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Old 07-03-2014, 02:25 PM   #1
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Default Did a long tow with Trailer Toad - it does GREAT!!

Some of you may have seen other posts I've made about my Trailer Toad. I said that when I got a chance to do a long tow with it that I'd report how it did.

Here's the report - but to start with, IT DID GREAT!!! Solid/steady/no sway - it made the rig very stable and comfortable to tow.

I've got an EcoBoost with standard Tow Pkg and 3.55 rear end, and I run the stock 20" wheels with OE Pirelli ATR tires, and it did a really great job pulling the total rig weight of 13,650 lbs.

I have a tuner and loaded a custom tune (87 perf/tow) and got 9.8 mpg going north (very slow due to LOTS of traffic), but by the time I got home the overall mileage was 9.6 mpg (did 70+ almost the entire way home due to no traffic to speak of). The route was basically flat from Florida for the first several hundred miles until I-26, then there's some rolling terrain the rest of the way north to Virginia, but no really big hills.

Click the image to open in full size.


I tried Tow/Haul mode a few times, but with my tune it didn't seem to make any difference at all, so I left it off.

I mostly used cruise-control (especially on the return trip with less traffic) and it kept the speed steady even up and down some of the bigger hills along the way.

I got the trailer last fall and pulled it 1200 miles home empty (2450 lbs; 475 tongue wt), with no WDH, and I didn't have the Toad, and it pulled great.

I've done a number of local tows with it loaded (about 6200 lbs; 650-675 tongue wt), and one 300 mile round trip loaded - none using a WDH or the Trailer Toad. And although the truck handled great, the rear end REALLY sagged.

However, I just got back from a track event at VIR in Danville, VA (about 630 miles each way), and I needed to pull a slightly heavier car and all my track support tools, spares, chairs, canopy, etc. I definitely needed my Trailer Toad for this haul!!

My highly optioned King Ranch 4x4 only has the basic Tow Pkg, and it's very "payload challenged"! It's got a 7200 lb GVWR, but the door sticker only gives it a payload capacity of 1115 lbs. I've added WeatherTech mats front and rear, a drop-in bed liner, a BakFlip Fibermax tonneau and BakBox toolbox. I took it to the CAT scales with all that stuff, and empty except for a full tank of gas it weighed 6180 - I was surprised that all the mods only added 95 lbs, but that reduced my payload capacity to only 1020 lbs. Since then I've added an OE bed extender - so let's call it an even 1000 lbs!!

I loaded up the trailer with my car and most all of my track support junk. I used my Sherline tongue scale and had a tongue weight of 800 lbs. My older Trailer Toad that I got used can only handle about 2000 lbs tongue weight. The newer heavy duty model can handle up to more than 4000 lbs of tongue weight.

The only stuff in the truck was me and my wife, our luggage, a snack cooler, and in the bed several chairs and a table and some odds-and-ends stuff I threw in there at the last minute. I weighed the truck on the way and it was 6830 lbs. So, I had a load of 650 lbs in the truck and that left me with 370 lbs before I maxed out my GVWR of 7200.

If I didn't have the Trailer Toad and put a 100 lb WDH on the truck, I'd have virtually nothing left for tongue weight.

Hooking up for the trip, I rolled the Trailer Toad under the tongue of the trailer and retracted the tongue jack, and the Trailer Toad carries the entire tongue weight of the trailer. Then I backed up and inserted the shank into the truck's hitch receiver, and with no tongue weight bearing down on the truck, even with my very limited payload capacity I can now use it all to carry stuff in the cab and bed of the truck.

Click the image to open in full size.


On the way to VIR I stopped at a CAT scale. After fueling up the total rig weighed 13,650 lbs. My GCWR is 15,500 and I'm well below that. With the Trailer Toad I could easily handle a much heavier trailer - up to a trailer of 8000 lbs even with my truck loaded to its GVWR, if I wanted to run right up against max limit ratings.

The truck was on one pad and weighed 6830.

I unhooked the rig at the Trailer Toad, so the Toad and trailer were all on one pad, and that weighed 6820.

The Trailer Toad weighs about 200 lbs, and my Equal-i-zer WDH is about 100 (and mounted on the Toad), so the trailer was about 6520. With an 800 lb tongue weight, that left 5720 on the trailer's axles.

Here's a picture at a rest area - the truck is perfectly level (I've got 2" drop shackles on the rear, so it sits level all the time):

Click the image to open in full size.


(to be continued)
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Old 07-03-2014, 02:26 PM   #2
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I also have a TPMS for the trailer's tires. The Toad tires are the exact same wheels/tires as on the trailer, but I don't have tire pressure sensors in them - just valve stem caps that show green when the pressure is good.

Below is a picture of the TPMS indicator unit I mounted in the cubby on the bottom right of the dash:

Click the image to open in full size.


I'm running Goodyear Marathon ST tires, and have them at a cold pressure of 55 psi. The TPMS gives a low and high pressure alert. I adjusted the high pressure alert to the max it allows of 60 psi, so anything above 60 and the display turns red and gives a beep. You can see in the picture that the left tires are 60 and 58 (still green), but the right side are both at 61 psi and red. I commonly saw all four at around 62-63 psi, and was real happy with that. Overall - it's REALLY nice to know how your trailer tires are doing!

With the OE power fold/power telescoping mirrors being very expensive, I've been waiting for some aftermarket towing mirrors that were announced on the forum, but have been "in the works" for months now. So, I got a pair of KSource 81810 clip-on mirrors for less than $50:

Click the image to open in full size.


They worked so well that I may just stick with them for the long tows I only do 4 or 5 times a year.

Bottom line -

The EcoBoost pulls great!

