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2022 Ford Expedition Timberline - HD Tow


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Well, I hauled the boat a couple hours away this morning to try out a timberline as an alternative for a tow vehicle.  We don't tow very much anymore, so I'd love to get rid of the truck and get back into an SUV.  Plenty of start and stop.  Loved the vehicle, the features, all of it.  But the trailer created a fair amount of sag on the back end of it and it started to feel spongy above 45.  I had taken the boat to the scales to get some weights and I was surprised to see how much tongue weight this one actually had going on.  Total rig was 8500, with 1000 of that on the tongue.  I had topped off the tank to try to get it to max weight, but I was still a little surprised.  We tow a couple miles each way on the weekends and I'll bring it home a couple times during the year which is about 90 miles one way.  I was planning to put electric over hydraulic to ease the braking concerns, but it felt loose at 45mph and above.  I only got it up to 55 before I was ready to call it quits.  

Does anyone know if the timberline is getting a softer suspension to allow for more travel on the trails vs the other expedition models?  I had a hard time getting much in the way of search results when I checked.  I've always been more of a GM guy, so I thought I'd ask the ford folks on here.  

I also saw the 2023 sequoia is going to haul 9000lbs with a hybrid motor and their adaptive variable suspension package, which is intriguing.  No release date or much else in the way of information exists.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, JeffK said:

 Total rig was 8500, with 1000 of that on the tongue.

That is a lot of weight for any 1/2 ton based SUV.  And that's about 12-13% on the tongue which is about ideal really for stability purposes.  Also, remember, as soon as you add a passenger in the vehicle or any gear you are taking away towing capacity and payload so even the 9K Sequoia rating is really very optimistic if you want to haul any people or gear on your trip.  And I bet as soon as you option it up that Sequoia is not going to have a 9k rating.  

Edited by jjackkrash
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Posted (edited)

I have a 2019 ExpMax as my secondary tow vehicle (but it still sees a lot of miles). My boat is lighter than yours (around 7000 pounds fully loaded). 
 

I have used it several times to pull 1000 miles round trip to Lake Powell.  That’s through the Rockies over the Continental Divide.  While stability in mine isn’t nearly as good as my 3500 DRW (shocker right?) it is still comfortable to set cruise at 75 MPH. 
 

I have made some adjustments to my trailer. Electric brakes for better stopping. And upgraded to Endurance trailer tires (made a significant difference in stability/trailer sway).   The OEM tires on my trailer were low quality Chinese no-name, and had a lot of sidewalk flex. 
 

My Ex has a payload of around 1750 pounds. Was the Timberline the same?

782DCB63-C802-4F60-8115-1E76C02E6DF8.jpeg

Edited by RyanB
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11 hours ago, jjackkrash said:

And that's about 12-13% on the tongue which is about ideal really for stability purposes.

I was really surprised to see that honestly.  

 

3 hours ago, RyanB said:

Electric brakes for better stopping.

I have already started down that path, but seems the sag is more of my issue.

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29 minutes ago, JeffK said:

I was really surprised to see that honestly.  

 

I have already started down that path, but seems the sag is more of my issue.

Does the Expy not have some short of load leveling suspension?  

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That suspension must be different than the standard Ex. My boat only lowers the rear about 1”. But maybe I have way less tongue weight?

 

You could always add air bags. But if i were buying today, I’d go with a Wagoneer or GW. 

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15 minutes ago, RyanB said:

That suspension must be different than the standard Ex. My boat only lowers the rear about 1”. But maybe I have way less tongue weight?

 

You could always add air bags. But if i were buying today, I’d go with a Wagoneer or GW. 

I wanted to go Grand Wagoner (we've had a 3 previous Jeeps), but I just couldn't get over the looks over it. Think hearse. :-) And to be honest...my Jeep dealer advised me NOT to buy one with all the problems they've seen and they have multiple dealerships. I'm sure they will work out the bugs, but I couldn't wait until next year. I tow with my F250 but my wife was due for a vehicle. We ended up with an Escalade Sport w/ the Onyx package and have been very happy. Price was comparable to the GW. Super cruise is awesome on the highways.

