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Old 11-14-2017, 06:15 AM   #1
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What can I pull with Ford F150?

We're in the Airstream dreaming/shopping stage and we're wondering what size trailer we can safely pull with our 2007 Ford F150. Attached is the door tag from the truck and more info from doing a VIN lookup. Comments and advice from experienced trailer haulers is most welcome

Type
8 Cylinder Engine
Displacement L/CI
5.4/330
Fuel Type
Flex Fuel Capability
Horsepower
300.0 @ 5000
Fuel Economy
15.0 City / 19.0 Highway MPG
Fuel Capacity
27.0 / 35.0 gal
Net Torque
365.0 @ 3750
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:19 AM   #2
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Boy have you ever opened up a can of worms with this question . I'm afraid you are going get so much contradictory information on this forum that you will end up being very confused . I'd seek out the personal, first hand advice of someone who actually pulls an Airstream of the size you want with a similar truck . Best of luck!
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:50 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
Boy have you ever opened up a can of worms with this question . I'm afraid you are going get so much contradictory information on this forum that you will end up being very confused . I'd seek out the personal, first hand advice of someone who actually pulls an Airstream of the size you want with a similar truck . Best of luck!
Uh oh...sorry about that! I was hoping this would be the place for personal, first hand advice.
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:19 AM   #4
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Does the truck have a tow package?
What is the rating of the receiver hitch?
Is there a brake controller?
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:25 AM   #5
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The determining factors here are payload and towing capacity. How much weight can you put ON the truck (payload) and how much can you PULL with the truck (towing capacity).

Once you have those two numbers, you can work your way back and see how much you can tow. Remember, in addition to the weight the Airstream will put ON you truck, you also need to add passengers and cargo to that number.

For example, my truck has a payload of 1600 pounds and can tow 8300 pounds. My 30í Airstream puts about 1000 pounds of weight ON my truck, so I have 600 pounds left for passengers and cargo. Enough for me. It might not be enough for others that have a larger family or more cargo.

The max weight of my trailer is 8800 pounds, but the way I have it loaded, itís about 7000-7500 pounds. Well under the 8300 pounds PULLING limit. So I tow happy as a clam. Your numbers will obviously be different.

The poster above is commenting on the inevitable conflict that will come with all sorts of other opinions on axle weights, GVWR, weight distribution, and the other 20 topics that people use to justify using a 1 ton pickup truck to pull an Airstream. Some will think your truck is too small and too light. Others tow with your same truck all day long. Opinions are like .... belly buttons. Everybody has one. Just look at the numbers and make sure you invest in a decent weight distributing and anti sway hitch, and youíll be surprised how much Airstream you can tow.

Good luck!
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:00 AM   #6
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Where are you planning to go? How many miles on the truck? What condition is it in?
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:42 AM   #7
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You can pull whatever you want.
A better question is, "What can I stop?"
With the addition of a good receiver, equalizer hitch, better tires, and an electric brake controller, you'll be fine as long as you don't overload it and your brakes are up to the task.

My 1/2 ton pulls the Airstream smoothly. It's easy to forget it's there. I'm still adjusting the brake controller because I just don't think I can stop fast enough. Of course, I leave plenty of room, but that just encourages people to dive in in front of you and jam on the brakes.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
Does the truck have a tow package?
What is the rating of the receiver hitch?
Is there a brake controller?
It has a hitch but I don't think it has an optional tow package per se.

I do have a brake controller we installed to pull our small Casita camper. Can I assume it's sufficient for an Airstream?

The best I can find out about the receiver hitch rating is:

Dead Weight Hitch - Max Trailer Wt. 5000 lbs 5000.0 min 5000.0 max
Dead Weight Hitch - Max Tongue Wt. 500 lbs 500.0 min 500.0 max
Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Trailer Wt. 8400, 9400, 5700, 7900, 8900, 6200 lbs 5700.0 min 9500.0 max

The numbers are a bit confusing and I apologize for my ignorance.

The truck has a little over 100k miles, has been properly maintained and is good working order.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:53 AM   #9
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Specs for your Ford f-150. As you see, it varies depending on your particular configuration.
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:20 AM   #10
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What can I pull with Ford F150?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam.A View Post
We're in the Airstream dreaming/shopping stage and we're wondering what size trailer we can safely pull with our 2007 Ford F150. Attached is the door tag from the truck and more info from doing a VIN lookup. Comments and advice from experienced trailer haulers is most welcome

Type
8 Cylinder Engine
Displacement L/CI
5.4/330
Fuel Type
Flex Fuel Capability
Horsepower
300.0 @ 5000
Fuel Economy
15.0 City / 19.0 Highway MPG
Fuel Capacity
27.0 / 35.0 gal
Net Torque
365.0 @ 3750
The owner's manual that came with your truck has the real answers to your questions.

Look at the "Tire loading" and "Trailer towing" sections. Pay special attention to the chart in the trailer towing section.

There is a note in there somewhere that says (paraphrased) your truck is limited to ~5,000 lbs trailer weight unless you have the factory towing package.

add edit:
There is another placard (other than the one shown in your photo) that shows the axles capacities, tire capacities, and payload capacities of your specific vehicle. Total weight of people, cargo, and trailer tongue weights should not exceed axle/tire/payload capacity.
The tongue weight the trailer manufacture states does not include cargo/propane/water in the trailer. When estimating, a good rule of thumb is to assume the loaded trailer's tongue will weight between 10% and 15% of the trailer's gross weight rating (GVWR).
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:01 AM   #11
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Do you want a Classic 30?
Or do you want a Flying Cloud 23?
Have you picked out a trailer?
Maybe choose your trailer and then see if it fits the parameters.
I tow a Classic 30 with a Tundra.
It handles well, but I am eating up every single pound of payload.
Maybe if you get a trailer smaller than mine you will be OK.
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:10 AM   #12
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Your limited to 5000# because the hitch is a class 3?
You need a class 4.
Now a class three can tow up to 10,000# with a weight distributing hitch. It must be securely attached to the frame.

Since almost any Airstream will be over 5,000# with over 500# of tongue weight, make sure the hitch is up to par and not a "bumper hitch". Should have a 2" receiver.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:10 PM   #13
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Check Manufacturer's Website for Specifics

Not sure how Ford does it, but for Ram, I can go to the mopar.com site and enter my VIN. The site gives me several items of information beyond my window sticker including the towing capacity for our specific truck. Capacity is influenced by the options you have including, for instance, the rear axle ratio of your truck, towing package, etc.

So much easier to let the manufacturer tell me about our exact truck :-)
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Old 11-15-2017, 01:01 PM   #14
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Thank you all for your comments. I have a towing package but I'm not quite sure it's the heavy duty one, but my receiver is rated for 9,900 lbs with a weight distribution hitch. The ratio is 3.73 and I have a transmission cooler so I believe I'm good to go with most trailers that we're considering, which are in the 20-25 foot range. I just didn't want to get something and find out I need a bigger tow vehicle. Thanks again for your comments and suggestions!

Oh, and I did obtain a window sticker which shows exactly what my truck came with. Stays tow package but doesn't specify heavy duty.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:29 PM   #15
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If it doesn't use the phrase "Max Trailer Tow Package" it is the standard tow package.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:10 PM   #16
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You want to look at the white and yellow sticker up from that one. It is called the "load" sticker by Ford and indicates the payload figure for the specific truck it is on. In the owner's manual it describes the weight capacity on this sticker with a graphic showing people, cargo and tongue weight as payload and, not to exceed the rating.

The tongue weight is the limiting factor. The tow rating will be higher I believe and should not be a problem. I had an '09 with the 4.6L 3Vhigh output and six speed. It was able to pull 8100# and had a payload of 1540#. My Airstream Safari 25' at 1000# tongue was 7000# gross weight. It could tow it but roared on hills gearing to whatever needed speed, especially in West Virginia. It had the tow package. I do not know what years Ford had a sticker like this but it was/is on my '09, '15 and '17. The engine was 292HP and 320 ft lbs torque. My thought is a 22' Sport or perhaps 23' at most but check for the payload.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
Boy have you ever opened up a can of worms with this question . I'm afraid you are going get so much contradictory information on this forum that you will end up being very confused . I'd seek out the personal, first hand advice of someone who actually pulls an Airstream of the size you want with a similar truck . Best of luck!


Good advice!
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbo View Post
If it doesn't use the phrase "Max Trailer Tow Package" it is the standard tow package.
Thanks Bobbo. It doesnít use the phrase but appears to have all of the components that make up the Max Tow package with the exception of extendable mirrors, which I think come with Max Tow.
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Old 11-16-2017, 07:28 AM   #19
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Thanks Bobbo. It doesn’t use the phrase but appears to have all of the components that make up the Max Tow package with the exception of extendable mirrors, which I think come with Max Tow.
No, the Max Tow does not include extendable mirrors. Mine doesn't have them. They are a different option. Here is a post from a different forum that gives a pretty good listing of the differences.

Quote:
Max. Trailer Tow Package (optional on all trims; required for towing up to 12,200 lbs.; requires 3.5L EcoBoost engine) includes 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness, Class IV trailer hitch receiver, Smart Trailer Tow Connector, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, auxiliary transmission oil cooler, 3.55 electronic locking rear axle, trailer brake controller, and upgraded front stabilizer bar and rear bumper

the 'regular' tow package is as follows:

Trailer Tow Package (optional on all trims; required for towing up to 11,100 lbs.) includes 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness, Class IV trailer hitch receiver, Smart Trailer Tow Connector, Pro Trailer Backup Assist,™ auxiliary transmission oil cooler, and upgraded front stabilizer bar

neither package includes trailer tow mirrors, which is a separate option. that was my problem, finding a truck with trailer tow mirrors. then it didn't have a brake controller but my dealer added it after delivery. the people who order trucks for dealers have no idea what theyre doing when specing a truck for towing.
According to this, it seems that Max Tow gets 3.55 electronic locking rear axle, trailer brake controller and upgraded rear bumper.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:52 PM   #20
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Welcome!

With a weight distribution hitch a tongue weight of 800 to 1000-lbs as example, will, after adjustment, place a load on the truck of from approx 700-800/lbs. Or 350-400/lbs per axle. Which yours can handle just fine. Many other vehicle types as well.

First step should be to find the local Cat Scale (get phone app) and top off the fuel tank on the pickup with just driver and items kept permanently aboard. That will be the TARE weight. The adjusted lightest weight.

With Steer and Drive Axle weights shown, the range from those to the vehicle tire/axle limits tell what one can work with. It'll be quite a lot.

I'd change shock absorbers to Bilstein, and check the pickup (verify) that alignment is correct and brake drag aren't present. Steering is vital and pickups not too good. Correct any slop.

Tires are a concern as stiff sidewalls are a help. XL or LT tires worth your investigation. See threads around here.

The Ford hitch receiver of your era would benefit from diagonal bracing. See comments by AS dealer Andrew Thomson on this (you can contact that firm, Can Am RV, for the info a local shop could use to weld this for you). Ask also about recommended tires.

Tow mirrors, trans cooler, brake controller wiring, etc, needs investigating as above.

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