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Old 03-27-2019, 06:29 PM   #1
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Default Towing 31' Hi-Lo with F-150

I have a '13 Ford F-150 Platinum 4x4 6.2L its a 3.55 gear. It has the 7700lb towing package. Would I be crazy to try to haul a 31' Hi-Lo Classic that weighs 7,000 lbs? I'm worried it may be too much for the transmission. This would be my first travel trailer, so please be kind with your answers.
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Old 03-27-2019, 08:54 PM   #2
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I vote "yes", you would be crazy, in a kind way! Trade in that F-150 for a diesel F-250 and hit the road with confidence that you won't be broke down on the side of the road. You'll never regret having too much power, but you'll always regret not having enough.

Where are you in TN? I grew up just outside of Memphis. If you need a good diesel shop, I've done business with the Diesel Dr. in Whiteville. Excellent work and fair price. My F-250 Powerstroke is awesome since they fixed it!
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Old 03-27-2019, 09:27 PM   #3
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PiperJim,

Thank You! I ran the calculations and it looked like it would be really close and at 92%, actually over with a couple of people in the truck. Thank you for confirming my concerns. I'll think I'll buy a 21' Hi-Lo that I am also looking at. Thanks Again!
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Old 03-28-2019, 08:48 AM   #4
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Farris, I'm with PiperJim too. I actually think it's not the overall weight of the trailer that would be the problem, but the tongue weight would likely overload your truck's axles and wheels. A SuperDuty class truck would take care of that problem.

But, you should still have a Weight Distributing Hitch (WDH) even if you get the shorter trailer, so that all the tongue weight is not placed on the rear axle of your truck.

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Old 04-04-2019, 10:18 PM   #5
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Hi, I have a 31' Hilo and besides the rarity of this unit, I truly love it. Up to this year, I had been using a Suburban with 5.3 liter engine and tow package. On steep inclines (Major highways) I would end up doing 40mph by the summit. I have since purchased a 2001 Ford Excursion XLT with the 6.8 Liter V10 and couldn't be happier. This truck doesn't break a sweat towing the 31 footer.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:25 PM   #6
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Wow...I just brought home a 2002 model 3102B (FIRST RV ever) It appeared that dry weight is 6200. I have a 2007 Ford Explorer. My manual says it can tow 8500 but when I examined my hitch it days only 3500! It's a factory toe pkg.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:52 PM   #7
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Karen:

Welcome to the Hi-Lo family! You have a rare jewel in that 31-footer. Only a few were made, as far as I've read here on the forum.

On your towing question, I hate to tell you this, but unless I'm badly mistaken, your Ford Explorer is seriously under-powered to tow that much weight, and you will be in an unsafe condition driving that rig.

Towing can be quite confusing, so here's a website that has a lot of info:

https://www.curtmfg.com/understanding-towing

Can you confirm the 8500 lb number you mention? From looking online at the specs for your 2007 Explorer (without knowing which engine and trim package you have), it looks like 8500 lbs is the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR), defined as, "a specific weight determined by the manufacturer to be the maximum weight of a loaded tow vehicle and its attached loaded trailer. The total weight of the tow vehicle and trailer should never exceed the manufacturer's listed GCWR". If your GCWR is 8500 lbs, that's what Ford says that the Explorer is capable of pulling down the road....pulling itself and the RV, loaded with fuel, passengers, food, pots & pans, clothing, toiletries, etc.

It looks like your Explorer weighs somewhere just over 4000 lbs, which means, when you factor in the rule-of-thumb 10%-20% safety margin, your Explorer (again, if that 8500 lbs is indeed the GCWR), can safely tow an RV about half the weight, or less (depending on weight of cargo and passengers), of your Hi-Lo. Sorry, but that's how it's looking. I have a 28' Hi-Lo and tow it with an F-250 diesel, although I'm sure a large gas-engine in that frame would also pull it safely.

The 3500 lb number you mention is likely the weight limit of the hitch (the metal bracket and ball assembly that is bolted to your Explorer's frame). The 3500 lbs figure tells you that the hitch itself is engineered and constructed to tow up to 3500 lbs. Because the hitch was engineered with a sizable safety margin, you are able to tow the Hi-Lo with it, but don't count on doing that forever.

Not sure where you are in Texas, but the Escapees organization is headquartered in Livingston. They conduct a couple of "RV Boot Camp" schools every year, on weekends. You might find that a useful experience. They will also do a full weight analysis of your rig and do an evaluation and make recommendations. I think they'll do that weekly at their RV park in Livingston.
You can find info on that school at this link: https://www.escapees.com/education/rvers-boot-camp/

Others will chime in shortly, and correct me if I'm wrong. Let's hope so!

Otherwise, once you get an adequate tow vehicle, you will be ready for great fun in your Hi-Lo!
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:38 PM   #8
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Karen MAY be able to tow 8500# with a heavy duty tow package. I wonder if the 3500# she read was a bumper hitch limit, or, was on a Class 2 hitch?

Karen, is the tow hitch you have one that slides into a receiver under the bumper, that has an opening that is 2" square? Anything smaller, such as one that is 1-1/4" square cannot be used to tow your trailer. Or is the hitch one that is bolted into the rear bumper itself, which is also not satisfactory?

Even if you have a hitch receiver that is at least 2" square, you need a minimum of a Class 3, Weight Distributing Hitch (WDH) in it. Class 3 WDH hitches can pull up to 10,000# and can take a tongue load of up to 1000#.

- Jack
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