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Towing with a Raptor - realistic weights

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Old 08-30-2017, 10:19 AM
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Towing with a Raptor - realistic weights

Guys, I really kind of want a 2017 Raptor. I may have an opportunity to buy one. I'd have to trade in my beloved 2017 F-350 dually to do so.

I need to confirm some things about towing first. A crew cab Raptor seems to be able to tow 8k lbs and has a payload of 1200 lbs.

That's obviously a big change for my truck's 27,300lbs towing capacity and 5,440lb payload capacity. Now granted, I don't need that much capacity necessarily.

I do have a trailer with a 16.2k GVWR. I load it to about 11k lbs total weight.

SO...legalities aside, is it possible to install Firestone Ride-Rite or similar air bags to help prevent squat? If I did that, would it be reasonable to tow that much with the Raptor?

My thinking is that the Raptor frame and engine are stronger than anything offered in the F-150 line, and they share a transmission. If an F-150 can tow 13,200lbs, it would seem the limiting factor on the Raptor would be the soft, long-travel suspension?

Thoughts?
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Old 08-30-2017, 07:22 PM
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It's going to take some adaptation to get the bags to work, but I am determined to slay that dragon - if nothing else - something I can easily remove and install when I want to drag something heavy. In about a month and a half, my Raptor will get its first real workout as I hook onto my 42' travel trailer (11,700#) and drag it to its new home.
Luckily it's only a couple of miles, but should give me some idea how well it will handle it on relatively level ground.
Like you, I am well aware that it is beyond the stated limits of the truck - but I don't believe for a minute that the truck does not have the Cajones to do it...
____

Tires may be something else to look into....
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Old 08-31-2017, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Big-Foot View Post
It's going to take some adaptation to get the bags to work, but I am determined to slay that dragon - if nothing else - something I can easily remove and install when I want to drag something heavy. In about a month and a half, my Raptor will get its first real workout as I hook onto my 42' travel trailer (11,700#) and drag it to its new home.
Luckily it's only a couple of miles, but should give me some idea how well it will handle it on relatively level ground.
Like you, I am well aware that it is beyond the stated limits of the truck - but I don't believe for a minute that the truck does not have the Cajones to do it...
____

Tires may be something else to look into....
Thanks Randy - I guess I'm still looking into getting a Raptor but need to make sure it can do what I need it to. I have an opportunity to buy a 2017 that was never registered but has 400 miles on it for MSRP. That's probably a good deal. But it may be a bad idea, since I will need to tow on a pretty regular basis in the summer. Still mulling it over.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:49 AM
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I snapped a picture of my hitch the other day while I was underneath the truck - eyeballing and thinking about how to make an AirLift kit that bolts to the outside of the frame and rides on top of the leaf-spring pack...




Thinking something like the pictures below ---










We'd need to make the air bag disconnect from either the top or bottom mount when going off-road, or you will rip the bag or mount apart when the suspension starts to articulate...
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:53 AM
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I was laying under mine the other day as well. Would it be possible to simply install the air bag in place of the bump-stop, and not have it connected on the bottom? Then, as the suspension sags under tongue weight, it would get to a point and the air bag would support the load...but otherwise it would not interfere with articulation or ride quality?

Just my thought.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:14 AM
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Yeah Tyler, I was thinking along the same lines - for a while...
There's a difference between an air spring and an air bag. The bag needs to be contained within a coil spring. The air springs we are looking at above need to be anchored on top and bottom. If not, the air spring could possibly scoot off of its stop and jam up / destroy itself.
I had been measuring for such a process though..
One measurement to the snubber mount and the other to the snubber.






I'm going to install my Husky mud flaps today and think about it some more...
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:11 AM
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I wheeled Land Rovers for years off-road. Some used air springs, but the ones I owned and drove used coil springs front and rear. Land Rovers articulate very well, and some guys would use something called a 'dislocation cone' that would allow the coil spring to come right off its perch on the frame and be held down to the axle with a bracket. The 'cone' was mounted to the frame and was just that...wide at its opening and narrower to confine the spring as it moved upwards. That way, if the coil spring moved out of alignment when it separated, the cone would guide it back to position as it came down.

