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Old 05-14-2023, 02:40 PM   #41
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Location: Erie, CO, Colorado
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Towing in the mountains with a Ranger

I may not have much to say that hasnít already been said, this is just another data point of experience. I have a 2021 Ranger XLT that Iíve been towing our 21NE with for the last year. We live in the front range of Colorado. Last year we had a big trip to Glacier and Waterton that we made with the Ranger, and we didnít have any issues, plus lots of smaller trips around Colorado and Utah. Iíd say the Ranger is capable at towing this class of trailer, but with a few caveats. In fact, these caveats are the reason we are upgrading to a full size truck soon (likely a 2023 non-hybrid Tundra).

1. Youíll want the Ranger with the factory installed tow package. It wonít come with a brake controller, which you need to add to get the 7500 lb tow rating. I installed a Redarc brand controller under the steering wheel column quite easily and it works well. Adjustment knob goes in one of the 12V outlets below the entertainment center. Iíd be happy to share more info about that, but there is plenty to Google. I also think a WDH is necessary with the Ranger, even if the manual might not say so.

2. Towing in the mountains at altitude requires a reduction in tow capacity. I remember the Rangerís manual says something like a 3% reduction for every 1,000 ft elevation. So the Eisenhower tunnel at 11,000 ft on I-70 would drop the tow rating to 5,000 lb, which is right on the edge of towing a fully laden Escape. Just starting from home (around 6,000 ft) reduces the tow rating to about 6,000 lb.

3. Iíve seen people say that filling up their Escape can quite easily push it well over the trailerís weight rating, sometimes by quite a bit especially when filling up the tanks. For this reason we try to avoid towing with full tanks with the Ranger (when combined with point #2 above). It can be a bit annoying to *need* to dump after a trip when you canít find a convenient dump station, or worrying about towing from a water fill up thatís far from your eventual camp site.

4. The Ranger does not have a smooth ride. A simple test drive makes this obvious, but itís not something we became accustomed to. Recently test driving full size trucks, the Tundra especially, made this super obvious. The Ranger bounces all over the place, to the point that my wife needs make her supportive clothing choices carefully on days where weíll be driving all day with her in the back seat with our son. Itís not a fun experience, especially on long trips.

5. The backseat is small, even on the crew cab. This is actually the biggest reason we are changing to a full size truck. If you will frequently have passengers in the back, itíll be okay, but not great. Cramped but not terribly uncomfortable. Itís not a full size truck, so hopefully this point is obvious.

Overall the Ranger is a fine truck, and fine for towing. Itís small size makes it easier to park when driving without the trailer (compared to full size trucks). It gets decent mileage: around 19 mpg without the trailer, and 12-14 mpg with. I have no worries driving it on rough roads (we have the FX4 4x4 package), and you can haul plenty of payload. But there is nothing about the towing experience that screams confidence. It just feels right on the edge of being capable. It gets pushed around a bit by the trailer, and sometimes gets some sway from high winds (but not as often as Iíd have thought). Itís not white knuckle driving, but itís also not easy.

Iím really looking forward to towing with a Tundra!
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Old 05-14-2023, 03:34 PM   #42
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Location: Calgary, Alberta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akfishman View Post
Actually the 2021 Ranger XLT with tow package is rated at 7500 lbs and has a 1565lb payload, more than the 150. Payload on the crewcab is slightly less than the extended cab model. Itís due to the lighter weight of the Ranger compared to the F150
To find out what the payload of a truck is, you really have to go take a look, open the door and see what the sticker says. For my purposes 'd want 4x4 and off road package, but I would like to get a Ranger next rather than another F150, so while my truck was in for service at the local Ford place last week, I planned to look at a few Rangers and find out. Well, as probably everyone knows, a new 2024 Ranger is coming out later this year, and none of the current ones were on the lot. Ford's webpage lists some maximums for the 2024 Ranger, but with the caveat that options etc will affect the final number, so you can't really tell. If you follow their asterisks you find their numbers are for 2 wheel drive single cab (in the case of F150 anyway), and no options. It is very misleading, but the point is that payload is perhaps the limit you will exceed sooner than any of the other numbers. I checked, and that topper of mine weighs nearly 200lb. I also had a roof rack, and a canoe. The WD hitch is also quite heavy. Getting an extended cab rather than a crew cab will help, and I'd probably go that route next time since my kids are all grown up and elsewhere now. I really hope I can find a 4x4 2024 Ranger that will carry all that safely.
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Old 05-14-2023, 06:02 PM   #43
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Just trying to offer some info to rainyescape and others here in case you haven't heard about it yet. Ford just unveiled the 2024 new Ranger with a new engine option, 2.7 turbo V6 with 315 hp and 400 lb. ft of torque. Also its rear legroom has been increased compared to the current version, from 34.5" to 38.2".


