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Four (easy) questions about truck Payload for Elite II?

david shiffman

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Howdy!   Don't have a truck yet, and trying to estimate how much payload I need. 

Listed tongue weight is 490, curious what are people's real-world tongue weights?  [That's question #1]

I would think worst case is 15% of 7K lbs GVWR = 1050 lbs, so I am using 1K as my placeholder estimate.

If we add two humans, one dog and misc loading in the truck, my WAG is that will add another 500 lbs.  (Our typical use case will be the two of us going on a 4-6 week trip covering multiple states.)

That's 1500lbs of known load, so with a 20% safety margin I want to look for 1800lbs of payload.  That's out of the range of most "well-equipped" half tons that I have seen yellow weight stickers for, and none of the configurators seem to give you an actual payload for a given option load.  

What payload capacity do you have to tow your EII? [Q #2]   What is that tow vehicle and how is it configured? [Q #3]  What is your dream tow vehicle? [Q#4]







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Welcome to the forum. LE2 tongue weight is almost always higher than as specified in the brochure, that is for a completely stripped model. Typical TW is probably around 650 pounds, depending on your options (batteries especially) and how much cargo you put up front or on the back.

For the LE2 many folks can easily get by with a 1500, but they have to always watch out for overloading. This includes any accessories you add like canopy, bigger tires, offroad armor, etc etc. or oversized tires that affect gearing. 

Plus you have to add the weight of the hitch itself. An Andersen WD hitch is about 60 pounds. On a bigger truck that is not needed, a simple dead weight ball mount is fine.

Owners with HD trucks simply do not have to worry about payload, unless they also carry ATVs or a whole lot of ammo.... 😉  All your questions have been discussed many, many times, have you looked through the Towing section?

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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I agree with JD on tongue weight.  I haven’t weighed but figure mine is about 600lbs.  It would be a stretch to get to 1050lbs.  I’ve towed with a Tacoma, two Ram 1500’s and now a Ram 2500.  The first three trucks used the Andersen and I was always close to the payload limit with what we carry.  With this 2500, I don’t worry about payload (2000+ lbs of payload).  Also, no Andersen hitch.  When I drop my trailer on the hitch the back drops down barely 2” compared to over 4” with the half tons.  The big diesel doesn’t seem to break a sweat towing.  If you have a choice, go big and don’t worry about it.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L


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You pretty much answered your own question on the Payload calculation. As mentioned - the TW is somewhere around 600 give or take a few. 

Do a search here for TV - lots of real world advice.

Glad to have you in the group.


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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"





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Our tongue weight is about 450 lbs. with 20 lbs propane tanks and no basket.  That weight is loaded for a week trip and the tanks empty.

Our payload capacity is 1,109 pounds and we have no problem staying under that but, we travel light.




2019 Legacy Elite II  2018 BMW x5 35d 


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Ford F-250, 6.2l gas engine.  I figure around 600 lbs. tongue weight on the trailer based on what most owners have measured.  3,334 lbs. payload capacity on the truck so no problem hauling all the stuff we take with us when camping.  Only “dream” vehicle change would maybe be the same truck but with a diesel engine. 


Edited by FrankC



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So I don’t have my Oliver yet (May 2020) but just bought my tow vehicle.  I was deciding between F150 and F250.  I went with 2021 Platinum F150 4x4 with 3.5L ecoboost and max tow package.   Payload sticker is 1,535 lbs.  

A couple reasons.  The TV is my daily driver and I just did not want to drive F250 around town.  My use case for next 5 years or so won’t have me on weeks long trips and I am not a heavy packer. I prefer hiking so no bikes or kayaks to carry.   Inside truck normally just me and 40lb dog. 

In 5 years or so when I start taking much longer trips(weeks at a time)  I will look at bigger trucks.  Of course by then I hope to have a nice Bronco in garage for daily driver.  

I was really tempted by F250 payload but just not ready to make that leap yet.  

Good luck!

Edited by TexasGuy
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2021 Legacy Elite II Hull #807 - 2021 F150 w/ 3.5L EB and max tow package 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/7/2021 at 10:35 PM, SteveCr said:

I'll take delivery of LEII in Sep 2021. My TV is a 2018 F150 XL STX, SCREW SB, 4x4, 5.0 V8,10 spd auto, tow pkg ...1959 payload on the door sticker. So, it's not "loaded" but it has good payload for F150.