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I think the usual tongue weight is 8-10% (10-12% is more usual for utility trailer setup), taking 200 pounds off the hitch would reduce squat and improve the steering a good bit I think.  I tow three different boats ranging from 8k and 800 pounds, using a SUV and 3/4 ton truck (I rent).  For that combination I have three different draw bars with different offsets.  With that combo and a big wrench for flipping the draw bar over for one of the combinations I can get the right hitch hight for proper lounge weight.

I really, really, really wish I had gone EoH brakes on our 2021 23 MXZ.

There are a number of threads on the board about weight distributing hitches and fewer on air bags.  Bottom line is that air bags will level the tow vehicle but exaggerate the weight distribution problem between the front and drive axle.  The trailer towing standards with regard to steering are written around what it takes to keep enough weight on the front wheels.  If you are sagging in the rear then you are reducing the weight on the front (steering tires) hence the bad feeling at highway speeds.

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11 hours ago, gregtay said:

Does the Expy not have some short of load leveling suspension?  

The timberline didn’t. 

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4 hours ago, RyanB said:

That suspension must be different than the standard Ex. My boat only lowers the rear about 1”. But maybe I have way less tongue weight?

 

You could always add air bags. But if i were buying today, I’d go with a Wagoneer or GW. 

I hate to do that while it would still be under warranty. I assume that voids it. 

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12 minutes ago, Surf4FamFun said:

I think the usual tongue weight is 8-10% (10-12% is more usual for utility trailer setup), taking 200 pounds off the hitch would reduce squat and improve the steering a good bit I think.  I tow three different boats ranging from 8k and 800 pounds, using a SUV and 3/4 ton truck (I rent).  For that combination I have three different draw bars with different offsets.  With that combo and a big wrench for flipping the draw bar over for one of the combinations I can get the right hitch hight for proper lounge weight.

I really, really, really wish I had gone EoH brakes on our 2021 23 MXZ.

There are a number of threads on the board about weight distributing hitches and fewer on air bags.  Bottom line is that air bags will level the tow vehicle but exaggerate the weight distribution problem between the front and drive axle.  The trailer towing standards with regard to steering are written around what it takes to keep enough weight on the front wheels.  If you are sagging in the rear then you are reducing the weight on the front (steering tires) hence the bad feeling at highway speeds.

The trailer was pretty level, but the sag was too much. At the end of the day, it was hard to justify 80k for a vehicle I couldn’t do some occasional towing with. 

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10% is the minimum rule of thumb; you can get away with 8% but I'd rather be at 12% or 15% than 8% and I'd consider 8% the absolute bare minimum.  The farther under 10% on the tongue the more you risk getting wig wags.  I know folks like to get less on the tongue to save payload but it is cutting corners on stability.  

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18 hours ago, jjackkrash said:

10% is the minimum rule of thumb; you can get away with 8% but I'd rather be at 12% or 15% than 8% and I'd consider 8% the absolute bare minimum.  The farther under 10% on the tongue the more you risk getting wig wags.  I know folks like to get less on the tongue to save payload but it is cutting corners on stability.  

Tongue weight demo

Weight Distributing Hitch VS air bags, in general informative

Like any good thing there are rules of thumb and mitigating factors.  If putting 12% on the tongue is more that the tow vehicle can handle then 8% might be the better choice.  We really don't need a 3/4 ton truck often but paying 450 to 1,200 dollars per use to rent one takes some of the fun out of it.  So I did a lot of reading on what really limits towing on a 1/2 ton.  These are a couple good explanations.  It is really a lot more to it that towing limit and payload.

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Posted (edited)

If you are targeting 8% tongue weight because you don't have enough payload that's just an admission your tow vehicle is inadequate.  Then you are coupling an inadequate tow vehicle with less than ideal tongue weight.  Not the best recipe for towing success.  

