What Are the Disadvantages of F350 over an F250?

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GaryB

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Hi - I'm still debating whether to get a 3/4 ton or 1 ton Ford diesel.? According to my calculations using actual weights for identical products, an F250 should be sufficient (with respect to GVWR, GCWR and GAWR) for the 5er I'm looking at.? However, the F350 will provide more "upward mobility" should I decide to get a larger 5er later on.?

Question - what are the disadvantages of a F350 over an F250 (other than the extra $800 cost)?? According to the Ford brochure, they only differ physically by virtue of the F350 having an extra suspension spring and 18" standard tires/wheels instead of 17" (brakes and everything else are the same).? Somebody told me that an F350 (or any 1 ton) will ride alot rougher ("stiffer") than an F250 (or 3/4 ton) when unloaded.? Is this true?? Are there any other disadvantages?? I want to be as comfortable as possible while cruising around unloaded away from the CG with the family.? I know a truck will never ride like a Cadillac, but I'm trying to get as close as possible!

Thanks alot again for all the great wisdom!
Gary
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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If you compare an F250 to and an F350 SRW, there isn't much difference, but if you are comparing the 250 to a duallie F350 DRW then there is more to consider. The towing capacity will be about the same on all three (plus/minus a couple hundred lbs) but the F350 SRW will have about 1000 lbs more weight carrying capacity (payload) than a 250 and the DRW will have an additional 2000 lbs over the SRW. So there is a significant difference when it comes to the pin weight of the trailer or weight of the slide-in camper.  For this reason, a 350 SRW is usually a better choice than a 250 for fifth wheel towing.

The downside of an F350 SRW vs a 250 is a very slight impact of comfort when not trailering, due to the heavier rear springs. Frankly, I doubt if most people would notice it and you would have to drive both types regularly to tell. They both ride surprisingly well, though not in the luxury car class. On smooth roads you won't notice it at all, but on potholes you notice a rougher ride.  Actually, all these trucks ride quite well on smooth roads.  That means you can drive it to work or the store without getting your brains scambled.

The downside in the DRW is twofold: there is a further decrease in ride comfort when empty and the extra width of the dual rear wheels when you have to park in a crowded mall or supermarket parking lot.  It's also a factor if you drive offroad and even on some narrow campround roads or sites. 

The rear suspension in  a modern truck is progressive - there is a light capacity spring leaf coupled to a much heavier duty one. When the truck is empty, most of the springing is handled by the lighter spring leaf and the ride is more car-like. When a heavy load is added, the lighter spring gets compressed till it passes the heavier load on to the heavy duty spring leafs, which essentially takes over the job of supporting the load. This gives a fairly consistent ride whether empty or loaded.  350 Duallies still have a stiffer ride than a 250 because there is a signficant difference in total capacity, but all of them are decent and comfortable.  Just a few days ago we spent a day touring around good two-lane roads with a pal who has an F550 and the ride could only be described as excellent. That was with four adults and no trailer or gear onboard.



 

GaryB

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RVRoamer, Thank you!  That is exactly the type of info that I am looking for, very thoroughly and clearly written.  Sounds like I should choose the F350 SRW over the F250 SRW (I wasn't considering the DRW).  By the way, thank you for your explanation of a progressive suspension.  I had heard that term before, but never knew what it meant.  Sounds like a good way to make the ride more comfortable when not towing.

Thanks again
Gary
 

John From Detroit

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I would say the major differences are Size (the bigger truck is, well bigger) comfort (the bigger the truck the more "Truck" and less "Car" it is and possible gas millage (Again, bigger means lower MPG)

The upside is that the bigger truck can better control the trailer.

And as I tell people... A car (Truck, Motor home, Combination vehicle) that will not go is safe... One that will not stop is deadly.

I'm kind of big on control
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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An F350 SRW isn't physically any bigger in size than an F250 with the same cab and bed size - basically it just has a different rear axle and springs. An F350 DRW is wider in the butt due to the enclosures for the dual wheels, but is otherwise the same size as an F350 SRW.
 

2006F350

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Size and milage are really not related. I have an F350 DRW Crew Cab Long Bed 6.0L Diesel, with the Tow Boss package and combined driving (city/highway) unloaded is in the mid 16's. That is almost 2mpg better that my previous F150 SuperCab shortbase with the 5.4L Gasser under the same situation. I wouldn't even hazard a guess as to what the 150 would have gotten had I put a trailer on it, but my current handles my 14K lb 5W and still averages 12.3MPG

Larry
 

joelmyer

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GaryB said:
Question - what are the disadvantages of a F350 over an F250 (other than the extra $800 cost)? 
Gary

What Gary Brink said.  I have a Dodge One Ton SRW and I think the answer to your question is "none". 
 
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