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Old 11-29-2022, 08:34 PM   #1
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F250 or F350?

I suspect the correct answer is an F300, but Ford doesn't make that...


Here's the picture. We're seriously shopping for an Airstream and truck. Airstream will be early 2000's, 30-34' and the truck will be somewhere around a 2015, +/- a couple of years. I'm assuming that GM and Ram will be similar, and I have a Ford dealership just down the street, so that's why I'm using the Ford models as an example. Buying used, you take the best you can find at the moment.


We're looking for a crew cab 4x4 with a long bed. When towing it will be two adults in the front seats and a cat in a carrier in the back seat. Someday there may be a grandchild or two back there, but that time is a few years away. Figure 450 pounds of people, cat, and normal stuff in the cab. I haven't weighed things yet, but figure 1,000 pounds of stuff and cap for the bed of the truck. The trailers we're looking at are going to be 9-10,000 pounds gross weight, which translates to 900-1500 pounds on the hitch (before the weight distributing hitch does some weight magic). We are looking at the higher-end trim levels (Lariat and above). I know those add a bit more weight.



We're full-timers, so this truck will be not only the tow vehicle but also our daily driver. I don't believe that we would need a dually for this, but I'd rather buy one first than find out the hard way that I really did need it.


Most of what I'm finding are diesels, and that's fine with me. If we were buying a new truck, of course, it would be easy - just plug in the numbers. Buying used, though, I need some advice from those of you who are already doing what we're going to do.


Thanks for your advice.
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Old 11-29-2022, 08:50 PM   #2
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1. Based upon what you stated, you could be at 2000-3500 pounds of payload (with tongue weight) before WD with a possibility of having more payload in the future.

2. Higher trim levels mean less payload, and long bed and crew cab add weight and thereby also take from payload.

3. No dually is wanted (or needed generally).

Add 1, 2 and 3 together = F350/one ton, single rear wheel.

We have done it all with towing with SUVs, half tons, three-quarter tons and 1 tons. We now tow with a 1 ton and the 1 tons of the last 10 years drive way better than those of the early 2000s. You will rarely notice the slightly stiffer ride of the one ton vs. the three-quarter ton as you will usually be hitched.

Blow past the regret of the three-quarter ton and buy the one ton with at last 3250 pounds of payload. You will not regret it.
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Old 11-29-2022, 09:32 PM   #3
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Since you're intending to buy used, you'll have the benefit on being able to check the payload sticker on the door and won't have to guess like you would ordering a new truck. I also think you are being quite reasonable with your payload estimates.

You're right about sacrificing some payload with the higher trim levels and especially with a diesel. My 2017 F250 Platinum diesel has a payload of 2160lbs. In Lariat trim you might get an extra 100-200lbs but you are still likely to be at or over the payload limit. If I were you, I'd go with an F350 SRW; you won't have to worry about payload.
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Old 11-29-2022, 09:41 PM   #4
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I have a 250 that is one of the best vehicles I have owned. We full-time, towing about 10-15K miles a year. The 250 has been perfect for over 3 years.

If I had the chance to buy again…I would get a 350. The capacities (on the sticker) are much greater and the ride (speaking 2017-2019 models) is pretty much the same. Price difference is negligible. If your state doesn’t charge more for the 350, I think it’s the best choice.
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Old 11-29-2022, 10:09 PM   #5
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If you find a gas engine truck you like, an f250 should be adequate, but if you find a diesel, I would strongly suggest you be sure it’s an f350. I have an f250 (gas), my payload sticker says just over 2900lbs. The diesel engine version eats up approx 800lbs of your payload, so the f350 restores that extra weight back into the useable payload for your gear etc. category.
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Old 11-29-2022, 11:37 PM   #6
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The Ford 7.3 liter gas engine and 10 speed transmission will handle your trailer no problem. Your tongue weight and payload needs will determine whether or not a 1 ton is needed.
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Old 11-30-2022, 05:50 AM   #7
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Given the use parameters you listed.....
Used:
F250, buy a gasser to maximize payload. Long bed for biggest gas tank.
F350, Gasser or diesel, with gasser having better payload. Long bed for biggest gas tank.

