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Old 06-08-2006, 07:11 PM   #1
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How's this for a tow vehicle?

I'm looking at a 2006 Ford F-150 Lariat with the 5.4 Triton and 3.73 gears. I have a 25' FB Safari SE. The trailer is around 5400 dry. Will this truck be a good tow vehicle? Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:10 PM   #2
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I suppose it depends on the type of transmission and your driving habits. I would not be happy with the 3.73 gears with a manual transmission. If it has an automatic, you will never be able to run in overdrive. If you drive in hilly areas, you'll slow traffic. If you're a speed demon, you'll be frustrated. If you're planning any major travel, you'd be much happier with a more powerful tow vehicle and your mileage won't be much different.
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:18 PM   #3
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go to fordvehicles.com
brochures
F-150
lower left towing guide.
Decide for yourself.
Personally I would go with a 250. stronger suspension ( stiffer ride) and stronger axle.
I tow a Classic 31 with a F-250 Gas.
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:48 PM   #4
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For what it's worth, our Dodge Durango has a 3.55 rear axle, 4 wheel drive, automatic transmission, and a 5.7 liter, 320 hp, 360 foot-lb of torque engine. We have no trouble whatever hauling our 25FB around California. The need for a higher ratio rear axle is obviated by the tow/haul setting on the automatic transmission that adjusts shift points for the extra load. Even so, the engine loafs along at about 1,600 RPM at 55 mph regardless of whether the tow/haul setting is engaged or not. I realize that there are many on this Forum who sincerely believe that only larger, longer, more powerful trucks are necessary, but our evidence belies that presumption. Good luck, good travels.
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:06 AM   #5
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Hello myoung,

Your tow vehical is a good one. Plenty of power to go and to stop .Make sure you have a transmiision oil cooler on that durango to keep the trans alive .A must for any automatic equipped tow vehical period. Now ,the presumption that most want the biggest tow vehical and the longest? I have not gotten that impression .Having enough tow vehical is the key, some want more than enough .your TV is a a good size and your not towing with an under rated or too small a truck .Understand that some want to tow a 25ftr with a 100" wheelbase vehical ,not capable of providing the power or STABILITY it takes to handle such a trailer of that size . So thats really the idea behind a big truck ,totally not necessary as you have found with your setup though.
One other thing,check your owners manual about towing in overdrive .
Always not a good thing for the transmission especially on grades uphill .May be fine on the flats depending on the load your towing.

good luck as well

Scott
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:29 AM   #6
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Scott,

I should have also mentioned that we have the full tow package too.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myoung
The need for a higher ratio rear axle is obviated by the tow/haul setting on the automatic transmission that adjusts shift points for the extra load.
I'm sorry to disagree, but I can't disagree strong enough with this comment. The tow/haul feature is NOT a replacement for gears. Tow/haul mostly changes the shift points, locks the converter and increases line pressures... that does not increase torque as better gears will do, creating less work for the trans and engine. Torque multiplication will NOT happen with tow/haul. Tow/haul will NOT increase tow capacity. Case in point, when you look at specs on websites, do you ever see a tow capacity increase when a vehicle was equipped with tow/haul? No, you see tow ratings increase when better gears are installed (and other things). Tow/haul is a great towing tool, but that's about all it is, a towing tool that will allow you to tow in overdrive, but it's not a hardware replacement by any means.

As for a 1/2 F-150, from the Ford website, it would seem that towing a 25' would be fine. If you load up the Safari to the max 7300lbs and load the truck, you might be on the high end, but doubtful you'd do both, so yes, with a 120+" wheelbase (the shortest F-150 I could find) and 3.73s and 5.4L, I would give it a thumbs up. I wouldn't go less than than what you are suggesting. If you plan on upgrading to a larger Airstream in the future, you might want to think 3/4 ton, but if yer gonna stay where you are, then I think you should be fine.

