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Old 11-02-2018, 08:04 PM   #1
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F250 vs F350

We're getting closer (we hope) to getting an Airstream, and that means that we will have to get a truck. We're looking at early 2000's 30-34' Airstream travel trailers, no slides, so that basically means we're looking at coaches with GVWR of about 10,000 pounds. That would make the tongue weight around 1000 pounds or maybe somewhat more. I understand that Airstream says max tongue weight is 1000 pounds, but some people have reported higher numbers.


We're looking at 2012-2015 F250 or F350 trucks. I don't want to get into Chevy, Dodge, GMC, Toyota, or whatever else. I'm just focusing on those two trucks. The truck will be either an extended cab or crew cab, whichever we find. From what I've seen so far, it will most likely be diesel (recent search found 34 diesel trucks, 1 gas truck) and will have the 8' bed with a topper. We will have ~1500 pounds of stuff in the bed.


I've gotten conflicting reports from Ford owners and mechanics. Some say the F250 will be just fine. Others say the F350 (SRW) will actually ride better, both with and without the Airstream. One gentleman suggested that an F250 can be fitted with aftermarket airbags as a DIY project.



I'd like to hear from those of you who have or have had one of these trucks as a tow vehicle. What do you think? I'd really like to cut down the stuff in the bed, but losing weight anywhere is difficult.
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:28 PM   #2
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I have a 2016 30 foot Classic - weighs 10k pounds fully loaded like yours. I originally bought an F-250 6.7L gasser and found out that it will not adequately do the job up or down any mountains. You will also have challenges merging onto expressway traffic. If all you are doing is flat land travel then you can get away with it. I recently moved up to an F-250 6.7L diesel - WOW! No comparison as it moves with ease no matter the terrain. Can't speak to an F-350 but unless it has 800 ft lbs of torque you will have challenges going up - and since it does not have a engine brake you will have some white knuckle moments going down the mountains. Originally I insisted that I did not need a diesel but anyone pulling over 28 feet of Airstream will need one to ensure a safe and comfortable ride. Suggest you do several calculations on the site at www.changingears.com - there are about 7 calculations you need to do and pass all is them (with 20% safety margin built in) to be safe and comfortable. The F250 gasser was right at the limit and it showed. This is a very contentious discussion on the Airforums as you will find (I expect MANY to dispute what I write here) - but to each his own. I prefer to be safe. Bet of luck.
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Old 11-02-2018, 08:45 PM   #3
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I'm pulling our 30 foot Serenity with a '17 F250 crew cab, 4x4, 6.2 V8, and it's fine.

It has 3,111 pounds cargo capacity
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:38 AM   #4
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I pulled a 27’ with an F350 gas truck with the 385 hp V8. True, it wasn’t a 30’ but the F350 did the job very well. The F350 payload was almost 4000lbs. It has a much different sound and feel under load than a diesel. If you choose this engine just turn up the radio and make sure none of the warning lights come on lol.

Replaced the F350 with a 2500 Dodge Diesel. The payload of the Dodge is only 2200 lbs but it also handles the Airstream like a boss. I’d say the switch from gas to diesel was more significant than the reduced payload of the 2500 if all you’re pulling is an Airstream.

Like you, I had intended to stay with Ford and switch to a Diesel engine. The mechanic in the family convinced me to go with the Cummins as there are fewer problems with them. If you’re buying new or under warranty none of that will matter. The Ford I traded in sold almost immediately to a couple from California who are using it to tow a good sized TT. It was a win win.

Oh by the way, I just did the oil and fuel filters in the Dodge myself. Parts and synthetic oil was about $300. Oil change in my Ford was under $100. Not a big deal for me since I paid cash for it and don’t commute in my truck but friends who have $800 truck payments are sometimes caught by surprise.
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:17 AM   #5
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Check the payload on whatever you buy. My option loaded 2018 F250 only has 2100 lb payload. If you put 1500 lbs in the bed, you can see the issue.
And get the diesel.
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:30 AM   #6
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F-350 DRW Diesel
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:45 AM   #7
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Having had Both F250 and F350 diesels and now my 2nd Ram 2500 diesel.

I would go with a Ram 3500 (single rear wheel) Crew, short bed for my next rig.
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Old 11-03-2018, 08:53 AM   #8
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We have a 2016 F350 SRW Platinum with Snug Lid topper 8ft bed with the Power Stroke. It pulls our 2016 Classic with a ProPride with ease. Up and down is a piece of cake. We carry about 600 lbs of stuff all the time in the bed. Our payload is 3100 lbs. We get 19.5 MPG not pulling and 13 MPG or so towing.

