Notices

Opinions on alternate tow vehicle for enclosed trailer?

 
  #1  
Old 01-29-2019, 04:04 PM
g-rod
g-rod is offline
New User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 3
g-rod is starting off with a positive reputation.
Opinions on alternate tow vehicle for enclosed trailer?

I bought a used 7 x 14 7000lb GVWR enclosed trailer to move various things when they're too heavy/bulky/dirty for our SUVs not so long ago. Our usual tow vehicle is a 99 F250SD 6.8 4x4, which of course has no issues with it at all. In fact, that's kind of the problem. Regardless of empty or packed to the limit, the 250 is going along at 10mpg-ish. Usually we tow project vehicles on an open trailer with it, so MPG doesn't matter. But for the enclosed trailer loads it matters more.

So I've been thinking of getting an alternate tow vehicle for the 7 x 14. Something like a 4.6/5.4 F150, or even a 4-liter Ranger. Per the tow ratings, they'd do the work, as long as I don't load the trailer right to its GVWR, which I almost never do. And the 150 could get a theoretical 13-14 mpg, and the Ranger 16-17, and getting 1/3 to 2/3 better mileage would be significant for us. With gas savings like this, I estimate 20 or so typical round trips would basically pay for the truck in gas savings.

What's your opinion on this? Worth it? Would these trucks do the work, durability-wise, on a regular basis? I know they'd be working to their tow limit regularly (which the 250 never is with this trailer) - would they just end up getting 10mpg anyway, because they're working so hard?

I should note I'd be considering 97-08 F150s or 98-10 Rangers, and I'd be able to buy one at a significant discount to retail as I could buy from dealer auctions, which makes payback much easier. Thanks for your thoughts.
 
  #2  
Old 01-30-2019, 03:30 PM
Freightrain's Avatar
Freightrain
Freightrain is offline
Shiftoholic
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 9,419
Freightrain has much to be proud ofFreightrain has much to be proud ofFreightrain has much to be proud ofFreightrain has much to be proud ofFreightrain has much to be proud ofFreightrain has much to be proud ofFreightrain has much to be proud ofFreightrain has much to be proud ofFreightrain has much to be proud of
Any smaller truck is going to eat fuel to pull that box. That's the problem, more then the weight, is the wind resistance. Even empty, behind a Ranger, it is going to work hard to keep running highway speed. In town? Not such a problem, but still a decent size trailer for a small pickup(like a Ranger). An F150 will move it easier, but unless you get a 5.4 it is going to work to pull it on the highway. There again, they will get similar mileage to your V10 trying to keep speed.

My '99 V10/5spd/4.30 CC DRW got about 9 mpg pulling my 40ft Haulmark race trailer at 14K lbs. 12 mpg with no trailer.
 
  #3  
Old 01-30-2019, 03:38 PM
ford390gashog's Avatar
ford390gashog
ford390gashog is offline
Post Fiend
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Brentwood,CA
Posts: 17,887
ford390gashog has much to be proud offord390gashog has much to be proud offord390gashog has much to be proud offord390gashog has much to be proud offord390gashog has much to be proud offord390gashog has much to be proud offord390gashog has much to be proud offord390gashog has much to be proud offord390gashog has much to be proud of
The F150 those years were lucky for 14 empty. Towing is single digit territory. The frontal area of the trailer would push it out of range of the ranger.
 
  #4  
Old 01-30-2019, 04:18 PM
Clubwagon's Avatar
Clubwagon
Clubwagon is offline
Posting Guru
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Saint Augustine, FL
Posts: 2,168
Clubwagon is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.Clubwagon is gaining momentum as a positive member of FTE.
From my experience you are being wildly optimistic with those mpg estimates.

