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Open Roads Forum  >  Dinghy Towing

 > Flat Towing a Ford Ranger

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j-d

Sunny Florida USA

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Posted: 07/13/09 07:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many new vehicles have a Ritual and/or Limitations on flat towing. Honda CRV for example. There's a setup ritual for the transmission and it has to be repeated so many miles/so many hours.

Ford Ranger 2WD w/5-speed manual simply says "Neutral, Unlimited Distance" but there's also "Recommended Max Speed 55MPH." I wondered if you thought the 55 was based on the vehicle itself or simply a lawyer/liability kind of clause. We don't run our coach much faster than that most of the time, but if I had a warranty issue and they claimed I towed it too fast, how would I be able to prove I didn't?

My guess is 55 is a made-up number and we could tow and nearly any speed for the 50-100 miles we usually travel. And if longer trips ran faster, stop and idle in neutral for a few minutes like Nissan Frontier says to do every 500 miles, but with no max speed listed.

Appreciate any thoughts you have. THANKS!


If God's Your Co-Pilot Move Over, jd
2003 Jayco Escapade 31A on 2002 Ford E450 V10 4R100 218" WB

brobox

Sunny SW. Florida

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Posted: 07/13/09 07:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just my thoughts, But I think the 55 MPH number is a manufactures CYA number. If it's not safe to tow over 55 MPH then it is not safe to be driven over 55 MPH.


Chuck
02 Travel Supreme, 2 street side slides
09 Toyota Tacoma 2WD


j-d

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Posted: 07/13/09 02:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

brobox, I agree with you on the CYA.
Since I see you tow a Tacoma, would you be willing to look in your Owner's Manual and see what they say about "recreational towing" for the 09 Tacoma...? The one I'm interested in is 2WD with 5-speed manual transmission. I think the 4*4s are OK whether manual or automatic and the 2WD automatic is not OK...the 2WD manual isn't as clear to me.
If you like, send me an email or PM.
THANKS!

brobox

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Posted: 07/13/09 06:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

J-D, I won't have to look in the openers manual for what it says about RV towing. It says "NO". None of the Toyota's are approved for towing. However, I talked with so many people that are towing them, that I felt safe to do the driveshaft disconnect. I also spoke with the service manger at my local dealer and he said they have a lot of them come in with towing equipment (I live in Snowbird country) and have not seen any problems due to towing. The only problem they have seen is one dummy welded a Remco to the rear end housing and cooked the rear end bearing. I didn't like any of the "ready towable" mid size trucks, so I went with a Tacoma and couldn't be happier.

Chuck

j-d wrote:

brobox, I agree with you on the CYA.
Since I see you tow a Tacoma, would you be willing to look in your Owner's Manual and see what they say about "recreational towing" for the 09 Tacoma...? The one I'm interested in is 2WD with 5-speed manual transmission. I think the 4*4s are OK whether manual or automatic and the 2WD automatic is not OK...the 2WD manual isn't as clear to me.
If you like, send me an email or PM.
THANKS!


j-d

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Posted: 07/13/09 10:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Chuck, I know what you mean about ready towable. I'm going to take a look at Nissan Frontier, manual transmission towable any speed but stop and idle the engine for a couple minutes every 500 miles. That doesn't seem unreasonable.
The Ford Ranger is compact, light, maneuverable. But hard riding! Reincarnation of my 1988 Mitsubishi Mighty Max but with power steering. I drove Suzuki Equator today. It's a Frontier with a Zuki badge on it. Very nice, solid truck. When I got home, I had an Email from Roadmaster telling me Frontier baseplates won't work on Equator and they don't plan to make a baseplate for it. Grille, bumper and fascia areas are quite a little different.
Ah well, case pends. Thanks for the info!

brobox

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Posted: 07/13/09 10:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

j-d,
That was going to be my second choice was the Frontier, but the auto still needed modification, so I went with the Tacoma. I wouldn't worry about running it for a few minutes after 500 miles of towing. Heck, 400 miles is a long travel day for me, so starting in the evening after stopping for the night would be no big deal. I run my Tacoma in the evening now, if I remember, just to keep the battery charged as I tow with the key in Acc. I towed for 3 days without starting it or turning the key off and it still started fine.

DesertHawk

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Posted: 07/13/09 11:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In the late 1990s, I towed our Ford Ranger 2WD w/5-speed manual trans behind a Ford F-350 C-class MH several times. I am sure I went over 55 mph. No ill effects. I never thought to read the Owners Manual. However, the longest tow was some 200+ miles going most on an interstate & perhaps 400 or more on the return trip, less on the interstate.


DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
*2015 Lance 1985~Casita de Campo~23' 4" Tongue to Bumper, Dinette Slide
160 watt Solar Panel/GoPower! Solar Controller
*2009 White Ford F-150 Reg. Cab
Long Bed with A.R.E. Molded Fiberglass Topper
*Previously~ 2005 16' Scamp


j-d

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Posted: 07/14/09 06:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Agree that 4-500 miles is a long day for an RVer. I think we looked at a car once that wanted 200 miles and that seemed too much.
We want a manual transmission whether we tow it or not and I thought most manuals would tow OK. But I know there's a design difference where some don't have a shaft spinning where it'll sling oil.
Last two vehicles we towed didn't have owner manual references and we just put it in neutral and hooked up with no ill effects.
Haven't driven a manual shift Frontier, so I'll get out and do that. It's starting to look like the Ranger may be the winner. I like it being smaller and lighter. Looks easier to repair and maintain too. It also seems to have a quirky personality that matches up well with my own...

tatest

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Posted: 07/15/09 08:10pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My guess is the 55 mph is a handling safety speed, with considerable margin, rather than a towing drivetrain issue. 55 mph or 60 mph is a fairly common recommendation, the legal limit for towing anything in several states. You won't find any manufacturer saying "recommended for towing up to 80 mph."

This is based on how my two Rangers have handled at highway speeds. Take one out for a test drive, run it up to 55 mph on a crowned or rutted back road, take your hands off the wheel. See how long you want to leave your hands off the wheel.

I'd be more comfortable towing a car faster, with a 10,000 pound rated towbar, than with a 3500 pound rated towbar. That towbar is all that is keeping the tow in line, nobody's back there steering it.


Tom Test
Itasca Spirit 29B


j-d

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Posted: 07/15/09 08:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tom, Agree with your conclusion. BTW I tried to PM you about towing a Ranger because I knew you had one. But your PM seemed to be off again.
We decided to buy a Nissan Frontier, and I'm about to post a question about the best source for a Roadmaster baseplate for it. RVExit is the one on eBay with a good price on any XL or MX model.

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