The Ford Ranger is a mid-size truck re-introduced in 2019. It comes in two configurations of a Supercab and Supercrew models. Each with 4×2 and 4×4 options.
They all come with the same engine of 2.3L EcoBoost and a 3.73 axle ratio.
But can it tow?
Yes, it sure can!
It can tow up to 7,500 lbs, however the devil is in the detail, so read on to understand what your model of Ranger can tow and any special conditions you need to note.
Main factors that impact towing with a 2023 Ford Ranger
When we dive into the main table below you will see that there are a few different factors that impact how much the modern Ranger can tow. The main factors are:
- Supercab or Supercrew
- 4×2 or 4×4
- Whether the vehicle has the Trailer Towing Package (53R)
To find out the details of your own truck you may need to consult the window sticker, the driver’s door jamb sticker, the owner’s manual or Ford’s website.
One way to figure out the towing capacity of your Rangercis to check on Ford’s PDF of towing capability. But it can be pretty complex with many footnotes.
If only there was a simpler format?
We got you bud! We’ve converted this into a much more straightforward table.
Table of tow ratings
The table below gives all the different Ranger configurations, with one vehicle per row. The last two columns give the max GCWR and Tow Rating of the applicable vehicle.
|CabSize||4×4||Trailer Towing Package||GCWR||Tow Rating|
Suppose you want to isolate the 4×4 models. In the top-right of the table there is a search bar. Simply type “4×4” and you can see the four 4×4 models with their tow rating and GCWR.
Tow Package for the Ford Ranger
For trailers over 3,500lbs you must have your Ranger equipped with the Tow Package 53R.
The package is very simple, it includes a 7-wire harness and hitch receiver. Standard on all Ranger models is the trailer sway control and the tow/haul mode.
Gross vehicle weight rating of the Ford Ranger
We will come back to the trailer shortly. However one key check you need to make is that the weight of the Ranger’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 Ford Ranger is 6,050lbs
How to check your Ranger 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 Ranger?
An empty Ranger 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 curb weight of a Ranger depends on the model and the other factors we describe above. The curb weights vary between 4,145lbs and 4,571lbs. The curb weight is specified in Ford’s technical specification, it may also be on the sticker on the driver’s door jamb.
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 Ford Ranger?
The GCWR is the total allowable weight of the empty Ranger, 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 Ranger in the second to final column.
Table of gross combined weight ratings for the Ford Ranger (2023)
|CabSize||4×4||Trailer Towing Package||GCWR||Tow Rating|
Suppose you have the Supercab 4×2 with Tow Package. You can see from the table the GCWR of this model is 12,150lbs
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What is the maximum tongue weight of a Ford Ranger?
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 Ranger.
You need to ensure that there is not too much weight being transmitted through the hitch. Ford recommends that with a hitch receiver the tongue load for the Ford Ranger does not exceed 750lbs
How should I measure trailer tongue weight on the 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.
Suppose you have calculated your gross trailer weight as 3,000lb. The ideal tongue load is between 10% and 15% of this amount. That would be between 300lb – 450lb.
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 Ranger 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 Ranger the maximum fontal area is 30 sq ft without the Towing Package, and 55 sq ft with the Towing Package.
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 and within 750lbs (with tow package)
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 Ranger 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 Ford Ranger tow?
Given the above numbers, you might be asking – What kind of trailers can a Ranger tow? Let’s dig into it now!
As we saw above the maximum tow rating a Ranger was 7,500 lb (3,500 lb without the tow package). A Class II Hitch can handle upto 3,500 lb, so this would be possible for the low tow rating Ranger models. However it would be insufficient for the higher tow rating model. The Ranger with tow package would require a Class III hitch for the heaviest loads, and this should be included as part of the tow package.
A Class II hitch can typically tow small boats, snowmobiles, motorcycle trailers and small popup campers. A Class III hitch can handle larger stuff (obviously!), but might include midsize campers, bikes, snowmobiles, lawn maintenance equipment and utility trailers.
|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 can a 2023 Ford Ranger pull? The model with the highest tow rating is 7,500 lbs. This is adequate to tow a camper. You should check the gross trailer weight of your camper, and check the tongue weight and all the other issues we describe above.
What is the towing capacity of the 23 Ranger? As per the above answer, it is 7,500lbs. But check your weights
Can a Ford Ranger really tow 7500 pounds? You bet! If you have the right model with the Towing Package it can tow 7,500lbs.
If you have remaining questions please contact us.
Please refer to the disclaimer for important notes and limitations on this article