Which truck is better for full-time RV trailering (conventional trailer: 5,800 lbs loaded)? Is it a heavy duty diesel or a half-ton pickup with a gas motor? Jeff is specifically asking about a choice between a Ford F-250 with the Power Stroke V8 and a Ford F-150 with a 2.7L EcoBoost V6.
We recently received the following question from Jeff:
I just discovered your youtube channel a couple of days ago and have been binge watching ever since. I will begin full time RV-ing in the next 2-3 years and will need a tow vehicle. The RV I’m favoring at the moment is a Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S (specs: 22-ft long / 8-ft wide trailer with a GVW of 5,800 lbs). I have no doubt whatsoever that a 3/4 ton diesel will outperform a 1/2 ton gas truck at this task. Moreover, I wasn’t really considering a 1/2 ton gas truck but changed my mind when I saw the F-150 with either of the EcoBoost V6 engines on your channel. I’m now reasonably convinced that an F-150 4×4 crew cab with even the 2.7L EcoBoost will provide a very positive towing experience with this trailer. I’m actually thinking a 3/4 ton diesel might be overkill.
If an F-250 with the 6.7L diesel towing this trailer provides a towing experience score of “100” (perfect), what grade would you give the mentioned F-150 configuration? I’m not as concerned about points such as fuel economy, engine lifetime, etc. I’m more concerned about the actual tow performance when I’m driving, i.e. accelerating, braking, lane changing, stability, ride, etc. Thanks! -Jeff
Jeff, thank you for the question! Yes, you want a large and stable truck for a confident towing experience. This means that a crew cab 4×4 is a great choice. The longer wheelbase makes the truck a better towing platform and the 4×4 system adds some heft to the truck along with better traction.
We towed a 5,600 lbs horse trailer with nearly every truck on the market in 2015, and I can tell you that an F-250 Diesel would be a bit of overkill for a 5,800 lbs trailer. If you set up the hitch correctly for a level truck and trailer combination, then an HD Diesel truck with this trailer in tow will behave as if the trailer is not even there. If the trailer brakes are working properly, braking performance would also be solid.
Ford rates a 2018 Ford F-150 crew cab 4×4 with the 2.7L EcoBoost and a 3.73 rear axle ratio at 8,000 lbs of maximum towing capacity. If an F-250 had a “100” point score, then I would put the F-150 2.7L EcoBoost somewhere between “85-95” points because the acceleration/braking would be affected slightly due to the trailer weight. We always recommend a Weight Distributing Hitch (WDH) for additional stability.
For full-time RV trailering with a trailer you are considering, I would go for an F-150 with a 5.0L V8 or a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 because these power choices provide towing rating of over 10,000 lbs. This should give you the extra margin, in case you decide on a slightly heavier trailer. If you decide to tow much over 8,000 lbs, then a HD 3/4-ton truck will make more sense.
Here is a F-250 Diesel with 12,500 lbs behind it on our highway MPG loop.
Here is a 2017 Ford F-150 with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and the 10-speed automatic and 7,000 lbs in tow.