Travel Trailer Towing Experience
Just completed 7 week road trip pulling a 17 foot travel trailer, weight wet 4300 pounds. We traveled Interstate 5 from Sacramento to Tacoma Washington, and from their east through Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Upper Peninsula Michigan. We ended up at Copper Harbor Michigan. Our trip east followed Highway 2 just below Canadian Border, and Highway 5. Our return trip took us through Wisconsin , Minnesota, South Dakota, Utah, Nevada, and Up and Over Donner Pass in California. The return trip followed predominantly Interstate 90 and 80.
The truck, our 2019 Ford Ranger Lariat, Sport Equipped, Off Road version performed with no errors or stumbles. I was able to keep up with traffic at all times, though I drove 55 mph for about 3/4 of trip and 60 mph the first quarter. As of yet I have not "put my foot into it", really never needed to. I'm a conservative driver. Our gasoline mileage was 9.1 mpg at 60 mph for the first quarter of trip. It varied between 11.2 and 12.4 mpg for the remainder of trip driven at 55 mpg. From Fernley Nevada to Sacramento we go 14.9 mpg, traveling over Donner Pass on I80.
We recorded performance on grades, again pulling the trailer. Here are the specs we recorded, fueling with 92 octane gasoline: 1 degree slope - 55 mph - 6th gear - 2500 rpm; 2 degree slope - 6th gear - 3000 rpm; 3 degree slope 3 degree - 5th - 52 mph - 3000 rpm.
I often dropped down to 45 or 50 when pulling grades, if no traffic pushing me, just to take it easy on engine. I don't know if the turbo ever kicked in.
We had a 1991 F250 with a 450 engine prior to this, and this little Ranger out performed the F250 big time, pulling the same load. Even starting from a dead stop on a grade I got pretty rapid constant acceleration.
Used 4 wheel drive once with the trailer behind turning the trailer on a wet soil gentle slope, maneuvering it in a tight driveway when visiting someone in a rural environment in Washington.
When having driven about 20 minutes at highway speeds, generally, 55 to 65, sitting in the drivers seat I hear a constant click-click-click-click, very subtle but a bit annoying, much like the sound a poorly lubricated speedometer cable once made in an older car I once had. This sound does not vary in speed, as engine or car speed changes. Wonder what FORD service people will use to explain the sound.
If you have any further questions, will love to respond.
Wow! Thanks for the post. We are picking up a small 18’ toy hauler in AZ in March and bringing it up to UT, across to NY, and ultimately back to Utah. This is exactly what I needed to see to put my mind at ease.
What did you do about the trailer brakes controller? I am still trying to find out what needs to be done and how to get it done. Details appreciated. Thanks.
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