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Old 10-23-2020, 08:04 AM   #1
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opinions on F150 v. F250

We are purchasing a new Surveyor 203RKLE in the spring (it's on order for April), and doing research. We believe we can get by just fine with the F150XLT, but would like your advice. Our specs:

Trailer: UVW 4685.00, ccc 2807 (GVWR 7492.00), which would make max hitch weight 900 approximately. 24'10" length, 11'3" height

The F150 we're looking at getting is the 3.5L V6 with HD payload and Max Tow packages, 3.55 axle ratio. (Super Crew 4x4)

We are estimating our needed payload to be 1400 for passengers and cargo, and if calculations serve (3035lb. payload-1400-900) we would be left with a 735lb available payload.

Towing capacity on the vehicle is 13800 (trailer is max 7492). GCVWR of both would be approximately 13556 of the max 19400. (calculations are a bit rough, but within ranges, I believe) We'll be using the recurve3 WDH

Is there any reason we should go with an F250? We're trying to balance better fuel economy, since the vehicle will be used for daily travel to work also, not just for towing. We realize the 250 cost is almost the same, but we are really debating whether it's worth the loss in fuel economy. We are curious if there is a significant issue with wind with the smaller truck, etc.

so far, the pros for the F150 is the fuel economy and more comfortable ride. Pros for the 250 are the power and weight (equating to better stability in towing)

Thank you for your help! Sorry, we're first-timers. (We're trying to do as much research as possible)
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:30 AM   #2
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If you ever decide you might want a larger trailer, you'll want the F250. You can never go wrong in my book with a larger, more capable vehicle.
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:18 AM   #3
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F250 if you like Fords.
2500 for GM -- my choice.
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter43522 View Post
[...] Trailer: UVW 4685.00, ccc 2807 (GVWR 7492.00), which would make max hitch weight 900 approximately. 24'10" length, 11'3" height [...]
That's a really large ccc. This isn't a toy hauler and isn't that large, so it would take a LOT of gear to add up to that. I generally budget around 1,200 1,500 lbs or so for normal "stuff": clothes, cookware, food, drink, bedding, toiletries, leveling gear, tools, batteries, optional gear (both factory and dealer) etc. in the trailer, in storage compartments, on the trailer, etc.

I think that trailer is going to be in the 6,000 - 6,500 lb range when loaded. So, I'd budget 700-750 for your hitch weight. I'll go conservative and use 750 lbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter43522 View Post
[...] The F150 we're looking at getting is the 3.5L V6 with HD payload and Max Tow packages, 3.55 axle ratio. (Super Crew 4x4) [...]
Just be aware that the HDPP is quite restrictive. You'll have to avoid many of the convenience and luxury packages, even at the XLT level, to be eligible for the HDPP. Max Tow doesn't add anything to payload (and may consume some of it).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter43522 View Post
[...] We are estimating our needed payload to be 1400 for passengers and cargo, and if calculations serve (3035lb. payload-1400-900) we would be left with a 735lb available payload. [...]
Where did that 3,035 lb number come from? I hope that this isn't the Ford published payload number for an HDPP truck. If so, make sure to quickly write that number on a piece of paper and then, just as quickly, burn it. It's a garbage number.

I believe that actual, real-world HDPP F-150s land in the 2,300 - 2,700 lb range most of the time.

2,500 lb payload - 750 lb trailer - 1,400 lb in/on the truck = 350 lbs of extra payload. So, you should still be good to go from a payload perspective with an average HDPP build.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter43522 View Post
[...] Is there any reason we should go with an F250? We're trying to balance better fuel economy, since the vehicle will be used for daily travel to work also, not just for towing. We realize the 250 cost is almost the same, but we are really debating whether it's worth the loss in fuel economy. We are curious if there is a significant issue with wind with the smaller truck, etc. [...]
F-250 will be heavier and have bigger brakes. It will have stiffer suspension and, I think, a beefier hitch. I'm not sure if it's dimensionally larger than the F-150 HDPP.

