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Old 04-11-2014, 03:37 PM   #1
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F150 questions

A friend of mine is looking into buying a 1/2 ton truck to tow his 25'.

A car or van won't work for him, he and his family are very active and would be carrying bikes and kayaks for five. This would be a tow vehicle only, so his max budget is around $10k. He wants an F150 because he knows and likes Ford cars. He doesn't want to go up to a 250.

He asked my opinion, but I know little about the intricacies of the truck world.

Are there any specific models to look out for or to avoid? My choice would be the Ecoboost, but I doubt that he can find that within his budget.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:10 PM   #2
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During my research for a replacement for my trusty old Titan, I looked hard at the F150. It can be equipped with a max tow and max payload package giving it the ability to tow pretty much any airstream on the road. Unfortunately, so equipped, said F150 rolls off the lot at near 40 grand.

Too rich for my blood.

The Titan has towed my rig superbly with nary a hiccup. However, there is just me, the petite wife and minimal stuff in the truck bed. If your friend has an "active" family with bikes and kayaks and grills and generators... Maybe a gently used 3/4 ton?

I prefer gas engines. Diesels are torque monsters but the fuel is pricey, routine maintenance (I.e. Oil changes, fuel filters, DEF) is pricey and the engine will last long past when the rest of the truck is archaic. A big displacement v8 is old and relatively robust technology. A dual turbo V6 has lots of extra moving parts.

Every choice is a trade off.

Enjoy the search,

Mike
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:10 PM   #3
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Used F150 for towing a 25 foot AS

An newer used F150 can pull a 25 foot AS without too much problem especially if there are no mountains involved (I would hesitate to pull a 25 through the Rockies with a 150 but it can be done.) The key is to find one that can pull the weight of the subject trailer. Towing capacity can be readily found online or in the brochure of the current year's model so long as you match the same engine, transmission, body style etc.. as the used one you are considering. The Ecoboost engine is loved by most people who have them but your friend's budget precludes that engine for a few more years I suspect.

Usually where the F150 (or any 1/2 ton for that matter) fails the test is in the payload department and that's why many of us chose the F 250 or some other 3/4 ton. By the time you load up the family in the tow vehicle, put the generator and other stuff in the bed, then hook up the trailer, the carrying capacity of the F 150 can easily be exceeded. The commenter directly above this post makes this point as well.

If the F150 is going to be loaded close to (or over) it's payload capacity, I would suggest your friend drop back a couple of model years and look at a used 3/4 ton pickup. Make sure any truck he considers has not been used for snow plowing as that activity can wreck a truck in a hurry!

In any event, a gas engine 3/4 ton will pull a 25 AS and allow for lots of carrying capacity for the family and the toys. A diesel is not needed and is more expensive to buy, fuel and maintain. I have a diesel F250 and love it! But my budget could cover it.

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Old 04-11-2014, 07:06 PM   #4
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I am going to get him to register here so he can explain himself. If you see a Mike Stanley from Mississauga popping up, that's him.

I know he doesn't want to go up to a 3/4 ton truck. Too large, too much truck. He is more interested in learning about the 150, are there any engines to avoid/to select, any model years with issues, what's the best value. He can then look for the max payload available.

We both live in Ontario, where there's rolling hills but no serious mountains. Keep in mind that I tow with an Odyssey, so I am bound to err on the side of smaller.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:27 PM   #5
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We tow with a 1/2 ton Ram reg cab and it's just a great tow vehicle. Ford would be no different, basic model with plenty of engine is probably the best bargain to tow 25' with ease. The payload problem is only there if you do not know how to travel lightly.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:34 PM   #6
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towing with kayaks and bikes for 5 IS a game changer.

That extra weight? I'm sorry, go for a 250 or you'll regret it.