Definetly get the diesel. Yes it’s more $$ in maintenance but pays off in over all longevity. Ford now makes the Limited version which includes everything under the sun. This truck just goes and goes, no matter what it’s got behind it. It doesn’t turn too sharp though. It just idles at 1800 RPM at 75 MPH. Yes, in Texas we can do 75 even 85 in some areas. Though we tow max at 65. We’re in no rush.

Tongue weights are spec’d, just that. We are more like 1300 lbs. the F350 does squat but not enough to hit the helper spring. Adjust your weight distribution and you’re good.

We get 375 mi per tank towing which is way more than needed until we need a break.

Get the heavy duty alternator or even dual alternators if ordering. You can fit 4 aftermarket thingies with the UpFitter switches. Dash cam, TPMS, and rear Cameras or external lights or bars. You will need a rear camera on the topper to replace the rearview mirror with the topper on.

The Crew cab is the way to go. Plenty of room for passengers or pets and other stuff.

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Old 11-03-2018, 10:28 AM   #9
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F350 SRW. I was a Ford guy for 40 years.


Best regards and safe travels.........
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:51 AM   #10
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Hi

Once you get into the "new" trucks (aluminum body) there really isn't any difference between the top of the F250 line and the bottom of the F350. Price wise, payload wise, ride wise, they are essentially the same truck. The F350 goes on up in payload from the start of the line. The F250 *can* have a much smaller payload depending on which options you order. At the bottom end of the line, the same overlap occurs. The "high end" F150 is same / heavier payload than the bottom end F250.

Bottom line: The days of buying a truck simply by the number on the badge are long gone. You very much need to look at all the grubby details on any truck you buy. You can indeed find a "250" (and maybe a 350) that is not up to towing a 34' AS. There are a lot of numbers to look at and a very confusing list of options that drive this or that.

The door post sticker is your friend in this case .... My F-250 comes in just below 3,000 LB payload (whatever that means ...). Again - there are a lot of numbers to check and payload is only one of many.

In some states, putting the 350 badge on the truck puts you into a different category when you register it .....

Bob
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Old 11-03-2018, 10:59 AM   #11
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My 2017 F250 6.7L Diesel 4x4 King Ranch pulls my 28' FC Twin just fine, up/down the Rockies and on flat land. I now have 45K miles in 18 months; I average 15-16mpg around town, and 13+mpg towing typically, at 60-65mph, running around 1500rpms....a pleasure to drive when towing or empty. With 925lbs of torque this one gets the job done with no hesitation! The automatic engine brake when engaged with your cruise control in tow/haul mode, with lane change control and distance control, makes pulling your trailer stress free..7 cameras help negotiate parking also. I see lots of folks suggesting going up to the F350 with same engine for about the same price. If you need that kind of extra payload, not a bad way to go. Ride is supposed to be similar in both rigs. I have 2200lbs of payload in my F250 which works well for our needs; 95lb generator, propane bottle, bbq, fire wood, camp gear in back, kayaks from time to time, and with 1100lbs of tongue weight on the 28' AS. I think you will be happy with either one, if you get the 6.7L Diesel. Dealer I mentioned in earlier post, got the gas version of his King Ranch F250 for pulling his 30' SOB and regrets not getting the diesel. I will add, if you get one that is not "loaded" consider the retractable running boards and the tailgate step...really handy for the wife.
Let me know if you have any other questions on this..glad to help.
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:31 AM   #12
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Hi

I have absolutely no complaints at all pulling a 30' Classic with a gas engine 2017 F-250. Zero issues up and down hills and mountains. Zero issues cursing on the flat.

Bob
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Old 11-03-2018, 11:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

I have absolutely no complaints at all pulling a 30' Classic with a gas engine 2017 F-250. Zero issues up and down hills and mountains. Zero issues cursing on the flat.

Bob
UB; are you "cursing on the flat" cause you didn't get the 6.7L diesel? (just kidding....) Think you meant cruising on the flat??
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Old 11-03-2018, 01:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
UB; are you "cursing on the flat" cause you didn't get the 6.7L diesel? (just kidding....) Think you meant cruising on the flat??
Hi

Typos are so much fun .....

Of course about half way across Kansas ... the two can get a bit intermingled.

Bob
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