The Ford Ranger was reborn in 2019, with updated looks but only one powerplant. While the 2.3L inline-four packs a punch, some fans might feel the Ranger lags in the towing department. The competition offers various engines. So, does the Ranger’s reputation for a hard-working truck still holds? Let’s find out.
What Size Trailer Can A Ford Ranger Pull?
The Ford Ranger can pull up to 7,500 pounds of cargo. This capacity translates to anything from jet ski and motorcycle trailers to teardrop and utility trailers.
Thanks to its powerful engine and short wheelbase, the Ranger handles most towing cargo with ease. Interestingly, Ford claims this towing capacity across all the trim levels.
Length is also an essential factor when towing. A trailer’s length and the number of axles available can affect the vehicle’s stability. A general rule is that a greater separation between the trailer’s wheels and the towing vehicle is better. But, as we’ll see later, there are many safety notes to consider.
While there are many trim levels and options, Ford has managed to obtain the same towing capacity across all models. Plus, Ford’s Trailer Tow Package makes a huge difference. A standard Ford Ranger pulls only 3,500 pounds.
In the towing department, the Ranger outdoes most of its competitors. Even though it comes with only one powerplant, it’s powerful enough to climb to the top of the list out of seven competitors. Plus, thanks to optional 4WD and low-range gearing, it can tackle challenging terrain as well.
First, we’ll cover the Ranger’s different trim levels. Contrary to other manufacturers, it’s a consistent truck. Options like suspension, interior, and packages don’t alter the final towing performance.
How Many Pounds Can A Ford Ranger Tow?
Currently, there are several Ford Ranger trim levels. But, in reality, there are two main body kits and two drivetrain choices. The following table shows how they perform.
|Configuration||Maximum Towing Capacity in pounds|
Yes, as you can see, all the available Ford Ranger configurations tow a maximum of 7,500 pounds. You can choose the basic XL or the top-of-the-line Lariat, that you’ll get the same performance.
So, for potential buyers, it’s the body type that determines the model to buy. The SuperCab offers a smaller backseat, with individual bucket seats and no rear doors. It comes in both 4×2 and 4×4 options.
The SuperCrew offers seating for three, thanks to its larger bench. Plus, it comes with rear doors that fully open. But, these options increase its weight, lowering the SuperCrew’s towing capacity.
Finally, the SuperCrew Tremor is a special version with offroading fans in mind. It comes with softer suspension to help deal with adverse terrain. Also, it only comes in 4WD.
But neither the softer springs nor the permanent 4WD diminishes its towing capacity. With the tow package, it can still tow 7,500 pounds.
Ford’s Trailer Tow Package comes with a stronger hitch and dedicated electrical connections. Without this option, all Ford Rangers tow a maximum of 3,500 pounds. But, it’s essential to understand what this towing ability means in real life. So, here are some examples.
What Trailers Can A Ford Ranger Tow?
With such a high towing capacity, the trailers the Ranger can pull are plenty. Because weights are so varied, we’ve created a table with just some examples.
The following table shows some of the trailers the Ford Ranger can carry. It only includes averages you might find. So, the best way to ensure safe towing is to check the trailer and manufacturer’s guidelines for specific numbers.
|Trailer Type||Average empty weight (lbs)||Average load capacity (lbs)||Estimated total load (lbs)|
|Small enclosed utility trailer||1,000||2,200||3,200|
|Fishing boat trailer||600||2,700||3,500|
|Small travel trailer||2,800||800||3,600|
|Large Enclosed utility trailer||2,700||4,400||7,100|
As you can see, the variety is plenty. And, this table doesn’t include all available options. Still, the Ranger’s towing performance is admirable.
But you can’t base yourself only on a trailer’s weight. Its length is also a crucial factor for safe towing. Let’s find out why.
How Does Trailer Length Affect Handling?
To understand how the trailer length affects handling, we must first explain what wheelbase is.
In any vehicle, the distance between the front wheels and the rear is called the wheelbase. The longer this measurement, the more stable it is for towing.