I get not wanting to upgrade for merely occasional use, but the more math and juggling numbers you have to do to make it work the bigger the red flags.  

One thing you can do to compensate for an inadequate tow vehicle used just occasionally is to slow down and take your time. If you are not in a hurry and take your time there is more margin for error on the tow specs.   

 

 

Edited by jjackkrash
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On 5/24/2022 at 5:37 PM, tjklein said:

I wanted to go Grand Wagoner (we've had a 3 previous Jeeps), but I just couldn't get over the looks over it. Think hearse. :-) And to be honest...my Jeep dealer advised me NOT to buy one with all the problems they've seen and they have multiple dealerships. I'm sure they will work out the bugs, but I couldn't wait until next year. I tow with my F250 but my wife was due for a vehicle. We ended up with an Escalade Sport w/ the Onyx package and have been very happy. Price was comparable to the GW. Super cruise is awesome on the highways.

I also wanted one... preordered a GWIII... then cancelled and went with a new Duramax Escalade last year. Couldn't be happier.  The Grand Waggy is a mess. Ugly from the outside, but even worse is that they don't work.  Full of software and mechanical issues that Jeep is very slow to work out. Owners are super frustrated and have started to just give up.  I am sure v2 will be better (and hopefully looks better) but for now... the Grand Wagoneer isn't delivering.  The is evidenced by my local dealer having 12 of them sitting on the lot for sale. They don't have 12 of any other car on the lot (heck.. the have so few cars on the lot it looks like they went out of business.  Meanwhile... try getting your hands on a decently equipped GM full sized SUV. Escalades are still going for $30-$40k over MSRP.  and if you want the Duramax... well that is apparently like searching for a unicorn.

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12 hours ago, Bozboat said:

Anyone have an easy way to measure tongue weight?

I recently went to a Cat scale hoping to get that answer.  The attendants running the scale gave me total combined weight and trailer weight.  I did not get an actual tongue weight even though I told them that was what I was looking for.  Full disclosure, it was my first time using a weigh station so I was clueless.

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The boat in lake ready shape weighs B and the Trailer weighs T, so am I looking for a percentage of B+T?

Do I include the full weight of the empty trailer in this calculation?

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2 hours ago, Bozboat said:

The boat in lake ready shape weighs B and the Trailer weighs T, so am I looking for a percentage of B+T?

Do I include the full weight of the empty trailer in this calculation?

Yes, roughly 10% of B+T (everything that is rolling down the road).

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Hemmy said:

I recently went to a Cat scale hoping to get that answer.  The attendants running the scale gave me total combined weight and trailer weight.  I did not get an actual tongue weight even though I told them that was what I was looking for.  Full disclosure, it was my first time using a weigh station so I was clueless.

The Cat scale is actually three different scales that work together.  The scales are called Steering/drive/trailer.  Go thru once with tow vehicle straddling the steering/drive scales and the trailer on the trailer scale.  Pick up your ticket, and drop the boat in the parking lot.  Go back and put the tow vehicle in the same position on the scales.  They will give you a second weigh ticket.  Each ticket has a weight for each of the three scales separately and a total weight.  The difference in the aggregate/total between the two tickets is the boat weight.  The difference in the drive scale between the two is tongue weight.  The steering wheel weight should be close to the same.  There is no magic way to get the trailer weight in one pass.  

I weighted our 23 MXZ with a full gas tank as gas is 6.1 pounds per gallon it adds significant weight to the rig and is how we travel from the last gas station to the ramp.  I think they allowed a second weigh either free or reduced cost.  

