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Old 01-13-2016, 02:39 PM   #1
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2014 23' International
Hurst , Texas
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EcoBoost 2.7 or 5.0 V8 towing 23D ?

OK, I'm the senile ol' codger that posted the thread about needing a new tow vehicle but not wanting a truck. Well, after looking at the 2015 Ford F150s, we've decided that maybe a truck is not such a bad idea after all.

These days, our local Ford dealer has a ton of 2015 trucks and is pricing them pretty aggressively. So, we are limiting our consideration of the 2015 models.

So, having gone through all that, which would be best bet for us 2.7 EcoBoost or the 5.0 V8 ?

- 2014 23D International Serenity
- We live in Texas but most of our travel is to Colorado, New Mexico, Utah (in other words, hills and mountains)
- We travel light... I mean really light. We're coming out of a 17' Casita!

Thanks so very much for any help/advice you can offer.


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Old 01-13-2016, 02:58 PM   #2
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Fast Lane Truck has a video going up to the Eisenhower tunnel of a F150 Supercab with the 2.7L. The turbo will be better in the mountains but the performance specs of the 5.0L were improvied in 2015 vs 2014.

2015 Ford F-150 2.7L EcoBoost: Ike Gauntlet Extreme Towing [Video] - Truck News, Views and Real World Reviews

The trouble with the 2.7L you will probably find them only with the small gas tank. Make sure you get all the towing goodies.

I don't think I've read anyone post on these forums who tow with the 2.7L.


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Old 01-13-2016, 04:12 PM   #3
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Me, I would go for the Ram 1500 Econo Diesel. Can't beat the 30mpg while not towing.
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:23 PM   #4
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I'll second the ecodiesel, but if a Ford you want try to find the larger EcoBoost @ 3.5. My friend has one towing a 25AS through the Smoky Mountains in TN with no problem. He had the 2.7 towing the same rig & was not happy when in TN.
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Old 01-13-2016, 04:52 PM   #5
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I too would look for the 3.5 EcoBoost as it will serve you down the road as well if you change to another trailer and be more than enough to handle the 23. I think it's more proven as a tow vehicle as well through the years.

We have been very pleased with our 2 F150's. The 2011 3.5 has 150,000 miles on it and my 2015 has right at 40,000 miles with a significant amount of that towing a 28FC.

Good luck in your search and decision.

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Old 01-14-2016, 10:18 AM   #6
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Pinehurst , North Carolina
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My vote for pulling a 23 ...especially if you do lots of mountain grades is a well-equipped 1/2 ton truck.

We pull our 23FB with this unusual Chevy Silverado 1500 WT with the 5.3 V8.

These work trucks are usually rather "plain," but ours was heavily optioned and optimized for towing. It's worked out quite well.


Randall Washington (Randakk)
Pinehurst, NC
2015 Flying Cloud 23FB
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:40 AM   #7
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We pull a 25' International Onyx with a 2014 3.5L ecoboost with tow package in the Canadian rockies with no issues. It is a great truck with plenty of power. The RAM eco diesel in Canada was about 12K more. I used the fuel savings calculator on the RAM site and there was no way that the fuel savings over the Ford would ever make up the cost difference for my amount of use.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:52 AM   #8
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We pull a 23D International CCD with a F150 5.0L. It has plenty of power through the mountains, and is a very comfortable ride. Most of the time it doesn't even feel like there's a trailer back there.

Gas mileage around 12 mpg towing on flat land and at a respectable pace on the freeways.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:00 AM   #9
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You'll be fine with the 2.7L Ecoboost. I currently tow my 28W with a 3.5L ecoboost and love it; mountains and flats both.
2011 Airstream International Serenity 28'
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:34 AM   #10
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No experience with the 2.7L EB but my 3.5 EB is a great tow vehicle.
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:11 PM   #11
Tom T
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Orange , California
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Hi Rob, this is that other ole codger from your other thread.

There is nothing wrong with trucks, if they fit your needs & limitations.

Having rented a range of these F150/250 trucks in all of the engine options except 2.7L over the past 3.5+ years (& some Dodge/Ram 2500s & Nissan Pathfinder V6s), I can offer perhaps a unique real world "comparo" on them for you. Also, one of my nephews is the high performance guy at an Indy are Ford dealership, & had looked into stuff for me as noted in the options below, as well as from friends & neighbors experiences with them & the competitors.

Keep in mind that the basic F150 is only rated to tow 5,000 if I recall (maybe 6k), so you'll need to get one with one of the towing packages to actually realize the better towing capacity you'll want for your 23' AS (& maybe bigger later?). The tow/haul packages will buy you progressively heavier duty radiators, trans. coolers, brakes, springs, etc. for the 2-3 level optional packages which Ford offers. Also, absolutely get the rear back-up camera option or an add-on aftermarket type to aid your hitching - especially solo.

