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 > My 2012 Ecoboost Review with Towing Review

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SeaRayder

Alabama

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Posted: 03/04/12 08:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A few months ago I decided to look for a new tow vehicle. My 2000 F-350 7.3L Crew Cab Long Bed Dually was getting on up there in miles, in addition it was just more truck than I needed. The F350 had served me well and was my first Ford, and I like the fact that Ford didn’t accept a bailout, but I decided to explore all options from the big 3. I did have several needs that had to be met by my new truck:

1. It had to be able to tow my fifth wheel camper (7250lbs dry, 1185lbs pin weight)
2. It had to be able to tow my boat (6094lbs wet inc. trailer)
3. It had to be a crew cab
4. It had to run on regular unleaded (tired of $4 a gal diesel)
5. It had to have at least a 6.5ft bed
6. It had to “feel” right (subjective I know but the drive is important to me)
7. It had to be a good value for the money and my budget was around $42,000

Based on these criteria I decided that a ¾ ton truck is what I needed. So I began shopping. First I looked at the Chevy 2500HD. My friend is the service manager at the local chevy dealership and I had seen the 0% for 60 months financing ad on TV. I went and drove a 2011 2500HD LT Crew Cab cloth seats with the 6.0L V8 and was not impressed. It felt underpowered and HUGE, tank-like, even compared to my current F-350. In addition the interior felt cheap with too much plastic. In its defense it was the LT, maybe the LTZ has a higher quality interior. Both my friend and my neighbor who owns one say it’s a great truck, but is terrible on fuel. MSRP with rebates was right at $40,600.

Next I looked at the Ram 2500 Crew cab SLT. It was ok but there is just something I didn’t like about it. It drove well, looked good, and was cheaper than the chevy, but I just kept having the feeling that it wouldn’t last. I have many friends with Rams and the truck always seems to fall apart long before the drivetrain does. Also Dodge has kind of been on life support as of late and I want to make sure that my trucks manufacturer is around for the next 10-12 years. MSRP with rebates was right at $38,200.

Last I looked at the F-250 Crew Cab XLT. It was a little more than the other two, but I liked the interior, I liked the engine, I liked how it was all very familiar like my old F-350. I liked the “feel”, but good grief that face is one only a mother could love. While test driving the truck I made the comment to the salesman, “Why couldn’t they just put a F-150 front end on this thing?” He asked “why I needed the F-250, why not get an F-150 instead?” I started droning on about GVWR, GCWR, Tow Ratings and 5.5ft beds and all the other reasons why I thought I needed a ¾ ton. He listened and said he thought a F-150 might be just what I needed. I was skeptical but decided to hear him out.

We pulled out the option book and I discovered some things I didn’t know about the F150
1. It could be had with Crew Cab and a 6.5 ft bed (unlike Chevy and Ram 1500s)
2. You can get a HD payload option than upgrades the Frame, springs, shocks, radiator, oil cooler, axles, wheels, and tires
3. It has a higher Max Tow Rating than the Ram 2500
4. It has a higher GCWR than the Ram 2500 and Chevrolet 2500HD
5. Its Payload was only 140lbs less than the Ram 2500
6. It gets better mileage than all the ¾ ton trucks (some by 4-5 MPG!)
7. It is a LOT cheaper than the ¾ tons in both purchase price and cost of ownership
8. It is nearly 500lbs lighter than the ¾ tons

Seeing the facts I decided to run my own numbers to find out how much truck I really needed and if I really could get away with just an F-150. It also should be noted that I only tow my fifth wheel about 6 times a year (it stays at the campground at the lake most of the time) and never for more than about 300 miles round trip. If I was a full time camper or towed quite a lot a ¾ ton diesel would be the obvious choice.

So here is my latest ready to camp, loaded to the gills, weight of my fiver plus trucks loaded payload: 15,192lbs
GCWR of F-150HD: 17,100lbs
Amount under the trucks GCWR: 1908lbs
Here is my latest hitch weight plus trucks loaded payload: 2141lbs
F-150HD May Payload: 2168lbs
Amount under Max Payload: 27lbs

Now as you can see the F150 fits exactly what I need. A fuel efficient daily driver than can pull my toys.
Now that I knew which truck I wanted I told the wife I my plan to order a new 2012 F-150 HD 2wd XLT Crew Cab. She stated “as long as you’re getting a new truck get exactly what you want.” Goodness I love that woman… So out goes the XLT 2wd HD and here comes the loaded Lariat 4x4 HD!

