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Old 05-01-2016, 05:40 PM   #1
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
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Engine Help for AS Newbie

I just put the downpayment for my first Trailer, an AS 25"FB (Max = 7300lb.). I am about to order a 2016 Ford F-150 and am torn between the 2.7L Ecoboost V6 and the larger 3.5L Ecoboost V6. The 3.5 has a torque rating almost 100 Ft-lb. higher and I've been told Torque is King". Dealer is pushing the 2.7L as towing power enough. Just want opinions from experienced Towers on the benefits of either, before I go back to dealership this Tuesday and make a mistake I'll regret. Thanks.

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Old 05-01-2016, 11:45 PM   #2
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The relevant question is tongue weight of your trailer and cargo capacity of your truck. The tongue weight is the weight of your trailer carried by the truck (about 1000 lbs. plus or minus a few 100 lbs). The cargo capacity is specified on a sticker on the drivers side door frame of the truck. It varies depending on configuration of the truck and equipment. If memory serves the 2.7 has marginal cargo capacity for your trailer if you're going crew cab. The 3.5 is available with more cargo capacity.
"Towing capacity" isn't the issue with either of these trucks. As an example, my GMC Sierra, with the "max trailer tow package" is rated at 1940 lbs. cargo. While I've never weighed it, judging from rear spring compression and rear tire appearance (carrying about 4 psi over specified pressure), I'm fully loaded with 2 people, a 100-lb dog, a 2kw Honda generator, a small tabletop gas grill,a very heavy toolbox, miscellaneous extra clothes and stuff in the short cargo box. My FC 27 has a little higher GVWR than the 25, but about the same tongue weight.
Also, be very careful with the way Ford markets towing packages. You need the extra cooling, trailer brake controller, backup camera along with the Class IV receiver, and real towing mirrors are pretty handy. When I was truck shopping a year ago, I found some 3/4 ton diesel Chevys without the big towing mirrors. Go figure!
Final point: lots of folks have been using the 3.5 Ecoboost engine to pull Airstreams, most apparently happy. It's a proven engine in this application. The 2.7 seems impressive, but it's new.

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Old 05-02-2016, 02:30 AM   #3
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The smaller the engine, the less engine braking that is available to help control descent speeds. Torque gets the rig moving and maintaining speed on inclines.

I tow our 2015 23D (6,068 pounds camping) ready with a 3.0L V6 turbo diesel in our 2007 Mercedes ML330 CDI. That engine has more torque than the 5L V8 gas engine that year. It does a good job uphill and the engine braking effect allows steep descents with no brake application.

Would strongly suggest the larger engine.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:35 AM   #4
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Without knowing your load requirements or expectations of performance of the combination, based on our experience I would suggest the 3.5. Plenty of torque at low RPM.

We just bought a truck, lots of inventory at the dealerships with a variety of great incentives on in-stock models (if they have the equipment you need).
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:16 AM   #5
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The 3.5 seems to be the engine of choice but I would also add that the 3.73 rear end and 33 gallon tank is also a good option.
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Old 05-02-2016, 10:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Leon Wilkins View Post
I just put the downpayment for my first Trailer, an AS 25"FB (Max = 7300lb.). I am about to order a 2016 Ford F-150 and am torn between the 2.7L Ecoboost V6 and the larger 3.5L Ecoboost V6. The 3.5 has a torque rating almost 100 Ft-lb. higher and I've been told Torque is King". Dealer is pushing the 2.7L as towing power enough. Just want opinions from experienced Towers on the benefits of either, before I go back to dealership this Tuesday and make a mistake I'll regret. Thanks.
You can't get the same heavy duty tow package with the 2.7 L as with the 3.5.
I have been towing a 30' International for going on 3 years with the 3.5 Ecoboost with the 3.79 axle heavy duty tow package and I couldn't be happier. We have traversed every steep pass all over the Rockies and out west with it and it performs flawlessly.
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:45 AM   #7
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We are very mpg conscious. We tow a 28' with the same weight but probably much heavier tongue weight with the same Mercedes 3.0 litre diesel that the other gentleman mentioned in a Sprinter one-ton. It has plenty of torque, but is low on horsepower. The Ecoboost 3.5 has much more of both, while yielding about the same non-towing highway mpg (if you have a light foot, of course!)

