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  #1  
Old 02-19-2013, 08:44 AM
gabes gabes is offline
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Pulling a camper - need advice on an upgrade

I tow a 29 foot pull-behind travel trailer with a 2005 F150 5.4L SuperCrew 4x4. I use a Reese dual cam sway control/weight distribution hitch. The trailer, a Jayco 29L, is a lightweight model (5,500# dry) and loaded down for a trip is no more than 7,000 - 7,500 pounds. Although my F150 will struggle some on steeper grades, it manages pretty well at 60-65mph, which is all the faster I will ever pull the TT and a family of 5. Most of our camping is within a 1-2 hour radius of our home (Harrisburg, PA). We eventually would like to start taking much longer trips (2-3 weeks, >1,000 miles one way) but I feel that we should upgrade to a heavier duty, larger engine Ford with lower mileage (my F150 has 129K miles on it). Although diesel would be ideal, they are very pricey for my wallet, and my thoughts are that a lightly used F250 SC 4x4 w/6.2L gas would be a great alternative given the lighter weight of my TT. It's not that my goal is to throw the trailer around like a wet noodle, but I want the security of knowing I have a pull vehicle that is a little more on the overkill side for pulling on longer trips.

I would be interested in hearing feedback from those of you that pull a similar amount of weight as my travel trailer (8,000#) and whether you feel that going from a 5.4L F150 SC 4x4 to a 6.2L F250 SC 4x4 would be enough of an upgrade that I would feel a measurable improvement in how it pulls.

Thanks in advance
Dave
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2013, 03:11 PM
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Big_Daddy_O Big_Daddy_O is offline
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I can say that I have a 2011 F250 SC and love pulling with it. I have a 29' TT also which has a dry weight of 7300# and loaded is about 8400# and have the same hitch as you do. Although I didn't come from a Ford when I purchased this one I came from a 2001 Dodge 2500 with the 5.9 liter in it and there is a night and day difference from the way the Ford pulls compared to it, the Ford is way better. The only good thing about the Dodge was it had some major leaves in the rear, where the Ford only has 2 and I really have to crank on the hitch spring bars to get rid of the sag in the Ford, was thinking about getting some airbags. Where we live (Northwest Pa) there are hills everywhere and turning up our road for about a half mile is a 30% grade and from an almost dead stop, probably going about 5 mph when I make the turn, I can hit 35 mph. Although if I had the choice, which is just my opinion I would have opted to get the 4.30 gears instead of the 3.73, cause I also pull a mini excavator on an equipment trailer which weighs in around 9500#'s. Hope this helps alittle!
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:22 PM
Snowman 8 Snowman 8 is offline
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I have a 12 F350 with 3.73 gears and I also have a 13 F150 with an Eco boost and the max tow package. The weights that you are talking about could easily be pulled with the new F150's with your hitch. If I didn't have to tow skid steers and a mini excavator on a regular basis I wouldn't even own the F350. The Eco pulls my lighter trailers 7-8000lbs just as well as the 6.2 in the F350 I think that the eco even gets up to speed faster. Then when empty the 6.2 gets 10-12 mpg and the Eco will get 16-20 and rides ALOT better. If you feel the need to have a superduty the 6.2 will meet your needs just fine and save you ALOT of money in maintenance costs and repairs over the Diesel engines. Unless you are going to exceed 10-11000lbs I would pickup a new F150 with the max tow package. Since 2005 I have owned two 6.0 diesels (JUNK), an 08 expy with a 5.4, an 11 F150 with the 5.0 (great engine), and now the 6.2 and Eco. These new engines are far superior to the 5.4 for towing and either choice would meet your needs just fine.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:23 AM