Also, I think that the 2015 deals that you're looking at, will also be the new aluminum body/bed, so be aware that any repair cost on aluminum will be higher & limited to some shops - should you have an accident, & your insurance rates will probably reflect that. But then you save 800 lbs or so in the truck, for towing & cargo!

Also, all of the new trucks are jacked up ridiculously high - especially with 4WD &/or bigger 6 & * lug wheels/tires (relative to their earlier siblings pre-2005-ish) - to the point where you need a step ladder to reach the door sills, & beds are at chest level for normal height folks like me & loading stuff in the bed is a chore - whether 4x8 plywood & lumber etc., or your bikes & camp gear! So do yourself & your wife & passengers a favor & buy the side rail steps for all 4 doors (if not the option on it already) to aid entry! Otherwise you'll be getting out those little CW folding steps for the trailer, & playing "Footman" to your wife at every stop!

Another detriment to these ultra-high new trucks, is that your outward visibility around the trucks

As for motors, I'm old school & believe that, generally speaking, in most cases for TV & hauling duties, the V8 will serve better due to more pulling power (HP & TQ) at a lower RPM, relative to the competing V6 - whether Turbo or normally aspirated - & will therefore work less hard than a V6 & would get better mpg while towing as a result, as well as creating less engine noise since it's not revving as high - which is important on long trips.

The diesel options will offer even more TQ pulling power at better mpg, but will have a bit higher regular maintenance cost, & are generally bought for their ultra-high towing capacity - not the mpg. Oil capacity on diesels is huge, so you'll be buying 2x or more the oil per change vs. gassers - so be prepared for that type of offsetting factors. My neighbor has a 2012 Chevy 2500 with diesel V8, which he got for his triple-axle toy hauler SOB & loaded with his Jeep 4x4 mudster & 2-4 dirt bikes, etc., so I had him & a few others to draw the diesel evals. from.

Several others with Ford's latest diesel V8 love it, & we had rented F250 twice in the diesel flavor on longish 400-500 mile trips, where we could do it on one tank - vs 1.5 - 2 tanks on the 5.7L? & 6.3L? gas V8s (I think it was the large tanks for both gas & diesel on the HD F250s). However, these big-a$$-trucks with our little 3-3500# Avion seem to get the same mpg empty or hitched, & are waaay overkill for our little silver twinkie!

If you were looking to a 27-30'+ AS &/or also towing other big & heavy 10k lbs. trailers, this would be a great choice.

As for Turbo-V6 Ecoboost motors - eep in mind that this mass movement of the mfgrs. to turbo &/or supercharged 4 & 6 motors is being driven by the ever tightening CAFE high mpg standards, so they need to get more vehicles out there of that type to get there overall production average mpg down to CAFE limits. The thinking is that many folks will only need to bigger V8 power some of the time, & can put up with the extra noise & less mpg while towing/hauling - which mpg in that latter use is not limited BTW. So the Turbo-V6 is better for folks that use their trucks unladen a lot of the time, for the better mpg.

Based on our "extended test drives" on our TV rentals for our `60 Avion T20 (at 3000-3500 lbs wet/loaded it's probably about half what your newer 23' AS weighs), so far we've had the 2013 3.5L Eco-Boost which towed I-40/I-17/I-10 from ABQ to SoCal & over a few lower mountain passes with no problems, but it was a bit more "wound-up" on grades. This was our first TV rental, & in addition to the F250s noted above, & a couple of Dodge/Ram 2500 gas V8s as rental TV since July 2012 - & all have been 4x4's cuz that's what Enterprise Commercial (Truck) Rental has in their rental pools.

As a note on the RAMs which some folks are touting here that you should be aware of, & it's one thing I don't like about the Dodge/Ram 2500's, is that their factory hitch receivers are set up so high at about 26" above grade - vs. about 20" on F150/250 & 21-22" on the Chevy/GMC 1500/2500 - so I need a huge 8" drop stinger for my Hensley Cub (or similar long drop on other WD hitch makes/types). I just think that this introduces a longer moment arm

So if you're using the truck equally or more in non-TV duties, & can put up with the extra noise/rpm while towing, then the 3.5L V6 Ecoboost is a good choice, but I think IMHO that the 2.7L V6 Ecoboost is too small for a lot of towing, unless the TQ is higher at lower RPM than on the 3.5L. Again, the harder the engine has to work to produce the needed power, the more & faster it will wear. Nobody knows yet how the turbo-V6 motors will last in the long term.

