GODZ MFG - Castle Rock, CO
Best Ford Trucks for Off-Roading: Unveiling F150, F250, and F350 Options – Off-Road Capabilities, Payload Strength, and More
FULL-SIZE Friday Blog: Week 4
This post will cover:
Last week we talked about our personal favorite here at GODZ MFG (and for obvious reasons) the RAM truck lineup. In this week's episode, we are going to tickle all you Ford guys. I will write this with as little bias as I can and will agree that the Ford F150 is the number one selling half ton truck for a reason. Just because their younger brother has the half ton market dominated doesn't mean that the older brothers don’t. The Ford F250 and F350 are also the number one selling heavy duty trucks. Needless to say, I think we can all agree that Ford has done a lot of things right with these trucks to remain as the top dog in the American truck industry.
I would like to give the man, the myth, the legend (aka) Henry Ford a shout out this week. Who knows where the auto industry and even truck industry would be without his vision in the early 1900’s. While the Ford Model T was the first automobile, the Ford Model TT was the first truck the Ford Motor Company manufactured in 1917. Obviously we have come a long way from the single cab and wooden truck bed, but Henry’s early vision of a truck has shaped the industry for the last one hundred plus years. I would like to say thank you Henry from everyone in the industry and from everyone who has a deep love and passion for automobiles and trucks.
After many years of Ford making and producing vehicles, they would ultimately become one of the first companies to start adding aftermarket parts to the vehicles and creating different divisions under the same parent company. Carroll Shelby is the next visionary I would like to give mention to. Shelby expressed his deep passion for racing and working on vehicles by making them the best race cars they could be. Shelby was one of the first to take his passion and turn it into an aftermarket business. In 1960, Shelby stopped his racing career and turned to making aftermarket parts for vehicles. We can all thank this man for the concept of modifying cars and trucks.
Ford F150: The All-Rounder
Now that we have given our respects to the two men that have given us all so much love for the auto industry, let's get into trucks. I will start with the number one truck ever sold and that will be your Ford F150. This platform is going to have the most options out of the Ford truck lineup in the sense that you can get a base model with the 3.3L V6 motor with 290 hp all the way up to the 5.2L Supercharged V8 motor with 700 hp. The F150 is going to have a payload of 1,310-2,238 lbs depending on the cab and motor configuration. This truck is going to give you offroad options like the FX4, Tremor, and Raptor. While everyone's dream is to have a 700 hp Raptor R, this is not the reality for the majority of us. The F150 with Tremor package is going to be a great option for someone looking to get a more off-road capable truck, but not break the bank. The F150 is going to be a great truck for someone looking to do mild offroading, yet still be capable of hauling a small trailer (5,000-11,300 lbs towing capacity) or holding a bed rack equipped with a roof top tent. The F150 would be able to hold a small camper like a Lone Peak Overland or Go Fast Camper while staying within the limit of the payload capacity. This truck is going to have rear leaf springs and an IFS (Independent Front Suspension).
The biggest downfall when it comes to the Ford truck lineup is building one. If anyone has ever tried the Build a Ford program on their website, then you know what I am talking about. Ford has more options and trim levels than RAM or Chevy/GMC combined. This is a problem. Many people know exactly what they want, but the online design program does not allow for smooth navigating between trim packages and add-ons. Maybe not a problem for everyone, but definitely a turn off for me. If you are looking to jump up from a Tacoma or similar sized truck to an entry level full size truck, the F150 is a great option and will offer many upgrades from a midsize truck.
Ford F250: Solid Front Axle Power + Ford F350: Heavy-Duty Excellence
Next, I will be jumping up to the bigger brothers or as you know them, the Ford F250 and Ford F350. These trucks are going to have plenty of options and trim levels just like the F150 however, like we discussed last week you are going to get much more payload and towing capabilities with these. The F250 is going to be a solid front axle, and unlike the RAM 2500 with rear coil springs, the ridiculously underwhelming covered wagon leaf springs leave something to be desired in the ‘engineering’ department with the F250s. Having a solid front axle is going to give better capabilities when it comes to off-road articulation, but driving a solid front axle vehicle is different and will feel heavier then an IFS. The payload on the F250 is going to be 2,462-4,323 lbs. This is a big jump up from the F150 and will allow for a much bigger truck bed camper and not exceed the GVWR of the vehicle. Jumping up to the F250 will also give you bigger motor choices. The 6.7L V8 Powerstroke Diesel or the 7.3L V8 Gas Godzilla are both excellent options for the ultimate overland build. There are pluses and minuses to diesel vs gas and that will be another discussion in the future, but one point I want to make here is the payload and towing differences. The payload will be higher with the gas motor, but the towing capabilities will be better with the diesel. The biggest difference between Ford and their closest competitors is they are the only manufacturer to offer a factory built in winch in the front bumper on a diesel motor. The Tremor package is going to be similar to the Power Wagon RAM offers, but offering the Powerstroke Diesel is a big plus over the Power Wagon.
The biggest difference in the F250 and F350 is going to be the payload and towing capabilities. With a payload of 3,893-4,713 lbs the F350 is going to be the truck of choice for the bigger truck bed campers. Having the extra payload capacity will also increase the GVWR of the vehicle. This will allow you to legally haul the family and all of the gear they decide to tote around in one truck without exceeding your maximum allotted loads.
All-in-all the Ford trucks are an excellent stepping stone for your overland build. With more options than you could possibly know what to do with, appealing looks and solid reliability, Ford has really opened up their trucks to the off road world.
Up next, the heavy Chevys (and GMCs), which we will discuss in next weeks iteration of Full Size Friday.