I don't want to send you into a tizzy... BUT I had lots of issues when getting the right info on the F150 towing capacities. The 2018 f150 towing pdf lists this caveat for the f150...

To Tow 7,000+ It must have the "(1) Requires Heavy-Duty Payload Package option."... which I found out is the MAX TOW package, and not the regular Towing Package. The MAX TOW includes things like stabilizer bar, engine cooling, etc. If all you have is the class IV hitch, this is not going to cut it according to the manual. 


I just wanted to share with you in the rare case (like me!) that you don't have the correct stats to tow 7,000+ lbs with your TV. I ended up typing up a report of sorts if that could help you. My issue was with the 3.5L V6, which would only tow 7,000+ if it had the Heavy Duty Towing Package.

Here was my summary in the report:



The purchased 3.5L V6 F150 did not have the "Heavy Duty Towing Package" also known as the "Trailer Towing Package / 53A" option needed to tow 10,500lbs. According to page 301 of the F150 manual, for the F150 with the 3.5L V6 engine to tow more than 7,000 lbs with the trailer hitch, the "Heavy Duty Towing Package" is required. That package includes the Upgraded Front Stabilizer Bar, Engine Oil Cooler, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, and the Tailgate LED Light.

The purchased 3.5L V6 F150 had the Medium Duty Towing Package / "Class IV Hitch" / 53B option limited to 7,000 lbs of towing**.** This package only includes the Class IV Hitch. Proof of this is listed in the charts and images below.

Since The truck only had the Medium Duty Towing Package / "Class IV Hitch" / 53B option, if I were to tow more than 7,000 lbs, I could possibly void my warranty. Im sure this could also be used against me if I were to be involved in an accident towing something weighing more than the vehicle manual states. But most importantly, I was unable to tow my trailer ( a weight of 8,000 + lbs) which is the reason I upgraded to this particular F150.




2021 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Twin Bed - Hull 762 | 2018 F150 3.5L Ecoboost V6 w/ Max Tow package

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For grins and giggles here is a Ford dealers explanation of their different trailer tow packages.

The regular tow package is what I have and is "ok" for the LEII. Post sale, I installed the max pkg FORD OEM trailer brake controller myself....an easy mod....just had learn how to mod the software. I do not have and I think I will miss having the larger gas capacity.


What is the Ford Max Tow Package?

June 12th, 2020 by Evan Riley

Many of our customers at Kings Ford in Cincinnati, OH, who are looking at Ford trucks for sale are interested in using their vehicle for towing. Ford trucks are all excellent choices for this sort of work, but determining exactly which configuration and packages are right for you can sometimes be confusing. Perhaps the question we get most often is: what is the Ford Max Tow Package? And how is it different from the standard Trailer Tow Package? If you are one of the people who have this question, this post is for you. We will lay out all the differences so that when you are ready to purchase one of our Ford trucks for sale, you will know exactly which towing package is right for you.

The first piece of information that you should know is that the Ford Max Tow Package (or Max Trailer Tow Package as it is officially known) is only an option on the Ford F-150 series trucks. For the Ford Ranger, there is only a basic Trailer Tow Package that adds a hitch and 4/7 pin connector as well as increases the tow rating. With the Ford Super Duty trucks, all models come ready to tow from the factory with a hitch and 4/7 pin connector. However, they do have specialized tow packages for campers and gooseneck trailers. So if a Ford Ranger can handle your towing needs, or if your trailer requires the extra might of a Ford Super Duty truck, then deciding which tow package you need is a straightforward matter.

However, most of our customers are interested in the Ford F-150 and will need to decide between the Trailer Tow Package and the Max Tow Package. The differences between these two packages are not obvious, and you will probably not be able to tell which package is present on a Ford truck without referencing the build sheet. However, once you hook a trailer up to your vehicle, those hidden differences will soon become quite apparent.

