I am looking to get a new 2013 F150 ext.cab 4x4 6-1/2 foot box. I don't need bells and wistles My question is about real world towing. the specs on fords website is tough to decipher. I want to be able to OCASIONALLY tow like a track howe or maybe a skid steer . I would not be towing anything large on a regular basis. aside from rear end ratio I'm not sure how they get the higher ratings. I think a max tow package includes wider mirrors, back up camera and stuff like that. I don't need these things for my purpose. I know they have larger radiators and stuff also but again I may rent some heavy equipment a couple times a year at most. Do I need to go full blown max tow package with the eco boost or can I get away with a basic package? Thanx in advance
The quick, crude run down of max tow over regular toeing package as listed by Ford is an upgraded rear bumper, towing mirrors, and a 3.73 rear end and is only available with the 6.2 liter or Eco boost engines. If I'm not mistaken, trucks already equipped with the tow package already have the transmission cooler. As far as the upgraded bumper is, I have no idea but the hitch is connected to the bumper on factory towing packages so maybe it has something to do with that.
There is a thread around here listing all the packages. I'm on my cell phone in a poor service area so I won't search it out right now, but I'd your interested it's in another towing thread within the last month or so.
It's hard to give more detail without knowing the weights you would be towing. As well if this would be gooseneck, fifth wheel, etc? if it was extremely heavy you'd likely want to go with the HD payload as well as max tow as it gives more payload capacity. The max tow also adds the integrated brake controller.
I'm gonna go against the grain here and suggest that an F150 with the regular towing package will probably do just fine. Most skid steers are in the 4-6,000 lb range, and a small track hoe is in about the same range. Assuming 2,000 lbs for a flatbed trailer he would be comfortably within the ratings of a truck with the regular towing package. And if he occasionally goes over the rated capacity you can be assured that the truck isn't going to explode.
The basic hitch is rated for 10,500 lbs IIRC, and the max tow hitch only give you an additional thousand pounds of capacity. The downside to the max tow package is the mpg-robbing towing mirrors and 3.73 gears that just aren't needed for the weights the OP is likely to ever tow. The factory brake controller would be highly advisable though, but if not factory installed it's a relatively simple thing to put in.
Not everybody needs the max tow package. My enclosed trailer requires it, but if it didn't I would be happier with a 3.31-equipped truck equipped with the regular towing package.
My Deere skidsteer (70hp) with cab and 6 weights weighs near 10k lbs. My 24' bumper pull equipment hauler (6" channel iron) weighs 4k lbs. My 25' gooseneck (made of 12" I-beam) weighs 5900 lbs.
With the skidsteer on the 24' bumper pull trailer I need to put 25 lbs in my air bags to level it. With the gooseneck I can get by with 15 lbs.
Even though the skidsteer and bumper pull trailer weigh less I much prefer the gooseneck hitch as it puts more load toward the front of the truck.
I would get max tow for sure unless you are talking about a 5 mile drive once or twice a year and you are talking about a very small skidsteer and light weight trailer. Also expect the rear of your truck to be quite low if you go bumper pull with just the "regular tow" package
I tow nearly every week and have airbags and the engine tuned and wouldn't be without either.
Having towed quite heavy with my previous F150, like in the 10k lbs range (Sierra 2500 on a 4k lbs float) I know that the truck will do so with little fanfare, however as soon as you introduce an enclosed trailer or rv of that weight with slab sides, I found the F150 ran out of capacity very quick. The wind loading really took a lot out of the trucks capacity. I towed for 20k kms with my F150 fx4 echo boost max tow crew 6.5 bed so I've got some honest feedback. It can be done, but the super duty line is worth a serious look when you get in the 8k lbs+ range or 30ft + travel trailer! enclosed trailer range.
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