F150 for towing Scamp 13, no bath. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-02-2016, 06:15 PM   #1
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Name: Lyle
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F150 for towing Scamp 13, no bath.

Been trying to get some answers and get a lot of conflicting info. I know the best place to ask would be the Ford Dealership, but I went through a hassle with getting cruise control added, and got plenty of conflicting answers from one dealer to another on that, so just wondering if any of you guys/gals have first hand experience.

I have a 2014 F150, no tow package. Does have a slightly upgraded GVWR package than standard. The maximum trailer weight is 8700 lb as equipped. The hitch that is on it has a 6000 lb max weight with a 600 lb max tongue weight, so these are my effective limits.

I will add, I bought the truck second hand, but VERY low mileage. It was orginally a UHaul rental truck, and the hitch is a UHaul hitch. The truck is from Arizona.

My trailer is a 1999 Scamp 13 with a front bathroom, but no actual shower. no water heater, no holding tanks other than the fresh water.

The trailer is WELL below my max towing ability, but I wonder if, even with that overkill on tow vehicle, should I consider getting a aux transmission cooler installed? I would like to take the trailer out west, so mountains/desert are distinct possibilities. Possibly to Alaska as well. I don't want to risk doing anything to potentially void the truck warranty.

Next, does anyone know if a brake controller can be added to the 2014 F150. Some things I've read is that if it didn't come with a tow package, the Ford controller cannot be added after market. Does anyone know if that is the case? Could a third party controller be added even if the Ford version cannot?

The reason I ask, is that I think the Scamp may need a new axle in the not too distant future, and If I get a new one, I will probably get brakes at the same time, but would then need the brake controller.

Final question, has anyone added surge brakes to a Scamp as an alternative?
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Old 01-02-2016, 06:39 PM   #2
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You don't mention where you live, but in some states trailer brakes are required at 1500 lbs, a weight your Scamp already exceeds. With that thought, did you look to see if it had brakes installed but not connected? Our 2002 13' Scamp with the same configuration had brakes from the factory


Surge brakes are much more complicated to add and will require some frame modifications, The only FGRV I am away of with surge brakes is the Little Snoozy and I expect that's only because a boat trailer company builds the frames for them.


BTW: Surge brakes have a number of disadvantages, one of them being that you can't apply just trailer brake to stop sway


Did you look on a forum for your TV about adding a controller?
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Old 01-02-2016, 06:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
Been trying to get some answers and get a lot of conflicting info. I know the best place to ask would be the Ford Dealership, but I went through a hassle with getting cruise control added, and got plenty of conflicting answers from one dealer to another on that, so just wondering if any of you guys/gals have first hand experience.

I have a 2014 F150, no tow package. Does have a slightly upgraded GVWR package than standard. The maximum trailer weight is 8700 lb as equipped. The hitch that is on it has a 6000 lb max weight with a 600 lb max tongue weight, so these are my effective limits.

I will add, I bought the truck second hand, but VERY low mileage. It was orginally a UHaul rental truck, and the hitch is a UHaul hitch. The truck is from Arizona.

My trailer is a 1999 Scamp 13 with a front bathroom, but no actual shower. no water heater, no holding tanks other than the fresh water.

The trailer is WELL below my max towing ability, but I wonder if, even with that overkill on tow vehicle, should I consider getting a aux transmission cooler installed? I would like to take the trailer out west, so mountains/desert are distinct possibilities. Possibly to Alaska as well. I don't want to risk doing anything to potentially void the truck warranty.

Next, does anyone know if a brake controller can be added to the 2014 F150. Some things I've read is that if it didn't come with a tow package, the Ford controller cannot be added after market. Does anyone know if that is the case? Could a third party controller be added even if the Ford version cannot?

The reason I ask, is that I think the Scamp may need a new axle in the not too distant future, and If I get a new one, I will probably get brakes at the same time, but would then need the brake controller.

Final question, has anyone added surge brakes to a Scamp as an alternative?

