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Old 06-13-2022, 08:36 PM   #1
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5.0TA puller: F150 3.5 vs F250 7.3 gas

I've owned both trucks in the past but next year we're looking at getting a trailer and new truck at the same time. My last truck was a '18 F150 3.5EB max tow. It was great. But for about the same price as a loaded lariat F150, I can get a similar 7.3 gas F250 and have all the extra towing capacity, but at the expense of probably 50% less gas milage.

I really like that the F250 can be factory equipped with the 5th wheel pucks plus the 6 3/4" bed will offer more room than the 5.5. Of course I'd rather own a super duty, because they're cool. But my wife is adamant that the 1/2 ton is plenty and I'm going to "overdo it" like I always do.

Anyone care to offer their towing experiences with a 5.0TA in either?
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Old 06-13-2022, 09:26 PM   #2
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a newer f150 is going to be smoother, quieter, and have a much better turning radius than a <03 F250 7.3.
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Old 06-13-2022, 10:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
a newer f150 is going to be smoother, quieter, and have a much better turning radius than a <03 F250 7.3.
I've had a 2003 F250 7.3 diesel. Yes the leaf springs made turning radius wide. I'm talking about a 2023 F250 with the 7.3 Godzilla motor.

Although my plans just evaporated because I see the 5.0TA is not delivering until April 2024. I would need it June 2023 for my plan to work. We're flying from Japan to Seattle and I was hoping to have a new truck waiting for us, drive up to Escape and pick up a trailer. I'll have to plan something else.
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Old 06-13-2022, 10:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHandyCamper View Post
..... I really like that the F250 can be factory equipped with ... the 6 3/4" bed will offer more room than the 5.5. ....
Just to note that the F150 can be equipped with a 6.5 foot box (with a SuperCab up through Lariat trim, with a SuperCrew up through Platinum trim; only the aptly-named "Limited" omits the 6.5' box option)

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Originally Posted by TheHandyCamper View Post
Of course I'd rather own a super duty, because they're cool.
The 'cool factor' associated with owning / driving a truck that far exceeds one's functional needs truly escapes me

The 5.0 was / is designed for a '1/2' ton truck; the far vast majority of folks enjoying their 5.0's pull with a '1/2' ton truck.

IF one already owned a 250 / 2500+ truck, or IF one had other bona-fide need for one, that'd be a different story. But if procuring for the purpose of pulling nothing larger than a 5.0 Escape, and doing that comfortably in every sense of that word, IMO the prudent choice for so many good reasons is obvious.

IMO / YMMV
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Old 06-14-2022, 02:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TheHandyCamper View Post
I've had a 2003 F250 7.3 diesel. Yes the leaf springs made turning radius wide. I'm talking about a 2023 F250 with the 7.3 Godzilla motor....
um, on the classic Super Duty its not due to the leaf spring fronts, the bad turning radius is entirely up to the front live axle CV joint steering stuff, which is super sturdy but just can't turn enough. oddly, even the non-4x4 has he same radius, and I'm not sure why. my specific truck is extra bad because its a long bed supercab, so tis 21 feet long bumper to bumper and has an obscene wheel base.

as far as that 7.3 gasser, geez, that thing has to be a major gas guzzler. I sure wouldn't be going there today. I'm actually leaning towards a Ford Expedition, 2019+, with the 3.5 ecoboost, for fuel economy, comfort and quiet, secure dry cargo storage, and a reasonable 40 foot turning circle. This is essentially the same chassis as a modern F150.

I want the secure dry cargo space for my astronomy equipment. I do wish you could get one of these with a flat floor and NO rear seats, or at least no 3rd row, and a fold/flat 2nd row. but c'est la vie, que sera sera, it is what it is. I don't like the new vans at all, while the low load floor is awesome, the ground clearance isn't, and I like to do a little offroading.
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Old 06-14-2022, 10:15 AM   #6
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As others have mentioned, I personally think it might be overkill to buy a Ford Super Duty truck to tow a 5th wheel trailer that was specifically designed to be ½ ton towable.

However, if you have your heart set on an F250 or otherwise feel that you would benefit from the additional towing/payload capabilities or potential longevity of a Super Duty, I’d suggest looking at the base 6.2L V8 rather than the big 7.3L “Godzilla” engine.

