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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Towing a 2640lb 16ft TT with a Ford Ranger 4.0L?

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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 01/05/20 01:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Ranger shouldn't have any trouble with that trailer provided your expectations of it are in line with its performance.
But appears others know more about its potential downsides than I.
Regardless of the specifics of this particular model, you're looking for something that's 20 years old and even if you're very mechanically inclined and have a lot of tools, it could quickly and cost as much to repair as it cost to purchase. If you don't, anything beyond simple repairs could be cost prohibitive.
Meaning, on a serious budget, it's not as much about the brand or model you buy, or the gas mileage, nearly as much as it is about finding a suitable vehicle in the best possible condition and best maintenance you can afford.
It is about finding one that doesn't have known major flaws, or ensure the flaws have been rectified (like the timing chain thing with the 4.0s apparently).
It's also about finding something that isn't going to be at its now 20 year old limits doing the towing.
Unless you're putting on a LOT of miles, fuel mileage won't make as big a dent in your finances as even one significant repair. So don't let a few mpg cloud your judgement over getting the right vehicle.
On that note, Trailblazers are not known to be super relaible either. Personally, I'd look for a 2wd 1/2 ton. It'll get nearly the same mileage and the truck won't even breathe heavy pulling that little trailer, which is better on aged or aging components.
If I was buying the easiest to repair, most reliable and also capable truck on a budget, I'd be looking for a GMT 400, 90s model Chevy/GMC. And if you're lucky to find a manual trans one, particularly one with a NV4500 trans, that would be ideal.
Good luck truck shopping. And cool looking camper!


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

GrandpaKip

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Posted: 01/05/20 09:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi and welcome to the group.
I had a ‘99 Mazda B3000 4x4 Crewcab and towed a 2500# popup for a couple of years here in the mountains. I often wished it had the 4L. Up here, you will not see that 21mpg. Maybe on a run down I95 to Florida. Figure on 15 to 17 mpg in town.
You will definitely be slow coming up the Saluda Grade on I26 or up to Black Mountain on I40.
If you find a well maintained Ranger or B4000 with a factory tow package, it should be fine to pull that trailer.
It was 26 degrees this morning. You think you will be warm enough in there?
Enjoy your new toy.


Kip
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Posted: 01/05/20 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just to be clear, I am not knocking the truck and it’s performance with the 4 L engine, I am just passing along a word of caution that this is a major potential repair that usually shows up between 130,000-160,000 miles, so used shopper beware. I currently own one in my 2006 explorer that I bought new and maintained religiously, and tow my 3,000 pound trailer with it. I have known a few people who were able to get to 180,000 or so before failure but those are the exception. I have known a few people who were able to get to 180,000 or so before failure but those are the exception. It is a poor design because Ford converted an old push rod motor into overhead cam motor, so there was a lot of modification required. They cheaped out with the brilliant idea of using the exact same cylinder head (with different camshafts) for both sides of the motor, and that is why the sprocket for the passenger side head is on the backside of the motor with access blocked by the transmission.


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 01/06/20 10:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FWIW, when looking for old vehicles (private party sales only, as I assess the owner as much as the vehicle when buying), I use key words like "grandma", "grandpa", "low miles", etc.
You also preferably want something you can see maint records on, and a vehicle in seemingly good shape with a stack of repairs performed is generally better than the "I never had any problems, never had to fix anything" type vehicles. As those are generally the ones that owners are dumping rather than sticking money into for needed or relatively imminent repairs.
Last purchase yielded a 2001 Tahoe with only 105k miles on it for about $1000 less than book value. Seller had 2 more calls from people wanting to look at it just on the 15min test drive we went on. It is in quite good shape. But to be fair, even with this one, I've put about $500 into maint and small repairs which realistically would have easily cost 4-5x as much if all done in a repair shop.
To find the "right" vehicle, you have to be quick and have cash on hand (or at least earnest money). While you're looking for your next vehicle, there are many more folks doing the same and even more used car flippers that are very quick to act.
I'm providing my opinion on this, as "budget" vehicles can easily break your budget if they're not right.

Another good option in that class/age is a S10/S15 with the 4.3 V6. Pretty bulletproof engine, simple to work on and as any, if you can find a manual trans truck with a good clutch, it's better money spent than on an unknown auto trans, IMO.

Jebby14

Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 01/07/20 05:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

don't expect good mileage with the 4.0. I would go with a modern half ton if you are worried about mileage. any will handle that trailer even with the smaller motors. watch payload if you are living in it especially with older smaller tow vehicles. my 2002 jeep WJ would have been a good match for that trailer also though not the most efficient vehicle.


If it moves and it shouldn't..... duct tape
if it doesn't move and it should.....WD40
if all else fails .....BFH


Bols2DawaLL

SW. Ontario

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Posted: 01/08/20 10:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

how about a Chevy Traverse or GMC Acadia with tow package , both ride like a big car with decent fuel consumption .

dodge guy

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Posted: 01/08/20 06:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldn't use either of those. Those are more care based and have the 3.6 motor which is know to have timing chain issues.
Fuel mileage and towing don't go together. Even if it gets great mileage not towing, it will get terrible mileage towing. I would seriously look at a full size SUV.


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jfkmk

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Posted: 01/08/20 06:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My dad had a 2008 (I think, somewhere around that vintage) and it was the biggest piece of cr@p he ever owned. It was the 4L with 4WD. It broke down constantly. Most of his driving was around town (but not city driving) and he was lucky to get 15 mpg. Also, no factory tow package, at least not on his truck.

I had an 06 GMC Envoy that I towed a 3500# tt with. Body on frame SUV, 4WD, and I think they all came with a factory tow package. It had a very torquey straight 6 that pulled the tt with ease. Yeah, it had some nickel and dime types of issues, but with you tube it was all diy repairs.

They’re still around and relatively cheap.

RustyMacIntosh

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Posted: 01/09/20 04:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My oldest son has a VW Tourag V-10 diesel. It has something like 500lbs of torque or close to it.

The key to that SUV is not to break it. While the engine is a marvel of technology, to replace the alternator the engine and trans have to be removed. BUT, it tows a huge Airstream with ease and gets decent mileage.

Jebby14

Windsor Ontario

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Posted: 01/09/20 06:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP? you still around?

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