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Old 04-14-2015, 10:28 PM   #1
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Cool Confused newbie, can I tow it?

Hello,

I own a 2009 F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 short box and want to get a travel trailer (had baby, wife says no more tenting).

I've been looking at various models and the one that seems to always catch my eye is the 26BH. I found a 2011 that I'd like to buy but I'm concerned that my truck can't safely pull it.

I've been doing a lot of research and using a few calculators/worksheets to calculate maximum towing capacity and tongue weight/payload but it is all very confusing. I feel like the trailer weight is fine but the tongue weight plus the weight of passengers will be over the payload rating.

Some stats:
TV: 2009 F-150 SuperCrew 4x4 short box, 3.55 Gear Ratio, 18" wheels
TV GVWR: 7200 lbs
TV Payload: 1400 lbs
TV Weight via weigh station today (half tank of gas, myself (215 lbs)) the truck weighed 6084 lbs. Would be travelling with wife and daughter.

TT Dry Weight: 4892 lbs (dry weight from factory including full propane tanks as per yellow GVWR sticker on door)
TT GVWR: 7500 lbs

We anticipate travelling without water, but estimating 1000 lbs for cargo in the trailer.

I feel comfortable with the trailer weight being fine but my calculations show the payload being a little over 1400 lbs. Am I calculating things correctly? With the weight distributing hitch, would it reduce the tongue weight so that the payload is acceptable?

Any advice you can offer is much appreciated.

Happy trails!
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:11 PM   #2
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If you weighed the truck and it was 6084lbs with just you then you don't have 1400lbs for payload. Your GVW is 7200lbs - 6084lbs plus your wife and child. That's only 1116lbs before you add the wife and child.


1000lbs is a good start for figuring cargo. Figure 6000lbs for the TT and @ 12% for TW that's 720lbs. 1116lbs - 720lbs = 396lbs left for the wife and child plus whatever else you put in the truck.


Close IMO, but still doable.
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:25 PM   #3
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I am just a babystep ahead of you as we just ordered our first TT. Tongue weight stays the same regardless of a weight distribution hitch. Nice folks at Equal-i-zer told me this. Figure 10-15% trailer weight into your payload. Hitch only helps put weight back where it came from (i.e.front axle weight that lifted up when hooking up trailer) but does not reduce tongue weight if that makes sense.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:00 AM   #4
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Right, weight distributing hitches do not reduce the tongue weight, it distributes / balances the tongue weight between the rear axle and front so the rear axle is not supporting all the tongue weight by itself and taking weight off the front axle.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:42 AM   #5
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You did not state your GCWR. That would help. I found this towing guide.

https://www.fleet.ford.com/resources...9RVTTguide.pdf

Because you have 18" wheels, footnote #1 says to back off max towing weight by 500 lbs. On the chart on page 17 in the link above, there is no line for a SuperCrew having 3.55 with 7200 GVWR. There is with a 3.31.

Hopefully, the link will provide the answers you need.

And here are some towing calculators.

RV Tow Check | Towing Guide Eliminator

Travel Trailer Weight Calculator
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:00 AM   #6
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You're fine.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goducks View Post
If you weighed the truck and it was 6084lbs with just you then you don't have 1400lbs for payload. Your GVW is 7200lbs - 6084lbs plus your wife and child. That's only 1116lbs before you add the wife and child.


1000lbs is a good start for figuring cargo. Figure 6000lbs for the TT and @ 12% for TW that's 720lbs. 1116lbs - 720lbs = 396lbs left for the wife and child plus whatever else you put in the truck.


Close IMO, but still doable.
Do you have a Cap on the PU bed? That would easily account for the discrepancy.

I agree, this is doable, it's very unlikely that you will fill that trailer to it's GVWR.

That said, not that I would discourage you from buying a trailer, but why would your wife say no more tenting? We took our daughter tenting when she was about 1 and up until she was about 8. Then we got a pop-up. It instilled in her a love for the outdoors and camping in general. She's 30 now and both her and her husband love tenting.