A colleague has owned both a 6.2 F250 and a 7.3 single-rear-wheel F350. His 6.2 got much better mileage when unladen or lightly loaded compared to the big 7.3….and would still be more than capable hauling around a relatively light 5500lb trailer. His 7.3 truck excels at heavy towing (10000lbs+)…which is why he upgraded. Otherwise, he was very happy with the 6.2. The 6.2 has also been out for over 10 years and has proven to be a very reliable powertrain…..
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Old 06-14-2022, 10:46 AM   #7
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OP, you may want to look at the bed rail height of the F250. I think it's slightly taller than Escape's recommendation for the 5.0.
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Old 06-14-2022, 04:24 PM   #8
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Have you seen the fuel prices lately? I'd go for the mpg advantage. A half ton is plenty for a 5.0. I tow mine with a Chevy Silverado 1500 diesel, and average 17mpg while towing...which is extremely friendly to my wallet!

p.s. if you really want one, used ones pop up all the time, just keep watching. I got mine used and it's fabulous...no wait!
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Old 06-14-2022, 04:56 PM   #9
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I recently purchased a fiberglass cap over my truck bed for our recent cross country trip to Chilliwack/Osoyoos/California and home. I found that my mileage, both towing and non towing increased. The weight is approximately 400 lbs as it is solid walls with only glass at the ends.
Thus, the aerodynamics counter impacted the increased weight for the increase,
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Old 06-14-2022, 05:08 PM   #10
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We tow our 5.0 with a 2011 F-250 2WD 6.2 gasser because that’s what we had when we bought the 5.0. It’s a SuperCab with the 6’8” bed and the factory gooseneck ball/5th wheel puck system. We get 12 mpg + or -. It’s a great truck and really rides like one. Tows the trailer like a champ and with lots of room in the bed and back seat for all our extra stuff. But I f I had to replace it, I’d buy an F-150.
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Old 06-15-2022, 12:38 PM   #11
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The tailgate and bed sides of my 2002 F250 4x4 are about 55-56" off the ground. I suspect thats too high for a 5.0 unless you put some sort of lift kit on it.
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Old 06-15-2022, 12:55 PM   #12
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One factor to consider is that the mounting pucks for a hitch in the heavy duty trucks will generally accept only a conventional fifth wheel hitch. Nothing wrong with that, but conventional hitches tend to be very heavy if you anticipate wanting to take it out very often between trips to have a clean bed. The Andersen hitch used by many 5.0 owners, available in rail mount or gooseneck mount, is MUCH lighter and is very easy to remove and reinstall.

Truck bed sides seem to keep getting taller and taller. My 2019 RAM 1500 is 55.5" at the tailgate. With the lift kit on our 5.0 that's no problem, I have almost 9" of clearance. But I will echo what others have expressed here, almost any half ton pickup will tow the 5.0 effortlessly and a larger truck is not needed unless you don't mind trading the higher cost and lower mileage to get the "cool factor" of a bigger truck.
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Old 06-15-2022, 01:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHandyCamper View Post
I've owned both trucks in the past but next year we're looking at getting a trailer and new truck at the same time. My last truck was a '18 F150 3.5EB max tow. It was great. But for about the same price as a loaded lariat F150, I can get a similar 7.3 gas F250 and have all the extra towing capacity, but at the expense of probably 50% less gas milage.

I really like that the F250 can be factory equipped with the 5th wheel pucks plus the 6 3/4" bed will offer more room than the 5.5. Of course I'd rather own a super duty, because they're cool. But my wife is adamant that the 1/2 ton is plenty and I'm going to "overdo it" like I always do.

Anyone care to offer their towing experiences with a 5.0TA in either?
Sorry your wife is right...even the smaller F 150 ecoboost (2.7?) would be enough. A 7.3 f 250 is definitely overkill for a 5.0 TA. I have a 4.6 4x4 Tundra that tows it up and down mountains all the time and it is well within it's capabilities.... If I already owned and used the capabilities of an F 250 maybe but to buy one People tow these with a diesel canyon for Pete's sake.... A Bugatti Veyron is cool too...
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Old 06-15-2022, 05:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ian and Sue View Post
Sorry your wife is right...even the smaller F 150 ecoboost (2.7?) would be enough. A 7.3 f 250 is definitely overkill for a 5.0 TA. People tow these with a diesel canyon for Pete's sake.... .
I gotta chime in here to say the GMC diesel canyon does a great job of towing a 5.0

We get really good mileage, and it’s quiet & smooth. All with a 4cyl 2.8 turbo diesel!
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Old 06-15-2022, 07:03 PM   #15
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56" or higher require the lifted version.... can be done after market very easily... Recommended by ETI... My F150 Lariat is at 56.5 inches... I ordered the lift kit from ETI, delivered in April... All good so far.
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Old 06-15-2022, 11:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TheHandyCamper View Post
I've owned both trucks in the past but next year we're looking at getting a trailer and new truck at the same time. My last truck was a '18 F150 3.5EB max tow. It was great. But for about the same price as a loaded lariat F150, I can get a similar 7.3 gas F250 and have all the extra towing capacity, but at the expense of probably 50% less gas milage.

I really like that the F250 can be factory equipped with the 5th wheel pucks plus the 6 3/4" bed will offer more room than the 5.5. Of course I'd rather own a super duty, because they're cool. But my wife is adamant that the 1/2 ton is plenty and I'm going to "overdo it" like I always do.

