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2004 - 2008 F150 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Ford F150's with 5.4 V8, 4.6 V8 or 4.2 V6 engine




 
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:26 AM
jzlvr1 jzlvr1 is offline
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How large of a camper can I tow?

I have a 2008, 5.4, 4x4, Supercab with the towing package. I currently tow a 3000 lbs camper. I'm looking to upgrade to something larger. I've found something that fits with what I'm looking for, but I'm afraid that its pushing the limits on my truck.

The camper that I'm looking at is around 6500 lbs. I don't know if that is empty, or GVW. The towing capacity for my truck is 8400lbs. Would I be pushing the limits of my truck with this camper? I have to remember that I would probably be adding 1000 pounds or so with all of the gear and four in my family.

For the most part, I'll be traveling in the plains, but this year I've already been up to Wyoming and Montana. Wyoming really tested the truck. Even though I was pulling a smaller lighter camper, there were a few hills that I had to back off on and take me time going up them. If I was having a difficult time with a smaller, lighter camper, how much more for a larger heaver camper?

Thanks.

Daryl
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:05 AM
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For starters, go download Ford's '2008 RV & Trailer Towing Guide' from ProFleetSales.com - Ford Official Towing Guides.

As we do not know what gears or box length that you have, all I can tell you is that you have a conventional tow rating between 7,400 - 9,300 lbs and a GCWR between 13,000 - 15,300 lbs.

The tricky part is in towing within your tow limitation and still coming in under your GCWR with the trailer and any additional gear, coolers, friends & family, and whatever else you may be hauling in the truck.



Being born & raised in Wyoming & knowing Ford's modular motors, the one bit of advice that I can throw out there is that the 5.4L does its best work in the upper RPMs. If you look at the specs for your motor, you will find:
300 hp@ 5,000 rpm
365 lb.-ft. @ 3,750 rpm
For a V8, that may sound like it is screaming, but with the way these modular motors are built & tuned, it is really just getting....well....busy. I am not, in any way, advocating that you push it to the rev limiter, but do not be afraid to run in those upper RPM ranges. (I know that my Lincoln Mark LT saw that upper RPM range a fair bit in places like South Pass, Cloud Peak wilderness area, Dubois through Jackson, etc.)
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:38 AM
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We just had some friends visit from back east and took them camping through Yellowstone and the surrounding areas. Four adults and a camper that weighs about 4000 lbs. empty, and I had no problems, even on some long, steep grades, maintaining 55-60 mph, even having to pass some semis. In my experience, my F150 will pull that camper as fast as I want it to. But, if you don't have one already, get a trailer brake controller, and I would suggest air springs and/or better-than-factory shocks and tires. I still have the OEM Generals on mine, and the sidewalls have too much flex, but I am waiting until they get a little more worn before popping for replacements - they only have 38000 on them with a lot of tread left. I also trailered my '85 BMW from Colorado back home (3300 lb. car plus the trailer's weight) across I-80 at 75 mph with no difficulty, and there are some pretty good hills between here and there. Most I have towed is close to 9000 lbs., but that was for a short distance so it doesn't count. We put well over 6000 miles towing the camper last year (WY to NH and back) and were very happy with the truck's performance.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:31 PM
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I pulled a 30 ft toy hauler with 373 gears and and 35's under the truck.. I have the edge also gibson exhaust k&n air intake... throttle body riser.. And now i just up graded my gears to 456's and now turning my 35's (BFG's) i have no trouble at all. and i'm well over 9 thousand lbs with that combo.. Truck just hit 8o k and i just did the gears... Hands down this truck was built from tuesday-thursday... Cause friday they didn't care and wanted to go home and monday they were still hung over.... I love this truck. You should have know problems pulling 6k. What gears and what size is your bed?

MArk
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluxe05 View Post
For starters, go download Ford's '2008 RV & Trailer Towing Guide' from ProFleetSales.com - Ford Official Towing Guides.
For starters, Semper Fi Marine. 83-86, 2nd LAV Battalion, 2nd MARDIV.

I have a different tow guide, but that's how I know that I can tow up to 8400lbs. I have the 3.55 gears with a 6.5' box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluxe05 View Post
For starters, go download Ford's '2008 RV & Trailer Towing Guide' from ProFleetSales.com - Ford Official Towing Guides.

Being born & raised in Wyoming & knowing Ford's modular motors, the one bit of advice that I can throw out there is that the 5.4L does its best work in the upper RPMs. If you look at the specs for your motor, you will find:

300 hp@ 5,000 rpm
365 lb.-ft. @ 3,750 rpm

For a V8, that may sound like it is screaming, but with the way these modular motors are built & tuned, it is really just getting....well....busy. I am not, in any way, advocating that you push it to the rev limiter, but do not be afraid to run in those upper RPM ranges. (I know that my Lincoln Mark LT saw that upper RPM range a fair bit in places like South Pass, Cloud Peak wilderness area, Dubois through Jackson, etc.)

Thats good to hear, because I was pushing the RPM up around 3800 almost steady. Here in the lower elevation the truck normally runs about 2800 RPM, but it in Wyoming, it ran steady over 3000 and occasionally over 4000. When it went over 4000, I backed off until the RPM's went down to about 3800. Even thought I have the towing package, I was worried that I might be doing harm to that transmission and or engine, so I tried not to push it to hard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowdog79 View Post
We just had some friends visit from back east and took them camping through Yellowstone and the surrounding areas. Four adults and a camper that weighs about 4000 lbs. empty, and I had no problems, even on some long, steep grades, maintaining 55-60 mph, even having to pass some semis.
For the most part, I maintained the speed limit. There were a couple of grades that I backed off below 55. Again, once that RPM hit over 4000, I backed off and didn't push it worried that I might be over heating the transmission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddedprairie View Post
I pulled a 30 ft toy hauler with 373 gears and and 35's under the truck.. I have the edge also gibson exhaust k&n air intake... throttle body riser.. MArk
I was wanting to get the 3.73 gears, but the dealer only had 3.55 on the lot and I didn't want to hassle with trying to get a truck with 3.73 gears.