With that, I'm off to the midwest rally with my 3/4 Suburban (130" wheelbase) and 25' Safari, and now return you to your regularly scheduled program...........
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:45 AM   #8
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nazz300,

I have almost exactly the combination that you are considering (2003 Safari 25 with 05 Ford F150 SuperCrew w/5.4 L engine and 3.73 gears). It tows excellent! Power, stability, and braking are great. Also, the ride is very comfortable and quiet.

Suggestions when buying the truck:

- The backup sensor is a nice gimmick. Helpful in judging distance when hitching up.
- The adjustable pedals are a cheap option, and handy if you have different size drivers.
- The Lariat package lowers your towing capacity by 500 lbs due to the larger 18" wheels. Not a big factor.
- I added an aftermarket transmission temperature gauge. It seems that most automatic transmission failures are related to overheating. The gauge allows you to know what's going on.

I'm sure you will be very happy with this combination. The only reason I can think of to move up to an F250+ is if you think that you might move up to a bigger/heavier trailer in the next few years. An F250 has very stiff springs that will pound both you and the trailer. The F150 is the perfect match for your Safari.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:46 AM   #9
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Tow vehicle

I guess I should ask if my Ford F-150 is good enough for towing a 1968 Safari. I used it to tow it home when I bought it, but that wasn't a long distance, and I didn't have lights or brakes hooked up, so I was going slow.


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Old 06-09-2006, 08:47 AM   #10
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Silvertwinkie,

Sorry that you read so many unintended impressions in notes that say nothing of the kind. I never said that the tow/haul feature replaces gears, but rather that the higher ratio is unnecessary for towing a 25FB in my experience. Experience counts for something. Empirical evidence counts for something. Sure we can't try all the alternatives, but when we have one that works well, it may be of some interest to those searching for advice.

By the way, a glance at the torque curve of any internal combustion engine will show that increasing engine speed increases torque up to a point after which it drops off a bit. The tow/haul feature changes shift points causing the engine to run at higher rpms at lower speeds thereby moving up the torque curve as demanded by the load. It works well for us. Higher engine rpms won't harm modern engines in typical use. I've never had reason to run the Dodge at anything near the redline. In fact, I don't think we have even crossed the 3,000 rpm line ever. I have other vehicles that routinely run for hours at far higher rpms with no perceptable damage. Enough said.
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:25 AM   #11
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Deb, you'll have no problem at all, with either V8 option, and I suspect whatever V6 option would be available. Our era of Safaris are 2000lbs lighter than the current 25' Safaris. I have an Expedition with the 5.0L and it tows like it's not even there. Get a WD hitch and a brake controller and you should be just fine. I don't think you even need added sway control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joyegail
I guess I should ask if my Ford F-150 is good enough for towing a 1968 Safari. I used it to tow it home when I bought it, but that wasn't a long distance, and I didn't have lights or brakes hooked up, so I was going slow.


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Old 06-09-2006, 09:36 AM   #12
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The truck I'm looking at is a 2006 Lariat used with only 3500 miles. It is the Super Crew loaded with options like back-up sensors, tow package, adjustable pedals, leather etc. for comfort around town even when not towing. Thanks for all the input.
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:27 AM   #13
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oooooh....

Sounds like a cool truck.

Paula FORD
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Old 06-09-2006, 10:54 AM   #14
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Danger, Will Robinson...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nazz300
I'm looking at a 2006 Ford F-150 Lariat with the 5.4 Triton and 3.73 gears. I have a 25' FB Safari SE. The trailer is around 5400 dry. Will this truck be a good tow vehicle? Thanks in advance for any input.
The vehicle you describe will be marginal at best for the Airstream you describe. If you are going to buy a new tow vehicle, buy one that is more than adequate, not less. There is a ton of good advice elsewhere in these forums. By no thoughtful assessment is a 5.4 Ford F-150 Lariat with 3.73 an adequate tow vehicle for a 25' Airstream.

Signed// One who has owned them all
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