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Towing a 2000lb popup?

Reddleman

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I have a 99 3.0/5-speed standard cab with 3.73 open and 120k miles on it. I'd be using a real hitch and electric trailer brakes, not just the bumper.

So the 3.0 is running well, but would this comfortably tow a 2000lb (total-with gear) Aliner hard top pop-up camper? It's ok according to Ford, this combo is between 2400-2600lbs tow rated. Never tried towing with this Ranger, so not sure whether to bother to upgrade to the hitch/7 pin wiring etc. or if it would be better to just consider another truck or smaller camper.

I could swap in a 4.10 rear before summer, but I'm not sure how much better this would be.
 


adsm08

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4.10s would be a lot nicer for towing, but if the truck is rated for 24-2600 lbs than a 2K pop up should be ok. Maybe not fun, but ok.
 

rusty ol ranger

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My credo
A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
Depends where you live and your definition of good.

I towed my 32ft 7000 lb travel trailer with a 77 F250 with an emission choked 400 making a whopping 169hp and 325ftlbs (granted, its at 1600rpm :) ), a power hogging C6, and a 3.07 rear axle (good call ford).

It did the job, but if i lived in the mountains or i wanted to keep 55 up a hill, it was foot on the floor and watch the speedo dive backwards.

My 97 460 fixed this issue :)

But either way, the 3.0 is somewhat meager on low end torque to begin with, but with a 3.73 and a 5speed i think youll do ok, just dont expect to be showing off in the hammer lane with the smokey strokers.

Take it easy, take it slow, like you should do anyways towing stuff, and enjoy the ride. With a popup frontal wind resistance isnt really an issue. I say go for it.
 

91stranger

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I wouldn't worry about it. I towed a big pop up with my 96 5 speed 4 cyl ranger. it did rather fine. my 99 3.0 automatic would do fine as well. I don't have a pop up but I have a 6x8 trailer that I load with firewood. trailer weighs 680 pounds empty. I'm sure I have had it over 2000 pounds with firewood stacked 2 feet high across a 6x8 area. my truck does have a hitch and tow package but it does fine. Also, the trailer has no brakes and its really not that bad. here's a picture of my trailer empty.hills can be slow but that's expected with a small 2wd truck. I would just get a 4-7way adapter.
 
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don4331

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My 2¢ on trailer brakes:

Ranger alone stops in 185' according to test from '00 (Popular Science, I believe).

For the following, I am using:
Regular Cab, Short bed 4x2 with ABS. So, truck weighs ~3,500lbs with driver and passenger (using SAE std of 150lb person).

13% tongue weight = 325 lbs for 2500lb trailer. (With battery, propane and cargo added to dry hitch weight this isn't unreasonable for Aliner) If you are less than 13%, stopping distances will increase, if you are greater (or you put more "cargo" in the truck box), braking with be closer to without trailer).

Trailer brakes are ~75% as effective as truck brakes - trailer tires being harder, you don't want to lock trailer brakes as that sets up situation for jack-knife to occur, controller application won't be instantaneous.

I did not consider fade. But Rangers are notorious for fading under repeated/extended braking.

Adding a trailer of 2,500lbs takes you right up to the 6,000lb GCWR.*

If the trailer is unbraked, the stopping distance goes to 291' (>100' further than truck alone)!

If the trailer is braked, the stopping distance goes to 202' (17' further than truck alone, but ~90' shorter than unbraked trailer).

*Reddleman: You need to take care not to exceed the GCWR - Max trailer is for truck with no options, only driver, etc. Max trailer needs to be deducted by passenger(s), options (air conditioning, etc).
 

91stranger

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pop ups and aliners have way different tongue weight ratios than normal campers. most pop ups and aliners set the axle damn near in the center of the trailer. i know that they say its still 10-15% but thats not true. also it depends on what height your hitch ball is at. if your ball is higher than the trailers tongue when trailer is level then you are moving weight to the rear of the camper being at that angle. then more weight if you have the trailer angle downward in the front. i've towed a lot of stuff with out trailer brakes and a ranger with a pop up is not that bad. just dont drive like a dumbass and you will be fine. if you drive like dale earnhardt then you will have issues.
 

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