As part of our online series on 2019 trucks, Chris Hemer reviews the new Ford F-150 and its towing features
Ford really upset the applecart in 2015 when it introduced an all-aluminum alloy body for its flagship F-150, and ever since then, the competition has been playing catch-up. Not content to sit upon its substantial laurels in 2019,the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, 5.0-liter V-8 and new 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V-6 will all be paired with a 10-speed automatic, while the base 3.3-liter V-6 engine will carry on with a six-speed automatic.
In addition to well-known models like the XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and off-road focused Raptor, Ford has added the new Limited. Packing the Raptor’s high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine, the Limited will boast 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful and luxurious F-150 ever.
If we’re honest, Ford doesn’t do a great job of promoting RV-specific features, often hiding them in equipment groups on its website’s vehicle configurator. But if you are careful when ordering, you can take advantage of some useful equipment:
Dynamic Hitch Assist with Line-of-Sight Guide: Backup cameras certainly aren’t new, and neither are those that offer “dynamic” guidelines that bend as you turn the steering wheel. But Ford’s system incorporates another line right off the trailer hitch, so you can back directly under the hitch ball, first time, every time.
Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross-Traffic Alert and Trailer Tow Monitoring: We love blind-spot monitoring systems, especially in high-riding trucks that can make it difficult to see a small car or motorcycle. Ford’s BLIS system offers your typical blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alerts (useful when backing out of a parking space, for example), but takes it one step further by letting you know if a vehicle is alongside your trailer, too.
EcoBoost Payload Package: The 2.7-liter EcoBoost is a surprisingly capable engine, but this package makes towing easier and more reliable with a 3.73:1 electronic-locking rear axle and a larger 9.75-inch ring-and-pinion gearset. The package is available on F-150 XL and XLT models with the 2.7-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine.
Pro Trailer Backup Assist: It takes a seasoned RVer to expertly back a trailer, but this feature lets everyone get it right the first time. Turn the system on by pushing a button in the center of the dash-mounted knob, put the vehicle in reverse, take your hands off the steering wheel and turn the knob the direction you want the trailer to go. The vehicle’s rearview camera reads the position of a target sticker that the owner places on the trailer’s A-frame, giving the system a reference point. As you turn the knob, the steering wheel turns on its own in relation to your inputs, and you’re backing like a real pro.
Trailer Tow Package: Just about every truck offers one of these, but some are better equipped than others. Ford’s basic Trailer Tow Package includes a four-pin/seven-pin wiring harness, auxiliary transmission oil cooler, Class IV trailer hitch receiver, Pro Trailer Backup Assist (not included on XL base), Tailgate LED (standard on Lariat and higher), Smart Trailer Tow Connector (alerts to connectivity issues, lighting and battery problems; standard on Lariat and higher) and an upgraded front stabilizer bar.
Max Trailer Tow Package (requires 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine): In addition to the Trailer Tow Package above, this package includes a 3.55:1 electronic-locking rear-axle, 36-gallon fuel tank, integrated trailer-brake controller and upgraded rear bumper. Just remember that neither towing package includes trailer tow mirrors, which are a stand-alone option and must be ordered separately. The package is offered on Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum models.
2019 Ford F-150
3.3 V-6: 7,700 lbs.
2.7L EcoBoost V-6: 9,000 lbs.
5.0-liter V-8: 11,300 lbs.
3.0L Turbo Diesel V-6: 11,300 lbs.
3.5L EcoBoost V-6: 13,200 lbs.
King Ranch: $52,390
A frequent contributor to Trailer Life, Chris Hemer is the former technical editor of Trailer Life and MotorHome, and has been an RV and automotive journalist for more than 20 years. An outdoor enthusiast who now makes his home in Portland, Oregon, he enjoys camping, motorcycle riding, mountain biking and hiking.
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