First of all - THANK YOU for being a foster parent. I happen to be one as well and we do own the 26bh for the reasons you mention. We have removed the dinette to place a pack and play for a baby and have the double over double bunks. We sleep 7-8 regularly but would love to have a slide for the extra room for those times you are all forced to be inside the camper for an extended period of time. We have slept 10 with 2 dogs due to a rain storm and had to fit relatives in so it was 4 adults, 3 teens, 3 little ones plus the dogs... Overall, I would do it again as the pricing of the 26bh and the weight and water storage really comes in handy for the larger family. I tow with an old 6.5 diesel so I avoid steep mountain climbs whenever I can. It's hard to advise without knowing the engine and tow rating of the F150 - best of luck!
Just the 8 of us in a
1996 Suburban 6.5