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Old 12-17-2015, 11:19 PM   #1
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The pretty 16 y.o. trucks are SO WEAK WHY

See a cute red 1999 Ford F-150 - 2000 lb towing capacity
ADORABLE mint green 1998 Ford Expedition - 4000 lb towing capacity

WHY. And the towing capacities for a lot of the makes and models change from year to year, I had to make a spreadsheet of all of them to keep track.

1998 Ford Expedition XLT 4x4 - it's so pretty but I'm trying to get something that tows at least 5k lbs because I don't know how heavy my trailer is going to be until I get it.

Why are these older trucks so weak when it comes to towing power? That Expedition I linked is an XLT and a 4x4 - how does it not have enough towing capacity? It can basically pull it's own weight again and that's it.

I'm trying to find something that runs on gas and is a V8, has a backseat for the dog/friends, can tow at least 5k, and is safe and reliable and easy to drive (because I am 5 ft tall, trucks are not made for me AT ALL). Suggestions?
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Old 12-17-2015, 11:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starstruck08 View Post
See a cute red 1999 Ford F-150 - 2000 lb towing capacity
ADORABLE mint green 1998 Ford Expedition - 4000 lb towing capacity

WHY. And the towing capacities for a lot of the makes and models change from year to year, I had to make a spreadsheet of all of them to keep track.

1998 Ford Expedition XLT 4x4 - it's so pretty but I'm trying to get something that tows at least 5k lbs because I don't know how heavy my trailer is going to be until I get it.

Why are these older trucks so weak when it comes to towing power? That Expedition I linked is an XLT and a 4x4 - how does it not have enough towing capacity? It can basically pull it's own weight again and that's it.

I'm trying to find something that runs on gas and is a V8, has a backseat for the dog/friends, can tow at least 5k, and is safe and reliable and easy to drive (because I am 5 ft tall, trucks are not made for me AT ALL). Suggestions?
Hi, are you looking at the right specs for these vehicles? The Expedition you are looking at has the small 4.6 L engine and more than likely doesn't have a tow package. My 2000 Navigator is rated to tow 8,900 lbs. Most 5.4 L Expeditions have the same tow rating as my Navigator.

What are the specs on the F-150? Small V-6, tall gears, and no tow package? 2000 lbs sounds more like the receiver specs, not the tow rating.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:05 AM   #3
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Be careful with choosing a truck before the trailer, or you may limit yourself to something that you don't really prefer just because that's all the truck can handle.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:54 AM   #4
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Just so you know, 4x4 will reduce towing capacity by the amount the 4x4 equipment weighs.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:07 AM   #5
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[snip]
I'm trying to find something that runs on gas and is a V8, has a backseat for the dog/friends, can tow at least 5k, and is safe and reliable and easy to drive (because I am 5 ft tall, trucks are not made for me AT ALL). Suggestions?
You might want to list your priorities in order of importance.

Owning a trailer and tow vehicle is expensive, and it generally works out best if the tow vehicle is reliable, first, and also safe. Unless you know a particular 16-year old truck intimately well, it probably will not fit your "reliable" criteria. If you cannot afford a more reliable tow vehicle, you should probably re-think the timing of making your dreams real at this time.

Ditto to many of the other comments here, especially as they relate to putting your priorities in order, in particular knowing what trailer you intend to tow.

Good luck, but please don't be in a rush to buy anything right now, as haste really can make waste of one's dreams . . .

