What Is the Ford Transit Towing Capacity? A Complete Guide

The question “What is the Ford Transit towing capacity?” has inevitably crossed the minds of most Ford owners. Ford Transit vans are known as powerhouses because they can tow other vehicles and trailers with ease. However, a few Transit users who refused to exercise cautionary discretion have destroyed their vehicles due to excessive load.

What Is the Ford Transit Towing Capacity A Complete Guide

Keep reading to find out just how much load the Ford vehicle can tow and other interesting facts about one of the finest vans on the market.

What Is the Towing Capacity of Ford Transit?

The towing capacity of Ford Transit depends on the model; Transit cargo van can tow loads of up to 3,130 kg while the Ford Transit Passenger can pull a maximum cargo of 2,086.5 kilograms. The Transit Crew has a maximum towing capacity of 2,948.4 kilograms.

However, though these numbers are cast in stone, there is more to towing a vehicle than simply adhering to its maximum loading capacity. Here is a deep dive into the various trims of the Ford Transit van, the loads they can carry and how to safely use them as tow trucks. These numbers are according to the Ford Transit Towing Capacity Chart. Here is the Ford Transit Towing Capacity 2022.

– Ford Transit Cargo Van

The weight of the van is 4,082.3 kilograms and it is a 10-speed transmission with a 3.5 liter Ecoboost V6 engine. The Ford Transit towing capacity 4,700 to 6,000 lbs (2,132 to 2,722 kilograms). The model with a 3.5 PFDi V6 engine, 130-inch wheelbase and an axle ratio of 3.73 has a towing capacity of up to 2,086.5 kilograms. However, a low roof 3.5 Ecoboost V6 engine with an axle ratio of 3.73 can tow cargo of up to 1,995.8 kilograms.

A high roof van with a 148-inch wheelbase, a 3.73 axle ratio and a 3.5L PFDi V6 engine has a towing capacity of 2,721 kilograms. What this means is that a Ford Transit 150 towing capacity for a cargo van is between 1,995.8 kilograms and 3,130 kilograms.

The Ford Transit Cargo made its debut on the US market in 1965 and became a hit in the UK market. Many preferred it over its competitors due to its wide storage space, strength and reliability. Buyers could even choose between petrol and diesel engines and loved that the vehicle could be used as a minibus as well. Soon, its popularity spread worldwide, and people caught the Ford Transit Cargo fever.

Ford Transit Crew Van

Though the Transit Crew Van has the same drivetrain configuration and chassis as the Cargo Van, its towing capacity is quite lower. It has a 10-speed transmission and the various models are either fitted with either a 3.5L PFDi V6 engine or a 3.5 Ecoboost V6 engine. The vehicle has a combined weight of up to 5,900 kilograms. The towing capacity for a low-roof Crew Van with a 130-inch wheelbase and 3.5L PFDi V6 engine is 2,700 kilograms, while a medium-roof Crew Van with the same engine and wheelbase can tow 2,200 kilograms. 

A Crew Van that has a 3.5L Ecoboost V6 with a 130-inch wheelbase and a low roof can tow 2,300 kilograms. On the other hand, the towing capacity of the same engine with a medium roof, a 3.73 axle ratio and 2,900 kilograms. A high roof crew van with a 148-inch wheelbase, 3.73 wheel ratio and a 3.5L PFDi V6 engine boasts a towing capacity of 2,086 kilograms. For instance, a Ford Transit 350 towing capacity for the crew model should range between 2,086 kilograms and 2,948 kilograms.

The Ford Transit became popular in the 2000s and it features a driver’s and passenger’s section all fitted with airbags with a Safety Canopy System. All of these are designed to keep the occupants of the vehicle safe in case of a road accident.

– Ford Transit Passenger Van

This van was not built as a towing juggernaut but as a comfort and convenience vehicle. Therefore, its towing capacity is lower than the previous two models we just discovered. Just like the other models, the Transit Passenger Van has one of two engines – the 3.5L PFDi V6 or the 3.5L Ecoboost V6 engine featuring a 10-speed transmission. The van has a combined weight that ranges between 4,900 kilograms and 5,080 kilograms.

A van with a 3.73 axle ratio, a 3.5L PFDi V6 engine, a 130-inch wheelbase and a low roof has a towing capacity of 2,090 kilograms. However, a 4.10 axle ratio with a 148-inch wheelbase, a PFDi V6 engine and a medium roof Passenger Van towing capacity is 2,040 kilograms.

A van featuring an EcoBoost engine with a 148-inch wheelbase and a wheel ratio of 3.31 and a medium roof has a towing capacity of 2,040 kilograms. On the other hand, a high roof van with a 3.73 axle ratio, a 3.5L PFDi V6 engine and a 148-inch wheelbase possesses a towing capacity of 1,769 kilograms.

Ford Transit Connect Van

This is the smallest van in the series with a 2.0L GDI V4 engine and dual sliding doors that help you get easy access into the van. It boasts a maximum towing capacity of 907 kilograms and can carry a maximum cargo of 703 kilograms.

