- Jul 2, 2007
So took the the new F-150 on it's first towing trip this past Saturday, but I should add the caveat that the truck was bought not with the intention of frequent towing, only occassional and then only light to moderate. Anything more and I would've went with the 3.5 liter. We rented a 6' x 12' U-Haul enclosed trailer which shows to be 1920 lbs empty weight. We loaded it with about 500 lbs of furniture (educated guess). So it was a light load for sure, ~ 2500 lbs, but again, this type of occassional light tow is the only foreseen mission spec so there you go as far as buying the 2.7 goes. Our trip took us from SW Indiana to extreme southeastern West Virginia along I-64, I-79, and I-81 with a small foray into Maryland on I-81 as that was the quickest route time wise. Google maps puts it at about 10 hrs but it was closer to 11 with fuel/bathroom stops. As expected, the truck consumed fuel at a much higher rate. At destination the mpg readout, which was reset upon departure, showed 11.8 mpg. Equipped only with the standard 23 gallon (US) tank, this equated to frequent fuel stops. Again, if the mission spec for purchase had been for frequent towing, the optional 36 gallon tank would've been bought. The trailer tongue assembly on the U-Haul is long and sets the trailer back but I doubt this worsens or improves the already brick-like aerodynamics which no doubt were a factor. We set out out at o'dark-thirty in heavy rain with ambient temperature about 55 deg F. Rain of varying intensity for approximately the first two hours along I-64. Although midwest this cannot be called a flatlands haul as I-64 through this area has frequent gentle grades until past Louisville KY and then the grades pick back up a ways down the road and never really go away,only increasing as you approach the mountainous area. Maryland on I-81 was straight up mountain driving as mountain driving exists east of the Mississippi, with warning signs posted for grade %'s and emergency exits for runaway semi's on the down grades. Add to this in areas near towns, local's driving like bats out of [censored] (I'm looking at you Cumberland, Maryland). Truck was loaded well within limits which for my truck optioned as it is as a base model XL with the STX sport trim pkg, 4x4, 3.55:1 axle ratio, and 2.7 V6 (325hp/400tq) is GCVW 12,900 lbs and max tow 7600 lbs (as within GCWV). There was zero payload in the bed and the cab (ext cab, not crew) held me @ 220lbs, wife @ 150, and maybe 40 lbs luggage. I will say yes I could feel the trailer back there and I'm not going to be a fanboy and say it was like there was nothing there. However, we were never lacking for power on the up hill grades and braking was without drama (surge brakes on the trailer). I used the Tow/Haul mode of the 10R80 10-speed transmission and it worked well-- engine braking would hold the truck to speed on down hill grades there were only a few occasions on 7% grades where I needed to augment engine braking with the brakes. I especially appreciated the low end torque peak of the 2.7 which hits max 400 at 2700 rpm. Except for the frequent fuel stops necessitated by a 23 gallon tank and 11.5 mpg, the trip was, dare I say, an enjoyable adventure in our new truck. The return trip home yesterday (Tuesday) was me solo, as the wife is staying on to babysit the newborn and 2 yr old this week while her daughter gets back up to speed in her Realtor job. MPG for the trip home with cruise set to pace with traffic (same route in reverse) settled in at 22.4. I will say that the return trip's mpg was re-assuring since this was the truck's first real trip of any decent length. Not the truck's factory sticker claim of 24 mpg highway, but traffic on the interstates rarely pace at the posted speed limit ... Side notes: Fall foliage color in KY and WV was somewhat muted, and I don't know what was going on in Maryland but the foliage there was noticeably more vivid and the weird thing is it was like as soon as you crossed into Maryland it was notably more colorful. On way home witnessed a Honda Accord in front of me by about 200' strike a deer on I-79 in WV. It hit square on t-bone, went over hood, ricocheted off windshield, went airborne and turned a full 360 flip, and to my good luck it flew rightwards out of my path still airborne and went over the guard rail into the ravine. I pulled off with her (no one else did and plenty of traffic), it was a woman about 60 something by herself. Being about a 75mph hit I expected more damage but all it did was about a 15" x 9 x 3" dent impression into grill with no apparent radiator compromise, spider webbed the passenger side of the windshield and completely broke out passenger front door window. All she got was a minor cut on her right arm from flying glass of the passenger door window implosion. I stayed on until WV State Police arrived in response to her 911 call. Here's a BIG shout out to Honda for that Accord's deer hit integrity, looked to be a few yrs old maybe a 2013 (?...) or so.