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In this article, I will tell what size travel trailer the Ford F-150 can pull. I will also tell you everything else you need to know about the F-150 and its towing capacity.
So, What Size Travel Trailer Can A Ford F-150 Truck Pull? There are several types of Ford F-150 on the market with varying towing capacities. As a ballpark figure, most F-150 will be able to safely tow a 6,000 lbs travel trailer. While the F-150 literature may have you believe your truck is capable of towing more, these sales claims should be taken with a grain of salt.
Read on to find out more.
Below I will share with you everything you need to know about this vehicle and its towing capacity.
What Type of Truck Is The Ford F-150?
There are many types of trucks on the market. The main ones include rear-wheel drive trucks, four-wheel-drive trucks, half-ton trucks, super crew trucks, super duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks, rabbit trucks, and light-duty trucks. The F-150 is a half-ton truck.
Other examples of trucks classified as half-ton trucks include the Toyota Tundra, the Nissan Titan, the GMC Sierra 1500, the Chevrolet Silverado and the Dodge Ram 1500.
The term half-ton truck is usually confusing to many people. Many people think half-ton trucks weigh half a ton. However, this is not true. Most half-ton trucks weigh between four times to six times more than half a ton.
The term ‘half-ton truck’ refers to trucks that have a payload of approximately half a ton. A payload in this context is the capacity of the box behind a truck (weight capacity) and of its suspension. The payload of a truck determines how much weight it can pull.
Understanding How the Payload Determines Towing Capacity
So the payload of a truck is the capacity of the box behind it (weight capacity) and of its suspension. A truck cannot safely carry more than its payload.
If a truck has a payload of 2,000 pounds. You should never use it to carry anything more than 2,000 pounds.
Therefore, when adding things to your truck, you need to add the weight so as not to exceed its payload. If you are using your truck e.g. the F-150 to tow a trailer, you must also add the trailer’s tongue weight when making sure you have not exceeded payload.
Tongue weight is the weight or pressure that a trailer places on a towing vehicle when hitched.
A trailer with high tongue weight is stable. However, it is also difficult to pull for most vehicles. A trailer whose tongue weight is too much can break a hitch connection or cause your truck to stall in the middle of a busy highway resulting in a serious accident.
It is recommended that tongue weight should be no more than 10 percent of a trailer’s total weight plus everything put in it.
The average payload of a half-ton truck is approximately 2,000 pounds. Assuming the weight of the gear and the passengers you will be carrying in your F-150 will be about 1,000 lbs., you will only have 1,000 lbs. of payload left. So for an F-150 truck and all other half-ton trucks, the maximum tongue weight they can handle is about 1,000 lbs.
Therefore, any trailer with a tongue weight over significantly over 1,000 or 1,200 pounds, will be too heavy to safely tow using an F-150 truck.
Simply put, you should never attempt to use an F-150 truck to carry anything other than a lightweight under 7,000 pounds trailer.
So Can A Ford F-150 Safely Tow A Standard Travel Trailer?
Yes, it can. Considering the fact that it has a maximum safe towing capacity of about 7,000 pounds and that many travel trailers weigh less than 6,000 pounds, it can certainly safely pull a standard travel trailer.
However, the vehicle cannot tow standard fifth-wheels because standard fifth-wheel campers have a dry weight of between 7,000 to 8,500 pounds. So pulling any standard fifth-wheel trailer will exert so much pressure on an F-150 and this could cause an accident.
In short, you can only pull a camper that weighs less than the maximum safe towing capacity of an F-150 (approximately 7,000 pounds).
If you have a heavy trailer and you also love Ford trucks, you should get an F-250. It has a much better towing capacity than
The Towing Capacity of Different F-150 Models
Different versions of the F-150 are available on the market including The Raptor, The Limited Edition, Platinum, The King Ranch, The Lariat, XLT, and the XL.
The XL is the standard model, while the Limited Edition is the best model because it has all the basic and extra features. The Lariat has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. However, the most popular one is the F-150 Raptor.
It is also the best for pulling trailers especially if you intend to go off-road. This is because it has a strong gasoline engine and it is built to dominate off-road terrain.
The Factors That Determine the Towing Capacity of an F-150
Several important factors determine the towing capacity of an F-150. They include the power of its engine, its weight, its payload, and its towing package.
- The Power of the Engine. The power of the engine in an F-150 is the biggest determinant of its maximum towing capacity. An F-150 with a powerful engine can easily tow more weight than an F-150 with a less powerful engine.
All F-150s do not have the same type of engine. Several engines can be fitted into an F-150. They include the EcoBoost V6, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, the 3.3-liter V6, and the 5.0-liter V8. All these engines are relatively powerful but the EcoBoost V6 and the 5.0-liter V8 are the most powerful. The former is a high-horsepower engine (450Hp) capable of towing relatively heavy trailers compared to the other engines.
- The Weight. The weight of an F-150 truck also affects its towing capacity. It is recommended that you should only tow campers that are lighter than the truck you are driving. Because when a camper weighs more than a truck, it will gain more mass when you are driving fast and this could result in an accident. For example, if you are going downhill and your camper is heavier than your truck, this could result in the camper pushing your truck and making you lose control.
So it is important to make sure that you only use your F-150 to carry a camper that is lighter than it or you get an F-150 truck that is heavier than the camper you have.
- The Payload. I have already explained the payload and how it affects the towing capacity of a truck. Generally, F-150s have a payload of about 2,000 pounds. Therefore, if you want to use an F-150, you should not exceed this payload. Remember, the tongue weight (the weight of the hitching trailer) must be added to payload and it must not exceed 12 to 15 percent of the total weight of the trailer.
However, before you even think about the payload, you have to factor in your weight, the weight of your passengers and the weight of the things you will carry in the truck. After adding these weights and subtracting them from the payload, the remaining weight is the weight the tongue weight should not exceed.
In short, an F-150’s payload determines the acceptable tongue weight, which, in turn, determines how heavy a trailer it can safely tow.
Generally, you should make sure you do not attempt to pull anything over 5,000 pounds with an F-150.
- The Towing Package. An F-150’s towing package also determines the size of the trailer it can pull. The towing package includes the hitch and other towing components that are included in certain F-150 models. For example, the Limited Edition, the Platinum, the King Ranch, and the Lariat have got The Classic IV Trailer Hitch, while the XLT and the XL do not have it as a basic feature. This hitch can tow trailers as heavy as 6,000 lbs. The hitch includes the hitch itself, wiring connectors for trailer lights, and connectors for trailer brakes.
The Final Word
Generally, F-150s can only safely pull trailers weighing less than 5,000 pounds. However, some models with the right engine and the right towing package can pull trailers as heavy as 7,000 pounds. So if you have an F-150, you should be able to easily use it to pull a lightweight travel trailer or fifth-wheel camper.