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Old 11-10-2018, 10:22 AM   #1
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2018 F150 and 22 sport real world numbers

Hey guys I posted recently about towing an airstream trailer on the ball and got a lot of great feedback. Truck is a 2018 F150 screw 3.5 ecoboost 6.5 bed max tow with a door sticker of 1759 payload. Some said yes you need a weight distribution hitch others said no just sway control via a friction device. In the end I decided to just tow on the ball with nothing extra. Here is my experiences in case others are wondering.

The trailer specs are listed in right column for airstream 22, base weight 3634lbs and hitch weight 422lbs



i decided to hit the CAT scales before and after getting the trailer to help me have real world numbers.


Truck only with full tank of gas:




Truck with trailer and full tank of gas, ie only difference is trailer, also just the truck on the scale with trailer connected to give me tongue weight





Next I pulled the whole shooting match onto the scale and got GCVW and individual axle weights




These numbers give me real real world info on my trailer and truck. My math show a WDH is totally unnecessary but I do have to get the tongue weight up so it’s 10-13% of trailer Weight. Since I was pretty empty at this point I put my cooler and all my other luggage up into the front of the trailer. I didn’t reweigh at this point but once I am loaded for a trip I’ll go through this scenario again. All in all I’m very happy with the numbers and the Airstream towed like a dream. I was able to travel 65-80 mph(when necessary) no prob and averaged 12.5mpg through several mountain passes.

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Old 11-10-2018, 12:34 PM   #2
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No WD hitch

Well, first thing I noticed is that you took 280 LBS OFF OF THE FRONT AXLE when you are hitched to the trailer. When you put more TW on the ball you are going to remove even more weight off the front axle. Not good. WD hitch properly set up will return that front axle weight to the 3300 LB figure. You have a $50k or more truck and an expensive Airstream trailer. Get a proper WD hitch with sway control. The first time you need sway control and you don't have it, you will wish you did. 80 MPH towing ANY travel trailer is not a great idea, particularly with no sway control. Play it safe and get proper equipment.
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Old 11-10-2018, 01:42 PM   #3
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And you really need a SuperDuty... (sarcasm)

You just can't win around here, even when you follow the manufacturers recommendations and use common sense.
  • Sought out public opinion before committing to a decision? Check.
  • Stayed within what Ford dictates is the maximum allowed for bumper pull, both trailer and tongue weight? Check.
  • Conscientious enough to weigh the setup and post it for everyone to critique? Check.
Thanks for the real world info.

Now slow down and enjoy the scenery (80 mph?), get your tongue weight up to 10%, and your trailer weight under 5000 lbs and you should be good to go. (IMHO, YMMV, NIMBY, etc...)
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:07 PM   #4
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@uraljohn you are entitled to your opinion, MAYBE TAKE DOWN THE ABRASIVENSS A NOTCH, all caps is lame.

Ford F-150 has electronic sway control and I’m well under spec. Also those axle weights aren’t that different we are talking minimal. But hey if you want to go out and buy a 2018 f150 and add a WDH knock yourself out

@mach5 thanks for the feedback, I did check those boxes that’s for sure. Also, agreed with the speed, at least I know it’ll do it very comfortably on flat new ashpahlt with a posted speed of 80mph. Mostly driving @70 and got 12.5 mpg including several mountain passes.

I wonder if people would talk the way the first responder did if we were in person at a campground? It’s just an internet phenomenon to be rude in your delivery I guess.
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanusport View Post
@uraljohn you are entitled to your opinion, maybe take down the abasivenss a notch though. Ford F-150 as electronic sway control and Iím well under spec. Also those axle weights arenít that different we are talking minimal. But hey if you want to go out and buy a 2018 f150 and add a WDH knock yourself out

@mach5 thanks for the feedback, I did check those boxes thatís for sure. Also, agreed with the speed, at least I know itíll do it very comfortably on flat new ashpahlt with a posted speed of 80mph. Mostly driving @70 and got 12.5 mpg including several mountain passes.

I wonder if people would talk the way the first responder did if we were in person at a campground? Itís just an internet phenomenon to be rude in your delivery I guess.
I cracked up when I read ď280 LBS OFF THE FRONT AXLEĒ. What does that leave, 2600 lbs? Oh my God, weíre gonna crash!!!

