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Old 11-06-2019, 08:21 PM   #1
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Baby Eco-Boost or Should I Have a V8?

I know I know...not another "what size truck will I need" thread! Actually, I have done lots of research, much on this invaluable forum, and I've narrowed my decision down to two vehicles so please bear with me.
Backstory first. I have a 2018 Ultra Lite 2104S. My wife and I (and a spoiled rotten German Shepherd) use it primarily for long weekends at nearby campgrounds and state parks, and since we live near the coast it doubles as our hurricane bug-out shelter. It came in really handy for Harvey a couple years ago. Right now I pull it with a 2014 Nissan Frontier that I tweaked up a bit for towing purposes, and I know that's not enough truck. It works decent for our needs now since we keep our trips short and very light, but we will be retiring in a few years and plan on hitting the road for several months and no way will that truck work.
Long story slightly shorter, I'm pretty set on the F-150 and I'm torn between the 2.7L (that's so tiny!) Eco-Boost or the V8 engine option. I wouldn't mind the 3.5L pressurized motor, but I think that's a bit of overkill and more than I'd like to spend right now. The V8 does pull more, but this truck will also be a daily driver so I like the better mileage of the Eco-Boost. I was hoping someone out in FRF land might have some real world experience with this combination and hopefully have some advice to offer. I know there are other options and I haven't completely ruled them out, but I have a connection with a nearby Ford dealership that I'd like to take advantage of so I'm leaning towards the blue oval.
I belong to a lot of forums and this by far is my favorite, I'd really appreciate any input towards making this decision, thanks in advance for any advice and happy camping!
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:49 PM   #2
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I have a heavier RV than you and I went with the 2018 F150 Extended Cab with the 3.5L Eco-Boost. I have a lot of good things to say about this engine. The pulling power vs the V8 in my old F150 (1998 model year) is lightyears better. With my truck's payload capacity about 350 pounds under limit and pulling 7,000lb trailer I may only get about 12mpg when towing but the power is there. I can get up to highway speed without batting an eye or making the engine sounds like its a runner sprinting at the end of a race. Now when I'm not towing I'm usually traveling 102 miles for my daily commute at 55mph. Then I average about 27mpg. In my mind, that engine is worth the slightly higher price. At 70mph I average about 23mpg. On a side note, I also highly recommend the 36 gallon extended range fuel tank and integrated trailer brake controller. Towing life is much easier with those. Plus getting just a little over 900 miles out of tank before filling up when doing daily driving is a big plus.

As for the 2.7L, my Father-in-Law has a 2018 Crew-Cab with that motor. Its great for daily driving just like mine. His mpg stats are only about 1-1.5mpg better than me. And even though his mileage when towing his little R-Pod is better than mine (about 16mpg I think), he complains all the time about the lack of power and wishes he went for the 3.5L.

You'll get a little better towing mileage with the V8 but your daily driving mileage will be better with the Eco-Boost, as long as you keep your foot out of it.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:39 PM   #3
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My 2015 3.5 ecoboost tows great but it doesnít get any better mileage than my last truck which was a 2010 Ram with Hemi and low gear ratio. I miss the Ram, donít buy the 6 cylinder if youíre looking for better mileage.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:55 PM   #4
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My 2015 3.5 ecoboost tows great but it doesnít get any better mileage than my last truck which was a 2010 Ram with Hemi and low gear ratio. I miss the Ram, donít buy the 6 cylinder if youíre looking for better mileage.
My 2014 3.5 Ecoboost F150 often gets 20mpg hignway and average 10-11mpg towing a 27' TT. Mixed is 15-16mpg usually.
Love my truck!
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:37 PM   #5
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[...] I have a 2018 Ultra Lite 2104S.

[...] I wouldn't mind the 3.5L pressurized motor, but I think that's a bit of overkill and more than I'd like to spend right now. [...]
There is no such trailer. You either have a Mini Lite 2104S or you have an Ultra Lite of some other model number. I'll assume you have the Mini Lite. It will weight between 6,000 - 6,500 rolling down the road. Any of the F-150 engines will work, including the stock 2.7.