In addition Toyota is planning to unveil its next generation of Tacoma on 5/19, five days from today. It's confirmed that the new Tacoma will have the i-Force Max hybrid V6 3.5 engine, offered for the new Tundra. The new Tundra's i-Force Max hybrid V6 3.5 has 437 hp and 538 lb. ft of torque. If Toyota slims down its specs somewhat for the Tacoma, I would think it still must be much more than the current version of Ranger's 270 hp and 310 lb. ft of torque, comparable to the new Ranger's V6. I don't know its rear legroom # but I am very interested in knowing everything about it next week.
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Old 05-14-2023, 07:08 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainyescape View Post
I may not have much to say that hasnít already been said, this is just another data point of experience. I have a 2021 Ranger XLT that Iíve been towing our 21NE with for the last year. We live in the front range of Colorado. Last year we had a big trip to Glacier and Waterton that we made with the Ranger, and we didnít have any issues, plus lots of smaller trips around Colorado and Utah. Iíd say the Ranger is capable at towing this class of trailer, but with a few caveats. In fact, these caveats are the reason we are upgrading to a full size truck soon (likely a 2023 non-hybrid Tundra).

1. Youíll want the Ranger with the factory installed tow package. It wonít come with a brake controller, which you need to add to get the 7500 lb tow rating. I installed a Redarc brand controller under the steering wheel column quite easily and it works well. Adjustment knob goes in one of the 12V outlets below the entertainment center. Iíd be happy to share more info about that, but there is plenty to Google. I also think a WDH is necessary with the Ranger, even if the manual might not say so.

2. Towing in the mountains at altitude requires a reduction in tow capacity. I remember the Rangerís manual says something like a 3% reduction for every 1,000 ft elevation. So the Eisenhower tunnel at 11,000 ft on I-70 would drop the tow rating to 5,000 lb, which is right on the edge of towing a fully laden Escape. Just starting from home (around 6,000 ft) reduces the tow rating to about 6,000 lb.

3. Iíve seen people say that filling up their Escape can quite easily push it well over the trailerís weight rating, sometimes by quite a bit especially when filling up the tanks. For this reason we try to avoid towing with full tanks with the Ranger (when combined with point #2 above). It can be a bit annoying to *need* to dump after a trip when you canít find a convenient dump station, or worrying about towing from a water fill up thatís far from your eventual camp site.

4. The Ranger does not have a smooth ride. A simple test drive makes this obvious, but itís not something we became accustomed to. Recently test driving full size trucks, the Tundra especially, made this super obvious. The Ranger bounces all over the place, to the point that my wife needs make her supportive clothing choices carefully on days where weíll be driving all day with her in the back seat with our son. Itís not a fun experience, especially on long trips.

5. The backseat is small, even on the crew cab. This is actually the biggest reason we are changing to a full size truck. If you will frequently have passengers in the back, itíll be okay, but not great. Cramped but not terribly uncomfortable. Itís not a full size truck, so hopefully this point is obvious.

Overall the Ranger is a fine truck, and fine for towing. Itís small size makes it easier to park when driving without the trailer (compared to full size trucks). It gets decent mileage: around 19 mpg without the trailer, and 12-14 mpg with. I have no worries driving it on rough roads (we have the FX4 4x4 package), and you can haul plenty of payload. But there is nothing about the towing experience that screams confidence. It just feels right on the edge of being capable. It gets pushed around a bit by the trailer, and sometimes gets some sway from high winds (but not as often as Iíd have thought). Itís not white knuckle driving, but itís also not easy.

