Aside from the standard Ford Bronco specifications, RVers want to know about towing. Whether pulling a travel trailer or flat towing the Ford Bronco behind a motorhome, RVers are interested in towing.
Can the Ford Bronco tow a travel trailer?
Whenever a new vehicle is released, prospective buyers love to dig into the specifications. They like to compare the new model with the previous year model to see what kind of changes and upgrades have been made. The Ford Bronco’s last “previous” model was in 1996.
That’s just two years after O.J. Simpson mesmerized America with his low-speed chase on L.A.’s freeways in a white Bronco. RVers looking to buy the updated Bronco simply want to know, can the Ford Bronco tow a travel trailer?
Which engine does the Bronco have?
Ford has announced two engine options for the Bronco, the 2.3L and the 2.7L EcoBoost. Both of these engine packages will likely have their roots in the current offerings in Ford’s Ranger and F-150 truck models. The 2.3L engine is expected to produce 270hp and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. The 2.7L V6 power plant generates 310hp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Those opting for the 2.7L engine will require the 10-speed transmission to manage the expected output.
Bronco Sport models utilize Ford’s popular 1.5 and 2.0 liter EcoBoost engines mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Which transmission does the Ford Bronco have?
Along with the 10-speed automatic transmission with Trail Control, a 7-speed manual transmission with a crawling gear is offered. This 7-speed tranny with the 2.3L engine is standard on the Big Bend, Black Diamond, and Badlands trim packages.
The Outer Banks trip package gets the 2.3L engine with the 10-speed. The WildTrak and First Edition packages come with both the 2.7L engine and the 10-speed transmission. Lower trim levels will include the 4×4 with Part Time Selectable Engagement gearbox. Upper level trips will house the Advanced 4×4 with Automatic On Demand Engagement.
What kind of gas mileage does the new Bronco get?
The MPG ratings for the Bronco were not available at the time of release. For the 2.3L we can assume the same 2.3L specs from the Ford Ranger as a baseline. As such, a RWD 2020 Ford Ranger receives 21 city/26 hwy mpg. The 4WD model gets 20 city/24 hwy mpg. Bronco numbers are expected to be similar and will of course vary by transmission, tires, and terrain.
The popular 2.7L V6 should achieve 20 city, 26 highway, and 22 combined mpg in 4X2 mode, and 19 city, 24 highway, and 21 combined mpg for 4X4. Again, the final numbers will vary depending on transmission, tires, and terrain.
What is the towing capacity of the Ford Bronco?
All variants of the Bronco are stated to have a maximum towing capacity of 3,500lbs when the Class II Trailer Tow Package is installed.
What size travel trailer can I tow with the Ford Bronco?
Travel Trailer models such as the Jayco Jay Feather, Coachmen Clipper, and Forest River’s R-Pod have models that can be towed by the Ford Bronco. Any travel trailer under 3,500lbs should work well. Pop-up campers are very popular and almost always fall in under the required weight limit.
Bear in mind, you’ll need to allow some available weight for food and other camping supplies you store in your camper. Getting in under the 3,000lb. mark would be ideal. To find your small RV, review this list of 11 of the best small travel trailers available, and check out the video below.
How much does the Ford Bronco cost?
MSRP for the Ford Bronco starts at $28,000 for the 2-door with the lowest trim options. Increasing doors, trim packages, and off-road capabilities will push the total cost to over $63,500. The Bronco Sport starts at $26,660 with the high-end Bronco Sport First Edition starting at $38,500. Don’t expect any dealer discounts or rebates any time soon.
Can the Ford Bronco be flat towed behind a motorhome?
There is another strain of RVers, the motorhome folks, that drive their RVs rather than pull them. Smaller RVs like the Class C motorhome or the Class B van don’t usually need to pull a tow vehicle, often called a toad or dinghy. Class A owners invariably need to bring along supplemental transportation and are always asking, what is the best tow vehicle for a motorhome?
Like the Ford Ranger equipped with a 10-speed transmission, the expectation is that the new Ford Bronco will also be a candidate for flat towing four down behind a motorhome. Though the procedure is a bit complicated, it can be done. Prospective Bronco buyers are hoping for the same treatment for the new Bronco.
With the 7-speed manual gearbox offered in the Bronco, it could be as simple as putting it in neutral and disengaging the emergency break. This could easily make the new Bronco a favorite of motorhome owners looking to pull a capable but more refined vehicle.
What is the best tow vehicle for a motorhome?
