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Old 01-01-2009, 08:52   #1 (permalink)
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towing

hello folks. so glad i found this site. can someone help me with this question? i just bought a 2006 v6 4.2. i wanna tow a boat. can i use just the bumper hitch without any problems or do i need to put a under the vehicle hitch on. will the bumper itself hold up to towing ?always had vehicles with added on hitches. thanks
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:09   #2 (permalink)
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Re: towing

You should be ok towing a boat
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:05   #3 (permalink)
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Exclamation Re: towing

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwko View Post
You should be ok towing a boat
That's not entirely true. It depends on...

For your tow capacity, automatic transmission is 5,200lbs and manual transmission is 2,400lbs. Then consider these +/- factors:

3.73:1 axle ratio, add 500lbs.
Long wheel base (144½"), subtract 100lbs
18" wheels or larger, subtract 500lbs

Remember to take into consideration the weight of the boat AND trailer, not just the boat. The tongue weight is about 10% of the towing if balanced properly. I think your bumper is rated for 500lbs, but double-check that in your manual.

Rule of thumb is to have at least 1000lbs more capacity than what you are towing. Otherwise going up hills will be difficult and potentially harmful to the truck. If you exceed your capability, not only will you be a safety hazard on the road, but you WILL break your engine, transmission, both or more.
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Old 11-18-2009, 15:45   #4 (permalink)
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Re: towing

Thank You Fabio for clearing that up for us.
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Old 11-27-2009, 17:44   #5 (permalink)
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Re: towing

Personally, I wouldn't trust bumper hitches to tow over 3000lbs. A bumper hitch is more for towing very light trailers, or ones that don't require a braking system. Depending on the state, or your area, a trailer brake is required over a certain trailer gross weight rating. As mentioned, most bumpers can easily tow upwards of 5000lbs, but you'll get better stability with a hitch as it's mounted lower (on the vehicle frame). If your F150 is anything like my old GMC C1500, the bumper hitch is actually attached to the box with a steel crossmember. It's NOT attached to the frame. So the weight went through the bumper, on the box, and then onto the frame.

If you're unsure of your axle ratio, check in the glovebox, it should list what the ratio is on a sticker, and whether or not you have a limited slip axle (better on boat ramps but not necessary; it eliminates the one-wheel-peel).

Boats are almost as aerodynamic as a landscape trailer, and don't have the drag associated with say, a travel trailer for instance. Towing at the limit of 5,200lbs is more than doable with the V6 as it has good low end torque. Just remember to factor in other weight as well, such as passengers, driver and cargo, and subtract that from the towing capacity. In any case, providing the grades won't be overly steep, you have the shorter axle ratio, and a transmission cooler installed (for automatic), a 4,800# boat would easily be towable, but you'll have NO passing power unless driving downhill, in any case I'd advise against overspeeding the vehicle. If automatic, tow in 3rd gear (1:1) and don't exceed 60mph for best long term reliability. If manual, tow in 4th and don't exceed 65mph for best long term reliability.
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