Iím really looking forward to towing with a Tundra!
My Ranger feels very confident. $100 and 45 minutes gives different rear shocks and a decent ride. My mileage is better than what you report. For towing, any vehicle is better with the tow package. Thatís not Ranger specific. All vehicles lose power at elevation. I have a heavy 19, and travel with a full water tank always. I am less than 4600lbs. Typically 4300lbs. Itís a two person, not four person truck. Itís always very easy towing. I never have sway issues even in cross winds that have pushed the truck and trailer side to side as much as 3-4 feet. Easier than my 2500 for towing up to itís limit. Itís simply easier to drive with and without the trailer. I hope you enjoy your Tundra, but your experience and mine are very different.
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Old 05-14-2023, 08:28 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainyescape View Post

Overall the Ranger is a fine truck, and fine for towing. Itís small size makes it easier to park when driving without the trailer (compared to full size trucks). It gets decent mileage: around 19 mpg without the trailer, and 12-14 mpg with. I have no worries driving it on rough roads (we have the FX4 4x4 package), and you can haul plenty of payload. But there is nothing about the towing experience that screams confidence. It just feels right on the edge of being capable. It gets pushed around a bit by the trailer, and sometimes gets some sway from high winds (but not as often as Iíd have thought). Itís not white knuckle driving, but itís also not easy.

Iím really looking forward to towing with a Tundra!
Your assessment is consistent with my experience with my Nissan Frontier 4.0L which is why we upgraded to a F150. The Frontier could do it, but it wasn't pretty and you were an active participant in the experience for better or worse.

Congrats on the Tundra.
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Old 05-15-2023, 07:15 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by NoSOD View Post
Getting an extended cab rather than a crew cab will help, and I'd probably go that route next time since my kids are all grown up and elsewhere now. I really hope I can find a 4x4 2024 Ranger that will carry all that safely.
My understanding is that the 2024 Ranger will only be available in a crew cab. I was concerned about this after GM announced the Canyon and Colorado would no longer have an extended cab version. It will be interesting to see if the new Tacoma follows this same trend.
Glad now that I ordered my extended cab 2023 Ranger!
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Old 05-15-2023, 06:15 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by brroberts View Post
My Ranger feels very confident. $100 and 45 minutes gives different rear shocks and a decent ride. My mileage is better than what you report. For towing, any vehicle is better with the tow package. Thatís not Ranger specific. All vehicles lose power at elevation. I have a heavy 19, and travel with a full water tank always. I am less than 4600lbs. Typically 4300lbs. Itís a two person, not four person truck. Itís always very easy towing. I never have sway issues even in cross winds that have pushed the truck and trailer side to side as much as 3-4 feet. Easier than my 2500 for towing up to itís limit. Itís simply easier to drive with and without the trailer. I hope you enjoy your Tundra, but your experience and mine are very different.
I agree we too are very happy towing our 19 with our 2021 Ranger with tow package in the California Serries. I would not want a bigger truck for this job. Maybe with the 2-foot difference with a 21 there is a difference in compatibility but there doesn't seem to be that much weight difference between the two.
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Old 05-15-2023, 10:46 PM   #48
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FYI for folks interested in the upcoming 2024 Ranger (there will not be an extended cab version, SuperCrew only):






The complete press release can be seen here. Order banks will open May 26 so dealers will have full pricing and options bundling info on that date for taking orders in anticipation of delivery mid-late summer. If tradition holds Ford's retail website may not have its 'Build and Price' pages online until closer to the summer release date (often delayed to reduce impact on late current model year inventory sales).
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Old 05-16-2023, 09:39 AM   #49
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Putting the 2.7L V6 Ecoboost in the Ranger was a really smart move by Ford. That is going to be a hot setup. Nice.
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Old 05-16-2023, 10:24 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by SageRpod View Post
Putting the 2.7L V6 Ecoboost in the Ranger was a really smart move by Ford. That is going to be a hot setup. Nice.
Agree! From what I understand, the current generation 2.7T is arguably the most reliable of any Ecoboost powertrain currently offered by Ford.

I'm curious how much heaver the 2.7 option will be vs the 2.3....and the subsequent effect on payload. It would be fantastic if a 4wd 2.7T came in at around 1500lbs. That would make it a near perfect TV for an E19...for those who really don't want a full size truck.

It is disappointing that the crew cab/5' bed will be the only available configuration. I find that even a 6' bed is on the small side for my purposes. And of course no manual transmission option.

Toyota will introduce details about the 4th generation Tacoma at the end of this week. It will be interesting to see how the two trucks compare.
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Old 05-16-2023, 12:37 PM   #51
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I imagine, but don’t know for sure, you could get a 2.7 Ranger with 1500lbs payload. I’ve not looked to see. I find 310lbs of torque at 3000RPM fine and don’t need more. The smaller bed and lower payload would drop it from my list. I’m glad I have the ‘21 Ranger.
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