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Old 12-26-2015, 12:25 PM   #1
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BRAND NEW and in trouble

hello, we are a brand new family to the RV world....we have 2 boys and 2 girls, 10-8-6-2. We have RV'd a total of 5 miles so far We picked up the RV in Corona, CA and drove to the Canyon RV park. It has been an amazing experience so far except for 1 huge thing. We arrived on the 22nd and had a wonderful Christmas, this place is really cool. We are scheduled to be here one week as we get "used" to the RV world and how everything works. We purchased a new stardeck trailer and we are pulling it with a 2003 Ford Excursion with the 7.3. I think we have a big problem though...the custom made bumper pull trailer is 40' long and weighs 14K pounds. I think I am in WAY over my head. We drove here from Fort Worth to pick it up and have to get it back. I am very worried that I am going to get slung all over the road and that my family is in danger. I am considering renting a car and having them drive behind me. I really need to hear from some of you that have attempted to do something like this. Have I indeed made a terrible mistake? What kind of vehicle could pull something like this? My main fear is driving next to 18 wheelers and jumping 2 feet to the left or right like I felt it do in the 5 miles i have driven so far. If i leave in the middle of the night and drive 50 miles an hour will i be ok? Is the problem all in my head? A guy here at the park said I would be fine, and another guy said he would never do what i am doing. Also, I purchased a trailer toad so all the weight is off the back of the excursion. That helps and it seems like the 7.3 is up to the task and the new heavy duty brakes i put on will help as well. Really, this is all about the tail wagging the dog I think, but like i said, I am new. Please help and God Bless!!
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:39 PM   #2
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Did you get a weight distributing hitch and anti sway device??? Your dealer should not have let you go without these. If you have them, were they adjusted correctly by the dealer??


14K sounds like a lot for the Excursion...probably close to max.
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:44 PM   #3
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excursion with 7.3 towing is 11,000 pounds ,ive got the V-10 and love it ,but its needs more spring in the rear too soft
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:48 PM   #4
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So you are double towing? A toad is hitched to the back of the trailer? If I got that right your tow load is 14k + the toad weight. Check to see if your Excursion GCWR covers that weight sum. You should also know that your Excursion GVWR and GAWR for both axles is within spec. You can get your weights at most decent size truck stops. Ask for a reweigh and they will charge ~$10 for the first weight and ~$2 for the second. First weight, have everything hooked up and loaded. Full gas, water, propane, all passengers and gear in truck, whatever your highest weight would ever be. Second weight, just drive your Excursion on the scales (same load of passengers and personal gear in truck). This way you can calculate the load on each Excursion axle that the trailer and toad impose. You should also verify your trailer GAWR is within limits. You should also verify all tires truck and trailer have the appropriate amount of air for the load they are carrying. On a new trailer you should check and torque your wheel lug nuts after 50-100 miles. Then repeat after 300-500 more miles. If any of your rims are aluminium this is even more important. Most of all take your time, do not rush, you will and should enjoy your adventure. That's the whole point correct?
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:55 PM   #5
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yes i have a weight distribution hitch but i do not have the anti sway bars hooked up yet because that is something that must be measured before they can send and with it being Christmas and the weekend we have not done it.
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:59 PM   #6
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yes, i am double towing with the trailer toad....thanks for the reminder on the lug nuts....i am reading your info on the weights and its all confusing....I will sit here for a minute and try and look everything up and check the weights....I probably need to call Jok at trailer toad and ask him how the trailer toad affects my specs
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Old 12-26-2015, 01:00 PM   #7
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What's the Excursion's receiver hitch rated for? 7,500 lbs? 10,000 lbs? My guess is you'll overload it with a 14,000 lb trailer!
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Old 12-26-2015, 01:03 PM   #8
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does the hitch rating come into effect if I have a trailer toad? Wouldn't that negate the need for that measurement because all the weight is on the toad?
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Old 12-26-2015, 01:06 PM   #9
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If I understand correctly the 'trailer toad' is a two-wheeled assembly that takes the load of the trailer tongue and then it is coupled to the vehicle hitch. This (nearly) eliminates the vertical load on the vehicle hitch.
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Old 12-26-2015, 01:07 PM   #10
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Having worn out 3 excursions, I feel your pain...
That first rv is always a guessing game... and sounds like the dealer did not tell you the truth...

I LOVED my excursions, but even tuned and upgraded they were taxed too much by the trailer we first got...
had real issues and I had the BEST hitch money could buy at the time. the real issue with them is very little Cargo Carrying weight, getting the trailer toad alleviated a lot of that...

traded the Ex in on a SRW 350 and STILL was challenging the weights...

I used to live on the Excursion forums of FTE here --> Excursion - King of SUVs - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums
they can help in the future, but your immediate need is getting home !

You might consider letting the family have the Ex and you rent a truck (if it has enough TOW capacity! (the tongue weight shouldn't be an issue with the toad)
the problem is if something goes wrong, it will go wrong quickly, be slow at first to 'prove' the setup to yourself... even go so far as at slow speeds in an empty parking lot, swerve to see the feeling and how the combo reacts... hit the brakes 5 or 6 times at increasing levels until you are near a panic stop to see that...
No way you can practice a runaway at 80 mph, nor the impact of a large truck on you...

Having the trailer toad is a great help, but all three vehicles still need to be set up correctly...
weight distribution, tongue weights, tire psi, etc...

good luck !!! that's a long ways to 'test' drive !
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Old 12-26-2015, 01:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003mistake View Post
does the hitch rating come into effect if I have a trailer toad? Wouldn't that negate the need for that measurement because all the weight is on the toad?
Irrelevant. The hitch rating is the "pulling weight" not the downward hitch weight. That is another figure altogether. (Tongue weight) In terms of pulling vehicle, a one ton dually minimum. Even then, 40' is very long. Is double towing even allowed in the states you want to pass through?
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Old 12-26-2015, 01:14 PM   #12
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Toad/bumper pull?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003mistake View Post
yes, i am double towing with the trailer toad....thanks for the reminder on the lug nuts....i am reading your info on the weights and its all confusing....I will sit here for a minute and try and look everything up and check the weights....I probably need to call Jok at trailer toad and ask him how the trailer toad affects my specs
Do I understand this correctly? You are towing a 40' bumper pull with another trailer/ toad behind it? Yes? Is that legal?
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Old 12-26-2015, 01:19 PM   #13
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003mistake View Post
hello, we are a brand new family to the RV world....we have 2 boys and 2 girls, 10-8-6-2. We have RV'd a total of 5 miles so far We picked up the RV in Corona, CA and drove to the Canyon RV park. It has been an amazing experience so far except for 1 huge thing. We arrived on the 22nd and had a wonderful Christmas, this place is really cool. We are scheduled to be here one week as we get "used" to the RV world and how everything works.

We purchased a new stardeck trailer and we are pulling it with a 2003 Ford Excursion with the 7.3. I think we have a big problem though...the custom made bumper pull trailer is 40' long and weighs 14K pounds. I think I am in WAY over my head. We drove here from Fort Worth to pick it up and have to get it back. I am very worried that I am going to get slung all over the road and that my family is in danger.

I am considering renting a car and having them drive behind me. I really need to hear from some of you that have attempted to do something like this. Have I indeed made a terrible mistake? What kind of vehicle could pull something like this? My main fear is driving next to 18 wheelers and jumping 2 feet to the left or right like I felt it do in the 5 miles i have driven so far. If i leave in the middle of the night and drive 50 miles an hour will i be ok? Is the problem all in my head? A guy here at the park said I would be fine, and another guy said he would never do what i am doing.

Also, I purchased a trailer toad so all the weight is off the back of the excursion. That helps and it seems like the 7.3 is up to the task and the new heavy duty brakes i put on will help as well. Really, this is all about the tail wagging the dog I think, but like i said, I am new. Please help and God Bless!!
You say the trailer is custom and weighs 14,000. Is this the dry weight or the weight with all of your food, clothes, bedding, toys, etc loaded?

Looking at the truck specs you have a curb weight of 7192 lbs with a payload of 2185. These are for the 2x4. Max towing capacity is 11,000 and GCWR is 20,000.

If you add the trailer weight to the curb weight you are at 21,192 (plus additional if the trailer weight is without "stuff") before you add passengers or anything to the Excursion or add the weight of the Trailer Toad. If you add another 800 lbs of passengers (6), luggage you will be 2000 lbs over the GCWR. If the trailer is 14,000 empty add the extra weight for "stuff" likely in the 1500 lb range

Based on max towing you are over by 3,000.

2003 Ford Excursion Specifications - Ford-Trucks.com

If you have a Trailer Toad the GVWR and GAWR are likely within specs.

Based on the numbers I would be reluctant to involve my family on the trip home and would be looking for a more suitable tow vehicle soonest.
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Old 12-26-2015, 01:19 PM   #14
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Do I understand this correctly? You are towing a 40' bumper pull with another trailer/ toad behind it? Yes?
yes, thats correct, its the excursion, the toad, then the 40'
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