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2016 F150 Trailer Question

 
Old 08-07-2017, 11:28 PM
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I recently purchased an F150 Crew cab with a 5.0 engine. The truck does not have a hitch, so I'm having a Class IV hitch installed along with an electric brake module and wiring and a seven pin connector. It already has a four pin connector.

I'm specifically wanting to tow two motorcycles: my Harley Road Glide at about 850 pounds and my wife's Can Am Spyder also at weighing about 850 pounds. The problem is the Spyder is so wide that there's no way to stagger the bikes safely side by side even on a seven foot wide trailer. That leaves the best option of putting them on the trailer one behind the other. We took both of them to a dealer who allowed us to pull the bikes onto a trailer and confirm they've got to be loaded one behind the other. The Spyder is long at 9 feet, and my Harley is 8.4 feet long. That means to have a safe separation between both bikes and to the front and rear of the trailer requires a 20 foot tandem trailer.

The trailer I found weighs 1900 pounds empty according to the manufacturer. The total weight of both bikes rounded up is 1800 pounds. So, the total loaded trailer weight will be 3700 pounds, which is well under the 9000 pound rating that Ford shows for my truck. I want to put the Harley on the front and the Can Am further on the rear to help balance it out.

Does anyone see any issues with this setup? The total weight is well under the specs and I'm prepared to install a weight distribution system if it ends being tongue heavy. At what point should I consider a weight distribution system? Thanks in advance for the advice.

Last edited by PeteF1; 08-07-2017 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:01 AM
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The OEM hitch receivers have a sticker similar to this one. They say a 500 lb. tongue weight requires a weight distribution hitch. Tongue weight without a WDH lifts weight from the steer axle and reduces traction for steering and braking.

It's probably also listed in your owner's manual.

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Old 08-08-2017, 12:11 AM
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Your truck cannot tow anywhere near 9,000 pounds. Numerous threads discuss this.

No issues with the bikes.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:25 AM
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Depending on where the axle is on that trailer, I'd be concerned on getting enough tongue weight. Low to negative tongue weight is your most dangerous condition. Since the bikes are of equal weight, I would find a way to get more weight forward.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteF1 View Post
At what point should I consider a weight distribution system?

Tongue weight (TW) of 500 pounds or more requires a weight-distributing (WD) hitch. With gross trailer weight of 3,700 pounds and average tongue weight of 13%, you'll be right up against the limit without a WD hitch.


So find or buy a TW scale and use it religiously. Here's the one I haul in my trailer:
https://www.etrailer.com/Tools/Sherline/5780.html


If you don't want to invest in a Sherline scale, then you can determine wet and loaded gross tongue weight with two passes over the CAT scale:
1] with the tow vehicle without a trailer
2] with the trailer tied onto the tow vehicle, but without the WD hitch spring bars tight


Add the weights on the steer (front) and drive (rear) axles to get GVW.


Subtract GVW for 1] from GVW for 2] to get tongue weight.
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:44 PM
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At 3700lbs invest in a set of load control shocks to handle the tongue weight, and load the trailer front end heavy. As Smokeywren stated find a cat scale and understand your load and balance. The truck size (weight and wheel base) is enough to manage the size and weight you are pulling. However, as others have advised, being the truck shipped from the factory without a tow package, we are not setup to handle more than 5000lbs. To get over 5000lbs would require trany cooler at a minimum, and may also call for engine oil cooler, etc.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by tomb1269 View Post
However, as others have advised, being the truck shipped from the factory without a tow package, we are not setup to handle more than 5000lbs. To get over 5000lbs would require trany cooler at a minimum, ...

Right. So far, he's talking about a max trailer weight of less than 4,000 pounds, so the F-150 without a tow pkg should be able to handle that without additional mods.


But if his trailer weight sneaks over 5,000 pounds, then he would definitely need the auxiliary tranny cooler. Best bet is to install the OEM auxiliary tranny heat exchanger for his year/engine. It will bolt right in without any major changes. Of course he will also need the correct ATF lines to go from the OTW cooler in the radiator to the OTA auxiliary cooler in front of the radiator, then back to join the return line to the tranny.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:02 PM
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Thanks for the replys.

Has anyone had any experience with the Air Lift suspension kits instead of using a weight distribution system. I'm wondering how durable the Air Lift stuff is.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteF1 View Post
Thanks for the replys.

Has anyone had any experience with the Air Lift suspension kits instead of using a weight distribution system. I'm wondering how durable the Air Lift stuff is.
Air bags are NOT a substitute for a weight distributing hitch. An air bag will not distribute any weight to the steer axle or to the trailer axles. Please study up on how a weight distributing hitch works.

Please note that the hitch on my truck transferred 400 lbs. from the rear axle to bring the weight down from 4080 (230 lbs. over the limit) to 3680 (170 lbs. under the limit). 260 lbs. went to the steer axle to help the front tires steer and stop, and 140 lbs. went to the trailer to keep the truck from being overloaded. Air bags will NOT do that.

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Old 08-09-2017, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by atwowheelguy View Post
Air bags are NOT a substitute for a weight distributing hitch. An air bag will not distribute any weight to the steer axle or to the trailer axles. Please study up on how a weight distributing hitch works.
Exactly, here's a video
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