– Hitch Receiver and Ball Sizes

It is not enough to know the towing capacity of your vehicle, you also need to know the sizes of the ball that connects the vehicle to the trailer via the hitch receiver. If the hitch ball is smaller than the coupler socket, then the trailer can detach itself from the van and pose a danger to other road users. Therefore, you require the right ball size to fit into the coupler to secure the trailer and prevent road accidents.

Also, the ball and the hitch receiver should be able to carry the weight of the trailer and its cargo. For example, if the Ford Transit 250 towing capacity is 2,400 kilograms, installing a 4,900 kilograms hitching system may destroy the van due to the extra weight. However, it is safer to use a higher-rated hitching system to tow a lighter weight trailer. The hitch system is measured in classes from Class 1, which is the lowest, to Class 5, which is the highest.

All the Ford Transit vehicles are fitted with a Class 3 hitching system, which can pull trailers with GTW of up to 3,629 kilograms. However, be sure the diameter of the ball shank isn’t smaller or bigger than the hitch ball mount located on the vehicle. To secure the hitching system, make sure you see three or more threads on the thread shank after the hitch ball is installed and the nut fastened. This secures your trailer and prevents it from coming off when driving through rough terrain.

– Other Alternatives to the Ford Transit

The 2019 Ford Transit towing capacity of the Crew Cab ranges from 2,267 to 4,535 kilograms depending on the trim. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has a towing capacity of 2,267 to 3,403 kilograms while the Ram Promaster has a towing capacity of up to 907 kilograms.

The Nissan NV boasts a towing capacity of 2,812 kilograms to 3,946 kilograms and the Chevrolet Express features a towing capacity of up to 4,536 kilograms. Last but not least is the GMC Savana, which has a maximum towing capacity of 3,356 kilograms.

How To Calculate the Towing Capacity of Your Ford Transit?

To calculate the towing capacity of your Ford Transit, subtract the GVWR of your car from the GCWR. To put it simply, Towing Capacity(TC) = GCWR – GVWR. Calculating the towing capacity of your car helps you to protect the integrity of the drivetrain, the brakes, engine and the suspension.

When you strictly adhere to the maximum towing capacity of your Transit, you’ll save yourself, the vehicle, and other road users from avoidable accidents. As we’ve seen above, the formula for calculating the towing capacity of your car is simple.

We’ve given the formula that’ll help you to calculate the towing capacity of your vehicle, but what do those terms mean and how do they affect towing capacity? We present to you these terms and explain their relation to the towing capacity of your Ford Transit.

– GVWR

GVWR is the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, which indicates the total weight of your Ford Transit vehicle as indicated by the manufacturer. The GVWR usually includes the weight of passengers, maximum cargo and the vehicle’s own weight. However, when you need to use it as a towing vehicle, then include the tongue weight to get the correct GVWR reading.

– GCWR

GCWR stands for the Gross Combined Weight Rating and it is achieved by adding the weight of the car to that of the trailer. Thus, GCWR = the total weight of the car + the trailer. This is important in calculating the towing capacity of your vehicle as it would give you a fair idea. However, take note that GCWR does not include the cargo, tongue weight and passengers.

– GAWR

This is the Gross Axle Weight Rating, which indicates the maximum weight of cargo that is allowed on your van’s axle. This is indicated by the manufacturer of your van and you’ll need to consider it while loading the trailer. Overloading the weight axle can affect the car’s movement and or even cause the axle to malfunction.

– GTW

GTW represents the Gross Trailer Weight of the trailer or caravan, including all the cargo in the trailer. GTW is calculated and not predetermined by the manufacturer because of the different sizes of cargo that the trailer would carry. Note that the GTW must not be greater than the GVWR or the car would be overloaded.

– Tongue Weight

This is the force the tongue of the trailer puts on the hitch of your Ford Transit vehicle. It is also defined as the amount of weight the trailer transfers that get transferred to the Ford Transit once the two are connected. Tongue weight must be balanced, that is, it shouldn’t be too heavy and too light as it could cause serious problems on the road.

When the tongue weight is too heavy, it exerts excessive pressure on the brakes, suspension, rear wheels and drivetrain. It can also affect the movement of the Ford Transit on the road and the braking distance. If the tongue weight is too light, the trailer may go out of control and sway. It might even move out of the coupler and endanger other road users, which is why the weight of the tongue must be right to avoid road accidents.

– Getting an Idea of the Tongue Weight for Your Vehicle

Now that we’ve discovered the importance of the tongue weight, let’s discuss how to get an idea of the value of your tongue weight to tow your trailer. To get a fair idea of the tongue weight of your Ford Transit, divide the entire Gross Trailer Weight by 100. Thus, 10 percent of your van’s Gross Trailer Weight is roughly the Tongue Weight of your vehicle.

For instance, if your Ford Transit Cargo Van with a 3.5L PFDi V6 engine with a wheelbase of 148 inches and an axle ratio of 3.73 has a towing capacity of 2,400 kilograms, then the Tongue Weight should be around 240 kilograms.

