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There’s no denying the impressive performance of Ford’s F-150 Raptor. While 1st generation models packed an impressive naturally-aspirated 6.2L V8, 3rd generation raptors feature either the twin-turbocharged 3.5L EcoBoost V6 or the all-new supercharged 5.2L V8 in R trims. In any configuration, the Ford Raptor is among Ford’s top-performing pickups–and that’s just on the street!
Off-road-tuned suspension graces every model of the Raptor, including model-specific control arms, a new five-link rear for 2023, and massive 3.0 Fox dampers.
While the Raptor’s powertrain is more than capable of hauling a heavy load, the off-road-centric suspension is tuned for blasting through the desert, rather than towing or hauling. The rear suspension sags when loaded down and the beefy D or C-rated 35 to 37-inch tall tires are rather soft and floaty when hooked to a trailer.
Fortunately, RealTruck carries every component necessary to correct these minor gripes, transforming your Ford Raptor into the ultimate hauling machine! Read on as our experts discuss these essential modifications.
Before continuing, it’s crucial to understand the base towing capacities of every Ford Raptor, including generations, engines, and cab configurations. For more information, consult the chart below:
Max Towing Capacity
1st Generation (2010-2014)
SuperCab 5.4L V8
SuperCab 6.2L V8
SuperCrew 6.2L V8
2nd Generation (2017-2020)
SuperCab 3.5L V6
SuperCrew 3.5L V6
SuperCab 3.5L V6
SuperCrew 5.2L V8 (Raptor R)
While it’s impossible to increase your Raptor’s payload and towing capacities beyond the manufacturer's specified limitations, that’s not to say you can't improve its handling characteristics! Driveability improvements make a substantial difference when towing a trailer or hauling heavy cargo, making for a far more comfortable, capable, and confident experience behind the wheel.
While Ford doesn’t specify the class rating of its Ford Raptor hitches, judging from the towing capacity chart above, it’s safe to assume that the factory Raptor tow package comes in around a standard class III. Unfortunately, class III hitches typically max out around 6,000 to 8,000 lbs; notice a problem? While late-model Ford Raptors feature the hardware necessary to tow heavier weight, there’s a good chance that the factory-equipped hitch can’t account for an 8,700 lb trailer; at least, not without proper weight distribution.
That’s where a weight-distributing hitch comes in, utilizing dual spring bars at either side of the hitch ball to evenly distribute 20 to 30 percent of the trailer’s tongue weight back to your trailer’s axles. As a result, your trailer levels out, and strain is reduced from the hitch, allowing your Raptor to easily pull its maximum capacity.
Since Ford Raptors are engineered for high-speed desert runs, the suspension is softer than an average F-150. While ideal for off-road conditions, the Raptor’s soft rear leaf or coil springs compress far more than a standard F-150 with weight in the bed or a trailer on the hitch. Consider installing a set of heavy-duty towing airbags to counteract the additional suspension sag.
Towing airbags have long bolstered towing performance, using pneumatic pressure to elevate the rear of your Ford Raptor and reduce spring sag. As a result, your trailer also levels, reducing the weight on the tongue and strain on the hitch. Airbags also help to stabilize the rear of your Raptor while towing or hauling, making for a firm, controlled, and predictable driving experience.
Heavy-duty towing bump stops are a necessity if you regularly tow with your Ford Raptor. While factory bump stops provide adequate damping when unloaded, hitching up a trailer or throwing a heavy load in the bed will almost assuredly cause the suspension to bottom out–not ideal for ride quality.
Unlike factory bump stops which engage during the last couple of inches of travel to prevent metal-on-metal contact, heavy-duty, towing-centric bump stops engage far earlier during compression. As a result, your Raptor’s rear suspension will sit far more level, as will your trailer; and like airbags, heavy-duty bump stops stabilize the rear of your Raptor while towing or hauling.
As always, be sure to check out RealTruck for all of your towing and hauling needs. We carry various hitches and towing-centric suspension components that’ll turn your Raptor into the ultimate hauling machine! For any product inquiries or order assistance, contact our knowledgeable sales staff, available 7 days a week.
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