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Discussion Starter #1
OK, a Cougar instead of a Mustang, although Mustangs account for two of the cars I will be towing occasionally. ;)

I tried out my new car trailer today for practice using my driver Cougar. The tow vehicle is my 2003 F150 Supercab with the 5.4L V8 and the factory tow package. The trailer is a USCargoPro 18' flat-deck with electric brakes on all 4 wheels. The combined weight of the Cougar/trailer combo was probably right around 5,000 - 5,500 lbs.

With the 5.4L, you definitely know you are towing something but the acceleration is still reasonable and, once up to speed, there is very little indication of the weight being towed until one comes to a sizeable grade. The trailer brakes and adjustable brake controller make stopping fairly routine, except for the occasional yellow light that catches you at just the wrong moment.

Whether going up or down grades, over rough pavement, or being passed by large trucks, the trailer was very stable. There was absolutely no sway, although there was also little wind and totally dry pavement. The cross-over of the ratchet tie-downs at the rear and the tie-downs at the front kept the car immobile on the trailer.

But at least I have a feel for it now and the only casualties of the exercise were the lilies next to our garage. (They got run over by the trailer as I was pulling away at the start of the trip, but they'll recover)

Future enhancements to the trailer will be a winch (for those non-running project cars I might find) and a box of some sort (for the tie-downs and such) but it sure feels good to know that I can now transport a car whenever the need arises.
 

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Wny such a long trailer?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The Cougars are longer than the Mustangs and measure just shy of 16' bumper to bumper. With the Cougar on the trailer and positioned with the front wheels about 2' back from the front lip (which puts the front bumper just short of the front lip), I wanted to still have a bit of trailer left over. The 18' trailer gives me about 2 feet from the rear bumper to the end of the trailer.

Also, I'm not ruling out eventually having something larger than a pony car and I don't want to find out my trailer is too short to handle it comfortably.
 

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With the 5.4L, you definitely know you are towing something but the acceleration is still reasonable
I would have thought that with a 5.4L, you'd never know you were towing something! When I pull my 18' boat with my 4-runner (v-6), you know you're pulling something, although acceleration is still ok. When pulling a trailered Mustang with it (not that any of my Mustangs see trailers except to come home for repairs), I can't even tell I have anything back there. I would think the v-8 would pull a Mustang easily!
 

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I've got a similar setup, but its a 16-ft steel deck and a '98 F-150 (5.4 L). I pulled the 40 (curb weight about 4,500 lb, plus a couple of hundred lbs of extra parts) from AL to VA and didn't have any problems at all, even with the mountains in TN. I'm thinking of getting one of those aluminum boxes for the tongue and putting a winch in the box with a removable tray for the tie downs, etc.

Gary
 

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When pulling a trailered Mustang with it (not that any of my Mustangs see trailers except to come home for repairs), I can't even tell I have anything back there.
I have a 1st generation Cummins in my pickup. I tow a 21' Fourwinns Sundowner (about 4000# w/trailer), and a small 5th wheel trailer (just over 6000# wet). With the boat, it's easy to forget you are towing something, but with the extra couple of thousand pounds, you definitely know the 5th wheel is there.

On level ground maintaining constant speed, nothing pulls hard. On a long 6% mountain grade, the 5th wheel pulls hard, and slows me to 40-45 MPH (max in 3rd gear) to keep the temperature down. With the boat, I can still run 60-65 in 4th on the same grade. But I can always definitely tell when I have something back there.
 

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I have towed my 65 convertible from Tucson to K.C. and back and to Charlete NC and back using an 01 F150 with a 4.6 and have no trouble keeping up with the rest of the club with thier powerstrokes I also have an 18' dovetail and it has came in handy to tow projects and other things

Sammy
 

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It should tow fine..but yes you are going to feel it behind your truck..I use a Chevvy 1500..with a 350..I used it to tow a 6500 pound boat..and yes you can feel it..but I did tow my T-Bird back from Mass..about a 100 miles and it seemed fine.. all in all I think a F250 or a Chevy 2500 is better for towing..my 1500 is a standard shift..not a good choce for towing..I would think an auto is much better
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is the first time I've towed something so I definitely noticed the difference from normal acceleration. I also noticed that I could still accelerate faster away from a light than some folks who weren't towing anything. *LOL*

Once I was up to speed, the sensation of towing was completely gone and I suspect that, when I gain more experience towing, I won't notice it as much.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Vinnie, I agree with you. I can see why folks who do a lot of towing would go with the Super Duty trucks if they can afford them. Since I will only tow occasionally, the F150 will do just fine. I just switch off the overdrive and that seems to allow it to handle even the larger grades OK.
 

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I had a trip down to N.C. and around 1350 miles with a 16'skidsteer trailer droved empty down and I have a 97 c/c Powerstroke F350 and my O/D kicked out 1 time on an 8 Degree mountain in S/C other than that I had 1 other down shift on a 7 Degree I think it was in Tenn. but I never hit below 55 going up the hill pulling a Stang back from there. Boy I never have hit so many Mountains in my life! I definitely like the Powerstroke and I understand they had more horsepower in the newer Power Strokes!
 

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I could still accelerate faster away from a light than some folks who weren't towing anything. *LOL*
Reminds me of the Dodge commercial ... "Hey, that thing got a Hemi in it?" *LOL*

Yeah, after doing it a time or 2 (or 3 *LOL*), you'll forget that trailer is back there with the towing capacity of your truck.
 

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I've got a 20' Haulmark enclosed trailer to haul my '69 Mach to the track, it weighs 2800lbs empty, 6000lbs with the car. I had a 2002 F150 Supercrew 4x4 w/ the 5.4L engine. I put the Superchips chip in which gave it 10% more power and 15% more torque, that helped a lot. My only problem was the wheelbase on the Supercrew was too short and the trailer would throw it around. I think the truck was a little too light. I ended up trading it for a 2003 Silverado 2500HD 4 door 4x4. It completely out tows the Ford. The 6.0L has a lot more power. I can tow that car in overdrive with the Chevy.
Pete
 

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You have the same truck as I have, except mine is just an extra cab and has the 7700 suspension (you may have). You will have many miles of happy trailering. I have been pulling stuff for years (I had a 97 w/same set up before the 03). That 'Triton' Motor runs strong. The only thing I do different when pulling a trailer is shut off the OD.
 

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Just got back from vacation. Towed 4,000+ lb camper 4,720 mi. with '99 F150 4x4 4.6. Yea...I'm crazy. 4.6 had to work a bit in the mountains, but other then that, no problems.

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yep, I turn off the overdrive as well.

Still, after one stop yesterday at a friends house I forgot to turn it off (you have to turn it off each time you start the truck, at least on the 2003) and didn't even notice it was on until I started up a grade.
 

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My trailer is a 16' open deck with winch and aluminum tool box. I got the 16 footer as it fits in the garage with the door closed. The truck is a 97 F-150 4x4 extend cab with the little 4.6 and I have no problems towing the Fastback. Not bad for a first generation Mod motor (280+ cubes). It cruises at highway speeds (approaching 70+) with ease; and remains comfortable to drive in rain situations. A truck's ability to tow has a lot to do with the differential gear ratios.
 
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