Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-05-2006, 05:40 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
Jimandrod's Avatar
 
2008 28' Safari SE
Placitas , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,068
Towing with an F-150

My tow vehicle is a 2004 F-150 XLT 4x4 with the 5.4L Triton V8, 3.73 axle and factory installed tow package. I plan to be towing the Safari 25' SS LE that I'll be getting in the beginning of the summer.

Depending on where I look I've seen my truck rated from 7300 to 8700 GVWR so I'm not sure exactly where I stand. Both the Ford dealership and the AS dealer assure me that I'll be OK. Yes, I know I'd be a little better off with the F-250 but that's not an option and won't be for a long time.

I'd like to hear from others who tow with the F-150. What are your experiences towing with the F-150? What precautions should I take? What, if any, problems have you had?

I'm not looking for recommendations on which TV is best. This is all about the F-150. Thanks.

Jim
__________________

__________________
Jimandrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2006, 06:25 PM   #2
1977 31' Sovereign
 
davidh's Avatar
 
Kalispell , Montana
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 276
F 150 Tv

I agree with your Ford Dealer and Airstream, I pull my 31' with a F350 4x4 Powerstroke. There was a poll thread on what type of tow rig you have, I do not remember for sure on the stats but it was like 60% or 65% pull with a half ton truck. I would not be afraid to pull it with your truck, just buy a good weight distribution and sway control setup and you will do just fine and also with your gears I would not tow in over drive.
__________________

__________________
1977 31' landyacht Sovereign
davidh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2006, 06:37 PM   #3
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
I was pulling my 1975 Sovereign 31' with our F150 4.6L with factory towing package. My GVW on the AS is 7200#(actual weight is in the low 6000# range) the truck was rated to tow 6700#. It does just fine pulling the AS on flat ground. I had no problems maintaining highway speeds between my home and Myrtle Beach, SC. There is no way I would have even thought about towing in the mountains with that rig. I would reccomend a transmisson temperature gauge and possibly a larger tranny cooler.

Aaron
__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2006, 06:54 PM   #4
1977 31' Sovereign
 
davidh's Avatar
 
Kalispell , Montana
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 276
F150 Tv

I agree with wahoonc,trany temp gauge and cooler is a very wise choice although there are trany kits that that you can buy that will give you better prformance to pull grades with 3.73 gears ask your Ford dealer about this option its cheeper than buying a new truck.
__________________
1977 31' landyacht Sovereign
davidh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2006, 07:31 PM   #5
uwe
418
 
uwe's Avatar
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1974 29' Ambassador
Yucca Valley , California
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: 1963 26' Overlander
Posts: 4,767
Images: 41
Send a message via Skype™ to uwe
although I do not own a F150, 2 of my friends do. They both have the 5.4l engine. It feels very powerful to me. More so than my 5.7l Chevrolet.
My point is that I towed a 6000lbs ( fully loaded) 25ft trailer all over the place with the Suburban, and only wished for more torque at extreme altitudes, like crossing the Rockies from NM to CO.
I do believe that you will be well on your way with what you have.
I would consult the owner's manual, and perhaps a mechanic at Ford for advice on whether to tow in OD, and what you can do to make it easy on your truck.
A transmission cooler, and oil cooler definitely help. A transmission temperature gauge is recommended by many.
My secret weapon is slowing down, and manually shifting down when I feel the truck straining to keep it's speed without the trans shifting up and down. I can do 50mph up most grades, usually have to slow down more for the 18 wheelers. I just latch onto one of them and take my time up the long grades out West, where I usually tow.
If you must tow in the mountains a lot, then you will find your tow vehicle unsatisfactory, most likely.
__________________
Uwe
www.area63productions.com
uwe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2006, 07:57 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
2003 25' Safari
Eden Prairie , Minnesota
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 765
Images: 3
Look here: http://www.fordvehicles.com/towing/pdf/reference.pdf. The F150 with the 5.4 L engine, 3.73 gears, and an automatic tranny will vary from GCWR of 13,500 to 15,000, and allows for a maximum loaded trailer weight ranging from 7,300 to 9,800 (varies based on 4X4 or 4X2, cab style, and wheel size). Many people advise staying at or below 80% of this rating. A late model Safari 25 will have a GVWR of 6,300, but the new ones are rated at 7,500. Because the low end of the F150 ratings is below this, you will need to look over the Ford chart carefully.

For example: My 2005 F150 is rated to tow 8,700 lbs, and my 2003 Safari 25's GVWR is 6,300. I just bought the truck two months ago, and my trailer is in storage intil April, so I have not had an opportunity to tow yet. I previously towed with a 2002 Ford Explorer V8 that was rated to tow 7,000 lbs, and it worked okay. The F150 should be much better.

In any case, ensure that you do not exceed the trucks GVWR (including the hitch and tongue weight) or GCWR, nor the trailer's GVWR.
__________________
Dan
dmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2006, 09:01 PM   #7
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Hiya Jim -- I sold a 1/2-ton truck this last week because over the broad country, up hill and dale, it is pushing the tow equation to the max with a new (ie, heavier) 25' Safari of any type. My travel plans would actually have allowed me to keep the last TV for the next season, but opportunities came along that I couldn't pass up. I disagree with ever using GCWR and tow capacity for much of anything.

It's easier transitioning tow vehicles than trailers (especially new trailers!). I sure wouldn't be buying an F-150 to start towing any recent 25' Safari. Be careful and you will probably manage if you keep your travel plans modest and begin thinking a couple years out for the TV that will take you to Crater Lake or the Miramichi.

