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Owners manual says I can't tow a TT or Fifth wheel

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Old 10-14-2012, 11:23 AM   #1
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Default Owners manual says I can't tow a TT or Fifth wheel

This is something I noticed the first week I had my truck while thumbing through the manual and decided to ignore it. Fine print at the end of the tow rating section dictates a max trailer frontal area of 60 sq ft. Went out and measured my travel trailer cab and it's 8'x8', not including the frame sticking down below or the A/C unit. That's 64 sq ft.

My guess is that most modern tt and fifth wheels are over, even if they meet all the other weight requirements. Anybody else notice this? Thoughts?


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Old 10-14-2012, 12:37 PM   #2
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That seems silly. Guess they take drag into consideration.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:38 PM   #3
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I think we all ignore that.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:10 PM   #4
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Frontal area was explaned to me to be the area you see above and to the sides of the frontal area of the truck when connected to the truck.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:47 PM   #5
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Frontal area is the size of the hole you have to punch in the air to drag the trailer through the air. Basically on a TT, it's the measurement of the front of the TT in sq ft.

If you exceed the frontal area limits, that just means that your aerodynamic drag will be high enough that you cannot tow at the GCWR at normal highway speeds without overheating your drivetrain. Yeah, as SkiSmuggs suggested, just ignore that limit, but don't be surprised if your truck is reluctant to drag that trailer at 75 MPH without fussing at you.

My 7x14 cargo trailer box has frontal area of 56 sq ft, plus the wheelwells stick out on the sides, and it drags a bunch of air. I usually tow at 62 MPH, and my F-150 tells me that's all it neees to be pulling through the air.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeywren View Post
Frontal area is the size of the hole you have to punch in the air to drag the trailer through the air. Basically on a TT, it's the measurement of the front of the TT in sq ft.

If you exceed the frontal area limits, that just means that your aerodynamic drag will be high enough that you cannot tow at the GCWR at normal highway speeds without overheating your drivetrain. Yeah, as SkiSmuggs suggested, just ignore that limit, but don't be surprised if your truck is reluctant to drag that trailer at 75 MPH without fussing at you.

My 7x14 cargo trailer box has frontal area of 56 sq ft, plus the wheelwells stick out on the sides, and it drags a bunch of air. I usually tow at 62 MPH, and my F-150 tells me that's all it neees to be pulling through the air.
OK, I stand corrected...

From Fords glossary

Frontal Area
  • Frontal area of a vehicle can be a contributing factor when determining the size of trailer a vehicle can tow
  • Larger frontal area will add drag, thus reducing the vehicle’s ability to tow a trailer
  • For many vehicles, frontal area restrictions limit a trailer’s size to a specific Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)
  • The frontal area is also a determining factor in selecting an incomplete vehicle that complies with emissions requirements
This is the total area in square feet that a moving vehicle and trailer exposes to air resistance. The chart shows the limitations that must be considered in selecting a vehicle/trailer combination. Exceeding these limitations may significantly reduce the performance of your towing vehicle. FRONTAL AREA CONSIDERATIONS Vehicle Line Frontal Area Limitations/ Considerations:
E-Series 60 sq. ft. All applications
F-150 Base Vehicle Frontal Area
Without Class III Trailer Tow Group or 7700 Payload Group A or B 60 sq. ft.
With Class III Trailer Tow Group or 7700 Payload Group A or B 60 sq. ft.
Super Duty F-Series 60 sq. ft. All applications except F-550 Crew Cab 4x2 with High Capacity Trailer Tow Pkg. 90 sq. ft.

Just remember too that trailer tires are only rated at 65 MPH.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:37 PM   #7
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No confusion here about the definition of frontal area. And I know the truck can handle it just fine. I can start at 50-55mph to pass and hit 70 by the time I'm even with the car I'm passing. Feels like it would tow it at 90 if I wanted, but always 62 or less (except passing) I plan on pushing the limits of GCVWR when I get my 5th and put a small boat behind it. Just wondering if the frontal area disclaimer would be taken into consideration in the event of any warranty work.

Either way, not concerned about the truck handling it. I know I would have to load it up to 11,100 to make it feel like my 08 GMC did at 7500lb with the 5.3 and squishy suspension.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeywren View Post
but don't be surprised if your truck is reluctant to drag that trailer at 75 MPH without fussing at you.
Just remember that MOST trailer tires have a speed rating of 65 mph.
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Old 10-15-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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These guys must be real men (that is to say, they don't read the owner's manual).

http://www.f150forum.com/f82/5th-whe...g-pics-175693/
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abn150 View Post
These guys must be real men (that is to say, they don't read the owner's manual).

http://www.f150forum.com/f82/5th-whe...g-pics-175693/
Yeah, when you see a Montana dragged by an F-250 or 2500, you can bet he's overloaded. And when you see any F-150 without 7-lug 17" wheels dragging a 5er, you know he's overloaded too. With the 7-lug wheels (HD Payload Pkg), you can stay under the F-150 GVWR limit ony if you load a smaller "lite" mid-profile 5er very lightly.
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