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Old 08-10-2010, 04:20 PM   #1
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Pulling a 4700 lb trailer with a lincoln navigator (5.4L)?

Hi,

I'm new to this forum. I'm liking it, I just post another question and got some very helpful answers, thank you.

I have few questions that will probably help me decide what type (size) of trailer to replace my small trailer.

I tried hard to understand this GCW, GVW, GCWR, GVWR, Payload, etc... I still have no idea how bad or good will be towing a 4646 lb trailer with my car.

I have a 2006 Lincoln Navigator with standard tow package, not the optional one (this is a 6 gear 5.4 engine).

This is what my manual shows for my car:
Engine: 5.4L 4x4 with Standard trailer tow package
Maximum GCWR: 12200 lb
Trailer weight range: 0-6000 lb

If I had the optional trailer tow package this is what the manual shows:
Engine: 5.4L 4x4 with OPTIONAL trailer tow package
Maximum GCWR: 14500 lb
Trailer weight range: 0-8300 lb
We are planning on buying a 26' to 27' trailer, the one that I saw last time was a 27' and 4646 lb as weight.

Adding all the stuff inside the trailer will bring the weight to more than 5000 lb, right? How painfull will be for me to go up hill pulling this trailer? I live in Northwest, Seattle area. A lot of camping sites that we go we have to cross the cascades mountains.

I'm trying to be aware of all the things that we will face changing the trailer to a bigger one. With my current trailer I can go at 75mph on the highway (where allowed) feeling safe and going up hill between 55 to 65mph.
I'm ok going slower as when I arrive at the camping site I will have much more space and confort for me, my wife and my kids.
I'm just trying to get some idea on how different (bad) that will be with a bigger trailer pulling with my car.

I'm a newbie in this area, my current trailer I brought 1 year ago and this is the second camping season that we are using it. I never had a trailer before.

Thank you,
Marc
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:03 PM   #2
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Check this site

Ken does and excellent job of explaining the weight issues and even has a spread sheet to help you along...at the bottom of the page.

It is wise to look into this before you buy.

Personally I would not get over a 25 or 26' (actual length) with the Nav...basically an Expedition. There are two parts to the towing equation, one is having the power to pull the trailer and the second is having a vehicle with enough length (wheelbase) to control the trailer.

The Nav has soft suspension and P series tires. You should get some HD shocks and change to LT series tires (stiffer sidewall).

Next is get a good brake controller. Prodigy is popular because of the price and a plug and play install. It is better to spend a few $$$ more and get a Max Brake controller. Also on the hitch, I recommend a Reese Dual Cam HP for the most bang for the buck. You can spend 3 times as much and get an Hensley Arrow or a ProPride, but the Dual cam will do an excellent jod since it handles weight distribution and sway control.

Ignore the dry weights in the brochures. They do not include any item listed as an option, such as A/C, microwave, awning, TV, batteries, etc. Add some camping supplies and propane and a little water and you can easily exceed the dryweight by 1000#. Tongue weight should be around 12 % (10 to 15%) of the loaded trailer weight.

On your Nav, you need the 3.73 axle ratio to do well towing. I did not know that Ford had the 6 speed transmission in 2006. The 5.4L is not the strongest of engines and needs to rev up to get the power.

Just do your homework and do not believe the salesman on anything he tells you.

And Welcome to iRV2.

ken
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:52 PM   #3
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In 2006, I think the optional tow package was simply the underframe hitch and the 7-pole connector, along with the pre-wire for the brake controller. The 'standard' tow package was the 4-pole connector and assumed a bumper mount ball, I believe. I think there was only the 3.73 with any tow package.
You also may have the air suspension, which will complicate putting better shocks on. Certainly, upgrade the tires and run at max psi rating for stiffness.
It will probably tow ok, but uphill will be frustrating, unless you are willing to wind the engine to around 4000+ rpms, even then will be slow up long grades.
I towed with Expeditions and it can be done, but they aren't a good choice for 5000lbs.
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:34 PM   #4
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Hum, that's not good...
I will not be able to change the tires and/or suspension, this will involve more money, and this is what I will not have after change the trailer.
I will have to find something lighter and or smaller than 27'.

If I could pull the trailer with my navigator without any change, even if I go a little slower up hill (at least above 25mph) I will be ok with that. But, if not, I will definetly look for something ligher and/or smaller...

Thanks for all the info!
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:05 PM   #5
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It will pull it, but it won't be fun. Short trips, no hills would be the order of the day.

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Old 08-12-2010, 11:58 AM   #6
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Before the navigator I had a Suburban Z71 (2004) with the tow package. I used to pull my current trailer with the Suburban. These are the differences that I felt between the Navigator and the Suburban:

- On the Suburban going above 65mph will make the trailer start to shake behind the car. On the Navigator I can go 75mph without a problem, sometimes got me going over that (not that I wanted). BTW, these were the speeds allowed on the highway)

- I feel easier to go up hill with the Navigator. If I loose the speed in the middle for some reason (some one in front of me), looks like the Navigator 'suffer' less to gain speed again. The Suburban was making much more effort to gain speed.

Based on the information that I saw the Suburban was supposed to have more power to pull, specially with the tow package.

Any idea?

