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Old 07-03-2017, 10:50 AM   #1
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Towing a 5.0 SA

We currently tow our 2013 5.0SA with a '08 Ford Ranger and are thinking about replacing the Ranger with a vehicle with more cab space. We are considering the Nissan Frontier long box and the Ford F-150. We don't have the high lift option but know it can be added if needed.
We would appreciate any comments from members who use either of these tow vehicles. I am concerned with clearance over the box when turning sharply and going over dips and humps in the road.

Thank you,
Nancy
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:01 PM   #2
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Hi I and a few others tow the 5.0 single axel with a Nissan Frontier crewcab. It does an excellent job of it. Hills are no problem and fuel economy is between 15 and 17 miles per gallon. I did find the rear springs a little soft so I had a shop in Vancouver add another leaf. That was well worth the 500 dollars it cost.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:38 PM   #3
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The Ford F150 is approved by Ford for 5th wheel towing.
The Nissan Frontier is not approved by Nissan for 5th wheel towing.
The Nissan Titan is approved by Nissan for 5th wheel towing.
Information from Ford and Nissan official towing guide.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:45 PM   #4
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Nancy, since you mentioned "more cab space", I would highly recommend the F150 over the Frontier. Fuel economy will be a wash, but imho you get a much more capable tow with more interior room as well.

As Al mentioned, towing the single axle with a Frontier does work, but you simply won't be as capable as the F150. From a capacity and power standpoint, it's not even a contest.

Clearance wise, as long as you mount the 5th wheel hitch in the right location, either truck will work.

Cost? Well, the Frontier wins that of course hands down.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:14 PM   #5
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Nancy, With the trailer level, what's the measurement from the ground to the frame under the loft. Also what's the measurement from the ground to the bottom of the kingpin.
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Old 07-03-2017, 03:45 PM   #6
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We struggled with this ourselves when we were getting ready to buy our 2017 4x4 5.7L V8 Toyota Tundra, which also has taller bedrails (56" ground to top of bedrail) like the F-150 does. With the lift on our 5.0, we are just fine. We have about 6" of clearance between the bottom of the camper and the top of the bedrail, and we have (carefully!) tested out sharp inclines and declines, from parking lots to railroad tracks to dirt roads, and have never hit. We routinely jacknife to back into spots and never connect that way either.

We always have someone at the tailgate when we hitch to drop and raise - if the truck is not perfectly straight when backing to the hitch, the tailgate will connect with the camper.

It is AMAZING to be "over-trucked", if you will, with our Tundra pulling the 5.0. Never a sign of a struggle going up and down inclines, never feels like the camper is pushing the truck around, and it all tows so easily - the truck really doesn't break a sweat at all pulling it and our fuel economy only drops about 3-4 MPG when towing.

If you want to get a better visual of how much clearance we have, our travel blog Two Plus Lu – Full-time RVers, boondockers, and enthusiasts of our dog. has tons of pictures of our rig. In particular, this post (Wanna Check Out Our New Camper? – Two Plus Lu) has a good visual.

I know we don't have the Frontier or the F-150, but I figured I'd throw our experience in with the Tundra given similar bedrail heights. That being said, we got a base Tundra. the 4x4 made it taller in the back, but the basic wheels and tires decreased height. If we had gotten a higher trim level with alloy wheels, our bedrail height wold have increased 2-4" and that would have been cutting it too close. 6" of clearance between bedrail and camper is what's the recommended minimum and we agree with this. We would not want the two to get any closer.
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Old 07-03-2017, 04:42 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone for your replies. We have the same trailer as TwoPlusLu so your detailed reply was especially helpful. ETI can add a lift to our axle but I am wondering how complicated it would be to do it ourselves. Comments from anyone who has added the lift to a single axle trailer themselves would be greatly appreciated.

Nancy
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Old 07-03-2017, 10:25 PM   #8
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The ground to the frame is 57 inches and the ground to the pin is 43 inches....the pin is adjustable so that is the measurement for our Ranger.
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08ranger View Post
The ground to the frame is 57 inches and the ground to the pin is 43 inches....the pin is adjustable so that is the measurement for our Ranger.

The bed rails on my 2012 F150 4x4 are 56, it also squats an inch or so when the trailer is attached. Obviously you'd have to raise the trailer, the question would be can you raise it enough. Twopluslu says it works with the Tundra at 56" so it should be okay although it sounds like a lot.

Think I'd figure out how much height you'd gain on the trailer then go measure the trucks in the configuration you want.

Doesn't help you any but I recall hearing one of the reasons for the 5.0TA is to fit the increasing height of the full size trucks. Mine is 63 1/2" to the frame. Kingpin is adjustable 47-49".
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08ranger View Post
We currently tow our 2013 5.0SA with a '08 Ford Ranger and are thinking about replacing the Ranger with a vehicle with more cab space. We are considering the Nissan Frontier long box and the Ford F-150. We don't have the high lift option but know it can be added if needed.
We would appreciate any comments from members who use either of these tow vehicles. I am concerned with clearance over the box when turning sharply and going over dips and humps in the road.

Thank you,
Nancy
Hi: 08ranger... We have towed both a '07 5.0SA and a '14 5.0TA with our 2010 Nissan Frontier V6 Crew Cab Long Bed 4X4. I've read and reread my owners manual and don't recall it mention not being recommended for towing a 5th. wheel. Our truck is a dedicated tow vehicle with little cargo except for the hitch and trailer pin weight and two people. After 145000 kms of mostly towing without incident it's fine. Wore out 1 set of brakes and 1 set of tires and 1 battery... just the usual stuff.
Looked at a leftover NEW 2016 F150 2.7 L V6 super cab 6'6" box 4X4 but felt to many changes to hitch, pin box and trailer axles would be necessary to adapt to tow with it. Just too tall a truck. Too bad as it was a really goodbye price!!! Alf
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