Questions on Truck Engine Size - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-12-2007, 05:44 PM   #1
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Hello, all. I am seriously considering purchasing a 5th wheel and am getting conflicting input on the size of the tow vehicles' engine. I have seen posts where they say they are using 3.0 liter and some that say 4.0 liter 4X4. I have looked at the towing info for the Ford Ranger 3.0 liter and it seems like it should do the job.

Right now I don't have a tow vehicle so I want the best info I can before I start shopping.

Any advice?

Thanks,

Rick
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:58 PM   #2
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My first question to you is what type of 5th wheel.If its a FG unit then i would think any 6cly small truck would be ok,but check tow rating first.Others will chime in with there thoughts.
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Old 09-12-2007, 07:01 PM   #3
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My first question to you is what type of 5th wheel.If its a FG unit then i would think any 6cly small truck would be ok,but check tow rating first.Others will chime in with there thoughts.
Chester, I should have added that in my initial post.

Scamp 19ft 5th wheel.
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Old 09-12-2007, 07:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Hello, all. I am seriously considering purchasing a 5th wheel and am getting conflicting input on the size of the tow vehicles' engine. I have seen posts where they say they are using 3.0 liter and some that say 4.0 liter 4X4. I have looked at the towing info for the Ford Ranger 3.0 liter and it seems like it should do the job.

Right now I don't have a tow vehicle so I want the best info I can before I start shopping.

Any advice

Thanks,?
A friend and myself each bought a new Ford pickup at the same time back in 1990. At the time we both had self contained slidein campers.
Bud bought the big V-8 and spent about $3000.00 more than I did. I bought a 6 cylinder and got about 8 mpg better than he did all year long. His ONLY advantage was when we went camping in the MTs together about 6 or 7 times a year he could go up the long grades at about 60 mph while I was restricted to about 50 mph.

My advice is to not forget what you will be using your rig for MOST of the time. Is 60 mph up a long grade a few time a year worth the extra fuel and initial cost?
One last peice of advice. Consider a Toyota.

Good luck,
John
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Old 09-12-2007, 07:45 PM   #5
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Hi: My choice would be the Ford Ranger 4.0 ltr. V6 4X2 pickup. 4X4's just take more gas $$$$'s to fix and more to go wrong. The price diff. btween Ranger and Toyota is also significant!!! My two cents worth
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:21 PM   #6
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There's no right answer in general to how large the engine needs to be, because individual engine designs of the same displacement vary greatly, and even installation of the same engine in different vehicles have very different abilities to handle heavy loads.

For the 2007 Ford Ranger specifically, a 3.0L in any configuration only has a Gross Combined Weight Rating of 6000 lb, according to Ford's online specs. I'm surprised by how light the truck is, but it still weighs enough that according to Ford the remaining capacity (GCWR minus truck and an average driver) leaves only 2280 lb to 2600 lb (depending on truck version) in which you need to fit:
  • passengers
  • cargo
  • trailer
  • everything in the trailer
Scamp says a bare Scamp 19' with no options (and probably no water or propane) weighs 2000 lb, leaving 300 to 600 lb for everything else. I can't believe that's enough for an average user of a 19' trailer. My guess is that some Scamp 19's will hit the limit for a 3.0 Ranger with no passengers, no luggage, no food, and not even sheets for the beds.

Even my front-wheel-drive Toyota minivan has a far higher GCWR than a 3.0L Ranger; in a Ranger, I would certainly choose the 4.0L, with a vastly higher GCWR (9500 lb), and EPA fuel consumption ratings within 1 mpg of the 3.0L. While not towing, the real economy seems unlikely to be much worse than the 3.0, and while towing the 4.0 might even be better.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:46 PM   #7
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... in a Ranger, I would certainly choose the 4.0L, with a vastly higher GCWR (9500 lb)...
That's the GCWR for an automatic transmission. Why would the GCWR be 2,500 lb less with a manual transmission?