Anyone care to offer their towing experiences with a 5.0TA in either?
Simply put the 5 is designed for a half ton. I tow with a Tundra 5.7: Effortless in any conditions. The 250 is “cool” but not really designed for this application.
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Old 06-22-2022, 02:22 PM   #17
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F150 5.0 pulling a 5.0

I have a 5.0 TA and pull it with a 2020 f150 with a 5.0 Coyote V8 no extra towing package the initial trip was pulled with some rolling hills and flat land in Tow haul Mode, I got 13.8 MPG according to the computer and barely knew it back there. Last week I pulled it mostly in Normal mode and was getting 14.7 MPD via computer when we started hitting the hills I switched to Tow Haul and went back to 13.8 I could feel the difference between modes in the hills. If I lived in a mountainous area I would lower the gear ratio one step and maybe go Eco boost because of air density at altitude but I'm happy with the performance so far F250 would be overkill.
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:23 AM   #18
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I tow our 5.0TA with the F150 2.7EB and had no problem going over Trinidad pass last summer. Tow/haul mode made the descent pleasant, too.

My next truck would be the F150 3.5 EB with the hybrid system. Not due to lack of horsepower, just the added functionality that those plugs in the back add for a relatively low cost.

By the time I get to replacing my 2018, I hope that GM, Ram, and Toyota are all making similar systems so that it is a hard decision.
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Old 06-24-2022, 07:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHandyCamper View Post
I've owned both trucks in the past but next year we're looking at getting a trailer and new truck at the same time. My last truck was a '18 F150 3.5EB max tow. It was great. But for about the same price as a loaded lariat F150, I can get a similar 7.3 gas F250 and have all the extra towing capacity, but at the expense of probably 50% less gas milage.

I really like that the F250 can be factory equipped with the 5th wheel pucks plus the 6 3/4" bed will offer more room than the 5.5. Of course I'd rather own a super duty, because they're cool. But my wife is adamant that the 1/2 ton is plenty and I'm going to "overdo it" like I always do.

Anyone care to offer their towing experiences with a 5.0TA in either?
We have a ‘19 Ram 1500 crew cab, 5.7’ bed, 4x4 with the Hemi. I had the B&W turnover ball installed in it prior to the arrival of our 5.0 TA in March of ‘21. The truck absolutely pulls the 5.0 TA extremely well and we get about 13 mpg at altitude (+/- 7000 ASL).

Here’s the problem. The truck has a GVWR of 7100lbs. I ran the truck across a truck stop scale and it was 6018 lbs with a 1/2 tank of gas in it. So, assuming we load the trailer with weight over the axles, the tongue weight is 625, my wife and I at 350 and 2, Labs at 75 lbs each puts us at 7200 with a full tank!

Obviously, we put stuff in the bed of the truck too. I know we are at least 7500 to 7600 on the road and this is assuming the tongue weight is only at 625. I’ve specifically NOT had it weighed when hitched. Ignorance is bliss…

Now, the Ford guys are gonna chime in here about the wonders of their aluminum F150’s but most of those are 5400 to 5500 lbs with options. So, you’re absolutely knocking on the ceiling of max GVWR of any 1/2 ton. It’s just reality.

I bought a 3/4 ton Chevy this spring. Honestly, it has so much power it’s a bit of overkill for this trailer but I use it for a lot more than just pulling the 5.0. What I’m most pleased about is being able to just hitch the trailer and go! I don’t have to worry about being over GVWR and where I put stuff in the trailer.

Get the 3/4 ton if you can.
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Old 06-24-2022, 07:45 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kirk View Post
We have a ‘19 Ram 1500 crew cab, 5.7’ bed, 4x4 with the Hemi. I had the B&W turnover ball installed in it prior to the arrival of our 5.0 TA in March of ‘21. The truck absolutely pulls the 5.0 TA extremely well and we get about 13 mpg at altitude (+/- 7000 ASL).

Here’s the problem. The truck has a GVWR of 7100lbs. I ran the truck across a truck stop scale and it was 6018 lbs with a 1/2 tank of gas in it. So, assuming we load the trailer with weight over the axles, the tongue weight is 625, my wife and I at 350 and 2, Labs at 75 lbs each puts us at 7200 with a full tank!

Obviously, we put stuff in the bed of the truck too. I know we are at least 7500 to 7600 on the road and this is assuming the tongue weight is only at 625. I’ve specifically NOT had it weighed when hitched. Ignorance is bliss…

Now, the Ford guys are gonna chime in here about the wonders of their aluminum F150’s but most of those are 5400 to 5500 lbs with options. So, you’re absolutely knocking on the ceiling of max GVWR of any 1/2 ton. It’s just reality.

I bought a 3/4 ton Chevy this spring. Honestly, it has so much power it’s a bit of overkill for this trailer but I use it for a lot more than just pulling the 5.0. What I’m most pleased about is being able to just hitch the trailer and go! I don’t have to worry about being over GVWR and where I put stuff in the trailer.

Get the 3/4 ton if you can.
Oh, forgot to mention. If you do decide to get the 3/4 ton, make sure you get the trailer with the lift package. Ours has the lift and the 3/4 ton Chevy is a stock 4x4. The max tailgate height is 58” even with the 5.0 lift option. Ours rides right at 58” when hitched up.
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