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Old 08-13-2018, 12:57 PM   #1
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F-150 5.5 box vs 6.5 box

Hi, this is my 1st ever post. My wife and I have our hearts set on a 2019 Globetrotter. I am now researching tow vehicles, and have narrowed down to the F-150 Lariat with max tow package.
One question I am seeking input on is the length of the bed (5.5 vs 6.5 box). It is my understanding that the longer box would potentially provide greater stability while towing, and of course theres more cargo space to carry gear. The 5.5 box meanwhile would be slightly more affordable and would be easier to maneuver on a day-to-day basis (traffic, parking decks, etc.).
This truck would become my daily vehicle and I live in congested Atlanta. So, Im weighing the benefits of a smaller bed vs larger bed. Thanks for any input!
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Old 08-13-2018, 08:53 PM   #2
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The thing that clinched it for me is the short wheel base on the 5.5' model fit in my garage, but the long wheelbase of the 6.5' model wouldn't. (Mine is the SuperCab though. The bed choices were 6.5' and 8'.)
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:52 PM   #3
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I faced the same choice last year and while I'm using the truck as my daily driver I decided to stick with the supercrew, short wheelbase. If Ford would sell the HD Payload package in a high-trim F150 I might've put up with that extra foot of wheelbase for another 500 lb of payload, but I chose LED headlights and air-conditioned seats and the ability to u-turn in a neighborhood intersection.

My trailer's a foot shorter and might weigh a bit less. I have no complaints with a Lariat 502a SuperCrew 4WD 5.5' bed Max Tow with tow mirrors. (I ordered it, you're not likely to find one equipped that way on a dealer lot.)
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Old 08-13-2018, 11:03 PM   #4
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Hi, I chose the short bed [5.5'] because the longer truck would not / or barely fit in my garage. Crew cab with short bed is still a challenge to park in a lot of places. And the biggie; The long bed truck has a two piece drive shaft which will cause a shudder on take off, more so with higher loads. [trailer towing]
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Old 08-14-2018, 04:44 AM   #5
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Ross S-

So far I'm the dissenting opinion on bed length. We have a '15 F150 crew 4x4 XLT Sport with MaxTow and the 6.5' bed, and it does a wonderful job towing our Pete, a 2014 Flying Cloud 27fb twin. I know I used a lot of FordSpeak there........but the specifics are important when shopping for an F150. We have 1907 lbs of payload on the truck, Pete weighs around 6800 lbs loaded for a long trip, and we connect with a ProPride hitch. The rig tows on the interstates at 65 or at 55 on pretty much any other road we have been on East of the Mississippi like its welded together.

Pretty much any F150 with the 3.5 or 5.0 can and should do a fine job of towing any Airstream in production except the Classic's, because, hey, lets be honest, they all weigh less than most white box 3 slide bumper pulls with outdoor kitchens and fireplaces . The trick with a 1/2 ton is to find the most payload possible; loaded F150s lose payload in correlation to the toys on them.

In 2015 at least, the only MaxTow I could find had the longer bed, but it may not be so today. MaxTow got you the 3.5 Egoboost, 3.55 axle, heavier duty cooling, stronger hitch tied into the bumper, and the long bed. We also stuck with the XLT to get the most payload possible. The Sport package for 2015 got us the captains chairs with heat, and the 10 way power adjusters from the Lariat.

I'm convinced that the 6.5 bed with it's longer wheelbase tows our coach much better than the 2013 F150 crew 2wd 5.5 bed it replaced. Also, the 6.5 bed is actually more useful to us, as our truck works for a living.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:12 AM   #6
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Since it'll be your daily driver, be sure to drive the 6.5 ft bed truck to check its turning radius. The 5.5 bed will turn with less radius, and even it will be a challenge in Atlanta's interior streets.

