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  1. #1
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    Max Towing Capacity

    Here is a question that i have: can I tow a 9,000 lbs boat and trailer with a F-150 that has a max towing capacity rating of 8,600 lbs? I know that braking is an issue and towing more than the max weight might put a strain on the transmission but is there anything else to worry about?

    The reason I ask is b/c I have a 9,000 lbs boat and trailer and I really don't want to upgrade to a F-250 to pull it. F-250's have a max towing capacity rating of around 10,000 lbs but it really comes down to I like the looks of the F-150 vs the F-250. Also, I only pull the boat twice a year from the Lake of the Ozarks back to Iowa and back for storage. Also, I don't plan on downsizing boats, so that is not an option.

    So, do I really need to upgrade to a larger truck or is pulling it with a F-150 for the next 5-10 years OK?


    Last edited by Tank; 09-15-2010 at 10:53 PM.

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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    I'm not an expert, but this doesn't sound like something I'd want to do to a vehicle I paid that much for.


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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    I'm not an expert, but does your boat trailer have electric brakes & do you have a brake controller on your truck?

    That to me seems like it would be the biggest issue.

    I have pulled a little more weight than my Denali pickup is rated for on a couple of occasions with no problems.



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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    Anything over 2000+ pounds should have trailer brakes installed on Truck, you may also want to upgrade your hitch/ball weight ratio for the additional torque you will be putting on. If this is a new Truck, be careful because if you have problems with Transmission or Motor it will void the factory warranty. Once or twice is probably ok, for repeated use, I would not risk wrecking the Truck over this.....imo

    a good read....

    http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/how...1/article.html


    Last edited by coachdags; 09-15-2010 at 11:07 PM.

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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by SwirlingFloater View Post
    I'm not an expert, but does your boat trailer have electric brakes & do you have a brake controller on your truck?

    That to me seems like it would be the biggest issue.

    I have pulled a little more weight than my Denali pickup is rated for on a couple of occasions with no problems.

    Yes, the trailer does have electric brakes but my truck does not have a brake controller. Also, the truck has a tow system where it keeps the transmission from running to high but all I have found is that limits your power going up hills so you slow down a lot.



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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    Probably wouldn't be a huge deal if you're only going to do it a couple times a year. It will probably be a bit tougher braking and a strain on the transmission as you said, might also want to watch your engine temp. as the strain could cause it to overheat. Obviously not an ideal situation but probably not a major problem for so few trips



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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by Tank View Post
    Yes, the trailer does have electric brakes but my truck does not have a brake controller. Also, the truck has a tow system where it keeps the transmission from running to high but all I have found is that limits your power going up hills so you slow down a lot.
    Turn your Overdrive off going up hills.



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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    Put air bags on your pickup then you should be ok.


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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    I have the same truck and my biggest of 3 boats is only 6500 lbs.
    I have to ask if you are sure its 9000 lbs.???
    Thats a monster.....if so.

    Do you have the tow-package? If so...you have a tranny cooler and an oil cooler.
    Since you will be pulling it only a few times a year,on relatively flat terrain...I think you are fine. Just be smart. Watch your gauges and RPM's.


    I helped a friend last week....pulled his cattle trailer-FULL- up and down some hills here in NE Iowa and my truck did just fine.We guessed it to be close to 12,000 lbs
    and my truck is rated at 8850.

    Bottom line is...you'll be fine. Thats what they are built for.The numbers dont mean much.Most farmers pull more than the rating all the time.Just be smart about it. Take it easy. Let 'er cool down from time to time.Dont sweat it.

    I've been looking at the new 350's ....they are sweet....but cant justify the extra
    $25,000.


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  10. #10
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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCaptain View Post
    I have the same truck and my biggest of 3 boats is only 6500 lbs.
    I have to ask if you are sure its 9000 lbs.???
    Thats a monster.....if so.

    Do you have the tow-package? If so...you have a tranny cooler and an oil cooler.
    Since you will be pulling it only a few times a year,on relatively flat terrain...I think you are fine. Just be smart. Watch your gauges and RPM's.


    I helped a friend last week....pulled his cattle trailer-FULL- up and down some hills here in NE Iowa and my truck did just fine.We guessed it to be close to 12,000 lbs
    and my truck is rated at 8850.

