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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Considering a newer tow rig....

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DZG460

michigan

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Posted: 07/21/19 07:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey guys/gals, new here. Start off by sayin hello, ok now onto business...

I have a 2012 Salem 27RKSS. I believe its roughly 30 ft from nose to tail and (ive never weighed it) but in the 7-7500lb neighboorhood loaded (we travel light).

My current rig is a 97 F250 HD with a 7.5L (460CID) V8, backed by a 4 speed E4OD automatic, 2wd with a 4.10 rear. 103,000 miles.

Im currently looking at 2011-2015ish F150s to stay within what i want to spend (18k or less). From my understanding people tow big trailers with these things all the time, so i think im good there as long as i option it properly.

But heres the kicker, im torn between the 5.0L V8 and the 3.5L EB V6. I know the EB will tow better (athough i doubt as good as my 460), but i question its long term durabilty.

The 5.0 is what my gut points me to, but im also notriously leary of new tech.

I only tow the thing 3 or 4 times a year, max, otherwise itll be a stand in daily driver, or tow a couple quads or a junk car or stufff like that. Ive asked on ford forums but i want good, unbiased opinions.

ANY input on reliabilty/towing performance is apperciated.

BobsYourUncle

Calgary Alberta Canada

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Posted: 07/21/19 07:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Welcome to the forum!

Well, honest opinion from someone who has been towing lots of trailers for lots of decades, as good as the F150 is, for a trailer of that size and weight, it is simply not enough truck.

Minimum F250 with a decent size engine is what I would go with. Consider more than just getting the thing moving. 3.6 is way too small, even though they do amazing things with power from a small engine. Even the 5.0 is going to struggle on hills and such.

Also consider the suspension etc of the F150. Great ride, but springs and other components are softer than an F250, and therefore more prone to sway.

Sure you can doll it up with extra goodies to help tow better, but at the end of the day you really are better off with a minimum F250 with either a diesel or bigger V8 gas. You want lots of torque to pull in comfort.


2007 GMC 3500 dually ext. cab 4X4 LBZ
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I do
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Swell1

Minnesota

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Posted: 07/21/19 07:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 2017 F150 w/max tow package 3.5 eco boost 3:55 gears. I tow a 30' SportTrek GVRW 8300. Trailer pulls great no issues there. Gas MPG is 20-22 without the trailer 9-10 when pulling. Either way you go I would recommend the max tow package for the truck.
Good luck.


2017 SportTrek 271 VRB
2016 F150 Eco boost with max tow package

LanceRKeys

Amarillo, TX

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Posted: 07/21/19 08:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The 3.5 has more horsepower and torque than your 460, the rear end ratio is not as low in the 3.5, but it will have a better transmission. I bet you will find that an f150 with the heavy payload/towing package will tow much better than your 460. I’m a fan of old trucks and big blocks, but these new trucks are just amazing.

All that being said, if you get a new truck, would you come back and let us know what you think of it compared to your 97?

FishOnOne

The Great State of Texas

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Posted: 07/21/19 08:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you choose to go the 3.5EB route I would look at the 2nd gen engine starting in 2017. As for towing performance power wise the Eco Boost is hands down a stronger engine and for the '17 model you also get the 10 speed transmission.


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rjstractor

Maple Valley, WA

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Posted: 07/21/19 09:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BobsYourUncle wrote:

Minimum F250 with a decent size engine is what I would go with. Consider more than just getting the thing moving. 3.6 is way too small, even though they do amazing things with power from a small engine. Even the 5.0 is going to struggle on hills and such.

Also consider the suspension etc of the F150. Great ride, but springs and other components are softer than an F250, and therefore more prone to sway.

Sure you can doll it up with extra goodies to help tow better, but at the end of the day you really are better off with a minimum F250 with either a diesel or bigger V8 gas. You want lots of torque to pull in comfort.


This may have some truth as far as the handling goes, but there are many accounts of people towing trailers of this size and weight with an F150 with no issues. On the subject of whether the 3.5 Ecoboost or 5.0 V8 will have enough power, no concerns at all. Both engines will outperform the old 460 in any situation.

DZG460

michigan

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Posted: 07/21/19 09:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow great responses guys! Really awesome.

As far as getting an F250, they are on my radar but i can get a way nicer rig if i get a 150 with my price range. I could drop back to a pre 2011 F250 with the V10 (not a diesel fan) but then i may run into finance issues. Not to mention if i go old enough for a manual trans, its going to have a manual trans and those are hard to find lol. Ive thought about putting the money into my 97 to fix what it needs but its still a 22 year old truck ya know?

I pry wont be getting anything till this fall but i like to do my research, and yes if i get something i will for sure come back and give yall an unbiased opinion on performance between the two trucks.

I cant really afford anything newer then 2016 at the most. I seen the 3.5 does have about 10ft lbs of torque over my 460 which does impress me (420 vs 410), but still im worried about longetivity.

Keep it comin guys!

BenK

SF BayArea

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Posted: 07/21/19 09:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm in a similar boat, except a 1996 Suburban K3500, 7.4L, 4.1 at about 170,000 hard, hard miles

Rather spend the money upgrading my Sub than buying a new or newer used.

