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Old 04-20-2007, 10:33 AM   #1
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Question Towing Safari 25 footer with F-150 4.6?

Hey, I have an '01 F-150 SuperCrew 4X4 with the (anemic) 4.6 liter; looking to tow a new 25 foot Safari.

Factory numbers for F-150 are: GVWR 6500, GCWR 11500, Max Towing 6300, Curb weight 5000.

Safari is 720 hitch, UBW 5200.

Looking for "real world" experience of towing with a similar set-up. Will be towing mostly in Georgia; some hills and mountain stuff. I don't mind slow going, but I don't want a dangerous set-up.

Thanx, Lance
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:35 AM   #2
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I have heard that the 4.6L will move it, but a 6300lb Safari 25' will exceed the tow rating that you mention of 6300lbs once you take into account passengers, cargo and fuel. I can say first hand that it is VERY easy to reach the 6300lb GVWR of the Safari since it does not have a huge NCC. The new Safaris have an additonal 1000lbs due to the axle upgrades and though it might be harder to reach the full 7300lbs, 6300lbs you could hit in a heartbeat.

As you pointed out the 4.6 is anemic to start with, putting it to, or even slightly beyond it's limits won't produce great results. Will it move it? Sure, but it's gonna be hard on it. The 5.4L in comparision would be a far better choice IMHO.
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:39 AM   #3
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One last thing...

The 25' starts the wide body Airstream line. My feeling is that once you hit the 25' range you start to get into the 3/4 ton sandbox. In the domestic lines that I know about (GM), that means axle, hubs, transmission, suspension and engine upgrades for starters. I would assume Ford is similar in that regard as well......

Is a 3/4 ton essential for a 25 footer, no, but if you go 1/2 ton, at the very least, get the larger engine and better towing gearing in the back end, as well as a good tranny cooler (if one is not there or is too small).
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:43 AM   #4
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I realize you tow with a Ford, but...

I towed my '98 25' 6 sleeper all over the state including the Sierras with the small V-8 in my 2002 GMC Sierra. No handling/braking issues - which included one last hard stop. I stopped fine, the truck behind me didn't and totalled my trailer. Hence my current trailer.
I had no issues with that set-up at all. No, it won't pull like a diesel, but if you don't have that expectation you'll be fine. IMHO.
I may get flamed by some who go strictly by the numbers with the 80% safety factor, etc. (I haven't checked your numbers) This has been MY real world experience.
Dave
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:46 AM   #5
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Question

Newbie question: does the Safari UBW reflect the total weight including hitch weight? That is, do you subtract hitch weight from UBW to get a base "axle weight" of the Safari?
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:49 AM   #6
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Dave what engine did you have in that Sierra? Reason I ask is that the 5.3L was rated, even with the grany gears to pull 7400lbs. Better gears could put it upward of 9000lbs depending on config. The 4.8L also had some decent specs as well, a bit less than the 5.3L, but both of which are higher than the 4.6L F-150s stated rating.

UBW (Unloaded base weight) is the weight of the trailer empty. I don't believe you subtract the hitch weight from the UBW, if you do, I never have, and could be part of my overkill syndrome!
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:12 AM   #7
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I towed the 25' Safari and 25' Classic with the 2001 Expedition which should be comparable to your 150. But our engine is the 5.3 with 3.43 (?) It towed the Safari well and the Classic towed even better (it probably held the Expy down) but the numbers were maxed out with that additional weight of the loaded Classic. I even towed the 27' Classic home from Oregon to Michigan and that was not suficient on the steeper grades in the mountains. Not sure how much difference the smaller engine makes but even with our larger engine it has been mentioned here that a 23' or smaller would be a better match. Hitch weight was the killer. We towed several years towing thousands of miles with it and it did well but would not win any races. We did that because it was our existing vehicle. Now as we planned even for a 25' Safari, we have purchased a 3/4 ton with a longer wheel base and bigger engine, a Suburban 6.0 4.10. The difference is welcome and gives a comfortable cushion for the numbers as well. We also towed without full tanks and left off the spare tire to help keep under the maximum weight rating. The hitch weight was more than the Expy was rated for and on a long trip fully packed we found we had exceeded the combined gross vehicle weight with the Classic. I can't remember if we were carrying water at that time. Weight adds up faster than you imagine and the specs from what I have gathered here at the forum are not always accurate.
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Dave what engine did you have in that Sierra? Reason I ask is that the 5.3L was rated, even with the grany gears to pull 7400lbs. Better gears could put it upward of 9000lbs depending on config. The 4.8L also had some decent specs as well, a bit less than the 5.3L, but both of which are higher than the 4.6L F-150s stated rating.