For a small trailer like you're looking at, you definitely don't need an HD platform. That 3.5 EB will yank around trailers much larger than the one you are looking at. Most of the advantages of an HD platform aren't necessary on a sub-6,500 lb trailer.

Your biggest issue is the 1,400 lbs you're putting in/on your truck. That's quite a bit of people and gear ... I'm assuming you have some toys in the bed (motorcycles, ATVs, or something) or you're camping with a few offensive linemen.

If you tow at altitude, you may like the turbo 3.5L better than the normally aspirated 6.2L in the F-250.

For me, I couldn't handle the restrictions of the HDPP ... I need more options than that configuration would allow. So, a regular F-150 for me was too close on payload. So, I opted for an HD ... but I can't tolerate normally aspirated engines when I'm towing over 11,000' mountain passes. So, I opted for diesel ... but I can't tolerate the payload penalty of diesels. So, I ended up at an F-350 to tow a trailer that any F-150 could tow just fine.

My POS 2005 F-150 with the woeful 5.4L 3V (and 5.5' bed) handled my 6,700 lb, 26' trailer just fine. Stopped it great, handled it beautifully on corners, lane changes. Was in lots of WY and CO wind and it was planted (Equal-I-zer 4 pt WDH). No issues with that side of the equation. It just couldn't pull it up a mountain ... no guts.

The new F-150 will be at least as good from a handling perspective and will have tons of power for the trailer. Your question is one on growth ... are you going to grow your trailer? Do you keep your vehicles for long periods of time? And, so on.

If you wanted a 35', 9,500 lb trailer in 2 years, then you will probably want that HD truck (3/4 or 1 ton).
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:51 AM   #5
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The above posts hit the nail on the head.

My thoughts:

That F150's payload is likely the XL 2wd, standard cab, 8' bed payload....Not a crewcab 4wd.

As far as the trailer weight, your estimate of a 900 tongue weight is probably a bit high but that is good. This will allow some buffer. Realistically, the WDH hitch and your tongue weight will add up to about 900 together.

F150 vs F250.
Trailer size: Both the F150 and F250 will easily manage that length & weight trailer. For me, 30' and 7500 lbs of trailer felt like a bit much on the F150. Towing shorter length trailers that weighed less was no problem for our F150. (Our F250 upgrade was for needed payload from a growing family and mechanical reasons/complexities between the 2 engines).

Engines: Having had both the 3.5 Eco and 6.2 engines, they are both awesome in their own way. The Ecoboost is great engine, tows well, and when the truck is empty, yields fair MPG. It's downfall is that its a more complex engine and when something goes wrong, it's complex ($$$$) to repair.

The 6.2 is no slouch for towing but is a different experience. It's very tried and true and has a great track record for longevity in the Super Duties. The perceived downfall is that it needs to rev high to make the needed power to tow...It's designed to do that and doesn't have turbos. It's a much more simple and basic engine that still creates very good power.

Having said the above, both engines were able to keep the truck and trailer at safe, highway speeds at all times.

Towing differences: Where the 2 trucks differ are really what you don't see. The F250 is a heavier, more robust truck. While the F150 was always safe and within spec for towing the trailer in my signature, the F250 does it with more confidence.

Bottom Line:
The trailer you are proposing to purchase can easily and safely be towed by both an F150 and F250. If you can get you payload (people + gear in the truck + hitch weight) under about 1700, you'll be fine with an F150. If you need more than that, go with a F250.
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:59 AM   #6
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The F150 will be sufficient to tow what you describe. The power from the Ecoboost is more than enough. Since you are concerned about fuel mileage and will be using the truck as a daily driver, the F150 makes sense. Lower to the ground, more maneuverable, much better fuel mileage, much better ride. The step from the F150 to the F250 is a BIG one. Considerably different in feel. Drive one before you buy one.
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Old 10-23-2020, 10:16 AM   #7
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no brainer f150 all the way get a equalizer 4pt hitch and get out there and enjoy
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Old 10-23-2020, 02:13 PM   #8
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Thanks!