However, the engine options aren't much of a premium. The V8 that you're considering has an MSRP of $1,000 more than the base 2.7. So, you'll pay around $900 for the Coyote. Well worth it. The 3.5L will end up costing about $500 more than the V8 ($600 MSRP more than the V8). So, you're willing to spend for the V8, but the extra $500 for the 3.5 is too much? I guess we all have limits, but an engine isn't the place I'd try to save $500. Maybe ditch something like the moonroof in favor of the better engine.

The 5.0 is 395 hp/400 ft-lb and the 3.5 EB is 375/470. I'd take the 3.5L EB in a heartbeat ... particularly because I tow at altitude. I'm losing 20% off the V8's numbers ... not so with the turbo V6.

Good luck.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:33 AM   #6
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You are correct, I have the Mini Lite. They get so confusing with all the models, sub-models and sub-sub-models.
The engine option alone doesn't determine the final cost of the truck. The dealership will alter prices based on available stock and local demand. The 3.5L is a hot seller here so price is on a premium compared to the 2.7L and V8. The little EB goes for about the same as a similarity equipped V8, the 3.5L averages a grand or 2 higher.
Thanks for everyone leaving input, I have to make up my mind eventually here.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:41 AM   #7
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Just another opinion...
If I were looking for a daily driver and not pulling an RV, I would opt for the 2.7 EB. Pulling a trailer, hands down, I go for the 3.5 EB.

My 3.5 EB has pulled my 7,000 lb trailer (actual weight) all over the place running up about 30,000 towing miles. Never wanting for power going up hills. With a light foot, I'm comfortably getting over 18mpg in city driving.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:38 AM   #8
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Just my experience, but I went with V-8 upon advice from my cousin who has the v-6 turbo Raptor and had problems with it. Very happy with the V8. No struggle at all even in NY and VT hills. I too have a light trailer. I get 11-12 mpg towing, and at least 18 mpg not towing on the mostly 2 lane roads around where I live. Even better on all highway if you don't drive like you stole it.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:34 AM   #9
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Here's the opinion from someone on the outside!

If I were going to buy a new TV today and I was never going over 8,000 lbs and was always going to have a bumper pull RV, I would go with the 3.5 Eco-Boost. The difference in cost for that motor isn't very much over the long haul. Those engines have been around long enough now to have the kinks worked out and you'd be getting a good combination for daily driving and towing your RV.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:38 AM   #10
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I too have a light trailer. I get 11-12 mpg towing
Wow, that's better than I get with the Frontier!
I guess I'll pass on the 2.7, not enough reserve to be comfortable. Now I gotta decide between the 3.5EB or the muscle car motor.
Thanks again everyone!
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:23 AM   #11
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I'm towing also with the 3.5EB. Love this engine. It's amazing how strong it is despite it's size. Its my 2nd one. Son is still driving my 1st one.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:42 AM   #12
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Had a friend with F150 EB, nothing but trouble. Traded it for F250 gasser 5.0 and LOVES it. He came from a Super Duty and was downsizing, he tows a lighter weight 27' toy hauler. Hot Rod Magazine just did an expose on the new 7.3L Ford that will be offered in their 250 and up line up. Traditional pushrod engine, small block, very interesting choice as I look to upgrade in about a year.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:45 AM   #13
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[...] The dealership will alter prices based on available stock and local demand. The 3.5L is a hot seller here so price is on a premium compared to the 2.7L and V8. The little EB goes for about the same as a similarity equipped V8, the 3.5L averages a grand or 2 higher. [...]
Time to find a new dealer. The 3.5L shouldn't be commanding $2K higher prices. Yikes! But, my frame of reference might be skewed.

After incentives, rebates, and other standard discounts, an average price should be in the 9-12% off of MSRP. We are at year-end closeouts, so if you're looking a NOS 2019 models, then there may be hack-and-slash deals going on. I'm less familiar with those. So, maybe a 5.0 is the loss-leader at 20-24% off MSRP and the 3.5s are still sitting at 10-15%? I don't know. If that's your reality, then I'd be grabbing a 5.0.

