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  #1  
Old 09-01-2012, 12:29 PM
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Trailer towing - 04 5.4L - No power

HI everyone,

Want some opinions from other F150 owners who tow. The only thing I have ever towed up until last week was about 1500 lbs of WaveRunners. I didnt even know they were behind me and could pull hills at 75mph with little effort. This was five years ago. Havent towed since then.

Last weekend we rented a 5000lb travel trailer and towed it from Salt Lake City up into the high Uintas east of the city. According to Ford I can tow up to 9900 lbs. Tell you what, there were times I was looking at the top of a hill and wondering if we were going to make it. Pedal to the floor, RPMs at 4000+ and we werent going very fast. 40mph, 30mph, all the way down to 20mph with Dodge 1500's passing us with their trailers like we were standing still. I had to use my flashers a few times and these hills werent really all that steep.

We had one issue pulling out of the campground where it was a stop sign on a hill and it literally took me 60 seconds to go from dead stop about 200 feet to get on the main road. I had it floored, I tried gear 1 and 2 and was about to drop it into 4x4 Low just to get moving. It was - in a word - embarrassing.

So my question - a F150 FX4 SuperCrew with a 5.4L engine *should* be able to tow a 5000lb trailer right? My truck has the factory tow package so I would assume towing a trailer was envisioned by the team that designed the truck. When I am not towing I seem to have plenty of power, truck runs great etc. I only have 30,000 miles on the truck (I dont drive much) and have used full Synthetic in every oil change since the first.

Any opinions on what could be up? Do the rest of you tow trailers of this size?

Thanks!

dave
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2012, 01:53 PM
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What gears do you have? That'll play significantly into your towing performance, regardless of "towing package". And a new Dodge 1500 Hemi will walk all over you in the power department; just sayin.
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talldoode View Post
HI everyone,

Want some opinions from other F150 owners who tow. The only thing I have ever towed up until last week was about 1500 lbs of WaveRunners. I didnt even know they were behind me and could pull hills at 75mph with little effort. This was five years ago. Havent towed since then.

Last weekend we rented a 5000lb travel trailer and towed it from Salt Lake City up into the high Uintas east of the city. According to Ford I can tow up to 9900 lbs. Tell you what, there were times I was looking at the top of a hill and wondering if we were going to make it. Pedal to the floor, RPMs at 4000+ and we werent going very fast. 40mph, 30mph, all the way down to 20mph with Dodge 1500's passing us with their trailers like we were standing still. I had to use my flashers a few times and these hills werent really all that steep.

We had one issue pulling out of the campground where it was a stop sign on a hill and it literally took me 60 seconds to go from dead stop about 200 feet to get on the main road. I had it floored, I tried gear 1 and 2 and was about to drop it into 4x4 Low just to get moving. It was - in a word - embarrassing.

So my question - a F150 FX4 SuperCrew with a 5.4L engine *should* be able to tow a 5000lb trailer right? My truck has the factory tow package so I would assume towing a trailer was envisioned by the team that designed the truck. When I am not towing I seem to have plenty of power, truck runs great etc. I only have 30,000 miles on the truck (I dont drive much) and have used full Synthetic in every oil change since the first.

Any opinions on what could be up? Do the rest of you tow trailers of this size?

Thanks!

dave


ROFL ROFL



#1 we need more info

#2 what gears and tires does your truck have?

#3 when is the last tine you did any maintenance to your truck (and what was done)

#4
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2012, 02:47 PM
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NA gas engines are gutless at those altitudes. That sounds about right, even with only 5000#. The Dodges probably had Hemis, which make the Ford 5.4's look like turds.

You need to regear and get a programmer with custom tunes, or trade the truck in on a Ecoboost.

You sure the trailer brakes weren't dragging?
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2012, 05:55 PM
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Parleys canyon is a 6 percent grade dude. 5000 LBS up a 6 percent grade is gonna slow you down... I've towed many times up those roads and yeah your truck feels those hills pulling that weight. Slow lanes there for a reason..
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2012, 06:00 PM
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I can maintain 50 mph pulling 5000 up parleys though I have 3.55's with 33 inch tires and mines a 2v so in theory you should be able to do better depending on tire gear combo.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2012, 06:04 PM
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If something like a slow semi slows me down I cant get back up to 50 on that hill.. then all bets are off.. Maybe just before the summit 25 30 would be doing well if you got slowed to a near stop..
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2012, 06:15 PM
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I can hold 55mph with OD off on a 6% grade towing 4500lbs. But it takes me 5 minutes to reach that speed and if anything slows me down... trouble. I've never had a problem taking off on an incline though.. definitely not a whole minute to move 200ft. I can get up to 25 real quick on the incline... once I hit 2nd gear though it slows down a bit.

Either way, sounds like you might have some maintenance issues. Your 3v has a few more ponies, it should at least be somewhat getting you up the hill.
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:00 PM
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It may need a good tune up, not quite plugs, but fuel filter, throttle body cleaning, maybe it even needs driven more! An '04 with 30k miles wow!
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jethat View Post
Parleys canyon is a 6 percent grade dude. 5000 LBS up a 6 percent grade is gonna slow you down... I've towed many times up those roads and yeah your truck feels those hills pulling that weight. Slow lanes there for a reason..
We went Weber canyon because we wanted to show the kids Devils Slide. I really had the issues going up the hills by Rockport dam (since you know the area).

