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Old 09-21-2012, 12:16 PM   #1
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Towing capacity question

We'll be picking up our Escape 19 on October 2nd. My plan is to carry my 700lb motorcycle with us in the bed of our F150XL. I loaded the bike on the truck and took a measurement before and after loading. The back of the truck came down one and a half inches. I estimate the trailer will weigh in the neighbourhood of 3700lbs with a tongue weight of between 350 to 500 lbs. We will be using an equalizer hitch.
My question is about the capability of the truck springs to handle this load. Am I worrying unnecessarily or do I need to beef up the truck's suspension?

Cheers,
Glenn
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:53 PM   #2
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Re: Towing capacity question

I have an f150 and a 19 also. I put a 300 lb. dual sport bike in the truck along with whatever else needs to go in the bed of the truck. I do not use an equalizer hitch and the trailer tows just fine. You are only 400 pounds heavier on the bed/tongue weight than I am, and with the WD hitch, I would think you would be fine. I would at least try it before doing anything to the truck.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:39 PM   #3
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Re: Towing capacity question

You need to read your manual to find out your vehicles gross carrying capacity. My Ram is something like 1350 lbs, from which fuel, passengers, tongue weight are all subtracted. You maybe over your vehicles # with the 700# load in the bed and hooked up to the 19 which has a t/w around 400#, adding fuel 160 lbs means you may only carry one person to be within your limit. See the other thread here discussing GVWR and GCWR http://escapeforum.org/index.php?topic=2217.0;topicseen
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:34 PM   #4
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Re: Towing capacity question

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 (jim)
You need to read your manual to find out your vehicles gross carrying capacity. My Ram is something like 1350 lbs, from which fuel, passengers, tongue weight are all subtracted. You maybe over your vehicles # with the 700# load in the bed and hooked up to the 19 which has a t/w around 400#, adding fuel 160 lbs means you may only carry one person to be within your limit. See the other thread here discussing GVWR and GCWR http://escapeforum.org/index.php?topic=2217.0;topicseen
Thanks for the responses! I dug out the manual and discovered I had to look at the driver side door jamb to find my gross carrying capacity. Much to my relief it shows as 1780lbs. Although the combined load I'll be carrying is still quite heavy, I am still within the weight parameters. Now if I can just convince Rosemary into travelling light... oh wait a minute... I'm the guy with the motorcycle!

It should be OK but I'll continue to research the subject and I'll closely monitor everything once we hook up!

Thanks again,
Glenn
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:37 PM   #5
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Re: Towing capacity question

She could drive the tow and you could be the outrider.

baglo
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:53 AM   #6
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Re: Towing capacity question

"1780" lbs capacity, less 700 lbs bed weight, less 400# tongue weight, less fuel weight 160 lbs, less 2 passengers is putting you mighty close, plus I'm sure you will need ramps and spare gas for the toy in the back, at your limit and your gas mileage is really going to suffer also.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #7
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Re: Towing capacity question

Hi: cpaharley2008...Sounds like we have here, the opposite of former Pres. Bill Clintons one word solution. "Arithmetic". Things add up faster than you can load them for your trip, and you didn't even mention a case of "Slim Fast". Sounds like Richard Simmons diet plan may be in order and a pedal bicycle instead!!!
We have just stripped our Escape Hatch of all cargo. What goes back in will only consist of things we've used and in some cases less of them too!!! Its getting too expensive to haul around things we "Might" need. Alf
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:58 AM   #8
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Re: Towing capacity question

or a six pac of that St Thomas Railroad beer you had, that was some good beer!!!
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:19 AM   #9
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Re: Towing capacity question

This is how I'm beginning to feel!
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:35 PM   #10
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Re: Towing capacity question

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 (jim)
or a six pac of that St Thomas Railroad beer you had, that was some good beer!!!
Hi: cpaharley2008... Glad you liked it. I only had time to have one all weekend, but then I'm on a diet too!!!
Here's the whole story www.railwaycitybrewing.com Lots better than any lite beer. Alf
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:22 PM   #11
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Re: Towing capacity question

I drive a dodge 1500.
In the box I have a slip tank with 48 gallons of gas, as well a 2kw genset and another box for odds and ends, then our 19 is hooked up. no problems, and the roads I travel are not nice.

You will find if you are using an equalizer hitch, it will actually lift the back of your truck.

think wheel barrow.

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Old 09-24-2012, 09:44 PM   #12
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Re: Towing capacity question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennrose
We'll be picking up our Escape 19 on October 2nd. My plan is to carry my 700lb motorcycle with us in the bed of our F150XL. I loaded the bike on the truck and took a measurement before and after loading. The back of the truck came down one and a half inches. I estimate the trailer will weigh in the neighbourhood of 3700lbs with a tongue weight of between 350 to 500 lbs. We will be using an equalizer hitch.
My question is about the capability of the truck springs to handle this load. Am I worrying unnecessarily or do I need to beef up the truck's suspension?

