The wife and I decided to buy a travel trailer. We have a 07EL with the HD tow package. Here is what I have planned:
~SCT w/ 5 star tuning
~Timbrens on the rear
~New upgraded shocks, at 73K I figure its probably due
Now my issue is the transmission. I know the newer expys have the torq shift tranny with the tow/haul mode, obviously I don't have that. The 5 star tuning for an 07 doesn't change anything in the tranny. Does anyone know of any shift kits or upgrades I can do to the tranny? What success have you had?
I tow a 5000 pound travel trailer with NONE of the changes you're contemplating. Nor do any seem necessary.
You need a weight distribution hitch, not Timbrens which merely jam rubber blocks in the suspension but still leave all the excess weight there. A WDH puts weight back on the front axle where you need it for safe driving and steering.
I run 700+ pounds on the ball via an Equalizer(brand) WDH (1000/10,000 pound model). Truck doesn't sag and the Equalizer(brand) has built in sway control to keep the trailer from fishtailing. (You need to turn the air suspension OFF while tuning this.)
I'm at 75K miles and the shocks are fine too. I do run +5 psi in the rear tires when towing because I have P-metric tires on the truck and they can squirm a little at 35 psi with the trailer on the back.
As for "tuning" I find the stock setup is just fine. I put the lever in D and leave it there. The super low first gear gets the rig off the line nicely and I can run across the PA turnpike letting the truck shift for herself.
You will need a good electronic brake controller. Highly recommend the Tekonsha P3 controller. Proportional so the trailer is stopping itself.
I should have clarified that I was planning on buying weight distributing hitch. I run timbrens on my F250 and love them. I dont have the rear air suspension so figured it couldn't hurt to put them on the expy along with the WDH.
I already installed a prodiogy brake controller.
Im running Cooper Zeon LTZ light truck tires so I won't have a problem there; by way I highly recommend them.
As far as shocks go, I need to do the front brakes soon and rotate the tires. Since I would have the truck up in the air anyway I was considering changing the shocks.
Do you guys all have the tow package? My 2008 doesn't have a tow package, just the hitch and light hook-up. We're thinking of getting a lite trailer similar to yours. Is this gonna work? Which gear do you run in? I'd like to travel around 60 mph.
Standard tow package for my '07 is 6000 pounds. HD tow is 9000. The only differences are HD tow gets a larger engine coolant radiator, larger transmission radiator, and full 7-pole "Bargman" electrical outlet on the rear bumper.
I believe the electric brake wiring is already at the rear bumper ("blunt cut, dipped, and taped") but you'll have to put the 7-pole connector there. Etrailer dot com has kits for this.
You should watch the engine coolant temperature with the standard radiator. Monitoring the transmission temperature requires auxiliary gauges. Heat kills transmissions and constant shift or slip breeds heat.
What gear? I let the truck determine that, I just put the selector in Drive and leave OD engaged. Unless the transmission is hunting for a gear all the time there's no reason to lock out OD.
With my 3.73 axles the truck loafs along at about 1500 rpm at 60mph. Note air resistance, a major user of fuel, is exponential. Figure it's twice at 70 as it was at 50 so keep the speed down unless you want frequent fuel stops. I tow across the PA Turnpike mountains several times a year. Truck runs 6th and 5th gears (both are OD) with the occasional drop to 4th on the steep grades. Rarely drops to 3d.
Thanks for the reply. My truck hasfactory non-EL gears, the hitch, and 7-pin so maybe? it'll have the brake wire hooked up. If not, hopefully it's close by. So, it looks like I need a weight-distributing hitch, brake controller with the Ford harness adapter, a temp guage unit, and some mirror extensions (and a trailer!!) and we're good to go.?? Anything else?
Thanks for all the advice and info on here. We're not planning to tow too much or too far, but want to have a proper set-up. (BTW - we're looking at 21' lite trailers).
I just did 600 miles towing a car and trailer and the EL towed beautifully.
I dont have the towing package (just a 4 pin connector for wiring)
The weight of the car/trailer did sink the back of the truck about 3 inches, which is what you want, some weight on the hitch is very important.
Pulled nicely, trailer says 55 mph max, but there were times when I would look down and Id be cruising easily at 70 mph.
I figure the trailer and car weight appox 5000 lbs
As mentioned above though, you really do want a weight distribution hitch
What do you guys pulling camper trailers use for mirrors? I assume you must have extra "towing" mirrors.? What type/brand and how are they? Do they fit well, look good or shake in the wind?