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I could use some advice from towing experts.

Nasto

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My neighbor, who has decades of trailer towing experience, tows his 27’ DFOX with a 1-ton V8 diesel (non-Ford). He said that allows him to tow it anywhere, especially to maintain high speeds up severe upgrades.

I mentioned that my wife and I are looking to travel once retirement hits in 3 years and that we have looked at Airstreams (her dream) and have probably settled on a 24 ft. Flying Cloud.

He looked at my 2022 F-150 PowerBoost and said “yeah, it’ll tow it and everyone and all the data sheets say it will, but it won’t be very good at it, especially on hills where you could really strain the engine.”

Now, I didn’t go into the fact that the Gen 14’s are different from what he thinks of an F-150, and I didn’t go into the Max Tow Package, PB engine, etc., but seeing that we bought this truck on the assumption it could tow a fairly small trailer, am I missing something here? Are we going to have a problem with towing efficiently with the numbers below?

Here's the hard data for my VIN and also the Flying Cloud 24’.

  • Vehicle Capacity: F-150 PB 6.5 ft Bed w/Max Tow Package:
  • GVWR: 7,350 lbs.
  • GCWR (F-150, Trailer and payload) 18,400 lbs.
  • Airstream GVWR: 6,000 lbs.
  • Tongue weight: 500 lbs.
  • GCWR of F-150 + Airstream Flying Cloud 24’ + Added Payload weight of occupants, etc.: 14, 350 lbs.


18,400 lbs. max GCWR minus actual GCWR of 14,350 lbs. = 4,050 lbs.


I come in under the max weight by over 4,000 lbs.


Am I missing anything? Anyone with real-world towing experience who can shed some light, especially with an Airstream?


Thanks in advance!
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speedracercjr

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My neighbor, who has decades of trailer towing experience, tows his 27’ DFOX with a 1-ton V8 diesel (non-Ford). He said that allows him to tow it anywhere, especially to maintain high speeds up severe upgrades.

I mentioned that my wife and I are looking to travel once retirement hits in 3 years and that we have looked at Airstreams (her dream) and have probably settled on a 24 ft. Flying Cloud.

He looked at my 2022 F-150 PowerBoost and said “yeah, it’ll tow it and everyone and all the data sheets say it will, but it won’t be very good at it, especially on hills where you could really strain the engine.”

Now, I didn’t go into the fact that the Gen 14’s are different from what he thinks of an F-150, and I didn’t go into the Max Tow Package, PB engine, etc., but seeing that we bought this truck on the assumption it could tow a fairly small trailer, am I missing something here? Are we going to have a problem with towing efficiently with the numbers below?

Here's the hard data for my VIN and also the Flying Cloud 24’.

  • Vehicle Capacity: F-150 PB 6.5 ft Bed w/Max Tow Package:
  • GVWR: 7,350 lbs.
  • GCWR (F-150, Trailer and payload) 18,400 lbs.
  • Airstream GVWR: 6,000 lbs.
  • Tongue weight: 500 lbs.
  • GCWR of F-150 + Airstream Flying Cloud 24’ + Added Payload weight of occupants, etc.: 14, 350 lbs.


18,400 lbs. max GCWR minus actual GCWR of 14,350 lbs. = 4,050 lbs.


I come in under the max weight by over 4,000 lbs.


Am I missing anything? Anyone with real-world towing experience who can shed some light, especially with an Airstream?


Thanks in advance!
I have a 29' Jayco trailer with the same GVWR & Tongue weight as you. I've put around 2,500 miles down pulling it, over some decent sized hills so far. I have zero problems towing it on flat ground. When it's super windy I do get reminded it's back there, but nothing that has every caused me concern. As for the hills, yes the truck is definitely feeling it however I wouldn't say it's strained. It downshifts into the correct gear, turbos are spinning and the RPM's are higher than flat towing but that's to be expected. Braking down hills is even better, between the trailer brakes and the truck I've never had concern or worry that I couldn't stop on a heavy grade.

All that being said I would think the engine would be strained if you started pulling in the heavy mountains of say Colorado. The truck could do it, but you'll be slower than a diesel could do it for sure. I've wrestled with the thought myself and have decided that if we continue loving the travel trailer I'll upgrade to a F250 at some point and also upgrade our trailer size. As for now my 150 is pulling the Jayco just fine.
 

Davexxxx

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You forgot payload and your tongue weight sounds pretty light..

Those max towing numbers are for a stripped XL, not your Lariat.

I'd suggest opening an account at Ford.com

There you can plug in your VIN and they have a towing calculator for your exact truck.

