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Old 03-06-2012
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Another Towing Thread... RPMS

Going to pick up the new boat next week and had a couple questions. First off, I calculated everything should weigh about 2300ish pounds; this includes boat, trailer, motor, gas, and gear and I have an 04 3.0 edge with tow package. The trip home is about 270 miles mostly all flat road but the first 30 or so miles is constant up and down hills. This isn't my first time towing with my ranger but it will be the largest and longest tow she has seen. The 3.0 is a barbie when it comes to towing so I'm not looking forward to the miserable 4.5 hour drive.

My question is what rpm should I set the cruise control at for the absolute best fuel economy? and should I have overdrive on or off once I get to cruising speed?
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Old 03-06-2012
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Originally Posted by atrocity View Post
Going to pick up the new boat next week and had a couple questions. First off, I calculated everything should weigh about 2300ish pounds; this includes boat, trailer, motor, gas, and gear and I have an 04 3.0 edge with tow package. The trip home is about 270 miles mostly all flat road but the first 30 or so miles is constant up and down hills. This isn't my first time towing with my ranger but it will be the largest and longest tow she has seen. The 3.0 is a barbie when it comes to towing so I'm not looking forward to the miserable 4.5 hour drive.

My question is what rpm should I set the cruise control at for the absolute best fuel economy? and should I have overdrive on or off once I get to cruising speed?
Don't use overdrive... best way to kill any automatic not built for overdrive towing from the factory... I don't even use overdrive towing a load with the 97 Suburban... empty trailer, sure, but loaded one, not a chance. Best yet, read the owner's manual on towing... I bet you it says to never tow in o/d.

You'll be getting less gas mileage in third? (not sure if that's the top gear with o/d off, I drive a stick shift Ranger, not an auto) but you'll save in the long run not having to rebuild the transmission.
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Old 03-06-2012
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overdrive always off when towing.

Just keep it around 60 MPH.

I towed my boat, about the same size once with an 07 3.0 2wd. It did alright. I have the 4.0 now and obviously it does better.
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Old 03-06-2012
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Leave OD off and keep the engine above 2500 rpms if possible. It won't hurt the engine a bit to cruise at 3500-4000rpm for a good distance since you're towing a load.
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Old 03-06-2012
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So I just re-calculated everything and my first calculation was way to conservative; now everything comes out to 2700 lbs with only a half a tank of fuel in the boat. I opened up my owner's manual to do some reading on towing and was shocked to find out that my rig's max trailer rating is only at 2360 lbs... got that sick feeling in my stomach. So I googled and came up with this: http://www.fordf150.net/specs/04ranger.php which has my rating at 3820...? The GCVWR is at 6000 but that basically goes out the window depending which info is the correct one, my owner's manual or the fordf150 link right? Also, the trailer has surge brakes. Now I'm a little worried as I just found out how little this thing can tow

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Originally Posted by 1996DangerRanger View Post
Don't use overdrive... best way to kill any automatic not built for overdrive towing from the factory... I don't even use overdrive towing a load with the 97 Suburban... empty trailer, sure, but loaded one, not a chance. Best yet, read the owner's manual on towing... I bet you it says to never tow in o/d.

You'll be getting less gas mileage in third? (not sure if that's the top gear with o/d off, I drive a stick shift Ranger, not an auto) but you'll save in the long run not having to rebuild the transmission.
I actually did not know this. I towed my old boat most of the time with overdrive on, only on the highway because the rpm's would drop and that lead me to believe better fuel economy
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Old 03-06-2012
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It is for better fuel economy, that's the purpose of overdrive. But it's bad for towing because of the load put on towing and the changed shift points of overdrive.
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Old 03-06-2012
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OD is fine as long as the tranny isn't hunting for the right gear
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Old 03-07-2012
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i suppose you could leave od on if you're on the highway but is saving a few gallons of gas really worth possibly blowing your tranny?

i think you will be alright towing just go the speed limit and i personally wouldnt use cruise control
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Old 03-08-2012
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I tow a 5000 # load with my 4.0 thats rated for 5800 max and it doesn't really like to stop when I do it, so it doesn't happen much, OD isn't really going to help you with the mpg's when your towing and it will cause the tranny to overheat if its searching for the gear constantly, if you run in cruise control make sure to set it a few mph's above the shift points so you are not going up and down...
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Old 03-12-2012
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i have a 1999 2wd 3.0L and every time i tow to the scrap yard the trailor wieghs in about 4000 to 5000 lbs every time.... i drive with overdrive on and tow with it on.... the only problem i have is stopping... the trailor also doesnt have brakes tho so its a 4000 lbs truck stopping more. rotors are worpt cuz of it.

but pulling wise i have no problems. i went out and bought a class hidden reese hitch for the truck.

i believe the factory likes to put the smaller motor down so the bigger motor looks better....

i have pulled more than 5000lbs in my truck since i got the hitch. i dont do it offen put i do it ...