Often, though, people conflate various options with the engine. If every 3.5 on a particular lot is a Platinum and every 5.0 is an XLT/Lariat ... then a person may come back and say, "The 3.5L costs $4,000 or more than a 5.0L. That's an expensive engine!" I'm not suggesting that's necessarily you, though.

If you're buying new, you can get X-Plan for $25 (if you're not already eligible). X-plan is very similar to invoice and both are right around 6-6.5% off MSRP. Most dealerships will beat X-Plan by $500 - $2,000. However, X-Plan's trump card is that it limits dealerships' admin/doc fees to $100. So, the dealerships that advertise invoice pricing end up adding $600+ in various admin/doc fees. X-Plan protects you from that. But, X-Plan plus the various rebates/incentives will generally push the total discount near the 10% mark.

Also, see if you can grab a PCO from Ford. I'm not going to go into that here. You can search more about this and how to qualify for one. I think they're running at $2,000 - $3,000 right now. It was $3,000 - $3,500 back in March when I purchased my truck.

Good luck with your purchase.

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[...] Traded it for F250 gasser 5.0 [...]
F-250 Super Duty has never been offered with a 5.0 engine. From 1999 - 2010 there was a 5.4 V8 and a 6.8 V10. From 2011 - 2016 there was a 6.2 V8 and the 6.8 V10. From 2017 - 2019 there was only a 6.2.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:57 AM   #14
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I've been hearing reports about newer F150s with the V-8 having excessive oil consumption problems. Something you might want to check into.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:00 PM   #15
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I have the 3.5 EB with the super cab and max tow package. I was towing a Flagstaff micro lite 21Ds, traded that in for a 25bds. Although heavier than the 21ds, it tows about the same. Never a problem going as fast as I want to up a hill, and great acceleration on freeway ramps. It's a towing beast. Around 9-11 mpg towing. Empty around town, gets close to 20. We took a trip to Arizona from Texas and up into Oregon a couple of years ago. We had my sister and her husband on the way up and a bed full of suitcases and cleaning supplies, his sister died, she was a hoarder, so a mess to clean up. On the way back it was just me and my wife, and and the rest of the truck had "plunder" from the house. We came home across Colorado on interstate 70 to visit some relatives. Then home to texas. I kept one of the trip counters going the whole trip, our average for the whole trip was 23.1 mpg. And I didn't hold back on the interstate, speed limit or 5 or 10 over. I was pretty impressed, never had to floor it or slow down on any hill or mountain.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the 5.0 is a great engine, but towing, I think you'll be happier with the 3.5. Empty, you can almost keep up with some of these performance sedans and SUVs In a 1/4 mile.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:27 PM   #16
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I would vote for the 3.5. I have had 2 of them with no problems. One thing besides the power that I like is the quietness. I used to like the rumble of a V-8, now the quieter the better. The 3.5 is very fun to drive. I get 22 avg unloaded and around 12 towing an 8000 trailer. We don't travel very far though. The truck is my daily driver so I didn't want a 3/4 ton.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:56 PM   #17
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Sorry, old school hot rodder here, "there's no replacement for displacement".
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:15 PM   #18
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Sorry, old school hot rodder here, "there's no replacement for displacement".
I hear you, that's why I can't wrap my head around the numbers claimed for the 2.7EB. I don't care how many hair driers they hang on that thing, 325hp from so few liters means something is pushing its mechanical limitations.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:16 PM   #19
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And I didn't mention, 1/2 ton 3.5 has just over 30,000 miles, 7000 of that towing one or the other trailer, it's been to the dealer 3 times, for oil changes and recalls, no problems at all so far.

And with the folding mirrors, it fits in my garage.

Another note, as quick as you can, replace the junk factory rear shocks with something different. My new TT has a longer distance from the front axle to the ball, and I was getting terrible porpising. Installed some Bilstien 5100 series shocks, no more porpising, and hitting some bumps on a corner no longer does the rear end shudder sideways.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:18 PM   #20
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For what itís worth, I have a 2016 F-150 with the 2.7 eco boost We tow a Rockwood 2106 mini lite with no problem. In 2017 we traveled to and around Alaska covering over 13,000 miles with this truck.
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