For the real deal, look at the bottom of http://www.fordvehicles.com/trucks/f150/features/specs/ -- it lists maximum payloads for your truck that vary from approx 1500# up to 1900#. Just be sure to keep people, gear/options on the truck, and tongue weight below that. Then I fully agree with all the previous advisories. My old 5.4L engine was a heckuva horse. Be careful with tranny temps (get a gauge, cooler, etc).

Read your manual -- I have no doubts it cautions against towing in overdrive. Keep the speeds below 65mph. You'll find 60 is actually a good speed at which to see the country. Many (myself included) find their sharpness erode if they plan on anything over 300 mile in a day. Enjoy your fabulous, marvelous new SS. BTW -- is "beginning of summer" the lead time for ordering from the factory right now?

Good choice in Airstream -- share your experiences and become a regular on the most endorphin-producing* website on the bitstream!! Thanks for joining.

*What? No comments on what must pass for entertainment in my life? See Jim -- what a good group of folks!
__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 09:54 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Chaplain Kent's Avatar
 
1994 30' Excella
Currently Looking...
Milwaukee , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,934
I towed a 25' Tradewind with a 2000 F-150 4.6 and had no problems. Granted, I drive slowly and enjoy the scenery but the truck always did what I needed it to do. Get a good hitch and sway bar and have it installed by someone who is knowledgeable and willing to make sure it is correct.
__________________
Chaplain Kent
2015 Coachman Freedom Express 19RBS, Chummy IV- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
Chaplain Kent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 10:16 AM   #9
3 Rivet Member
 
Gordon Watt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 117
Images: 9
Smile

Hi:
I towed my 31 ft Soveriegn with a 99 F150 Heavy Half. It had a 4.6 and manual transmission with O/D. It worked OK but was real slow on hills.
I sure wished I had the larger engine. I live on the prairies so hills aren't much of an issue.
Your truck manual tells you not to tow in O/D I believe.
__________________
Gordon Watt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 10:37 AM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 28
The general consensus here is that the F150 is OK but will have real limitations. I had a 1999 F150 with 5.4L and 3.73 pulling a 25Ft CCD. Did OK on the flats but did not like OD. Even slight inclines with empty trailer caused the tranny to hunt. I was trying to maintain 60mph. Keeping it out of OD will really burn some gas. Not adequate for hills or mountains. Glad I traded up to a Silverado 2500 with DuraMax/Allison combo. Even this setup would slow on the inclines climbing through Colorado.
__________________
goldwing70 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 10:41 AM   #11
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
Hiya Jim -- I sold a 1/2-ton truck this last week because over the broad country, up hill and dale, it is pushing the tow equation to the max with a new (ie, heavier) 25' Safari of any type.
Way to go Bob!
2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD Duramax

I agree with all the comments on the F-150. Not much more I could add.....
__________________
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2006, 10:52 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Jimandrod's Avatar
 
2008 28' Safari SE
Placitas , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,068
Many thanks!!

I really want to thank everyone for the information. I knew there would be folks here that would be able to help me out. I appreciate it!

It looks like I'll be OK. The Triton 5.4L engine is what's going to make it work. I'll be better off when I can go bigger, but in the meantime I can still tow it if I use extra care and plan routes that aren't so steep (hard to do living in the Rockies.)

Since my towing experience is limited to pulling my Radio Flyer back in the 1950s I'm facing quite a challange. Something tells me that I'll get through it.

Thanks again
Jim
__________________
Jimandrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2006, 04:42 PM   #13
New Member
 
2006 34' Classic Slideout
San Clemente , California
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 3
I had a 2004 F-150 FX4 with the 5.4. I towed a 25 2005 CCD across the county two times. Not one issue and had plenty of power. I passed everything on the road. I averaged 10mpg at 65mph. You have plenty of truck so no worries needed. I dont think you are limited or need an upgrade at all. I just upgraded my truck to a F250 6.0l due to the fact that I upgraded my trailer to a 2006 34 Classic with the slide out.
__________________
sbrou14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2006, 05:12 PM   #14
Rivet Master<br><img src="/ugala/forums/images/5rivet.gif">
 
CanoeStream's Avatar

 
2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,279
Images: 19
Blog Entries: 3
Welcome to the Forums sbrou14 -- many happy returns! Having had and sold a Nissan Titan I will be the first to agree that the power train may show no signs of strain with a 25-footer (newer ones being heavier than 15 or more years ago...).

A 25' CCD Hitch Weight w/o options or variable weight (variable weight must add weights of propane and installation of WD equipment, both of which mostly add to hitch weight) is listed at 740#. Options? Was there a spare tire?? It doesn't take much personal gear aboard before hitch weight pushes well beyond 900#. (Top of the head calculation; admittedly doesn't include actual weighing.)

Looking at the very bottom of Ford Trucks website lists payload capacities of an F-150. Add all options you put on the truck, topper, load in the box, passengers and hitch weight. Do not exceed the truck load capacity or one is asking for safety, liability and durability problems. At least the website does offer some viable options on model and capacity.

That being the starting conditions, I wouldn't want to stick my neck out and advise one and all to load up and go with a combination pairing up an F-150 and a recent 25' offering from Airstream. Any reader should do their own math, then accept load limits or throw caution to the wind as they might wish.
__________________

__________________
Bob

5 meter Langford Nahanni

CanoeStream is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Towing Experience app Tow Vehicles 9 04-19-2004 10:51 PM
Towing Regulations by State InsideOut Towing, Tow Vehicles & Hitches 2 09-16-2002 08:35 AM
Towing COArgosy78 1969 Overlander 5 09-05-2002 11:18 AM
Towing cars CBBOB Airstream Motorhome Forums 13 07-24-2002 09:15 PM
Towing my 1964 Safari - what tow vehicle do I use Neenm Tow Vehicles 6 06-28-2002 05:26 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.