2015 Ford F-150: Towing Compared to Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, Part 1
May 12, 2015
Since the Ram and F-150 are direct competitors, it seems appropriate to draw some comparisons. I've divided up the critical components of the job into categories. Today we'll talk Towing Stability.
Towing Stability: Advantage Ram
Tongue weight is a key component in towing stability, so when I first towed with the F-150 I wanted to confirm I had an honest comparison to what we've determined as the Ram's most-stable setup.
First, a little background. When the Ram first towed this car and trailer, the trailer's cargo box was loaded with several hundred pounds of spare parts and a bed full of cargo. Compensating for that additional weight meant loading the nose-heavy car on the trailer backwards for better balance.
It worked. Dan Edmunds, who did the driving during this configuration, reported rock-solid stability. We didn't need to carry the spare gear in subsequent towing sessions, so the car was loaded forward to maintain adequate tongue weight. Stability was excellent in this configuration as well.
Knowing that my first tow with the F-150 would also be with a loaded bed and cargo box (same as the Ram's first time towing the car), I loaded the car backwards. This proved adequate to prevent the F-150's rear end from sagging under the weight of the cargo and trailer, but it's wasn't as stable as I would've liked. On the freeway, the trailer wasn't dangerous, but it influenced the truck heavily when encountering mid-corner bumps at freeway speed.
Steering was also sensitive enough that any quick movement threw both the truck and trailer into a daunting wiggle. The tail wagging the dog, as they say. It was controllable, but it wasn't comfortable.
The solution, I figured, was to load the car forward to increase tongue weight. So at the first opportunity, that's exactly what I did. This increased stability, though still not to the level of the Ram, but it had an almost equally detrimental side effect. The rear of the truck now sagged heavily under the combined weight of the car, trailer and cargo. The F-150 lacks both lateral stability and low-speed damping relative to the Ram, both deficiencies which make it harder to drive while towing.
In short, I prefer the Ram's stability when towing. It's the kind of truck that lets you relax while hauling a genuinely heavy load. It's hard to put a price on that kind of peace of mind.
As a side note, both trucks sag enough even under this trailer's lightest load to compromise the effectiveness of their headlights. Adjustable lamps would go a long way toward making for safer night-towing.
In future installments, I'll discuss power, fuel consumption and towing features.
Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor