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Old 07-08-2019, 04:49 PM   #1
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250 vs 350 or 2500 vs 3500

So picked up our new 27 ISFBQ and the current tow vehicle a Sierra 1500 AT4 is just adequate. Did a short tow over the mountains from TN to NC and while plenty of power obvious that I was right on the capacity line in terms of payload at the rear axle and the CAT scales confirmed.

So went to the neighborhood dealer and the cost delta for the same truck (trim level & equipment)is less than $3000 to get the added capacity of a 350/3500. The 250/2500 can clearly tow my 27 or even the largest current trailer in the Airstream family, I’m thinking it just makes sense to buy the bigger truck as outgrowing it will be hard.

What aren’t I thinking about or missing?
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Old 07-08-2019, 04:54 PM   #2
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Potential compromises to choosing the 1-ton variant:

1) Insurance costs
2) Ride quality
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:10 PM   #3
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250 vs 350 or 2500 vs 3500

^^ agreed.

They are the same truck with the exception of an additional leaf in the rear and tires (for the 3500). All else is the same - brakes, engine, drivetrain, frame, axles, etc...

My 2500 has a RAWR of 6,200 lbs. FAWR is 5,200. Plenty of capacity for towing my 30’ airstream. With my topper and decked system I’m about 600-700 lbs in the bed in addition to 900lbs of tongue weight. Sits nice and level.

Unless you are loading a motorcycle back there with other heavy stuff you don’t need the extra leaf that the 3,500 has.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:22 PM   #4
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I also agree with the two posts above. Some folks will say that they notice no difference in ride between the 3/4 and 1 ton Ford, for example, but the fact is that in addition to the extra rear leaf on the one ton, the rates on the other leaf springs are also higher and therefore stiffer on the F350 than the F250.

On the Ford, at least, you can split the difference a bit between the F250 and F350 with the High Capacity Tow Package which adds a rear helper spring that only comes into play when heavily loaded as well as adding the uprated rear differential from the F350. As mentioned above, everything else is the same between the two variants.

(BTW, the tow package I referenced is only available with the 6.7 liter diesel.)
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:33 PM   #5
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Drive them both and compare the ride. Just make sure that they are otherwise equipped the same (not one with snow package which adds stiffer front springs and one without). I did when deciding between and F250 and F350 and could not tell a difference with my uncalibrated butt. As far as insurance, registration fees and HOA restrictions, you can always order an F350 with a derated tag. Same truck but with lower numbers on the door tag if these are issues.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:44 PM   #6
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Same here between the 2500 and 3500 GMC HD Duramax. Zero difference in ride. And if you opt for the diesel they are heavy and cut into the payload capacity. For the few extra dollars I went with the 3500 for 2 reasons. There will be, no way, no how, overloading the 3500. Second is for resale value. My experience is more folks are looking for used 1 tons over 3/4, if they can get them. There was no difference in insurance up here in Alberta between the 2.

As the GW says, go big or go home!
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:53 PM   #7
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We got the F-350 for our FC27fb. My husband is putting a motorcycle in the bed, so...
We liked the way it drove, although we did not also test a f-250.
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Old 07-09-2019, 10:51 AM   #8
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Unless you intend to own a large 5th wheel someday, stick with a 3/4 ton. I also found my 1500 series truck just "adequate" for the job. The overall towing experience is more stable with the 3/4 ton.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:13 AM   #9
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Smile Salespeople

Being in the business I have to give the other perspective. Many people go to find a salesperson who knows the product takes all their knowledge and time and buy a car from the guy who knew nothing over a couple of hundred dollars. The internet makes the world a small place and is placing more pressure on price than knowledge. Just another perspective and some reasons why you cant find people who know their product. Gods speed and best wishes on finding the right vehicle.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:33 AM   #10
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463/2019-ram-2500-questions-and-advice-196837.html

Good recent info here.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:45 AM   #11
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Let the door sticker rule

Having gone through a similar dilemma, I was surprised to see that there can be over 1000lb difference in the payload comparing a 250 to a 350. More, the difference between my 150 and the 250s on the lot was only in the 4-500lb neighborhood. My bride collects rocks, so our choice was clear.

I was able to attenuate the ride with Sulastic leaf spring hangar replacements. they are effective when the truck is lightly loaded, not noticed at load.