Thank you all for your input.

We will probably stick with the F150, as we don't plan to upgrade the camper for many years (It's the perfect size for two plus maybe a guest). We already test-drove both trucks, and loved the F150, but was hesitant to commit without finding out more.

When we test-drove the F250, the dealership was trying their best to close the deal, so I definitely wanted more opinions since I was seeing what I thought was sufficient with the F150. He kept stressing the squat we'd get with the F150, but the WDH should help with that...plus we're not near the max payload. I estimated high at 1400lbs cargo, just because I wanted to be on the high end...up to 5 people, a dog, and maybe some tools in the back. Most of the time, it will be closer to 800 lbs. total. I can't imagine putting 2800lbs in the trailer, but made that the max number also, just to be sure.

I "did" take the truck's payload off of the spec sheet, so I will be sure to burn that number, I'm glad that it'll still be okay to fit our needs.

We are looking forward to spring already!



Thanks again!

Susan and Joe
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Old 10-23-2020, 02:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter43522 View Post
Thank you all for your input.

........ He kept stressing the squat we'd get with the F150, but the WDH should help with that...plus we're not near the max payload.........

We are looking forward to spring already!



Thanks again!

Susan and Joe
Good for you guys on doing the research BEFORE your purchase. Most don't and end up in a pickle.

Regarding the "squat" issue. I find that most truck and trailer salespeople are as educated on the subject as a toddler. Trucks are supposed to "squat". Most trucks come about 2" higher in the rear so that when you're hauling 1k pounds in the bed or on the hitch, the truck sits level.

For your application, I would not worry about "squat" but do educate yourself on properly setting up YOUR weight distribution hitch once your truck and trailer are loaded.

My final and serious piece of advice: Have the dealer set up your hitch to get your trailer home. Watch the tech torque the bolts (I didn't and was later lied to that they were torqued to the required 400+ ft/lbs vs the dealer's 50 ft/lbs). After you get home, load up, take the tools needed to adjust and pass over a CAT scale. The time you spend tuning your hitch will make for a very pleasant towing experience.
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Old 10-23-2020, 02:32 PM   #10
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I have the 150 Lariat with tow package. 12MPG with trailer 21-24 without. Very confortable ride either way. It's our primary vehicle.
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Old 10-23-2020, 02:47 PM   #11
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We are towing an 829 FKSS Flagstaff super late with our 2019 F150 eco-boost max tow payload package and 355 gears. The only thing I changed was the tires I went with template tires Michelin‘s. My 2014 F150 was the same set up But with 373 gears. Towing with the two trucks are pretty equal the 373 gears worked a little better but I noticed that the 355 years and I do thousand 19 are giving me great gas mileage. 18 around town 19 around town in about 24 on the open road. SoThe F150 eco-boost does your view a little room to upgrade.
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Old 10-23-2020, 02:55 PM   #12
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150 and 250

I have had both. Tow a 31' Coachmen BL271Toy hauler, 5600#, with 3000#CCC. The 150, (2015 4x4 crewcab, 3.5EB, 7050# GVWR, TP), did the job, with little sway (with a Hensley), although we never got near the total CCC. The 250 rides rougher, but it's not the every-day ride, so we don't care. With the 250 SD diesel, we get a little better mileage, around 12- 13 MPG@ 60 - 65MPH, a hellava lot more power, and an overall better towing experience. I have to remind myself that I'm towing! I am very happy with the 250, and the 150 was great too. Got almost 50% MSRP on the 150 at trade-in, 4y.o., with 48K on the odometer. Not a bad value at all.
I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger on a 150, but personally wanted the better tow with a 250.
Good luck.
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Old 10-23-2020, 03:01 PM   #13
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We have a 5.0 L F150 and tow a max, 9,000# 32' TT. Most towing is in the Northern Calif. sierra up to 8,500 ft. NO PROBLEM! We also use the truck w/o the trailer on trips. The 150 rides better than any sedan we ever had. Gets over 20 mpg on the road and is just plain comfortable. Why go for a rougher riding horse if you don't need it?
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Old 10-23-2020, 03:11 PM   #14
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Truck

Look at the actual sticker on the drivers door of the truck you are considering. It will be less than what the brochure #'s say. A lot depends on how often and where you will be using it to tow. With the 250 you have the opportunity to upgrade later to a 5 th. wheel, w/o buying another truck. Even w/ the trailer you listed, you will have better brakes, suspension, and a more capable tow vehicle. In north TX, the cost of a well equipped 250 is the same or less than the Max Tow-F-150 because of the overload of options on the F-150. Yes, you will give up gas milage, less difference when towing.
I say this from the expense and experience, the 3/4 tons are a more relaxed towing experience.
I would go w/ a gas 3/4 ton.
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Old 10-23-2020, 03:49 PM   #15
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IF you do decide on the F-150:
Max Tow requires the 3.5EB. IMO the big features there are the 36 gallon tank and brake controller, 3.55 gears, solid front roll bar.
Max Payload (HDPP) gives you an extra leaf spring, 3.73 gears, & 36 gallon tank.
Max Tow has a slightly more reinforced receiver hitch.
If you desire the 5.0 V8, you can get the HDPP & regular tow package and add on the trailer brake controller for a similar or slightly less cost.
IIRC, the HDPP is limited to the mid grade XLT & below luxury trims.
The HDPP capacity is up in the 2500-2800# range, options dependent. F150s load capacity is usually under 2000#, if over that it’s likely an HDPP.
There is a “show us your load capacity sticker“ thread on the F150 forum. Highly informative. Also shows the GAWRs.
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Old 10-23-2020, 06:46 PM   #16
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Will one truck vs. another fit better in your garage?

For me no Ford fit but the GMC double cab (not crewcab) did. I test drove all of them from the dealer to my house. Just something to think about.
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Old 10-24-2020, 12:41 PM   #17
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If you’re getting the HD payload you should get 3:73 rear axle which will have a GVWR of 4800 lbs, that’s what mine came with in 2017. The payload should be north of 2300 lbs, mine is 2440 and I’ve seen up to 2800 lbs. of course if you plan on going a lot bigger in the future you may want more. I tow 8500 to 9500 lbs with a pin weight up to 1400 lbs and at worst I still have 500 lbs to spare. It’s a fifth wheel though. I’ve seen a lot of XLTs without the HD package with payloads up to 2000 lbs, but the more options you get, the less payload. Just check out the CCC stickers at the dealers.
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Old 10-24-2020, 11:14 PM   #18
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Go for the F-250/F350. Well worth the money! You get a much safer tow rig. Get the 3.73 or 4.10 axle ratio. You'll have much bigger capacity braking, bigger cooling system, heavier suspension, better grade performance. Resale value will always return what you pay extra for the F-250/F-350 combo. GM & Dodge also build excellent tow rigs of 2500/3500 models. Be sure to get the towing package enhancements. You will be happier and safer on the road. Safe & Happy travels.
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Old 10-25-2020, 12:14 PM   #19
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I don’t imagine you will see any fuel savings towing on the f150. That little motor and turbos will be screaming to make the same HP as the V8 in my opinion.
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Old 10-25-2020, 12:48 PM   #20
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Don't lock yourself in with a truck that is just adequate. Get the 250/2500 and have the truck you'll need for the future. To just 'get by' with the 150 is thinking short. Almost certainly in 2-3 years you'll be wanting something bigger in a TT or 5ver. Been there. Most of us have been down that road.
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