7 Ford Tow Features We’re Hoping to See in the Ranger

Article from Mr 4×4. The internet is going wild over the new Ranger. From the bold new styling, to the powerhouse F150 driveline fitted underneath it, it’s a huge leap forward for the Aussie dual …

Club 4X4 Insurance
Feb 07 2022

Article from Mr 4×4.

The internet is going wild over the new Ranger. From the bold new styling, to the powerhouse F150 driveline fitted underneath it, it’s a huge leap forward for the Aussie dual cab market. But what good is all of that kit in a ute if it’s not actually usable for towing and genuine work? To see what possible practical features we can expect in the upcoming Ranger we’ve trawled through the specs of the U.S. Super Duty range with an eye on their tow features. Is this stuff guaranteed to make it into the Ranger? Hell no. But Ford would have rocks in their heads to not give us at least some of these goodies.

On-board scales & smart tail lights

Let’s be honest, most people aren’t going to be able to pick the difference between 500 and 700kg worth of bricks in the tray of their ute. It’s important to know though. Sure, from a safety perspective you don’t want to be overloading your ute. But you also don’t want to be copping a fine because an inspector decided to weigh you to check GVM. Ford’s Super Duty pickups in the U.S. have onboard scales that’ll tell you exactly how much weight you’ve got in the back either through the FordPass app, or on the Sync screen inside. They’ll also warn you if you’re overloaded. The clever buggers have even put in smart taillights with 4 small LEDs inside letting you gauge how much weight is in the back. It’d be a great feature to see in the next gen Ranger and something helpful for camping trips or the worksite.

Smart tow balls

Ford in the U.S. really understand that most people buying the big pickups want them to do serious work and that includes towing. With that in mind they’ve used that same on-board scale system to intelligently measure how much tow-ball weight you’re hitching up to the back of your F250. The same readout as before can tell you how much towball weight you’ve got on. But when you input your trailers detail including the total weight it’ll be able to tell you if you should be putting more or less towball weight on to make the trailer ride smoothly without trailer sway. It’ll even run you through setting up weight distribution hitches if that’s the solution.

Trailer Reverse Guidance

Some people can’t back a trailer to save their lives. And that’s fine. They could be world class lumberjacks, or literal brain surgeons. We’re not all great at everything. To help people (yes even the experienced) reverse trailers with ease Ford have setup Trailer Reverse Guidance in their F-Trucks.

Basically you input your trailers dimensions and weights into the rig, then place a QR code on the drawbar so the backup camera knows which trailer is connected. Then when you’re going to back it up the screen will show you the trailers dimensions. Where it’s currently pointing. Where it’s going to go with your current steering wheel inputs. Warnings to protect against jackknifing and use the 360 camera systems so you can see exactly where your trailer is at all times. It takes the guess work out making for easier reversing, especially when you’ve got a crowd of people watching you.

See the details here on the Ford YouTube channel

Pro Trailer Backup Assist

This feature takes all the information the Trailer Reverse Guidance system gets and then does the work for you. It uses the vehicles electric steering to take over all of the microadjustments and gives you a small dial you use to point the trailer where you want it to go. The screen shows where the trailer is going and you simply steer more left or more right with the dial and the truck will do the rest of the work. The tow vehicle will automatically follow the path of the trailer meaning even your nan could back up a 22ft caravan first shot. Some of the interior shots we’ve seen of the Ranger show this feature but there’s no word yet if it’s a U.S. only thing or we’ll see it down here.

See how to setup Pro Trailer Backup assist on the Ford YouTube channel

Trailer Cameras

One of the most dangerous things people can do with a caravan is reverse into a campsite. Whether it’s your own kids running around or a million kids at a busy campground unless you’ve got a spotter standing by at the back of your caravan you’ve got no idea if little Timmy has just walked behind you or not. The Ford trailer systems are expandable with user installed cameras being able to mount at the back of your caravan and plug directly into your vehicles dash mounted system just the same as the factory reversing camera. Match that with the 360 cameras in the mirrors, the tailgate mounted camera, and in some cases another camera again looking into the tray and you’ll know exactly what’s happening around your setup.

Tow/Haul mode

It’s always baffled us why diesel utes are fitted with Sports Modes and it’s look like Ford have listened. The new Ranger comes with Tow/Haul mode and while details on it are slim we do have the U.S. versions we can look at. Initially just a transmission tune, the Tow/Haul mode will give engine braking in every gear when activated making downhills far easier when towing 3T worth of caravan. They also hold gears longer to reduce hunting when accelerating. In more recent years Ford have advertised the mode as working with the electronic steering to reduce steering sensitivity at high-speeds when towing helping make the setup feel more planted and less reactive. It’ll also increase the distances between vehicles when using the adaptive cruise control.

Trailer blind spot monitoring

Loading yourself up with a 22ft caravan behind one of the biggest utes in class and you’re going to have an overall length similar to many medium rigid trucks on the market. Most people just don’t have the spatial awareness to be able to quickly glance in their mirror and know they’ve got enough room to merge back. Ford’s bling spot monitoring system that usually detects if there’s a car next to you can extend all the way to the back of the camper or caravan when towing. You’ll need to set up the trailer size in the vehicle so it knows how far back to measure but it’s a brilliant system that should prevent many near misses when overtaking. Check it out in Action here – Ford YouTube

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