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Old 02-28-2007, 11:01 PM   #1
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Towing International 22' with a F150?

Today we just acquired a 2002 International 22'. I discovered my inline 6 cylinder F150 with manual transmission is not recommended as a tow vehicle. So I saw a 2002 F150, 4.6L, automatic, 3.55 axlr for sale and wonder if it might work for the 22' trailer. It seems, from the comments in this forum, it would do fine on level grades, but what is the experience on hills? The trailer empty is, I guess, about 4100llbs. I suppose once we put "stuff" in there it will be about 4500. That's still within the parameters of the F150 manual.

Any Ideas?
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:16 AM   #2
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Tow Vehicles

TankerIP, There is a lot of information already here on the forums in regards to tow vehicle selections. Try the search function on the blue tool bar above and you will be bombarded with threads to read up on this topic. Hope this helps. Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:30 AM   #3
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TankerIP, How rude of me... I forgot to say Welcome to the forums! Hope you enjoy our company and have a ball reading up on all the topics here! Happy Trails, Ed
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGED52
TankerIP, How rude of me... I forgot to say Welcome to the forums! Hope you enjoy our company and have a ball reading up on all the topics here! Happy Trails, Ed
Tanker IP, Welcome to the forum! Like Big Ed says, do some homework on it. There will be a huge amount of info here on the forums regarding towing and truck size.
Just an advanced warning - much of what you read is only opinion, some of it is well thought out.
There are some who discourage any truck that isn't oozing testosterone - the bigger the better. Makes you wonder don't it?
Anyway, welcome, I hope you find a truck that works for you. Look up the actual specs on the truck you want to buy, compare it with the weight of your trailer and everything the truck will haul.


Big Ed, Congrats on rivet master status!!

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Old 03-01-2007, 04:16 AM   #5
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Welcome Tanker!
Is this your first experience with towing? A lot of tow vehicles would 'work', but my experience is that it also depends a lot on the personality of the person doing the towing, and then where and how much you will be doing. If you're thinking about hills and grades, you must be venturing outside of Texas?

If you have friends that have trucks (especially if they tow), you might consider asking them to help you get a little road time, so you see how different vehciles, engine sizes, gear ratios, etc, feel to you. When I was agonizing over buying my first real trailer (I started with a tent trailer, which is not exactly the same experience) I had a friend who hooked up and gave me some time behind the wheel of his rig - that experience and his pointers were very valuable to me. What is comfortable to one person, can be not near enough, or overkill, to another. It just depends.

By all means read as much as you can, but it will all mean a lot more if you can relate it to some 'real' experiences.

Just a suggestion to consider - best luck!
Bob
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Old 03-01-2007, 05:55 AM   #6
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TankerIP,

I had a 1999 F-150 4.6L 3.55. On paper it should have been an OK tow vehicle. In real life it was less than adequate for towing our 2006 19' International. I towed with it 3 times before trading for a 2007 Silverado 2500 diesel. I get better mileage with the diesel than I did with the F-150. That is both towing and not towing. There is no pucker factor with the Silverado 2500. I just didn't feel safe towing with the F-150, but I did give it a chance.
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Old 03-01-2007, 06:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankerIP
... I saw a 2002 F150, 4.6L, automatic, 3.55 axlr for sale and wonder if it might work for the 22' trailer. It seems, from the comments in this forum, it would do fine on level grades, but what is the experience on hills? The trailer empty is, I guess, about 4100llbs. I suppose once we put "stuff" in there it will be about 4500. That's still within the parameters of the F150 manual.
Hello TankerIP -- and welcome to the Forums! Newer Airstreams are heavier than old ones -- frames have been beefed up, sturdier cabinetry inside, more comforts, etc. The 22' Int'l comes in at close to the same weight as my Argosy. I towed it for a couple years with a 5.6L Titan. The 3.55 rear end is the biggest issue with the proposed truck. That sort of gearing is better for economy but doesn't transfer torque well enough to make towing with the small V-8 a great experience. A 3.73 axle would still see this engine needing to pull slower going up long upgrades -- none in Texas to worry about but altitude effects will really hit hard in the Rockies. I might tow for a while if I already had a 4.6L with the 3.55 axle but would have my eyes open for something more capable. It's not possible for me to recommend starting out buying one.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:09 AM   #8
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I would say no to the first and yes to the second, with conditions. The 22' has about a 5600GVWR. The 4.6L is not a great engine...good, sure, great no. If it were me, I'd seek out an F-150 (if I was a Ford man) wiht the 5.4L. It's an oveall much better engine. The 4.6L will do the trick in a pinch, but it will work 2x as hard as the 5.4L.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:47 AM   #9
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The Lady went for for a big-un...

Oh DON'T go there!

I got a Suburban 2500 to tow my 22 CCD - overkill true, but of course now I'm towing a 25 FB SE..... and at least I didn't have to get both a new A/S and tow vehicle.

You'll never regret having a tow vehicle that's slightly too big (I won't go so far as some of the showoffs who have modified Semi's as tow vehicles... that's just silly and boy will they get tired of a 14 speed manual transmission!) Get a bigass tow vehicle with a LONG wheel base and robust brakes. Towing it is important, stopping it is even more important. And sooner or later you'll find yourself in a bad situation you shoulda, coulda wishta you'da avoided. Extra power is your friend when the fertilizer impacts the ventilator!

