View Full Version : towing a horse trailor
12-15-2010, 01:17 AM
I recently purchased a 05 f150 with the 4.6. I would like to pull a horse trailer with it. 2 horses, it doesn't have the tow package, would have to put a hitch on and a electric brake. A couple of people are telling me that it won't be able to pull. That I need a 5.4. Is this true?
12-15-2010, 01:20 AM
Anything will pull,it's just a question of how fast and how long.
Check this website
Looks like 3.55 geared 4.6 will have between 6000 and 6600 towing Cap.
Not sure how heavy your horse are. I had a 2 horse trailer that weight around 3000lbs empty(all steal old dual axel)
I would say your good but make sure you have a good trans cooler and drive it with some common sense.
12-15-2010, 02:16 AM
Much depends on the weight and make of the trailer, (and your horses, mine were arabs, much lighter than quarter horses) some trailers are more stable and aerodynamic than others. Some should never be on the road. Look up the Brenderup brand for example. The top of the line for two horse trailers. Made specifically for hauling horses in Europe on the autoban with smaller vehicles. In your case for now, make sure your towing vehicle always weighs more than your horses and trailer. Even if you have to haul some hay bales in the truck. Also when you haul only one horse, load it on the left side, due to the way roads are banked and curved it is safer. Any time your trailer weighs more than your hauling vehicle you are in danger. You might also look into installing sway bars, and as stated above, err on the side of caution. The size engine you are using will mean slow hill climbs and not a lot of guts on dirt roads.
I have hauled horses for 50 years with every conceivable configuration of truck and trailer. When you are on the highway with your four legged friends, for the sake of their lives and yours and those all around you on the road it is best not to go under powered. A bigger engine would serve you longer and be more efficient in the end, the smaller less powerful one will wear out sooner.
12-15-2010, 03:37 AM
Many 2 horse trailers are rated at 7000 #. that is more than your 150 weighs. Also remember even though the 4.6l engine will never get such a load going very fast, you will still have to stop at some point. Your vehicle brakes may be light for the application, even with electric brakes on the horse trailer.
12-15-2010, 03:41 AM
I used to pull a three horse steel trailer that was about 19'. Was a bumper pull and dry weight was 3500 lbs.
We only towed two horses (large Arab/Quarter +/- 1100 lbs and another around 900lbs) in it but had lots of tack and, depending on the trip, lots of feed too. We did all this with a 96 Chevrolet CK 1500 with a 350 V8. The power was probably near what yours is making....not sure on the exact numbers.
We added our own brakes and a weight distributing hitch would have helped A LOT but we never had the money for all that. The truck pulled fine in all the hills of Kentucky and into the mountains of Tennessee as well. The problem was just how fast did ya wanna go! We weren't quick, but with horses, I stay conservative.
The biggest concern is the transmission though...that's a lot of heat building up in there. Also, your whole powertrain really. You will kill a lot of parts faster. I've busted pinion seals in glorious fashion and also had an epic transmission failure in my old 95 C1500 towing one horse on level ground.
My advice is, it will probably pull just fine. But take your time, put in some preventive maintenance, and invest in a transmission cooler. The trailer brakes are essential, so don't skimp on that! Once those horses start moving around that trailer will sway and push the truck all over the place, if you tap the surge real fast it can sometimes get them to settle down.
I'm jealous though...Hoping to get a horse back into my life SOON!!!! Good luck! :sombrero:
Most trucks will and are rated to tow more then they weight. Truck weight is not really a factor, do not tow more then the manufacture rating, it's against the law and if in accident you could go to jail. But I stress that a good transmission cooler is a must along with trailer brakes. I would also recommend stepping up to bigger truck if you plan to tow alot.
12-15-2010, 02:30 PM
Thank you. Unfortunately I just bought this one. I will put a heavier transmission cooler on it as well as a trailer brake.
12-15-2010, 05:04 PM
I had a 2000 F150 with tow package and 4.6L. Its a dog. I used it to tow my jeep a few times and it could do it but it sucked. I flat towed a fair bit as well. Braking was fine, hills weren't the most fun.
Trailer and jeep were about 5500lbs and I wouldn't want to tow more than that or more than a couple hours.
12-15-2010, 05:07 PM
I pulled a 5 horse slant with my X-terra a few years ago, you'll be fine. My 4.6 F-150 pulled 5-6K regularly and did it just fine.. not fast.. but it did it with out any drama.
12-15-2010, 05:45 PM
Well I'm not so sure about the premise that the trailer and contents should weigh less than the vehicle. My initial thought is this may well be an North American impression as trailers have always been towed by big trucks. It would definitely be a great topic for research and discussion.
If the GVWR and towing capacity are within specs I don't see any immediate problem with towing a horse trailer with an F150. It's been mentioned that you'll go slower, put more ware on your vehicle, but that's life towing a horse trailer.
If the rear end sags an AirLift airbag kit will bring you back to level.
Typically a two axle horse trailer comes with one of the axles set up for electric brakes. If I was towing with an F150 I'd set up both axles with electric brakes.
US manufactured horse trailers are built extremely heavy, and have a huge amount of tongue weight. Even the so called light weights are heavy. The whole design needs to be looked at by an engineer rather than a welder. We have a two horse straight, bumper pull, that I tow with our F250 and it's a beast.
Horses weigh a lot more than you think, combined with the heavy trailer it's like dragging around lead.
12-15-2010, 10:09 PM
I towed my '64 F100 home with my 4.6 using a bumper pull tandem axle trailer. I ran the numbers before hand, and I was about 900lbs under the max capacity. I couldn't agree more with what Frumpy said about it not being fun, and not wanting to do it more than a few hours. Yes, you can do it. No, I would not want to do it on a regular basis.
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