Jeanne
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:42 PM   #8
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Reace @ Escape designed his 5.0 to be drug behing a 4.0L Muzda/Ford 2 whd! Works well too, from what I am led to believe...
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:53 PM   #9
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I towed a Scamp 19' Custom Deluxe with an '01 Chevy S10 4DR 4WD with the 4.3L V6, and an automatic trans. They were a very good match.

Roger
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:57 PM   #10
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I ran across a guy fulltiming in Scamp 5 towing with a Toyota Tacoma 4 cylinder.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:08 PM   #11
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That's the GCWR for an automatic transmission. Why would the GCWR be 2,500 lb less with a manual transmission?

Jeanne
The clutch is the weak spot in the small trucks with manual transmissions. They're little bitty things. I had an '87 Bronco with a Mazda 5 spd manual transmission. It had a 1500 lb tow rating. The same V6 Bronco with an automatic was rated at 5,000 lbs or some equally outrageous amount.

Roger
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:58 PM   #12
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But L K at this, its a four cylinder Pinto powered (auto trannied) model A replica that regularily tows a 17ft. Escape here in B.C.
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:02 AM   #13
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There's no right answer in general to how large the engine needs to be, because individual engine designs of the same displacement vary greatly, and even installation of the same engine in different vehicles have very different abilities to handle heavy loads.

For the 2007 Ford Ranger specifically, a 3.0L in any configuration only has a Gross Combined Weight Rating of 6000 lb, according to Ford's online specs.
We tow our Scamp 5er -- which weighs around 3000lbs ready to roll, gross combined weight with truck, trailer, gas, gear, wife and a dog around 7000lbs -- with our 3.0L Ford Ranger without any real problems. We're a little slow up the steeper hills is all.

One thing to be aware of is axle ratios. Trucks with the same model, body, transmission and engine may have different axles that affect the vehicle's towing capacity and gas mileage. There are four different axles available on the Year 2000 Ford Ranger we bought, and two different options for the same body, engine, and transmission combination we purchased, and each engine/axle/body style has a different tow rating. The truck and axle combination we bought is rated for 3940lbs towing, GCVW of 7500lbs.

Most salesmen, and particularly used car sales guys, have absolutely no clue when it comes to axle ratios and towing capacity. The best they can do is look it up online, which gets them the rating for the lowest-capacity combination. We had to know our stuff in advance, and it turned out that the Ford VIN number could be decoded to reveal both the exact engine (we wanted an E-85 "Flex-Fuel" capable engine) and the axle ratio. We had to keep all of this in mind while we were looking for a used truck for towing our trailer, and would always call ahead to get a candidate vehicle's VIN number before driving out to look at a promising-sounding candidate.

In our case it turned out that many "fleet" trucks shipped with the body, axle and engine combo we were looking for, and (lucky us) Fleet trucks are even white to match our Scamp.

--P
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:07 PM   #14
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Roger nailed the manual-versus-automatic issue in general. In the 2007 Ford Ranger specifically, as published by Ford, there is a difference (yes, 7000 lb manual versus 9500 lb auto, or 2500 lb) only with the 4.0 L. I suspect that the same transmission comes with both V6 engines, and its clutch can only withstand the stress of getting 7000 lb moving; that's not an issue with the 3.0 (the engine is good for only 6000 lb anyway), but becomes the limiting factor with the 4.0.

Sorry, I assumed an automatic, because almost everyone would choose that for this service. Personally, I prefer manual transmissions for most driving, so I should have thought to mention that. Even an manual 4.0 Ranger is rated 1000 lb higher GCWR than any 3.0.

Peter has a good point regarding final drive (axle) ratios; however, in the current published Ranger specs there are no GCWR changes with ratio (given the same engine). The payload/trailer capacities vary slightly by ratio, just because those different ratios come in differently equipped trucks, which weigh different amounts. Anyone who is seriously interested could take Peter's approach, or look at the actual owners manual, or both.

I don't doubt that Peter's 3.0 has served well. I do expect that given current specifications, a 3.0 will be substantially less reliable under this loading than a 4.0, and I would not consider it reasonable to expect a 2007 3.0L Ranger to be reliable in the long run when towing a loaded Scamp 19'.

Peter, thanks for the weight reality check!
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