Good to know it isnt just me though.

Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glc View Post
NA gas engines are gutless at those altitudes. That sounds about right, even with only 5000#. The Dodges probably had Hemis, which make the Ford 5.4's look like turds.

You need to regear and get a programmer with custom tunes, or trade the truck in on a Ecoboost.

You sure the trailer brakes weren't dragging?
Yes I checked the trailer brakes (actually crawled under to smell them and see how hot they were) and they were fine. I dont really want to regear if I am only going to tow once in a while.

Guess what I was asking (and has been answered) is the basic F150 isnt great for towing heavy trailers in a stock configuration. I have 33" tires that are a bit larger than stock so yes, that could have sucked some power. And as long as I had a decent run at a hill I was fine. But if I got behind a truck (like others have said) I was pretty much toast. I couldn't get going again.

I need to take the truck in for a recall notice (airbag wiring harness thing) so while I am there I will have them take a look. I have a K&M Cold Air I need to put on (gift that has been in my garage for a while) so that will probably help in the future.

Thanks everyone! You answered my question.

As for those who recommended getting a new rig .... would YOU trade if you F150 if it only had 30k miles and was paid for? <grin>. I love my truck. I live in Vegas and the sun has destroyed all the plastic but I would rather spend $2k on new plastic than $47k on a new rig. :-).

Oh, one other thing for those reading this - I will be posting another thread for a broken receiver on my hitch package to give a heads up. You wont believe it when you see it. I had three RV service guys, two mechanics and three welders saying "I have never seen that break like that in a receiver on a hitch before". Be careful when you hook up a trailer and always check the receiver hitch for a break. I cant believe mine was the only defective one and if I wouldn't have noticed it, it could have been a disaster.

Thanks again. Great forums.
dave
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarajerame View Post
ROFL ROFL



#1 we need more info

#2 what gears and tires does your truck have?

#3 when is the last tine you did any maintenance to your truck (and what was done)

#4
Thanks for the "deadhorse" Troll. <eye roll> Seems that others were able to give opinions and experiences without me cluttering the post with 50 lines of technical info. I was just looking for others experiences to see if my truck had a real problem. Doesnt sound like it does.

d.
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2012, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talldoode View Post
We went Weber canyon because we wanted to show the kids Devils Slide. I really had the issues going up the hills by Rockport dam (since you know the area).

Good to know it isnt just me though.

Thanks!
Could try detting a tuner as was mentioned. The 3v's respond very well to custom tunes. They are able to tune out the lag in the computer controled throttle for one thing. I think there able to get 20+ hp and more torque. Edge (locally manufactured) makes a tuner thats pretty nice. I have one on my truck and like it. 3v's respond even better then the 2v's did to tuning.
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  #14  
Old 09-01-2012, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talldoode View Post
Yes I checked the trailer brakes (actually crawled under to smell them and see how hot they were) and they were fine. I dont really want to regear if I am only going to tow once in a while.

Guess what I was asking (and has been answered) is the basic F150 isnt great for towing heavy trailers in a stock configuration. I have 33" tires that are a bit larger than stock so yes, that could have sucked some power. And as long as I had a decent run at a hill I was fine. But if I got behind a truck (like others have said) I was pretty much toast. I couldn't get going again.

I need to take the truck in for a recall notice (airbag wiring harness thing) so while I am there I will have them take a look. I have a K&M Cold Air I need to put on (gift that has been in my garage for a while) so that will probably help in the future.

Thanks everyone! You answered my question.

As for those who recommended getting a new rig .... would YOU trade if you F150 if it only had 30k miles and was paid for? <grin>. I love my truck. I live in Vegas and the sun has destroyed all the plastic but I would rather spend $2k on new plastic than $47k on a new rig. :-).

Oh, one other thing for those reading this - I will be posting another thread for a broken receiver on my hitch package to give a heads up. You wont believe it when you see it. I had three RV service guys, two mechanics and three welders saying "I have never seen that break like that in a receiver on a hitch before". Be careful when you hook up a trailer and always check the receiver hitch for a break. I cant believe mine was the only defective one and if I wouldn't have noticed it, it could have been a disaster.

Thanks again. Great forums.
dave
DO NOT install the cold air intake without a custom tune! Those engines run lean from the factory and adding a CAI can make them dangerously lean.
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  #15  
Old 09-01-2012, 11:00 PM
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I'm gonna take a guess that you have 3.55 gears from all your descriptions. 33"+ tires with those gears on what feels like an otherwise perfectly normal driving truck will be borderline lethargic when trying to tow. I know, trust me. That's where I started. Going to 4.10's completely transformed the truck and if you're going to continue towing with this, 4.10 gears should be considered mandatory. I wouldn't spend a penny on anything else until this was done.
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K&N FIPK/Amsoil Filter
Flowmaster 40 si/do Exhaust
305/70 16 GY MTR Kevlar
16X10 MB Motorsport wheels
4.10 Gears
Rancho 4" lift
Rancho 9000XL Pro Series Resi Shocks
FireStone Air Bags
Autometer Carbon Fiber Oil/Trans Temp Gauges
Carbon Fiber Interior (www.dash-kit.com)
Peterson Fluid Sys. Remote Oil Filter
FTVB
Troyer Performance Electric Fans
Underdrive Pulleys
Amsoil Fluids Throughout
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:00 PM


 
 
 
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