Depending on how you load the trailer, the Tongue Weight can be lighter or heavier. What this means is that if you pack heavier items at the back of the trailer and lighter items in front, the Tongue Weight will be light.

It will also become less than 10 percent, however, if you bring heavier items in front, then the weight of the tongue will shoot up. Also, the cargo should be spread evenly across the floor of the trailer because if more than 60 percent cargo is in front, then the Tongue Weight will exceed 10 percent.

– Effects of Exceeding the Tongue Weight

Though we’ve already encountered the dangers of overloading the Tongue Weight, here we give a more technical explanation of what happens to the vehicle. 

If the weight of the tongue exceeds 10 percent, it exerts pressure on the rear wheels of the van, causing the front tires to lift slightly above the ground and lose traction. This is what causes the van to sway from side to side which is also transferred to the trailer. 

– Knowing the Exact Tongue Weight of the Ford Transit

Now that you’ve discovered how to get a rough idea of your Tongue Weight, here’s how to calculate the exact Tongue Weight of your van. First, measure the weight of the Ford Transit by driving it onto a vehicle scale without the trailer.

Next is to measure both the weight of the van and the trailer without the trailer’s wheel touching the vehicle scale. Now, subtract the vehicle’s weight from the combined weight of the vehicle and trailer to get the weight of the tongue.

Take note that you may not get a precise 10 percent value of the Tongue Weight but don’t fret. Any value between 10 and 11 percent should be fine. However, if you’re getting a lower than 10 percent value or higher than 11 percent value, then go over the steps again. You can get an expert to help you out if your math is not that great. Otherwise, you can get a tongue weight scale to measure the exact weight of the tongue.

– Measuring Using the Tongue Weight Scale

A tongue weight gives an accurate measurement of the tongue and is easier to use. First, load your trailer and unhitch it from the van while supporting the trailer with a jack. Then put the tongue weight scale on a piece of wood and place it directly under the coupler socket. Let the coupler rest on the tongue weight scale by gradually lowering the jack until it’s off the ground.

The weight of the tongue will be indicated on the scale attached to the device, giving the exact measurement of the tongue’s weight.

Why Is It Important to Know Your Ford Transit’s Towing Capacity?

It is important to know your Ford Transit’s towing capacity because it helps to protect the car, driver and the environment. However, take note that there are two kinds of towing capacities that you should be mindful of: the braked and unbraked.

The braked towing capacity refers to the maximum weight of a trailer with its own brakes that the Ford Transit can comfortably tow. The unbraked refers to the maximum weight of a trailer without brakes that a Ford Transit can tow.

– To Prevent Engine Problems

As already mentioned, exceeding the maximum towing capacity of your Ford can result in engine problems, one of which is overheating. This is because the extra weight forces the engine to overwork itself in ways that exceed the work of the cooling system. It can lead to a total engine breakdown and you’ll need to have the engine replaced.

– To Prevent Damaged Tires

Towing a trailer whose weight is more than your van’s towing capacity can damage the tires. The tires can even blow out due to the extra pressure and pose a danger to you and other road users. 

– To Protect the Environment 

The excessive strain on the engine causes an increase in the emissions of CO2, which poses problems to the environment. The resultant effects of CO2 on our environment are well-documented, therefore we won’t go into details.

– To Help You Control the Car

Keeping within the limits of the Ford Transit’s towing capacity helps you to stay in control of your vehicle. However, exceeding the maximum weight can cause you to lose control and run into a ditch or worse, another vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which of the Ford Transit Vans Has the Highest Towing Capacity?

The Ford Transit van that has the highest towing capacity is the Cargo Van T-150, with a maximum towing capacity of 3,130  kilograms. The Transit T-150 is a trustworthy vehicle because it was recently ranked 6th out of 21 most reliable vans.

2. Which Ford Transit Engine Is the Best for Towing a Trailer?

The Ford Transit engine that is the best for towing a trailer is the 3.5L Ecoboost V6 due to its strength and durability under tough circumstances. Having a strong and reliable engine is essential when trying to tow something as heavy as a trailer.

Conclusion

This article has covered the towing capacities of various Ford Transit vans and looked at other factors related to successfully towing a trailer. Here is a recap of all that we’ve read so far:

  • The Ford Transit vans have a towing capacity that ranges between 2,000 kilograms and 3,130 kilograms, depending on several factors.
  • To calculate the towing capacity of a Transit, subtract the gross vehicle weight rating from the gross combined weight rating, that is, Towing Capacity(TC) = GCWR – GVWR.
  • Also, remember to factor in the weight of the vehicle’s tongue as you calculate how much cargo you want your Ford Transit to carry.
  • A wrong calculation of a vehicle’s towing capacity can lead to overheating of the engine and the damaging of the car wheels.
  • The best Ford Transit vehicle is the Cargo Van T-150, which has a towing capacity of over 3,000 kilograms.

The best engine for towing is the 3.5L Ecoboost V6 engine due to its strength, reliability and durability.

Ran When Parked

Leave a Comment