Is the towing capacity really that bad?

tyrobronco

Badlands
Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
683
Reaction score
1,551
Location
Central Florida
Vehicle(s)
2011 F-150, 2018 Ford Fusion Energi, 2005 Ford 500
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
A motorcycle trailer and 2 bikes can be less than 3500 pounds.

A pop-up trailer can be had for 1500-3000 pounds.

A flat trailer can be had for 1500-2000 pounds.

Seems like 3500 is plenty for many applications.
Advertisement

 

Eggsalad

Base
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
125
Reaction score
176
Location
Colorado Plateau
Vehicle(s)
2008 V8 4Runner 4WD
Bronco
Base
Let’s assume Ford ain’t gonna change anything regarding tow capacity. Let’s also assume there’s actually a good reason for it being where it is.

Given a 3,500 pound limit, what’s the highest gross trailer weight that is acceptable if we want to be safe, legal, and unafraid? Let’s assume that the trailer is properly outfitted with a good weight distribution hitch and electric brakes, that the trailer itself is properly loaded, our Broncos aren’t overloaded with gear and/or passengers, and we limit our speed appropriately.

I’ve heard rule of thumb, best practices that suggest the gross weight towed should not exceed anywhere from 70-85% of the rated GVWR load capacity. The thinking is that it’s smart to give yourself some cushion out of an abundance of caution.

That’s anywhere from 2,450 (70%) to 2,975 (85%) pounds *max* fully loaded weight. There are several travel trailers that can fit in that range - so long as you are careful about how you option them, carefully manage how much you load in them, and don’t commit unforced errors such as rolling down the road carrying several gallons of water in your tanks.

Thoughts? If 3,500 is really the limit, what percent of that number would you run with confidence?
Maybe 90% trailer weight, and 90% tongue weight? I've never towed with a ClassII hitch so I can't predict. I've only towed with ClassIV hitches on V8 4Runners and V6 Tacomas.

But the basic engineering, the ClassII hitch, the 350lb tongue weight and gross trailer weight does not inspire confidence. Bronco as is now is too much "I want this, but I'll have to settle for something less comfortable when I tow."
 

Eggsalad

Base
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
125
Reaction score
176
Location
Colorado Plateau
Vehicle(s)
2008 V8 4Runner 4WD
Bronco
Base
My wife and I really, really, really don’t want to have to crawl over one another to get out of bed in the middle of the night. That severely restricts our options because we are only considering those travel trailers with a “north-south” oriented bed. We also want a real toilet (not a cassette or anything similar). We are also currently planning to err on the side of safety in regards to the weight limit. If someone convinced us we could tow 400-500 pounds more, options would expand greatly.

Based on our criteria and our conservative approach to weight, here’s a few that we are currently considering:

1. A pop-up (which may not float your boat) but if you can stand that and the way the toilet/shower is setup, this one has the distinct advantage of providing a metal platform to place a few toys such as bikes, eBikes, etc.

https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/camping-trailers/rockwood-extreme-sports-package/2280BHESP/2129n

2. Pricey but nice:

https://www.roulottesprolite.com/produit/CLASSIC/

3. Two side-by-side twin beds that are north-south:

https://casitatraveltrailers.com/independence

4. Another “pricey but nice” option:

https://safaricondo.com/en/caravanes-alto-serie-f-2114/

If I were pulling the trigger today, I would personally go for the Casita. They don’t cost as much as some of the other options, last forever, and don’t depreciate much. It’s not quite as big as we would like but seems like a decent compromise.

For context, I currently pull a 5,500 Lb (dry weight) travel trailer with a half-ton truck rated for 8,100 lbs. I am very careful to not load much in it (or the truck bed) and have an upgraded weight distribution hitch, upgraded truck brakes/rotors, electric brakes on the trailer, heavy-duty transmission cooler, etc. I live in the Dallas area and my longest trips so far with that setup have been Big Bend National Park and Colorado Springs, CO. I wouldn’t want to pull any more weight than that with my current tow vehicle.
Casita and similar are nice units. They're short on amenities though like a spacious bathroom/toilet/shower. Separate bed from dinette.

Finding the perfect little lightweight travel trailer that can offroad towed by an SUV at a reasonable cost and hardside is a major chore, there are few. We looked at A-liner style hardside expandables. Those looked good in some configurations. RPod looked good in some configurations.

