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Old 03-11-2005, 09:22 AM   #1
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A few weeks ago, I posted a thread on towing with the Dodge Magnum and Chrysler 300. I sent an email to Andy Thompson asking if I could use my Ford Supercrew as follows:

I tow a 2001 Coleman Tent trailer GVW of 3500 lbs. I put a 12' aluminum boat weighing 100 lbs. on the roof of the tent trailer. I carry a 9.9 hp motor in the bed of my truck along with a small generator (Honda 2000 watt), and various fishing, boating and camping gear. My wife, son and a large dog plus myself make up the total. We have had everything weighed and found that I am just under 6000 lbs. when full loaded. I have a CLASS III hitch mounted to the front of the truck to carry a bike rack for my son's bike. I use an anti-sway device on a CLASS III reese hitch. I have a brake controller installed inside on my dash. I can cruise at 110 km and still get 19 - 21 mpg. The truck has Firestone Fire Hawk tires P275/70R16 and are new last summer. I have just over 55,000 km on the truck. As I
mentioned before, my truck allows me to tow up to 6600 lbs, The truck is not a 4x4 and I have only 8" clearance at the rear differential (3:55). The truck puts out 231 HP @ 293 ft/lb torque. As to the trailer we would like, we have looked at the Jayco's, the Solanta and the Salem LE from Forest River. We want one with a slide (Dinette and Sofa), and we want either a front or rear kitchen. We are looking for one under 30' in length. The 3 we like range from 7500
lbs. to 9500 lbs. Because of the type of gear I use when camping/fishing, I need a truck. I have also not ruled out a 5th wheel. I realize that my Supercrew with the 5.5 foot bed will not tow a fifth wheel unless I use one of the new sliding hitches, and even with one of these, I would feel
uneasy towing anything large. I am hoping to purchase a 3/4 ton truck within the next few years. And one of the above named trailers. Ford rates my GCWR as 11600 lbs.
with a GVWR of 6600 lbs.
I have been told by other trailer people that if I were to add an air lift system that I probably could tow additional weight. I have also heard that the hensley hitch would help. If you could make any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Andy replied:

We certainly have a long track record and couple of hundred customers with 4.6 Litre Ford drive trains and many with the Super Crew. We have been towing with the 4.6 since 1992. I have several customers that have put 300,000 Kilometers on 4.6 Ford drive trains with no durability problems generally they are more reliable than the larger engines and drive trains in the 3/4 ton trucks. I have never found that working a drive train causes it to wear
out quicker as long as heat is controlled.

With the Super Crew a fifth wheel is pretty much out of the question unless it has an extremely light pin weight but it does work very well with a travel trailer using an equalizing hitch.

When we want to set up a Supercrew on a larger travel trailer we change the tires to 225/75Rx 16" LT (light truck) tires. These improve handling, fuel economy and performance in one step. If a larger transmission cooler is necessary we add it as well. Then we substantially strengthen the Ford receiver and install a brake control
that works off of the foot pedal and the truck is ready to tow. Once these changes are made it really tows a travel trailer better than a 3/4 ton in most respects. When towing a travel trailer the 3/4 ton suspension is really too stiff so it does not work as well with the equalizing hitch to absorb and maintain control over bumps and dips in
the road. Air bags are not necessary when the hitch is set up properly, a Hensley is always better but not necessarily mandatory with your truck with the good tires on it and absolutely necessary with the stock tires.

If there is a negative to the 4.6 it is that it could use a little more power in head winds but it will always get you there. My argument always is that any time saved with a large engine will be more than spent in a gas station. If you really want more power however it is easy to change the rear axle to a 4.10:1 ratio then it will perform almost
identical to a V10 in a 3/4 Ton with a 3.55 ratio but with better economy and of coarse a much smoother ride. We always suggest trying it with the stock gears and changing later if you feel you want the extra performance.

We do have a 1500 GM with a 4.8 Litre and the 225 tires that we use for demonstration rides. If you would like to try it with a SunnyBrook sometime just call and make sure it is here and not out at the factory picking up a unit or making a delivery somewhere performance is pretty similar to the 4.6 Ford.