Because the wheels are farther apart, it’s less likely for the trailer to push down on the back of the vehicle and lift the front. Manufacturers don’t advise specific ratios, but a rule of thumb is that a 110-inch wheelbase allows for a 20-foot trailer.
For each additional four inches of wheelbase, you can assume one more foot of trailer length. Then, there’s the topic of axles.
The more axles a trailer has, the more stable it should be. But, the ideal design for stability is to some distance between trailer axles.
Still, you can’t base yourself only on length or weight. It would be best if you kept both values in consideration.
So, let’s talk about the Ford Ranger. It comes with 126,8 inches of wheelbase, which translates to 16 additional inches. In total, this could add you four more feet for a maximum trailer length of 24 feet.
Even with this length, you must always load your trailer correctly to avoid swaying. To counter this, the Ford Ranger comes with Trailer Sway Control. This feature warns the driver of any instability or sway, advising to slow down to prevent accidents.
But there are plenty of mid-sized pickups in the market. So, let’s find out how the Ranger stacks up against the competition.
Is The Ford Ranger Better At Towing Than The Competition?
Ford claims that the Ford Ranger has a class-leading towing capacity. Thanks to its Trailer Tow Package, this pickup can tow 7,500 pounds. So, it’s time to pin it against the competitors.
For adequate comparison, we’ll use the competition’s top performer. Some of these manufacturers have packages of their own. If you want to know more about these upgrades, check out our article on the topic.
|Make||Model||Towing Capacity in pounds||Starting Price|
We can see some interesting numbers in this table. The Toyota Tacoma, known for its reliability and offroading capabilities, falls 1,100 pounds behind the Ranger. The Colorado, one of its direct competitors, tows 500 pounds less.
But, we can see that, standing on top of the rankings, it’s not the Ranger. It’s not up to us to question Ford’s claim. The fact of the matter is that the Ford Ranger doesn’t have a class-leading towing capacity. And here’s where we can highlight the Ranger’s possible Achilles heel.
The GMC Canyon and Jeep Gladiator both come with V6 diesel engines putting out astounding torque figures. Here’s how the engines compare:
|Ford Ranger||2.3L inline-4||270 hp||310 lb-ft|
|GMC Canyon||2.8L Inline-4||181 hp||369 lb-ft|
|Jeep Gladiator||3.0L V6 Diesel||260 hp||442 lb-ft|
As you can see, the Ford Ranger falls behind in the torque department, against diesel engines in particular. So, Ford leads the segment in towing for gasoline powerplants and still places a respectable third place in the overall standings.
Perhaps Ford should consider introducing other powerplants. With more performance figures to play with, the Ranger could easily outperform its competition.
Towing With A Ford Ranger
Many want to know what’s the largest trailer they can pull with a Ford Ranger. This article answers this. It also sheds light on specific details about the Ranger’s performance and other critical aspects for safe trailering.
With an impressive 7,500 pounds of towing capacity and a 126,8-inch wheelbase, the Ranger can safely tow trailers up to 24 feet in length. Anything from small kayak trailers to tow dollies and large enclosed trailers, the Ranger can tow plenty.
While you could pull larger ones, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for both your truck and your trailer.
Ford’s Trailer Tow Package shines through as an essential tool for improving the towing performance. Without it, a standard Ranger can only tow 3,500 pounds, well below the competition.
What’s interesting is that the Ford Ranger has the same towing capacity across all trim levels and configurations. Even the Tremor package, aimed towards offroading enthusiasts, has exemplary towing performance. Many of the competitors are unable to offer such performance.
What the Ranger has in towing capacity, it lacks in engine options. Compared to vehicles like the Canyon and Gladiator, Ford’s mid-size truck cannot keep up with diesel options.
So, the latest Ford Ranger is an excellent option for those looking for a well-rounded, capable mid-size truck that can tow large trailers. Potential buyers who want to squeeze every towing pound out of their vehicle might not consider it the best choice. Hopefully, to tend to this market, Ford invests in a broader array of engines.