Originally Posted by DoubleJ73
DW wants to pull it with our '06 Ford Expedition EL King Ranch with a 5.4 for the comfort.
If the Expedition doesn't have the optional Heavy Duty Trailer Tow Pkg, then the tow rating is only 6,000 pounds, and the actual max trailer weight is about 5,000 pounds. So don't even get it near that trailer.
If the Expedition has the Heavy Duty Trailer Tow Pkg, then it has at least 8,600 pounds tow rating, and probably an actual tow rating about 7,500 pounds. But even to reach 7,500 pounds trailer weight without being overloaded, there must be almost nothing in the SUV except a skinny driver and Twiggie. (Remember Twiggie?)
I don't have the specs on the Dogs, but if it's a half-ton pickup then it probably can't tow a trailer weighing more than about 7,500 pounds without overloading over the GVWR or GCWR of the pickup.
The manufacturers' tow ratings are always optimistic because they assume absolutely no options or weight in the tow vehicle other than a skinny driver. To get a quick and dirty guess at the real tow rating, subtract 1,000 pounds from the manufacturer's tow rating. To obtain the real tow rating of your tow vehicle, do what Cat320 indicated. Load the tow vehicle with all the people, pets, luggage, tools, coolers and whatever will be in the tow vehicle when on the road. Include the very heavy weight-distribution shank and ball mount with ball. Go to a truckstop that has a CAT scale, fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded tow vehicle. Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded tow vehicle from the CCWR of the tow vehicle to obtain the actual towing weight capacity of your drivetrain. Also subtract the weight of the wet and loaded tow vehicle from the GVWR of the tow vehicle, to obtain the max hitch weight you can have without being overloaded.
On the SUV, hitch weight will probably be your limiter. On the half-ton pickup it could be either hitch weight or trailer weight. You don't want to be overloaded over either the GCWR or GVWR of the tow vehicle.
Divide the max hitch weight by 12 percent (0.12) to obtain the max weight of a trailer you can tow without exceeding the GVWR of the tow vehicle. If it's going to be close, then use a tongue scale to get the actual hitch weight of the wet and loaded TT. A Sherline tongue weight scale costs about $125 at eTrailer.com. Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale - 2,000-lb Capacity Sherline Tools 5780