If you'll be driving it unhitched more than owing, I'd go for the 5.5 ft bed, particularly in Atlanta's traffic.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:27 AM   #7
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Or get an F250/350/450 and be King Of The Road. Atlanta will stay out of YOUR way...
brick (F250 diesel in Atlanta)
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:58 AM   #8
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We chose to go with the 2016 F150 Lariat, Super crew with 6.5' bed, 3.5L Ecoboost with max tow package, etc and the wonderful tail gate step making getting into the bed just like a set of stairs.

Our hitched total length with the 27' AS is 49'. We are surprised and happy that hitched up, our turning radius is as good as it is.

I don't know for sure, but think the longer wheelbase likely makes towing a little more stable - at least logic says it must be so! In any case, we are very happy with our choices, being into our third year and 16,000 miles of towing all over the west's mountains and many off interstate roads with no issues (other than the truck's brake controller module failed us by locking up just as we were about to turn onto the interstate! But that's another story...).

Our garages are very large, so no issues with that. Driving around for daily use and parking hasn't been that much of an issue and needs a little back and forth at times, but that is ok. But we aren't in Atlanta, or Seattle anymore (thank god!).
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:05 AM   #9
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Bigger is better

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross S View Post
Hi, this is my 1st ever post. My wife and I have our hearts set on a 2019 Globetrotter. I am now researching tow vehicles, and have narrowed down to the F-150 Lariat with max tow package.
One question I am seeking input on is the length of the bed (5.5 vs 6.5 box). It is my understanding that the longer box would potentially provide greater stability while towing, and of course, theres more cargo space to carry gear. The 5.5 box meanwhile would be slightly more affordable and would be easier to maneuver on a day-to-day basis (traffic, parking decks, etc.).
This truck would become my daily vehicle and I live in congested Atlanta. So, Im weighing the benefits of a smaller bed vs a larger bed. Thanks for any input!
Everyone has their specific reasons but I have only one comment. I own an F-350 Crewcab short bed and that was all great until I needed more room to haul generators and other items I wish not to toss in the camper. You can adjust to all the lack of features or nuances mentioned in these threads but you cannot just weld additional frame and bed area on with unrealistic expense. If you are not an experienced camper you may not understand the need for all the storage required but soon you will understand my comments and position.
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:19 AM   #10
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According to Andy Thompson of Can AM, the closer the hitch point is to the rear wheels the better to control sway and load. So shorter box may be best.
Andy wrote the book on towing and tows a 28 Eddy Bauer with a Chrysler 300.
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:47 AM   #11
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Umm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Bobby View Post
According to Andy Thompson of Can AM, the closer the hitch point is to the rear wheels the better to control sway and load. So shorter box may be best.
Andy wrote the book on towing and tows a 28 Eddy Bauer with a Chrysler 300.
That distance will be the same for both models. The extra length is between the axles (wheelbase). Generally speaking, longer WB vehicles are more stable while towing and sway less.
I tow my AS with a 2017 F-150 Lariat SuperCrew with 6.5 ft bed. Love the truck but U turns require planning ahead.
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:49 AM   #12
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Possible data point:

FWIW, towed my 22' International with a 2008 long bed 2x4 Crew Cab Tacoma for several years, then went to a 2012 short bed Crew Cab Tacoma (4x4, just to be clear).
I cannot feel any difference in handling between the two. Same trailer, same exact hitch setup, etc. The main difference I have noticed is that the short bed Tacoma fits better into my garage...and is a little easier to park when not towing. I do miss the cab-high topper, as opposed to the tonneau cover this one has, but hey, that helps limit my tendency to carry too much stuff in the back of the pickup.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:16 AM   #13
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I have a 2018 F-150 Platinum crewcab 5.5ft bed with the HD towing package. I drive it to downtown Atlanta every day. Would stick with the 5.5 ft mostly because of the size of Atlanta's downtown parking spaces.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:45 AM   #14
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I have the 2017 F150 SuperCrew 3.5 Max Tow 5.5 bed and use it as a daily driver and live in the Atlanta Area. Love the Truck. I have the Platinum version and I have 1450# of payload.
Depending on the orientation and pad space of your home garage getting any version of this truck into said garage can be challenging.
Side entry garages without a large parking pad probably no bueno.
This truck is awesome in traffic. U Turns can be a challenge and usually require a 2 point turn off two lane roads, 4 lane roads no problem.
The biggest problem I have using this truck is when I have to park in a parking garage. Super narrow and short parking spaces are a challenge, best to try and park on the parking garage roof or somewhere else.