Welcome and see you down the road!

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Old 03-01-2007, 09:26 AM   #10
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If Twink's numbers are correct, that trailer weighs about the same as mine does...I pull it w/ a 5.2l 8 and a 3:55 rear, and it is most definately "pokey" on the hills. (I don't know why that would make anyone feel "unsafe"...but thats another thread).
that effect "might" varry a bit from engine to engine, though...The power band on my truck is at a higher rpm than what results when I'm going <65mph. If I hit the start of an uphill stretch at 65mph, I can stay going 65mph all the way up. If I start out at less than 65...I'll be going 40 in 2nd gear before too long. and the thing is, most of the time, I'm not going 65...too fast, except for the interstate, and even then, a tad faster than I like to cruise. so if I see a hill coming up, I tend to speed up (if I can). Doesn't work out too well on secondary roads...
point is: I think you'll be much happier w/ something that has at least 3:73 rear end. the 318 engine in my truck has plenty of power...its just not being properly leveraged w/ this rear end. I don't know how the horsepower output compares to a 4.6l ford...but I'm sure the 5.4 would have more.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankerIP
Today we just acquired a 2002 International 22'. I discovered my inline 6 cylinder F150 with manual transmission is not recommended as a tow vehicle. So I saw a 2002 F150, 4.6L, automatic, 3.55 axlr for sale and wonder if it might work for the 22' trailer. It seems, from the comments in this forum, it would do fine on level grades, but what is the experience on hills? The trailer empty is, I guess, about 4100llbs. I suppose once we put "stuff" in there it will be about 4500. That's still within the parameters of the F150 manual.

Any Ideas?
Hi and welcome to the forums.
The 4.6L would be better than the 6cyl but,
For what it is worth, I think you would be better served getting a Ford 5.4L engine in the Ford lineup, I would probably go with the 6.L engine with Chev.
I owned the Ford 4.6L and was satisfied pulling light loads (2k) but it doesn't hold up well in the hills and in windy conditions..
I currently use the Super Duty 5.4L on the Argosy (3k lbs)... It has almost the same HP and Torque as the 6.5L TDiesel Chev, and get the same gas mileage 13-15 mpg pulling the trailer.
Don
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankerIP
Today we just acquired a 2002 International 22'. I discovered my inline 6 cylinder F150 with manual transmission is not recommended as a tow vehicle. So I saw a 2002 F150, 4.6L, automatic, 3.55 axlr for sale and wonder if it might work for the 22' trailer. It seems, from the comments in this forum, it would do fine on level grades, but what is the experience on hills? The trailer empty is, I guess, about 4100llbs. I suppose once we put "stuff" in there it will be about 4500. That's still within the parameters of the F150 manual.

Any Ideas?
Tanker-
Welcome to the forums and please do check for more information under the towing section. All of my fellow forum members have shared some great info with you and of course I'm going to throw in my 2 cents worth. First I must say you are going to be putting in a lot more than 400 lbs of stuff into your new AS. The 4100 is without water, LP, dishes, food, clothes, boots, books.... the list can be long. You must also account for the weight you are putting into your TV. The numbers stated in TV manuals only includes the driver. Any passengers and cargo you place into the TV must be added to the total towing weights. With that said, use only 80% (safety margin) of the published numbers of any TV on the market. That does out you into a larger TV. We have towed our Safari over 19K, over the rockies, and everywhere between using a 5.3L. It works and the numbers work but the next truck is going to be bigger. We love to travel and often find ourselves in the mtns. of upper New England or the Blue Ridge or the Big Horn. Bigger is better. But in my opinion the 4.6L will be very marginal. I hope I was helpful and again welcome to the forum!
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankerIP
I saw a 2002 F150, 4.6L, automatic, 3.55 axlr for sale and wonder if it might work for the 22' trailer....empty about 4100llbs.
You didn't say what kind of cab or bed the truck has or if it is 4x4 - for the 2007 Fords the tow capacity is somewhere between 6000lbs (4x2 regular cab) and 6600 lbs (4x4 supercab). 80% of that is 4800 to 5280 lbs which gives you somewhere between 700 and 1180lbs of water, LP, cargo, and passengers. Which is somewhere between borderline and not too bad.

So I'd say that if there is any special reason to go with the truck you saw - you can get it cheap, a friend is selling it, or whatever - go for it. But if it is just a truck sitting on a used car lot then pick another one - one with the 5.4L engine or the 3.73 axle.
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Old 03-01-2007, 01:54 PM   #14
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If your a Ford man go to fordvehicles.com and look up the towing specks for trucks if you'r going to buy a new one. You can get an F-150 with a 5.4 that is equiped to tow over 10,000# if you check all the right boxes on the order form. Same with GM trucks. However, don't cut it close. As advised here by others always buy a bit more truck than you think you will need. YOU WILL need it sometime...trust us on this one. I see so many folks in MY family over the years who bough marginal tow vehicle only to waist a ton of money a couple years down the road because they decided they needed more tow vehicle. The heavier duty rigs on all honesty cost very little more. ya,,the empty fuel milege is a bit less....but do you want safety towing...or?? what do you want. Big rigs tow better...AND AS STATED..STOP ONE HECK OF A LOT BETTER. Stopping is MORE important than starting. After you tow a while you will understand this. Bigger trucks stop better....PERIOD.
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