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Old 08-01-2009, 07:20 AM   #1
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I should not have done that!

This week I purchased a Jayco 1995 35 ft Designer T-T from some nice folks in Prescott Arizona. We decided to meet 1/2 way between us to do the swap ( green for T-T ). since I am in south central Colorado it worked out to meet at Kayena Arizona ( just south of Monument Valley )
I was going to use my Son's new Chev 2500 with HD towing package and Allison 6 speed, but he had a job this week he needed it, so that left my 2000 Ford 150 4X4 with 180,000 miles on it to do the job. The trip goes over Wolf Creek Pass at about 10,800 ft, up and down through mountains to Cortez Colorado then through the high desert at 5000 ft to Kayenta. Total one way of 300 miles.. Arizona reaching 95 deg and Colorado 65 to 80 deg.

I was worried that I would be pushing the limits on even a new F-150, The empty weight on the Jayco is 7400# and towing max on the F-150 is 8400# so I knew I would not be over stressing the frame. But with 180K miles in the power train I was worried about it with the hard climbs ahead.

As it worked out I got to the meeting point at Noon just as he was arriving from the other direction, cash and vehicles were swapped. Hooked it up with an older equalizer hitch, the sway controller was frozen up and was not usable. Hitting the road I was surprised that it went up to 55 mph with ease and nice even ride with no sway even with 10 to 20 mph cross wind. Slight hills required just a little gas. 3% grades it would drop down a gear and to 45 to 50 mph. Hitting the hard 7% grades I was down to 25 mph in low gear and 3,000 rpm. No increase in water temp. ( hard grades I would turn off the A/C just to be easy on the engine)

I was happy with the drive and the performance of the F-150. It would be acceptable if it was used on flat land and for short weekend runs, but with where I live it will be replaced with a 3/4 ton, and probably one of the Chevy 2500 with the Allison 6 speeds. The gearing in the Ford transmission is just too far apart on the hills and either you are revving it up at 3-4000 rpm or lugging it at 2100 rpm. Also once it is loaded with 1,000 pounds of gear and water. It will overload the specifications of the F-150.

I am writing this so those with the F-150's and smaller trailers will know once they hit the western mountains that it should survive if you take it easy and keep your loads low. If not my Son runs a towing business and I will be seeing you along the road..

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Old 08-01-2009, 09:12 AM   #2
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The gearing and the gasser engine are doing as expected. To get the power from a gasoline engine, you will need to rev it up into the peak torque range and let it work there. The solution is to slow down and let the engine run where it is not lugged down. If you have maintained the engine and have good oil, it should not hurt it to run in the 3000 to 4000 RPM range when pulling a grade. This may mean 2nd gear or even first gear at times.

The closer you are to the load limits on the truck, the more it will work in the hills. Once you pull the traielr with a diesel, you will wonder why they even build gas engine trucks for towing. Even with a diesel, you will come to the occasion that you will need to drop down a gear or two and keep the engine runnig on the peak torqque range.

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