All the adding of suspension assists (air bags, extra leaf in spring pile, overload springs, etc.) and bigger tires seems like load capacity is increased. The problem is that the load capacity of the rear axle itself is not increased. That's where trouble can start.
You also need to consider what that extra load does to your center of gravity, both vertically and fore and aft.
Several years ago, I was driving in heavy expressway traffic behind an overloaded pickup with a slide in camper in it. He was weaving all over the road with excessive side sway. Getting past that outfit was a challenge.
2008 XLT, 2.3 DOHC, 5R44e Automatic, 7.5" axle, 4.10 gears, 50 K miles
Motorcraft Blend in Engine, PS, PB, A/C, 225/70 x 15 Continental ContiTrac RWL tires,
extended cab, 6' bed, Access tonneau cover.
Previous vehicle: 1991 XLT, 2.3 SOHC (Lima), M5OD, 7.5 axle 3.45 gears. Donated to a charity.
Have a 2010 Ford Ranger,4.0V6,Automatic,Extended Cab,4wd that I put a pop-up slide-in camper in(@1100lbs) and pull an ATV trailer with a 700lb AtV on it in the mountains of Southwest Colorado. The grades are steep and I have no problems keeping up with traffic. My Ranger works great and I have no problems with the truck handling. Also have installed air bags and added a leaf spring. According to the manual I have a towing capacity of 5150 lbs and a GCVW of 9500 lbs. They even took the part about "no slide-in campers" out of the manual!
This is a direct quote from the 2010 Ford Ranger Owner's Manual. (It's on the bottom of page 155)
"CAMPER BODIES Your Ranger Pickup is not recommended for slide–in camper bodies."
Although I pointed out that the "restriction" on slide in campers is still in the owner's manual, I have a 2005 Sunlite Skyhawk pop up that I regularly carry on my 2005 Ranger FX4 so I can tow my bass boat and stay overnight at hot spots. I'm at the "very top" of my GCWR and my GVW, and did put on overload springs "just in case". Through years of driving this rig, I've never had a problem. I do believe that Ford is very conservative with their weight ratings, (given the performance of my rig) but I wouldn't ignore them completely. I carry most of my extra weight in the boat rather than the camper just to keep the CG as low as possible and prevent increasing the weight load on the truck where possible.
My objective was to point out that the recommendation not to carry a slide in camper is still in the owners manual just in case someone was about ready to "rejoice" and go out to buy a camper without checking the manual for themselves before making the committment to buy. I'd be very cautious with any rig that was much taller than a pop up. There's just too much side surface area and weight above the CG to handle strong side winds/slick roads without a lot of "pucker factor"
I'm newly retired and just might go for the 2011 Ranger, nice truck at great price. Also with a pop-up camper, and since I know nothing about either, can anyone recommend suitable Ranger style and options, and any specific camper models as well.
Well happy retirement, work is way over rated! Hope you had better luck with signing up for SSI than I did. For the Ranger, I'd sure go with the 4.0L. Not sure if you're looking for a 4x2 or the 4x4. Both will get you there, the 4x4 will let you get further back into the woods. Everyone has their own options on everything, that's why I have a couple depending on the needs.
First poster so a welcome also!
Well thank you, Small Trucker. Although I'm not in any hurry, I imagine the v6 would be handy considering the extra camper weight. Perhaps the 4 could be underpowered for some passing situations. There is an option for heavy duty gas shocks that I might also consider. Not sure if regular or cab-plus differs in box length, if so this would affect camper options?
Of course, I never really saw much use for the slide-in's unless you were towing something else, which there is no way you could get away with in a Ranger, you'll be over-weight just with the slide-in...
Figured id bump this thread with a little picture. Just got back from a 400mile trip and that quote made me laugh a little. not 1 problem and had plenty of power to pass even up hills.
The only thing I'd add to that is based upon the fastenings of the bed on the Rangers; I would run the I-beam or square tube under the truck to fasten the front of the camper down just as you would with a full size camper. The front of the camper is then fastened down by the pull of the turnbuckles against the under truck beam and doesn't rely on the fastenings of the bed.
At this time I'm looking at a 14' Jayco Swift travel trailer and am basing it upon the capacities of my "little" Ranger. With the short box, reg cab and 2.3L DuraTec with 4.10s and 5 speed, it's rated at 2100# I believe. The trailer I'm looking at fully loaded is 2130# with full kitchenette, bath/shower and queen size bed. Just enough for the wife and I. The "big" Ranger of course would have no problem with it. I know that in Colorado and Wyoming the "little" Ranger could have used a turbo, but if you aren't in any hurry (the operative word) then it won't be an issue.
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