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Old 12-02-2014, 12:02 PM   #1
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Econoboost F150 Owner's Opinion

I would like an honest opinion about how the owners of econoboost 3.5L trucks feel they perform towing travel trailers. I presently pull my Jayco trailer (4531 dry weight) with a 5.4 L V8 F150. Now, if I decide to buy a new F150, I have the choice of buying the econoboost or a 5.0L V8. I have read the specs and I know Ford thinks the Econoboost is great, but I'm skeptical. When in my present V8 truck I get 9 miles per gallon, and the power fades as I go up long hills, what's it going to be like with a 6 cylinder smaller engine. I already know diesels are better for towing, but I want to stick with gasoline engines. Also, if you have had some problems with your Econoboost, please let me know.
Please, just let the econoboost owners respond. If you drive other truck brands (Dodge, Chevy, Toyota, and Nissan), I appreciate that your tow vehicle may offer a better solution, but I want to talk strictly Ford.

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Old 12-02-2014, 12:13 PM   #2
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I've not towed with one, however, I have driven one and talked to people who have towed with them, and all the reports of towing have been very positive. Empty, (the one I rented) was getting 27mpg on the highway, and the thing ran like a scared rabbit. The pics below are of a Ecoboost I saw at a local state park on labor day weekend. The owner said he hardly notices the camper behind him....
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Ecoboost 1.jpg   Ecoboost 2.jpg  

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Old 12-02-2014, 12:26 PM   #3
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Hey ruswms, I believe I am the right guy to answer your questions as I have quite a bit of experience with the situation you're in. I started off with an '03 F-150 and now drive a '13 F-150 and have pulled 3 different Jay Flight trailers with them.

Firstly, just to set you straight on the terminology, it's EcoBoost. They are a bit better on fuel than most other competing engines, however they won't blow your socks off with their fuel use. It is good, but it's still moving a 5500-6000lb truck. It is possible to achieve advertised fuel consumption on the highway, but it has to be under ideal conditions. Hills and especially headwinds put fuel burns up.

My '03 4.6 struggled to pull my first Jay Flight, and it was the smaller one. Smaller than your 23MB. I see your current truck is a 5.4 which would be better indeed, but still would work a bit like you stated.

There is no better engine and truck combo out there in the gas world for towing than the EcoBoost, as far as I'm concerned. The torque this engine makes down low coupled with the 6spd tranny is just amazing. The truck climbs big hills in 6th gear at 1200rpm. It's a beast. It would tow your trailer incredibly well. I still lock out 6th gear when I tow to keep the revs up a bit closer to the peak spot.

The EcoBoost makes 420lb-ft of torque at 2500RPM and 90% of that is available from 1600-5000. It's the flattest torque curve you're going to find out there in any gas engine. It is made to tow!

I haven't had a single mechanical issue with my truck. There are some guys out there that have had a problem or two, but usually in the 11's or 12's.

If you go this route, make sure you opt for the Max Tow package. This gives you a bigger tranny cooler, bigger rad, class 4 hitch rated to 11500/1150, 3.73 gears and most importantly an extra 500lbs of GVWR. (7700 for 157'' wheelbase, 7650 for 146''). Trust me, you will want that!

My dad and brother also have '13 Eco Max Tows (similar to mine) and we all love them. He tows a 6500lb 26BH and burns about 22-24 L/100KM and since mine is biggest with a small lift and bigger tires towing a 28BHS I burn a little more. Still not too bad, and better than what you're seeing now, and the power is huge. It never stops pulling!

You should definitely go test drive one of these things. That's what sold me. I believe in the technology and the toughness and would do it again in a heartbeat!
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:46 PM   #4
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I have a 2013 and I tow our Jayco Eagle 5th wheel with no problem. The 2015 are designed to tow more and have a bigger payload. It also runs like a scalded ape.
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:18 PM   #5
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2012 EcoBoost

Ditto for SkyBound....
Before the EcoBoost, I was always a GM "BIG" block person (in my cars) with the exception of a 71 Chevy Vega that received one of my EXTRA small block 327 Chevy engines (375+ hp) and of course the 65 Mustang.

So when it came time to purchase a TV, DW said it was up to me. Since I do not like Diesel, as I am a GAS type person, not to say that that could change with a bigger TT. After about 3 months of research (ALL major brand trucks), we took out an F150 EcoBoost for a test ride. It had the 3:73 axle (which I HIGHLY recommend for towing) and the test drive made the decision for us, yes even DW test drove it and loved it.