If you are ordering a new truck I definitely recommend ordering the tow mirrors. It's very rare to find the tow mirrors on any lot truck.
Towing a 5k# motorcycle toy hauler to South Dakota and back gave me between 9-11 mpg, I usually get 17 around town and 20 mpg or so on the highway doing the speed limit. Backroads without frequent stop and go's at around 50-60 mph will get you slightly better.

Good luck with the Globetrotter, it's on my wish list.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross S View Post
Hi, this is my 1st ever post. My wife and I have our hearts set on a 2019 Globetrotter. I am now researching tow vehicles, and have narrowed down to the F-150 Lariat with max tow package.
One question I am seeking input on is the length of the bed (5.5 vs 6.5 box). It is my understanding that the longer box would potentially provide greater stability while towing, and of course theres more cargo space to carry gear. The 5.5 box meanwhile would be slightly more affordable and would be easier to maneuver on a day-to-day basis (traffic, parking decks, etc.).
This truck would become my daily vehicle and I live in congested Atlanta. So, Im weighing the benefits of a smaller bed vs larger bed. Thanks for any input!
I went from a 5.5 F 150 to a 6.5 F 250 and the the extra length is working out much better in every aspect. Once I got used to it no problem with parking and the extra room sure comes in handy. Now all the gear is stowed in the truck.
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Old 08-14-2018, 12:13 PM   #16
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I have an 18 F150 crew with max tow, tow mirrors, 3.5L, and the 6.5' bed. Traded in a Silverado crew cab with the 5.5' bed. I love the extra foot the new truck gives me in terms of extra space. I park in a parking garage during the week and the new truck hasn't given me any issues in there as far as maneuvering. Very similar to the short bed truck. Since I bought the truck in May, I haven't found any instances where I wish I had the short bed.
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:32 PM   #17
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Or get an F250/350/450 and be King Of The Road. Atlanta will stay out of YOUR way...
brick (F250 diesel in Atlanta)
That's quite true, when the Superduty came out I recall one of the magazines did a review and I clearly remember the statement "What it lacks in maneuverability it makes up for in sheer intimidation"

That statement has been stuck in my head ever since.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by franklyfrank View Post
I went from a 5.5 F 150 to a 6.5 F 250 and the the extra length is working out much better in every aspect. Once I got used to it no problem with parking and the extra room sure comes in handy. Now all the gear is stowed in the truck.
Ture! (assuming the large super king cab?) Consider the payload, and the weight/length of your AS...many folks go for the F150EB with the 5.5 bed...I had it with 2 25' AS's, and I loved it! But with the larger 28' we have now, (Actually, the 28' is 27'11" and the 27' is 28'), we chose the larger F250 6.7D for stability, payload, power, engine brake, and bigger brakes...many folks like the F150 for pulling the larger AS's (above 25'), which may be fine for their use and piece of mind. I travel in the Rockies to Texas and feel very good that I upgraded to the F250 D with the larger 28' AS. If you stay with the F150 which is far easier on you as a daily driver and overall operational costs, I think the larger bed is worth considering...but then again, you will loose the parking type maneuverability of the shorter 5.5'bed... If your going up in size to the 6.5' bed, may as well consider the more capable F250... my 2 cents is worth just that...2 cents!
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:19 PM   #19
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I have a 2018 Lariat with Max Tow... 6.5' bed, super crew. It's LONG.

Happy to share any details I can offer... feel free to shoot me a reply or PM.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:31 PM   #20
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FX4 package

Thanks to all of you for the insights and feedback. One additional question as I am considering available packages: do any of you have opinions on Fords FX4 package? For $770 it seems youre basically getting some skid plates beneath the chassis to provide some protection if youre doing lots of off-roading. Is it beneficial? Thanks.
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