(in my opinion of course)
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:28 AM   #6
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To get an older truck you may have to go to three quarter ton in order to get something comparable to today's half tons. Fifteen year old trucks were more basic in general than today's trucks.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:32 AM   #7
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With an older 250 the ride is butt busting. For Starsruck there are many options that would suit her needs that are not a truck.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:39 AM   #8
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With an older 250 the ride is butt busting. For Starsruck there are many options that would suit her needs that are not a truck.
GM offered a 2500 series Suburban during that time. Maybe one of those would be worth consideration.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:48 AM   #9
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With an older 250 the ride is butt busting. For Starsruck there are many options that would suit her needs that are not a truck.
Agree, I was just pointing out that older trucks are more like trucks because one must go th three quarter to get a good tv. Not advocating it, I agree there are many other options for the op to consider. Some of us prefer a rough ride, most don't. Personal preference. Suburbans, etc are good options.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, are you looking at the right specs for these vehicles? The Expedition you are looking at has the small 4.6 L engine and more than likely doesn't have a tow package. My 2000 Navigator is rated to tow 8,900 lbs. Most 5.4 L Expeditions have the same tow rating as my Navigator.

What are the specs on the F-150? Small V-6, tall gears, and no tow package? 2000 lbs sounds more like the receiver specs, not the tow rating.
I'm trusting the Craigslist listers to not be lying to me, honestly? I would obviously double check specs if I went to check out the vehicles, but I pulled these vehicles from a search specifically for a V8 engine and the expedition I linked has a hitch in the pictures.

Also I did not know that a 4x4 was not helpful for towing! I figured it would have better control or grip on the road, but I didn't think about the weight slowing the truck down.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:36 AM   #11
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Be careful with choosing a truck before the trailer, or you may limit yourself to something that you don't really prefer just because that's all the truck can handle.
I mean, that was the idea behind getting something that can tow at least 5-6k. Because the absolute largest trailer I would get would be 29 ft, and the ones from that era are all under 6k. My preference is also for a 10 year old truck. 15 years is my max.

I left all trucks/suvs off my excel sheet that didn't hit at least that number. 1998 Expedition is not on that list. 1999 is the earliest I can go for that model because it jumps from 4k to 6k towing power. I love that paint job but I'm not going to settle for less towing power just because it's pretty.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:16 AM   #12
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"Why are these older trucks so weak when it comes to towing power?"

Technology of increased power WITH increased efficiency has come a LOOOOONG way in the last 10 - 15 years, that's why.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:29 AM   #13
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I towed my 25' truck with my 1997 F 150 for a while before I got a Dodge diesel. Tow rating was about 7300 lbs, I think. Trailer weighs 6300. It was that experience that made me get a 3/4 ton. The truck handled it directionally and ride wise just fine. The huge limiting factor was the brakes. That year Ford still had drum brakes on the rear and wimpy rotors on the front. I trashed 2 sets of rotors in less than a year and finally gave up and just drove it with the brakes vibrating. The engine was also under power for hills. I got down to 2nd on the interstate sometimes and 1st going into a hilly campground wondering if I was actually going to make it. My judgement was that the truck was not going to hold up to that kind of use. We got 9 to 10 mpg. We get 14-16 with the 2500 diesel.

From what I can see the new 150's are a whole lot different and better since I know people who have gone from a 3/4 Duramax back to a 150 for their 34' and like their new 150 better.

I guess what I am saying is I might tend to believe the lower tow ratings on the older 1/2 ton trucks.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:43 AM   #14
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I've owned two Ford Expeditions. A 1998 4.6 liter 4x4 version very similiar to the pretty blue one for sale on Craigslist and currently have the second generation 2003 model with the bigger 5.4 liter engine that I bought new.

Starting in 2003 Expeditions came with 4 wheel independent suspensions. All earlier models had a live real axle. The difference in driveability is huge. Combined with the high center of gravity and short wheelbase and live axle earlier models had a propensity to spin due to loss of rear traction, say going over raiload tracks. Four wheel independent suspension is modern and keeps the truck planted and makes it a good tow vehicle.

The tow rating is increased by addition of the factory tow package. Essentially it's an enlarged oil and transmission cooler and a much stouter weight distributing hitch. Also includes a 7 pin connector at the hitch. The larger 5.4 V8 will have the greatest tow capacity. Avoid the 4.6 liter V8.
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