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We did just what you are thinking about. Towed 1 summer with an 08' f150 screw. It towed our 7700# trailer "fine". Our little family grew (2 young girls now) and I realized that once I loaded the family, genset, and all our stuff I was overloaded. Last summer towing with our f250 I found out how much stress I was putting myself through towing with a 1/2 ton...instead of leaving heavy stuff at home, looking for fresh water at our destinations, constantly checking mirrors for sway, cringing whenever a semi passed, judging stopping distance, speeding up for hills, leaving early before the wind picked up etc I now just load and go, set the cruise and look for the next gas station. Sooo much more enjoyable travelling now.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2013, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8iron View Post
We did just what you are thinking about. Towed 1 summer with an 08' f150 screw. It towed our 7700# trailer "fine". Our little family grew (2 young girls now) and I realized that once I loaded the family, genset, and all our stuff I was overloaded. Last summer towing with our f250 I found out how much stress I was putting myself through towing with a 1/2 ton...instead of leaving heavy stuff at home, looking for fresh water at our destinations, constantly checking mirrors for sway, cringing whenever a semi passed, judging stopping distance, speeding up for hills, leaving early before the wind picked up etc I now just load and go, set the cruise and look for the next gas station. Sooo much more enjoyable travelling now.
Thanks for the great feedback. I've never done a side-by-side comparison of the F150 and F250 and how much they differ in weight, overall size, etc. but does the 'heavy duty' of an F250 give you a sense of overall better stability when pulling a TT compared to the F150? I know in the earlier post, I was told that the newer F150 is better rated (compared to my 2005 model) for tow weight ratings, but I am looking beyond the pulling power and whether the added 'beefyness' of an F250 (more lugs, heavier weight due to heavier duty components) adds to the stability of pulling.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowman 8 View Post
I have a 12 F350 with 3.73 gears and I also have a 13 F150 with an Eco boost and the max tow package. The weights that you are talking about could easily be pulled with the new F150's with your hitch. If I didn't have to tow skid steers and a mini excavator on a regular basis I wouldn't even own the F350. The Eco pulls my lighter trailers 7-8000lbs just as well as the 6.2 in the F350 I think that the eco even gets up to speed faster. Then when empty the 6.2 gets 10-12 mpg and the Eco will get 16-20 and rides ALOT better. If you feel the need to have a superduty the 6.2 will meet your needs just fine and save you ALOT of money in maintenance costs and repairs over the Diesel engines. Unless you are going to exceed 10-11000lbs I would pickup a new F150 with the max tow package. Since 2005 I have owned two 6.0 diesels (JUNK), an 08 expy with a 5.4, an 11 F150 with the 5.0 (great engine), and now the 6.2 and Eco. These new engines are far superior to the 5.4 for towing and either choice would meet your needs just fine.
As I am asking one of the other responders, do you feel there is a clear advantage to an F250 over F150 with regard to pulling stability (due to heavier components, etc.)? I am aware that the new/newer F150s are better rated for towing compared to my '05, but I am also looking at the overall level of stability and whether it would be noticeable to me to pull with an F250 versus an F150. As much as the gas mileage report on the new F150s is enticing, I am willing to give efficiency up to gain a better towing experience...I was once told that if I am going to get into camping (i.e. towing a travel trailer or 5th wheel), don't do it if I am looking to save money, 'cause it won't happen...I am OK with that.
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2013, 12:52 PM
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Responding to the stability improvement I say yes.....kinda.....I got out of a 2006 Sierra Denali 1500 I never pulled real heavy with it on a regular basis. Most of the time it is one of my cars to the race track with tools and equipment in the bed maybe 5,500 ponds with the trailer and 1,000 in the bed. The truck pulled it great never really worked. The 6.0 made 345hp and 360tq or close to that.

