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Old 11-07-2014, 04:54 PM   #1
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Can my F150 tow the Winnie Minnie?

Greetings from VA!

My DH and I would like to upgrade from our StarCraft Hybrid to a lite-sized travel trailer and tow it with our 2006 F150. I think it may be possible but I want to confirm that we are not stretching the truck's abilities and make sure we are safe. Here are my specs:

2006 F150 XLT 5.4 Triton with tow package
Axle code B6 = 3.73 limited slip
Wheelbase = 145 inches
Front GAWR = 3750
Rear GAWR = 3850
GVWR = 7200
Curb weight 5363
Payload 1530

Weighed the truck today with a full tank of gas and the two of us =
Front axle = 3480
Rear axle = 2600
Total weight with full tank and 2 passengers = 6080.

From Ford's 2006 tow guide for our truck:
Maximum Loaded Travel trailer=9300 less 500 #s for the 18" wheels = 8800 #s.
GCWR = 15,000#s
(same parameters for a 5th wheel.)

For the trailer, we were targeting 80% of the Maximum loaded trailer weight or 7040 #s.

The trailer we are looking at is the 2201DS Winnabago Minnie.
Length = 26'9"
Dry Weight = 4820
GVWR = 7620
Hitch Weight = 620#

If we can take the Ford brochure as gospel, looks like if we load the trailer carefully, we will be okay as far as the trailer weight. Do I understand the parameters correctly?

I am concerned about the truck hitch weight. The GVWR= 7200 less the truck weight of 6080 less the hitch weight of 620 leaves 500#s for the truck cargo and any additional hitch weight put on the hitch after the trailer is loaded. If we packed carefully and weighed ourselves and made sure that we stayed within the 7200, is this acceptable? Are we cutting it too close?

We would like to upgrade our trailer now and kick the can down the road for a couple of years before we upgrade our tow vehicle. Is this a wise move or do we need a new tow vehicle before we upgrade our trailer?

Many thanks for any and all feedback!
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Old 11-07-2014, 05:23 PM   #2
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I think you are right on...

Your GCWR is not going to be a problem with the numbers you laid out. It's the GVWR that you are close to. With the amount of lead way in your GCWR, I would put most of the cargo in the trailer (it has a much higher Cargo weight carrying capacity than your truck) and don't go over the GCWR, GVWR or the tongue weight and you should be fine. Keep in mind the mfrs have a built in safety margin. They aren't going to throw out a number that is right on the edge of being safe. But for legality purposes, you never want to exceed their numbers.
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:02 PM   #3
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I think you'll be fine, but tankcj makes a valid point. The wet hitch weight could be closer to 750lbs., and that goes against your payload and does not include your WD hitch and sway equipment.
So to be safe, lets say there is a total of 850lbs on the back of the truck.
It'll probably be less, but your GVWR of 7,200-6080 weighed weight leaves 1,120lbs. If 850 is hitch weight, you STILL have capacity for almost 300lbs of gear in the truck.
I think the weakest link is probably the load rating on the the 18" tires at the rear axel. Maybe find some E rated tires.

Like I said, I think you'll be fine. Just have fresh brakes and tires with propper inflation and enjoy!
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:49 PM   #4
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Thank you, tankcj and TDI-Minnie, for your time and thoughtful reply. This towing business is rather complicated to understand but so important for our safety. We will see to it that we keep our weight within the limits of both the truck and trailer. I am going to see about upgrading our tires also. Would we need E-rated tires on all four wheels or would just the rear work? At this point, I am pretty excited and ready to go shopping!

Thanks again!
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:21 AM   #5
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Better to go all four so you can rotate. Also, the WD hitch transfers weight to the front and this is where all your steering and most of the braking goes on. Those fronts are also what cuts a path through standing water, etc.

If the current tires are still in good shape, keep them for later use, sell them, or ask what their trade value is. I got $45 per tire trade for the junk OEM tires on my truck which had about 35k miles on them!
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reactor7 View Post
Thank you, tankcj and TDI-Minnie, for your time and thoughtful reply. This towing business is rather complicated to understand but so important for our safety. We will see to it that we keep our weight within the limits of both the truck and trailer. I am going to see about upgrading our tires also. Would we need E-rated tires on all four wheels or would just the rear work? At this point, I am pretty excited and ready to go shopping!