The Trailer Toad allows me to tow a heavier trailer than I could even come close to without it due to my very limited payload capacity.

The Trailer Toad pulls great - no sway, very solid and steady.

My custom perf/tow tune forum vendor Stage3 Motorsports worked great. I was going to load the stock tune for part of the trip to compare fuel mileage and performance, but I liked the custom tune and just left it in. I'll go back to a custom 87 economy tune for local driving.

After getting very good visibility to the rear with my clip-on towing mirrors, I think I'll just stick with them. If I was hauling a lot more often I'd go for the OE tow mirrors (and maybe still will go for the aftermarket ones if they ever come out), but I'm real happy with the clip-on mirrors for my limited amount of towing.

Bob


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Old 07-03-2014, 03:43 PM   #3
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Awesome report and thanks for sharing. I lost focus though when I saw those mirror's. I just bought a set on amazon for $35 right after I saw this.
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:51 PM   #4
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Thank you for spending the big bucks to have a safe tow vehicle. My kids and grandkids and great grandkids appreciate it.

I replaced my dinky little outside mirrors with the OEM tow mirrors that don't have memory or power fold or power telescope. They work fine.

Ford has not yet included the newer F-150 power folding, power telescoping tow mirrors in the accessories catalog. When they do, I might look into ordering a pair. In the meantime the only way to get them is to pay the big bucks from the parts department. No thanks.

Here's my tow mirrors:
http://stores.revolutionparts.com/pa...er-tow-mirrors


If A1 parts ever gets their supply of power folding/telescoping tow mirrors for the F-150, then I might replace my plainer OEM tow mirrors for those. But in the meantime I don't miss the memory feature, and I can manually fold and telescope my tow mirrors as required.
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:16 PM   #5
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Did you notice if those add-on mirrors move around or vibrate much on the road?

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Old 07-03-2014, 05:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clearnetedm View Post
Did you notice if those add-on mirrors move around or vibrate much on the road?


They were nice and steady!!
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:14 PM   #7
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Thanks for your report. I kind of have my eye on this setup. With 4 kids and not a lot of heavy payload 7 passenger options out there, it is impossible to get a trailer big enough for the fam that does not exceed the available TV's payload options with the family loaded up. I'm thinking that an Ecoboost Expedition EL with one of these things and a nice 30' trailer might be just the ticket for us!
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:05 PM   #8
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I'm having problems posting pics.


I just finished a 4970 mile trip from Ohio to Montana and back with my '13 SCREW stock ecoboost 4x4. I averaged 13.5 mpg at about 70 mph, towing a flatbed trailer with vehicles, about 6500 lbs.
I never had an issue with power. Passing? No problem. Altitude? No problem. Extended climbs? No problem. Vehicle comfort on 800-mile days in the truck? No problem. Well, at least not any more than any other car I've spent that much time in...

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Old 07-15-2014, 11:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
Thanks for your report. I kind of have my eye on this setup. With 4 kids and not a lot of heavy payload 7 passenger options out there, it is impossible to get a trailer big enough for the fam that does not exceed the available TV's payload options with the family loaded up. I'm thinking that an Ecoboost Expedition EL with one of these things and a nice 30' trailer might be just the ticket for us!
Yes - the Trailer Toad has worked great for my truck that has a very low payload capacity.

It only adds about 2 feet to the length of my rig, and other than that, with the Toad carrying the entire tongue weight of the trailer, the only weight rating that becomes a limit is the "combined" weight (GCWR) of the TV and trailer - and the couple hundred lb weight of the Toad would be part of that I guess.

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Old 07-16-2014, 12:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
With 4 kids and not a lot of heavy payload 7 passenger options out there, it is impossible to get a trailer big enough for the fam that does not exceed the available TV's payload options with the family loaded up. I'm thinking that an Ecoboost Expedition EL with one of these things and a nice 30' trailer might be just the ticket for us!

Another viable option is a GM 3500 SRW full-size passenger van with a diesel engine. Yes, GM makes them in both Chevy and GMC brands. (Ford no longer offers a diesel engine in a van). Remove the far-back bench seat and the kids will have lots of rattling-around room for long trips. I did that way back when my kids were teeny-boppers. Behind the last remaining back seat, add 3/8th" plywood underlayment over the van floor, then add a layer of 2" high-density foam, then cover it with high-quality plush carpeting (wall-to-wall carpet). The padded carpeted area can be use to sleep or play (unless Mom insists the seat belts must be buckled). My kids loved it.

Here's one I "build & priced" that would make a nice family hauler that can tow a good-sized TT without being overloaded:

2014 GMC Savana passenger 3500 Regular Wheelbase 2LT - Diesel
MSRP starting at $48,530
Destination Freight Charge $995
Options
Standard color $0
16" steel wheels $0
Duramax 6.6L V8 Turbo Diesel engine (included in base price)
6-speed automatic, heavy-duty transmission Standard
3.54 axle ratio $0
7-pin sealed connector trailer wiring $65
Audio system with navigation $1,400
USB port $0
12-passenger seating $0
Front bucket seats with Custom Cloth trim Standard
SiriusXM® Satellite Radio with 3 trial months $0 (included with navigation)
Seat adjuster, driver 6-way power $275
Steering wheel, leather-wrapped $185
Steering-wheel mounted audio controls $0
Rear-window defogger $155
16" all-season blackwall spare tire $0
Outside heated power-adjustable Black mirrors $115
Rear Park Assist $295
Rear Vision Camera $200
Accessories
Wireless Network Interface $535
Splash Guards - Front Molded $55
Hitch Trailering Package $200
Options and Accessories Total $3,480**
Total MSRP $53,005




http://www.gmc.com/savana-passenger-...-zipcode=79782#
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