Towing a Travel Trailer with a F150 - All Your Questions Answered

Towing a Travel Trailer with a F150

Travel Trailer is a way to enjoy family vacations. It brings our RV lifestyle to a new level and helps us see the continent and country. To tow your travel trailer, you also need a Vehicle, yet many people, especially truck campers, use the Ford F-150 as a prime choice to tow their heavy-duty travel trailers. The Ford F-150 is the most recognized pickup truck all the time.

It is one of the vehicles which has proper towing capacity for travel trailers. This pickup is a great option for towing vehicles yet. Overall, this famous full-size truck usually provides the best RV experience indeed. 

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Ford F-150 Towing Capacity

Ford F-150 is one of the best towing pickups among half-ton vehicles. It facilitates optional backup assistance along with exceptional stability as well. This feature steers the trailer in reverse. To indicate how the trailer will go, you just simply need to twist a dial on the dashboard. Though ford comes with several engines, you will especially impressed with 2.7 liter EcoBoost V6 engine yet. This engine offers excellent gas mileage and reliable power as well. 

Actually, the towing capacity of F-150 depends on the configuration properties. Relying on how it is equipped, a ford f-150 pickup can tow from 4900 lbs to 12,200 lbs yet. So, you need to make sure that the configuration that you have chosen to tow the trailer meets your need best.

How Much Can My F 150 Tow?

From the last 40 years, Ford F-150 has an excellent reputation for overall sales and towing capacity. If you look at the mechanics, the towing capacity of F-150 depends on the model and trim package. A point of pride that F-150 manufacturers always try to come with an updated version featuring a variety of configurations. For example, the 2018 version features the following configurations, such as –

  1. XL
  2. XLT
  3. The Lariat
  4. The King Ranch
  5. Platinum
  6. The limited Edition
  7. The Raptor

As the sequence of these configurations comes, you can guess that XL is the most basic model of F-150. Accordingly, the latest configurations, such as Platinum and Limited Edition, are usually enriched with off-road features and are having the most powerful gasoline engine among previous configurations. The most updated model of the F-150 is the Raptor. It has quite similar features as the Limited Edition and Platinum. 

So if we try to evaluate the towing capacity of the F-150 pickup truck, we have understood some fundamental key factors regarding towing capacity. In this article, we will try to discuss the key features that determine the F-150 towing capacity. 

Engine Power

Towing capacity of an F-150 actually depends on the power of the engine. The engine power is usually determined by Torque or Horsepower units. The 2017 F-150 model and the earlier models were used to design with 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 high-output engines. But 2018 model is compatible with several powerful engines. It includes 3.3 liters naturally aspirated V6, 3.5 liters EcoBoost V6, the EcoBoost V6, and the 5.0 liter V8.

The Raptor is compatible with a high output engine that generates 510-foot pounds of torque. These engines can produce up to 450 HP. 

Axle Ratio

Axle ratio describes the role of a vehicle that incurred the torque which is produced by the engine. This ratio influences the towing capacity to a great extent. Torque is usually a force that acts on the wheel to make the truck move. It can be felt whenever you accelerate the engine from a stop. But when you are at high speed, it doesn’t make any difference yet.

The Axle Ratio usually determines the number of turns of your wheel. It relies on the energy that an engine actually produces effectively. If the wheel turns slowly, it puts more energy to pull the trailer. On the other hand, if the wheel moves very fast, it doesn’t put the energy effectively. Even very little axle tramping can cause a negative impact on the trailer also.  

Tongue Weight

Tongue weight is the measure of pressure that hitch distributes on your towing vehicle. This pressure relies on the weight distribution over the trailer and the amount of weight that you want to tow. If the front of the trailer is incurred with more weight, then the tongue weight must be more indeed. For maintaining stability, the tongue weight is a good thing also.

The trailer having too much or too lightweight on the rear means tongue weight is not getting enough. This lack of tongue weight is the main reason that occurs sway. In order to reduce the fear of truck drivers who tow trailers, the recommend tongue weight about 10-15% of the trailer weight. For a safe towing experience, most of the RV’ers prefer striking to the 12-15% range. 


When it comes to towing capacity, the payload has direct influence yet. The payload is usually defined as the tongue weight or the amount of pressure that is distributed within the trailer. Besides, the hitch places on the towing vehicle also have a direct relationship with the trailer’s entire weight. The higher the pressure on the hitch places, the higher the tongue weight is. 

Yet, tongue weight could have both favorable and unfavorable consequences on towing capacity also. Increased weight on both sides of the tongue enhances the strength of the entire gear yet. On the down road driving, the increased weight helps the trailer to keep stable on the risky trailer sway.

It also helps to avoid things like bounce dangerously or sway out of control due to high speed yet. Besides, on the other side, in most cases, the overloaded tongue becomes challenging to tow and have a higher possibility to get split, crack, and significant accident during driving as well. 

To avoid these issues, experts recommended making sure that the tongue weight should be 10-15% of the entire trailer weight, including all loaded gears. For example: if the average weight of the payload is of around 2000 lbs, then the tongue weight must be about 1000 lbs for your safety limit.

Truck Length

Truck weight has a great relationship with truck length. This relation impacts immensely on towing efficiency and trailer handling. In the case of towing tow vehicles like the Ford F-150, the length and weight of the truck affect each other significantly. The more you drive faster, the more this relationship becomes more robust. As the truck is only connected with control and power, so it needs to get instruct according to the situation.

If the trailer surpasses the weight of the pickup, the pickup can get basically down from the hill. Thus it enhances the risk of sway accidents of the trailer and getting damage to the truck’s town package. For handling and turning circles, the length of the truck has a profound relationship with the trailer yet. 

Towing Package

For improving the towing performance and overall handling, Ford brings the enhancement of components into the truck. The improvement that includes several elements or the towing hitch itself increases towing capacity yet. As ford offers several towing packages, you will find features from one trim level to next. There are some Towing Packages:

Class IV Trailer Hitch

This towing package is a basic one, equipped as a regular feature in Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited models. This towing package is optional for the XL and XLT

Towing capability: Engine can tow up to 7000 lbs

This package includes:

  • Smart Trailer Tow Connector
  • 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness
  • Class IV trailer hitch receiver

Trailer Tow Package

This up-grading the Class IV package adds an upgraded front stabilizer bar and an auxiliary transmission oil cooler. This package comes with a standard feature in the Raptor model. 

But, it is an optional feature in others.

Towing capability: Engine can tow up to 11,100 lbs

This package includes:

  • Upgraded front stabilizer bar
  • Smart Trailer Tow Connector
  • 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness

Auxiliary transmission oil:

  •  Cooler
  • Class IV trailer hitch receiver

Max. Trailer Tow Package

This towing ultra-package is equipped with a more reliable 3.5L EcoBoost engine. It can only be used for heavy-duty towing. 

Towing capability: It can tow up to 13,200 lbs

This package includes:

  • 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness
  • Upgraded front stabilizer bar
  • 36-gallon fuel tank
  • Trailer brake controller
  • Upgraded rear bumper
  • Engine oil cooler
  • Class IV trailer hitch receiver
  • Smart Trailer Tow Connector

Auxiliary transmission oil:

  • Cooler

What size travel trailer can I pull with my F 150?

  • F-150 featuring a short cab and a regular bed with a 3.3-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine generates 265 torque and 290 horsepower. This engine has the maximum capability to tow 5000 towing range. It is not enough to pull a travel trailer as well.
  • F-150, equipped with a 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 engine with a longer bed and Super Crew cab, generates 470 torque and 375 horsepower. This engine is ample to tow 1000 lbs maximum. 
  • The 2.7L EcoBoost and 3.3L Ti-VC T V6 engines are capable of towing up to 6,000 lbs.
  • The 3.5L EcoBoost and 5.0L V8 engines are capable of towing up to 7,000 lbs.
Towing a Travel Trailer with a f150
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Precautions if the Trailer Starts to Sway

Sometimes you may experience trailer sway even after maintaining perfect relation between tongue weight and towing capacity. A strong wind that is beyond your control can occur sway even after ideal load distribution and make a mindful relationship between truck length and truck weight.

So, if your trailer experience any sway within the first few miles, it is an alarm that your trailer is accidentally exceeded the tongue weight or the payload capacity. It is also a sign of wrong load distribution yet. So, it is obvious to keep a relaxed mind while driving F-150. 

Benefits to having Diesel Engine

Most of the Ford offers a diesel engine to produce overall power and more torque. These engines are somewhat hard to find and are reserved for the larger vehicles. Besides, diesel fuel is also efficient than gasoline. So, these diesel engines are best suited for heavy trailers yet. Though diesel engines are comparatively costly than gasoline counterparts, it will make your money worth as well. 


As discussed above, the towing capacity of Ford F-150 is a combined compilation of several key factors. These key factors have a direct relationship with the towing capacity of a travel trailer. These standard factors, along with the proper engine power, helps the Ford F-150 to tow the trailer.

Overall, F-150 is still popular among the individuals who need to tow trailers, especially peoples who belong to the RV community. This strongest truck is one of such things that really help to tow the trailer with superior towing capacity and payload yet. 

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