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How to Alleviate Sag on the Rear End of a 2005 Ford F-150 Towing a Toy Hauler


i am new to towing. i have a toy hauler with a 5200 lb dry weight. i have a 2005 f150 with a 5.4 gas motor and 18 wheels. i bought the trailer used. the seller gave me the wt dist. hitch, bars and sway control. they gave me paperwork on the hitch and i tried to follow directions to set hitch height. having set up the hitch according to directions, when i connect it to the truck, and set the bars, the rear end sags very much. i added a set of airbags to the suspension to level the truck, but even at 90 lbs pressure the truck still sages. the trailer is level, is there an adjustment i am missing? or is this the way it is? thanks


Expert Reply:

Toy hauler trailers are notorious for having very heavy tongue weights, often up to 15 or 20 percent of the loaded trailer weight. Just because the F-150 itself is not made for very heavy duty loads, you will probably see some sag with whatever you do, but there are some things you can do to relieve some of the pressure on the rear end. I would try moving your load back from the front of the trailer to see if that alleviates some of the sag you are experiencing.

For an example, even with the 5200lbs dry weight of the toy hauler, if the tongue weight comes in at 20 percent of the weight you would be looking at a tongue weight of 1040lbs. For a 2005 F-150, even the 5.4L models equipped with a Payload Package would only be able to handle a tongue weight of a little more than 900lbs. This means that even the unloaded trailer would be overloading the vehicle tongue weight rating.

It would definitely be a good idea to find out exactly how much tongue weight your trailer is going to be running at, to see if towing it with your particular truck is going to work. To do this, you could go to a commercial scale, as many now have tongue weight scales, or we also offer part # e99044.

I would also get the total weight of the truck and trailer on a commercial scale to determine that the gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of the truck is not being exceeded. You can also use this weight and subtract the gross vehicle weight to get the gross trailer weight.

If it does look like you are going to be able to tow the toy hauler with your F-150, I would try moving back the load as I suggested, and you could also try rotating the weight distribution head (the piece that holds the hitch ball) more toward the trailer, changing the way the weight is being distributed along the spring bars.

I am including some links to more information about weight distribution and towing that should be helpful for you.

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