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Old 09-11-2019, 11:28 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2020 19' Caravel
Kennesaw , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 42
Towing a 19cb Caravel with a 2019 Ford Ranger

As I promised a few people, I am offering this honest review of towing a 2020 19cb Caravel with the 2019 For Ranger. My Truck is a 2019 4x4 Lariat with the towing package and the FX4 package. The truck is rated to tow 7,500 lb and the max hitch weight is 750 lb.

I must first say that this is NOT the best truck for this trailer. I think an F150 would be the ideal towing vehicle equipped with one of the many towing packages. With that truth out of the way, I would like to explain how it tows the Caravel.

The Ranger towing guide says a WD hitch is NOT needed for max towing. It only squatted about 1.5" over the rear wheels with dry hitch weigh of about 500 lb which is good. It needed about a 3" drop to level the trailer. (The receiver on the Ranger is unusually high). The truck does have electrinic sway control. The truck does have adaptive cruse control and active lane keeping assist. I turned the active lane keeping off as I did not like how quickly it reacted if you got too close to the lane markers. (too abrupt and sensitive for towing in my opinion). I did keep the lane departure on (vibrated the steering wheel). It seemed to work fine and you can adjust the sensitivity. I also turned the adaptive cruse control Off while towing. Even on the longest distance setting from the lead vehicle, it seemed to follow too close for safe towing in my opinion. I switched to standard cruse control.

My first tow was about 125 miles from the dealer to my lake house. I made this run without a weight distribution hitch. The camper was empty and I use a Weight-Safe hitch which accurately shows the hitch weight and it was right at 500 lb. It towed ok, but it was a windy day and I could detect some sway at highway speeds. Assuming the max hitch weight allows, I like to tow without a WD hitch once to see how the trailer/truck combo reacts. I felt this combo would benefit from a WD hitch with sway control.

I added a Curt TruTrak 4 point WD hitch with sway control. I wanted an 800 lb model, but had to settle for a 1000 lb model as that was the only one I could get a day before my trip. The spring bars are a little too stiff for the combo, but I set them on the least amount of spring weight I could and it leveled the truck/trailer combo nicely. The added sway control was a nice bonus!.

I towed the combo from Wedowee, AL to St George Island, FL. The distances is about 325 miles with mostly two lane 55-65 mph back roads in rolling hills to the flats of south GA and FL. I averaged 15 mpg on the way down and 13.5 on the way back. The Trailer was well behaved on the trip even on a few steep down hill grades passing semis at about 60 mph on two lane roads. I ran it up to 70mph on the highway when the speed limit allowed to see how it handled. It did fine at this speed, but it was mostly flat in this area, but there were some 20-25 mph wind gusts weeping across the farm lands. You could feel the wind gusts, but the truck and trailer seems to move a little together when they hit without any noticeable oscillation.

What I disliked about the truck is the FX4 package. The off road shocks are NOT ideal for towing. They do not dampen the rebound as well as the standard shocks and it tends to bounce more that it should. (the over size spring bars probably did not help) I got the FX4 package for the locking rear diff. If you decide to get this truck for towing I highly recommend the standard 4x4 or 2x4 and skip the FX4 or FX2 (or replace the shocks as I will). I am also not a big fan of the 18 gallon fuel tank. A 20-24 gallon would be much better, but it is what it is. This only gives a realistic towing range for this combo between 220-250 miles. (a spare 5 gallon jerry can would be advised out west)

What I liked about the truck was the very comfortable front seats, great visibility and the good MPG average (about 24 mpg combined) when not towing. Also, if you like to do a little off roading at your destination, the Ranger is an excellent off road truck. It would be a lot of fun in Moab. The truck has plenty of power and the 10 speed made good use of the power band and 310 ft-lb of torque. It handled the few long steep grades with no issues. The BLISS trailer blind spot monitoring worked flawlessly. Interestingly it jumps from an 18' trailer to a 21' trailer in the settings, so I set it for 21'. The side mirrors are barely adequate for towing the 19' Caravel. ANY LONGER trailer and you would need towing mirrors. I tried the Dometic clamp on mirrors and they worked great. The rear camera was also a big help when switching lanes.

With the trailer loaded the way we go camping (and about 5 gallons of fresh water) the hitch weight was right at 550 lb so the Airstream specs seem accurate on this model. With all the gear in the truck bed and accounting for the 120 lb of hitch I still had about 350 lb of reserve cargo capacity with me and my wife aboard.

In conclusion, I rate the Ranger as GOOD for towing the 19cb. It does it all well and easily within the specifications of the truck. The FX4 shocks make it a bit bouncy. I think one can safety tow any of the Caravel trailers with the Ranger, but you will need towing mirror extensions on the 22' model and a properly sized and setup WD hitch with sway control. I think in all but the most extreme towing cases one should expect 12-15 mpg towing this combo.
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Old 09-11-2019, 12:06 PM   #2
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1977 23' Safari
Niagara on the Lake , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 811
Images: 3
Excellent review, very detailed and honest!
1977 Safari Land Yacht
2005 Toyota Tundra SR5
2010 Ford Flex Ecoboost
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Old 06-22-2020, 09:57 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
2018 16' Sport
Salt Lake City , Utah
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 11
My 2019 Ford Ranger pickup receivier is too high for 16ft Bambi??

I've been towing my 2018 16ft Bambi with a 2018 toyota rav4 Adventure trim for two years, but after some awesome upgrades at Ultimate Airstreams in Portland Oregon, my gvwr and tongue weight were over the limit for my mighty Rav4. After doing tons of research and thinking about how I use the tv/trailer, I bought a 2019 Ford Ranger Lariat pickup truck. After spending fifteen weeks in quarantine, I drove out to pick up my TinyTrailer, and even the guys at Ultimate Airstream could not get it level with my Blue Ox WD hitch, even though they swapped my seven hole for a nine hole. I will drive it back to Utah this way, but am thinking maybe a lift kit for my trailer is the only way to level things out? Does anyone here with a ford Ranger have a better solution? I lovelovelove the Ford Ranger and never even thought about the difference in height between the back of the pick up and the trailer tongue. Are other WD systems better? Who installs liftkits? Sorry if this is not the correct place to post this? I thought anyone with a 2019 Ford Ranger could give advice?
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Old 06-24-2020, 10:40 PM   #4
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2017 22' Sport
NCR , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,362
we tow a 22fb with an AUdi q5

never had an issue, tows easily . worst case with many hills we get a 1/3 mileage reduction. most times its 15%-25%

andy as CANAM RV in london does tests. he still claims family vans and suv are often better than a truck. he tested both a corvette and a Porsche SUV in 2019. Both pulled an AS 25' well. But the corvette would get stuck on the hills and grass in most RV parks
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