The 3.5 Ecoboost would have been our first choice had we been able to fit our lightweight but voluminous windsurfing equipment in the back. But that would have meant ordering a truck that was actually longer than our (shortest made) Sprinter! So we opted for the compromise of less horsepower, but more room (and tons of payload to spare--the Sprinter fully loaded with our added furniture and gear is about 7000 lbs, has a GVWR of 11,000!)

The smaller Ecoboost would probably do the towing part of the job just fine. But within reason, more towing power is just safer, and it is likely that your engine and drivetrain will last much longer, too. And as others have mentioned, make sure that you get it with all the Max towing goodies offered--especially a larger gas tank, towing mirrors, any additional coolers offered! The 21? mpg non-towing on the highway, while poor by today's standards, is still pretty impressive for a large vehicle designed to also tow significant weights.

No question--go with the 3.5 Ecoboost, and if you can't find one rigged right on the lot, order one the way you want it from the factory or shop around the country. Loaded for bear!

Have fun!
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:24 PM   #8
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I'll echo the previous replies and just say I am very pleased with my new F150 crew cab with the 3.5 ecoboost and we have a 27' FC. Be sure you look at lots of models on the lot and inspect the cargo capacity of each truck. With careful shopping you can get 1700-2000 lbs. I did not find any dealers that stocked models with the max payload package that would get you even more cargo capacity.
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:35 PM   #9
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It's all about cargo capacity, as others have said. I am in the same boat as you, looking at a 25 FB and the F150. I really wanted the 2.7 EB for the mileage while not towing.
When I configured one with 3.73 max tow and the 2.7l specific payload option, and basic trim level XLT with extended fuel tank and tow mirrors, I could tow the 7300 lbs 25FB, but couldn't put anything in the truck except my wife without exceeding the GVWR.
Have the dealer show you the door sticker of the truck he wants to sell you, subtract off 915 lbs (tongue weight at 12.5 %) and about 100 lbs for hitch, and the remainder is hopefully enough to account for the weight of driver and passenger.
The 6000 lbs 23FB is the largest Airstream I would feel comfortable towing with the 2.7 EB. Of course your mileage may vary, and this is just my opinion.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:18 AM   #10
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Right, it's all about cargo capacity. Do not order the F-150 until you have a pretty good idea of what your tongue weight will be.

I order a 2013 F-150 3.5 Ecoboost 4x4, 3.73, max tow and max payload (GVWR 7,700#, GCWR 15,400#), 144.5 wheel base, for my 2014 FC25FB twin with solar. The trailer came off the line at 5,756# with a tongue weight of 925#. Published tongue weight was 837# with LP, empty water and holding tanks, and no options.

I had the trailer weighed at Jackson Center on my way home from a caravan; LP not full, some water, holding tanks empty, but with clothing, etc. The total weight was 6501# (745# of cargo and accessories) but with a tongue weight of 1,252#!

After several trips to the scales it was clear that I had a problem: hitched combined steer and drive 8,020#, trailer 5,600#, combined 13,620#. The F-150 was overloaded by about 300# total but drive axle was over by 850#.

I switched from an Anderson hitch to a Blue Ox with 1500# bars. The best the Blue Ox could do was to get the steer axle to it's unhitched weight of 3,500# and the drive to 4,150#; 100# over its WR of 4,050#, and transfer of a few hundred to the trailer but this made the trailer ride unacceptable rough, as evidenced by the stuff that was thrown around when none had been. This was unacceptable to me so I traded the Ford for a 2016 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax.

I'm going to reinstall the Anderson and head to the scales but I think this combination should work out.

As to cargo: aluminum cap without glass, aluminum 1000# capacity bed slide, gas grill, gas camp stove, 2 chairs, tools, assorted stuff, and sometimes two bikes and two Yamaha 2000 generators. This may be more stuff than you would pack but be very thoughtful and conservative.

This was a pretty expensive trial and I thought I knew what I was doing when I ordered. I never anticipated a 1,200# tongue weight. I have a friend who owns a 2014 FC25RB twin without solar. His loaded tongue weight is 800#.

Otherwise the F-150 was a great truck; very comfortable and quite, and the 3.5 had all the power I ever needed. Everything Ford says about this engine seems true, but the mileage will probably disappoint. The truck was never in the Rockies so I have no idea how altitude and mountain climbing would affect it.

We're heading to Alaska this summer and this definitely weighed on my decision.

Good Luck!

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