I am still concerned about towing beyond my GVWR,and the GCWR and this reply doesn't address that question. Aside from the Hensley Arrow, which Andy didn't think was required, I have all but the air bags installed on my truck. I still think I will have to buy a 3/4 ton truck to get the safety margin I need on the GVWR, with a TT in excess of 9000 lbs. I would appreceiate comments from the experts here on this board. I apologize for the length of this posting.
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:22 AM   #2
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A few weeks ago, I posted a thread on towing with the Dodge Magnum and Chrysler 300. I sent an email to Andy Thompson asking if I could use my Ford Supercrew as follows:

I tow a 2001 Coleman Tent trailer GVW of 3500 lbs. I put a 12' aluminum boat weighing 100 lbs. on the roof of the tent trailer. I carry a 9.9 hp motor in the bed of my truck along with a small generator (Honda 2000 watt), and various fishing, boating and camping gear. My wife, son and a large dog plus myself make up the total. We have had everything weighed and found that I am just under 6000 lbs. when full loaded. I have a CLASS III hitch mounted to the front of the truck to carry a bike rack for my son's bike. I use an anti-sway device on a CLASS III reese hitch. I have a brake controller installed inside on my dash. I can cruise at 110 km and still get 19 - 21 mpg. The truck has Firestone Fire Hawk tires P275/70R16 and are new last summer. I have just over 55,000 km on the truck. As I
mentioned before, my truck allows me to tow up to 6600 lbs, The truck is not a 4x4 and I have only 8" clearance at the rear differential (3:55). The truck puts out 231 HP @ 293 ft/lb torque. As to the trailer we would like, we have looked at the Jayco's, the Solanta and the Salem LE from Forest River. We want one with a slide (Dinette and Sofa), and we want either a front or rear kitchen. We are looking for one under 30' in length. The 3 we like range from 7500
lbs. to 9500 lbs. Because of the type of gear I use when camping/fishing, I need a truck. I have also not ruled out a 5th wheel. I realize that my Supercrew with the 5.5 foot bed will not tow a fifth wheel unless I use one of the new sliding hitches, and even with one of these, I would feel
uneasy towing anything large. I am hoping to purchase a 3/4 ton truck within the next few years. And one of the above named trailers. Ford rates my GCWR as 11600 lbs.
with a GVWR of 6600 lbs.
I have been told by other trailer people that if I were to add an air lift system that I probably could tow additional weight. I have also heard that the hensley hitch would help. If you could make any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Andy replied:

We certainly have a long track record and couple of hundred customers with 4.6 Litre Ford drive trains and many with the Super Crew. We have been towing with the 4.6 since 1992. I have several customers that have put 300,000 Kilometers on 4.6 Ford drive trains with no durability problems generally they are more reliable than the larger engines and drive trains in the 3/4 ton trucks. I have never found that working a drive train causes it to wear
out quicker as long as heat is controlled.

With the Super Crew a fifth wheel is pretty much out of the question unless it has an extremely light pin weight but it does work very well with a travel trailer using an equalizing hitch.

When we want to set up a Supercrew on a larger travel trailer we change the tires to 225/75Rx 16" LT (light truck) tires. These improve handling, fuel economy and performance in one step. If a larger transmission cooler is necessary we add it as well. Then we substantially strengthen the Ford receiver and install a brake control
that works off of the foot pedal and the truck is ready to tow. Once these changes are made it really tows a travel trailer better than a 3/4 ton in most respects. When towing a travel trailer the 3/4 ton suspension is really too stiff so it does not work as well with the equalizing hitch to absorb and maintain control over bumps and dips in
the road. Air bags are not necessary when the hitch is set up properly, a Hensley is always better but not necessarily mandatory with your truck with the good tires on it and absolutely necessary with the stock tires.

If there is a negative to the 4.6 it is that it could use a little more power in head winds but it will always get you there. My argument always is that any time saved with a large engine will be more than spent in a gas station. If you really want more power however it is easy to change the rear axle to a 4.10:1 ratio then it will perform almost
identical to a V10 in a 3/4 Ton with a 3.55 ratio but with better economy and of coarse a much smoother ride. We always suggest trying it with the stock gears and changing later if you feel you want the extra performance.

We do have a 1500 GM with a 4.8 Litre and the 225 tires that we use for demonstration rides. If you would like to try it with a SunnyBrook sometime just call and make sure it is here and not out at the factory picking up a unit or making a delivery somewhere performance is pretty similar to the 4.6 Ford.


I am still concerned about towing beyond my GVWR,and the GCWR and this reply doesn't address that question. Aside from the Hensley Arrow, which Andy didn't think was required, I have all but the air bags installed on my truck. I still think I will have to buy a 3/4 ton truck to get the safety margin I need on the GVWR, with a TT in excess of 9000 lbs. I would appreceiate comments from the experts here on this board. I apologize for the length of this posting.
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Old 03-13-2005, 03:57 PM   #3
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Personally I think you are asking for trouble trying to put 3000 pounds more weight on a truck than it was designed for. Just my opinion and, oh, I would not even think about towing a TT without a Hensley or other anti-sway tow hitch.
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Old 03-13-2005, 06:08 PM   #4
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I second Fiver Drivers commens. I heave read the articles promoted by Andy on towing way beyond your limits and feel he is way off base in most of his statements. Maybe the engineer side on me is just too strong, but I can not see that a correctly loaded rig on a 3/4 ton truck does not ride as well as an overloaded 1/2 ton rig. Maybe math and physics are different in Canada, Eh, but I learned U.S. enginering.
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Old 03-14-2005, 08:41 AM   #5
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Thank you for your comments.

