The Ford F-150 is perhaps the most popular half-ton truck for towing. The Ford Raptor is the high-performance model and was introduced in 2010.
But can it tow?
Yes. It sure can, but with a much lower rating than many of the other F-150 models.
The maximum tow rating is 8,200 lbs.
Main factors that impact towing
The main factors that impact towing is:
- Axle Ratio
- Cab (Regular / Supercab / Supercrew)
- Whether it has the max trailer tow package installed
But there are a number of other factors to consider:
- 2WD / 4WD
- Whether the payload package is installed
The Raptor comes with one engine model (3.5L Ecoboost V6), one cab-size (Supercrew), one axle ratio (4.10) and only comes equipped with 4×4 and a 5.5-ft Box. So that makes it simple right?
What is the Ford Raptor towing capacity?
The Ford Raptor towing capacity is 8,200 lbs.
However it’s not enough to know just the tow rating, there are other factors that need to be checked before you can assume that your towing setup is safe.
Gross vehicle weight rating of the Ford Raptor
We will come back to the trailer shortly. However one key check you need to make is that the weight of the Raptor’s cargo does not exceed the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
When you’re towing you don’t have an empty truck. You need to consider the weights of the;
- A tank of gas and other vehicle fluids,
- Other passengers,
- Specific vehicle options,
- Any stuff that you might have in the vehicle.
None of this is in the trailer but it’s important to note that it does count towards the GVWR.
The GVWR of a Raptor 7,150 lbs, or if equipped with the Raptor 37 Performance Package it increases to 7,300 lbs. You can check by looking at your vehicle’s safety compliance sticker on the driver’s door jamb. If you are shopping for a truck then it’s recommended that you ask the dealer to send you a photo of this sticker so you can see the precise GVWR.
What is in the Raptor 37 Performance Package?
The Raptor 37 Performance Package essentially gives you larger tires. Oh yeah, and a couple of other things, detailed below.
- 17″ Forged Aluminum Bead-Lock Capable Wheel
- 37×12.5 R17 BSW All-Terrain Tires (A/T)
- Sport Tuned Shock Absorbers
- Raptor 37 Graphics
- Recaro® Unique Leather and Alcantara Suede Seats with Blue Accents
- Rhapsody Blue Leather Console with Raptor Logo
- Unique Low-Gloss, Black Tint Carbon Fiber Accents
- Upper Glovebox Door
How to check your Raptor is not overloaded
You need to either weigh your fully laden truck on a CAT scale or estimate the total weight.
To estimate the laden weight you need the weight of the empty vehicle from the manufacturer (curb weight) plus an estimate the weight of the people and cargo. In addition your will have some weight from your trailer through the tongue weight (more on this below). You can assume that the tongue weight is between 10% -15% of the gross trailer weight.
What is the curb weight of a Ford Raptor?
An empty Raptor is measured by the manufacturer as the curb weight.
The US EPA defines the curb weight as the weight of the vehicle with standard equipment and fluids, but not including options, driver, passengers or cargo. Your vehicle will have different options and will have a driver, passengers and cargo. So what do you do?
The Raptor’s curb weight is 5,740 lbs, and if you have the Raptor 37 Performance Package installed then the curb weight rises to 5,886 lbs.
You can then use our calculator with the curb weight and add the weight of passengers and cargo plus the weight of your trailer to ensure it is within the GVWR shown above.
Are we done?
Not quite! We now need to check the combined weight of the truck and the trailer.
Gross combined vehicle weight
There are a few constraints to consider when towing a trailer. First you need to establish whether your trailer and its contents are within limits.
What is the gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of the Raptor?
The GCWR is the total allowable weight of the empty Raptor, its cargo and the weight of the trailer. It’s the weight of the whole kit and caboodle.
The following table details the GCWR of the Raptor is 14,500 lbs, and with the Raptor 37 Performance Package installed this rises to 14,575 lbs.
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What is the maximum tongue weight of a Raptor?
When you are towing a trailer the weight of that trailer gets transmitted down through two places – the axle and wheels of the trailer and the hitch between the trailer and your Raptor.
You need to ensure that there is not too much weight being transmitted through the hitch. Ford recommends a maximum tongue weight of 500lbs with a straight hitch receiver, however if you are using a weight distributing hitch they recommend upto 1,400lbs for tongue load.
How should I measure trailer tongue weight?
You have three options to measure the tongue weight from your trailer.
- Use a specialized tongue weight scale such as a Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale
- Weigh your vehicle and trailer on a CAT scale
- Estimate the tongue weight
Option 1 is best, followed by 2. However let’s look at option 3.
Your trailer’s manufacturer will usually provide an indication of the tongue weight. For a travel trailer with batteries and propane you may need to add that weight if the manufacturer has not included it. In addition you need to add the weight of the hitch. Note that this is an estimate since not all the weight of these objects will be transmitted through the hitch, so adding 100% of the weight to your tongue weight will over-estimate it. Also some of the weight of the trailer cargo will get transmitted through the hitch.
