Originally Posted by goducks
A 1/2 ton is a 1/2 ton period. But, you can improve them somewhat. From personal experience I can say that it will never tow like a 3/4 ton. Not even close.
I had a 2010 F150 with Max Tow and 1857lbs for payload. Same 145" WB you have. I also added the RAS to it. I added Michelin E rated tires and Rancho 9000 shocks.
I towed a 31' TT @7300lbs loaded. With a bed cap and the truck bed full of gear along with a 950lb TW I was right at the RAWR of 4050. I scaled it several times and always came in at 7600lbs (GVW 7650) and 4000 on the rear (4050 RAWR).
I went with the E Mich only because Discount tire had a really good deal going. I ran them at 40psi unloaded and 50psi loaded. You don't need to run 80 psi in them as the load rating at lower psi is plenty for the F150. That was from Discount.
I found the RAS to be adequate, but having Firestone air bags on a previous F150 I wish I would've went that route. Oh well.
I found the jump from the P rated tires to the E rated tires to be marginal. D rated would be the better route to go. Cheaper.
The Rancho 9000 shocks did the most to help with ride quality when towing.
With that being said on the previous F150 (2008) I installed Bilsteins 4600 shocks. Those along with the air bags gave the truck the best ride. I also installed some D rated Cooper tires. Although I was towing a shorter lighter TT the empty ride was way nicer on the 08.
If it were me I would get the bags, 4600 Bilsteins and D rated tires.
Reason I recommend the Bilstein over the Rancho is I feel they're better made. I had two Ranchos fail in just 1.5 years. Sure they're warranted for life but you still have to get them installed. The rears are easy but the fronts sucks.
As far as replacing the shocks or the tires 1st? That's a tough question. Regardless of how many miles are on the shocks, OEM shocks aren't as good a an upgrade to Bilstein or SOB.
P rated tires are great for a soft ride. You will get a little harsher ride going to D or E tires. Not much harsher but you'll def notice it.
If it were me I'd make sure my P's were maxed to 44psi and then I'd get new 4600 Bilsteins. The 4600's will provide better rebound control over the OEM shocks.
FWIW though, all theses upgrades are going to just give you a marginal increase each time. I moved up to a Ram 2500 with the TT I had and it was the biggest jump. Far more solid towing experience. Of course going from a 145" WB to a 169" WB didn't hurt. That and another 2000lbs for the trucks weight (Cummins included) really gave the whole setup a solid feel.
JMO but you've really got too much TT for a 1/2 ton. Even though Ford rates it around 11,000lbs, it's the 34', 8200-8500lbs and 11' hgt together that overwhelms the F150.
I think if you were towing 8-9000lbs of firewood on a lower profile trailer that's also shorter with a 10% tongue weight the overall towing experience would be totally different. You've got a huge heavy box behind you that's pushing and pulling on every bump as well as when the wind hits it's moving the truck around.
If you ever hit the scales I'd bet you're over either the or the RAWR/GVW.
You may well be right, as I said, scale stop is coming up shortly. If its over I am probably going to seriously start thinking a different way while my TV is relatively new. Its not worth taking chances begin over. That being said, my passengers are young right now all 4 of us together are probably 300-350lbs, but 5 years from now that wont be the case.
I am curious, and your not the first that has said this, what does the larger wheelbase really do for you? I honestly would rather have a shorter wheelbase if anything, but again, I am trying to use it as a daily driver, park it in smaller spots, get it in my garage easily, etc. If they had a 145" wheelbase 5.5" bed F250/350 on the market, I would probably be trading already. That or if they still made a 3/4 ton yukon/tahoe, put the expedition on the 3/4 chassis, etc.
Not sure I would spring for the Diesel or not, again, hoping the 2017 F250/350 might introduce the higher torque ecoboost 3.5 or an ecoboost V8 in Gas. Everything is rumors at this point of course with that model. I am seriously doubting they are gonna make a 145" though. I may just have to give up and go with the longer wheelbase, perhaps get a third vehicle and not drive it daily.