Here's a thought, keep your tent, and when your child gets to be about 5, take him/her tenting at least once a year for a weekend so they get that side of life too!
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:47 AM   #8
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Here's a thought, keep your tent, and when your child gets to be about 5, take him/her tenting at least once a year for a weekend so they get that side of life too!
Off topic, but I'm keeping my tent and my frame pack for exactly this reason. I want my son to experience the other side of camping.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:22 AM   #9
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After camping with 3 boys, one in diapers at some point. I can understand the wifes "no tents" logic. All my kids are now grown and have no desire to be outdoorsy. Yes they still go camping in tents, but they aren't into anything pertaining to the outdoors, like hiking, fishing, etc. They're into water skiing or swimming. I guess those early tenting days didn't have any impact. I can totally relate to any young family wanting a trailer for camping. Especially if they camp in CG's without showers. We do a family camp every year and a couple years ago we camped at a showerless CG. We ended up letting one of our sons kids take quick showers in our TT. If they could afford it they would all have TT's.


To the OP find the right TT and get out there and camp. Your daughter will have just as much fun in a trailer as she would in a tent. Especially when it starts to rain.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sebring96hbg View Post
You did not state your GCWR. That would help. I found this towing guide.

https://www.fleet.ford.com/resources...9RVTTguide.pdf

Because you have 18" wheels, footnote #1 says to back off max towing weight by 500 lbs. On the chart on page 17 in the link above, there is no line for a SuperCrew having 3.55 with 7200 GVWR. There is with a 3.31.

Hopefully, the link will provide the answers you need.

And here are some towing calculators.

RV Tow Check | Towing Guide Eliminator

Travel Trailer Weight Calculator
Thanks, I have used both of those calculators. The changing gears one says nogo using 15% tongue weight. I don't have the hitch yet but if I get one rated for 10k should be fine.

I have looked at that Ford towing guide you linked. The GCWR is 15,000 according to the chart (15,500 - 500 for 18" wheels). The dash just means same as above, so for 7200 GVWR for 3.55. The sticker on the door of the truck says 7200 as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
Do you have a Cap on the PU bed? That would easily account for the discrepancy.

I agree, this is doable, it's very unlikely that you will fill that trailer to it's GVWR.

That said, not that I would discourage you from buying a trailer, but why would your wife say no more tenting? We took our daughter tenting when she was about 1 and up until she was about 8. Then we got a pop-up. It instilled in her a love for the outdoors and camping in general. She's 30 now and both her and her husband love tenting.

Here's a thought, keep your tent, and when your child gets to be about 5, take him/her tenting at least once a year for a weekend so they get that side of life too!
I do have a folding tonneau cover. Our tent was old but we took our daughter out when she was 5 months...it went okay but so nice to have convenience of trailer when she needs to nap and it's 30 degrees out or when it's rainy and damp/cold in the night. We ended up tossing it instead of packing it up . We had only a small car and it was packed up so full...I'm sure it'd be better now that we have a truck.

Thanks for all of your input, everyone!
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:41 AM   #11
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Thanks, I have used both of those calculators. The changing gears one says nogo using 15% tongue weight. I don't have the hitch yet but if I get one rated for 10k should be fine.

I have looked at that Ford towing guide you linked. The GCWR is 15,000 according to the chart (15,500 - 500 for 18" wheels). The dash just means same as above, so for 7200 GVWR for 3.55. The sticker on the door of the truck says 7200 as well.



I do have a folding tonneau cover. Our tent was old but we took our daughter out when she was 5 months...it went okay but so nice to have convenience of trailer when she needs to nap and it's 30 degrees out or when it's rainy and damp/cold in the night. We ended up tossing it instead of packing it up . We had only a small car and it was packed up so full...I'm sure it'd be better now that we have a truck.

Thanks for all of your input, everyone!


Okay, you have a GCWR of 15,000 and a max towing capacity of 9,100 based on the linked chart. You should be good to go with a 26BH using a 10,000/1,000 WDH after factoring in cargo and margin using those calculators.

Good luck!
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:42 AM   #12
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Don't be fooled. The GCWR only refers to the load your TV can PULL, not how much it can CARRY. This is a common misconception and is what trailer salesmen use to sell you the biggest trailer they can. You are spot-on when looking at your payload. As stated earlier, you have only 1116# of payload capacity left - that is the weight your tires and suspension can safely carry and handle. If you max out the GVWR on your TT, the tongue weight alone would be about 975# (13% of GVWR).