Bottom line is if you tow with an SUV you're gonna compromise comforts. Bottom line also is the Bronco SUV as now that ClassII hitch lowers the compromises significantly.
 

Velociraptor

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
David
Joined
Jul 28, 2020
Messages
253
Reaction score
389
Location
Pacific Northwest
Vehicle(s)
2013 Lexus RX450h, 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
Bronco
Badlands
Still thinking about my post above about the hitch extension. Now I am adding roof racks and a Yakima large roof basket with the idea of putting the spare tire on the roof if I am carrying a motorcycle using a hitch rack so I can avoid using a hitch extension. Unknown is whether removing the spare tire will in fact give me enough room to avoid using the hitch extension.
 

ZackDanger

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Zack
Joined
Jul 8, 2020
Messages
6,348
Reaction score
28,193
Location
Massachusetts
Vehicle(s)
2014 Wrangler JKU
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
Still thinking about my post above about the hitch extension. Now I am adding roof racks and a Yakima large roof basket with the idea of putting the spare tire on the roof if I am carrying a motorcycle using a hitch rack so I can avoid using a hitch extension. Unknown is whether removing the spare tire will in fact give me enough room to avoid using the hitch extension.
Don't forget still have the tire mount/rearview camera to contend with.
 

Eggsalad

Base
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
125
Reaction score
176
Location
Colorado Plateau
Vehicle(s)
2008 V8 4Runner 4WD
Bronco
Base
Still thinking about my post above about the hitch extension. Now I am adding roof racks and a Yakima large roof basket with the idea of putting the spare tire on the roof if I am carrying a motorcycle using a hitch rack so I can avoid using a hitch extension. Unknown is whether removing the spare tire will in fact give me enough room to avoid using the hitch extension.
Yep, I commented on other threads the spare location might be a PITA. Pics I saw of trailers hooked up there's no way I could hook up my 19' trailer with a needed 4"-6" rise hitch (the trailer is lifted for offroadability). The spare would have to be removed or a hitch extension which would halve the tongue weight.

There are ways to get around it for a trailer, simply a higher spare mount. A motorcycle hitched on that wouldn't work. There will have to be customizing to get the tow/haul ability that can match the engines and drivetrain.
 

2Jeeps&PatriotX1

Badlands
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
1,664
Reaction score
2,369
Location
Denver, CO
Vehicle(s)
‘18 GC Trailhawk, ‘05 LJ, ‘17 F150 3.5 Screw
Bronco
Badlands
Yep, I commented on other threads the spare location might be a PITA. Pics I saw of trailers hooked up there's no way I could hook up my 19' trailer with a needed 4"-6" rise hitch (the trailer is lifted for offroadability). The spare would have to be removed or a hitch extension which would halve the tongue weight.

There are ways to get around it for a trailer, simply a higher spare mount. A motorcycle hitched on that wouldn't work. There will have to be customizing to get the tow/haul ability that can match the engines and drivetrain.
How high does your offroad trailer tongue sit? Mine with 33" tires only takes a 2.5" rise to sit level on my wife's grand cherokee and the Bronco should sit higher than her grand cherokee. My F150 on 35s takes a 1.5" drop.
 

Eggsalad

Base
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2020
Messages
125
Reaction score
176
Location
Colorado Plateau
Vehicle(s)
2008 V8 4Runner 4WD
Bronco
Base
How high does your offroad trailer tongue sit? Mine with 33" tires only takes a 2.5" rise to sit level on my wife's grand cherokee and the Bronco should sit higher than her grand cherokee. My F150 on 35s takes a 1.5" drop.
Good question. Sitting in my steep driveway right now, tongue is on the downslope, trailer is NOT level - 24" at the bottom of the tongue. That's just how I unhooked it for winterizing. My current tow vehicle, a lifted '08 4Runner with Firestone airbags in the same steep driveway the hitch height is 20 inches at the bottom of the ClassIV hitch. That's on stock 265/60/18's so apx 31" tires.

For comparison, someone measured 24 inches at the bottom of the Bronco hitch, a Badlands with 33's - Towing Package question | Page 9 | Bronco6G - 2021+ Ford Bronco Forum, News, Blog & Owners Community

My measurements are very unscientific considering the attitude of the trailer and tow vehicle on a steep driveway, and not hooked up. Until I see a Bronco in person I won't really know how everything will work for hauling my current 19' 1706fb trailer. That spare mount does look like it could interfere with hookup.
 

