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Old 09-26-2009, 11:53 PM   #1
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Towing with a EB Sportmobile vs RB

I'm interested in getting input from SMB owners on the towing characteristics of a an extended body van versus the regular body. I'm currently not a SMB owner but am considering making a purchase. I currently have a '99 F250 Super Duty SC 4x4 5.4L V8 (manual w/410 rear end). I tow a '71 Airstream Safari with it that has a gross trailer weight of 5,200#'s. I'm considering a switch of tow rigs to a SMB as I want a vehicle I can sleep in/camp out of when the roads get too rough for my Airstream. I used to have a pop up truck camper that I used to explore the mountains and high desert of Oregon. We really like the Airstream for certain situations but find that we leave it at home when we head to the back country and revert to tent camping. The Airstream has a tongue weight in the 400 - 500 lb range. I've heard that towing with the EB Ford van can be more problematic versus the RB since the wheel base for the two is the same and the longer length is achieved by more overhang in the rear. This changes the dynamics when backing, turning, etc.
I'd also like to hear your input on the 5.4L V8 and the V10 as well (don't want diesel). My Super Duty doesn't really know the trailer is back their until I go over the mountain passes. You can tell it is working hard at that point. I'm thinking the V10 would be the smarter choice. I know the Super Duty is heavier than a stock Ford van, but not likely the case with a SMB conversion. It appears to be the case that it is harder to find pre-owned SMB's with the V10 versus the diesel.
Probably not an issue if buying new, but I'd like to save some $$ and find a gently used one. Comments and opinions are welcome.

Thanks,

TGK
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Old 09-27-2009, 02:16 AM   #2
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Re: Towing with a EB Sportmobile vs RB

I've got a 99 F250 SuperDuty CrewCab Longbed with the 7.3 and it tows like a madman. Solid as a rock and towing, even when both truck and trailer are fully loaded is effortless.

I don't have any issue with the 6.0L EB van towing, but it's detuned compared to the pickups and with Deaver springs (replacing the SMB 4x4 springs) and Rancho shocks turned all the way up towing requires more attention.

I wouldn't not go SMB, but if your priority is to drag around the airstream, I wouldn't call my setup ideal... nothing to do with power, but otherwise there is a lot you could do to a van like mine to improve things. For example if you're not a diehard Ford man, a Chevy EB would give you longer wheelbase...
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:44 AM   #3
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Re: Towing with a EB Sportmobile vs RB

If you get a PullRite hitch, you won't have any of the EB issues when towing. The PullRite moves the pivot point up near the rear axle, effectively ending sway, etc.

See the website:

http://www.pullrite.com/pullrite.htm

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Old 09-27-2009, 10:52 AM   #4
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Re: Towing with a EB Sportmobile vs RB

I've towed my same setup with an '02 F250 (7.3L) and an '06 E350 (6.0L). I tow an 1800# trailer with a 4500# vehicle on it (roughly 6300# total). I agree with Jage that the F series is a significantly better tow rig, however I've had no problems towing with the E series. My van definitely doesn't have as much power as my pickup, and that's been the biggest drawback..

I do have Roadmaster springs in addition to the SMB springs to help with stability, and as Mike mentioned, PullRite is a good way to go if you plan on towing a lot, as well as items like a Hensley weight distributing hitch.

If you do plan on towing a lot, especially if towing up hills, I'd go with the V10 over the 5.4L. I think some additional guages (EGT, trans temp) are a wise investment too.


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Old 10-04-2009, 10:59 AM   #5
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Re: Towing with a EB Sportmobile vs RB

I used to have a 41' weekend warrior 18,000 pounds fully loaded. My extended van did a great job towing it. I used a Reese Dual Cam (after I broke a Hensley).

Currently tow a couple race car trailers, 24' and 28' up to 10,000 pounds. This is almost always with the van fully loaded. I just use a standard ball mount for these.