Tongue weight rule of thumb
It’s recommended that the tongue weight is between 10%-15% of the gross trailer weight (dry weight plus the weight of the cargo). If the tongue weight is below 10% then that will cause towing instability and the trailer may porpoise, and if the tongue weight is too high then the trailer will be pitched forward and put too much load on the hitch. You want a level trailer and ideally the tongue load will be 12% of the gross trailer weight.
So one check you need to do is to take the gross trailer weight you calculated above and check that 10%-15% is within the maximum tongue weight given in the table above.
Suppose you have calculated your gross trailer weight as 8,000 lb. The ideal tongue load is between 10% and 15% of this amount. That would be between 800lb – 1,200 lb. If you have a weight distributing hitch then this is within recommended limits. However, without a WDH you are outside the recommended tongue weight.
Adjusting tongue weight
You have two main methods to adjust tongue weight;
- Either add or remove load from the trailer. Adding weight to the trailer will increase the tongue weight, and removing weight will reduce the tongue weight.
- Moving weight around the trailer. You can increase tongue weight by moving existing load to the front of the trailer. Similarly, you can reduce tongue weight by moving existing load to the rear of the trailer.
However, you do not want your trailer very unbalanced, and you want a level trailer while towing.
Check the rear axle weight rating
The rear axle weight rating is similar to the tongue weight. All vehicles have a weight limit that they can take on the rear and front axles. Usually the best place to find this information is on the driver’s door jamb sticker. The best way to check you are not exceeding this amount is to weigh your trailer and towing vehicle at a CAT scale.
Or you can just weigh your fully-laden truck and make an allowance for trailer weight that is transmitted to the rear axle – namely the tongue weight.
However, if you’re within the tongue weight guidance, then in all likelihood your rear axle will be within limit but it’s very dependent on the load you are carrying in your truck.
What is the maximum trailer frontal area?
If your trailer and F-150 have passed all the previous tests then you are probably good-to-go. However the manufacturer does give a restriction on the trailer frontal area. This is area of the front of the trailer that creates drag. You can have a very light trailer that is within the weight restrictions described above, but if it’s a huge sail that blocks airflow then it’s a no-no.
Trailers with a more aerodynamic profile, such as a teardrop, are clearly better in this respect. So for completeness let’s summarize the maximum frontal area measured in square feet.
For the Raptor with a tow rating 7,701 lbs and greater the limit is 60 sqft.
Putting it all together!
Have you been following everything upto now?
There are a number of checks you need to make to ensure that you have a safe towing experience with your truck.
- Check that the gross trailer weight is within the tow rating of the truck
- Check that the truck is not overloaded and the gross weight of the truck plus the tongue weight does not exceed the GVWR
- Check that the combined weight of the towing vehicle and the trailer does not exceed the GCWR
- Check that the tongue weight is between 10% -15% of the gross trailer weight
In theory you also need to check the rear-axle load, front-axle load and trailer frontal area. However if you have passed all the above tests and are within 10% on all of them then you are probably fine.
I’m confused and I have questions!
There is a lot to keep straight here.
However we have now provided you with all the information on the Ford F-150 to enable you to input all the key data into our towing calculator. This is the easiest way to check that you have completed all the steps.
Our tool is simple but comprehensive. You won’t miss anything is you follow all the steps, but drop us a note if you are struggling! Stay safe!
What can a Raptor tow?
Given the above numbers, you might be asking – What kind of trailers can a F-150 tow? Let’s dig into it now!
As we saw above the maximum tow rating a Raptor was 8,200 lbs. A Class IV Extra Heavy Duty Hitch is defined as 10,000 lbs and below, so this would be possible for the Raptor. A Class III hitch tops out at 6,000 lbs and would be insufficient.
|Class||Maximum Trailer Weight|
|Class I - Light Duty||2,000 lb|
|Class II - Medium Duty||3,500 lb|
|Class III - Heavy Duty||6,000 lb|
|Class IV - Extra Heavy Duty||10,000 lb|
Frequently asked questions
How much will a Ford Raptor tow? It can tow 8,200 lbs when properly equipped. But you need to check all the other aspects we describe above like the payload.
Why is Ford Raptor towing capacity so low? It’s a combination of the larger tires, softer suspension and taller ride height.
Is a Ford Raptor a good tow vehicle? Almost any F-150 model is superior to the Raptor in towing ability. The Raptor has a relatively low tow rating and so if towing is your primary goal then there are better options.
The Raptor’s tow rating is 8,200 lbs. That is not particularly high in the world of F-150 trucks. However you probably have not purchased a Raptor for its towing ability and so this is likely to be a secondary consideration.
If you have remaining questions please contact us.
Please refer to the disclaimer for important notes and limitations on this article