Travel trailers are a great alternative to traditional motorhome. The Ford 150 is a popular choice for towing travel trailers due to its sturdy nature and steady performance. However, when it comes to towing, weight is an important consideration, and knowing what size travel trailer an F150 can pull is important for your safety.
The F150 is a strong truck that can pull a travel trailer with an average weight of between 5000 to 7000 pounds. This means that towing a trailer that weighs more than 7000 pounds can cause safety issues and damage your vehicle.
While a fast-talking sales associate may promise you a towing capacity of up to 13,200 pounds, it is important to understand how the F150’s towing capacity works.
Factors that affect what size travel trailer an F150 can pull
When it comes to how much weight your truck can pull, the engine strength plays a big role in the towing capacity. A strong engine has more horsepower and torque.
When it comes to F-150, there are various options in terms of engine size, which will, of course, determine what size trailer the particular F150 can pull. The strongest F150 comes with a 3.5L V6 Ecoboost engine. This engine is powerful enough to generate a torque of 470 lb.-ft. @ 3,500 rpm and 375 HP at 5,000 rpm.
The average size of travel trailers an F150 can pull based on engine strength are:
- The standard 3.3-liter Ti-VCT engine – 7,700-pounds, a maximum payload of 1,990 pounds
- The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine – 9,000 pounds, maximum payload of 2,470 pounds
- The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine – 13,200 pounds, maximum payload of 3,230 pounds
- The 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine – 11,600 pounds, maximum payload of 3,270pounds
It is, therefore, essential to understand the engine power of the F150 to determine its towing power, and the weight of the travel trailer can pull.
Another factor that will determine what size travel trailer the F150 can pull is the axle ratio. The axle of your vehicle determines how many times the wheels turn given a certain amount of force or energy. The slower the wheels turn, the more the energy that is required to turn the wheel, and in contrast, the faster the wheels turn, the less the energy that is required.
When your F150 is pulling a small weight, you get faster movement with less energy and, therefore, better fuel economy. When pulling heavy weights, your wheels move slower and require more energy; thus, more fuel is consumed.
A higher axle ratio is, therefore, better for towing because more force goes into each turn of the wheel, enabling your F-150 to pull heavy weights.
Length and Weight of the Truck
When it comes to pulling a travel trailer, the most important thing is having control of the towing vehicle. A longer cab and heavier weight in the towing vehicle gives you more control because it is not as susceptible to sway. In essence, for maximum control, you need the towing truck to be as heavy and as long as possible.
If you want an F-150 that will pull as much trailer weight as possible, then going for models with longer beds such as the King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited models will give you more towing power.
The payload is the total weight of the driver, passengers, and any other cargo or equipment in the car. The payload is, therefore, the maximum weight limit that you can put in your car. The payload amounts for different R150 models will vary depending on the engine strength and other factors as well. All the F150 trucks will have an indicated payload that indicates the maximum weight limit the vehicle can take.
Always remember that the amount of pressure your trailer hitch puts on the truck or the tongue weight will factor into your vehicle’s payload. For instance, if the tongue weight is 550 lbs and your truck’s payload is 1550 lbs., your remaining weight allowance for the driver, passengers and cargo will be 1000 lbs.
Exceeding your truck’s payload can lead to serious safety issues. Always stay within your F150’s stipulated payload.
Two-Wheel Drive or Four-Wheel Drive
In most cases, rear-wheel-drive trucks tend to have a higher towing capacity than four-wheel-drive trucks. However, the choice between four-wheel drive and two-wheel drive ultimately comes down to whether you want a vehicle that performs better in rough terrain because of better traction. In most cases, most F150 drivers choose the sturdier four-wheel-drive over the marginal towing advantage of the rear-wheel-drive trucks.
Tips for Pulling a Travel Trailer with an F150
- I. Keep your cargo as light as possible. Heavy gear eats into your payload capacity and decreases your towing capacity.
- II. Keep your tongue weight at no more than 15% of your trailer weight. Tongue weight also eats into your payload and decreases your F150’s towing capacity.
- III. For most F-150 models, the safest range when it comes to the weight of the travel trailer is 6,000 lbs. Though some models can accommodate a higher limit than 6000 lbs., the extra weight increases the risk of safety concerns and may ultimately not be worth the risk.
- IV. A towing package has several elements that enhance your truck’s towing capacity and the ease of towing. Ford offers several types of towing packages for the F-150 trucks. The basic ones are included in some of the models “off the shelf,” but most need to be pre-ordered.
- V. Always tow under your maximum towing limit.
Many factors go into determining what size travel trailer an F150 can pull. Don’t just take the salesman word for it. Look into your truck’s payload, gross vehicle weight, engine strength, and all the other factors that influence towing ability. Towing the right weight for your truck is important in terms of safety and avoiding nasty accidents. Staying within your vehicle’s towing capacity will also keep your vehicle in good condition and save you all the mechanical troubles that are caused by overloading.