I plan on buying a 24' enclosed trailer which is almost 6k dry by the time I out fit it with equipment cabinets and car I will probably be close to 9,500 pounds. I just bought a 2012 4x4 CC number 1 I have always loved these trucks and secondly the additional weight would be best behind a F250.

As far as stability I noticed right off the bat that the Ford pulled better and did not move around hardly at all when braking,bumps, wind etc....

I had at one time 13k behind my denali...it was working but it pulled......my point being is that power wise the F250 is not leaps in bounds above my Denali but it just being a larger truck does feel much better going down the road.
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2013, 03:42 PM
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For me the extra hp was nice but it was the overall stability (cornering, braking, over rough roads) that made a big difference from the f150, that and being able to load anything I wanted into the bed without worrying about weight...the new 1/2 tons are impressive and worth a look but are still smaller and lighter than the SD's.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:31 AM
Retread65 Retread65 is offline
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Not implying I'm an expert, but I've pulled 27 & 29-ft Jayco TT as well as 30-32ft 5ers. Started pulling with Chevy 1500, went to Chevy 2500HD LB7, and now Ford 6.2L because I don't pull much anymore. The #1 issue when discussing a pull (either TT or 5er) with a 1/2-T vs 3/4-T should be (IMO) "stopping capability". Anyone can pull almost anything with a 1/2-Ton, but can it be stopped in a semi-panic situation.
Folks consistently say trailer brakes will stop the trailer. That's partly true, but the trailer will still push the truck.
I always suggest giving strong consideration to pulling an RV with 3/4-ton (or more if approp) due to better suspension, rotor and brake size.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:15 AM
Snowman 8 Snowman 8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabes View Post
As I am asking one of the other responders, do you feel there is a clear advantage to an F250 over F150 with regard to pulling stability (due to heavier components, etc.)? I am aware that the new/newer F150s are better rated for towing compared to my '05, but I am also looking at the overall level of stability and whether it would be noticeable to me to pull with an F250 versus an F150. As much as the gas mileage report on the new F150s is enticing, I am willing to give efficiency up to gain a better towing experience...I was once told that if I am going to get into camping (i.e. towing a travel trailer or 5th wheel), don't do it if I am looking to save money, 'cause it won't happen...I am OK with that.
Yes my F350 is more stable pulling heavier trailers, mostly because it is 1500-2000lbs heavier than my F150. It is my work truck loaded with tools, chains, cables etc., also has a 105 gal diesel fuel transfer tank in the box. If you are setup with the right hitch and you are only talking about 6-8000lbs you won't have any problem with a new F150, the trailer sway controller that comes built into these new trucks is amazing. I have a 30' long 9.5' tall enclosed trailer that I pull with both trucks and if there is no wind you don't even know its there. But if its windy I don't care what you pull it with F150 or F350 it will move you around! Now as far as stopping power again the F350 is heavier, but your truck isn't suppose to do all of the stopping that is why the trailer has brakes and it is suppose to stop itself. The brake controller that comes built into these new trucks are far superior to the aftermarket controllers.
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  #11  
Old 02-25-2013, 10:16 AM
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The new F150 is a great truck, Ecoboost is awesome, and I could probably pull my TT with one now that I don't need to snowplow anymore.......BUT, the 3/4 ton truck is much more stable towing heavy loads, from what I've read........the 6.2L has much better engine braking than the 3.5L Ecoboost for towing in the hills......once I load my family, gear, fiberglass cap, bikes, and junk and hook up the camper, I'm going to be bumping my head on the GCVWR of the 150, and it's simply not worth it to me. I love my F250 for what I need right now
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:54 PM
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The Superduty with the 6.2L is more than you need for your size trailer. If you think you will upgrade your trailer in the near future then get the bigger truck. But if you are happy with what you have than a F150 Ecoboost with Max tow pkg will tow that trailer without breaking a sweat. My trailer is 33' long and 7500-8000lbs loaded and my truck tows it with no problems. And the best part about it when I'm not towing i average 19mpg on the highway. Good luck with your choice, Kevin

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Old 03-08-2013, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 8iron View Post
We did just what you are thinking about. Towed 1 summer with an 08' f150 screw. It towed our 7700# trailer "fine". Our little family grew (2 young girls now) and I realized that once I loaded the family, genset, and all our stuff I was overloaded. Last summer towing with our f250 I found out how much stress I was putting myself through towing with a 1/2 ton...instead of leaving heavy stuff at home, looking for fresh water at our destinations, constantly checking mirrors for sway, cringing whenever a semi passed, judging stopping distance, speeding up for hills, leaving early before the wind picked up etc I now just load and go, set the cruise and look for the next gas station. Sooo much more enjoyable travelling now.

You hit the nail on the head with this one, I am in process of trading up to a 250 with 6.2 and 4.30s. I had a 08 F350 before my 10 F150, I thought the 150 was going to fill my needs but it didn't. We went from a toy hauler to a tt and dropped 3500# so I thought the 150 would be fine, I wish I went for the 250 back then. I believe safety first and when those oh s#@% moments happen, I would much rather be in a 250. My 150 pulls up to speed awesome but the trailer will own the truck in wind and from the push of other vehicles on the road. I also leave stuff at home, like firewood to save weight. I dry camp sometimes so leaving water is not an option.

I do have a Reece dual cam and it is set up correctly, so the hitch is notthe problem, also my 10 constantly shifts between 5th and 6th with the tt,there is no locking out OD.

I am checking on my trade in value this weekend.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:05 AM
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The extra 1500-2000 lbs is huge in stability. The frame, brakes, suspension is all bigger and designed to pull big loads with not problem. These trucks are so stable you can't even tell you have a trailer behind you. I have not problem passing semi without having to worry about the truck getting pushed around. If you can I would go with the bigger truck, just for safety sake.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:56 PM
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The longer wheelbase of the SD helps also when towing,especially the crew cab long bed.
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Old 03-09-2013, 06:56 PM
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