I'd suggest that you talk your local dealer into letting you test tow + test drive unladen each of the F150s on sale that fit your needs/likes to pick which you'd like, & take them up the biggest grade you can find down there in your neck of TX with the trailer hitched, to see what their use, power & noise profiles will be - with your wife & anyone else who will be in it with you on trips, cuz they'll be far more critical than you will in most cases (speaking from my wife & kids experience anyway LOL).

If you want to "try before you buy" on a longer towing trip - then rent a F250 from your local Enterprise Commercial Rentals (not the car rental places) for a weekend or week & try it with your trailer to a distant point long enough to give you the longish trip experience riding in one. Some Enterprise Truck rental places may have F150s, but U-Haul's F150's have the wrong electrical plug - only 4-pin, so are useless for your needs unless you surreptitiously wire up a 4-to-7-pin adapter & then remove it ~ not advisable). Those Super Duty F250s will be a bit taller, heavier & harsher riding than the F150, but it will give you a good idea on long trips.

You could also ask your Ford dealer if they can rent you an F150 to try out for a weekend longish towing trip, as some may do so.

I think your current is a 96 land Cruiser, which probably rides better than any of the current 1/2 ton trucks, so you want to be prepared for the change.

Unfortunately these trucks are just too big for our needs, wants & driveway limitations, narrow streets, etc., & my wife won't drive them, she hates the rough ride (& my kidneys are still spinning for hours after a trip) & high cab access. However, they may fit your needs.

Good Luck & Get a Good Deal!
Tom T (janabanana48's other half )
Orange CA
1960 Avion T20, #2 made, Hensley Cub, TV tbd- looking for 08-14 Cayenne S
1988 VW Vanagon Westfalia CamperGL (Orig Owner)
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:39 PM   #12
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We tow our 2015 23D International with a 2007 Mercedes ML320 CDI V6 turbocharged diesel using a Hensley Arrow hitch. The V6 diesel has more torque than the standard V8 option that year. We have zero issues pulling the 23D loaded for camping with a target speed between 55 and 60 mph. We see over 16 mpg towing on the flats and 28.5 when unhitched. It is an all wheel drive model.

I took the car to CanAM in early October 2012 to have the hitch reinforced and the Hensley stinger modified by shortening the car side about 5" and putting a small bend in it to preload the weight distribution hitch.

In October of 2012, it was also able to pull our new 2013 25FB International Serenity from the selling dealership in Los Angles to Phoenix through the mountains on I-10 and especially going uphill coming out of Palm Spring it dropped back to 5th and 2,200 rpm while maintaining 55 mph (which is the posted speed limit when towing in California).

We overloaded the axle ratings when both I and the wife, some gear in the back of the car and the fully loaded camper crossed the scales and we acquired a 2012 Dodge Ram 2500HD Cummins. We used the same Hensley Arrow but with a different stinger for the truck.

The Mercedes has the power to pull the 23D loaded for camping and have one or two 2000 watt Honda generators (converted to propane), a grill with stand, 12Vdc air compressor kit, two camping chairs and a 30 pound propane tank in the back and both of us in the front seats.

Since the car has over 145,000 miles on it, I do not try and hot rod the rig.

So give Andy a Call at CanAM in London, Ontario to discuss tow vehicles. You may be in for some favorable surprises. (866) 226-2678 or (519) 652-3284
WBCCI Life Member 5123, AIR 70341, 4CU, WD9EMC

TV - 2012 Dodge 2500 4x4 Cummins HO, automatic, Centramatics, Kelderman level ride airbag suspension, bed shell

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Old 01-14-2016, 12:40 PM   #13
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penticton , British Columbia
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Ford V8 produce less HP and TQ than the V6 3.5 ecoboost at low rpm. That is why the V8 is not as good of a towing engine.

Both will do the job fine with a airstream 23..... the 2.7 ecoboost will also have no issue at all with that small airstream. That little v6 2.7ecoboost as about the same torque as the V8 at low rpm.
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:53 PM   #14
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Pinehurst , North Carolina
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Oddly, the forum blocks me from responding to your PM ...apparently since I am a relatively new member here.

Anyway, here is the answer to your question about the kayaks:

Those are 14 foot Tampico Sea Kayaks by Hurricane Kayaks. We don't fish, but Hurricane does manufacture an excellent line of fishing kayaks. See: Hurricane Kayaks - Leaders in Lightweight and Fishing Kayaks

We use an excellent rack/ loading assist "Hullavator" system by Thule that makes it easy to load the kayaks onto the tallish truck. See:

Hope this helps.

Randall Washington (Randakk)
Pinehurst, NC
2015 Flying Cloud 23FB
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT 4WD
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