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How much can my 97 F-150 haul and tow?

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Old 03-12-2009, 10:11 PM
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50flathead 50flathead is offline
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How much can my 97 F-150 haul and tow?

I own a 97 F-150 4x4 4.6 auto. How do I determine how much weight the truck will haul. I'm considering buying a slide in camper along with pulling a boat. I'm not really wanting to step up to an F-250 for serious hauling. What's everybody else able to haul and tow with an F-150?
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:58 PM
galaxie641 galaxie641 is offline
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Your owners manual will have it all broken down according to all your options and wheel base.
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:15 PM
MelTaylor MelTaylor is offline
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I know this won't answer the question to your satisfaction but maybe it will help a little. About three months ago I bought a '97 F150 with the same engine but 5 speed manual transmission. It had 134K miles on the odometer. I knew the clutch was shot in it when I bought it. It had been in Florida and the owner had driven it back from there pulling a U Haul trailer - I don't know how big or how much weight but I live in New Mexico and there are some fairly steep mountains between there and here. The altitude here is around 4000 ft.

I immediately had the clutch replaced and when they pulled the old one out the clutch plate was burned to a crisp and the pressure plate was blue from overheating.

As soon as I got it out of the shop I made a trip to Mexico pulling a 14 ft aluminum boat with a 35 Horse motor on it. About 1400 miles round trip with lots of mountain roads. Not much other load in the bed - probably not more than two or three hundred pounds total. It made the trip fine but it quickly became apparent to me that, while I love the truck, it hasn't anywhere near the load capacity the old '86 F150 with a four speed and a V-8 in it that I got rid of several years ago and, of course, can't begin to measure up to the '85 three quarter ton, V8 Chevy I've driven since then.

Since then I've made a couple of trips over other mountain roads with really steep grades with no load in the truck and that only served to confirm my belief.

Having said all that, I find that as long as I don't have to navigate any steep hills it does just fine with several hundred pounds of gear in the bed and pulling boat and motor. Also, virtually all of my driving in New Mexico is a altitudes of over 4000 feet which, I'm sure, cuts my power at least to some degree.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:03 PM
Bluegrass 7 Bluegrass 7 is offline
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I am always taken aback by this question on these boards because it's taken so lightly and answered by I tow this and I tow that and is not anywhere near a proper usefull answer.
Here is what you need to do for a more proper answer.
1. Find out what your truck is rated for in terms of gross combined weight rateing from the factory, for your year, model and options.
2. Subtract your trucks actual weight or it's weight as stated on your title if it is stated or get it weighed.
3. Add the weight of yourself, your passengers and anything extra such as your camper and gear.
4. Subtract this total weight from the gross combined weight rateing.
5. What is left is what you may tow legally.
It has little to do with the tonge weight that should never be in excess of about 600 lbs with any kind of towing for an F150 size.
Example: My 02 super crew is rated at 11,600 lbs gross combined rating.
My actual truck weight is 5300 lbs.
Add two people at 200 lbs each plus some extra of another 200 lbs.
Add 5300+600= 5900lbs. Add some for gas in the tank and go with 6000 lbs.
Next 11,600 - 6000 leaves 5600lbs max for a total of all other weights.
If your camper weighs in with the boat at no more than your the gross combined weight you good to go but know your fully loaded and running at the edge of reliability for the transmission , tires etc.
Bewhere of a boat or trailer dealer that tells you you can tow "it' without looking up your truck's towing capacity, just to make a sale leaving you to find out later that towing is not going so well.
Note that the gross ratings takes into account the ratings of your tires, brake capacity,axle capacity, gear ratio, transmission type, motor size etc that is not the same for all models and is one reasn you can't take what some one else does as an absolute guide to your application..
Good luck.
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