I don't doubt that you can make it work but I do doubt that you have as much leeway as you think.
 

powerboatr

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imo
if you plan to tow LOTS OF MILES, mountains etc.
get at least diesel f250 4x4 crewcab
you will have plenty of payload left over and towing a bumper pull ..payload is important because you end up with lots of STUFF in the bed, because bumper pulls really don't have much space for STUFF and still stay within its gvwr.
full time...plan on at least 3k lb s of STUFF you bring along
get a nice topper and maybe decked for storage and enjoy the pull
the TQ and ability of the 6.7 in the ford is unmatched and still pull in decent mpg
stronger brakes, engine brake and rides really good for a 4x4 crew cab weighing around 8600lbs

we have done the full deal
towables fiver, class A, etc
you will be amazed at how fast STUFF finds it way with you and weights go up and truck is doing its best,


what is the gvwr and emtpy weight of the airstream?
even in our first 40 foot fiver it was gvwr of 14k and we ended up with 2k lbs of payload...yikes
our class a now has over 4klbs of STUFF payload.
most bumper pull towables are less than 2k lbs of payload.

for me running at or near max weight on trailer is a recipe for issues
splurge on highest capacity axles you can get on trailer.

if you plan on short runs and can really PACK lite...then stay with the 150

bottom line for us is
a truck basically running easy will last longer and be happier than on that is running near max capacity.
a f150 rated at 18k gcvwr is optimistic on a 1/2 ton frame, brakes etc
that 4k lbs of free space is not real, it will be eaten up fast
especially axle ratings when you load up bed with STUFF that wont fit in camper or makes camper exceed its gvwr or axle ratings
just my nickle
your are doing the math now and thinking it through .....that goes way above most
good job sir
.
 
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Nasto

Nasto

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You forgot payload and your tongue weight sounds pretty light..

Those max towing numbers are for a stripped XL, not your Lariat.

I'd suggest opening an account at Ford.com

There you can plug in your VIN and they have a towing calculator for your exact truck.

I don't doubt that you can make it work but I do doubt that you have as much leeway as you think.
I actually do have a ford.com account and those numbers are for my VIN.

But just to check how I got there, I log into my account and go to vehicle dashboard. From there, I scroll down to Towing Calculator and I get this:

Ford F-150 I could use some advice from towing experts. 2023-08-02_21-25-32
 

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Nasto

Nasto

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imo
if you plan to tow LOTS OF MILES, mountains etc.
get at least diesel f250 4x4 crewcab
you will have plenty of payload left over and towing a bumper pull ..payload is important because you end up with lots of STUFF in the bed, because bumper pulls really don't have much space for STUFF and still stay within its gvwr.
full time...plan on at least 3k lb s of STUFF you bring along
get a nice topper and maybe decked for storage and enjoy the pull
the TQ and ability of the 6.7 in the ford is unmatched and still pull in decent mpg
stronger brakes, engine brake and rides really good for a 4x4 crew cab weighing around 8600lbs

we have done the full deal
towables fiver, class A, etc
you will be amazed at how fast STUFF finds it way with you and weights go up and truck is doing its best,


what is the gvwr and emtpy weight of the airstream?
even in our first 40 foot fiver it was gvwr of 14k and we ended up with 2k lbs of payload...yikes
our class a now has over 4klbs of STUFF payload.
most bumper pull towables are less than 2k lbs of payload.

for me running at or near max weight on trailer is a recipe for issues
splurge on highest capacity axles you can get on trailer.

if you plan on short runs and can really PACK lite...then stay with the 150

bottom line for us is
a truck basically running easy will last longer and be happier than on that is running near max capacity.
a f150 rated at 18k gcvwr is optimistic on a 1/2 ton frame, brakes etc
that 4k lbs of free space is not real, it will be eaten up fast
especially axle ratings when you load up bed with STUFF that wont fit in camper or makes camper exceed its gvwr or axle ratings
just my nickle
your are doing the math now and thinking it through .....that goes way above most
good job sir
.
Excellent points. Thank you! To answer your question, the Airstream "Unit Base Weight", as they refer to it is 5,000 lbs. Net carrying capacity is 1,000 lbs. So GVWR is 6,000 lbs. This particular model has a dual axle.
 
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Nasto

Nasto

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I have a 29' Jayco trailer with the same GVWR & Tongue weight as you. I've put around 2,500 miles down pulling it, over some decent sized hills so far. I have zero problems towing it on flat ground. When it's super windy I do get reminded it's back there, but nothing that has every caused me concern. As for the hills, yes the truck is definitely feeling it however I wouldn't say it's strained. It downshifts into the correct gear, turbos are spinning and the RPM's are higher than flat towing but that's to be expected. Braking down hills is even better, between the trailer brakes and the truck I've never had concern or worry that I couldn't stop on a heavy grade.