UBW (Unloaded base weight) is the weight of the trailer empty. I don't believe you subtract the hitch weight from the UBW, if you do, I never have, and could be part of my overkill syndrome!
I have the 4.8
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TennisMan
Newbie question: does the Safari UBW reflect the total weight including hitch weight? That is, do you subtract hitch weight from UBW to get a base "axle weight" of the Safari?
hi t man and welcome

yes and no...

ubw includes tongue (not hitch)...

tongue can be subtracted from ubw to approximate axle weight...

BUT a/s weight numbers (posted on the a/s site and IN your unit) are estimates only,

and don't include options, upgrades or sometimes the most basic things...

the specific trailer (or a twin) needs to be weighed...

and especially so IF pushing the specs for tv, tires, hitch, bars, axles or other rate limiting issues.

have fun shopping.

several f-150 folks have already posted 'real world' personal towing experiences.
drivetrain and gearing aren't always specified but search the towing/tv forums and read, read, read.

cheers
2air'
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:49 AM   #10
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hi Lance,, welcome to the Forums,, well ,, you asked for real life experiences,,, here is mine that somewhat mimicks Carol's.. Ford Expedition,, heavy duty tow package,, 5.4 liter engine,,, tows the Bambi , 16 footer like a dream,, tows the 25 Safari over the mountains,, above 6,000 feet straining heavily,,, depends i guess where you travel most,,, would suggest smaller trailer or three quarter ton tow vehicle,,, safety is the issue here,,, good luck and happy trails,, donna
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Old 04-20-2007, 12:03 PM   #11
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Hey Lance,

Good talking to you yesterday...2air hit the nail on the head in the above post on the hitch weight issue...

When thinking about weight...you also need to factor in driver and passenger weight and all the gear you have in tv and trailer...

If you have any quesitons about any specific unit just let me know.

Gene
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Old 04-20-2007, 12:37 PM   #12
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The 4.6L is too small for a comfortable towing experience with a 25' Safari. A smaller trailer and you would be "comfortable". Yes, it will tow a 25' but one of the things you will have to ask yourself is how long you plan on keeping the F-150. If you plan on keeping it only a couple of years and only plan on short weekend trips 3-4 times a year or just one trip to the Florida panhandle per year, then I would keep what you have. You can put up with most anything on rare occasions. If you plan on more frequent trips (once a month or more) to the north Georgia mountains and plan on keeping the truck, I'd either go smaller on the trailer or reconsider the the truck. Again, it'll do the job, but pushing the envelope that closely on a regular basis will really put a lot of wear on that small of an engine. You don't necessarily have to go with a 3/4 ton. An F-150 with the 5.4 and heavy duty towing package will give you the towing capacity you need while leaving you with a comfortable daily driver. The main thing you need to consider is frequency of towing and length of tow vehicle ownership. The more you tow and the longer you do it the greater the risk of damage to the drive train and that can be expensive. If you decide to go with a 3/4 ton truck to tow with, you don't have to buy a diesel and you don't have to buy new. Just food for thought.
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Old 04-20-2007, 12:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieterdog
hi Lance,, welcome to the Forums,, well ,, you asked for real life experiences,,, here is mine that somewhat mimicks Carol's.. Ford Expedition,, heavy duty tow package,, 5.4 liter engine,,, tows the Bambi , 16 footer like a dream,, tows the 25 Safari over the mountains,, above 6,000 feet straining heavily,,, depends i guess where you travel most,,, would suggest smaller trailer or three quarter ton tow vehicle,,, safety is the issue here,,, good luck and happy trails,, donna

Lance, I tow a 2005 SS Safari with a 2001 Screw with the 5.4. The truck is fine on flat land and small hills it works as you start getting into hills. I have 77K on the truck and will do over a 100K before I trade for a F-250. If you plan to trade your F-150 in the near to mid future go with the 25 foot trailer and take your time. I you are going to drive the truck to the wheels fall off go with a smaller trailer. I believe the new F-150 has a higher tow rating and more HP.

Thanks Jim

PS I swear I didn't read Minnie's Mate's post before I wrote this.
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Old 04-20-2007, 12:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Clark
PS I swear I didn't read Minnie's Mate's post before I wrote this.
Yeah Jim, I've heard that one before!

I bet you hit the submit reply key just as I released the left key on my mouse.
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