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Old 07-02-2014, 11:35 AM   #1
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F150 Stability vs 3/4 Ton

We currently have a 2013 F150 157" wheelbase with ~1500lbs payload but with 7500lbs max tow rating. The towing capacity (3.55 axle) is low but payload is respectable for a 1/2 ton.

We are towing a 31' long, 281BHS, 6200lbs trailer with 750-800lbs (13%) tongue weight. I have been over the scale a few times now and that is loaded and ready to camp weight. All my other numbers are below max capacity. Rear axle is the closest at 36lbs under max rating. Family was all aboard too.

Our problem is the stability of the trailer. I am using an Anderson hitch which while not great for weight distribution is reportedly well rated for sway control. On our last trip out it was pretty windy and my wife was driving. I have always been aware of the wind and affect from passing vehicles as I usually drive but my wife was not comfortable at all and she even got tired arms. I drove part of the way and it certainly was windier than usual and we were moving around a fair bit.

So after that bit of history my questions......

I read lots of posts of people in half tons pulling longer and heavier trailers with many "You can hardly tell its back there" comments. Is this just all based on your tolerance or comfort level while pulling a trailer? Certainly if my family wasn't aboard I would probably just live with it but I am worried about a panic situation and maintaining control if the wind can move our truck around that much.

Would a more capable half ton be an improvement? Other than the HD payload option on the F150 I don't think my truck is any different from others in the suspension and stability department.

Is it worth throwing money at the F150 to improve it or should we just move up to a 3/4 ton? My wife is onboard with moving up after she drove on the last trip out.

Is a 3/4 ton a big improvement in the stability and comfort area while towing?

Thanks for reading all that and I look forward to your replies.

Cheers
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:41 AM   #2
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Night and day difference. Once you go to a 3/4 ton or 1 ton you will never go back. Good luck
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:45 AM   #3
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I probably don't have anything to contribute to this discussion because I drive a F350 and I have a fifth wheel. But I don't think it would change much moving up to a bigger truck. Only thing about a bigger truck that may help it would be that it weighs more (a lot more...my truck is about 7700 lbs I think), so that may help with the stability because its more mass for the wind to move around. Also they are built to take more of that abuse (brakes, suspension, etc). When I bought my truck with the towing package, it "supposidly" has some stability system built into it that uses differential braking I believe to help with side to side. Personally I haven't noticed any difference. One big plus for me with a bigger truck is that is would probably withstand a crash better than an F-150. Purely speculation but being bigger and heavier I think it would. My wife drives ours as an every day driver and it makes me happy because if someone hits her, she has a better chance of walking away. These things are built like tanks.



Downside is they have a rough ride when unloaded.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:30 PM   #4
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I pull a 33 ft and with only a cheap single friction sway control I get zero sway with my 3/4 ton.
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:30 PM   #5
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My recommendation, if you really want to keep the F150, is to look into the ProPride 3P hitch. You don't need a 3/4 ton truck for that camper. I actually went from a 2003 3/4 ton gas truck to a 2013 Tundra 1/2 ton because I was not towing at my max. I then bought the best hitch on the market and only 1 of 2 hitches that ELIMINATE sway. I now tow better than my buddy who has a 3/4 ton Ram Cummins and a 28BHS when it's windy out. He still pulls better because of the diesel but as far as sway and handling, my setup works 100% better...he tells me that everytime we tow together!
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:41 PM   #6
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IMO a 2500/250 would help with what you are describing. Outside of the engine/transmission differences, these trucks have significantly more stout suspension and 10 ply LT tires.

If you wanted to try to make some changed to your F150 to improve stability I would look at upgradeing to LT tires and changing you hitch to one with a bit more "experience". That Anderson might be a great, it is newer to that market, and the issues you are descriding should be able to be addressed with a differnt hitch setup.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:14 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies so far.

Hensley or Propride are good suggestions. I didn't really think of that because they are so expensive but still much cheaper than upgrading vehicles.

Another reason for the 3/4 ton is the payload though. Unless my 2 year old and 8 month old stop growing and we don't add anything else to the trailer I can see our weights creep up and even now I really have to pack carefully. Not to mention the ability to haul water in the trailer!

Something to think about.

Thanks
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:21 PM   #8
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Heck any time my Wife is on board for a new truck I would buy the bigger truck no question
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:37 PM   #9
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Equalizer hitch is also another good choice.

The weight of the trailer is also a factor, heavy is more stable. We pulled a 31 foot trailer with an F150 and Equalizer hitch and it was not much fun if it was windy. I pulled that trailer once with the F250 and it did make a difference but the real difference was when I purchased a 10,000 lb trailer. It pulls in wind just fine.

I would expect some improvement with a bigger truck....some with a better hitch. You could start with the hitch.
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVDusty View Post
Heck any time my Wife is on board for a new truck I would buy the bigger truck no question
^^ What he said. Everything will get bigger. Don't spend a fortune now on something that will probably get replaced when the trailer gets larger. Been there, done that, and wasted money too! That being said, sounds like there are some new WDH setups a that really help with sway. And you can sell those later if you do upgrade trucks so not a total loss.
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