

It did OK on the flat roads and could maintain freeway speeds. But once we went to the mountains and hit some 6% grades it was terrible.

I had to floor it in second gear to maintain 25mph. It did not feel like it was going to be good for the Expedition to keep doing this.

I ended up selling it and getting a truck.

However, if your only going to go on short trips to known locations where you know the roads. It should handle it.

It's tough when you want a daily driver 99% of the time and a tow vehicle the other 1%. They don't really go together
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Old 08-05-2003, 12:40 PM   #3
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As long as you have the factory tow package you should have no trouble towing your traveller. I used a similar F150 to tow a 74 overlander and had few problems, but I was close to the max towing weight at the time, you are at 50% or so.
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Old 08-05-2003, 12:53 PM   #4
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Similar situation

We have an '02 19' Bambi with a dry weight of 3500# and a gross weight of about 4500#. We tow with an '02 Ford Explorer Sport Trac (4door with short bed). Our Sport Trac has the 4.0liter V6 rated at 205HP with 4:10 rear axle and a five speed automatic tranny. The combination works great. You have to get used to the engine running at higher RPMs while climbing, but we tow at 70MPH and get about 10MPG. If we slow it down to 55MPH, the gas mileage jumps to about 15MPG. I do wish that Ford had offered the small V-8 in the Sport Trac, but alas they did not. We love the utility of the Sport Trac along with the comfort.

With the F150, you will have a bigger motor, but only a 4 speed transmission, so the engine will not be as able to stay in its peak torque curve as well as the 5 speed does on our Sport Trac. You will have a heavier tow vehicle due to crewcab, so the HP advantage of the larger engine will somewhat be offset. I would seriously give consideration to the 4:10 rear end. This will put the engine torque curve into a lower speed range which is where you need it when towing.

While PowerStroke Diesel Dually may be a requirement for the big A/Ss, the smaller trucks work well with the smaller A/Ss
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Old 08-11-2003, 09:44 AM   #5
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4.6 in supercab

Stacia and Martha
I have had a few friends that have had the F150 with the 4.6 engine in it and also the F150 with the 5.4 engine. The 4.6 has marginal towing power but the 5.4 is a whole different animal. It has plenty of power to do anything you would want with a half ton pickup. Please don't make the mistake of buying the 4.6 to get better mileage because the 5.4 will probably get just as good and have alot more power on reserve for anything that you might encounter. It just does not have to work as hard to do the same job. I have a friend who recently bought a 03 4wd supercab with the 5.4 and gets 17 + mpg on the highway. He also pulls his mastercraft ski boat with it and says you hardly even notice its there.
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Old 08-11-2003, 10:46 AM   #6
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The 4.6 as used in most police vehicles, Grand Marquis and somewhat modded in the Maruauder is not a good engine.

Ask any municipal police department and they will tell you. The 4.6L has been a disgrace since the day is was conceived.

The 5.0L that Ford used to have was a great engine. The current 5.4 is far better than the 4.6L.

Run, don't walk. Will it do it for you, sure, but how well, as you can already see in some posts is questionable.

Hope that helps.

Eric
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Old 08-11-2003, 11:13 AM   #7
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thanks for all your great wisdom...we're so grateful for this forum!
based on this info and some advice from friends, we decided to go with the 5.4L. we think this was the wiser thing to do.
once we get the trailer in towing condition , we'll report back on how well she tows through the mountains of washington!
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Old 08-11-2003, 03:45 PM   #8
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I am sure you won't regret it.

Best of luck!
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