in my opinion whatch for the hills and down hills your truck will be fine give the 3.0L some points. some times you gotta push the boudaries to find the full potential
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Old 03-13-2012
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If all the paperwork clears, I should be picking her up this Friday. I'll be keeping a log on my milage and will post it up. Next thing I'm worried about is pulling her out of a slippery ramp with only one tire fire.
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Old 03-13-2012
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If all the paperwork clears, I should be picking her up this Friday. I'll be keeping a log on my milage and will post it up. Next thing I'm worried about is pulling her out of a slippery ramp with only one tire fire.
Just be smart about which ramps you choose to launch and retrieve from. If it isn't concrete it might be best to keep looking
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Old 03-13-2012
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Just be smart about which ramps you choose to launch and retrieve from. If it isn't concrete it might be best to keep looking
And watch out for ramps with moss on them. a steep concrete ramp with moss on it is worse than a gravel ramp.
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Old 03-13-2012
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Id be more worried about getting that boat home in one piece rather than worrying about mpg.
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Old 03-16-2012
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Everything made it back in one piece, ride was much much better than I expected. Ranger had no guts when towing, acceleration to overtake cars was pretty much non existent. Had her on cruise control pretty much the whole way home. First time she downshifted from 3k to 4.5k was pretty scary and sketchy but she had to do it to get up the hills and bridges. I got the very best and very worst fuel economy on this trip for the 2 years that I've owned my ranger.

On the way up there with no trailer:
2.4k-2.5k rpm around 66-68mph= 21.8 mpgs <- best tank I've ever gotten

On the way home:
kept her at 3k almost the whole time except for when she downshifted. O/D off at
60-62mph= 11.8 mpgs <- worst tank I've ever gotten

All in all, haul went much better than I thought it would go... next test is at the boat ramp. Here's the new toy:
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Old 03-16-2012
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btw, truck has volant CAI and truxedo bed cover.
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Old 03-16-2012
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These trucks tow surprisingly well despite the lack of power.
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Old 03-16-2012
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Whats the weight of that boat with a full tank?
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Old 03-16-2012
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these 3.0L have amazing pulling power. but no one wants to test it
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Old 03-18-2012
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Originally Posted by 2006crfrider View Post
Whats the weight of that boat with a full tank?
everything with a full tank (55 gallons) I calculated about 2800ish pounds

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Originally Posted by billygoat1 View Post
these 3.0L have amazing pulling power. but no one wants to test it
I wish I could agree with you on that one
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Old 03-20-2012
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my 2001 3.0 2wd pulls a 20 foot pontoon. between boat, motor, gas, beer, and other gear it probably weighs about 4500 pounds. Top speed on stright flat road is 55. a lot slower up hills. And depending how steep the boat ramp i have to rev it up and slip the clutch but only briefly. faint smell of clutch on the steep ramps. 3.73 gears.

ive seen a 4 cyclinder pull a 24 foot pontoon. it didnt like it but it did it for years.

Everybody thinks you have to have a big ol v8 to tow anything. truth is more times than not it really isnt required but hey we leave in a country that bigger is better. dont get me wrong i had a dodge ram v8 and never knew the bot was behind me but if your just a week end warrior the added cost of gas and payments dont justify an 8.

towing capacity to me is like weight limits on chairs, dosage on medicine, and anything else sold. they have a true threshold then back it way down for CYA syndrom thanks to lawyers.

now flame away about safety and engine and other damage.
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Old 03-20-2012
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Ok I'll bite. It's not just the size of the engine that dictates your towing capacity. N ranger was meant to tow a 24 ft pontoon, maybe if it was a barebones pontoon without all the benches that tack on the weight, bt even then the size is just too much, and yes it can be dangerous if you start to lose control in such a small truck.

It also goes along with the just because you can doesn't mean you should. Sure the truck may have kept going for years but it still can't have been in great shape.
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Old 03-20-2012
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under estimating the ranger again....

i would agree with you tho.. just because you can doesnt mean you should.... thats why theres wieght limits.... but..... people like me like to prove "under estimating people" wrong....

my dads f-350 doesnt feel anything under 20000 lbs...
my ranger feels everything i throw on the hitch but its amazing when i pull things most people with v8s wont pull. i show up at the scrap yard with my ranger and trailer and wiegh in at almost 10000 lbs and leave wieghing 5000 lbs.

dont get me wrong if i had the chance to drive a v8 or my 3.0 i would pick the v8.

i also have an automatic and i dont tow boats unless its my ga-new. so i dont know about boat ramps.

my ranger pulls my scrap trailer full at 55mph without a problem but i do know its there when i shift and brake and take off but at a stedy pace it has no problems
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Old 03-20-2012
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If I could go back and knew what I knew now, I would've gotten a 4.0 or any other truck. 154 hp and 180lb torque? C'mon, most 4 bangers have more guts than that. Sure, I can tow my boat but it costs an arm and a leg to get anywhere. A damn 2.7 tacoma is rated at 3500 lbs...


10k... over 3 times your curb weight, nice. You running any brakes on that trailer?
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Old 03-20-2012
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yeah boats and large awkward loads are a different beast... boat ramps especially, you're gonna want the power to get up the ramp.

and as atrocity mentioned, once you get going with that much weight, trailer brakes are definitely something to look at.
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