I had a '96 Clubwagon (full size van) with a 5.0 V8 (Windsor) that I towed an open car trailer regularly. The car/trailer combo weighed about 3500 lbs and I got about 11-12 mpg. I had a friend that liked my rig and bought a similar, but later model, van with the 5.4 motor. He towed a similar car/trailer combo and my old 5.0 go better mileage. We would often travel together and when stopping for fuel I always took a little less than he did.

When comparing the full sized vans with both the V10 and 5.4 motors there was very little difference in mileage when towing similar trailers. The V10 just did it a lot easier.

I have never towed anything with a Ranger but knowing how much drag the enclosed trailer would have there is no way I would want to tow one with the previous generation Ranger.

I would keep the V10 F250 and live with the mileage.

I presently have a '17 F250 CCSB FX4 6.7 PSD. I tow a 8.5 x 24 enclosed car hauler with it. The loaded trailer weights just under 9k lbs. I get 10-11 mpg but then the truck pulls it effortlessly.
 
  #5  
Old 01-30-2019, 09:11 PM
HRTKD's Avatar
HRTKD
HRTKD is online now
Post Fiend
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Somewhere south of Denver
Posts: 6,862
HRTKD has a spectacular reputation.HRTKD has a spectacular reputation.HRTKD has a spectacular reputation.HRTKD has a spectacular reputation.HRTKD has a spectacular reputation.HRTKD has a spectacular reputation.HRTKD has a spectacular reputation.HRTKD has a spectacular reputation.HRTKD has a spectacular reputation.HRTKD has a spectacular reputation.HRTKD has a spectacular reputation.
I killed my '91 Ranger's transmission pulling my 1.5K side-by-side on a single axle trailer into the mountains. It had the 4.0L engine which was solid. Got the transmission rebuilt and it never ran right after that.

Suck up the MPG and be happy.
 
  #6  
Old 02-01-2019, 07:12 PM
g-rod
g-rod is offline
New User
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 3
g-rod is starting off with a positive reputation.
Yeah, that's about what I figured. The mileage figures were for not towing anything, of course, and that was my main worry - that towing an enclosed trailer would eliminate any advantage. Well, I guess I'll just keep using the 250 for everything and be happy I have it when I really need the capability. Thanks for your help.
 
  #7  
Old 02-02-2019, 07:40 AM
Birdhunter1's Avatar
Birdhunter1
Birdhunter1 is online now
Posting Guru
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Murphysboro, IL
Posts: 2,424
Birdhunter1 has a good reputation on FTE.Birdhunter1 has a good reputation on FTE.Birdhunter1 has a good reputation on FTE.
The trailer you describe is a bit smaller than my 3 horse slant load trailer, and your enclosed trailer is probably lighter than my horse trailer.
I pull mine with a '14 Model F 150 with the 3.5 Ecoboost and 10.5-12 mpg with 12 on flat ground at 60 mph, 10.5 in the rough hills. I wouldn't expect to tow your enclosed trailer and get any better or worse mileage. Forget about the 4.0 Ranger for this, it will do it but you will have no advantage over an F 150 in terms of gas mileage whether you are towing or not. The 5.4 and the 4.6 will drag that trailer just fine, I wouldn't expect any better gas mileage than my Ecoboost but you will not have near the power.
The 3.5 Ecoboost will have the power of your V10, get 10-12 mpg towing and in the 18-20 range with no trailer.
 
  #8  
Old 03-01-2019, 01:45 PM
jmcder53
jmcder53 is offline
Junior User
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 87
jmcder53 is starting off with a positive reputation.
I had a ranger with 4.0 automatic (the puny 3.08 axle ratio, rated for 2300 pounds) and pulled a tandem axle utility trailer and vw bug totaling less than 4000 pounds and I got 8-10mpg.
Current truck f150 with 4.6v8 pulling the same setup and I still get about 10mpg. True it is pulling on some hills but even on level ground you will feel drag on a windy day. I don't mean to burst your bubble just letting you know the ranger is probably not an alternative option.

How is your gas mileage with the v10 and no trailer?
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.