Towing RV with a Ford Ranger

woods555

Member
Hello, I made my first trip towing my MPG, Teardrop, with a 2001 Ford Ranger. It has auto trans and a v6 4.0 engine. I used overdrive when possible and when going up hills I used 4th and kept the rpm at 3000 . I think the transmission might have over heated. The RV states that the dry weight is 3750 and the Ranger states it can tow 4300 lbs. The RV was not over 4000 lbs. My question is, Although I was in limits of the owners manual could I be pushing the limits of the trucks capabilities? Thank you for your help.
 

cookie

Administrator
Staff member
You're dry weight is really not a factor s you must know your loaded weight. And in order to know your traveling weight you need to visit a scale.
For example, although I have a larger rig my dry weight is 12,600 and my traveling weight is 16,400. That's an added 3,800 pounds. Point is that it's easy to add a lot of weight without realizing it.
If you were in 4th gear at 3,000 RPM you should have been gaining speed. I suspect there was some slippage in your tranny to confirm your suspicions of overheating.
My Traverse has the tow package with a rating of 5k. There's no way I would ever attempt to tow that much.
I think you pushing it a bit.
Others may chime in with different opinions.
JMHO

Peace
Dave
 

09Busaman

Active Member
I agree, you are pushing it. As stated, visit a scale and you will know for sure. If your tanks are full and/or you have your clothes, food, gear, etc loaded you could be very well bumping up against your capacity or exceeding it.
 

thewanderingeight

Active Member
Don't forget that anything you have loaded in your truck may be subtracting from your towing capacity due to the GCVWR.

With our previous RV, we were well within our towing capacity when looking at just tow weight, but after weighing the RV and van and figuring out the different weights, we were about 1k pounds over the GCVWR. This was definitely a contributing factor in why we decided to upgrade our setup. The van would have had to be pretty much empty of cargo and passengers to achieve the full towing capacity Nissan has listed.
 

woods555

Member
Hello, I made my first trip towing my MPG, Teardrop, with a 2001 Ford Ranger. It has auto trans and a v6 4.0 engine. I used overdrive when possible and when going up hills I used 4th and kept the rpm at 3000 . I think the transmission might have over heated. The RV states that the dry weight is 3750 and the Ranger states it can tow 4300 lbs. The RV was not over 4000 lbs. My question is, Although I was in limits of the owners manual could I be pushing the limits of the trucks capabilities? Thank you for your help.
Thank you for your time. I went to the scale today and the RV is 3000 lbs. We add about 350 lbs. in supplies and that includes my dog Boomer. I don't get water until we are to a site. I don't know if I should add the wife and my weight. If so that's about 320 lbs. Total of 3670 lbs. max. The owners manual states 4300 lbs max tow weight. I could be forgetting something but I don't think so. Except for the sway bar and the weight leveling unit and hitch. If I add that, maybe 120 lbs. So 3790 lbs. Is that pushing it? Thanks again for your input. Rick
 

Bogie

Well-known member
Did you weigh the trailer with it connected to the vehicle? If yes, the weight of the RV would only be what is on the wheels. Up to 20% of the RV's weight could be on the bumper of the tow vehicle. So a little assumption here. If the dry weight of the trailer is listed as 3750 lbs, 20% of that is 750 lbs. So weighing in at 3000 lbs. would put you right at the dry weight on the sticker.

So. 3750 + 350(supplies) + 320 (passengers) puts you at 4420 lbs. Already over the rating of the Ford Ranger and you haven't included the weight of fuel yet.

So sounds like your are over the GCVWR. The other factor is the Ford Ranger is more than 20 years old. Quite possible the transmission is slipping.
 

CoveredWagon

Well-known member
You said you weighed the rv st 3000 lbs. I assume that is at the wheels, but did you weigh the truck with the trailer attached? If so how much did this add to the truck weight? You need all of the weights to know the total weight.i find it hard to believe the factory weight is 3750 but you are only getting a weight of 3000 lbs.
I'm sorry but that is too much trailer for a 20 year old Ranger.
 

woods555

Member
Did you weigh the trailer with it connected to the vehicle? If yes, the weight of the RV would only be what is on the wheels. Up to 20% of the RV's weight could be on the bumper of the tow vehicle. So a little assumption here. If the dry weight of the trailer is listed as 3750 lbs, 20% of that is 750 lbs. So weighing in at 3000 lbs. would put you right at the dry weight on the sticker.

So. 3750 + 350(supplies) + 320 (passengers) puts you at 4420 lbs. Already over the rating of the Ford Ranger and you haven't included the weight of fuel yet.

So sounds like your are over the GCVWR. The other factor is the Ford Ranger is more than 20 years old. Quite possible the transmission is slipping.
Thanks for the help. First off, dam I'm stupid. I had to leave the RV attached to the Ranger to weight it and had the Ranger off the scale. I will go back and weigh the Ranger and RV together. They won't let me weight the RV by it self as the scales are used for other business. Your right it's going to be up there around 3800 lbs. Do you think the v-6 is too weak? BTW I spent ten years at Top Gun and while driving back I was thinking, what if I put a wing on top of the RV. Then the faster I drove the lighter the RV would get. lol Thank you again.
 

Bogie

Well-known member
Thanks for the help. First off, dam I'm stupid. I had to leave the RV attached to the Ranger to weight it and had the Ranger off the scale. I will go back and weigh the Ranger and RV together. They won't let me weight the RV by it self as the scales are used for other business. Your right it's going to be up there around 3800 lbs. Do you think the v-6 is too weak? BTW I spent ten years at Top Gun and while driving back I was thinking, what if I put a wing on top of the RV. Then the faster I drove the lighter the RV would get. lol Thank you again.
In my mind it's more about being over the GCVWR of the truck. You have to be concerned about stability issues and the ability to stop in an emergency situation. Though it's an extreme case, look at this recent article in the link below. Bad things can happen when you exceed the rating of the vehicle.

https://mynews4.com/news/local/driver-towing-37k-pound-yacht-experienced-severe-brake-failure-causing-deadly-carson-crash
 
Hello, I made my first trip towing my MPG, Teardrop, with a 2001 Ford Ranger. It has auto trans and a v6 4.0 engine. I used overdrive when possible and when going up hills I used 4th and kept the rpm at 3000 . I think the transmission might have over heated. The RV states that the dry weight is 3750 and the Ranger states it can tow 4300 lbs. The RV was not over 4000 lbs. My question is, Although I was in limits of the owners manual could I be pushing the limits of the trucks capabilities? Thank you for your help.
Don't use overdrive. That will cause the overheating. I have a Ram 1500. There is a button I push called tow and haul. It takes away 8th gear. Other wise your transmission is constantly shifting back and forth.
 

CoveredWagon

Well-known member
My guess is the 20 year old truck is kinda tired as far as pulling a trailer of any size any distance goes. That engine is going to be working itself to death and the transmission is going along with it. Personally I'm not even in favor of towing with even the new turbo V6. My kids found out why.
 

RickL

Well-known member
Hello, I made my first trip towing my MPG, Teardrop, with a 2001 Ford Ranger. It has auto trans and a v6 4.0 engine. I used overdrive when possible and when going up hills I used 4th and kept the rpm at 3000 . I think the transmission might have over heated. The RV states that the dry weight is 3750 and the Ranger states it can tow 4300 lbs. The RV was not over 4000 lbs. My question is, Although I was in limits of the owners manual could I be pushing the limits of the trucks capabilities? Thank you for your help.
I would not recommend towing in overdrive. If you noticed especially in hilly areas the transmission more then likely was “hunting and pecking” (downshifting and upshifting) trying to find an acceptable rpm for the engine/transmission. This causes excessive wear. Also, keep in mind there is more then weight to be concerned about, there frontal area. If you were to do some research on your ranger you may find that with your frontal area that the weight will be greatly reduced.
 

marknewbill

Well-known member
Have you looked at the trans fluid and smelled it? it would smell burned and be brown if you had overheated it much. Sorry, wont be much more help than that since Im not an expert on the ranger in particular.
 

woods555

Member
Don't use overdrive. That will cause the overheating. I have a Ram 1500. There is a button I push called tow and haul. It takes away 8th gear. Other wise your transmission is constantly shifting back and forth.
Thank you for the info. We are looking for a Ford F-150.
 
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