These threads are great.
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countryboy59 View Post
I cracked up when I read “280 LBS OFF THE FRONT AXLE”. What does that leave, 2600 lbs? Oh my God, we’re gonna crash!!!

These threads are great.
Obviously that guy doesn’t do math much because that like 6% difference in axle weights. The truck is almost 50/50 weight lol

Maybe the 80mph thing is tripping him out. It did 80 fine and it would go faster. I made a pass at the posted speed limit oh no, agreed it’s better to go slow but sometimes it’s better to get out the way. For the record I’m not advocating speeding. But this video is cool as heck:

Ecoboost towing torture test at full load full boost towing two race cars well over 100mph.
https://youtu.be/wtVKc_PNhJY
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanusport View Post
Obviously that guy doesnít do math much because that like 6% difference in axle weights. The truck is almost 50/50 weight lol

Maybe the 80mph thing is tripping him out. It did 80 fine and it would go faster. I made a pass at the posted speed limit oh no, agreed itís better to go slow but sometimes itís better to get out the way. For the record Iím not advocating speeding.
Ecoboost towing torture test at full load full boost towing two race cars well over 100mph.
https://youtu.be/wtVKc_PNhJY
This is why I never post

1. Scale tickets (if I ever got one lol)

2. Actual payload stickers

3. Speeds Iíve driven

Too many lawyers on here lol

Enjoy your rig!
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:03 PM   #8
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Thing I don't understand is why the hostility toward a WD hitch? They aren't that big of a deal to hook up and make a huge difference. Certainly cant hurt.
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Old 11-10-2018, 07:54 PM   #9
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Very interesting that 280 lbs came off the front axle with only 240 lbs. of tongue weight. I don't pretend to know a lot about hitch setups or physics, but I would not have even thought it was possible for that to happen given the measurements of any typical vehicle.

Two things if you do end up increasing your tongue weight. First, it will be interesting to see how much more comes off the front. Will it be the same 1:1 ration as the first 240? Second, with so little tongue weight right now you probably aren't getting any porpoising. That may change significantly with another 200 lbs of tongue weight, and at least for me, the most noticeable advantage of a WD hitch is controlling porpoising.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:30 PM   #10
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Ditto. On a light pickup truck, with a relatively compliant suspension, porpoising is the first indication of not enough force on WD bars. I believe the motion is because too much weight came off the front axle when trailer is hitched up. Also note that I always load trailer a bit heavier in front of the axles, just to be sure to get weight is 10-15% of total trailer weight. This, as I understand, has a lot to do with sway control by weight distribution. A tail heavy trailer will have no trouble exerting lots of sway forces.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:32 PM   #11
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2018 F150 and 22 sport real world numbers

Ditto. On a light pickup truck, with a relatively compliant suspension, porpoising is the first indication of not enough force on WD bars. I believe the motion is because too much weight came off the front axle when trailer is hitched up.

Also note that I always load trailer a bit heavier in front of the axles, just to be sure to get tongue weight to be at least 10-15% of total trailer weight. This, as I understand, has a lot to do with sway control by weight distribution. A tail heavy trailer will have no trouble exerting lots of sway forces.

Then, to make doubly darn sure sway does not even get started, the Hensley design (ProPride in my case) hitch is a critical part of the equation. It handles any wind- induced sway and damps out any loading errors in the trailer or tow vehicle continuously by mechanical linkage design means instead of friction or cams.

Thatís my setup, and Iím sticking to it.
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Old 11-11-2018, 01:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanusport View Post
Obviously that guy doesnít do math much because that like 6% difference in axle weights. The truck is almost 50/50 weight lol
Almost isn't the same as measured, though.

I would use weight distribution equipment with this application, due to the lifting of the front axle. You don't appear to need it for staying within capacities (ratings) of the two axles, but you should compare when you are running empty (presumably the truck is also used when not towing) or running with a load and no WD (not just enough WD for the tongue weight, but also considering cargo in the pickup box that is positioned to the rear). Those two extremes will produce a difference in how the vehicle sits. Think about it this way. My SUV has four wheel independent suspension. The F150 isn't as sophisticated a design, but it is IFS at least. My last vehicle's factory specs for wheel alignment include placing 68 kg (150 lb) on each front seat with the seats adjusted to midpoint of their travel; 68 kg in the centre of the rear seat; and 21 kg in the cargo area. That is done with sandbags. The purpose is to have a standard load to set alignment specs. With a pickup, the recommendation is to have the vehicle be loaded to its most common (usual) payload for alignment. Which condition would you choose, the empty or the loaded? Having that much range between unloaded and loaded in terms of front/rear weight distribution matters IMO.

