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Recommended max trailer length for 2012 Expedition

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  #1  
Old 12-06-2017, 02:25 PM
Jim Horne
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Recommended max trailer length for 2012 Expedition

2012 Expedition w/factory tow package.
4X4

Thinking more about the wheelbase being not as long as a PU truck. Any suggestions appreciated.
 
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:39 PM
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its shorter then a F150 2 door (standard cab) and short bed..??
I think not.

just follow what's in the owners manual... or Tow manual.
 
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:40 PM
Jim Horne
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2012 Ford Expedition/Wheelbase 119″

2012 Ford F-150 Regular Cab
Wheelbase – 5' box — NA
Wheelbase – 6' box 125.9"
Wheelbase – 8' box 144.5"

But this is beside the point. I only find weight as a limit in a towing manual. I'm looking for practical experiences.
 
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:25 PM
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I'm towing a 31 foot camper with my 2006. From ball to bumper it's around 35 foot.

With a good hitch with built in sway control and spending the time getting it set up properly, I think you would be fine up to about that size. I wouldn't be in a hurry to go over that lenght, though, regardless of weight.

When hitch shopping I was looking for something with active sway contol and decided on the Reese Straight Line (DC) rather than one with passive sway contol like the equalizer. Probably just preference, but I couldn't be happier with the way the Straight Line performs.

You are wise to be considering lenght. With the wheelbase of a minivan, a long trailer can take you for a ride.


 
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:35 AM
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Am not clear on the goal. Is length, or weight, the actual limiting factor?

If it truly is length, just realize that longer rigs will start to limit the places (campgrounds) where the trailer will fit.

If it actually is weight but disguised as length, am not sure that many people will recommend going over the vehicle's tow rating. Among the reasons is handling when (not if) the trailer's brakes fail. And height of the trailer will play a significant part in how well the Expedition will pull it.
 
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:54 AM
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I had a first generation expedition and a 30' 6k travel trailer. After 1 trip to the mountains on a 55mph hwy, I new it wasn't going to work out. No way I would have taken it on the interstate. The soft squishy tires didn't help, but it was more the soft rear suspension geared towards passenger comfort that felt unstable. I went right back to a pick up truck.
 
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Old 12-07-2017, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by JayTheCPA View Post
Am not clear on the goal. Is length, or weight, the actual limiting factor?

If it truly is length, just realize that longer rigs will start to limit the places (campgrounds) where the trailer will fit.

If it actually is weight but disguised as length, am not sure that many people will recommend going over the vehicle's tow rating. Among the reasons is handling when (not if) the trailer's brakes fail. And height of the trailer will play a significant part in how well the Expedition will pull it.
I think with a 119" wheelbase, length needs to be considered. the amount of leverage the camper has on the TV is significant in the 30+ foot range.

I compromised on length, I was originally not looking at anything bigger than 27ft long. The deal on this 31ft camper was too good to pass, but the only reason I went with this one was the spread axle (which I thought would provide greater straight line stability) and the 6900 lbs GVW. had it been any heavier, or not had the spread axle, I would not have bought it - not to pull behind the expedition, anyway. as it was I still didn't feel comfortable trying to tow it with anything less than an "above average" hitch.

Originally Posted by Ron94150 View Post
I had a first generation expedition and a 30' 6k travel trailer. After 1 trip to the mountains on a 55mph hwy, I new it wasn't going to work out. No way I would have taken it on the interstate. The soft squishy tires didn't help, but it was more the soft rear suspension geared towards passenger comfort that felt unstable. I went right back to a pick up truck.
I often wonder if others would find my setup "stable" or "white knuckle" when going on trips, I prefer interstate and I don't find passing truck traffic to be particularly unsettling. with the sway control on the Straight Line, a truck passing you on the left turns the whole truck/trailer to the left (into the truck) which requires a correction to the right (opposite of what you would normally expect). so you do feel passing traffic, even cars and pickups will turn the rig slightly, but it is far from "white knuckle" IMO because the whole thing rotates about the front axle as a single unit. there is NO fear of overcorrecting or sway, you just have to steer the rig with wind or passing traffic.