Thanks again!
Upgrading your tires from the OEM is OK but not necessary. It will not increase your GAWR. A higher rated tire will give you a marinally harsher ride. If the current tires are in good shape I would run them normally until they need to be replaced.
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:53 PM   #7
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F-150 towing a fiberglass ultra lite 20-24 feet long

Can this be done safely, f-150 / fiberglass ultra lite?
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDI-Minnie View Post
I think you'll be fine, but tankcj makes a valid point. The wet hitch weight could be closer to 750lbs., and that goes against your payload and does not include your WD hitch and sway equipment.
So to be safe, lets say there is a total of 850lbs on the back of the truck.
It'll probably be less, but your GVWR of 7,200-6080 weighed weight leaves 1,120lbs. If 850 is hitch weight, you STILL have capacity for almost 300lbs of gear in the truck.
I think the weakest link is probably the load rating on the the 18" tires at the rear axel. Maybe find some E rated tires.

Like I said, I think you'll be fine. Just have fresh brakes and tires with propper inflation and enjoy!
That 300 lbs will also have to include the weight of the driver and passenger!

Personally, I think you will be right on the cutting edge and therefore, will not be comfortable towing this trailer....and it will be hard on the truck. E rated tires will help, but add harshness to the ride.

I would look for a lighter (not necessarily smaller) trailer.

Good luck

Ron
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald View Post
Upgrading your tires from the OEM is OK but not necessary. It will not increase your GAWR. A higher rated tire will give you a marinally harsher ride. If the current tires are in good shape I would run them normally until they need to be replaced.
The stiffer sidewalls noteably increase lateral stability, so you get a lot less movement, wiggle and sway. And they are really only harsher if you inflate them all the way to 80psi. When my 2500 is unloaded, I run 45psi in the rear and it's very comfy... as far as trucks go.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wminer01 View Post
Can this be done safely, f-150 / fiberglass ultra lite?
Welcome. Unfortunately, it is not that cut and dried.

What year model, rear axle ratio, cab/bed configuration, transmission, motor. From those stats, we can find out what it's supposed to be "able" to handle.
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:00 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TDI-Minnie View Post
The stiffer sidewalls noteably increase lateral stability, so you get a lot less movement, wiggle and sway. And they are really only harsher if you inflate them all the way to 80psi. When my 2500 is unloaded, I run 45psi in the rear and it's very comfy... as far as trucks go.
That would be a lot of extra tire for a 150. I had E rated tires on my 150 and 45 was lots.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:29 AM   #12
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Yes, it's all relative to weight. My 2500 with just me and a half tank of fuel is 7,320lbs.
That's probably close to double of an older f150. BUT, when towing, especially with the OEM tires, a 1500 will probably need at least 45 to 50psi to handle the load.
I think that is the cause of issues for a lot of people. They drive to work all week long and then hitch up their 7,000lbs TT to their F150 without increasing tire pressure.
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:23 AM   #13
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As mentioned it will be right on the edge with the real world tongue weight of 13% of total loaded trailer. That is what you run out of in most light duty trucks is the ability to carry weight, long before the limit of pulling is reached.


It is doable and stiffer tires and proper inflation for the weight will help. It just means that every part of the setup from where the weight is loaded to how your weight distribution hitch is setup will be much more important and if any one thing is slightly off from optimal it will be much more noticeable than it would be in a truck with more load carrying ability.


They will all pull most anything on the road although some may be slower than others. What you get in a 2500 or 3500 is the ability to carry more weight. If done carefully you would be OK for awhile with this truck but more truck or less trailer would be more comfortable/safer.
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:30 AM   #14
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by lanerd View Post
That 300 lbs will also have to include the weight of the driver and passenger!

Personally, I think you will be right on the cutting edge and therefore, will not be comfortable towing this trailer....and it will be hard on the truck. E rated tires will help, but add harshness to the ride.

I would look for a lighter (not necessarily smaller) trailer.

Good luck

Ron
Hi Ron,

Thanks for weighing in! Just wanted to note that my original post with my truck weight included two people and a full tank of gas.

We purchased a red 2015 2201 Winnebago Minnie and love it. It tows great with our F150! We have weighed it and our truck once more with about half our cargo loaded and we are well within all parameters with plenty of wiggle room for our clothes and food. We are taking a trip soon that will allow us to weigh fully loaded with food and clothes.
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