All that being said I would think the engine would be strained if you started pulling in the heavy mountains of say Colorado. The truck could do it, but you'll be slower than a diesel could do it for sure. I've wrestled with the thought myself and have decided that if we continue loving the travel trailer I'll upgrade to a F250 at some point and also upgrade our trailer size. As for now my 150 is pulling the Jayco just fine.
Thanks for this!
 

dklyonsjr

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My neighbor, who has decades of trailer towing experience, tows his 27’ DFOX with a 1-ton V8 diesel (non-Ford). He said that allows him to tow it anywhere, especially to maintain high speeds up severe upgrades.

I mentioned that my wife and I are looking to travel once retirement hits in 3 years and that we have looked at Airstreams (her dream) and have probably settled on a 24 ft. Flying Cloud.

He looked at my 2022 F-150 PowerBoost and said “yeah, it’ll tow it and everyone and all the data sheets say it will, but it won’t be very good at it, especially on hills where you could really strain the engine.”

Now, I didn’t go into the fact that the Gen 14’s are different from what he thinks of an F-150, and I didn’t go into the Max Tow Package, PB engine, etc., but seeing that we bought this truck on the assumption it could tow a fairly small trailer, am I missing something here? Are we going to have a problem with towing efficiently with the numbers below?

Here's the hard data for my VIN and also the Flying Cloud 24’.

  • Vehicle Capacity: F-150 PB 6.5 ft Bed w/Max Tow Package:
  • GVWR: 7,350 lbs.
  • GCWR (F-150, Trailer and payload) 18,400 lbs.
  • Airstream GVWR: 6,000 lbs.
  • Tongue weight: 500 lbs.
  • GCWR of F-150 + Airstream Flying Cloud 24’ + Added Payload weight of occupants, etc.: 14, 350 lbs.


18,400 lbs. max GCWR minus actual GCWR of 14,350 lbs. = 4,050 lbs.


I come in under the max weight by over 4,000 lbs.


Am I missing anything? Anyone with real-world towing experience who can shed some light, especially with an Airstream?


Thanks in advance!
I just traded in my F-250 Diesel for a ‘23 F-150 3.5 Ecoboost with Max Tow. Pulled my 31’ Airstream and family of five on a 5000 mile excursion from Alabama out west. It pulled great, including big inclines and full water tanks. It honestly surprised me and I’m very happy with the trade. Do I miss anything about the diesel? Yes - I could drive 70-75 and still get 10-12 mpg. The F-150 has to dig into the turbos to maintain that speed and fuel economy goes down. Engine never broke a sweat and I still had plenty of power remaining if needed.
To get 11mpg I had to stay at 69-70 mph, and the turbo gauge showed flat (not in use) most of the time. That’s much safer driving and I wasn’t in a hurry.
What I love is driving this truck the other 99% of the time when I’m not towing. Fast, easy to park, doesn’t require a football field to turn around, etc.

Ford F-150 I could use some advice from towing experts. IMG_7222


Ford F-150 I could use some advice from towing experts. IMG_4849


Ford F-150 I could use some advice from towing experts. IMG_5277
 

JohngaltinOC

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I just traded in my F-250 Diesel for a ‘23 F-150 3.5 Ecoboost with Max Tow. Pulled my 31’ Airstream and family of five on a 5000 mile excursion from Alabama out west. It pulled great, including big inclines and full water tanks. It honestly surprised me and I’m very happy with the trade. Do I miss anything about the diesel? Yes - I could drive 70-75 and still get 10-12 mpg. The F-150 has to dig into the turbos to maintain that speed and fuel economy goes down. Engine never broke a sweat and I still had plenty of power remaining if needed.
To get 11mpg I had to stay at 69-70 mph, and the turbo gauge showed flat (not in use) most of the time. That’s much safer driving and I wasn’t in a hurry.
What I love is driving this truck the other 99% of the time when I’m not towing. Fast, easy to park, doesn’t require a football field to turn around, etc.

IMG_7222.jpeg


IMG_4849.jpeg


IMG_5277.png
I have zero experience with this, but you're towing that set-up at 70mph?
 

JohngaltinOC

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I actually do have a ford.com account and those numbers are for my VIN.

But just to check how I got there, I log into my account and go to vehicle dashboard. From there, I scroll down to Towing Calculator and I get this:

2023-08-02_21-25-32.jpg
I am a newbie on this topic, but trying to learn from all the folks here myself. You are seeing that you have your wife and yourself weighing in at only 300# right? and nothing for luggage, items in bed, hitch, etc., etc.? Here's mine, and it drastically changes the math from yours...One question for anyone - how does a weight distribution hitch change anything here? or does it? I thought with one I could have a much higher tongue weight?
Ford F-150 I could use some advice from towing experts. Ford Towing Calculator_my truck
 
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bgalakazam

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Check your payload. Powerboosts have lower payloads despite being the most powerfull. I got over 1800lbs on my Lariat despite limited to 7,000lbs towing. I can do a 6-7k lbs trailer with 800lbs wdh , 4 family members, luggage, and have leftover payload.
 

