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Old 05-24-2018, 09:04 PM   #1
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Jax , Florida
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Tow Vehicle Decision HELP

We purchased our 1999 Safari back in January and now it's time for the Tow Vehicle decision. We are heading out in July to do a 3 month test to see how we do full time. We found these trucks and both in our budget.

Dry weight 5000#
Tongue weight 680#
Hensley Arrow

TV 1
2014 Ford F-150 XL Supercab w/HD Payload Pkg 163 wheelbase
3.5 ECO Boost
34,000 miles
2603# Cargo
11,300# tow capacity(both HD package and Max tow capacity)
3.73 axle ratio

TV 2
2013 Ford F150 XLT Supercab 145 wheelbase
5.0 V8
30,000 miles
1766# Cargo
9800 # tow capacity(best I can tell)
3.55 axle ratio

Love the power and heavy duty package of the TV 1. It's basically a F150-250 hybrid. Hesitant about the LONG BED, 163 wheelbase and rougher suspension.

Like the short wheel base and comfortable ride of TV 2 for maneuvering and non towing time. Concerned about the Standard Tow set up and suspension. Need to add Brake controller, tow mirrors, tonneua cover.

Would appreciate any feedback.

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Old 05-24-2018, 09:07 PM   #2
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The 3.5 Ecoboost is a great engine. I have it and it pulls wonderfully. Also everything is set up for towing. I vote 3.5 Ecoboost. Both would work though. Also you might like the longer bed for storage. With the Hensley hitch stability will be good.

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Old 05-24-2018, 10:57 PM   #3
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If it was me, I would keep looking for an XLT, with the cab and bed length you like, the Ecoboost, and reasonable payload rating. There are more trucks out there than those two.

XL is a pretty basic model. Essentially a fleet work truck.

Also, think about how much you plan to carry with you. Do you need 2600 lbs of payload?
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Old 05-25-2018, 04:21 AM   #4
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
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In my opinion, if you're gonna full time or even halftime, get the strongest (in all aspects) F150 you can find. By that I mean, that XL you looked at is a great baseline as to specs. I wouldn't want to spend a lot of time in the XL traveling though, with so few creature comforts. What you don't want is a Platinum crew 4x4 with 1200 lbs of payload...…

I am firmly in the camp that believes a properly-equipped 1/2 ton can safely and comfortably tow almost any Airstream made (except a 34' slider), and your Safari that might weigh around 6000 lbs loaded (leave the cast iron cookware collection at home) is a prime 1/2 ton candidate. What I mean by properly-equipped is, the most towing capacity and the most payload you can find, and then the best hitch system you can afford dialed in perfectly...…. You want an F150 with MaxTow, Max Payload (if you can find it), and the EcoBoost 3.55 or 3.73 (even better). On the '14 and older F150s, look for one with the towing mirrors as that is often a clue that it has MaxTow. There are lots of threads on Airforums for you to study on setting this all up.

As to your specific question in comparing a 5.0 F150 to a 3.5 EcoBoost F150, I lived it. It towed "meh" alright, but not great. If you want all the details go here:

The short version is that our '13 F150 crew 2wd 5.0 3.55 axle did the job for our 6800 lb loaded 27fb, but the '15 F150 crew 4wd 3.5 EB 3.55 axle longbed MaxTow crushes the job. 1907 lbs payload, 10 way seats, a big enough bed to use, and the 163" wheelbase. We leave for VA and WVA next week from the flatland of Central Florida with total rig confidence...…..

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:05 AM   #5
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Just waiting for the 3/4 ton crowd to pipe in.......
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:00 AM   #6
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Almost all the comments above are valid opinions & I would not disparage anything they offer. However, having numerous Ford products & Company employees in our family - including Dealer Mechanics - I would suggest you visit the working end of the dealership or any other mechanic/garage operation. Simply ask the mechanics - not the Service Writer or Salesman which of the F-150 engines comes in most often for service/repairs & total engine failure. Just sayin' you might be surprised by what you read in these forums.........
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:21 AM   #7
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For the long term and most of your daily driving, go with TV 2. The 5.0 V8 is a very dependable engine and the mileage difference is negligible. Even with the 3.55 rear end, if you get a Mike's 5 Star programmer, it will act like a new diesel. Amazing difference.
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Old 05-25-2018, 10:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Daquenzer View Post
The 3.5 Ecoboost is a great engine. I have it and it pulls wonderfully. Also everything is set up for towing. I vote 3.5 Ecoboost. Both would work though. Also you might like the longer bed for storage. With the Hensley hitch stability will be good.
I also have the 3.5 echo boost love it pulls my 25 no problem !
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:30 AM   #9
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Go with two, it's for you. But then again ............
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:58 AM   #10
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We've been an F350 crewcab, longbed diesel family since 1997. In 2016, we bought an F150 crewcab 2wd with Ecoboost and a year later traded it for an F150 supercab 4wd with V6 set up for towing. My husband didnt like it even pulling our lighter weight popup. He'd never consider it for one of our previously owned Airstreams. As we've gotten older we've tried to downsize to the F150s and they're great trucks, however, for long term hauling, comfort, safety and stabilty with your tow vehicle, you cannot beat a Ford SuperDuty. Its what the truck was born to do. Safe travels to you!
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Old 05-25-2018, 01:45 PM   #11
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I agree with the folks who've advised you to go with a truck that offers the most comfort. You can find that with any of the big four manufacturers - Ford, Chevy, Dodge or Toyota - and the fact is, they all make great trucks. We've towed our 1993 Sovereign 21 more than 50,000 miles all through the western U.S. in the last six years with a 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 with a 5.7 hemi motor and a heavy duty towing package. What made me go with the Ram was the fact that Dodge introduced independent rear suspension in 2009, and in addition our truck is a Big Horn edition with an upgraded interior package. I've owned trucks of one kind or another for 50 years and this Ram is the most comfortable one by far. Furthermore, that Hemi has pulled our trailer over countless mountain passes without a single problem. It's now got 143,000 miles on it and still runs as smoothly as the day I bought it - used, by the way, with 38,000 miles on it. It's not that I'm trying to sway you from a Ford to a Dodge, by the way; as I said, any of the big four will do a fine job for you. Just make sure you get one with the best towing package, the best interior, and a big engine. Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 05-25-2018, 02:59 PM   #12
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just curious what your payload is ?
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:09 PM   #13
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full timing

Go with the longer wheel base and the 3.5 eco-boost.
The extra room in the bed of the truck will come in handy. Think an extra 40 gal
of water to extend your boondocking stay. Or perhaps adding a transfer tank in the bed of the truck for that trip to Alaska. The only drawback is the supercab.
The back seat is terrible, but good to go if just the 2 of you. Remember, all the weight behind the rear axle is added to the hitch weight. You have more space in front of the rear axle with the long bed. In your case, the only reason to go 3/4 ton is if you intend to go a larger TT in the near future.
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:19 PM   #14
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I personally will vote for the 3.5EB, it has great numbers you've provided compared to TV#2 and I personally can deal with 6" than what I have now at 157". It doesn't hurt to ask over at the F-150 forum unless you Ford is not your thing

It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. The importance of that expression doubles in significance if you made the conscious decision to "go without it" and then ended up needing it.
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