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Ford F150 and a Gooseneck

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  • Ford F150 and a Gooseneck

    I have purchased an '02 F150 4x4 extended cab for hauling hay, feed and the bumper pull 2 horse trailer.

    I've been thinking about trailers. I'd like a 3 horse trailer. My truck hauls the 2 horse BPs really well. No complaints there. I'm worried about the 3 horse trailers. 3 horse BPs are harder to find. 3 horse Goosenecks are pretty available.

    Does anyone pull a gooseneck with an F150? I saw one on the highway a few weeks ago and it looked okay. It was identical to mine pulling a 3 horse GN with a tack room. One of my boarders uses a GMC Sierra 1500 Z71 to pull her 2 horse GN.

    I just want to make sure I'm not completely nuts for thinking that my F150 would be capable of pulling a 3 horse gooseneck. I know a 250 would be better but my budget just wasn't available for any of the 250s I found.

    Another question about trucks, does the 4x4 decrease the towing capacity? I was always told that 4x4s would be a better idea just in case of trouble but someone said the other day that the four wheel drive decreases towing... I'm second guessing now.

    Anyway, I'm rambling. Thanks for your input!
    Iron Star Equestrian

    Heels Down, Eyes Up, Plan Ahead

  • #2
    I wouldn't do it. It does put quite the strain on the engine & tranny going up hill. Also, you'd want more weight in a truck to stabilize the weight of the trailer in the rare event of loss of brakes, etc.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


    • #3
      Don't do it. A friend of mine hauls her 2H GN with her F150 4X4. It pulls it. But you can about hear the transmission slowly burning up and they had to install air bladder suspension in the rear to keep it from being just plain scary to haul. I would definitely not pull three horses with it. We hauled 3 horses in a GN behind a Chevy 2500 (3/4 ton) gas engine last weekend and it was working its TAIL off, I would rather have used my 250 diesel, but I keep a camper shell on it and perfer a bumper pull with it. Of course, you are already going to get miserable mileage pulling with the 1/2 ton.

      You will see people doing it. Lots of people do it. But I can promise you they are paying the repair/replacement bills as a price. At which point you could have just spent the money on the 250 up front and pulled whatever you wanted. Just because people do it, doesn't mean it's a great idea....

      4X4 does not in and of itself do anything to tow capacity. It does decrease tow capacity WHEN IT IS ENGAGED. Also, in the F150, when the 4x4 option is added, they use the 3/4 ton axles most of the time, instead of the 1/2 tons axles, so you get a little extra strength there. Mostly 4x4 just means more weight on the truck, reduced mileage, and more front end issues and in the south, I just never used it, so I traded mine in and current truck is a 2WD. I figure if I get stuck at a show, I am surrounded by trucks and tractors!

      Length is also going to be an issue, even though it's a gooseneck. You still have to fit 3 horses back there and you have a fairly lightweight truck to balance out that much weight should the unexpected occur. I just wouldn't feel comfortable putting my own horse in that situation.
      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
      We Are Flying Solo


      • #4
        I wouldn't do it either. I have an F250 diesel and it struggles sometimes with my aluminum 3h gooseneck. Well it only struggles when the trailer has 3 horses, hay and feed in it and we're going up really steep hills...

        RIP Beaming Sportsfield (1998-2012)


        • #5
          They're small hearts.


          • #6
            Which 150 did you buy? We owned one that was rated for 7700 lbs. I don't recall the specifics, but it was a rare duck- in the 5 yrs we owned it I saw only 1-2 others set up like it. I pulled a 3H GN aluminum trailer with tiny 4' short wall LQ. I never hauled 3 horses loaded to camp, just two. That maxed out what that truck could do. I DID haul three horses from time to time, but again, not to camp (so not hauling 30 gallons of water, three bales of hay, etc for example). That maxed out what that truck could do.

            You are in Tallahassee so that helps in terms of FLAT land hauling. You MIGHT could manage a 3H barebones aluminum stock, but again...only if you bought a beefed up 150 like the one we had (firmer suspension, extra stuff under the hood to cool the engine, obviously I can't remember much about it LOL)

            4X$ has nothing to do with hauling capacity day in and day out, sorry.


            • #7
              Not for a 2002 model which not as beefy as the recent F150's.

              The company I worked for in the early 2000's had an enormous Ford fleet from F150 up to F650's. There was a distinct and very obvious difference between a 2002 F150 and a F250 then. I would consider a late model F150 closer to a F250 from the early 2000's.

              I have a late model F150 with the larger engine and set up for trailering. It's much better than the F150's (2000-2004) that I used to drive for work. Still I won't go more than a 2H w/tack. I could do a 3H goose w/o tack as long as I'm not throwing big horses in back.


              • #8
                You need to start by looking at what you can legally tow based on what the manufacturer specified for that exact vehicle. An 02 F150 could have a tow capacity from about 4000 to about 9000 pounds depending on which version. 4x4 is one option that might affect it a little, but engine and axle ratio will be bigger factors.

                For bigger trucks you often get a higher capacity with a gooseneck or 5th wheel hitch. For an F150 it will probably be very similar to the bumper limit.

                You might be legal for a basic 3H, or you might not. How you hook it up will probably not make that much difference.

                Also, you probably won't get a lot of useful answers here, because there is a vocal group who think that you need a 3/4 ton truck to move raked leaves and a full ton to pull a 2H bumper pull.
                Last edited by tangledweb; Nov. 30, 2009, 04:55 PM.


                • #9
                  which motor? which transmission? Which gearing ratios?