I ended up getting the truck for $8000 under MSRP including all rebates. From order to delivery took almost exactly one month.
My dealer was great to work with and had me out the door in less than an hour.

On the way home I got a chance to play around with some of the gizmos. The SYNC system is fabulous and works perfectly. Much easier to use than the one in my wife’s Acura. The interior is extremely quiet and the Sony stereo works very well.

Mileage was about as expected, around town I get about 15mpg, highway is about 19mpg which I think is great for a truck that weighs near 6000lbs. Of course if you have a lead foot the mileage will suffer big time. But what do you expect from a truck rated at 365hp/420Tq. The power is just plain addictive. My truck has the 3.73 gears and will break the tires loose as soon as the turbochargers come online, which is VERY quickly. Nothing like our Subaru which has tons of turbo lag.

Well once the break in period was over it was time to tow. I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about it. Although I knew that I was within specs and the new truck was rated to tow that much weight, you really never know until you’re hitched up. Well, when the landing gear on the fiver came up I was blown away. The truck squatted by only an inch or two! In contrast my F-350 dually used to squat 2-3 inches. The actual towing experience was equally impressive. The truck handled the weight and trailer brilliantly. Plenty of power, plenty of braking, and in general it performed excellent. I also took note of the engine and transmission temps. There is one 2 mile long stretch of extremely steep road that leads up to the campground. The engine temp never deviated from normal operating temp and the transmission temp never went over 200 degrees. This truck truly is a marvel. I averaged 10.5mpg during this trip over extremely hilly terrain. Here is a pic of my 5er hitched up and ready to camp.
[image]

In summary, I give the F-150 HD EcoBoost my highest recommendation. For those who need a truck that can pull a small fiver, be a daily driver, and do it all in style and comfort, the F-150 may be just the ticket.

-SeaRayder

* This post was edited 03/26/12 07:45am by SeaRayder *


Current RV: 2009 Keystone Springdale 280FWIKSSR Fifth Wheel
Current TV: 2012 Ford F150 Heavy Duty Crew Cab EcoBoost Lariat 4x4



SooperDaddy

Southern California

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Posted: 03/04/12 08:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great review SeaRayder! Yeah, that twin turbo has virtually zero lag and really comes up on spool quickly! Zero to 60 in 6.1 vs the Ford 6.2 V8's 6.2 seconds zero-60 on the Harley Davidson Edition. And as you said the mileage is just icing on the cake!

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CREATO

Beautiful Harvey N.D.

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Posted: 03/04/12 09:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Excellent right up.


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ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 03/04/12 10:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It sounds good especially the MPG. However, Ford will have to prove to me they have corrected the overheating and injector problems before I'll sign.
I'd like to buy in about a year so we should know more by then.


Scott, Grace and Wesly
2003 Dodge 3500 4x4, 6 speed Cummins.
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Golden_HVAC

Fulltime, CA, USA

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Posted: 03/04/12 11:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree it is a excellent write up on a very happy truck trip, and truck owner!

Fred.

Capt Skup

Southern Maryland/Nantucket

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Posted: 03/05/12 05:12am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My son in law has a '12 F-150 Ecoboost. That is one sweet truck. The HD option sounds great, would easily tow the boat but I would have to find a lighter rv to fit its ratings. 19mpg with all that power without the diesel issues, sounds like the future to me.


Capt Skup
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meadows

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Posted: 03/05/12 05:23am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

sounds great, good luck will

SeaRayder

Alabama

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Posted: 03/05/12 06:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Capt Skup wrote:

My son in law has a '12 F-150 Ecoboost. That is one sweet truck. The HD option sounds great, would easily tow the boat but I would have to find a lighter rv to fit its ratings. 19mpg with all that power without the diesel issues, sounds like the future to me.

I love your boat. I have one identical to it!

Capt Skup

Southern Maryland/Nantucket

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Posted: 03/05/12 06:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yup, 240 Sundecks of that generation are a whole lot of boat for the money, actually 26 and a half foot unlike the newest boats that lost two feet of length and an increased priced. Can't wait to pull the cover off and slide her into the water, spring will be here soon!

SeaRayder

Alabama

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Posted: 03/05/12 06:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

yep, we bought ours in dec of last year. 03 model with only 75 hrs!

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