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What Size Travel Trailer Can A Ford F150 Pull

J. Goreham | Last updated Wednesday, June 21st, 2023

There exist numerous avenues through which one can relish the RV lifestyle without necessitating the purchase of a conventional motorhome.

A considerable number of individuals perceive travel trailers and truck campers as splendid alternatives, given that the tow vehicle can still be utilized for transportation during the remainder of the year.

The Ford F-150, widely regarded as the most renowned full-size truck in history, stands out as an ideal selection for truck campers and for towing travel trailers.

Despite its remarkable strength, surpassing its capacity can result in significant safety concerns. Therefore, one may inquire about the size of travel trailer that can be towed by an F-150?

With utmost safety, the Ford F-150 has the capability to effortlessly tow a travel trailer or camper weighing up to 6,000 pounds. However, it is important to note that under specific circumstances, this remarkable vehicle can handle trailers with a weight of up to 7,000 pounds.

The Towing Capacity Of An F-150 Pickup Truck

The Ford F-150 distinguishes itself through its remarkable towing capacity, making it stand out among other trucks. Apart from its towing prowess, this vehicle incorporates unique advancements such as interior work surfaces and available 120/240-volt outlets, which conveniently empower you with the ability to operate tools like reciprocating saws or hammer drills on the job site.

Nonetheless, this is merely one aspect of how this truck's power simplifies tackling projects. Your specific F-150 towing capacity will vary based on factors such as the engine, cab/box configuration, and available equipment. However, regardless of your selection, you can rest assured that you'll find competitive strength at every level to handle all your hauling needs effectively.

To fully unlock the capabilities of your chosen Ford F-150, we recommend equipping it with the F-150 Max Trailer Tow Package. By doing so, you can optimize its performance and tap into its complete potential. If you're curious about how the F-150 towing capacity has evolved over the years or how much weight a new Ford F-150 for sale can tow with each engine option, continue reading.

Over the course of its seven-decade existence, the Ford F-150 has witnessed a continuous refinement in its tow capacity. We understand the importance of finding the perfect vehicle that aligns with your requirements and possesses the capability to effortlessly tow your horse trailer or camper.

To aid you in this endeavor, we have meticulously compiled a comprehensive Ford F-150 tow chart encompassing the years from 2015 to 2023:

Ford F-150 Towing Capacity Chart
YearMax TowingMax PayloadEngine
20235,000 to 14,000 lbs1 21,410 to 3,310 lbs3.3L V-6, 2.7L V-6, 3.5L V-6, 3.5L Full Hybrid V-6, 5.0L V-8, 3.5L High-Output V-6
20225,000 to 14,000 lbs11,410 to 3,325 lbs3.3L V6, 2.7L V6, 3.5L V6, 3.5L Full Hybrid V6, 5.0L V8, 3.5L High-Output V6
20215,000 to 14,000 lbs11,745 to 3,325 lbs2.7L V6, 3.3L V6, 3.5L V6, 5.0L V8, 3.0L diesel
20205,000 to 13,200 lbs11,500 to 3,270 lbs2.7L V6, 3.3L V6, 3.5L V6, 5.0L V8, 3.0L diesel
20195,000 to 13,200 lbs11,485 to 3,270 lbs2.7L V6, 3.3L V6, 3.5L V6, 5.0L V8, 3.0L diesel
20185,000 to 13,200 lbs11,420 to 3,270 lbs2.7L V6, 3.3L V6, 3.5L V6, 5.0L V8, 3.0L diesel
20175,000 to 12,200 lbs11,570 to 3,270 lbs2.7L V6, 3.5L V6, 5.0L V6
20165,000 to 12,200 lbs11,570 to 3,270 lbs2.7L V6, 3.5L V6, 5.0L V7
20155,000 to 12,200 lbs11,580 to 3,300 lbs2.7L V6, 3.5L V6, 5.0L V8

How Is Payload Relevant To Towing Capacity?

Technically speaking, the payload refers to the weight capacity of both the box and the suspension of the vehicle. Additionally, the payload has a direct correlation with the tongue weight, which signifies the amount of pressure or weight exerted on the F-150 or any other towing vehicle by the hitch.

The pressure exerted by the hitch is also influenced by the overall weight of the trailer, as well as how that weight is distributed within the trailer.

The tongue weight is directly influenced by two factors: the total weight of the trailer and how much of that weight is being applied to the hitch. A higher total weight and a greater portion of that weight being placed on the hitch result in an increased tongue weight.

Tongue weight plays a dual role. On one hand, a higher tongue weight enhances the overall stability of the entire rig, preventing issues such as hazardous trailer sway while driving.

This stability is particularly crucial when traveling at high speeds or encountering uneven surfaces, as an excessively light trailer or one with a majority of its weight towards the rear can lead to uncontrollable swaying or dangerous bouncing.

On the other hand, excessive tongue weight can make the trailer challenging to tow. In extreme cases, an overloaded tongue can lead to cracks, splits, or weld failures, ultimately resulting in a severe accident while on the road.

To avoid these problems, both Ford and its competitors recommend maintaining a tongue weight of approximately 10% to 15% of the overall trailer weight, inclusive of any loaded gear. It is essential to perform some basic calculations whenever you are towing with your F-150 to ensure that you remain within the safe range.

Considering an average payload of around 2,000 pounds, it is advisable to factor in an additional 1,000 pounds for passengers and equipment. This leaves you with approximately 1,000 pounds to allocate for your tongue weight, without surpassing the recommended safety limit.

Other Trucks In The Same Towing Category

The discussion revolves around the F-150 lineup of trucks, which is commonly referred to as lightweight or half-ton trucks. There are several other trucks within the same category, including:

  • RAM 1500
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • GMC Sierra 1500
  • Nissan Titan
  • Toyota Tundra

To put it succinctly, a half-ton truck is characterized by its ability to handle a payload of approximately half a ton. As we have previously explained, the payload directly impacts the towing capacity. Additionally, it's worth noting that modern half-ton trucks now boast higher payloads that surpass the traditional half-ton mark.

Types Of F-150 Pickup Trucks

When discussing the Ford F-150, it encompasses several potential models, each with its own distinct characteristics. In the year 2020, Ford provided a range of these trucks in various fundamental configurations, which include:

  • XL
  • XLT
  • Lariat
  • King Ranch
  • Platinum
  • Limited
  • Raptor

Essentially, the XL stands as the most basic model, offering essential features, while the Limited edition encompasses all the possible bells and whistles. The remaining models present a combination of systems and features, which may be either standard or available as optional additions.

While the Platinum and Limited models share a similar standing, it's worth noting that the Raptor possesses superior off-road capabilities, including a more robust and powerful engine.

Each of these distinct models is equipped with various features that directly impact the towing capacity of the truck. Ford offers the flexibility to mix and match numerous options, making it crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of these factors. These key elements include:

  • Engine strength
  • Axle ratio
  • Truck length
  • Truck weight
  • Payload capacity

By taking these factors into consideration, you can effectively gauge and optimize the towing capabilities of your Ford truck.

What's The Actual Payload Capacity Of An F-150

The payload capacity of the F-150 varies quite significantly, and there are additional payload packages available that can further enhance the payload capabilities across almost every model.

Towards the lower end of the F-150 payload range, you'll come across the following combination:

  • The 3.3L gas engine
  • 4WD
  • Supercrew cab

When equipped with these specifications, an F-150 truck has a payload capacity of 1,700 lbs.

To achieve the maximum payload capacity for the F-150, you'll want to consider the following configuration:

  • 5L V8 gas engine
  • 2WD
  • Regular cab

With these specifications, your F-150 is capable of accommodating a payload of 3,270 lbs.

As you can observe, this payload capacity is nearly double the previous example, granting you significantly more flexibility when it comes to adding heavier tongue weight and, consequently, towing a heavier trailer.

What's A Ford Towing Package?

Fundamentally, the towing package is a comprehensive upgrade for the truck, encompassing not only the towing hitch but also a range of additional elements designed to enhance both the towing capacity and the overall ease of towing.

Ford provides a variety of towing packages for their F-150 trucks, with some being included in specific models "off the shelf," while others require pre-ordering. Let's delve into the contents and benefits of these packages.

1. Class IV Trailer Hitch

Serving as Ford's foundational towing package, the Class IV Trailer Hitch is a standard feature in the Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited models, while it remains optional in the XL and XLT models.

