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Ways to increase towing capacity?

Old 03-04-2021, 12:46 PM
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Default Ways to increase towing capacity?

I have an E150 van that's rated for about 6000#. Getting it ready to pull a 5-6k# load across country. Short of major drive train work...what things can I do to help my pull?
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Old 03-04-2021, 12:47 PM
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WD hitch will be the biggest bang for the buck. It may not increase the capacity but it will give you a hell lot of more stability with the trailer.
Old 03-04-2021, 01:09 PM
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Empty as much weight out of the van as possible........keep the tranny from shifting gears on the highway even if that means running in a lower gear. Watch temps and stop if they get high. All other options require spending lots of money.
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:26 PM
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What about different shocks or struts? Would they help?
Old 03-04-2021, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by homeby51 View Post
What about different shocks or struts? Would they help?
That is what the WD hitch accounts for.
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:28 PM
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Fresh tranny & rear end oil, inspect brakes, check coolant. Don't floor it climbing the passes.
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:08 PM
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I am pretty sure the only way to actually increase the towing capacity, would be to get another vehicle.
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:28 PM
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Thanks guys
Old 03-04-2021, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Milehog View Post
Fresh tranny & rear end oil, inspect brakes, check coolant. Don't floor it climbing the passes.
This and a weight distributing hitch, tranny cooler and air your tires to max.

Relative to actual tongue weight some Timbren bump stops or helper sprkngs or the like might not be a bad idea.
Old 03-04-2021, 03:26 PM
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Airbags. Boat trailers don't have much tongue weight so a WD hitch isn't going to be very effective.
Old 03-04-2021, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by cajflynn View Post
Airbags. Boat trailers don't have much tongue weight so a WD hitch isn't going to be very effective.

I beg to differ. I had one on mine and there was a huge, I mean huge difference in the amount the trailer pushed around the truck when using it.
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Old 03-04-2021, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Lorne Greene View Post
I beg to differ. I had one on mine and there was a huge, I mean huge difference in the amount the trailer pushed around the truck when using it.
Good chance your trailer wasn't set up correctly for the boat.

OP...... look into sumosprings. They are an easy bolt on suspension enhancement that replaces your bump stops. Usually a 20 min install and $2-300.
Old 03-04-2021, 03:59 PM
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LT rated tires instead of soft P tires. They also run a higher pressure.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cajflynn View Post
Airbags. Boat trailers don't have much tongue weight so a WD hitch isn't going to be very effective.
how do the airbags work?
Old 03-04-2021, 05:05 PM
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For X-Country towing at the vehicle's maximum limit I would surely try my best to avoid higher altitude hill climbs.. even if it meant taking the southernmost route to avoid the majority of the rocky mountain range. Also stay in the right lane and don't tax the engine and tranny on positive grades; don't try to get more than the engine wants to deliver, even if it means only doing 45 mph at times. Good luck.

Old 03-04-2021, 05:33 PM
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You absolutely can NOT increase the towing capacity of your vehicle (without major work). You can make things more stable - WD hitch, LT tires, airbags, stiffer springs, etc. But your frame, rear gears, front axle are all part of that overall towing capacity.

Old 03-04-2021, 05:38 PM
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WD hitch, good trans cooler, and good brakes on the trailer.
Old 03-04-2021, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Salmonbum View Post
Good chance your trailer wasn't set up correctly for the boat.

OP...... look into sumosprings. They are an easy bolt on suspension enhancement that replaces your bump stops. Usually a 20 min install and $2-300.
Salmonbum knows what he is talking about. My trailer was set up perfectly but the WD hitch made a huge difference. It essentially ties the trailer and tow vehicle together and distributes the tongue weight across the entire tow vehicle suspension/frame. Tractor trailers don't blow your smaller and lighter vehicle around when you have a WD hitch.
Old 03-04-2021, 06:26 PM
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Towing capacity at the extreams is often limited by the cooling capacity of the engine and trans. If you will be towing in hot areas with long grades, that may be your challenge. Watch your temp gauges.
Old 03-04-2021, 06:37 PM
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If you do go with a WD hitch, make sure it’s compatible with surge brakes (if that’s what your trailer has). Some are not and will hinder the effectiveness of inertia driven braking by preventing movement between truck and trailer.
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