It never hurts to have a transmission cooler, although it is probably not needed for a Scamp 13. But if it were me, I would add it anyway. The F150 transmission should run around 200 degrees F when not towing. The closer you can keep it to this temperature, the better.

I don't know where you got your information about the brake controller but it is wrong. Any Ford dealer can install the OEM controller. I had one added to my 2012 F150 and I have an acquaintance who just had one added to a 2015. It fits in an opening on the dash at approximately 4:00 on the steering wheel, and it is a great controller.


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Old 01-02-2016, 06:56 PM   #4
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Adding a controller is easy. You may have the plug and play connection already under the dash/kick panel even though it didn't have the factory tow package added from the get go. I do believe they use one "loaded" wiring harness in all of them so that any options ordered can be used as needed. I wouldn't worry about a tranny cooler but electric brakes are a good idea, YMMV.
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:01 PM   #5
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For the brake controller, there are 2 scenarios possible:
1. Ford placed a nice plug below the dash and installing a brake controller is a 10 minute affair.
2. Installing a brake controller is a 1-2 hour affair to run from scratch, but very doable. A site like Trailer Hitches & Vehicle Accessories (800)298-8924 would be especially helpful if this is the case.


I have an 04 Ranger and had the 2nd scenario.


Ok, I couldn't help myself and looked up your vehicle on etrailer.
Looks like it is likely "plug and play". Lucky dog.
https://www.etrailer.com/bc-2014_For...factory+4-Flat
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
Been trying to get some answers and get a lot of conflicting info. I know the best place to ask would be the Ford Dealership, but I went through a hassle with getting cruise control added, and got plenty of conflicting answers from one dealer to another on that, so just wondering if any of you guys/gals have first hand experience....
So, as you found, the dealerships are, in fact, NOT the best place to ask. In fact neither is this forum.. or even the technical advisers for the auto makers. I can tell you that they all have given me bad advice. It should not be so hard but the truth is you have to go to all these sources, and use your judgement to figure out the truth.

After they installed an aftermarket hitch receiver on my car, I had the service manager at a large Toyota dealership tell me that Toyota did not make a hitch receiver for for my Highlander, and thats why they used after market. And when I gave him the actual Toyota part number, he stayed with that story. So we went to the parts guy and he looked up the part number I gave him. I loved the look on the service manager's face when the parts guy told him it was the Toyota OEM hitch receiver for my Highlander. well duh !

And a Toyota technical advisor told me on the phone that there is a wiring harness for a trailer brake controller in my Toyota Sienna. He told me it was under the left side kick panel. Guess what! WRONG! The Sienna does not have a connector for a trailer brake controller.

While the internet forums have also steered me wrong from time to time, they actually were helpful... more helpful than Toyota employees in fact.

Sorry that I don't have any answers for you. Just know that I feel your pain.

PS... Check out etrailer.com
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:20 PM   #7
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Name: Lyle
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This is the portion of the Michigan Vehicle Code in regard to required equipment:

"A new motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer sold in this state and operated upon the highways shall be equipped with brakes on all wheels, except a motorcycle or moped, and except that a semitrailer, pole trailer, or trailer of less than 3,000 pounds gross weight need not be equipped with brakes if the gross weight of a trailer or pole trailer, no part of the load of which rests upon the towing vehicle, does not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle, and if the gross weight of the towing vehicle and the gross weight of a semitrailer or pole trailer, part of the load of which rests upon the towing vehicle, does not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the semitrailer or pole trailer. This subdivision does not apply to a trailer or semitrailer owned by a farmer and used exclusively in connection with the farming operations of the farmer and not used for hire."

What I get out of this, is that, as long as the trailer isn't more than 40% of the weight of the tow vehicle, it does not need brakes as long as it is under 3000 lbs.

The Ford Truck forums are where I have been getting most of the conflicting info.