New Order:
F350 7.3 gasser is more than adequate to pull any AS. I opted to go long bed as the bigger tank, and more cubes for carrying stuff. Incremental cost delta is negligible 250 to 350, but the 1500lbs class door sticker diff is a significant given cost. ROI on diesel option would require lots of miles driven.
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Old 11-30-2022, 06:31 AM   #8
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we went F350 because on the Tremor 250 and 350 are exactly the same, the what ever it was with the rear suspension comes with the Tremor... And we got the gas... unless you are towing every day I believe the added cost, not only purchase price, of running a large turbo diesel is impossible to make up for with our RV towing. And with the 7.3l Ford has a fantastic towing alternative, they were super smart getting into that gap imho...
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Old 11-30-2022, 06:52 AM   #9
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My personal opinion is that F-250, Chev or Dodge 2500 are a waste of time. They are the same size truck, same engine options, close in price and all you’re getting is a GVWR downgrade.

Go with the F-350/3500 10 times out of 10.
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Old 11-30-2022, 07:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV There Yet View Post
My personal opinion is that F-250, Chev or Dodge 2500 are a waste of time. They are the same size truck, same engine options, close in price and all you’re getting is a GVWR downgrade.

Go with the F-350/3500 10 times out of 10.
Some states you will get a hefty price tag on to registration or insurance if you have a full ton truck. Also I believe in NY there are a handful of streets you aren't allowed to use... unless you put a camper shell and a stove on the back of your 1t.
The 250(0)s get around that by simply putting a lower GVWR sticker on the door jamb... so id not say they are completely useless but if you are not in one of those states it does make sense to go straight to 350(0) true.
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Old 11-30-2022, 10:52 AM   #11
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Have had both 1/2T and now 3/4T Fords. I will say, suspensions did change with Ford in 2017 and much better ride in the F250/350 vs the 2016 and below; drive both so you understand/feel the difference in driving on the highway. That being said the F350 would be my choice for your situation as you describe, due to payload. Diesel is what I have; purchased new after driving GM's also, I thought the F250 6.7L at the time just felt better....that was 144K miles ago in 2017...still get around 12-13MPG towing and 17-18mpg around town at 65-70mph. Payload is a little over 2100lbs, but it works for the 2 of us just fine with about 150lbs left over, including the actual tongue weight on the 28'FCT model AS at 1100lbs. I would consider the GM or the Ford. I purchased my F250 6.7L to tow our AS; not to drive around as daily driver...works well for our needs.
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Old 11-30-2022, 10:55 AM   #12
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I picked a F350 gasser. My payload is 4100 lbs. The truck is rated to tow 14900 lbs on a conventional hitch. I have been happy with it.
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Old 11-30-2022, 01:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1StreamDream View Post
If you find a gas engine truck you like, an f250 should be adequate, but if you find a diesel, I would strongly suggest you be sure it’s an f350. I have an f250 (gas), my payload sticker says just over 2900lbs. The diesel engine version eats up approx 800lbs of your payload, so the f350 restores that extra weight back into the useable payload for your gear etc. category.
This is incorrect. Any F250 Diesel with High Capacity Trailer Tow Package from late 2017 on is 10,800 GVWR which compensates for the extra 800lb diesel engine. My loaded 2022 Lariat has 2800+ lbs payload. It has the same rear end as an F350 with an extra leaf spring making it basically an F300.
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Old 11-30-2022, 02:40 PM   #14
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Another vote for a 350. My last truck was a 250 gas. I “upgraded” to a 350 diesel and never regretted it (well, except for diesel prices lately). I chose a SRW over a dually because the truck is also my daily driver. Payload and towing are never a problem. I stretched and splurged for the Platinum trim because of the amount of time we spend in it; the extra bells and whistles and creature comforts have been worth it for us. Oh yeah, the other downside: they aren’t cheap
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Old 11-30-2022, 03:11 PM   #15