Up until now, that answer is often a Jeep Wrangler. The Jeep Wrangler’s brick-like shape and poor gas mileage are not a factor when towed behind a much larger brick getting an even worse miles per gallon rating.
With the Jeep gearbox set in neutral, allowing you to keep the transmission in park with the key off, towing a Wrangler is about as simple as it can be. The fact that the Jeep is also fun to drive, has a seemingly unlimited supply of aftermarket parts, and enjoys buy-in from virtually every tow bar manufacturer, the Wrangler is an RVer favorite.
If the Ford gearbox allows for a similar neutral position, it comes down to how well the tow bar and supplemental braking and lighting system manufactures will support the Ford, and how quick to market these will be.
There is room for improvement
If the Bronco has been engineered with the aftermarket buyer in mind, perhaps Ford will provide a better solution to flat-tow lighting than is offered for the Jeep. For example, regarding a lighting system for the Jeep Wrangler, Michael at eTrailer.com notes:
“If you will be towing frequently there are 2 options. You can use a separate bulb kit, like # RM-155, or you can wire the Jeep with diodes using # RM-154. These are considered long term, permanent lighting solutions. The installation is more time consuming and involved but you will only have to do it once.”Michael at eTrailer.com
There is clearly room for improvement when it comes to lighting a towed vehicle. Given that tow-bars are basically bolt on, there is an opportunity here if Ford wishes to go after that small but growing and devoted segment.
Jeep is still King
For motorhome owners, the Jeep Wrangler is as near a perfect tow vehicle as you will find. Most Wrangler models will weigh in under that magic 5,000lb tow limit set by many chassis manufacturers. This ensures that all but the smallest RV’s will allow the Wrangler to tag along.
The Ford Bronco’s expected curb weight certainly falls within those same boundaries at an estimated weight of 3,950 – 4,450 lbs. This should make it a potential candidate if the aftermarket hardware comes through.
Is the Ford Bronco better than a Jeep Wrangler?
While not necessarily an RV specific question, there is no doubt this topic will come up as RVers start weighing the pros and cons of the new Ford Bronco. Owners of lightweight travel trailers love the Jeep Wrangler’s Trail Rated capabilities. Getting off the beaten path is the epitome of the small travel trailer crowd. With its 4-wheel drive, the Jeep will easily navigate the uneven terrain found in the state and national parks that RVers tend to frequent.
Ford has seemingly thought of everything in order to make the Bronco an extremely capable off-road vehicle, perhaps even exceeding the capabilities of the Jeep Wrangler.
When you are ready to hit the trails or go sightseeing, the ability to take all or part of the roof and even the doors off the Jeep adds that extra excitement and freedom you couldn’t get from any other vehicle, until now. Ford is going after Jeep head-on in the quest to shed both its roof and doors.
With the Jeep Wrangler’s MSRP price range of $31,795 to $49,995, it appears that the majority of those potentially topless Bronco models will bear a similar sticker price to Jeep counterparts.
Lousy MPG and death wobble, a Jeep tradition
The knocks on the Jeep are typically lousy gas mileage and an unnerving shake often called the death wobble. This wobble or shake can appear when high mileage and low maintenance intersect. If the Ford Bronco can deliver on performance, fun, and better reliability, it has a shot at stealing the off-road throne, and the hearts of RVers.
Given the Bronco’s modern design and updated engine and transmission combinations, it should certainly be able to surpass the Jeep in real-world MPG performance. The independent front suspension should alleviate any chance of death wobble, though will certainly alienate a percentage of die-hard off-roaders that insist on a solid front axle. That percentage will wane quickly as the full impact of what Ford has put together starts to sink in.
Is the Ford Bronco a Jeep Killer?
From all appearances, both aesthetically and technically, the Ford Bronco is looking to be a Jeep killer, and is well-armed. While the Jeep has a die-hard following, buyers who have always wanted a Jeep but were also fond of technology and style will no doubt be taking a hard look at the Bronco.
Ford has taken a page from the Jeep playbook and included features that Jeep owners have had to go to the aftermarket for:
- Side mirrors that are still there when the doors are removed.
- 35 inch tires as a factory option, without have to resort to aftermarket tools to reprogram the computer.
- Hydraulically controlled front sway bar that you can disconnect on the fly.
Since towing a small RV or travel trailer doesn’t look like it will be in issue, only those looking to tow the Ford Bronco four down will have to wait and see if the Bronco will usurp the Jeep Wrangler and steal the flat-tow crown. It will likely be the aftermarket producers that make or break that title, whether by creating products due to demand, or in anticipation of.