Towing with Ford Windstar

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by debra, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. debra

    debra New Member

    Help. We have a Ford Windstar 3.8 V6. Currently pull a 10ft. Jayco pop-up, and we don't even know it is behind us.

    Looking at a 19ft hybrid. Total weight with all options is 2888. Dealer says I should be able to pull a larger trailer (which I really like). Total weight about 3400.

    Towing capacity says 3500. Door on Van says GVWR is 5140. I have folks telling me to go by weight on door.

    Can I pull either of these trailers? Would really like to get the larger one if possible, but can settle for smaller.
     
  2. drummerman

    drummerman New Member

    Towing with Ford Windstar

    Hey Debra.

    I don't think you will have a problem towing either of those trailers.
    As long as you don't excede the GVWR.
    I used to pull a 5400 TT with a 1/2 ton truck at a GVWR of 6200.
    Hills were a little slow, but I did it for almost five years.
    Just make sure your hitch class is correct.

    Drummerman
     
  3. Les Adams

    Les Adams New Member

    Towing with Ford Windstar

    I think I'll have to take the other point of view here Debra... Towing with a 1/2 ton truck probably equipped with V8 and a #6200 to #6600 GVWR is vastly different than towing with a front wheel drive minivan and 3.8L 6 cyclinder motor...

    As you approach your maximum tow rating and GVWR towing performance is going to be pretty miserable... Most experienced towers will derate maximum tow ratings by 10-25% for performance and safety margins...

    You have 3 tow vehicle weight ratings to worry about... GVWR, CGWR and maximum TT tow rating... Have your van weighed and subtract this figure from your CGWR rating... This is the REAL amount of TT you can tow... With a GVWR of #5140 and a curb weight of #4355 (taken from 2002 KBB) that leaves you about #785 pounds for passenger, cargo, and tongue weight before you exceed the GVWR rating of the van...

    It is interesting to note that in the 2001 specs I see an #1800 payload rating and the GVWR listed at #5140 but in the 2002 specs I see neither of these figures nor do I see a curb weight listed...

    Ford has had a "boatload" of top end problems" with the Windstar motors and were replacing a lot of them under an "unwritten warranty" clause... I know as a friend of mine went through it with his Windstar... I don't know if the absence of 2002 specifications has any bearing on the previous problems but it sure looks supicious to me...

    Most people will load somewhere between #500 and #1500 pounds of cargo into their trailer... Let's assume #700 for arguments sake... With the larger trailer that would put you at #3500 TT weight or RIGHT at your maximum limit... Don't forget too that the GVWR of your van must include all passengers, all cargo in the van, and trailer tongue weight and hitch weight (which is carried by the tow vehicle)... And the trailers UVW DOES NOT include any propane weight or water weight nor does it include any options added at the factory or at your dealership... If in fact my numbers are correct and you only have #785 pounds of GVWR available, you'll be over the Van's GVWR as well with only a minimum passenger load and the TT's tongue weight...

    I might also add the tow rating of #3500 is only valid when the van is equipped with the tow package which consists of HD battery, aux. transmission cooler, High Temperature cooling package, and trailer hitch wiring harness... The spec says #3500 "when properly equipped"...

    IMHO, towing with the Windstar, at least this trailer is a bad idea... I think your going to have problems and I think your going to be over your weight limitation in several catagories and finally, I think towing performance is going to be pretty miserable and unsafe... Towing at or near maximums is never a good idea with any tow vehicle... It leaves little room for error and puts maximum strain on the tow vehicle and will usually result in decreased longivity...

    Personally, I'd stay with the popup or buy a larger tow vehicle...

    I always become a little cynical when I hear that expression "we don't even know it's behind us"... I've been towing for almost 20 years, all combinations on many different vehicles and I ALWAYS knew I had something behind me... When I hear that phrase I conjur up an image of someone who is very unattuned to their vehicles and what is going on with them or someone that is just grossly exagerrating...

    Towing a high drag profile hard sided TT is different than a low profile popup... Your proposed TT will be almost #2000 heavier than the popup with a lot of wind resistance (drag)...

    The 3.8L is a small motor and the van frame, suspension and brakes are all light duty... While there are some Minivans that do a pretty good job towing, I don't believe this one will... You will be loaded to maximums and even if it works and you can grunt your way through the towing performance quirks, the minivan longivity will suffer greatly...

    Best Regards,
    Les

    2000 Ford F-250 Super Duty, XLT SuperCab, 4X4 Off Road, SWB, V10/3:73LS/4R100 towing 1999 Skyline 27' Nomad, Model 2700, Pullrite Hitch, Jordan Ultima 2020 brake controller



    Edited by - Les Adams on Feb 21 2002 2:50:51 PM
     

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