Cheers,
Glenn
Put a set of Roadmaster Active Suspension springs on your truck. I have this suspension kit on a 2007 Toyota Tundra. The springs do not change the ride or handling at all. The more weight you carry the more level the truck rides. www.activesuspension.com
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:12 PM   #13
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Re: Towing capacity question

Thanks YE and hippo, I've decided to err on the side of caution and am getting extra leaves put in the truck this week. This will raise the back end by about an inch and give me an extra 1000# load capacity. I checked my axle rating with the tires I have and there isn't a problem with the extra capacity. I expect the ride quality of the truck when empty to be a little rougher, a load will soften the ride. The truck is only used for yard chores and towing the trailer so I'm not going to worry about the rough ride when it's empty... I'll only be going to do chores or taking it to work in the rain anyway!

Thanks again,
Glenn
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:09 AM   #14
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Re: Towing capacity question

Glenrose, through personel experiance with my own tow vehicles and As licenced mechanic of 17 years, my sugestion would be air bags if they will work on your truck. I have added extra spring leafs in the past and it will alter your ride considerably, also changes all the alignment angles in the front and will change braking characteristics ( mostly when unloaded ) . With air bags and a compressor kit I have found to be the perfect solution for your concerns, when loaded simply add air to the bags and it will bring up the rear of the truck and when not needed simply let some air out back to the stock height. this is truly the best of all worlds. The contraption mentioned above that goes between the rear spring eye and the centre of the spring in a effort to help with load will increase the chance of breaking springs, I have installled them before and to be honest they were not very effective. Ushually what most spring shops will want to add a leaf is similar money to putting air bags with a compressor kit, and the bags are quite easy to install.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:03 PM   #15
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Re: Towing capacity question

Thanks dmac. I wasn't aware that there would be a change in alignment and braking characteristics with the springs. I've finally decided to take the truck in this morning and have the air bags installed. It was always my first choice if I was going to do anything with the suspension, but the cost factor didn't sit well with me. Figured out the money difference between added leaves and the bags, and the bags won.

Glenn (indecision may or may not have been my biggest problem with this issue!)

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Old 09-26-2012, 01:55 PM   #16
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Re: Towing capacity question

Glen, I am sure you will be happy with the air bags
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:51 PM   #17
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Re: Towing capacity question

The bags are installed and I have to admit that the ride quality even when empty has improved! The acid test will come on Oct 2nd when we load the bike and hook up to the trailer, but I am very optimistic. I have a little compressor that I'll use to adjust the air pressure in the bags.

Why is it that the most expensive option always seems to be the best?!!!

Thanks,
Glenn
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:54 PM   #18
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Re: Towing capacity question

The ride quality will be good I amd sure, and the best part is they are infinatly adjustable depending on load. if you don't take your bike on a trip just don't put as much air in. Hope it works out and you are happy with them and your new trailer.
Dave
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:19 AM   #19
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Re: Towing capacity question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmac
The ride quality will be good I am sure, and the best part is they are infinitely adjustable depending on load. if you don't take your bike on a trip just don't put as much air in. Hope it works out and you are happy with them and your new trailer.
Dave
This was one of the best investments I've made for the truck! When Dave was going through the orientation with us and we got to the hitch part, he conferred with Reace and it was decided that we wouldn't need an equalizer hitch after all. Omitting this option paid for half of the air bags! One of the issues with a dual axle trailer is to get the load evenly matched on the front and back tires. This required the front of the trailer to be just a teeny bit higher than the back of the trailer. About 1/2" to 1" higher in the front. With the air bags there is an infinite amount of settings that you can use to lift or lower the back of the truck to attain the required trailer attitude. Another bonus!

Yes I'm happy with the air bags, and the trailer... well let's just say for now!

Cheers,
Glenn
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:21 AM   #20
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Re: Towing capacity question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennrose
One of the issues with a dual axle trailer is to get the load evenly matched on the front and back tires. This required the front of the trailer to be just a teeny bit higher than the back of the trailer. About 1/2" to 1" higher in the front.
That is an interesting tidbit of information... How do most people who pull dual-axle trailers with normal hitches deal with this requirement? Do you just choose a hitch bar that raises or lowers the ball the correct amount?

I wonder how much difference there is in "normal" hitch ball height among the various vehicles that people use to pull a trailer of this size.

I also wonder if this is the sort of thing that most people ignore, and what problems you might encounter if you did ignore it.
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