I was the first owner of the Suburban and took a good care of that car (I loved it), the car had very low mileage. I don't beleive was relatd with age or any mechanical issue, but, I'm not expert on this area either
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:59 PM   #7
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Trailer shake I can't explain, but I expect the Nav has a better towing axle ratio than the Burb had.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:11 AM   #8
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Trailer shake could be due to an improper hitch set up that did not put enough tounge wt on the truck. The burb should have had 3.73 gears (Z71Pkg), and the 5.3L engine loves to rev up to 3-4000 RPM to extract the torque - not sure about the Ford. The burb had a 4sp that really does not hold a candle to a 6sp when towing. I have towed with both and love the 6sp - much broader range of gearing - better chance of keeping the drivetrain in the sweet spot. BTW a std 1/2T burb has a lower tow rating than the Tahoe - due to the extra wt the Burb is toting around. In any case I would not exceed the GCWR (been there done that - got a new truck) A couple of weight ratings that are fixed are the GVWR of both the truck and TT. I know this sounds crazy, but I would make sure that the sum of the TT and Truck GVWR do not exceed the CGWR. Between the family, extra gear, hitch and tounge wt of the TT you will probably be at the GVWR anyway - as for the TT, as others have said you can't believe the weight they publish - it usually does not include any options - like AC, Awnings, even radios and TVs, It does also not include propane, batteries, fresh water etc. and unless your TT has a huge difference between the dry wt and the GVWR (payload) this formula will work just fine as a quick ballpark check. When you find a rig that is close, then run the real numbers.
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Old 09-07-2010, 04:13 AM   #9
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Just an update about my experience.

I got the new trailer, it is a Jayco 26BH (28' 7'' total). The weight is around 4600 (label mentioned with 2 full propane tanks included).

The car is pulling the trailer well. I'm using a Resee Dual Cam for the WD and Anti-sway. The MPG changed, as expected, to ~12 MPG.

Most of the hills I drove the car was able to keep (kind of) the speed, I didnt see the car going over 3500 RPM yet. Next weekend I will be going to a camping ground where I will have to cross the mountais, this one will require more power, I will update this thread after that.

Another note is that my car adjust the suspension. After measure the car without the trailer and with the trailer, the distance from the street to the car in front and back stay the same. I'm not sure if this is good or bad for the WD, as I'm not sure if the sway bar will be really tied in place.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:36 AM   #10
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Congrats on your first tow - sounds like things went well. As to your weights, I suggest that you actually weigh the combo loaded in ready to camp mode. BTW I have never seen the dry wt include LPG - the weight sticker usually lists both the capacities and typical weights of LPG and Water (and for motorhomes gas/fuel). Jayco states this on their web site. The TTs GVWR is 7500 lbs - meaning that you have axles rated at 3750 lbs (new guidelines for GVWR) The listed dry wt is 4725# and because they don't list the dry axle wt this wt includes the 595 lbs that is on the hitch - a good 12%. However that will jump by about 100 lbs when you add batteries and LPG.

I hope that your mountain trip goes as well.
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:56 AM   #11
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Marcv I would probably not tow any rv at 75 mph regardless of speed limit. However if you do please check the speed ratings on the tires first. As for the mountains just do like the truckers: turn on nthe four way flashers and slow down to 40 or fifty whatever is comfortable for the engine.
While I am on my soapbox lets talk about the downhill side of the mountain. When using your brakes to slowdown dont ride them all the way down. Slow your speed 10 to 15 mph then get off momentarilyuntil the speed builds up again then repeat. Of course you can also downshift the tranny to help also.
I hope you enjoyed your trip.
By the way I just pulled a 31foot coachman tt from San Diego Ca to Fla last week and used 60 mph all the way. Never did I feel out of control or fear that someone would run into us. In some places the speed limit was 80 mph but I did have to change out 2 tires that were self distructing due to the heat or weight. Manufacturers are notoriuse for putting on the minimum tire to get an empty trailer to the dealer.
I think I am rambling so good luck.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:31 PM   #12
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Here is the update about the mountains...
The Navigator was able to pull it, I did most of the time around 40~45mph. The RPM was always below 4000 (sometimes equal).

On the way down the car did a good job holding the trailer using the gear. I didn't have to use the breaks that much.
This is the oposite of the Suburban that I had before (pulling my popup trailer) that will go down like crazy (looks like when you put the gear in neutral).

My Navigator does not have the tow package. I was thinking about adding a better transmission and oil cooler, any advice for that? Is that really needed?

On the way up, because of the traffic on that day, I saw a lot of cars on the side of the street, mostly related with overreating (I believe). My car temperature didn't move at all, always on the middle, but, not sure if that reflect the temperature of the transmission and oil.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:53 PM   #13
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Since the Nav is an '06--have you had the trans flushed? Might need to now and put in synthetic fluid. Also, and external trans cooler is always a good addition.
Your trans gauge probably won't move until it is too late--you could always add a real gauge, they are easy to install.
If you like the Nav and the way it is towing, now is the time to start maintaining it to last a long time. Keep a close watch on the front rotors/pads....
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:58 PM   #14
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If you don't have a seperate tranny oil cooler then it can cause your main coolant to heat - however your temp gauge sensor is in the block and will not reflect tranny temps until it is way too late. You have a couple of options - check and change the tranny fluid often - or install a temp gauge - either way I would install an aux tranny oil cooler.

I did some research on the 06 nav and was suprized (abit) to see that the tow pkg was only added tow hooks and wiring for TT brakes. There were no drivetrain changes and there appeared to be no suspension changes. I could not find anything on the gear ratios - the only comment was that the tranny was smooth and the driving was excellent. Most 6sp trannys have a wide gear range with at least two OD gears and usually a low 1st gear - makes it easier to get a load moving.

Having towed with both a 4sp and 6sp tranny the 6sp is far superior. With a 4sp, 3rd is usually 1:1 and 2od is 1.5:1 and 1st is around 3:1 while the 6sp has a 2:1 2od gear along with a 4:1 1st.
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