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2015 5.0 towing experience compared to 2011-14 5.0

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Old 09-07-2015, 10:26 PM   #1
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Default 2015 5.0 towing experience compared to 2011-14 5.0

I'm curious to see what others say about how their 2015 5.0 tows compared to their 2011-14 5.0.

I've only got a few trips on it now, but it's certainly a different towing experience. I tow an 8k travel trailer, and it seems to pull up to speed better or smoother, but certainly seems to be programmed to rev a little higher while doing it. Revs don't scare me and even then it's getting the trailer up to speed (95km/hr) while shifting at around 3500. Nothing too crazy.. I find that it's holding each gear a little longer, and today noticed into a headwind that it wouldn't shift into 5th, so running 95km at about 25-2600. Was quiet and smooth so I didn't really care... But it likes fuel more compared to my 2012. Surely attributable to the slightly higher revs..

To be honest, I'm not a great fan of the new shifting strategies... Anyone else feel this way?

I find sport mode a bit better than tow/haul... Tow haul is way too aggressive on the 3-2 downshift. I've seen over 4k..

Unrelated to the engine, the same trailer as my 2012, the 2015 seems less stable going down the road. Seems way too easy or over correct the steering and I'm just snaking down the road. That said, the hitch is 2" higher on the 2015, so that would equate to less assist from the weight distribution hitch, so I may need to drop it 2" to get the ball height the same as before.. Maybe then it will handle just a bit better...

Again, curious as to what others have found.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:56 PM   #2
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I towed a 6000lb TT this weekend for the first time with the 15 since my 14 was wrecked. Mine is an ecoboost but I noticed the two things you mention too. The tow/haul mode is way more aggressive now, and it does these huge downshifts when coming to a stop that I don't remember my old truck doing at all. It always downshifted when coasting down a hill but I don't remember the huge rpm swings I see now.
And yes, my 2015 seems way less stable also. Tiny steering inputs feel like they have a huge reaction, like oversteer but a little different, it's like the steering feels jumpy.

Your comment about the hitch was what I was thinking too but I haven't measured anything. I didn't readjust my WDH and I'm going to redo the setup before I tow again.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:04 AM   #3
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Default Rear Anti-Sway Bar?

Several people have mentioned a big improvement with handling using the Hellwig bar on the back end of truck. I wonder if this would help when towing?

Maybe someone can reprogram ecu to improve towing/shifting.
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:34 AM   #4
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Thanks to the first two guys for the informative posts! As you don't get to hook up and tow a trailer before buying. The comparison between previous models was interesting and I see how the steering being somewhat squirrelly, would be a concern when towing!

In your opinion did Ford pulling the weight off of the truck help or hurt, tow ability and drive ability? Is the steering more of your concern when towing or is there something else?

I did notice a post today, (Disappointed w 2015 F150...traded) someone trading a 2015 F150 for a 2015 F250, due to some disappointments, and towing a trailer, the same trailer he towed with his 2013 F150 FX4!

Last edited by AbitaPro; 09-08-2015 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:02 AM   #5
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I noticed that the steering is more sensitive than the older trucks across the board, not just when towing. The lighter the tow vehicle is the less stable it will be with towing, so my guess is between the higher hitch and the 700 or so pounds they shaved would be your culprit. And plus one on the high revs on the downshift, mine hit over 4k rpms other day.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:51 AM   #6
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I think you definitely need to readjust your hitch. If the ball is 2" higher than it was on your last truck and it was set properly, your trailer is probably a little nose high and that will affect how it tows.

I got a new hitch this summer and towed a couple times with it but it was set up with the ball too high. Figured out how high, dropped the ball 3" so the TT was level, checked my measurements on the truck fenders and everything was good and it made a huge difference in how it towed.
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Old 09-08-2015, 09:58 AM   #7
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So far, I'm not impressed with the towing experience either. I have an 3.5 XLT 4x4 screw with the max tow package. I've towed the same 7000 lb camper with a 2010 Hemi Ram and a 2013 GMC Sierra. The F150 has plenty of power, but the camper feels really squirrely. I don't feel it was as much a problem with sensitive steering as camper sway, but I was constantly correcting. It was not windy, either. So far, the Ram was my favorite tow vehicle.

I adjusted the ball height, and trailer sits nice and level. Next time, I will tighten the chains on the distribution arms another link to see if I can stiffen it up a bit.

And yes, the grade braking is very harsh.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:51 PM   #8
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Glad to hear I'm not losing my mind....

I'll readjust the ball height and then let you know what my experience is.. Nothing looks far off when hitched,. Trailer appears level, as does the truck.. Once I lower the ball, I'll see if things look worse or not... I may actually try one extra link first to see if that makes a difference...

Has anyone tried a good towing tune? Does it make any noticeable difference? Can they help with the aggressive downshifting? If not, I'll continue to use the Sport mode.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt76 View Post
Glad to hear I'm not losing my mind....

I'll readjust the ball height and then let you know what my experience is.. Nothing looks far off when hitched,. Trailer appears level, as does the truck.. Once I lower the ball, I'll see if things look worse or not... I may actually try one extra link first to see if that makes a difference...

Has anyone tried a good towing tune? Does it make any noticeable difference? Can they help with the aggressive downshifting? If not, I'll continue to use the Sport mode.
Bullitt76 - how does the truck downshift when in tow mode? Sport mode, I wouldn't think would be for towing, right?

Now my son has a Eco tow tune in his truck, which is out of warranty and personally, I don't like the shifting, to abrupt for me. But perhaps you need to get use to driving the truck? The only reason I say this, is because when he drives his truck, the truck seems to shift fine. Only when I drive, and drive as I do, I get the hard shifts.

Good luck with your towing and enjoy your new truck!
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:29 PM   #10
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It's smooth going up, and even smooth downshifting. The problem is just aggressive downshifting (too early in my opinion).

So, in tow mode, while accelerating, it shifts at 2500-2800 for reasonable acceleration with the 8k TT.. But when slowing, if I touch the brakes for just a couple seconds it downshifts to 4th (from5th). If I continue to brake, it'll go to third at about 3000 rpm. If I continue to brake or even let off and coast for a bit, then brake again, it'll go to second and rev up to 4500. To keep it less than that, there is A LOT more coasting than in my 2012. Yesterday, I even had it go for on 2nd to 1st...

Now, in Sport mode, acceleration is really unchanged (although sport mode seems to allow a shift somewhere north of 2100-2200, even in light throttle). So it won't shift to 6th when driving almost 100km/hr... Not really a problem. When braking in sport mode, I've found that it does downshift, but less aggressive.. It seems to pick up each lower gear at around 2500. Only once did I see it under hard braking jump to 3500. About the same as my 2012.

There seems to be a bit of misconception that I was disappointed with the 5.0 power, but it's more the transmission programming of the 5.0. There is a ton of power for every day driving. Even when towing 8k... I don't know about everyone else, but I sure don't floor it every time I want to get up to speed. Everything in the triller would be all over the place... When I do accelerate hard with the trailer, it's because I'm passing someone, or merging with moving traffic. Never had a problem with power. I'm mostly flat land with rolling hills near see level though. But for me, that's all I'm ever up against.. I guarantee if I have even more power, it would be power I didn't use (at least while towing).. So it's a gear lower compared to an EB, not really a big deal. Certainly is quiet and smooth while doing it...
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