The Trailer Tow Package

The basic Ford Trailer Tow Package is actually not that basic. It, of course, comes with the obvious Class IV trailer hitch and standard 4/7-pin wiring harness to connect your trailer. However, the package also includes numerous less obvious features to improve your trailering experience. For instance, on every engine except the base 3.3L V6, the Trailer Tow Package also adds an engine oil cooler to keep the truck from overheating under the heavier strain of towing. Other mechanical upgrades include a heavier front stabilizer bar and, on some models, an auxiliary transmission oil cooler. Finally, the package adds a tailgate LED that makes hitching a trailer in the dark a much easier experience. Altogether, these upgrades mean that an F-150 with the Trailer Tow Package is a far more capable vehicle than one that has simply had a hitch and wiring added later. So if you are looking at Ford trucks for sale with the intention of adding towing capability down the road, be aware that spending the money on a factory tow package will get you far more value for your dollar.

However, the Trailer Tow Package does not stop with physical upgrades to the truck and also adds two valuable electronic features. These are Pro Trailer Backup Assist and Smart Trailer Tow Connector. While a good mechanic could replicate the mechanical additions of the Trailer Tow Package, these integrated electronic upgrades are only available from the factory. Pro Trailer Backup Assist is designed to make reversing with a trailer attached a far simpler and more intuitive task. When this feature is activated, and the truck is put in reverse, steering is performed with an auxiliary knob on the dashboard instead of the steering wheel. Simply turn the knob in the direction that you want to go, and the computer will figure out the necessary steering inputs to get you there while monitoring your trailer through the backup camera. This not only makes maneuvering with a trailer a breeze; it means that you will never again need to stop and think about which way to turn the wheel to keep from backing into something.

The second electronic system included in the Trailer Tow Package is less evident to the driver but just as valuable. Smart Trailer Tow Connector monitors the electrical systems in any trailer plugged into your truck and displays relevant information right in your instrument cluster. This will let you know if your trailer has any burned out lights or if its batteries are running low, preventing any unpleasant surprises while you are out on the road. Along with Pro Trailer Backup Assist, these advanced electronic features more than justify purchasing a Ford F-150 with the Trailer Tow Package if you have any desire to pull a trailer in the future.

The Max Tow Package

If you are looking at Ford trucks for sale specifically for something to tow trailers, then even the basic Trailer Tow Package might not be enough for you. In that case, look for an F-150 with the Max Trailer Tow Package. This improved towing package includes all the mechanical and electronic features found in the starting towing package, from the engine oil cooler and upgraded stabilizer bar to Pro Trailer Backup Assist and Smart Trailer Tow Connector. But it also adds some extra features that are particularly valuable for pulling heavier trailers longer distances.

The single most significant change included in the Max Tow Package is the upgrade to an electronic-locking rear axle with a 3.55 gear ratio. The addition of an electronic-locking rear axle means that power will be directed evenly to both rear wheels, significantly improving traction on poor surfaces. If you are in mud or snow, this might be the difference between getting your trailer moving or not. While the larger 3.55 gear ratio is not as large an improvement as the electronic-locking rear axle, stepping up from the standard 3.15 or 3.31 will provide more effective torque and help you get a heavy trailer moving more efficiently. If the Max Tow Package is combined with the Heavy-Duty Payload Package, then this will be further upgraded to a 3.73 gear ratio.

Two other physical changes included in the Max Tow Package are a larger fuel tank and an upgraded rear bumper. While the base Ford F-150 has either a 23-gallon or 26-gallon fuel tank, trucks equipped with the Max Tow Package have a 36-gallon fuel tank. Increasing fuel capacity by almost 50% is not only important because pulling a large and heavy trailer will result in higher fuel consumption, but because needing to stop for gas with a trailer attached can be a hassle that is better avoided.

Finally, the Ford Max Tow Package includes the Integrated Trailer Brake Controller. This electronic system not only connects your trailer’s brakes to the brake pedal in your truck, but it also allows you to adjust just how much brake force your trailer is applying on the fly from a switch on the dashboard. This valuable system makes stopping with a trailer much simpler and safer. And with its adjustability, you can easily get your trailer to behave the same way, no matter if it is empty or fully-loaded. Further improving safety, if the connection to the trailer is lost, your truck will immediately alert you with a warning chime and a message in your instrument cluster.

Overall, the Max Tow Package is a valuable upgrade over the already feature-rich Trailer Tow Package. It is a vital addition to any Ford F-150 that will often be used for towing. We hope this post has answered your question of what is the Ford Max Tow Package and given you insight into which of our many Ford trucks for sale is the right choice for your towing needs. If you have any more questions or wish to test out some of these advanced features for yourself, stop by Kings Ford and let our friendly sales team help you out.




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