Yes the newer trucks have nicer options, etc...but to me, just more to fail down the road...plus they are highly integrated...to the point that any one can bring down other sysyems

Normally do my own, but at 71, some times don't want to....Sub was just in for maintenance and a new Hydro-boost PS pump cuz didn't want to mess with PS pump pulleys that always gives me a bad time

Consider what I'm planning

Gearvendors 0.7 overdrive with their gear splitter, which will turn my 4 speed automatic into an 8 speed with double OD

Plus new 5.38's in both differentials. That is the hold up, want an even higher numeric and a Detroit to place the G80 locker in there now. Nothing wrong with the G80, but want to use Molybdenum Disulfide, which will ruin anything with clutches cuz it is so slippery good

Then "built" 7.4L to bump toruqe/HP up and a "built" automatic good for 1,000 HP about a year after the Gearvendors & diff

I no longer tow heavy, so it should be fine in OD with trailers am looking at, plus it will be my hot rod...as it used to smoke the stock tires in stock for...should easily do it again up through a couple higher gears

There are a few pesky newer half ton's that I've taken them into a banked, reducing radius ramps...after they speed up and tailgate after I've passed them on the highway

They can't hang when their truck tires start to squeal as my setup allows me to pull away while in the ramp...pure boy racer stuff...am after that one guy who catches and pulls away when that ramp opens onto another freeway...even pulls away from the other ecoboosts...think he has a tune...

Of course don't drive like that towing...[emoticon]

* This post was edited 07/21/19 10:03am by BenK *


-Ben Picture of my rig
1996 GMC SLT Suburban 3/4 ton K3500/7.4L/4:1/+150Kmiles orig owner...
1980 Chevy Silverado C10/long bed/"BUILT" 5.7L/3:73/1 ton helper springs/+329Kmiles, bought it from dad...
1998 Mazda B2500 (1/2 ton) pickup, 2nd owner...
Praise Dyno Brake equiped and all have "nose bleed" braking!
Previous trucks/offroaders: 40's Jeep restored in mid 60's / 69 DuneBuggy (approx +1K lb: VW pan/200hpCorvair: eng, cam, dual carb'w velocity stacks'n 18" runners, 4spd transaxle) made myself from ground up / 1970 Toyota FJ40 / 1973 K5 Blazer (2dr Tahoe, 1 ton axles front/rear, +255K miles when sold it)...
Sold the boat (looking for another): Trophy with twin 150's...
51 cylinders in household, what's yours?...

twodownzero

NM

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Posted: 07/21/19 03:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BenK wrote:

I'm in a similar boat, except a 1996 Suburban K3500, 7.4L, 4.1 at about 170,000 hard, hard miles

Rather spend the money upgrading my Sub than buying a new or newer used.

Yes the newer trucks have nicer options, etc...but to me, just more to fail down the road...plus they are highly integrated...to the point that any one can bring down other sysyems

Normally do my own, but at 71, some times don't want to....Sub was just in for maintenance and a new Hydro-boost PS pump cuz didn't want to mess with PS pump pulleys that always gives me a bad time

Consider what I'm planning

Gearvendors 0.7 overdrive with their gear splitter, which will turn my 4 speed automatic into an 8 speed with double OD

Plus new 5.38's in both differentials. That is the hold up, want an even higher numeric and a Detroit to place the G80 locker in there now. Nothing wrong with the G80, but want to use Molybdenum Disulfide, which will ruin anything with clutches cuz it is so slippery good

Then "built" 7.4L to bump toruqe/HP up and a "built" automatic good for 1,000 HP about a year after the Gearvendors & diff

I no longer tow heavy, so it should be fine in OD with trailers am looking at, plus it will be my hot rod...as it used to smoke the stock tires in stock for...should easily do it again up through a couple higher gears

There are a few pesky newer half ton's that I've taken them into a banked, reducing radius ramps...after they speed up and tailgate after I've passed them on the highway

They can't hang when their truck tires start to squeal as my setup allows me to pull away while in the ramp...pure boy racer stuff...am after that one guy who catches and pulls away when that ramp opens onto another freeway...even pulls away from the other ecoboosts...think he has a tune...

Of course don't drive like that towing...[emoticon]


I think you'd be in for a huge surprise if you spent half what you propose on a 10 year old 2500 Suburban. A 6.0L Vortec will amaze you if you are used to a peanut port big block. As a bonus, you'll still have your current rig to sell. In selling your current rig and buying a 10 year old Suburban with similar specs, you'll spend less than the Gearvendors and 80E alone that you propose. In the process, you will gain fuel mileage and a substantial horsepower increase.

OP: the ecoboost trucks are fine for people who want to haul drywall or household goods around on an irregular basis. They are not serious tow vehicles for 30' campers. Traveling light or not, you'd be doing yourself a serious disservice by not looking at a 3/4 ton truck. Even with a modest sized V8, you will find that it tows a thousand times better than a 1/2 ton truck. What you're doing can be done with a new 1/2 ton if it has the proper cab/drive configuration and the max payload packages, but it still is never going to pull like a 3/4 ton (which needs no fancy hitches or packages to pull 8k pounds comfortably, and comes with tires, payload, and drivetrain appropriate for day in and day out heavy use).

DZG460

michigan

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Posted: 07/21/19 05:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Perhaps id be further ahead then keeping my current rig? It needs some stuff, has a bit of body rust here and there, but its still a good truck.

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