I do plan on getting an edge tuner this winter. I would like to put dual exhaust on my truck, but I really don't want to increase the cab noise when hauling the camper. My previous truck, I had a Mazda B4000 when I bought the camper, had dual exhaust. When I pulled the camper the cab noise was really loud. Unless I can find something that will increase performance without increasing the cab noice, I'm going to stay with stock.

So, if I bumped up to this larger camper, is the feeling that I would be okay? Perhaps adding an Edge tuner, and an K/N air filter?

Other thoughts?

Thanks for the feed back.
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:47 PM
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355's will make your truck work. but you should be ok with it. I have my 373's that i have for sale in the swap shop.. these gears are very clean and ready to install.

Mark
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:44 AM
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You'll be OK I think. I have 3.73 gears, and it makes a difference when towing. I don't think you'll get much of an improvement with the K&N, but the Edge would be nice. Waiting for my warranty to expire before I put one in, though.
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Old 07-28-2010, 10:10 AM
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Sorry for the late reply, but I have been away for a couple of days.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzlvr1 View Post
For starters, Semper Fi Marine. 83-86, 2nd LAV Battalion, 2nd MARDIV.
It is always nice to see another Jarhead floating around! I served from '90-'97...HQ CO Motor T in both I & III MEF.


I would not sweat 4,000 or even 5,000 RPMs. Ultimately, I think the motor could hold those RPMs indefinitely, assuming that it could shed the heat being generated. The same could be said for the transmission.

Speaking of which, between the towing & the hills, I would suggest investing in some aftermarket gauges. The factory gauges may be nice looking, but they are dampened to the point of being...well, little more than "idiot" lights. Chances are pretty good that if the factory gauge actually moves from its "operating" point and/or a warning light comes on, you are already headed for trouble. At a minimum, I would look at adding either an engine oil or a water temp gauge and a transmission temp gauge. From there you can start monitoring some true temperature indications, get a real feel for when you are requiring more out of the motor & transmission, and know when to back out of the accelerator.


On the Super Duty side of the fence, a significant number of folks strongly suggest either 4.10 or 4.30 gears with the modular motors. Granted, the F-150 is not quite as heavy, but I think that going to at least 4.10s would help beings that you have 3.55s. Swapping to 4.10s should help you out quite a bit with the towing/hauling. And, from what I have read here & other F-Series forums, I suspect that you may end up gaining some fuel economy when towing/hauling at the possible expense of up to 1 MPG during your empty day-to-day driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzlvr1 View Post
Unless I can find something that will increase performance without increasing the cab noice, I'm going to stay with stock.
...
Perhaps adding an Edge tuner, and an K/N air filter?
Having been down the upgrade path further than many others, the only thing that I would suggest is the aforementioned gear swap. Most of the common mods will carry some benefit(s), but generally speaking, the price vs. performance gains are not there.

Internal combustion motors are basically air pumps. The key to gaining performance is to enable more air to reach the cylinders & be exhausted in the easiest way possible. Secondary to that fundamental is timing & fuel delivery. In your case, limiting exhaust noise--which I cannot blame you for--means limiting the exhaust. And that kind of puts the kibosh on upgrades from the start.

As for the K&N filter, I would shy away from it. In fact, I would shy away from almost all "cold" air intake (CAI) kits and most free-flowing, OEM-replacement filters (like a K&N drop-in). These filters generally reduce filtering efficiency in an effort to increase airflow. In order to compensate, many of these filters then rely on being coated with a light coating of oil to help capture the fine particulates. If you do not put enough oil on these filters, they will let dust through. But, if you put even just a little bit too much oil on them, they can coat the entire intake system with oil (and some dust), and this will ultimately start affecting your MAF sensor.

On my '08 Lincoln Mark LT--which is basically just a dressed up F150--I had a vacuum gauge on the intake at one point. Even jamming open the throttle to go from just off idle to wide-opened throttle on the dyno never caused more than a very momentary (think hundredths of a second) dip in the pressure measured off of the intake. If the pressure had dropped & stayed through a certain RPM range or until the accelerator was released, I could say that the OEM intake setup & air filter was restrictive, but that was not the case. This definitely let me know that the stock intake setup could more than handle the wide-opened throttle requirements of the 5.4L.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzlvr1 View Post
So, if I bumped up to this larger camper, is the feeling that I would be okay?
I think you will be fine, if you set realistic expectations of the towing experience....i.e. longer acceleration & braking times. If you do a gear swap, you may be surprised even with that larger camper.

Just my two cents....
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:35 PM
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The gear swap is going to make a world of difference. We swapped to 4.10 gears on a friend of mines truck who pulled a camper...it was like a totally different truck.

I put air bags on my '05 F150 4x4 5.4L, I pull alot of trailers...living in the country will do that to ya. With BFG LT tires @ 45psi or so combined w/ the airbags @8-10 psi sure make the truck feel more solid. I have a trailer break controller too. I can't say exactly how much weight I have pulled but with tractor, brush hog and implements she will pull them all day long.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:35 PM
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