Also note that the tongue weight from the scale tickets seems light, but it appears that the weigh scale tickets are for different days. Was the vehicle identically loaded (fuel/cargo/driver/passenger) on both days? It doesn't fit that you could remove 280 lbs from the front axle while applying only 240 lbs tongue load, since the wheelbase is greater than the rear overhang (rear axle to ball). Suspect you have more tongue weight than you think.
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Old 11-11-2018, 04:21 PM   #13
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I have a 2016 SCREW with sway control. It isn't perfect. If the sway frequency is right, the truck's sway control can amplify it. Been there, wish it hadn't done that. On a western trip, driving on a choppy section of Interstate 40, coming around a bluff when winds picked up and passing semi had just cleared. Getting off throttle and light trailer brakes got us straight again but the tail really was wagging the dog. At the time, I wasn't using a WD hitch, but installed a Blue Ox after we got to our destination. Since then, the rig has been rock steady under all conditions.

Just a comment from an experience I don't wish to repeat again.
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:40 AM   #14
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Kanusport, after reading the additional responses made by other contributors on your thread I stand by my comments. I watched the video you recommended and thought it was pretty cool. The ecoboost is a beast. Notice at the 2:59 point in the video it clearly shows a WD hitch being used. I could not tell if it is a WD hitch with built in sway control. My tow vehicle, a 2013 Ford E150 XLT Premium van has Electronic Stability Control. I still use a quality WD/Sway Control hitch. My 23D has a fairly high tongue weight of a bit over 800 LBS so it is needed to return weight to my front axle. If your setup is working for you and you feel confident that is fine. My comments were simply a response to your posted CAT Scale tickets as I saw them. Your correct about the CAPS. In the future I will refrain from using CAPS to stress a point. Enjoy your Airstream and safe travel to you and your family.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:54 AM   #15
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Just another comment about towing above 65 mph. Others have cautioned about those higher speeds. Your trailer likely has tires rated to 65mph max. You are playing with fire going above that, just be aware of your equipment.

I used to tow near freeway speeds, but decided on a more relaxing time by setting the cruise control at 63 mph on the interstates, and to heck with trying to arrive earlier. It makes a big difference for us not being so tensed up not trying to push it.

Enjoy!
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:09 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the feedback guys.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:45 AM   #17
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On a western trip, driving on a choppy section of Interstate 40, coming around a bluff when winds picked up and passing semi had just cleared. Getting off throttle and light trailer brakes got us straight again but the tail really was wagging the dog. At the time, I wasn't using a WD hitch, but installed a Blue Ox after we got to our destination. Since then, the rig has been rock steady under all conditions.

Just a comment from an experience I don't wish to repeat again.


Now that's a sway event.

Anyone who really had a sway event will remember the exact point on the road and the exact circumstances like it was yesterday for the rest of their life. Also forevermore, when passing over that same stretch of road, you will begin to tense up, hyperventilate and start sweating. Ask me how I know this?

I've had two sway events while towing in my lifetime. My wife and I both react this way, even after twenty-plus years, on those stretches of highways. Oh, and one other thing. After a real sway event, you will probably need to pull off the road and sit until your hands stop shaking and you can clear the images of your life passing before your eyes.

I would suggest getting a WDH before you experience a real sway event.
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Old 11-13-2018, 01:09 AM   #18
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2017 F150 3.5 EB, XLT, put on a pair of rear Bilstein 33-253213 Shock Absorbers, took care of the porpoising with the AS in tow. Much better ride all around. Highly recommend.
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:04 PM   #19
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Agree on replacing the shocks since the OEM are weaker that the one on a storm door. But I would recommend replacing all 4. Really upgrades the ride. And Bilstein makes a really good, reasonably priced shocks.
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:38 PM   #20
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You need still to get a proper WD hitch with sway control.

what is the 6140 lbs.

my as 22 sport is under 4000 lbs
your less picture is OK, but the WD hitch will help once you get items into your AS to ensure that there is 33% on the front, back and trailer
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