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Old 11-27-2013, 07:18 PM   #1
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How heavy should we go?

My wife and I are looking to purchase our first travel trailer this summer. We are looking into many different options. We just purchased a 2013 Ford Expedition with the heavy duty two package on it. It is rated to pull 9000 lbs. It's been my experience in life that miles per gallon on the sticker is not what I get in reality. I am pretty sure the tow will be about the same. We live in Louisiana and take frequent trips to Disney in Orlando and Gatlinburg, Tenn. What is a comfortable weight for our travel trailer? Will I have problem pulling something that is a dry weight of 5k lbs up the Smokey Mountains?
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Old 11-27-2013, 08:04 PM   #2
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I would think you can do more than a 5k dry tt with that Expedition. Now, if you say you have 4 kids, 6 bikes, canoe, toy.....and like to take a whole lot of extras....then maybe a 5k dry unit might be it.

Two years ago pulled a 5k wet + or - 25' tt all around the Smokies with a Toyota 4Runner rate to 7200. We didn't do the Newfound Gap route because I didn't know what to expect, but after driving it solo without the tt, it's really not that bad to go over the gap with the tt.

What engine does the Expedition have?
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:35 PM   #3
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We have the heavy duty tow package what is rated at 9k lbs tow.
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:01 AM   #4
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FYI, you might try reading the sticky thread about tow vehicle sizing and weight calculations...the answer to h question is a bit more complicated than just focusing on the tow rating. Involves knowing the "actual" loaded weight on both front and rear axles with a full tank of gas, full passenger and gear load, and the rated weight carrying capacities of the axles. Depending on the load, you might end up with a much less towing capacity than 9000 pounds.

Guess it's a case of doing the homework, finding a great TT, then having loads of fun!

Good luck!
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:54 AM   #5
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I believe that you should be fine with 6-7k loaded trailer. Power is definitely sufficient and Expedition gear ratios looks good, at least on the paper. In the Smokies you may have to drop to the third gear and spin the motor up to 4000 rpm but this is part of the deal while towing with a gasser. The only potential area where surprises may come from is quite substantial rear overhang of the Expedition, and towbar may get it even longer so sway may be an issue. You should use 2 sway bars in addition to perfect weight distribution and be ready to upgrade to Hensley if you still encounter sway problem
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:59 AM   #6
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Thanks, I was looking into the hitches and anti sway control. If you have any recommendations, it would be appreciated.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:59 AM   #7
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I always like to pick up a 20,000# load when I drove truck verses a 50,000# load. The more room away from the tow vehicle's towing capacity the more you will enjoy the ride.
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:27 AM   #8
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The 9000# tow rating is a maximum and based on a stripped base model with no options or accessories, no cargo and only a 150# driver. For every pound you add over the base stripped weight, you reduce the tow rating by the same amount.

Now the next thing you have to deal with is the cargo carrying capacity of the Expy. It is basically a 1/2 ton truck and once you add passengers and cargo, You will have a limited reserve for the hitch weight of the trailer.

The best thing to do is to load up the family, cargo, full fuel and go get the Expy weighed. Add 100# for the hitch unless you could get a weight with the hitch head on the truck. This is your laden curb weight (LCW).

Now look on the drivers door jamb for the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) which is the most your vehicle can weight on the two axles, which includes all cargo, passenger and trailer hitch weight.

Next look in the owners manual for the GCWR (gross combined weight rating) which is the maximum your truck and trailer can weigh in total. Pick the GCWR that matches your truck chassis, engine and axle ratio.

GCWR - LCW = MAXIMUM loaded trailer weight.

GVWR - LCW = MAXIMUM loaded trailer hitch weight.

Typically a loaded travel trailer will have a hitch or tongue weight of 10 to 15% of the loaded trailer weight. This is carried by your Expy.

DO NOT use the brochure Dry Weight for selecting a trailer. The dry weight does not include any items listed as an option which is often items like the awning, batteries, microwave, A/C unit, etc. You can have a trailer that easily weighs 1000# or more than the dry weight and you have not added your camping supplies, food, clothes, etc.

As a guide line, use 80% of the 9000# as a starting point for a maximum loaded trailer weight. As suggest previously, you will probably be looking at trailer with a dry weight around 4500 to 5000#.

AS for size, I would keep the trailer length under 27'. Also, get a good weight distribution hitch with sway control. A goo hitch for the $$$ is the Reese Dual Cam straightline or HP. If you want the best, look at the Propride 3 or the Hensley Arrow.

We used a Dual Cam for years and it does work. Don't let the dealer talk you into a lesser hitch.

Ken
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Old 11-28-2013, 09:35 AM   #9
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Thanks for the heads up. The more I read the more I understand the calculus involved. Where could I go to get my truck weight?

The total between truck and trailer is 15k.

The gvwr an my expy is 7300.
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by FreddieMac View Post
Thanks for the heads up. The more I read the more I understand the calculus involved. Where could I go to get my truck weight?

The total between truck and trailer is 15k.

The gvwr an my expy is 7300.

To get your Expes weight. You can go to the local truck stop, and run across the "CAT" scale, or, IF there is a grain, and feed store near. You can weigh it there.

Now While I had an older Expe than you. A 2002, 5.4, 3.55 rear. I towed a 6000lb, 27' TT with it. I towed up Black Mountain, with a load of wood in it, and then over the little hills to the Smokys. Plenty of power, and ZERO sway. Take time adjusting the hitch, and you will be fine with a 28' Travel Trailer.

The Expe makes a great TV.
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:38 PM   #11
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Had a 5.4 2003 Expedition which we used to pull a 27' 7000lb TT.
Used an Equalizer WD hitch with sway control.
Never had a problem except when we lost 2 tires on the same trip about 100 miles apart. Camper was right at 5 years old although not sure how old the tires were.
Luckily, the second tire blew about 5 miles from home (and 3 miles from a Walmart). Pulled it on the shoulder to the exit (and walmart) on the remaining 3 tires.
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Old 11-28-2013, 03:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by terryallan View Post
To get your Expes weight. You can go to the local truck stop, and run across the "CAT" scale, or, IF there is a grain, and feed store near. You can weigh it there. Now While I had an older Expe than you. A 2002, 5.4, 3.55 rear. I towed a 6000lb, 27' TT with it. I towed up Black Mountain, with a load of wood in it, and then over the little hills to the Smokys. Plenty of power, and ZERO sway. Take time adjusting the hitch, and you will be fine with a 28' Travel Trailer. The Expe makes a great TV.
Excellent, this is good to know. I was thinking anything that is 7k or less for the gross weight would work.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:03 AM   #13
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Thanks, I was looking into the hitches and anti sway control. If you have any recommendations, it would be appreciated.
We would recommend the Blue Ox Sway Pro which has the weight distribution and sway control built into the same unit.

If you have any questions or would like more information please feel free to contact our Customer Care Team at 800-228-9289, 24 hours a day - 7 days a week for your convience.

We at Blue Ox look forward to assisting you with all your towing needs.

Don Hamilton
Blue Ox
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:13 PM   #14
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Good thinking staying at 7K or less. I've used a SwayPro for 6 years. Very happy with how clean, quiet, and effective it is. Enjoy your new rig.
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