looks like a good thread..... my 2000 3.0 has a gooseneck and 5th wheel hitch on it only for moving our trailers around and it does just fine. looks funny with those big 3 car haulers behind it but it does the job. it's also hauled a single car gooseneck loaded with my 01 7.3 f350 from our shop to the house when it ate the injector harness. but i wouldn't dare putting weight on it without trailer brakes. I should also point out that its got F250 leafs in it, and F450 shocks. she's a mutt.
Not so much the biggest load, as maybe the most under-powered Ranger tow. In '86, I dragged a ~20ft runabout boat from the So Jersey coast to San Jose, CA. Heavy boat and trailer. Six cylinder Volvo I/O drive. The truck was an '83 Long bed Ranger with a 4 cyl. I assumed it was a 2.3L. Oh, no, the dang thing was a 2.0L! VERY fancy truck. Plush, even. Geared for NJ, apparently. They don't have hills there.
I had my choice of two Rangers, but Dad thought the fancy one would sell quicker in CA. Au contrere. I went back for the '83 N/A diesel Ranger after arriving home with the boat. It ended up selling first. Everyone wanted that diesel truck. I should have turned around in PA and swapped trucks.
When I stopped for gas, I had to make sure I was not headed uphill, because it wouldn't move. Could NOT stop on a hill, or I was in trouble. Had to tiptoe across the country on I-80. Springtime, but hit snow in WY. Mostly downhill, which added it's own thrills. It took a while, but it could eventually get that boat up to 65mph on level ground.
When I got that diesel to CA, I hooked up that boat and dragged it around the neighborhood for comparison. It would flat yank that thing from a stop. Very impressive. I was pissed that I chose the wrong truck to drag that boat with.
Very stressful trip. Only worse one was towing my '57 Chevy convertible with the big block, from near Philly down to the Jersey coast. Towed it with my '65 Mustang Fastback 302/4spd. A couple times the front end chatter of the Chevy would cause both cars to skitter off the road in corners. I should have been towing the Mustang, but I think it didn't have enough bumper to hook the towbar to. That was in '71, so details are a bit fuzzy. Hmm, the fact the Chevy didn't have a trailer hitch might have been a factor. Maybe a 1k lb weight difference. And at least 400+ hp difference.
I've hauled all kinds of stuff with rangers. my old 91 ranger with the 4.0 I towed a heavy duty 2-5/16" ball car trailer with a dodge stratus, same trailer with an 89 ex cab s10 mud truck, same truck towed an old 24' camper. Oh not to mention I had no rear brakes, no "park" (rolls in park like neutral) and that truck only had a little 1" hitch. I had to get adapters just to be able to tow the 2-5/16" trailer lol. I know it wasn't smart but I was young and dumb. My ranger now is just a 2wd 3.slOw and I religiously tow my 700 lb trailer loaded with fire wood. based on how heavy individual pieces of wood are I would guess that the trailer loaded with wood weight at least 2-3k and it doesn't do terrible I suppose. no pics of this since cell phone pics weren't that great back in 2006-08. Also I had a 94 grand am that I used to put a 18' canoe on the roof lol. That canoe barely fit on the roof with how wide it was lol.
I towed a friend's 2WD F150 about a half mile up a steep rocky driveway to a cabin with my 1994 Explorer. We tied a Kevlar rope to his frame and the other end to the bumper hitch on the Explorer. Used 4LO for this. Slow but sure, but no problems getting up or afterwards.