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What’s the biggest tow behind camper you would pull with your F150?

WhiteLightningnshitshadow

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Man I'm reading this thread and just amazed at how conservative everyone is. Growing up with an 04 expedition with factory air suspension with the tow package, we were pulling a 30+ ft Springdale on a WDH that must have weighed 8500 empty, and it sure wasn't empty and had 2 slides and usually a few bikes hanging of the back. That thing handled it great and I even drove it loaded up to the eastern shore once I got my license. Everyone here seems to be questioning their 22 ft 6k-7k lbs setups. Tow with confidence gents, she can do it!
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HammaMan

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Man I'm reading this thread and just amazed at how conservative everyone is. Growing up with an 04 expedition with factory air suspension with the tow package, we were pulling a 30+ ft Springdale on a WDH that must have weighed 8500 empty, and it sure wasn't empty and had 2 slides and usually a few bikes hanging of the back. That thing handled it great and I even drove it loaded up to the eastern shore once I got my license. Everyone here seems to be questioning their 22 ft 6k-7k lbs setups. Tow with confidence gents, she can do it!
Do factor in that some people can't drive and shouldn't be behind the wheel of the truck empty. Others believe in magical sticker powers. I've carried double my payload in the bed (3klbs) w/ air springs and it was unremarkable. I've seen another PB pull a 14klb dump trailer loaded, it too was unremarkable.

I'd like to find the moron that killed the PHEV PB because of lightning sales and slap him upside the head (until my hand hurt) -- that would have been the ultimate tow vehicle with down-hill regen braking.
 

sbreech

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We recently went from a 19' ~3000lb / 400lb tongue weight Tab400 to a ~5000lb / ~500lb tongue weight AS 23' (23'9"). We have a 1511lb payload capacity and 8100lb tow capacity on our truck, so we are pretty aware of what we can carry. Since it's just the wife and I and a small dog, we don't take much, even for week or two trips. Sometimes we carry water, and we are still within limits. When we started out camping with the Tab400, we had a Jag E-Pace and knew that we had to keep weights down, so we have always kept that mindset - don't load the house in the camper, we are leaving the house to camp.

One thing that I DID have to do with the new camper was purchase a WDH. I chose the Blue Ox SwayPro with 750lb bars, based directly on Airstream's recommendations. I don't have a picture of the setup yet, but it leveled the truck out fine. We towed the Airstream home from the dealership just on the ball - a mere 23 miles - and it towed fine, albeit some squat, which the WDH has eliminated. With the Tab400, we never used a WDH, as it wasn't needed, but we did utilize a Curt friction sway control bar. Both campers are relatively aerodynamic compared to the box campers, and both are narrow, the tab @ 7'6" and the airstream @ 8'.

The only modification to suspension on the truck is an upgrade to Fox shocks all around, but that shouldn't affect the towing. I've considering adding an additional leave spring and possibly larger calipers for increased stopping power, but I'm not so sure they will be necessary.

Ford F-150 What’s the biggest tow behind camper you would pull with your F150? Tab400Boondock


Ford F-150 What’s the biggest tow behind camper you would pull with your F150? Airstream23FBT
 

minirx7

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21 F150 Lariat Sport 502A Screw Max Tow 3.5L
Here is my Rig.

2021 Jayco 267BHS (max weight 7,000lbs)
2021 F150 4WD Lariat Max Tow 3.5 / 2kw invertor 502 package
Payload 1740lbs (deleted roof, and all other ooptions that added weight)

Already drove around 12,000kms since new around the US and Canada. No issues, truck handles it well with family of 5, and bikes (we nevercarry water or waste in tanks)

Ford F-150 What’s the biggest tow behind camper you would pull with your F150? 1679844934185
 

livewire2003

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I mean. Honestly.
Because I don’t know.
With around a 1200 pound payload on my powerboost. Reasonably, how much over can someone go.
 

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sbreech

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I mean. Honestly.
Because I don’t know.
With around a 1200 pound payload on my powerboost. Reasonably, how much over can someone go.
I think that's the million dollar question. With a 1200 pound payload capacity on your truck, if you were towing even a smaller camper like mine (24 feet, 6000 pounds loaded, 600 pound tongue weight), if you had 2 150 pound people, you would only have 300 pounds left for "stuff." That being said, you can add a bit more stuff over the camper axle(s) for a net neutral gain that won't affect payload, but you still want to keep a tongue weight of 10-15% trailer weight for sway control and to track straight, as well as not going over the trailer's payload or axle capacity.

If I weren't going very far or fast or through the mountains, I may go a couple hundred pounds over "payload." I'd never give advice to follow my lead regarding that, though. If you do it, and feel safe, and you have all systems in place to make it as safe as possible, i.e. trailer brakes dialed in, tires properly inflated, and are OK with slowing down your speed to be able to react in an acceptable time, then you may be able to make a call that will be personally safe but not quite legal on the books, and just might void any warranty you may have on the parts that may break due to overload / overweight.

Remember, stuff you put in your CAMPER adds to your TOW capacity, but not as much to payload, since depending on where it is in the camper, may not be the full percentage of weight on the tongue, and tongue weight DOES count in payload.
 
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SteveP150

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I say the answer is largely "it depends". Towing something big and heavy that pushes the limits might be fine if it's 10 miles on straight, level roads in good weather.
The same load could be very problematic on windy Wyoming mountain roads.
If you're going to do both, you'd want to limit your trailer size to accomodate the latter use case.
 

