Towing at Capacity OK in Mountains? - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 01:41:AM Thread Starter
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Towing at Capacity OK in Mountains?

I'm going to be loading up my 2015 Med Roof/LWB Cargo and towing a trailer back and forth through the Rocky Mountains and HWY 550 several times, a particularly dangerous, unforgiving (800ft drops), and steep roadway. I definitely don't want to overload the vehicle. It's got 15k miles, so should handle recommended loading.

If I'm reading the spec chart correctly,
I can load 4,000 lbs into van including tongue weight, I assume.
And tow a trailer up to 5,800 lbs as long as I keep Gross Combined Weight Rating Below 11,200 lbs.

For maximum safety and handling,
I think I'd place the 4,000 lbs in the van, minus the tongue weight,
and then add a trailer of 2,200 lbs gross for
combined gross of 11,200lbs vehicle + trailer (coaster, no brakes).

Is that about correct? (chart photo attached)
Is it fine and recommended to run at full weight capacity?
or should I knock off a bit for mountain safety and vehicle longevity?
At what point does trailer need brakes? There doesn't seem to be a brakes/no brakes spec.

On the flats sould I go 75 mph if it's handling ok? or keep it to 65?

I'll have a read through the towing section of the manual for the
proper tow settings. Along with the Tow/Haul button above shifter, there's a pair of squeeze tabs below the coin holder I believe for trailer brake setting +/_, and maybe something on the steering wheel readout control.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 03:16:AM
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The trailer should be braked at 3500lb or more.

Put it a little tongue weight biased form safety and control.

As long as you're under GCWR you're fine. With the ecoboost you won't have any issue going up the mountain and with town haul button engaged you should be fine coming down.

The squeeze tabs are for trailer brakes. You won't even notice a 2200lb trailer back there.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 04:31:AM
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Many states require brakes at 3000 lbs trailer weight or more. If there are no brakes the brake controller (the squeeze buttons) doesn't do a thing.

Your numbers look fine, there is lots of padding built in to them.

Ideally the tongue weight is 12-ish% of trailer weight.

Depending outdoor temperature and trailer load I keep the speed at 75 or under, the limit for me being the bearings on the trailer. High speed heats them up, the grease gets thin, runs out and the bearings fail. (Over many miles). Make sure your spindle nuts on trailer wheels are properly tightened: not too loose, not too tight. You should be able to feel SOME movement, but very little. Grease bearings regularly.

I feel the hubs and tires during stops. Warm is OK, hot is bad. A point and shoot IR thermometer is a handy thing to have.

It appears there is some sway control built into the dynamic stability control. I'm still trying to figure all that out.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 05:05:AM
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Airliners are not usually operated at max factory weights. "Bean counters", safety, "longevity". I like to be good to my vehicles and not push it. Consider a 3:73 LS and get a trick diffy cover. See Forum posts for info on larger circumference tires to have an effective change on gear ratio. A 3:73 becomes a "3:5x". Some Forum posters have suggested the 8,600 GVWR is the best deal. Money.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 09:18:AM
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I tow a 4,000 lb boat/trailer combination in California. Max loaded trailer weight before brakes are required is 1500 lbs. If your trailer has surge brakes (not electric or electric over hydraulic) then your brake controller is not used. If you have surge brakes, you should not use tow/haul or cruise control when going down hill. The tow haul mode can cause surge brakes to be at least partially engaged and you'll fry your trailer brakes. You're better off to manually brake for short periods to allow the trailer brakes to cool in between. If you have electric brakes (7 pin trailer connector used) then you can use tow haul.

All trailer rated tires are max speed rated at 65 mph. There are no laws requiring trailers to have trailer tires but if you have an accident it may be attributed to the lack of trailer rated tires. Trailer rated tires have stronger and stiffer sidewalls and should always be inflated to max tire pressure cold. This has less to do with load capacity than it does with damage when you hit pot holes or road debris. Tires that are trailer rated are "ST" stamped.
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Last edited by sschefer; 05-09-2017 at 11:32:AM.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 11:22:AM
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Whether brakes are required differs from state to state.

Where are you that needs brakes under 2000# ?
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 11:30:AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oscarvan View Post
Whether brakes are required differs from state to state.

Where are you that needs brakes under 2000# ?
California. I just looked it up and it's changed since I last looked, it's now 1500 lbs.

2016 T250, MR, LWB, 3.5L EB, 3.73 LS, Sync, Tow Package.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 02:15:PM
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Trailer tires are crap. Most people whose trailer rvs will change to light truck tires because the enevitable blowout could cause serious damage. The regulation on St tires are practically nonexistent meaning its a chance to take.

Lt tires are much better if you can find them.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 03:05:PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joefromga View Post
Trailer tires are crap. Most people whose trailer rvs will change to light truck tires because the enevitable blowout could cause serious damage. The regulation on St tires are practically nonexistent meaning its a chance to take.

Lt tires are much better if you can find them.
I have to second this opinion. The trailer tires that I let the salespeople at Les Schwab Tire Centers sell me have been nothing but trouble. Blowouts and tread separation with proper inflation and within the speed limit lead to epic failures. I'm going back to flat towing the Jeeps and LT tires on the trailers.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 03:21:PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joefromga View Post
Trailer tires are crap. Most people whose trailer rvs will change to light truck tires because the enevitable blowout could cause serious damage. The regulation on St tires are practically nonexistent meaning its a chance to take.

Lt tires are much better if you can find them.
It's not hogwash and that's not true but if you want to run LT tires on your trailer then be my guest.

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