The Pope

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
John
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
611
Reaction score
1,407
Location
NC
Vehicle(s)
1977 F250/2007 Mercury Mariner/2014 Infiniti Q60x/2011 Kawasaki C14
Bronco
Badlands
This issue of the spare tire being in the way when hooking up a trailer probably wouldn't have been as big of an issue with a Swing Away Spare Tire Carrier.......

Swing the spare out of the way, hook or unhook the trailer, swing the spare back. (granted the trailer tongue is long enough and there isn't anything like the trailer jack that might interfere with the swing spare)

FoMoCo, are you listening?
 

Dads_bronze_bronco

Badlands
Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Messages
2,876
Reaction score
5,469
Location
NC
Vehicle(s)
08 JKUR / x_x 00 TJ x_x
Bronco
Badlands
Clubs
 
Still thinking about my post above about the hitch extension. Now I am adding roof racks and a Yakima large roof basket with the idea of putting the spare tire on the roof if I am carrying a motorcycle using a hitch rack so I can avoid using a hitch extension. Unknown is whether removing the spare tire will in fact give me enough room to avoid using the hitch extension.
Depends on the hitch carrier, but the one we had for my son’s bike extended far enough out itself that I didn’t need an extension to clear my 33” spare.
 

NinjahGoose

Outer Banks
New Member
First Name
Nick
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Location
NC
Vehicle(s)
4Runner
Bronco
Outer Banks
This really low towing capacity is a big bummer and is a serious consideration for me. I have a flats boat that weighs right at the 3500lb mark when you add in the rigging, fuel, tackle, batteries, trailer, etc. Plus, I have to pull my in-laws dual console boat out of the water when there's a potential hurricane making landfall, it weighs upwards of 5000lbs.

I bought my 2012 4Runner new and it has been perfect for every scenario I have thrown at it. Hopefully Ford will realize that people love the looks of the Bronco and won't need the hardcore off-roading features on all models. I feel like adding a towing package with beefed up shocks and class III hitch would be a welcome addition. I would gladly pay an extra $1000 or so for a 5000lb towing capacity.
 

Cased

Base
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
240
Reaction score
441
Location
middle
Vehicle(s)
dune buggy
Bronco
Base
bought my 2012 4Runner new and it has been perfect for every scenario I have thrown at it. Hopefully Ford will realize that people love the looks of the Bronco and won't need the hardcore off-roading features on all models. I feel like adding a towing package with beefed up shocks and class III hitch would be a welcome addition. I would gladly pay an extra $1000 or so for a 5000lb towing capacity.
If your going from a ramp to your place not going down a twisty 2 lane at 65 mph I wouldn't worry much

Mine will pull a 5x8 dump trailer loaded down about 5k total but it will be a very short very slow roll on blacktop to where the bronco gets its work badge offroad
 

BroncoTRDPro

Wildtrak
Well-Known Member
First Name
Eric
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
66
Reaction score
236
Location
Illinois
Vehicle(s)
4Runner TRD Pro, Grand Cherokee, H3, DMC-12
Bronco
Wildtrak
Vehicle Showcase
1
I’ve used my hitch on my 2011 Grand Cherokee once to tow a classic Mustang home after purchase in the 10 years we’ve owned it. Otherwise, it saved us some damage after we got rear ended - twice. We have never used our 4Runner to tow anything. We plan to order a Bronco with tow package anyway if only to protect the rear end better from distracted drivers, low tow rating be damned.
 

NinjahGoose

Outer Banks
New Member
First Name
Nick
Joined
Nov 24, 2020
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Location
NC
Vehicle(s)
4Runner
Bronco
Outer Banks
If your going from a ramp to your place not going down a twisty 2 lane at 65 mph I wouldn't worry much

Mine will pull a 5x8 dump trailer loaded down about 5k total but it will be a very short very slow roll on blacktop to where the bronco gets its work badge offroad
I tow the boat 120 miles one way on the highway to the coast. I don't want to be at the max towing capacity while driving 70 on the interstate.
 
Advertisement

 
4 Wheel Parts
Advertisement
Top