Is The Ford Ranger Good For Towing?
After eight years of being off the market, Ford brought back the Ranger to the US with the 2019 model. The new version came with improved looks and excellent off-roading ability. And, one of Ford’s claims to fame is the towing ability. But, Ford is also bragging about the new four-cylinder engine. Is it enough? Let’s find out whether the Ford Ranger is suitable for towing.
Is The Ford Ranger Good For Towing?
The Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500 pounds, making it an excellent pickup for towing. Thanks to a relatively light body and body-on-frame construction, the Ranger can pull heavy loads. Its 2.3L inline-4 engine puts out 270 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, and it comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
To achieve these towing numbers, you must choose the SuperCab version. Also, you must add the Trailer Tow Package. This option increases the vehicle’s capacity with improved suspension and cooling, plus dedicated hitches.
Read more about these improvements and how towing packages can increase your pulling capacity in our article. Without the tow package, the Ford Ranger can pull a maximum of 3,500 pounds.
For those looking for adventure, the Ford Ranger offers other packages, like the FX4. This version includes tuned suspension, bigger tires, and a locking rear differential. But this package doesn’t increase the Ranger’s towing capacity.
Ford has made a name for itself when it comes to towing. The Expedition leads all SUVs with impressive towing capabilities. You can read our article on the topic. So, it’s no mystery that the Ranger also leads its class in this category. Let’s find out more.
Does the Ford Ranger Tow More Than the Competition?
If you consider competitors like Chevrolet, Jeep, Toyota, and Honda, the Ford Ranger is one of the leaders in the towing category. With the Trailer Tow Package, with either the 4×2 or the 4×4 configuration, the Ranger can tow 7,500 pounds. The following table details how it fares against the competition. Keep in mind that this table includes towing packages where applicable.
|Make||Model||Towing Capacity in pounds||Starting Price|
This table shows that the Ford Ranger has a better towing capacity than the Colorado, Tacoma, and Ridgeline. It also is close to the Gladiator and Canyon. We must also highlight that the GMC Canyon that can achieve these towing numbers is the diesel-powered version.
Also interesting is the price. The Ford Ranger is the cheapest of the group. Since Ford’s tow packages cost around $500, the Ranger is an excellent option for those looking for an affordable working-man pickup. Plus, reviews highlight that the Ranger’s 10-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, even when towing maximum loads.
But, not all Rangers can tow 7,500 pounds. How you configure them is essential. Let’s find out.
How to Tow More in a Ford Ranger
The Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500 pounds, but only in specific configurations. The following table shows the different configurations that can pull the most pounds.
|Configuration||Maximum towing capacity in pounds||Maximum Payload Capacity in pounds|
As you can see, the SuperCab 4×2 can tow 7,500 pounds while also hauling the most cargo. The SuperCab differs from the SuperCrew in the seating configuration.
The SuperCab offers seating for four. Passengers in the front have two bucket seats. A smaller bench can fit two; plus, access is through the main door. In the SuperCrew, there’s a bit more space.
Three passengers can fit in the back, thanks to a larger bench. Also, access is easier since the SuperCrew offers full doors. This difference means that the bed is shorter. In total, it’s five feet in length, compared to the SuperCab’s six-foot bed.
These minor differences add up. Since the SuperCrew has more doors and larger seats, it’s slightly heavier, reducing the hauling capacity.
Then, there’s the difference between 4×2 and 4×4. Many vehicles can pull less when they come with a 4×4 than with a 4×2. There are several reasons for this.
In a 4×2 vehicle, the engine sends the power only to two wheels. It’s usually the two rear wheels in pickups, except the Honda Ridgeline, the only pickup in the US market with front-wheel drive.
Because the engine must only power two wheels, it faces less friction and strain. In 4×4 pickups, the engine moves four wheels instead of two, meaning more road resistance. 4x4s have a front differential and additional transmission components. All these translate to more weight.
In fact, more luxurious versions might even tow less. The added luxuries translate to heavier bodies. So, if towing is your thing, aim for the lightest vehicles.
Now that you know which of the Ford Ranger’s configurations is ideal for towing, it’s essential to go through some towing terms.
Towing: Terms to Know
The manufacturer defines your ride’s capabilities, and you can find them in the user manual. The Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500 pounds, but not all versions can do this.
In fact, the basic version can only pull 3,500 pounds, which is a considerable difference. So, to understand what these numbers mean, we’ve listed some practical towing terms. They are:
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): usually expressed in pounds or separated by class. It’s the vehicle’s maximum total weight. In the Ford Ranger, it’s 6,050 pounds.
- Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR): usually expressed in pounds or separated by class. It’s the recommended maximum loaded weight of your vehicle and your trailer. In the Ford Ranger, it’s a maximum of 12,500 pounds.
- Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW): usually expressed in pounds. It’s your vehicle’s weight, alone, without the trailer, when fully loaded.
- Gross Trailer Weight Rating (GTWR): usually expressed in pounds or separated by class. The maximum recommended weight for a fully loaded trailer. This number is the maximum towing capacity. In the Ford Ranger, it’s up to 7,500 pounds.
- Tongue Weight (TW): usually expressed in pounds. This is the maximum weight that can be exerted onto the back of the vehicle. It concerns the hitching point between the trailer and the truck. It’s an essential value for stability. In the Ford Ranger, it’s 750 pounds for vehicles with tow packages. Without this option, it’s 350 pounds.
- Curb Weight (CW): usually expressed in pounds. This is the vehicle’s weight when there are no passengers or cargo. But it does take into consideration fuel and the fluids necessary to operate.
- Dry Weight (DW): usually expressed in pounds. This is similar to the CW but removes the weight from fuel and the fluids necessary to operate.
Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines for towing and hauling. Exceeding towing capacity can lead to considerable damage to your vehicle. You can read our article on the topic here.
Ford Ranger: What Can I Tow?
Because the Ford Ranger can tow up to 7,500 pounds, it can tow a lot of lighter stuff for an adventurous weekend. Let’s take RVs, for example.
With a trend towards lighter, more manageable travel trailers, most of them weigh 5,000 pounds. When you add cargo like fuel, water, food, and clothing, the weight can increase to 6,000 pounds, giving more than enough room for you to drive safely.
But don’t try to pull a very long trailer. The Ford Ranger is a mid-size pickup truck with a shorter wheelbase. While it can put down the power, it might lose grip when facing heavier loads.
Other items the Ranger can tow include jet skis, fishing boats, tow dollies, even teardrop trailers. In some cases, the Ford Ranger can pull a loaded car trailer. If you’re going to do this, be sure to verify all weights to ensure that they fit within the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Many people ask if the Ford Ranger is suitable for towing. This article explains that, with a maximum of 7,500 pounds of towing capacity, the Ranger is an excellent towing option.
In the mid-sized pickup truck segment, the Ford Ranger outperforms many of its competitors. It’s also a podium finisher for the most towing capacity.
But, to achieve these numbers, future users must choose the Tow Trailer Package. This option includes improved suspension and other components and costs around $500.
Even if it can tow 7,500 pounds, the Ford Ranger has a shorter wheelbase. With longer loads, this can translate to less grip. As we’ve mentioned in other articles, you should always check your owner’s manual to understand your vehicle’s capacity.
We can safely say that the Ranger’s reintroduction to the US market is a solid one. With exemplary towing performance, a powerful yet efficient engine, and updated looks, the Ranger is sure to an attractive option. Those looking for a go-anywhere, do-anything ride who need to tow should definitely consider it.