Problem: The Ford dealer could not find us a single F150 EcoBoost that met all our needs, 157" wheel base, Max Tow Package, HD Payload PKG, HD alternator, 3:73 Posi-traction rear end (not sure what Ford calls it) and truck tires in over 400 dealerships in the SE region, so we had to order ours straight from the factory... It arrived 3 weeks later from the Kansas City plant and we have been HAPPY CAMPERS since.

Last year we went to Colorado to visit our daughter and the mountains were not an issue, going up or down. There is a little less engine breaking because it is lacking 2 cylinders, but it handled the trip perfectly.

If you go to the F150 forum you will find that a lot of EcoBoost owners purchased their F150's with a 3:50 rear end and their complaint was that as soon as you got to an incline of any type, the trans would drop down a gear or 2, and they were aggravated with the sales person that said it would be OK. The 3:73 rear end does not drop out of 6th until you are going up a rather steep hill.

As for gas mileage, we averaged between 9 and 12 mpg at 60mph. Without the trailer it get 25.4 on the open road. We have a little over 30K on it and it performs like the day we got it.

The big question is would we do it again... no question in our minds, the answer is YES! DW loves driving it and so do I!

The only complaint DW has is that with the 157" wheel base, it is difficult to park in some of these small parking lots, so I usually drop her off. Problem solved..

We did have an issue with the "Inter-Cooler" as it had a design issue, which Ford replaced with a new design and incorporated the new design in the 9/12 and later EcoBoost trucks from the factory.

Here are some statistics on the 2012 EcoBoost, not sure as to how they will compare to the 2015 model. They are now making then with the aluminum body for 2015.

Just my thoughts,

Attached Thumbnails
EcoBoost vs 5_0  Coyote V8.jpg   F150 RV & Trailer Towing Guide.jpg  
2013 Jayco Eagle 284BHS
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SkyBound View Post
There is no better engine and truck combo out there in the gas world for towing than the EcoBoost, as far as I'm concerned. The torque this engine makes down low coupled with the 6spd tranny is just amazing. The truck climbs big hills in 6th gear at 1200rpm. It's a beast. It would tow your trailer incredibly well.
I couldn't have said it better.

Check out these videos by TFLTruck hauling 10,300 or so lbs up to the Eisenhower Tunnel

Nissan 5.6l:

Ford Ecoboost 3.5l:

Chevy 6.2l:

As a comparison to a big block chevy..
I was towing the rig below about 8k lbs gear and trailer, and my BIL was towing his rig with a '95 chevy 2500 w/454cid big block. He weighed in about 2k less than me and I would walk away from him on hills.

This thing is a joy to tow with because you have so much power at low rpms.
The only fault I can find with it is unimpressive engine braking.
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:42 PM   #7
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I had one (still on my signature) and loved it. If I wasn't driving my 1 ton, I'd still be driving the Ecoboost. As stated before, definitely get the Max Tow package as well as the HD package to get more payload. The easiest way to spot the difference on the HD's are the 7 lug rims. The Sony sound system upgrade is worth every penny. On long trips you want good sounding tunes!
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:51 PM   #8
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I just traded a 2011 f150 with 3.55 and the 5.0 I loved my f150. but I got a great deal an a f250 that I could not pass it up. My f150 got great fuel economy and it had some much more power compared to my 5.4 that I had. Looked at the Eco boost but I went with the 5.0 because I have owned semi trucks and turbos do go out. but I think that is a issue that has played out in favor of the Eco boost. But I would wait till 15 so you have a little higher pulling and carrying ability. All I can say is ford rocks.

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Old 12-02-2014, 08:33 PM   #9
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If you don't want a diesel. I think the only truck option for you is the max tow ecoboost. That is the truck I had on my radar. But... diesel doesn't bother me. From the 4 guys I know who have ecos love them. But the all say the mileage you can get in to the 20s but your baby it big time otherwise 18 to 19 on avg according to those guys. Towing the say it drops to 10 ish. I don't know what they are towing. Good luck
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:38 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the information. The Ecoboost with the 3.73 gear ratio is available on the 157" wheel base, but the 3.55 gear ratio appears all that's available for the 145" (5'-6" bed) supercrews. Do you recommend I go with the 6 foot bed to get the 3.73? I suspect that was the main reason it was hard to find.

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