I purchesed a 2001 F150 XLT with standard cab and could not be happier with it for most uses. I pull a large horse trailer with it and for the most part it keeps up. Has to work a little harder on hills etc but gets the job done. I bought the trailer after I bought the truck and have read since that I should have a pulling vehicle with a larger wheel base to be safer. So, now is the time to make up my mind while the interest rates are down. Do I replace it with the F150 with the extended cab (have to have 8' bed) which will give me the added length, or do I bite the bullet and try and afford the F250 XLT (with the best towing package)? I made the mistake of test driving one. I loved it. Now I am getting all kind of conflicting stories from people I know. I have been told the F250 when used for towing a trailer will be a gas hog unless I get the diesel. Most of the time I will not be using it for towing and really did not want a diesel. As I get bolder with towing this large trailer, I do hope to get out with it more. Where I live there are very few hills but I hope to get into PA , VA, and WVA where there are some. Bottom line I guess I am asking about safety. Can I safely continue to pull a large horse trailer with an F150? or should I go to the 250? I appreciate any advice since this is nowhere I have been before!
Sorry about that Mark. I should have supplied that information. The trailer is 15' 6" long and 6' 9" wide. The weight is 3280 #s, 2/3500 # Axles (whatever that is) My horse weighs about 1200 lbs and sometimes there is a second one in there. So that would be about 4600 pounds? I guess another question is, I use anti-sway bars with the 150 and would I still use those with a 250 for added stability?
Hi Claudia! Thanks for joining us in the Towing forum!
It would be helpful if you would post back with some more information on both your truck and trailer.
-axle ratio (tag in differential, or code listed in drivers doorsil)
-GVWR (located inside drivers doorsill)
-goosneck or pull-behind
If you don't know the GVWR, look on your trailer registration. If you still don't know, just list anything else you can tell us about it. 2, 3, or 4 horse, tackroom, stock trailer or whatever.
Without knowing any more information, I can only agree that a longer wheelbase makes a better tow vehicle. But in your case, I don't think that alone would justify financing a new vehicle. An equalizing hitch would improve the safety and stabily of your current tow combination.
An F250 makes a much better tow vehicle, so if you were going to trade up, you would be better off with an F250. From what I've read in the other forums, the V-10 engine gets at least as good if sometimes better fuel mileage than the 5.4. Once you hook a trailer to a 5.4 or 5.8 V-8, you loose any advantage of fuel mileage and don't have the bennefit of the power a larger engine has to offer.
Okay! I see we were posting at the same time! From what you've given us so far, it looks like your trailer's GVWR is probably 7,000#. I am guessing too, that your trailer is a 3-horse slant load? Although you may fall within Ford's recommended guidelines, an F250 would give a much more pleasant tow experience.
With two horses, a bale of hay, western saddles, tack, hobbles, whips, cooler, dog and all the other cowgirl stuff...you are probably over the limits of an F150's capability or close to it.
Last edited by horsepuller; 03-19-2003 at 01:59 PM.
I guess if you are posting on a truck forum, you should know your facts. Unfortunately, I am not where the truck is right now. It is the F150 XLT, standard cab with the plain ole' engine. The 5.4? I did add the extra radiator. I do use sway bars.
The trailer I can supply info on. It is a two horse, bumperpull with a tackroom. I just picked the weight and measurement data off of the Sundowner site. It is the Valuelite. w:6ft 9in X L:15ft 6in, wt: 3280.
Claudia, it sounds like you already know how much happier you'd be with an F250 and just need a little nudge to get one!
I certainly think the loaded weight of your trailer and any other tack and feed would justify going with the bigger truck. I would recommend a longbed supercab. Longer wheelbase and good-behind seat storage or place for the dog to ride along.
You most likely would not need a sway bars with a long WB F250. I think your F150 may be swaying too much right now because there is too much weight on the rear axle.
Stick around and see what other opinions you get before you draw any conclusions on a new truck.
Scott, thank you for the input. Most importantly, you are right about the dog.
I know I would like the 250 but it has been just out of my reach financially. It is hard to tell if the offer the dealer has given to me is his bottom line. If I can't swing the 250, I will go for the 150 with the extended cab to get the extra inches. I just want to make sure I am doing what is "safe" and not put more $ into a truck that is still not large enough.