                  Last I checked, having the 4x4 actually decreased the maximum towing load due to the increased weight on the truck. (but made it easier to tow in difficult conditions)

                  I had the 5 L gas, overdrive auto tranny with transmission cooler, low gear ratios for towing and my F150 struggled up hills with a fully loaded 2H steel BP. We're talking pedal to the metal and only going 40 MPH up the mountain.

                  Maxed out at around 7500 lbs.

                  However, my dually 6 L diesel F350 does a really fine job of hauling raked leaves....together with my aluminum 3H GN fully loaded. Up the mountain, passing other vehicles at 60 mph.

                  You really can't have too much truck, and teh F350 gets the same fuel mileage as the F150 used to.
                  "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                  • #10
                    A 3 horse goose is going to be in the neighborhood of 8,000 lbs when loaded - and I'd be surprised if your 150 is rated for that. Indeed, most 150s aren't rated for a 3 horse bumper pull. Your truck will have a tow rating, which will tell you what it can do. Make sure that your hitch is rated for the weight as well as your truck.

                    4x4 does decrease your tow capacity a little, because it adds weight to the truck that comes off your GCVR. That said, if you're that close to the line, I'd have other worries like blowing out your transmission.
                    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket


                    • #11
                      I've done it, no issue except truck wears out faster. Biggest issue is more weight to pull, harder on trans/engine/cooling. Nice thing about diesels in any of the trucks is tranny cooler. Gooseneck in and of itself is actually easier on the truck, pound for pound.

                      If you're going up in weight, look into an aftermarket transmission cooler and maybe even an aftermarket engine oil cooler. Cooler running = less wear = longer life.


                      • #12
                        You might be able to go forward with that combo fairly well but God-forbid you need to jump on your brakes, that truck will not safely stop that loaded trailer. I think it is a HUGE risk. You're just looking for the right place to have an accident. I haul 2 horse GNs with F-350s and once in a while wonder if I need a bigger truck.
                        The 4x4 doesn't mean a thing to the towing unless you're in a muddy parking field. With out the 4x4 you will definitely need the tractor to pull you out. Well, actually, with an F-150 4x4 and a 3 horse GN you'll also need the tractor!
                        Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                        • #13
                          no way no how would I do it
                          "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"


                          • #14
                            I agree with all the neigh-sayers.

                            I've ridden in a F-150 pulling a loaded 2 horse BP and it was downright terrifying when we headed down a hill. Not a chance I've even consider putting 3 horses behind a 150.


                            • #15
                              We have a plain cab, full bed 1990 4x4 F150 that has pulled our 16' gooseneck stocktrailer, with up to four horses or full of cattle, without any trouble, all these years, until we got a 2007 F150 4x4, crew cab, 6 1/2' bed, that we pull with now.
                              Both had the pulling package, that is heavy duty radiator, springs, etc.
                              We have hills, but not mountains and we do fine.

                              I would say that you can't ever have too much truck, so if you are going to pull long and far and always loaded heavily and big hills and mountains, if you have a choice, the larger truck always makes more sense.


                              • #16
                                A new F150 with the larger engine would be capable (rated to tow over 10,000 lbs.) I would definitely be leary with an older one. I just bought a new Sierra rated to tow over 9,000 lbs but won't try anything more than a 2H bumper pull. BTW in most of the trucks I looked at, 4x4 reduced the tow capacity slightly, by 600-800 lbs or so but I'm not sure if that is only when it is engaged.


                                • #17
                                  Legally, you can probably pull a small GN with an F-150 (assuming the truck is properly equiped and the trailer is within the limits of the truck's stated capacity).

                                  As many have noted pushing the limits in a half-ton is rolling the "safety" dice. In any game you'll win some, but eventually you'll "crap out." If that happens coming down a grade at full, gross weight the result will not be pretty.

                                  Attempts at "management" (just doing short trips, staying on flat ground, keeping speed down, etc.) can help, but can't fully compensate for other drivers who can put the heavily laden half-ton into a serious emergency situation.

                                  At the end of the day I'd likely not do it with anything more than a small, simple, light 2H trailer. And then I'd probably have my brakes redone every 25,000 miles.

                                  Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                                  • Original Poster

                                    This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!!

                                    I think if I decide to get a GN trailer, I'll get a bigger truck. I can't really afford massive repair work at the moment (if I could, I'd have bought a bigger truck in the first place!) so I'll probably stick with a 2h bumper.

                                    My truck is rated to pull 8,000. A 2 horse bumper w/ tack room loaded is about 5 or 6,000. That makes sense to me.

                                    Thanks for all your input!!
                                    Iron Star Equestrian

                                    Heels Down, Eyes Up, Plan Ahead


                                    • #19
                                      Just one quick thought: You can get small GN trailers that will weigh close to a BP unit. They'll usually be a couple of hundred pounds more due to the structure of the GN, but if the weight stays within limits (and that includes "tongue" weight) then you're OK.

                                      I guess the biggest danger is that it's very easy to "overbuy" with a GN. Keep that in mind and you could "step up" if done carefully.

                                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by tpup View Post
                                        A new F150 with the larger engine would be capable (rated to tow over 10,000 lbs.) I would definitely be leary with an older one. I just bought a new Sierra rated to tow over 9,000 lbs but won't try anything more than a 2H bumper pull. BTW in most of the trucks I looked at, 4x4 reduced the tow capacity slightly, by 600-800 lbs or so but I'm not sure if that is only when it is engaged.
                                        The 4x4 reduces the tow capacity because of the added weight of the 4x4 components on the truck, so it doesn't matter if it is engaged or not.
                                        If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket