Originally Posted by TheSerenity
I'm wanting to buy a trailer, but my question is can my truck tow it without damaging it?
I have a 2006 F-150 XLT Supercab 4x2 with a 5.4L EFI V8. I called Ford with my VIN and they said my towing capacity is 9500#, but on the vehicle data sheet (the paper on the window when you buy it) says 7050# GVWR package.
The trailer I'm wanting to buy says: GVWR : 6000#
The following is a long-winded rationale supporting my conclusion that you will probably be fine with that trailer if you use your head.
The factory "towing capacity" number (tow rating) is the GCWR (gross combined weight rating) of the truck minus the shipping weight of the truck and a 150-pound driver. It's the amount of weight you can pull
on most interstate highways, including mountain passes, without overheating and burning up something in the drivetrain. If your VIN says your tow rating is 9,500, then you have a 2006 F-150 SuperCab 4x2 with the 5.4L engine and 144.5" wheelbase (6.5' bed), with 3.73 rear axle ratio. Your GCWR is 15,000 pounds.
But GCWR is not your limiter, so forgetabout that 9,500 tow rating. Your limiter is the GVWR of your F-150, which limits the hitch weight of your trailer. In other words, your limiter is the hitch weight you can haul
, not the weight you can pull. I suspect your GVWR is 7,050 pounds.
Subtract the tow rating from the GCWR and the answer is what Ford says your truck weighs when full of gas with a 150 pound driver but nothing else in he truck. So 15000 minus 9500 = 5500 pounds wet and loaded truck weight.
GVWR of 7050 minus 5500 truck weight = 1,550 pounds maximum hitch weight without overloading your F-150.
But that's all pie in the sky because your F-150 when wet and loaded for the road will weigh a lot more than 5,500 pounds. So let's get real.
The GVWR and GCWR are solid numbers. Don't exceed either one of those. How do you do that?
Load the F-150 with everything that will be in it when on the road, including the hitch. Go to a truckstop that has a truck scale and fill up with gas. Then weigh the wet and loaded F-150, including driver, passengers, pets?, and anything that will be in the truck when towing - jack(s), extra oil, extra ATF, toolbox full of tools, firewood?, whatever. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded-150 from the GVWR and the answer is the maximum unused payload capacity available for hitch weight you can have without being overloaded. Divide that max hitch weight by 0.15 to see the maximum GVWR of any tandem axle travel trailer (TT) you should consider. In your case, in order to tow a 6,000-pound TT without being overloaded you need unused payload capacity available for hitch weight of about 900 pounds. Which means your wet and loaded F-150 cannot weigh more than 6150 pounds. That should be relatively easy to accomplish.
To see the actual tow rating, subtract the weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GCWR. The answer is your actual tow rating if GCWR is your limiter. 15,000 GCWR minus 6,150 truck weight = 8,850. Not quite the 9500 pound Ford factory tow rating, but more than the 6,000 pounds max trailer weight based on unused payload capacity available for hitch weight. So since 6,000 is less than 8,850, and assuming your wet and loaded F-150 weighs 6,150 or less, your actual real-life max trailer weight is about 6,000 pounds.
Is this too much weight? I don't want to ruin my truck.
It sounds like a manageable weight to tow with that truck. Just keep the weight of the wet and loaded F-150 to less than 6,150, and don't overload the trailer axles over 5,250 pounds combined GAW (gross trailer axle weight).
The CAT scale is your friend. Use it often to check your weights. When on the road, you can get the GVW on the two truck axles to compare to the GVWR of the truck. And you can get the combined weight of the rig to compare to GCWR of the F-150. When loaded for bear, the combined weight on the two trailer axles should never be more than about 5,250.
The CAT scale won't tell you the GVW of the trailer with one pass on the CAT scale, but trailer axle weight of 5,100 to 5,250 means your trailer is grossing around 6,000 pounds.
You have to weigh twice, once with the trailer and once without, to get the GVW of the trailer. But you don't use the GVWR of the trailer after you have bought the trailer. So just go by the trailer axle weight on the CAT scale ticket to determine if your trailer is overloaded over the combined GAWR (gross axle weight rating) of the axles. Look on the certification sticker near the front of the trailer (on the box or maybe on the tongue) to determine GAWR of each trailer axle. Add the two together to get a number to compare the CAT scale report of trailer axle weight.