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This is incorrect. Any F250 Diesel with High Capacity Trailer Tow Package from late 2017 on is 10,800 GVWR which compensates for the extra 800lb diesel engine. My loaded 2022 Lariat has 2800+ lbs payload. It has the same rear end as an F350 with an extra leaf spring making it basically an F300.
Yep … I goofed that up in a couple ways. I was fixated on my case, and I also failed to mention I selected the 10K GVWR sticker option when I ordered my truck so I could save on annual registration fees, so in *my* case I would lose the 800lbs of payload if I got a diesel … that’s not true for all cases, and if buying used, be sure to double check the door sticker for the GVWR rating so you know for sure where you are in that dimension.
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Old 11-30-2022, 05:34 PM   #16
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Yep … I goofed that up in a couple ways. I was fixated on my case, and I also failed to mention I selected the 10K GVWR sticker option when I ordered my truck so I could save on annual registration fees, so in *my* case I would lose the 800lbs of payload if I got a diesel … that’s not true for all cases, and if buying used, be sure to double check the door sticker for the GVWR rating so you know for sure where you are in that dimension.
The extra registration fee here in Colorado is not bad at only $15 more than the 10,000 GVWR truck. Combine that with how much diesel is now I can not say it is the best choice especially since either gas engine would have plenty of power for any Airstream. The main reason I went diesel is because we frequent the mountains and neither gas engine is turbo charged. Back when I ordered my F250 diesel was less than gas and of course it shot up as soon as I took delivery. I like my diesel F250 quite well but if I had it to do over again now I would probably think harder about the gas engine since anyway you look at it you are carrying 800 less pounds and the mileage delta is not great enough to make up for the fuel cost discrepancy. Also for those who say they ride the same I bet the 10,800 GVWR F250 is closer to an F350 than a 10,000 GVWR F250 due to the stiffer springs.
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:50 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ZeGermans View Post
Some states you will get a hefty price tag on to registration or insurance if you have a full ton truck. Also I believe in NY there are a handful of streets you aren't allowed to use... unless you put a camper shell and a stove on the back of your 1t.
The 250(0)s get around that by simply putting a lower GVWR sticker on the door jamb... so id not say they are completely useless but if you are not in one of those states it does make sense to go straight to 350(0) true.
For sure, I realize it is an issue in a select few states. As the OP is trying to decide, I assume it’s not a thing in that state. Pointless bureaucracy is fun, ain’t it?!
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Old 11-30-2022, 09:41 PM   #18
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"As the OP is trying to decide, I assume it’s not a thing in that state." Actually, I don't know whether it is or not. We're SD residents. I'll see what I can find out in the next couple of days, or maybe someone else from SD can chime in and answer for sure.


I had a few minutes this afternoon, so I checked one website for F350 trucks. I found a few listed, and all were diesels. I'll try to do some more checking in the next could of days and see what I find.


Thanks for all of the good advice and tips.
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Old 11-30-2022, 10:36 PM   #19
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"As the OP is trying to decide, I assume it’s not a thing in that state." Actually, I don't know whether it is or not. We're SD residents. I'll see what I can find out in the next couple of days, or maybe someone else from SD can chime in and answer for sure.


I had a few minutes this afternoon, so I checked one website for F350 trucks. I found a few listed, and all were diesels. I'll try to do some more checking in the next could of days and see what I find.


Thanks for all of the good advice and tips.
Matter of preference on the diesel vs gas. That question comes up a lot around here. Airstream doesn’t make anything large or heavy enough that makes a diesel necessary… but my god does it ever make for great towing!
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Old 12-01-2022, 03:41 PM   #20
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David,
FWIW, I will add my two cents, since we planned to full (or 3/4) time with our Classic 33 when we ordered it one year ago. We ordered a '22 F350 CCLB diesel, Lariat trim, 4,210 lb payload. Love the big fuel tank. We love the truck. Good luck.
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