HammaMan

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My personal view is stickers aren't worth the paper they're written on. So long as you're not exceeding your hitch, I consider the following to be 'no sweat' ratings, while always utilizing sag reduction (RAS or airbags)....

Tow hitch only - 100% of vehicles mass w/ driver
WDH - 150% of vehicle's mass w/ driver
Gooseneck - 200% (ducks)
 

780

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302a crew - 6'5" Sport, Max Tow, FX4
Here is my Rig.

2021 Jayco 267BHS (max weight 7,000lbs)
2021 F150 4WD Lariat Max Tow 3.5 / 2kw invertor 502 package
Payload 1740lbs (deleted roof, and all other ooptions that added weight)

Already drove around 12,000kms since new around the US and Canada. No issues, truck handles it well with family of 5, and bikes (we nevercarry water or waste in tanks)

1679844934185.png
That's a pretty impressive payload for a 502! Care to share your window sticker so we can see how the truck was equipped?
 

RuggedGoods

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I consider the following to be 'no sweat' ratings, while always utilizing sag reduction (RAS or airbags)....

Tow hitch only - 100% of vehicles mass w/ driver
WDH - 150% of vehicle's mass w/ driver
Gooseneck - 200% (ducks)
That's still pretty conservative, honestly. My '19 weighs ~5200 lbs and is rated to tow 10,700lbs (11,000 if you actually subtract curb weight from GCVWR) with WDH. But I don't wish to push it quite that far; tail wagging the dog, so to speak.
 

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minirx7

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That's a pretty impressive payload for a 502! Care to share your window sticker so we can see how the truck was equipped?
I was very specific when i ordered my 502. This configuration gave me 1729lbs payload.

Dealer asked if i wanted FX4/Pano roof and the B&O unleashe even for FREE and i declined it all. I knew my RV + Family was alreayd at the max out, and i didnt want an XLT 302. This is my first truck so i like all the luxuries! I love my truck more than my Model S

Ford F-150 What’s the biggest tow behind camper you would pull with your F150? 1680294475071
 

780

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302a crew - 6'5" Sport, Max Tow, FX4
I was very specific when i ordered my 502. This configuration gave me 1729lbs payload.

Dealer asked if i wanted FX4/Pano roof and the B&O unleashe even for FREE and i declined it all. I knew my RV + Family was alreayd at the max out, and i didnt want an XLT 302. This is my first truck so i like all the luxuries! I love my truck more than my Model S

1680294475071.png
Nice build! Since we camp in places that have shore power, I'd probably swap out the ProPower for a 157" wheel base and add the tailgate step. So thinking payload would be similar to yours?

I think the 18' save a litle weight over the 20's too. But, I went with 20's cause I felt they looked better.
 

Snakebitten

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ProPower AND 157" for the win-win.

Boondocking insurance, of course.
For those that travel without itinerary.
(few or rare reservations)
 

Buyer2021

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My personal view is stickers aren't worth the paper they're written on.
It may not change minds but a lot of folks might benefit from understanding SAE J2807 (the testing scheme that plays a big role in manufacturer tow ratings) and how the different components of that test procedure do or do not relate to their own towing situations.

To that end, IMO this Motor Trend article is worth a read: SAE J2807 Tow Tests - The Standard (though published in 2015 the article describes the standard that is now, with minor revisions, uniformly used by all manufacturers)

I don't suggest that values derived from J2807 are the be-all / end-all for guidance, but it does consider a lot of factors that many might not think about (but probably should), and it does provide a fair degree of comparability when considering the capabilities of different vehicles (both within a given manufacturer's lineup and between different manufacturers).
 
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Calson

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It depends a great deal on where one goes with their travel trailer. In the Western USA the state and federal campgrounds have few spaces that can accommodate a 34 foot trailer. If one only stays at KOA types of places or does dry camping on BLM land then no problem. A 28 ft or shorter RV will provide 4-5 times as many available spaces at public campgrounds.

Turning radius is also a concern, especially with a non 5th wheel trailer and that limits where one can tow a very long trailer. The Garmin 760 GPS is great as you can enter the length of the tow vehicle and the trailer and it will provide a route with no U-turns required. I have made left turns where I barely made it and was greatful for the shorter wheelbase of my supercab truck as backing up was not an option.

In the west there are many highways with short merge lanes or no merge lanes and it is very very important to be able to get up to 60 mph as quickly as possible and the shorter the trailer the more likely one will be able to safely merge with traffic. Truck drivers with big rigs pulling a double set of trailers will move into the fast lane about 5% of the time. They will never slow down to allow vehicles to enter the highway.

There is the old adage that the bigger the backpack the more stuff one will put into it and have to carry. The same applies to larger RVs as well. I feel sorry for the people that venture into the great outdoors and need every creature comfort possible. There are even those who mount a large television on the outside of their RV so they can watch TV at their campsite. They miss 95% of what being outdoors and away from the city can provide.

All my friends with 5th wheel trailers or Class A motorhomes sold them after a few years and bought something much smaller as a replacement.

My focus is on the holding tanks capacities and the efficiency of the galley layout for cooking and the capacity of the fridge. This is what can limit my ability to dry camp with any RV.
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