Welcome to Axle Advisor › Car Forum › Ford › Towing capacity

- This topic has 3 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 5 months ago by mskris4444.

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- December 9, 2018 at 3:15 pm #2308skibum7Participant
We have a 2018 Ford F-150 super crew short bed with the 3.55 rear axle. My question is what is the maximum weight we can put on the truck with a fifth wheel hitch. Does the combined weight of the hitch, passengers, etc need to stay under the stickered 1,888lbs that it says on the door? The trailer we are looking at has a hitch weight of 1.120 lbs plus adding the hitch in the bed of the truck plus passengers.

December 13, 2018 at 6:42 pm #2309mstern001KeymasterHere’s the short answer, you had better look for a trailer hitch with a lower weight rating (fifth wheels tend to be very heavy) because it looks like you will be over the limit quite quickly.

Let’s say you have a normal family of a wife and two kids, and, perhaps a pooch. Each person on board contributes to the weight your vehicle can carry. Now, as to weight, let’s say your weight weights 120 pounds, you weight 180, and your kids have a combined weight of 45. Now, the process begins. You add up each person’s weight and you come up with a weight of 345 pounds. Subtract it from the 1,888 pounds, along with the hitch weight of 1,120. It comes out to 1,465 pounds.

Now let’s guess at the luggage you will be carrying. At a guess, it is one suitcase for you and perhaps your wife, unless she needs here own. And, the little ones have a couple of their own (they’re little and need more stuff). Let’s say each of your suitcases averages 45 pounds and your kids averages 60 pounds. How does it impact the situation? The same as with the people: add up the number of pounds and subtract it from the weight. Let’s see comes what the impact is. Your vehicle weight is now 1,715.

Now, what will you be carrying with you? Will you have a spare tire? How about some tools for flats or other issues? Perhaps a spare few gallons of gas, for just in case times when you are running low in the middle of nowhere. Depending on the tools, it can range from 25 to 40 pounds, while the spare goes the better part of 70, and finally, the gas can and gas enter the picture. One gallon of gas adds roughly 4 to 6 pounds of weight to your car. At 6 pounds and 5 gallons of gas, you are adding another roughly 35 pounds of weight. So, with the tools, spare, and gas you add 145 pounds and the total 1,860 pounds. Essentially, that’s the limit you can carry.

If you look at how I did the math. You determine the amount of weight your truck can carry starting at the trailer hitch. Then, you take that figure and subtract it from the value on the door. Next, you add in the passengers and items you carry and then items in the bed. You are right on the edge of where you have to be. You can live with the fifth wheel, but, if you carry only another 100 pounds in the cab, then you are over the limit.

What happens, even if your trailer has the best set of brakes in the business (trailer brakes are activated by your truck’s braking system, though they act independently, most of the time, to the normal braking system of your Ford), your truck’s handling becomes compromised. As a result, you find yourself “steering” more to remain on track and to keep your fifth wheel in place, too.

If you already have the fifth wheel mount installed, there’s little we can do about it as it is usually riveted to the pickup bed for sturdiness, though, some fifth wheels are bolted in and those bolts can loosen and back out over time. The result of this is a loose fifth wheel.

December 17, 2018 at 3:57 pm #2332mstern001KeymasterThe final numbers in this are nearly equal, as you can see. This means there’s no room for error as the total weight that you carry in your vehicle bears directly on the hitch design and since we do know that you are in the 1,860-pound area, we have to reiterate that you have hit the total as the weights nearly match. If they do match, then you have to think of cutting back on the hitch rating.

May 4, 2021 at 8:52 pm #2616mskris4444ParticipantI’m having trouble figuring out what the towing capacity of my 2013 Ford Explorer all wheel drive can tow. Everything I am finding says 2000-5000 lbs but this isn’t that helpful in finding a camper I can pull. Do you happen to know where to find the info? thanks

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