Okay, I getcha. Something to consider is your trailer and two horses will probably be close to 6,000#, not including anything you carry in the tack room. That figures to about 600# of tongue weight on the truck. Post back with any info you can on your truck.
In the meantime, maybe you could clarify if the sway bars you are talking about are just for lateral sway control, or if they are actually equalizer bars that transfer some of the hitch weight to the front axle. Equalizer bars (2) will fit into a socket in the bottom of the hitch under the ball, and have a chain that connects to a bracket on the tongue.
Hi, I have now commuted from crazy DC to southern Maryland. (the tractor guy is gone, if you have been listening to that) I need to use the proper terminology...they are equalizer bars. I was lucky that the woman who sold the trailer to me, encouraged adding them for safety.
Truck information is
engine-4.6L EFI V8
transmission- ok, what do I say here? yes? how about 4 speed
axle ratio- 3.55 ratio limited slip axle (all this from window sticker)
My next thing to learn is how to add smilies.
I curreny own 3 Ford trucks, two F-150's and one F-250. I tow two different trailers 1). 27 ft SunnyBrook travel trailer weighting around 7,000 to 8,000 pounds fully loaded ready for camping 2) 20 ft tandem axle equipment trailer loaded with a 5,000 pound tractor. One of my F-150's sounds like your truck 1999 XLT Lariat 4.6 liter Auto trans 3:55 gears. This truck was orginally bought to pull the travel trailer. After about 2 trips we realized it just did not have the power and stability we wanted. So we started looking for a F-250. About 2 months later I ran into a deal on a 2000 F-250 with the V-10 engine. So we bought it. It is like night and day between the two trucks towing. The F-250 has a lot more power and stability.
I helped a buddy move a 6,000 pound tractor with my equipment trailer several months ago. We were coming back to Atlanta from North Georgia on the interstate doing about 70 mph when somone pulled out in front of me. I stood on the brake pedal just knowing I was about to be in a very serious accident. The ABS brake system on the truck pulsed, and I could feel the push of the trailer, even with the electric brakes engaged. I was amazed how quick I came to a stop. Even with the long heavy trailer with 6,000 pounds on it the truck was un-believeably stable. I really feel like if I had been in a F-150 I would have lost control.
Really there is no comparision, the GVWR between the trucks is over a ton. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking F-150's. I have owned 11 of them over the years. Keep in mind the ride on the F-250 may be a little firmer than the F-150.
My humble 2c:
Get an F-250 to pull the trailer. Figure out how much the ext. cab F-150 would be, then look for a used F-250 in that price range. You should be able to get a fairly nice truck, perhaps with some warranty left.
What a good suggestion Flyboy. Sounds like that is just what I should do.
Mark, your experience with someone pulling right in front of you is what scares me to death. Looks very much like what I will do is work on getting that 250, since I hope to have this truck for a long time. (of course the salesmen are breathing down my neck) The more I get into this camping stuff, the more junk I am carrying too.
Thanks again to everyone. (Scott, Mark and Flyboy)
Originally posted by Claudia I bought the trailer after I bought the truck and have read since that I should have a pulling vehicle with a larger wheel base to be safer. So, now is the time to make up my mind while the interest rates are down. Do I replace it with the F150 with the extended cab (have to have 8' bed) which will give me the added length, or do I bite the bullet and try and afford the F250 XLT (with the best towing package)? I made the mistake of test driving one. I loved it. Now I am getting all kind of conflicting stories from people I know. I have been told the F250 when used for towing a trailer will be a gas hog unless I get the diesel. Can I safely continue to pull a large horse trailer with an F150? or should I go to the 250?
The truck you have should be fine as far as safety. I pulled a 28' foot enclosed trailer with a race car in it with my 99' F150 XLT regular cab long bed 4.6L truck all the time with no problems.
As far as the mileage is concerned, nothing will get worse mileage that the truck you have if it's anything like mine was.
I just bought a 99' F250 SD Diesel and I love it. It gets 18MPG in the city and 22.5MPG on the highway. Unfortunantly, I have not towed with it yet but looking at the suspension I think it will do fine.