Towing 6500lbs 2400 miles RoundTrip. Is the Expy capable???
I am heading to Colorado with my family. We will be towing a trailer with a Jeep on it. The loaded trailer weighs 6500lbs. I have a weight distributing hitch, and Tekonsha brake controller. How well will the Expy EL pull this load?
I have an 08 F-350 Diesel that I know would pull it better, but fuel cost and comfort make the Expy a better choice for this family trip. Will I be pulling my hair out on the Colorado mountain climbs?
Who has recent towing experience pulling 6500lbs? Most of my grades will be in the last 200 miles. This is a 1200 mile trip ending at an elevation of 10,000ft.
WE JUST MADE ABOUT A 1000 MILE TRIP WITH A 98 EXPY,in the mountians of western Montana and Idaho pulled trailer great just have to watch your speed and stopping distance got about 10 mpg, pulling a 22ft camp trailer loaded to the max.
I did a trip from San Diego, Ca to Charleston, SC.
Finally made it to KC, here is the verdict:
From San Diego to Flagstaff, I ran premium, 91, cruise at 65, 10.2mpg, 13,400 total weight. Flagstaff,to Dalhart texas, preimuim 91, 11.0 mpg, Dalhart Tx to KC, MO, premium 91, 8.8 mpg. The wind was killing me. I was running 70-75 on the 2nd and 3rd leg. I was nothing less than impressed. I was running at 1900 Rpm in the low to mid 70s, and it was like the trailer wasn't there. No problems in the mountains at all, didn't even slow down, although I was running in 3rd/4th. It handled great, coolant temp barely went up, normal around 193, peaked at 202 on a 6 degree incline for a few miles at 65mph. I am sold on the truck, just wish it had the ford integrated break controller, my only real complaint. If you are gonna tow 5-7K lbs, don't worry, balance the load, and you will have absolutely no problems.
Well I am going to take my Expy. We are heading out on Thursday or Friday. Last night I hooked everything up and went for a test run. The 5.4L pulls really well.
I noticed one problem. I have a vibration at around 60mph. I think the tires need to be balanced. Now that I know I am taking the Expy I will check it out completely before we head out. I will post my trip results.
Maximum towing capacity of the Expediion is 6000 pounds unless you have the factory HD Towing Option in which case it goes to 9000 pounds due to the larger engine and transmission radiators. Should not be a problem is you have that option.
Okay. Thanks for the clarification. My trailer is a 7k tandem. It will be around 6500lbs when loaded. So that is ~75% of max. The EL should pull that no problem. I just did the brakes on my tandem, and I have a prodigy3 controller.
Man, I'd be driving the F-350 for the shear fact that it is only running at about 40% of the max compaired to the expedition at 75% of it's max. I'd also tend to think that you'd be getting better fuel economy towing the the f-350 then the expedition. Not to mention that you have quite a bit of ooomph when you need it w/ the F-350.
Strange that I check in on the site and find this thread. I am in the middle of a dispute with Ford over the tow capacity of my 2008 Expy w/ HD tow package. The thing won't hold cruise at 55 mph. Sways like a Chick in a grass skirt and the mileage is around 6.7 mpg under load. My trailer is a Terry Dakota 28' that weighs 5832 loaded. Today teh Ford FSt drove the thing hooked up and his response was " The vehicle performs as engineered. Ford sees no reason to provide any further consideration".
For your future reference: I've had nothing but good experiences towing heavy bulky trailers with my '97 Expy 5.4l 4x4 equipped with four corner air, 3.73 axle, factory HD tow package, bilstein shocks on rear, optional 17" wheels and Bridgestone Dueler AT Revo tires inflated to 42 lbs on the rear, 38 lbs front. I tow a 26' x 8" TrailLite travel trailer (dual torsion axles) that tips the CAT scales at 5480 lbs. I towed 4500 miles over the top of the rockies from north to south, passing many other rigs on high passes over 10K ft, like Wolf Creek Pass. It was first gear, but the speed limit was maintained at all times, the Expy ate it up and never overheated at all. After staying in WA state for two weeks we then covered the high Sierras the same way as the Rockies only going North to south, then back to TX. Nary a problem, without a weight distributing hitch, using only two antisway bars by Reese. Tongue weight was balanced out with water and sewage on board at 6.8% of trailer weight.
The thing won't hold cruise at 55 mph. Sways like a Chick in a grass skirt and the mileage is around 6.7 mpg under load.
Lariat Trucker -
First, a few questions... Are you using any sort of anti-sway and/or weight distributing device for your trailer? Is your truck the EL, or standard length? Are you towing with O/D off?
About 2 weeks ago I took a 400 mile round-trip across Wisconsin to camp on the Mississippi. When I first started out, I noticed that the trailer was swaying quite a bit more than on our last trip. First order of business, stop at the CAT scale to check my Equal-i-zer setup. Weights were (approx, from memory)
Front Axle: 3000
Rear Axle: 4700
Trailer Axles: 5200
Before hitching up, I measured a tongue weight of 840. This is without water in the fresh tank, but with water in the heater and full (2x30) propane. If my memory is correct, I was about 400 lbs over on GAWR for the rear axle. I then shifted some items to the rear of the trailer, and raised the bars on the WD hitch 2 more holes.
Front axle: 3300
Rear axle: 4300
Trailer axles: 5300.
I probably could have gone up 1 more, and certainly will need to for our next trip when we are bringing our dogs with us. Lesson learned, more gear in the trailer, less in the truck. Boy, did that make a handling difference getting those extra 300 lbs on the front of the truck. Not even a hint of sway, even when being passed by semi's running 10+mph faster than me.
Mileage, 8.8 out, 11.1 back due to combination of hills and wind working against us on the way out. I rarely used cruise control because if speed would drop 1 MPH, the truck would downshift all the way to 4th. If "I" ran the pedal, I could get it to drop to fifth and hold speed when approaching a hill, then gain on the downside of the hill. Average speed was 55-60. Trans temps averaged around 192, with peak interstate at 206, peak stop and go at 209.
First thing I would look at in your setup is the anti-sway/WD setup. If you don't currently have one, I can't say enough great things about the Equal-i-zer but there are a number of good ones out on the market.
I would think the F350 would perform better and the even with the hgiher price of diesel, the improved fuel economy of the diesel in heavy load towing conditions might be more economical. Not losing engine performance at high altitude would really help in Colorado. I do have to ask, why have an 08 (new) F350 diesel if you're not going to use it for towing.
From my experience, the Expdition is great for towing. In 1 year I've towed 4,000 miles with a 31' Trail Cruiser 30QBSS ultra lite travel trailer weighing #4,400 loaded and 7-8 passengers (GCVWR #13,000-#13,500). MPG usually averages out to 9.9MPG.
I have both the weight equalizer and the ssway controller. The Expy is a standard wheelbase. The 3.73 is no longer even an option on the Expy. I tow with the O/D off and Ford told me that I should turn off the traction control also when towing. Over the 4th we took a 1000 miles round trip to south Texas. That trip resulted in an overall mpg of 6.2. It did real bad going down but in the 9's coming back. Ford says that the cruise control is designed to shut off at speeds in excess of 55mph under load. They even referred to a section of the owners manual. Personally, whether it was the dealer's lack of knowledge or Ford's misleading tow capacity rating. I feel screwed. The dealer said he would buy the unit back for $35,600 ($53,000 MSRP) and Ford said no assistance.