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Towing a Bass Boat?

5841 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  kdjasper
Just bought my F150 last weekend, and only pulled my 19ft bass boat once with it. I can tell you it pulls well, but since the ramp is only a couple of miles from the house, I can't estimate fuel. I stepped down from a 3/4T because that was overkill for my purposes. I had been out of Ford for a while, and while mine has a nice backup camera- they were showing me a new trailer backing assist that comes on some models. Looked pretty handy, but I skipped that option on mine.
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Thanks for the feedback Troy. If you ever get that boat out on the open road I would love some additional reviews.
I have a Platinum 4x4, 5.5 box, 3.55 axle, FX4, stock. I get 16-18 mpg towing a 3500 lb Crestliner walleye boat with travel cover in Colorado, on the plains and mountains. So far I gotten 14-15 towing a 12 ft box trailer 80 mpg, Colorado and Wyoming loaded with elk camp and/or goose decoys. I towed my 27 ft Boston Whaler (10k lbs) in Michigan last summer - about 25 miles. I didn't have a weight distributing hitch... The power was fine, but it felt a little squirrely at 55-60mph. Without a trailer I am getting 20-22 around the city, 23-26.5 highway depending on speed and wind, I typically drive 7 over which means 72-82mph on most Colorado highways. I got the truck in late June, one of the first F150 Diesels sold in Colorado, have 9,200 miles on it, love it.
That's great information, thanks for posting. I'm surprised there aren't tons of posts on here talking MPG towing and not towing with this truck.
That's great information, thanks for posting. I'm surprised there aren't tons of posts on here talking MPG towing and not towing with this truck.
Depends where you live. Here in Minnesota we are out ice fishing and our boats are in winter storage. I probably won't be towing my boat again until after ice out some time in April.
Has anyone towed a bass boat size load yet, call it 3,500 pounds or so? I'm strongly considering the F150 diesel as my next tow vehicle. It would be dedicated to towing my flats boat which is just a little lighter than an average bass boat. Total package is between 3,400 and 3,600 pounds loaded and a pretty low profile.

I'm towing today with a '09 Tundra and average 10.5 MPG. What I dislike even more than the milage is how much it has to shift when dealing with hills. I'm not pulling through mountains. Just rolling hills of the SC Upstate.

I would get a 3/4 ton diesel and really enjoy the smooth, never shifting pull and would hope to get 14 MPG with that load. But by the time you factor in Diesel being $.50 per gallon higher than regular unleaded I would have about the same operating costs.

What I am really curious about is what kind of MPG numbers F150 Diesel owners are seeing pulling moderate loads and how much is the truck down shifting to make power when dealing with hills? If it could pull my boat without much shifting and average 18 MPG or better, I'm all in.

I got my 4x4 3.0 L F150 about a month ago and am very impressed. Averaging 22-23 over 2000 miles. Pulled my dads 21’ bass boat 80 miles round trip and averaged 19.9 mpg driving 75 on a pretty hilly route. It took about 10 miles to figure out how to drive it to maximize mileage, but even driving aggressively, I was getting over 15. The 10 speed transmission shifts a lot, but it’s extremely smooth.
I finally pulled my boat out of the storage locker yesterday and into my garage. This afternoon I will be towing it about 50 miles to my boat dealer to have a couple of things done to prepare for whenever the lake ice goes away up here. My storage locker is only about 6 miles from my house, so that wasn't a long enough stretch of a tow to get a feel for it.

My boat is a 2015 Ranger Reata 1850LS, so fiberglass and probably ~4,000 pounds of tow (I would like to weigh it on a CAT Scale this summer to see exactly what the weight is).

I will report back later tonight on how the tow experience was and what the truck computer reported for mpg's on the drive. It may be a late night or early am report back, as this drive has me passing by my favorite poker room--so a "pit stop" there on the way home could have me arriving home after midnight!).
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Okay, I am posting an update to my previous post in this thread. So I towed the boat up this morning instead of yesterday afternoon as I had originally planned to do. I was towing into a 25-30mph headwind the whole way. I was getting 17.5mpg until I went into an active DPF regen and then dropped to 16mpg for the rest of the trip. I would imagine with my old 2010 F150 KR 5.4 would have been getting 11mpg +/- because of the strong headwind.

As far as the active DPF regen went...much different behavior towing vs non-towing. Non-towing usually drops 5% every 1-1.5 miles until it gets down to 0% after ~19 miles of driving. Towing was dropping 5% every 10-15 miles driven--the regen kicked in I'm guessing at 85% Full, and normally in the distance I drove would have been to 0% without towing but instead only got down to 60% with towing. Once I dropped off the boat and after driving for a while the active regen resumed and cleaned out the DPF down to 0% Full at the expected decrement pace.

As far as the towing experience itself...because of the headwind I kept my speed at 60mph in the 70mph zone and my RPM's were ~1,400 in 10th gear @ 60mph towing ~4,000 pounds. (Note: my truck has 3.55 rear axle ratio). One thing I found interesting was pulling away from a dead stop--the RPM's jumped in the 2,000-3,000 range and the truck used the lower gears longer to get the load moving (was in Tow Haul Drive Mode), this is a different driving experience than what I had with my 2010 that would not have rev'd the RPM's to get the load moving. I am thinking there probably is a tuner to bring some of that torque/hp down into the lower RPM's range, as I know the peak torque in the curve is ~1,750 RPM's, but I think Ford has us tuned for efficiency down the highway once we get the load up to full speed motion.

So there you have it, my report on my first towing experience. Overall very pleased with the towing mpg and without the headwind on a long fairly level highway run it appears I will be getting ~16-17mpg (driving 70mph instead of 60mph) which is one of the main reasons I bought this baby Power Stroke over the Coyote or the EcoBust with either of them likely getting ~5mpg less towing compared to our diesels--actually, overall I am feeling like I am getting +4-5mpg's with the 3.0 over the 5.0 or 3.5 engine options in any driving conditions (again, pro's for our new F150 diesel).
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