This is how they write laws to keep the attorneys active, most legislators are attorneys after all.
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:33 PM   #8
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Thanks, I know that the brake controller should be easy if the wiring harness is included, but I got varying stories about if it was, indeed, included in builds without the tow package. Guess I'll take it in to the dealership that was able to install the cruise control, and get a price from them.

I'll take a closer look under the trailer to see if it has brakes tomorrow. I would like to have them.

I always understood that applying the trailer brakes was a good option if the trailer began to sway, however the Ford Trailer Towing Guide contradicts this. Perhaps it has something to do with the Ford automatic sway control. This is the quote from Ford:

– If your trailer starts to sway, apply brake pedal
gradually. The sliding lever on the TBC should
be used only for manual activation of trailer
brakes when adjusting the gain. Misuse, such
as application during trailer sway, could cause
instability of trailer and/or tow vehicle
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Old 01-02-2016, 07:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LyleB View Post
This is the portion of the Michigan Vehicle Code in regard to required equipment:

"A new motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer sold in this state and operated upon the highways shall be equipped with brakes on all wheels, except a motorcycle or moped, and except that a semitrailer, pole trailer, or trailer of less than 3,000 pounds gross weight need not be equipped with brakes if the gross weight of a trailer or pole trailer, no part of the load of which rests upon the towing vehicle, does not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle, and if the gross weight of the towing vehicle and the gross weight of a semitrailer or pole trailer, part of the load of which rests upon the towing vehicle, does not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the semitrailer or pole trailer. This subdivision does not apply to a trailer or semitrailer owned by a farmer and used exclusively in connection with the farming operations of the farmer and not used for hire."

What I get out of this, is that, as long as the trailer isn't more than 40% of the weight of the tow vehicle, it does not need brakes as long as it is under 3000 lbs.

The Ford Truck forums are where I have been getting most of the conflicting info.

This is how they write laws to keep the attorneys active, most legislators are attorneys after all.
I am sure that your information is correct for Michigan, but as some states, such as California set the limit at 1500 lbs., and NY sets it at 1000 lbs., there must be a reason for the lower limits that has been learned from experience in those states. I'd opt for safety and would never tow a trailer weighing even 1500 lbs, much less close to 3000 lbs., without brakes.
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:38 PM   #10
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I always understood that applying the trailer brakes was a good option if the trailer began to sway, however the Ford Trailer Towing Guide contradicts this. Perhaps it has something to do with the Ford automatic sway control. This is the quote from Ford:

If your trailer starts to sway, apply brake pedal
gradually. The sliding lever on the TBC should
be used only for manual activation of trailer
brakes when adjusting the gain. Misuse, such
as application during trailer sway, could cause
instability of trailer and/or tow vehicle
[/QUOTE]

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ford is only contradicting what has been a general practice for more than 50 years. If this causes a problem with their sway control system I would get an answer from Ford as to WHAT & WHY!
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:14 PM   #11
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I didn't think the internet had been around for 50 years.
I'm curious. Maybe we should do a poll asking how many people had actually manually applied the brakes in a sway situation and if it worked for them.
I know where the lever is and I know the theory, but if I ever found myself in that situation, I think I'd be too busy.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
I didn't think the internet had been around for 50 years.

Well, there was some information before the internet.... LOL
And I have been towing for a lot longer than the internet has been around.


And YES, I have used trailer brakes to stabilize sway, most often after an 18 wheeler passes at a substantially higher speed. The option of accelerating to stop sway isn't always available when there is traffic in front of you. Ditto for when going downhill and someone pulls out in front of you.


On earlier controls, that tied into the TV's hydraulic lines, there was a long lever provided for manual trailer braking.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:32 PM   #13
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Surprise, there was information before the internet.... LOL
And I have been towing for a lot longer than the internet has been around.
So back to the poll, have you ever applied the theory in practice?
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Old 01-02-2016, 10:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
So back to the poll, have you ever applied the theory in practice?
Yes, as mentioned in my last post
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