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I think you'll be close. Your payload is 1300lbs and you can estimate up to 800lb of tongue weight with 13% of 6000. That leaves ~500lbs for humans, pets, and anything else you added or want to carry in the truck. I would feel confident in this if it was a weekend camping rig. But if you're wanting to full time or travel for weeks at a time, carry water, etc., I'd verify on the CAT scales and personal comfort levels and then decide if it is worth upgrading to a super duty.
 

Northguy

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I hesitate to jump in here as everyone has an opinion and most will make valid points. The following is just my opinion and it is no more valid than anyone else's on this forum and probably less valid than some.

Towing capacity isn't a problem for these trucks at all. The issue is payload as @bgalakazam highlights. This is where you need to focus.

If yours is 1288lb as indicated above then with the data provided

Trailer wt = 13% x 6000 lbs = 780lbs *
Wt dist hitch = 100lbs
Passengers = 300lbs

*Don't use trailer estimate. For stability it is recommended you try to get about 13% of trailer wt on your truck distributed properly front to back.

Total is then 1180 lbs which is under your max by 100 lbs. So as long as you don't have anything in the truck or accessories added after build you will are under max.
Most will say you can go a bit over and still be fine (I am not one of those but will say before I understood this I was over on my old truck by a fair bit and I had no trouble - I was careful in my new truck to max the payload). If you aren't going far, you can run with half full gas tank as payload limits assume full tanks. Powerboosts have lower payload but on flip side the truck is heavier which helps with stability and many of the components that are in the MaX tow option for non powerboosts trucks come std in your truck.

The other rule of thumb (will be challenged for sure) is that you should keep your tow load to ~70% of tow limit. Which you are under.

Now the length. Again lots of opinions here but anything under 30ft is no problem for these trucks especially powerboosts again imho. 30-35f becomes dicey IMHO depending where you are pulling it (I won't go much over 30ft myself). Many with the right experience would feel comfortable going above these which is fine and certainly depends on comfort level. Again you are well under where most people would say the limit is.

So if you get a good wt distribution hitch, manage vs the payload limit, you should love how your truck will tow though depends on your comfort level.

I have a 1850 payload, max tow, 3.5l EB and pull a 7000lbs total, 30ft total trailer with absolutely no issue. I typically keep it under 65mph and will slow down further in higher winds. I love the 3.5l vs my old 5.4l engine for towing. I do hope I don't have turbo fail or my max tow axle bolt shear off though 😂.
Good luck with all the advice you are likely to get.
 

RickBullotta

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My neighbor, who has decades of trailer towing experience, tows his 27’ DFOX with a 1-ton V8 diesel (non-Ford). He said that allows him to tow it anywhere, especially to maintain high speeds up severe upgrades.

I mentioned that my wife and I are looking to travel once retirement hits in 3 years and that we have looked at Airstreams (her dream) and have probably settled on a 24 ft. Flying Cloud.

He looked at my 2022 F-150 PowerBoost and said “yeah, it’ll tow it and everyone and all the data sheets say it will, but it won’t be very good at it, especially on hills where you could really strain the engine.”

Now, I didn’t go into the fact that the Gen 14’s are different from what he thinks of an F-150, and I didn’t go into the Max Tow Package, PB engine, etc., but seeing that we bought this truck on the assumption it could tow a fairly small trailer, am I missing something here? Are we going to have a problem with towing efficiently with the numbers below?

Here's the hard data for my VIN and also the Flying Cloud 24’.

  • Vehicle Capacity: F-150 PB 6.5 ft Bed w/Max Tow Package:
  • GVWR: 7,350 lbs.
  • GCWR (F-150, Trailer and payload) 18,400 lbs.
  • Airstream GVWR: 6,000 lbs.
  • Tongue weight: 500 lbs.
  • GCWR of F-150 + Airstream Flying Cloud 24’ + Added Payload weight of occupants, etc.: 14, 350 lbs.


18,400 lbs. max GCWR minus actual GCWR of 14,350 lbs. = 4,050 lbs.


I come in under the max weight by over 4,000 lbs.


Am I missing anything? Anyone with real-world towing experience who can shed some light, especially with an Airstream?


Thanks in advance!
It'll pull that thing up hills effortlessly. We have no issues maintaining 70-75 steady with about a 5000 lb trailer.
 

Davexxxx

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Excellent, thats exactly where I was hoping you'd go.

See where it says you have a max payload of 1200lbs?

In that number, you have to fit people, baggage, truck accessories, tools and gear, your hitch AND the tongue weight.

None of the other numbers in the tow guides matter, because payload is the one you run out of first.
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