I wonder if a 'cone' of sorts would work to guide an air spring? But maybe the spring is not rigid enough, like a coil.

I dunno. My goal is not to diminish the Raptor's off-road capability in any way, nor compromise its ride quality which is very nice...but be able to improve its payload as a way to increase towing capacity. I don't mind 'temporarily' reducing off-road or ride characteristics while towing so long as I can quickly get those back while not towing.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:04 PM
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Some very interesting concepts Tyler!
We have nearly identical goals in mind.
Like you, I came from a crewcab dually to the Raptor and even though the dually was a bit rough at times, it rode very well for what it was. Enter the Raptor, it has to be the nicest riding truck I've ever driven.
Bumps? What bumps!
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big-Foot View Post
Some very interesting concepts Tyler!
We have nearly identical goals in mind.
Like you, I came from a crewcab dually to the Raptor and even though the dually was a bit rough at times, it rode very well for what it was. Enter the Raptor, it has to be the nicest riding truck I've ever driven.
Bumps? What bumps!
I'm pretty infatuated with the Raptor right now, Randy. It seems like it has so many desirable traits. My single biggest complaint is the sound. I think most people see what is perhaps the best looking truck ever made and then hear this kind of leaf-blower sound and are disappointed. When you push the truck hard, the sound gets better...but just gently taking off from a stop light sounds to me like a minivan. Of course, the power does not disappoint.

At least the tires are heavy duty and rated for heavy towing. Tonight I may attempt to tow 10k lbs (towing a Ford Expedition on top of my equipment hauler trailer) behind the Raptor without W/D bars and without air bags. If it squats too hard...I'll probably use our 2003 Excursion. Downside to that vehicle is no trailer brake controller and the 5.4L engine with 3.73 axle ratios. It is only 5 miles I need to move it, though.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:57 AM
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Tyler, if you have any way to weigh that trailer and your truck and come up with a tongue weight, it would speak volumes as to the capacity of the current suspension on the truck.
I spent some more time under mine yesterday and am still thinking that a kit that uses a bracket mounted to the outside of the frame to anchor the top of the air spring would work best. Still thinking about your cone idea as well..
I've only got a month left before we move south and I lose my fabrication shop for 6 months - so not sure I will be able to come up with anything solid between now and then as I have a lot of other half-baked projects that I need to put to bed.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:28 AM
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The towing plan was a fail last night. The nose of my trailer was probably less than 5" off the ground. The Raptor was not quite on the bump stops but there was no way I'd tow like that. So we towed the Expedition with the Excursion...even that squatted pretty good, but it handled the load well.

I love the Raptor, but it made me realize how much I took the dually for granted. Throwing 10k behind that and it barely felt it.

I just contacted Firestone and they stated they have zero products available for the 2017 Raptor...only the previous generation...and they have nothing on the horizon. I guess it isn't worth developing a new product for a limited production vehicle.
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:32 AM
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Wow that is a lot of squat!
Any idea what the tongue weight was?
I measured my receiver at 18" to the ground from the bottom of the 2" box...
...
There have been guys on the FRF and FR2 forums towing heavyweights and they seem to manage fine. Did you try the equalizer bars?
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:53 AM
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No idea what the tongue weight was but it might have been in the 1500lb range if I had to guess. Contemplating one of those fancy weigh-safe hitches.

I've never used W/D bars before...the 2017 dually owner's manual clearly stated that you could tow 21k off the 3" bumper hitch and not need W/D bars. I believe it.

So, perhaps I should go buy a set and see if it helps?
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:56 AM
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When you spend a bundle on an off road performance truck just to turn it back into a regular F150...
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:17 AM
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When you spend a bundle on an off road performance truck just to turn it back into a regular F150...
Hardly. Adding helper springs to assist with towing heavy loads doesn't turn the Raptor "back into an F-150." It simply enhances its ability to perform towing tasks. Of course, you still have the great looks, additional power, special transfer case, unique interior touches, etc.

Not that I need to justify it, but I really only tow in stretches...a lot of towing in the spring and fall, not much through the summer, and only towing snowmobiles in the winter.
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