Some other things to consider - your hitch also counts against your payload. And any firewood, gear, etc in your truck bed, as well. You would be surprised at how much your "stuff" weighs when you load your TT - food, water (8.2#/gal), clothes, pots/pans/kitchen gear, etc. That could easily top 750#, even if you are conservative.

I'd say stop by the scales when you are loaded and head out for a typical camping trip. that's the only way to truly know. You are probably OK - especially for local short trips, but consider if you are headed out for a two week vacation. You will be loaded pretty good, if you are like me.

Many folks guess. I like to know for sure - for the sake of my loved ones and others on the road. Ask yourself if you feel good about being able to keep both truck and TT under control if an emergency situation arises at highway speeds - an idiot driver, crosswind bursts, tire blowout. Ultimately, only you know in your own mind. I did it for the first season with a 1/2-ton Suburban and a similarly sized TT, but bought my 3/4-ton HD pickup before the next season.

Just my opinion. There will be others.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:48 AM   #13
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I believe we have the same truck mine is just newer....your payload is the issue and it is where I would center my attention. 1400 lbs is not a lot when you consider you and your wife and child and items you will need in your truck cab.

If you are going East when you travel for camping you could tow the trailer easily but going west thru the Rockies you will suffer pulling that weight.
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:02 PM   #14
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Scoutr2 nailed it. Think of a typical trip, load up and weight the truck. You'll be surprised. Just because Ford says it can tow X lbs doesn't mean it's remotely possible. What they don't tell you is that you have to work with the payload. You have that part figured out, which is great. Like Scoutr2 said weigh the truck and work backwards. See what you have for payload after weighing, then use that for the TW. Don't forget to add the WDH into the equation. (100lbs) Give yourself a cushion. Then take that weight and use 13% and figure what your loaded TT could weigh. The TW is supposed to be between 10-15%. It's not written is stone that it has to be 12-13-14%. By giving yourself a cushion you won't come out on the short end if the TW ends up near 15%.
Consider yourself lucky for being smart enough to gather info before purchasing. Too, too many come on these sites after buying a trailer and find out they bought one that's too big for their truck. Now they're stuck with a truck that's maxed to the gills and buried in payments with no way to remedy the situation without taking it in the shorts.


Good luck is your search.
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:11 PM   #15
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I would tow that setup anywhere I wanted to go but I would not be in any hurry to get there. Get an equalizer hitch and enjoy it. Your real limitations are 18 inch wheels, perhaps being geared a bit high for towing. Once you understand your limitations you just deal with them as in slowing down and forget over drive even of flat ground.
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:58 PM   #16
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If it helps, when I had a 26BH my tongue weight got as high as 850lbs. I think you could keep it under that, but thought I would share.

I towed it both with a Tahoe and 1500 Silverado. It was adequate, not great, the issue I had was a 4 speed transmission in the mountains. I think a newer 6 speed would make a difference, but since I was planning a upgrade I just took the plunge to a Duramax.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:17 PM   #17
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Problem with the 09 F150 is the 5.4 3.55 gears and the 6sp tranny. In 09-10 ford didn't have the select shift feature. And no OD lockout. BTDT with my 2010 F150. The tranny can't be locked in any gear like the 2011 and up. You just stick it in D and you're a the mercy of Fords programming. My 2010 hunted for the right gear all day long. I live in Oregon and we've got hills and mtns everywhere we go. Only place we don't is running N-S on I-5. But once you get into the southern part of the state you hit some 5-6% grades. Even going over an overpass the tranny will go from 6-4th then to 5th and back to 6th. It will fluctuate between 5th-6th depending on wind too. I hated it. For reference I was towing 7300lbs @31' and had 3.73 gears. The thoughts of 3.55 gears and the 5.4 towing 7300lbs would've been no fun. Maybe in Florida, but not anywhere where there are hill and mtns.