Just make sure you have load range E tires on appropriate width rims.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:15 AM   #6
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Re: Towing with a EB Sportmobile vs RB

If ur are pulling with a 7.3 u need DP Tunner then it pulls very nice I run 35" tires and I use my EB all the time.and I have EB as my service van and I pull a 6,000 lb trailer very day pulls great with DP Tunner.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:15 AM   #7
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Re: Towing with a EB Sportmobile vs RB

I don't have any experience towing heavy trailers, but I have done some research into (RB) chassis ratings. The 2011 Ford V10 with 4.11 axle ratio has a GCWR of 18,500 lb., whereas the 5.4L V8 only has a GCWR of 13,000 lb. Depending on the build and gear, an SMB can have a gross weight of up to or over 10,000 lb. So the V10 would be rated for an 8,500 lb. trailer but the 5.4L would only be rated for a 3,000 lb trailer. Ratings would be lower for the extended body vans. Others have suggested that the manufacturer's recommendations can be exceeded.

One thing I noticed as I did the research was that while the chassis size (3/4 ton / 1 ton) seemed to dictate the GVWR, it is more the engine size that sets the trailer rating. Maybe it's based on the abiltiy of the engine to reliably put out a certain power level for long periods of time, or maybe its more related to engine and transmission cooling capacity.

The Chevy Express extended was suggested as an alternative since it has a longer wheelbase. With the 6.0L engine the Express RB would be rated for a 6,000 lb. trailer.

Here's a link to some of the data I collected for REGULAR BODY vans. The extended vans weigh more.

SMBForum Wiki TOWING
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:24 PM   #8
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Re: Towing with a EB Sportmobile vs RB

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhally
... the 5.4L V8 only has a GCWR of 13,000 lb. Depending on the build and gear, an SMB can have a gross weight of up to or over 10,000 lb. So the V10 would be rated for an 8,500 lb. trailer but the 5.4L would only be rated for a 3,000 lb trailer.

... Maybe it's based on the abiltiy of the engine to reliably put out a certain power level for long periods of time, or maybe its more related to engine and transmission cooling capacity. ...
Rear axle rating is one factor, and that would apply to tongue weight which should be no more than 20% of the trailer load. The Ford E250 5.4L V8 RB is rated to tow 5,000 lb. based on the engine, transmission, gears, etc capacity for the life of the warranty. For this reason, there is additional periodic maintenance required if you tow regularly too. So, I'm not sure how the 3,000 lb. referred to above (assuming your build puts the van at 10K lb.) applies and you may want to refer to Ford's towing manual for all the facts.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:38 PM   #9
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Re: Towing with a EB Sportmobile vs RB

GCWR rating is Ford's recommended maximum total weight of the van, payload, and trailer.

Maximum trailer weight is just that, the maximum recommended trailer weight no matter how little payload is in the van

in math terms
GCWR = CURB + PAYLOAD + TRAILER

In the 'How much does your van weigh' thread, most of the responses were at or above 10,000 lb. This would be considered gross weight or GROSS.

GROSS = CURB + PAYLOAD

Using algebra,

GCWR = GROSS + TRAILER

TRAILER = GCWR - GROSS

substituting values
TRAILER = 13,000 lb. - 10,000 lb. = 3,000 lb.

per Ford
MAX TRAILER = 5,000 lb.

So even though Ford says the max trailer is 5,000 lb, if you load up the van with stuff, it reduces the recommended trailer weight.

Once again, I am not writing from experience, I'm merely researching and reporting on manufacturers recommendations.


Quote:
Originally Posted by joey2cool
... So, I'm not sure how the 3,000 lb. referred to above (assuming your build puts the van at 10K lb.) applies and you may want to refer to Ford's towing manual for all the facts.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:16 PM   #10
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Re: Towing with a EB Sportmobile vs RB

Agreed, trailer tongue weight and any other wieght not included in the OEM vehicle wieght (CURB) has to be considered as part of your PAYLOAD. And PULL load is whatever the OEM rates for maximum trailer load.
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