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Old 06-15-2016, 03:50 AM   #1
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Question Help, can my 2000 Ranger 4x4 xcab, handle an 18 foot Sunline?

We're going to day to look at a 1985 SunLine 18' Camper.
I have a 2000 Ford Ranger, 4x4 xcab, 4.0. Can my truck safely handle
this camper? There's no need for us to buy it if my current truck can't handle it.
What say you out there Experienced Campers???
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:00 AM   #2
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I'm no expert on towing but based on a quick internet search your truck has a towing capacity of 5,320 pounds. I found a reference on this site to a 4,000 pound gross vehicle weight for a 1981 18' Sunline. Of course, the hitch would need to be mounted to the frame and you would also want a brake controller but it sounds like you can haul it safely.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:51 AM   #3
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I think your Ranger will get the job done but you may not be very happy with the performance. Our first "RV" was a Coleman Bayside pop-up that I towed with a 2001 Explorer Sport Trac 4X4. It was similar to your Ranger with the 4.0L engine and had 4:10 gears. I never had it weighed but I would guess that pop-up was about 2800 lbs loaded (it had the 12' box and the front storage compartment). The Sport Trac was never happy towing that camper and even felt very unstable at times due to the short wheelbase. And, the problem you will have with the small Sunline that I didn't have with the pop-up is the wind resistance of the trailer. Hope this helps and best of luck with your decision.
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Old 06-17-2016, 06:30 PM   #4
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My T1700 is 17'10" I'm guessing that's pretty close to 18' My 4 liter Tacoma has pulled it fine for many thousand miles it has the factory tow package and that is a big issue. Most non tow package small trucks are rated 3,500# because they have bumper hitch and no wiring for lights or trailer brakes a bumper hitch would pull an 18' a frame hitch is far better but your still have no trailer brakes or lights not a good thing. The Ford should have the power to pull it yeah it will be a slow ride in the mountains But then again so is a full size with a 30+'
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Old 06-18-2016, 07:10 AM   #5
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Thanks.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:15 PM   #6
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As a former ranger owner, remember that the manual transmission is rated at about 2000 pounds less towing. That being said I pulled my little sunline with both my 5 speed ranger and 2003 explorer (same frame and such as a ranger)
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Old 06-23-2016, 06:17 AM   #7
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My Tacoma is a 6 spd. manual it's rated 6500# but you'll never see me connected to some thing that heavy! The big cut off in the small trucks is the factory hitch vers. bumper hitch. I the case of the Tacoma the tow package includes engine oil cooler, transmission cooler (automatic) 7 pin trailer connector (pre wired) larger battery and alternator. The only thing I had to do was install was a brake controller. Most states require one on any thing over 1000# any way. If your Ranger is an automatic and has no extra trans cooler you will need one.
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Old 06-27-2016, 05:49 PM   #8
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You are gonna need bigger mirrors.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:30 AM   #9
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OK, so I've now pulled this aprx 110 miles round trip. It seemed to pull ok, with my 2000 Ranger, extended cab 4 x 4. With 4.0 eng. I just had to shut off the Over Drive for a little more power on hills etc. & it did fine. Not so sure the electric brakes are working properly, couldn't get them to stop the truck when trying to adj. the controller.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:34 AM   #10
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And yes I doo need bigger or add on temp. mirrors.


However my new concern is: Is a 2" ball the correct size for this 1985/ T-1950 camper ???? The camp site had a hill going from the road down to where you set the camper, on the way out the tongue jack dug into the pavement & acted like a lever forcing the tongue off of the ball, I now have a tree shaped dent in the back of my camper & a crushed rear bumper. I didn't think it was possible for these two to separate !!! Yes, I had the jack up, yes I hooked the worn out safety chains (which snapped) (new ones won't tho ! ) So, how did this happen!!!!??? I even put a bolt thru the hole behind the internal ball lock slide after I snapped down the ball lock!~!!
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Old 07-08-2016, 12:43 PM   #11
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Answered you question in your other post. (Not necessary to ask the same question in 2 differnt threads.

1950's (and any thing bigger) use a 2/ 5-16" ball. That info should be stamped on the top of the coupler which is welded to the end of the A-frame.
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Old 07-08-2016, 05:44 PM   #12
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There is also an adjustable keeper in the trailer tongue that holds the ball in place. Make sure that keeper has not been removed or fallen off or gotten out of adjustment. Place the correct size ball in the tongue and then tighten keeper nut until ball can be captured without much effort and still allow ball to rotate.




You mentioned this happened when leaving camp. After having someone mess with my equipment at a campsite I now always physically check everything before rolling. Put fingers on parts, such as the ball keeper, hitch pin and connection to the receiver. I left a campground pulling a dingy with our motorhome. I left in a hurry and drove less than a mile to a gas station. When filling the motorhome I notice the pin missing to the receiver. Luckily a Ford dealership across the street had a hardened bolt that would work and it have a locknut. No damage done and I learned a lesson. Lock what you can, double check what you can't.


Good luck fixing what got damaged.






Edited to add: I also have taken brite orange tape and wrapped the jack post when I have it high enuff to clear everything. Since I have equalizer hitch the jack post foot is a inch higher than the lowest part of the hitch. Instead of guessing when jack is high enuff I simply watch the tape. brite colors help old man eyes and remind the young man to slow down.
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