We love our 27' unit. Have fun!
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:37 PM   #12
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Some F250s have the extra helper spring and a factory rear sway bar. I have one and so does a friend. Always been curious what package that is. The helper never evens touch with my 25footer.
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:47 PM   #13
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I can't speak to the GM products but the only difference for the 2016 F250/350 is 2" blocks on rear springs vs 1-1/2" (I understand after 2016 they both have 2") and the extra leaf spring. The extra leaf does not come into play until the payload needs it. I don't believe there is any difference in ride, but you have way more payload available.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadWest View Post
Drive them both and compare the ride. Just make sure that they are otherwise equipped the same (not one with snow package which adds stiffer front springs and one without). I did when deciding between and F250 and F350 and could not tell a difference with my uncalibrated butt. As far as insurance, registration fees and HOA restrictions, you can always order an F350 with a derated tag. Same truck but with lower numbers on the door tag if these are issues.
I have a 2018 F350 XLT Prem. SRW 4x4 CC LWB 6.7 diesel and it definitely rides stiffer than a F250 one equally equipped belonging to my friend (he agrees). Tire pressure adjusted down to 60 brought it to an almost equal ride. Still a little stiffer on significant bumps. I got the reduced 10,000 GVW tag for mine. (Some roads I intend to travel require max 10,000 GVWR.) It still has the 12,600(?) F350 payload springs and the rear axle is different than the F250 (bigger hubs on back).

For the original poster, I am from the school that if you are worried about payload then get a bigger truck. Don't take chances you'll regret later. Safety first.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
I also agree with the two posts above. Some folks will say that they notice no difference in ride between the 3/4 and 1 ton Ford, for example, but the fact is that in addition to the extra rear leaf on the one ton, the rates on the other leaf springs are also higher and therefore stiffer on the F350 than the F250.

On the Ford, at least, you can split the difference a bit between the F250 and F350 with the High Capacity Tow Package which adds a rear helper spring that only comes into play when heavily loaded as well as adding the uprated rear differential from the F350. As mentioned above, everything else is the same between the two variants.

(BTW, the tow package I referenced is only available with the 6.7 liter diesel.)
Actually the F350 SRW has a different rear axle than the F250. The rims won't interchange on the rear.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:54 PM   #16
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There are lots of relevant comments on another post in today's Airstream Forum:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f463...m_medium=email
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbashin View Post
Actually the F350 SRW has a different rear axle than the F250. The rims won't interchange on the rear.
In general, you're correct. In standard configuration, the F350 does have a different rear axle than the F250.

However, if you choose the 6.7L diesel on the F250 you also have the option to select the High Capacity Tow Package which includes increased GCW, rear helper springs, different rims, and an upgraded rear axle that is the same as the one on the F350. I have this package on my truck.
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonDNC View Post
So picked up our new 27 ISFBQ and the current tow vehicle a Sierra 1500 AT4 is just adequate. Did a short tow over the mountains from TN to NC and while plenty of power obvious that I was right on the capacity line in terms of payload at the rear axle and the CAT scales confirmed.

So went to the neighborhood dealer and the cost delta for the same truck (trim level & equipment)is less than $3000 to get the added capacity of a 350/3500. The 250/2500 can clearly tow my 27 or even the largest current trailer in the Airstream family, I’m thinking it just makes sense to buy the bigger truck as outgrowing it will be hard.

What aren’t I thinking about or missing?
Get the one ton. When you go to sell it there will be a lot more buyers because of all of the 5th wheels out there and that is what they want.
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Old 07-09-2019, 04:16 PM   #19
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Have done some shopping, if we go Ford going F350, can’t tell a ride difference between the 250 vs 350, waiting for the 2020 GMC to show up, should have been last week, from a need standpoint 3/4 ton will do what we need or envision but the 1 ton value and resell input is appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:35 PM   #20
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If one really needs and is using all the payload, then go for the 1-ton. Ride quality will be better when using the load capacity it was designed for.

If using largely empty and just buying for more potential capacity...

I get that some of like stiffer rides. But some of us spend a lot of money for better ride quality. Would be worthwhile to ask oneself if the extra capacity is worth the trade and nagging PITA when riding over broken roads in the future, just for that potential yet unused capacity.
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