Paula
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:42 PM   #7
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Bikes and kayaks for five? He needs an auxiliary vehicle.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:07 PM   #8
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A good used 5.4 F-150 with a 3.73 rear end ratio can tow a 25' , no problem. It's the 3.55 that sucks in the 5.4 engine. the newer Ecoboost engines can tow with almost anything, but especially with the 3.73 ratio. The new Ford Torque Shift tranny is by far, the best out there, even better than the Allison. It's bullet proof. The older Ford trannies can use a bump with a Transgo Shift Kit and makes it work better and replaces the plastic parts and weak springs. All for less than $100. My wife's Lincoln LT, just a fancy F-150 has the 5.4 and it has towed our utility trailer that weighs around 6,000 lbs loaded, all over the Rockies like it wasn't there. If you find a good used or off-lease F-150, and it's set up to tow, it will.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:19 PM   #9
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ford f-150

before you decide on a 5.4 l ford engine google "ford 5.4 spark plug issues" and see the problem with that engine in the early 2000 to about 2008 or 09 i believe..

that will give you a good starting point on engines for ford which year to look at and not look at.. You will see a lot of 06-07 for sale because of the spark plug issue.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
An newer used F150 can pull a 25 foot AS without too much problem especially if there are no mountains involved (I would hesitate to pull a 25 through the Rockies with a 150 but it can be done.)
I don't know about the mountains in Michigan, but I tow over 10K+ passes several times a year just to get out of the neighborhood. That's the beauty of turbochargers and the Ecoboost.

However, not recommended for a family of five with bicycles, camping gear and flotilla of kayaks!
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by carl2591 View Post
before you decide on a 5.4 l ford engine google "ford 5.4 spark plug issues" and see the problem with that engine in the early 2000 to about 2008 or 09 i believe..

that will give you a good starting point on engines for ford which year to look at and not look at.. You will see a lot of 06-07 for sale because of the spark plug issue.

Nope it was only in 1999-2000, no more problems from that and it was quite rare anyway for that to happen. Same with the V-10 which is a stretch 5.4. The 3 valve 5.4 which started in 2005 is a much stronger engine that the preceeding 2 valve 5.4 or 6.8 V-10. The only real problem the F-150 has had in the past 15-20 years is that Ford sold so many of them and people want to keep them for so long, that it's hard to find one with low miles on them. There is a reason that the F-150 is the most popular vehicle, including all trucks by other manufacturers combined, because they are tough and work without many problems.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:41 PM   #12
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I have a 2006 4x4 with the 5.4 and 3.73. Payload capacity is around1200#. Add 600-800 tongue weight, and two people and you are there. GCWR and max tow are not a problem, but I have to travel pretty much with the TV bed empty.

And my 2006 had three fractured plugs at plug change time, but my mechanic handled it.

Al
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Old 04-12-2014, 05:56 AM   #13
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Thanks all. I did tell him that payload would be an issue. It looks like the newer models have higher payload capacity, but that's beyond his budget. I'll leave it to him to ponder. 1200 isn't much.
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:50 AM   #14
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F150 payload

Payload is the principal limitation with the F150 1/2 ton. By the time you add a cap, bed slide, generator, camping stuff, tongue weight of the trailer, people, tools, fuel for the TV, etc... one can easily flirt with or even exceed the safe payload capacity of a 1/2 ton. I do think that the typical payload of a contemporary F150 is higher than 1,200 pounds, it depends on the model, engine and configuration. The Ford web site indicates that a Regular Cab model (only two doors) with a heavy duty payload package can carry up to 3,120 pounds. But that is for a stripped down "work truck" not a model you are likely to find in the used market. Best to check a F150 brochure or a dealer.

Now, if you don't have a cap and bed slide, and don't cram the bed with a lot of heavy stuff, the 1/2 ton F150 is a fine towing vehicle for a 25 foot AS. Especially the Ecoboost engine! I would be willing to wager that a significant number of AS owners tow with a 1/2 ton with no problems.

For better of worse, we have all the stuff I've listed above, hence the 3/4. Plus I wanted a diesel "just because" so the F250 was the only option.
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