Half-ton pickup redux

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,592
South Puget Sound, WA
Looking at going up a notch from our old trusty Ranger to an F150, probably used. Wondering what thoughts are on the payload ratings. Properly equipped Ford F150s appear closer to 1ton. Anyone have good experience with them? Most of the time the truck will be unloaded or with a light load. We would have a pop-up camper on it sometimes with a dry weight of about 1400# and a loaded weight of about 1800#.

Have a friend with a 2011 F150 Lariat with the heavy duty options (trans. oil cooler, heavy payload springs and firestone airbags). They tow a horse trailer and have this same camper on it. Said it has worked out great for them for the past 6 yrs.. Camper mfg. (Hallmark) says this is a common combo for them to outfit, yet when I go online I get opinions from two camps. One says it works great and the other says go huge, you never know what you might need in the future. I've done that in the past and often never used half of what I thought I'd use. I might still snag some good free wood, but that would be strictly local hauling. Any F150 owners out there want to comment?

https://www.autotrader.com/best-cars/top-7-light-duty-pickup-trucks-by-payload-capacity-241420
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
6,543
Eastern Central PA
If its an automatic dont let it sit for long periods or the tranny wont work anymore.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,592
South Puget Sound, WA
If its an automatic dont let it sit for long periods or the tranny wont work anymore.
Have heard that, but only when sitting for a long time, like overwinter. That won't be happening.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
944
Northern Maine
Leaving the brand rant out of your question... I've owned just one 1/2 ton truck in the past 26 years. I only buy trucks and I will never own another 1/2 ton anything again.

Sure my decision costs more in fuel and load range E tires but how much it really costs is debatable. The brakes, springs, driveline and front end parts are more rugged and reliable. And before someone asks I do not abuse my truck. I use it but you will not find scratches and dents in the body panels except inside the bed.

I've never seen a slide in camper in the back of any truck unless its one of those pop up styles.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,592
South Puget Sound, WA
Campers are very common out here. Popups on the compact Tacomas etc. and 1/2 tons and hard shell on the 3/4 and 1 tons. I've spoken to two camper mfgs and one Ford rep and all say that the combo I am proposing is a good fit. If I used the truck for hauling wood, gravel, lumber and dirt on a regular basis I would go up to the larger truck, especially if for work, but most of the time it is just transportation. The Ford Ranger with Timbrens has worked for me for a long time including when I was younger and moved a lot more stuff. The F150 is heavier duty in every regard compared to the Ranger. Going to the F250 or a 2500 seems like overkill, but I do appreciate the vehicle and have my eye out, they are just harder to find with low mileage used.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,400
central pa
It is all in what you need. It sounds like a 1/2 ton will work fine for your needs. For me a 150 or 1500 would never be enough
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,592
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, I totally respect the need for a 3/4 ton truck in a heavy work environment.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,400
central pa
Yes, I totally respect the need for a 3/4 ton truck in a heavy work environment.
Yeah but most people really dont need it. You wont be towing anything to heavy. Or hauling like we do so why pay more and have a worse ride if you dont need it.
 

GadDummit

Burning Hunk
May 27, 2017
170
Oklahoma
I don't know how "used" you're looking for, but if you decide to move up from the 1/2 ton for the camper, longevity, etc. you can't beat a good 1999-2003 F250 with that 7.3 Diesel. You'll rust the frame out in 1000 years but that motor will still be going strong. Stay away from the next diesel in the lineup they replaced it with. It was nothing but trash.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,400
central pa
I don't know how "used" you're looking for, but if you decide to move up from the 1/2 ton for the camper, longevity, etc. you can't beat a good 1999-2003 F250 with that 7.3 Diesel. You'll rust the frame out in 1000 years but that motor will still be going strong. Stay away from the next diesel in the lineup they replaced it with. It was nothing but trash.
Or 10 years here at most. Around here it is hard to find a 10 year old truck without serious rust issues. To me you need to be some serious towing to make a deisel worth the added cost.
 
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WoodyIsGoody

Minister of Fire
Jan 16, 2017
1,437
Pacific NW Washington
Looking at going up a notch from our old trusty Ranger to an F150, probably used. Wondering what thoughts are on the payload ratings. Properly equipped Ford F150s appear closer to 1ton. Anyone have good experience with them? Most of the time the truck will be unloaded or with a light load. We would have a pop-up camper on it sometimes with a dry weight of about 1400# and a loaded weight of about 1800#.

Have a friend with a 2011 F150 Lariat with the heavy duty options (trans. oil cooler, heavy payload springs and firestone airbags). They tow a horse trailer and have this same camper on it. Said it has worked out great for them for the past 6 yrs.. Camper mfg. (Hallmark) says this is a common combo for them to outfit, yet when I go online I get opinions from two camps. One says it works great and the other says go huge, you never know what you might need in the future. I've done that in the past and often never used half of what I thought I'd use. I might still snag some good free wood, but that would be strictly local hauling. Any F150 owners out there want to comment?

https://www.autotrader.com/best-cars/top-7-light-duty-pickup-trucks-by-payload-capacity-241420
My 2010 F-150 4x4 Supercab has a payload capacity of 1735 lbs. (if my memory is not failing me). I'm usually a by-the-book kinda guy but it really seems to be under-rated. It doesn't look, feel or drive like it's overloaded until somewhere around 2600 lbs. I've had a lot more than that in it but only at slower speeds on local roads. Even overloaded to the hilt it has a decent amount of suspension travel left and drives and brakes well. Not like trucks from the 70's.

If you're buying a F-150 used I'd recommend 2010 or newer. 2010 was a major chassis redesign. Then the aluminum bodied F-150's were the next major change. That must have been around 2016 MY.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,592
South Puget Sound, WA
GTK. For F150 looking in the 2011-2014 range with low miles. Not too keen on the alum. body though it does allow for more payload. For a Silverado I can go more recent.
 