    Bottom line is...you'll be fine. Thats what they are built for.The numbers dont mean much.Most farmers pull more than the rating all the time.Just be smart about it. Take it easy. Let 'er cool down from time to time.Dont sweat it.

    I've been looking at the new 350's ....they are sweet....but cant justify the extra
    $25,000.
    Thanks for the words. As for the boat weight, I am sure - it is a 29' Mach 1 that weighs 6,500 dry, 7,500 wet and has a 2,500 lbs trailer. I am the same way, I don't know if I can justify the extra $10,000 - $25,000 to upgrade to a F-250 or F-350.



  11. #11
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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    I pull the same size boat around with a 99 Tahoe that is rated for way less than that. I haven't had any issues.

    I do know that you can tell a difference with the heavier duty suspension on the 3/4 ton platforms.



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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    There are a lot of layers to peel back from just the few replies I've seen. The first one I'll tackle is your question. Will it physically pull the boat? Absolutely. Is it a good idea, probably not, but it depends. In addition to just the fact you are pulling your boat you need to consider what else is loaded in the truck. Is the family in there with you? How about anything in the bed? The reason I ask is that the maximum towing capacity is determined by the GVWR. To truly determine what your maximum towing capacity is you need to consider the unloaded weight of the truck plus whatever you're planning to add, be it the boat or people or cargo. Thus, if the difference between the unloaded weight and the GVWR is 9000 pounds that means for every pound of something that isn't your boat that's going into the truck you're reducing your actual towing capacity.

    Secondly, you mentioned you don't have a brake controller in your truck. This means that while your trailer has trailer brakes unless it also has a surge braking system those brakes aren't actually doing anything. Another thing to consider is that while your towing capacity may be 9000 pounds wind resistance is also a consideration. Your boat is going to have a much larger wind profile behind the truck than a cargo trailer full of stuff that sits below the back of the truck. Finally, airbags won't help the problems that really limit your towing ability. Just because the rear end isn't sagging doesn't mean everything is alright. The real limiting factors are the brakes and the transmission. If it were me there is no way I'd tow your boat that far with your setup. If I were talking Ames to Saylorville I wouldn't sweat it too much but with that much weight and not even having trailer brakes set up you're certainly a danger to yourself and others on the road.

    One last thing to consider is storage. You mentioned you only move it twice a year, what would it cost to store it down there over the winter? Compare that against the fuel and wear/tear on your truck in moving it twice a year and it may not even be worth it to haul it back each year.



  13. #13
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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    The ozarks get pretty hilly and twisty - I'd definitely be concerned about the brakes. Towing is rarely an issue with the ability to pull the load, it's always about stability at speed and braking. Pulling power can be an issue on the hills though - do you ever curse the guys driving 40 mph on the highway pulling a hay wagon? You might be that guy now. If you get into an accident and anyone finds out you're towing over the truck's limit, you can probably kiss your insurance goodbye.
    If you don't have one already, you'll likely need a weight distributing hitch, which helps to balance the trailer load over the whole truck chassis.

    Like ekim mentioned it's not just about trailer weight but also how much stuff you're putting in the truck. Without crunching the actual numbers for your truck, if you tow right at the limit you're only allowing for a 200lb driver in the truck. Any additional gear you want to take to the lake with you (family, dog, fishing gear/skis, food, etc) must be subtracted from you tow rating. You also have to account for any gear that gets hauled in the boat.


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  14. #14
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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    FYI it is against the law to pull your boat without the trailer brake controller. Drop the $150-$200 and get one put in.

    To increase your tow capacity you can have a heavy duty or additional spring installed in the rear end this will increase your tow capacity. This is another rather inexpensive thing you can do. I think it was around $300 for my 1500.

    All that being said I pull my skidloader and trailer with my 1500 and it is around 10k. I don't do it often but it handles it fine.



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    Re: Max Towing Capacity

    Can you get an F150 with Tow Package and Brake Controller? If so, I'd do that and call it good. The oil cooler, hitch, and brake controller are the important pieces.

    Like everyone else is saying, just don't push it too hard and give it a break from time to time. Watch your gauges.

    Brake Controller!!!


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