Ford Ranger for hauling?hat are your thoughts

I need something to haul my stock trailer. My trailer is about 2000lbs. My horse is 950. That gives us about 3000. Maybe would likw to bring a friend’s horse. So add another 1200 lbs. so let’s say under 4500 lbs. My husband is pushing for the Ranger. My friends say it is not good enough. The 2019’s and newer are made differently, now. Is anyone hauling with one and what are your thoughts? I don’t quite understand the needs of a truck for hauling a horse trailer. My Honda Pilot (car) is rated to tow up to 5000 lbs, but it can’t do it. The transmission gets too hot. So why can’t it haul 5000, like they say it can? I wish i understood what i need. Can anyone advise me?

The real challenge with towing and what a truck “can” do vs what a truck “should” do comes down to how flat your typical haul is. It’s not just how powerful the engine is, it’s also the weight of the truck.

If you’re in totally flat easy roads, no ice or snow, you’ll be 100% fine. I have also felt very under-resourced with a truck hauling at the top end of its capacity on steep gravelly roads with sharp turns. It got done but felt unsafe. I have also had a (thankfully no horses inside!) trailer and truck loaded with stall mats slide down a steep hill and almost into a ravine.

Conventional wisdom is you will never regret too much power (aside from gas costs obviously), but if you’re doing mostly light duty hauling on flat easy roads you should be fine with the newer rangers.


The Coolong system isn’t big enough.
The braking system isn’t big enough
Yes the transmission will overheat.
The truck itself isn’t big enough when the stock trailer starts to sway.

A Ranger pulling a ANY horse trailer is a bad accident waiting to happen. They can pull boats, jet skis, snowmobiles and a few landscaping pieces. I don’t care how new and “different” a small Ranger is, they are not strong enough to pull live weight — or you folks can buy a Ranger and see how long you get away with safely pulling a stock trailer on the flat —- until you don’t .


I second this post.


I’ll third it. I had a friend with a 250 hauling her empty 4 horse gooseneck complete with braking system etc and she got totally pushed down a slight hill and narrowly missed hitting a car. Light was red. Her truck couldn’t stop because the road was slightly - slightly! - wet.

Yeah, she bought a 350 dually shortly after.

And even if your Ranger hauls without incident you will for sure shorten it’s useful lifespan.

Now I’m not saying you need a 350, but you sure need more truck than a Ranger.


I would not either however

Depending on which towing package the truck is fitted with, a new Ranger has the ability to tow an impressive 7,500 pounds, and carry a best-in-class maximum payload of 1,905 pounds.

For towing, Ford Ranger’s accessories now include a wiring harness that facilitates mating trailers’ four-pin wiring to the truck’s factory 7-pin connector. This eliminates the need to cut or solder wires to make a trailer’s lights and/or brakes functional.

and Ford has at least thought about the possibility of it being overloaded

At the end of the day, these trucks aren’t meant for pulling or carrying massive loads. Rangers are midsize pickups for smaller trailers, campers, and boats. However, that doesn’t stop drivers from overloading them. To combat this, Ford developed a sway-control system that senses a trailer’s movement and can automatically reduce speed and adjust braking to help keep the trailer where it belongs, safely attached to the receiver.

so be aware the truck’s computer may take over the control if overloaded


You have to remember that the towing capacity is based on hauling a balanced, stable weight. Horses are neither.


I haul with a 2020 ranger one horse in an aged two horse bumper pull for local trips. I just could not support a bigger truck at this time and it pulls better than the aged rusted out 2004 8 cylinder ford truck I crawled into the dealership with. I have not felt under trucked but I don’t drive 60 miles an hour either and mostly avoid highways and don’t ship that often.
Not sure what to say other than that. Obviously if I had read this thread first I might not have bought it!


I have a 1999 Ford Ranger that I used to pull a very small 2 horse trailer with back when I had just one horse. That truck is still going strong. Didn’t ruin the transmission. I can’t say anything about the new ones. My old truck is smaller than a minivan or SUV.