Towing capability:

  • Up to 6,000 lbs. when equipped with the 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 and 2.7L EcoBoost engines.
  • Up to 7,000 lbs. when equipped with the 3.5L EcoBoost and 5.0L V8 engines.

This comprehensive package includes:

  • 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness, facilitating proper connectivity for your trailer's electrical system.
  • Class IV trailer hitch receiver, ensuring secure attachment and towing stability.
  • Smart Trailer Tow Connector, which enables advanced trailer monitoring and control features.

By offering these components and capabilities, the Class IV Trailer Hitch package equips your F-150 with the necessary tools to handle towing requirements efficiently.

Additionally, Ford offers a range of other towing packages that provide enhanced capabilities for specific towing needs. These packages can be selected based on the individual requirements of your towing endeavors.

It's worth noting that when considering a towing package, it's essential to assess the weight and demands of the trailers you intend to tow. By understanding your specific towing needs, you can select the appropriate package that matches your F-150's engine and configuration, ensuring a safe and capable towing experience.

Whether you opt for the Class IV Trailer Hitch package or explore the other available packages, Ford provides options to enhance the towing capabilities of your F-150. By investing in the right towing package, you can optimize your truck's performance, reliability, and safety while towing various loads.

2. Trailer Tow Package

The Trailer Tow Package serves as an advanced enhancement to the Class IV package, incorporating additional features such as an auxiliary transmission oil cooler and an upgraded front stabilizer bar. While it comes standard in the Raptor model, it is also available as an option for other F-150 models.

With the Trailer Tow Package, the towing capability of the F-150 is significantly increased, reaching up to an impressive 11,100 lbs.

This comprehensive package includes all the components of the Class IV package, ensuring seamless connectivity and secure towing:

  • 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness for efficient electrical connectivity.
  • Class IV trailer hitch receiver for a sturdy and reliable towing connection.
  • Smart Trailer Tow Connector, enabling advanced monitoring and control of your trailer.

In addition to these foundational components, the Trailer Tow Package brings notable upgrades to enhance towing performance:

  • Auxiliary transmission oil cooler, which helps maintain optimal operating temperatures for the transmission during heavy towing.
  • Upgraded front stabilizer bar, providing improved stability and handling while towing heavy loads.

By equipping your F-150 with the Trailer Tow Package, you gain access to these extra features that contribute to a more capable and confident towing experience.

Whether you opt for the standard inclusion in the Raptor model or choose to add it as an option in other F-150 models, the Trailer Tow Package ensures that your truck is equipped with the necessary tools to handle demanding towing tasks.

Considering the weight and demands of the trailers you intend to tow, the Trailer Tow Package offers enhanced towing capabilities to match your requirements. With its comprehensive set of features, including the auxiliary transmission oil cooler and upgraded front stabilizer bar, you can confidently tow heavy loads while maintaining optimal performance and safety.

3. Max. Trailer Tow Package

The Max Trailer Tow Package represents the pinnacle of heavy-duty towing capabilities offered by Ford. Designed to complement the robust 3.5L EcoBoost engine, this package requires either a 3.55 electronic-locking rear axle or a 3.73 rear axle, which is available when equipped with the Heavy-Duty Payload Package.

With the Max Trailer Tow Package, the Ford F-150 achieves an extraordinary towing capability of up to an impressive 13,200 lbs, allowing you to confidently tackle the most demanding towing tasks.

This comprehensive package includes all the features found in the Trailer Tow Package, ensuring seamless connectivity and secure towing:

  • 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness, enabling efficient electrical connectivity for your trailer.
  • Class IV trailer hitch receiver, providing a robust and reliable towing connection.
  • Smart Trailer Tow Connector, offering advanced monitoring and control of your trailer.

In addition to these essential components, the Max Trailer Tow Package incorporates additional enhancements to optimize heavy-duty towing performance:

  • Auxiliary transmission oil cooler, which helps maintain optimal operating temperatures for the transmission during intense towing.
  • Upgraded front stabilizer bar, delivering improved stability and handling while towing heavy loads.
  • Engine oil cooler, ensuring efficient cooling for the engine during strenuous towing operations.
  • 36-gallon fuel tank, providing extended range and minimizing the need for frequent refueling.
  • Trailer brake controller, enabling precise and controlled braking for your trailer.
  • Upgraded rear bumper, offering increased durability and protection during towing activities.