I have read Andy's articles for over 20 years. Although I am not an engineer, I respect the amount of time/education/expense it took those people to gain the knowledge they have, and I don't think I will mind the stiffer ride of a 3/4 ton truck or the added gas or diesel expense where I know I am not exceeding the tollerances of safety.

I was quite frankly disappointed in the response from him. Over the years of reading his articles he seems to encourage exceeding the towing capacity of a lot of cars and trucks. To my mind, this is irresponsible in someone who is very well respected in the RV industry. I know he tests all his vehicles before making these claims, but saying it is safe to tow in excess of the rated capacity of a vehicle is wrong. Manufacturers base their towing capacity on sound engineering knowledge, from years of building and servicing the vehicles they build. I figure they should know what they are talking about. I agree with you TXiceman, unfortunately it would only take one accident from an unsuspecting driver who took for granted what is stated in the articles and miss one important factor to ruin your day.

Thank you for your response.
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Old 04-03-2005, 09:06 PM   #6
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I agree with staying within your vehicles rated limits. There is an ambulance chaser on every street corner some say. I also think that the primary reason for mfgrs. stated limits is to help insure the vehicle outlasts the warranty, and protect them from the ambulance chasers.
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Old 04-06-2005, 12:53 PM   #7
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I also agree with staying within the vehicle limts. One problem I did notice in Andy's response to you, Ford no longer offers a 3.55 ratio axle in the 3/4 ton, and has not for many years. The F250 with V10 comes standard with the 4.10 and the 4.30 is an option according to Forddirect.com. The 3.73 is not an option with the V10 but is standard with the 5.4L gas with the 4.10 and 4.30 as options. The only ratio available with the 6.0 diesel in the F250 is 3.73. The diesel is available with the 4.10 and 4.30 in the F350 and up chassis.

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Old 04-07-2005, 07:38 AM   #8
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I feel that Andy's comments are irresponsible and just plain wrong.

Towing a trailer in excess of 9,000 lbs with a 1/2 ton truck is simply a really bad idea. With a GVWR of 11,600 and a "tow rating" of 6600 lbs, that would mean the truck (loaded, with passengers and fuel) weighs less than 5,000 lbs. I suggest you weigh your truck.

I towed my 24' Kit Companion (approximately 6500lbs) with two different 3/4 ton trucks (Ford and Dodge diesels) and felt that the trucks were adequate. I'd neve dream of towing this trailer with a 1/2 ton.

This reminds me of a conversation that took place when my father asked me to accompany him truck shopping. There were two GM's side by side for the same price; one was a 8600 lbs GVWR 6.5TD reg cab 4x4 lwb auto with air/tilt/cruise and little else. The other was a fully loaded 1/2 ton extended cab short box with a 5.7 vortec auto and enough chrome to attract every crow withing 10 miles! My father was considering a 26' travel trailer with a slide-out and I insisted that the 3/4 ton was required. The salesman (seeing his lust for the 1/2ton and its goodies) told him the 1/2 ton would be fine for the proposed trailer (despite not knowing the weight) and my Dad bought the 1/2 ton. 3 months later, he went back and bought the 3/4 ton diesel and lost several thousand dollars. Do it once and do it right.

The suggestion that the 1/2 ton and its small V-8 can provide more reliability than the typical 3/4 ton with a HD tranny and larger engine, suspension and brakes is garbage. In addition, the ride of the new 3/4 ton trucks is hardly harsh and fuel economy of the smaller V-8 will only be better empty. Towing the larger engine will likely get better fuel economy, will have to rev much less, create less heat (to be disipated through a larger cooling system) and be less highly stressed. My 8,338 lb Dodge Cummins, six speed, quad cab, 4x4 gets better mileage with my Camper on than my 1992 F150 5.8l auto got empty!

You will need a good quality class IV hitch for anything more than a tent trailer and I highly suggest Weight Distribution bars over 500 lbs tongue weight. A 9,000 lbs trailer likely has a tongue weight in the 1,000 - 1,350 lb range. I've heard good things about the Hensley, but I have no first hand experience.

My advice is to keep your current trailer until you are ready to buy a new truck.

Cheers,
Dave
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