So long as I'm not seeing the side of the camper in my mirrors, there is nothing to worry about - it is just steering. but I get the feeling that others don't see it that way and would feel "unsettled" in the same rig.

having towed with both, I have not found any particular advantage using an LT tire over a P-rated. I don't find one to be "more planted" or "more squirrely" than the other. to me they are both round and black and get the job done. The softer suspension does not ride as well with a heavy load as would something with stiffer springs, but at the same time I find the IRS feels much more "planted" than a live axle. going over bumps that make the rear step out on a live axle pickup does not do that to an IRS. there Is just much less lateral movement in an IRS because the truck isn't trying to wander over the top of the leaf springs and a bump on one side of the vehicle has no affect on the opposite side, so the whole thing is just more predictable and stable.

I really think it comes down to expectations and comfort level. if you don't want to feel any effects of wind or passing traffic, stay in the 3/4 and heavier trucks. if a little side to side movement in wind and traffic doesn't particularly bother you, then 1/2 tons get it done just fine. personally, I find the 1/2 ton trucks to be just fine, but not everyone agrees.

i do think, though, that the OP is very wise to be mindful of length - regardless of weight - when towing with such a short wheelbase.

i would not want to tow a 35' camper with my expedition, regardless of the weight. i do not think that would be a pleasant experience.
 
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Old 12-07-2017, 05:10 PM
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My post wasn't because of the vacuum effect of being sucked over by a semi. I still get that by a speeding semi with my 250 and the 30'er. My issue was curves. It felt like the trailer was steering the rear of the truck, instead of the rear of the truck pulling the camper.
 
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Old 12-09-2017, 09:10 PM
Jim Horne
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Originally Posted by JayTheCPA View Post
Am not clear on the goal. Is length, or weight, the actual limiting factor?

If it truly is length, just realize that longer rigs will start to limit the places (campgrounds) where the trailer will fit.
Drivability and sway is my main concern...
 
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:57 AM
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23'. And I'd go after the lighter weight trailers. Also recommend rear air springs to level. A quality WD hitch to have the trailer level. Level everything 1st. Then add the weight distro bars, then let a little air out of the springs.

Check to make sure everything is still nice and level. Or slightly nose down.

Something like this:

Salem Cruise lite 233RBXL.

And I'd recommend a mostly empty trailer. The above is 5000# empty. That ain't chump change for an Expedition. I like to stay around 1/2 my trucks tow rating.
 
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:07 AM
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Unless you have factory air ride, airsprings are not an option. No one makes an air strut that I can find.

If you have coil springs your only option is Sumo Coil Spring spacers - and I highly recommend them.

Just so you don't go on a wild goose hunt looking for air springs.....
 
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:00 AM
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Well thats a bummer.
 
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:00 AM
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I have a 2011 Expedition. It is a 1/2 ton chassis. Not made for heavy towing. Hard on the tranny and suspension. I bought an F-350 to tow my 30 ft trailer (6400 lbs dry). I'm sure an F-250 would have been adequate but I like the extra margin of safety. (I got a killer deal on the F-350)
 
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:12 AM
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Many moons ago, I had a 1990 F-150 that I used to haul a little 20' camper all over. It was a long bed, regular cab truck. The wheelbase was 133". It handled the camper fine without a WDH or anti-sway device. Then I got into an accident (someone pulled out in front of me) and the truck was totaled. I replaced it with a 1989 F-150 shortbed regular cab. The wheelbase was 117" and the difference with the same trailer was night and day. The shorter wheelbase truck just did not handle the trailer as well. Getting passed by a truck was a white knuckle experience.

Needless to say, I stopped towing the trailer until I got a better tow rig.

My Excursion has a 133" wheelbase as well, and with the WDH and friction anti-sway bar on the hitch, it has no stability issues. My trailer is about 34' from ball to bumper. However, you will absolutely not having the same towing experience with this trailer and an Expedition of the similar wheelbase. I would say that about 6k or 7k is about the limit I'd be comfortable pulling with an Expedition. Any more weight than that and you should definitely be looking at a 3/4 ton platform.
 
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:13 AM
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A buddy of mine has a 2005 Expedition and he towed a 31 ft camper weighing 7500-8000 lbs loaded with it for 3-4 years with no issues. He then got a bigger camper and a F350 to pull it. That Expedition has almost 300K on it now with the original engine and transmission.
 
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