The truck farm I went to had two Cat scales in different lots.  I ran the above process on the first one and then just did the total weight on the second one.  They were very close to the same weight which is to say that they are pretty accurate.  If you stay in the tow for one weigh and step off the scales for the second it will be off by your weight,

Edited by Surf4FamFun
clarified a little
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43 minutes ago, Surf4FamFun said:

The Cat scale is actually three different scales that work together.  The scales are called Steering/drive/trailer.  Go thru once with tow vehicle straddling the steering/drive scales and the trailer on the trailer scale.  Pick up your ticket, and drop the boat in the parking lot.  Go back and put the tow vehicle in the same position on the scales.  They will give you a second weigh ticket.  Each ticket has a weight for each of the three scales separately and a total weight.  The difference in the aggregate/total between the two tickets is the boat weight.  The difference in the drive scale between the two is tongue weight.  The steering wheel weight should be close to the same.  There is no magic way to get the trailer weight in one pass.  

I weighted our 23 MXZ with a full gas tank as gas is 6.1 pounds per gallon it adds significant weight to the rig and is how we travel from the last gas station to the ramp.  I think they allowed a second weigh either free or reduced cost.  

The truck farm I went to had two Cat scales in different lots.  I ran the above process on the first one and then just did the total weight on the second one.  They were very close to the same weight which is to say that they are pretty accurate.  If you stay in the tow for one weigh and step off the scales for the second it will be off by your weight,

When I did mine, I pulled the boat through and dropped it to where the jackstand in the front was on the forward my scale and the two axles were on the second scale. That was how I got the difference between tongue weight versus what is over the axles. Would that not give you a decent ballpark? I know that the jackstand is a little further back than where the trailer mounts to the ball but I felt it would be pretty close. Am I missing something?

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On 5/26/2022 at 1:42 AM, jjackkrash said:

If you are targeting 8% tongue weight because you don't have enough payload that's just an admission your tow vehicle is inadequate.  Then you are coupling an inadequate tow vehicle with less than ideal tongue weight.  Not the best recipe for towing success.  

I get not wanting to upgrade for merely occasional use, but the more math and juggling numbers you have to do to make it work the bigger the red flags.  

One thing you can do to compensate for an inadequate tow vehicle used just occasionally is to slow down and take your time. If you are not in a hurry and take your time there is more margin for error on the tow specs.   

 

 

Not going to debate the point other than to say (in my opinion) that working the numbers is better than not, the red flag is those that don't even check.  If you are really want to be sure if your rig is by the numbers you need to check what your tow limit is with and without a weight distributing hitch (WDH), they don't make that table easy to find.  There are a fair number of 1/2 ton and a few 3/4 ton trucks that are rated to tow 10,000 or so pounds but only 5,000 to 7,000 without a WDH.  This especially true of older vehicles and has been discussed at length in other threads.

My experience has been that too much tongue weight is very dangerous as it takes weight off the steering wheels (front) and you loose directional control.  This is what a WDH is designed to prevent and what the trailer towing standards check for when determining how much can be towed without a WDH.

 

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23 minutes ago, JeffK said:

When I did mine, I pulled the boat through and dropped it to where the jackstand in the front was on the forward my scale and the two axles were on the second scale. That was how I got the difference between tongue weight versus what is over the axles. Would that not give you a decent ballpark? I know that the jackstand is a little further back than where the trailer mounts to the ball but I felt it would be pretty close. Am I missing something?

I think as long as the trailer was sitting at the same level as when on the hitch it would be more accurate.  

The flaw in the method I used is that when the hitch takes a load it is a lever behind the rear axel and lifts the front end of the truck.  Think a seesaw with one end being the hitch, the fulcrum in the middle being the rear axel, the other end being the front of the truck.  What reads on the scale is going to be some higher than the actual tongue weight.  This ignores how much weight is on the drive and steering axel which is another consideration. 

When I asked about doing what you did he said no.  I presume that blocking the scales with a dropped trailer was not of the employee handbook and did not press the issue.  It would be fun to try It and see but given the amount of driving that I would have to do will not volunteer.  

If you are a bit of a gear head this is a good watch that makes a lot of sense to me.  When you put weight on the hitch a lot happens other than just adding the hitch weight to the payload.  WDH vs Airbags and axel loading 

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