2015 Ford F-150: Towing Nearly 5,000 Pounds
April 9, 2015
I thought I was going to be the first person in the office to tow something with our long-term 2015 Ford F-150, but Jay Kavanagh beat me to the punch. Our trips were two weeks apart but nearly identical, as Jay and I both took the F-150 from Los Angeles to Sonoma, California. Our cargo was similar too, although mine was more than 1000 pounds heavier than Jay's haul. Even with the extra weight, the big blue Ford pulled like a champ.
From L.A. to Sonoma, I towed an empty two-axle car trailer and often forgot it was even there. The truck didn't struggle once. Long uphill grades and on-ramps were simple work for the 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6. Thanks to our 36-gallon fuel tank (a $195 option), I made the entire 522-mile trip on one tank of gas.
Towing an empty trailer behind it, the F-150 used 31.8 gallons of fuel, working out to an impressive 16.4 mpg.
On the return trip, I towed an Acura Integra that weighed about 2,600 pounds. To see how close this approached the F-150's maximum weight limit, some math was required.
Since it's a Crew Cab with the 3.73 axle ratio and four-wheel drive, our F-150 has a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 13,300 pounds. That means the weight of the truck, the passengers and the tow load couldn't exceed 13,300 pounds. With a full tank of fuel and no passengers, our long-term F-150 weighs 5,160 pounds. The combined weight of the truck, passengers and gear (700 lbs.), the trailer (2,210 lbs.) and the Integra added up to 10,670 lbs., about 80 percent of the GCWR.
With that much weight behind it, the F-150 was slower of course, but it never felt sluggish or over-stressed. In tow/haul mode, the six-speed automatic transmission controlled shifts well without roaming between gears. Power delivery from the 2.7-liter V6 was particularly impressive going over the Grapevine. Mashing the throttle moved the F-150 forward with purpose, and passing big-rigs on the four-lane highway was easy, even with outside temperatures in the mid-80's and the A/C blowing strong.
I took a shorter, more direct route home while towing the car and trailer, and on that trip the F-150 used 33 gallons over 470 miles, averaging 14.3 mpg. As Jay mentioned in his previous post, the F-150 has features that help monitor the trailer, along with easy-use storage and a comfortable ride along the highway. For my purposes, it couldn't have been an easier journey.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 5,780 miles