Also I towed the same TT with an 08 F150 5.4 3.73 gears but with the 4sp. I found the 2010 6sp to be better off the line because of the lower 1st gear and better spacing. Interesting thing though is when climbing one of the grades in the moutains where we camp a lot, both trucks turned the same rpms (34-3500) just in different gears. 08 was in 3rd and the 10 was in 4th. Only advantage to the 10 was starting out.
The OP is looking at a TT that when loaded will be 1000+lbs lighter than mine. He should do somewhat better. But it won't be an easy tow because of the non select feature of the 6sp. For the good however Ford did a great job on the tranny cooling. I used a Scan gage that I had in the 08 in the 10. The 08 was always hitting some high temps on the same grades. The 10 stayed fairly even. It ran hotter form the start compared to the 08, but didn't fluctuate nearly as bad.
The 5.4 is just plain bullet proof. That's why they used it in the HD trucks. So working it won't hurt it. But with the 3.55 gears and 6000lbs be fore warned that it will hunt for gears all day long unless you're on flat ground with a tail wind.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:30 PM   #18
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This is a good post, there is plenty here from which to make a decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goducks View Post
Problem with the 09 F150 is the 5.4 3.55 gears and the 6sp tranny. In 09-10 ford didn't have the select shift feature. And no OD lockout. BTDT with my 2010 F150. The tranny can't be locked in any gear like the 2011 and up. You just stick it in D and you're a the mercy of Fords programming. My 2010 hunted for the right gear all day long. I live in Oregon and we've got hills and mtns everywhere we go. Only place we don't is running N-S on I-5. But once you get into the southern part of the state you hit some 5-6% grades. Even going over an overpass the tranny will go from 6-4th then to 5th and back to 6th. It will fluctuate between 5th-6th depending on wind too. I hated it. For reference I was towing 7300lbs @31' and had 3.73 gears. The thoughts of 3.55 gears and the 5.4 towing 7300lbs would've been no fun. Maybe in Florida, but not anywhere where there are hill and mtns.


Also I towed the same TT with an 08 F150 5.4 3.73 gears but with the 4sp. I found the 2010 6sp to be better off the line because of the lower 1st gear and better spacing. Interesting thing though is when climbing one of the grades in the moutains where we camp a lot, both trucks turned the same rpms (34-3500) just in different gears. 08 was in 3rd and the 10 was in 4th. Only advantage to the 10 was starting out.
The OP is looking at a TT that when loaded will be 1000+lbs lighter than mine. He should do somewhat better. But it won't be an easy tow because of the non select feature of the 6sp. For the good however Ford did a great job on the tranny cooling. I used a Scan gage that I had in the 08 in the 10. The 08 was always hitting some high temps on the same grades. The 10 stayed fairly even. It ran hotter form the start compared to the 08, but didn't fluctuate nearly as bad.
The 5.4 is just plain bullet proof. That's why they used it in the HD trucks. So working it won't hurt it. But with the 3.55 gears and 6000lbs be fore warned that it will hunt for gears all day long unless you're on flat ground with a tail wind.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:05 PM   #19
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Don't be fooled. The GCWR only refers to the load your TV can PULL, not how much it can CARRY.

(SNIP)


I see that your post followed mine regarding GCWR. I asked about GCWR because the data point was missing in the OP's first post and because having the data point would be needed in the two online calculators I provided in my earlier post in this thread.

I concur with you on the points you raised. I have relied on the Changing Gears calculator while using a conservative margin of safety when I made my purchase.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:08 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone again for your input. I have one more question, this in regards to the WD systems. I talked to a former hitch shop employee and he recommended this one: Pro Series - Weight Distribution System - Round Bar Style, incl. shank; CAP: 800 lbs. TW - 49569 | hitchweb but a lot of people seem to use the Reese system, Reese - Weight Distribution System, with integraged Sway control; CAP: 800 lbs. TW - 66153 | hitchweb.

Obviously, that Reese system has built in sway control and the Pro Series can add on a friction sway control unit. Is one easier to use than the other? The Reese seems simpler to me. And should I go for one rated for an 800 lb tongue weight? Or 1,000 or 1,200? If I get one that's too highly rated, does that throw things out of whack?
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