Furthermore, regardless of the chosen towing package, you have the option to enhance your towing experience by adding the Pro Trailer Backup Assist system. This innovative system, coupled with a trailer hookup lamp, simplifies the process of backing up with a trailer, providing greater convenience and confidence.

With the Max Trailer Tow Package, you unlock the full potential of your F-150, allowing you to confidently tow heavy loads with ease. The inclusion of various features, such as the auxiliary transmission oil cooler, engine oil cooler, and upgraded rear bumper, ensures optimal performance and durability while towing. Additionally, the availability of the Pro Trailer Backup Assist system further enhances your towing experience by facilitating precise maneuvering and trailer hookup.

Recommended Travel Trailer Sizes for Ford F150

Let's explore the recommended travel trailer sizes for the Ford F150 and highlight the advantages of lightweight trailers as well as mid-size and larger trailers.

1. Lightweight travel trailers suitable for Ford F150

Opting for a lightweight travel trailer can offer several advantages when towing with a Ford F150. These trailers are designed to be aerodynamic, compact, and more fuel-efficient, making them ideal for those seeking better mileage and easier maneuverability on the road.

Additionally, lightweight trailers exert less strain on the F150's engine, suspension, and braking system, ensuring a smoother towing experience. There are various lightweight travel trailers available that are suitable for towing with the Ford F150.

Some popular options include the Forest River R-Pod, Jayco Hummingbird, Airstream Basecamp, and Casita Spirit. These trailers offer compact living spaces, often equipped with essential amenities such as sleeping areas, kitchenettes, and bathrooms. Despite their lightweight design, they still provide comfort and convenience for your outdoor adventures.

2. Mid-size and larger trailers suitable for Ford F150

If you require more space and amenities in your travel trailer, the Ford F150 can still handle mid-size and larger trailers with ease. The F150 boasts impressive towing capacities, especially when equipped with the appropriate towing packages.

It's crucial to consider factors such as the engine size, axle ratio, and available towing features to maximize the F150's capabilities for towing mid-size and larger trailers. When considering mid-size and larger trailers for your Ford F150, it's essential to take into account both weight and features.

Some recommended options in this category include the Keystone Passport, Grand Design Reflection, Jayco Eagle, and Airstream Flying Cloud. These trailers offer more spacious interiors, additional amenities, and sometimes even multiple slide-outs for increased living space. It's crucial to match the weight of the trailer to the F150's towing capacity, ensuring a safe and comfortable towing experience.

Does The Ford F-150 Offer Diesel Engines?

Diesel engines come with their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. If you find yourself pondering over the question of what size travel trailer an F-150 can tow, it is worth delving into the capabilities of the F-150's diesel engine. Interestingly, the Ford F-150 does offer a diesel engine option, expanding the range of possibilities for potential towing capabilities.

In technical terms, Ford does offer the F-150 with a diesel engine, although it is worth noting that these particular models are relatively rare and can be challenging to locate. The majority of Ford's diesel engines are typically reserved for their larger vehicle offerings, such as the F-250 and F-350 pickups, which weigh three-quarters of a ton and a full ton, respectively.

Suppose you happen to come across a Ford F-150 equipped with a diesel engine. In that case, it is important to carefully consider whether it is the right choice for you. Exploring the pros and cons of a diesel engine would be a prudent step to take before making a purchasing decision.

Diesel engines generally exhibit higher levels of torque and overall power output compared to gasoline engines. Additionally, diesel fuel possesses greater energy density than gasoline, resulting in improved fuel efficiency. This advantage becomes particularly beneficial when frequently towing heavy trailers. However, when it comes to a truck of this size, the variance in performance and fuel efficiency between diesel and gasoline engines is typically minimal.

On the other hand, it's important to consider that diesel engines often come with a higher price tag compared to their gasoline counterparts. If you only engage in towing your RV or boat once or twice a month, it may take a considerable amount of time to recoup the initial investment made in a diesel engine as opposed to opting for a gasoline engine.

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