My new truck is a Ford F150 and it works fine with a good set of brakes on the trailer. I nearly hit someone who pulled across in front of me, instead of waiting at the light. I braked hard and prayed and am very thankful the brakes work as well as they did. My poor horse slipped in the trailer because yes the trailer is capable of stopping quickly. She was fine and did not have a scratch on her- just a manure splotch from where she landed on the trailer floor.

At any rate- make sure you have good trailer brakes. I can’t comment on sway. I avoid driving on highways unless necessary but have not had a sway problem with my trailer.

If you do get a ranger, I would not tow more than 3000 lbs. Also look at the trailer tongue weight rating for the hitch.


It’s the borrowing the second horse that pushes it way over the limit, IMO

Also, let’s list the caveats -

One horse, local towing, speeds under 50, mostly flat terrain and good weather.

So if you add a second horse, highway miles, weather or hills, you’re in trouble.

Does this sound realistic? Can you ALWAYS avoid the highway speeds, weather and hills?

I skimmed the Motor Trend article linked above. It significantly does not mention horse trailers but almost exclusively refers to campers and boats.

You also mention that you’re hauling a stock trailer - how long is it? 16’? Is the trailer a lot longer than the wheel base of the truck? Picture the trailer hooked up to the Ranger - does the trailer visually overwhelm the truck? That’s a problem.


Ok, all other things aside, this is a ridiculous way to analyze this situation.

Look at any 18 wheeler and you’re going to see a trailer that overwhelms a truck. Look at anyone hauling a large LQ with anything, dually, whatever - and you’re going to see a trailer that overwhelms the truck.

OP, I agree that the second horse is where the problem comes in. If you can stick to one horse you’re probably fine.


A tractor trailer is a bad example because it’s on a 5th wheel hitch and is inherently more stable.

If someone is talking about pulling a stock trailer with a Ranger, I assumed it’s a bumper pull stock.

And when you’re looking at a bumper pull, yes, a trailer that visually overwhelms the truck is a problem.

It’s why the largest bumper pull you see is usually a 4 horse or a 2 + 1.

And again, if it’s a bumper pull, even with anti-sway bars and load levelers, a trailer that’s significantly longer than the wheelbase of the truck is going to be harder to control and more likely to push the truck.


It’s not the wheelbase that can be the problem, it’s the balance of it. If it’s balanced well, the wheelbase doesn’t matter.

You see plenty of HUGE bumper pull toy haulers being pulled by God know what.

Again, I think OP should stick with one horse. But Americans have this visceral aversion to hauling with anything but a freightliner and it bugs me.


The wheelbase can absolutely be the problem. If the trailer is heavy and the wheelbase is too short the trailer can actually push the back of the truck down and lift the front end up. I saw someone do it once with a load of bricks-- with a horse it would be terrifying.


Again. Balancing the trailer is the most important thing. If the bricks had been balanced, the truck wouldn’t have popped a wheelie.

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This this this.


That sounds like the trailer brakes weren’t set properly. They should be set such that the trailer slightly “pulls” on the truck when braking, or at least be equal, for this very reason - the trailer can never be allowed to push the tow vehicle.


My father overloaded the bed of a similar truck with bricks and made the front wheels come off the ground. There was no amount of redistribution that would have prevented it. The center of balance is between the weight of the front end and engine and the weight of the bed. Redistribution won’t lessen the weight in the bed.

OP, I got anxiety just reading the title. I would not haul in a Ranger. In my state, it wouldn’t be legal:

“Trailers with a gross weight of 3,000 lbs. or more are required to have brakes on ALL WHEELS. 2.) Trailer with a gross weight of 1,500 to 3,000 lbs. are required to have brakes on ONE axle.”

I don’t believe Rangers even have a brake hook up for trailers.


OP, you might look into a Tundra. Not a monster truck, similar price to Ranger, and offers a tow package.

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I think if your trailer is only 3000 lbs you should be just fine. As long as your trailer has brakes that function properly.

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