GadDummit

Burning Hunk
May 27, 2017
170
Oklahoma
Or 10 years here at most. Around here it is hard to find a 10 year old truck without serious rust issues. To me you need to be some serious towing to make a deisel worth the added cost.
Diesel is slightly higher cost in fuel, but the mileage and power per fillup vs ethanol more than make it a better option, especially if you opt for a standard (Man's!) transmission. The same truck will get 5-10 MPG less in gas as it would in diesel.

The last 7.3 I drove (1999) got 22 mpg whether or not I was towing anything. The newer (2015?) F150 I drove got 17.5 mpg unloaded, 15.3 with an 18ft boat behind it.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,400
central pa
Diesel is slightly higher cost in fuel, but the mileage and power per fillup vs ethanol more than make it a better option, especially if you opt for a standard (Man's!) transmission. The same truck will get 5-10 MPG less in gas as it would in diesel.

The last 7.3 I drove (1999) got 22 mpg whether or not I was towing anything. The newer (2015?) F150 I drove got 17.5 mpg unloaded, 15.3 with an 18ft boat behind it.
Yes but the purchase cost atleast here for used is easily double. And yes the drive line will last much longer than gas. But in our area the drivelines even on gas outlast the frame and body so to me unless you are putting on huge mileage numbers you wont make up the difference in purchase cost and maitenance costs.

We buy trucks and vans pretty often and have run the numbers many times and for us deisels dont make financial sense. If you are in an area without the rust issues it would probably be different.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,592
South Puget Sound, WA
Diesel is slightly higher cost in fuel, but the mileage and power per fillup vs ethanol more than make it a better option, especially if you opt for a standard (Man's!) transmission. The same truck will get 5-10 MPG less in gas as it would in diesel.

The last 7.3 I drove (1999) got 22 mpg whether or not I was towing anything. The newer (2015?) F150 I drove got 17.5 mpg unloaded, 15.3 with an 18ft boat behind it.
Just spoke with a fellow that has a 2003 Chevy diesel 3/4T truck and said similar things about it. He gets 22 mpg at 70mph, 17mpg towing his boat and with the camper I'm looking to buy on his truck. His truck has 206K on it and he won't part with it.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,400
central pa
I just saw you are from texas so the rust issues are very different for you. Also why are you comparing deisel to methanol numbers? Gas gives you much better meilage than methanol.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,400
central pa
Just spoke with a fellow that has a 2003 Chevy diesel 3/4T truck and said similar things about it. He gets 22 mpg at 70mph, 17mpg towing his boat and with the camper I'm looking to buy on his truck. His truck has 206K on it and he won't part with it.
Our 2006 chevy 2500 6.0 gets about 18 highway without much load and 16 or so towing the work trailer or boat. I have nothing against deisels I just dont see that they make sense for most people. That is unless they are modified so they blow huge clouds of smoke for no reason. Then i have a problem with them. But its frame is starting to rust pretty bad and has been patched twice already.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,390
NE Ohio
To me you need to be some serious towing to make a deisel worth the added cost.
Agreed. 1/2 the diesels on the road now are waaay underutilized...if people put pen to paper they would see the diesel option often does not pay off long term. That is why company's that run fleets of small trucks (trucks with a gas engine option) are turning away from diesels in droves.
Back on topic...you should be fine. I had a 1995 F150 for years and it hauled everything I threw at it without complaint, even though I had it overloaded a few times (2700 # of gravel) The newer F150s do have a larger load capacity than my 95 did for sure. I have since upgraded to a F250...just because I was too often overloading my truck...and I wanted a newer truck with doors on the extended cab area.
 

Lloyd the redneck

Feeling the Heat
Dec 6, 2016
291
Western mn
I'd say a half ton would work great for what you want, heavier duty trucks are nice but that's exactly what they are. Heavy (haha pickup) duty. They ride like a brick and if your doin most of your tooling around unloaded I'd pick a half ton. And we have all done it. Overload the crap out of em, just drive with care. Slow down and mind your stopping distances!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,592
South Puget Sound, WA
Our 2006 chevy 2500 6.0 gets about 18 highway without much load and 16 or so towing the work trailer or boat. I have nothing against deisels I just dont see that they make sense for most people. That is unless they are modified so they blow huge clouds of smoke for no reason. Then i have a problem with them. But its frame is starting to rust pretty bad and has been patched twice already.
That's very good. Most folks are reporting a few mpg less with that combo. General average on fuelly.com is 13.9. The F250 is about the same.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,400
central pa
That's very good. Most folks are reporting a few mpg less with that combo. General average on fuelly.com is 13.9. The F250 is about the same.
I put on aftermarket exhaust and a chip both of which made a huge difference in the mpg.

6.0 gas are notorious pigs for fuel mileage. My neighbor gets like 10. Pretty much all the time.
There is either something wrong with his truck or he has a really heavy foot. That is way low
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,592
South Puget Sound, WA
6.0 gas are notorious pigs for fuel mileage. My neighbor gets like 10. Pretty much all the time.
I get much better than that with our current RV which is based on a 318 Dodge 3500 van. Highway mileage is in the 13-16mpg range depending on the speed more than anything.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,592
South Puget Sound, WA
From what I've read a stock a 2500HD 6.0L with the 4.10 gears is lucky to get over 13mpg. The folks with the 3.73 rear are doing a bit better.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
19,400
central pa
Yeah we are not running 4.10s either. My old ford has 4.10s in it and it is a gas hog lucky to break 10 mpg. Our chevy is also a stamdard which helps.
 
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