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Old 06-04-2021, 07:37 AM   #1
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V8 or V6 Twin Turbo pickup?

I'm contemplating a new pickup. I now have a V8 and know nothing about the reliability, real-world towing experience, or maintenance cost of a V6 twin turbo engine.


Anyone out there with actual experience towing with a V6 twin turbo engine?
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Old 06-04-2021, 06:57 PM   #2
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Don't compare just the horsepower of the two engines. You should also compare engine torque. V-6 engines typically have less torque than a comperable hoursepower V-8. Torque is very important when towing
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Old 06-04-2021, 09:19 PM   #3
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We have the 3.5 V6 ecoboost F150, it's a fantastic engine for towing. Particularly at altitude, and overall I'm continually impressed with how easy it tows (we have 2100BH, probably pulling 4500(ish) total weight). This past weekend pulling up Vail pass at ~10k+ feet, truck had no problems with accelerating up from 30 to 60 as we got through some construction lower on the pass. The turbo really helps at elevation.

I believe in the F150/1500 range that ecoboost is the highest torgue #s, though for a trailer our size any of the trucks would be fine. As an added bonus Ford gets you one of the largest fuel tanks and trends higher on payload(At least on models we looked at).

For us the larger fuel tank, turbo engine and relatively high payload were the 3 keys that swayed us towards the Ford vs others.

The only downside is the engine sound is nothing interesting. I do miss the V8 engine sound.
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Old 06-05-2021, 05:31 AM   #4
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Turbocharged V6s can put out the same hp and torque as their larger displacement V8 sisters. I worry a little about the extra wear that that power causes on the smaller engine, but I think that modern design, materials and lube oils have mostly put that question to bed.

So I think that any trailer that can be towed by an F150 size pickup will do fine with a turbocharged V6. Any bigger go with a V8 or better still, a diesel.

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Old 06-05-2021, 07:26 AM   #5
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We towed our Arctic Fox TT with a Ford Expedition EL with a Ford v8 and thought it was fine then we updated the Expedition to a new model with the V6 Ecoboost and WOW what an improvement. The Ecoboost was a fantastic tow vehicle. Highly recommended.
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:51 AM   #6
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Earlier today I saw a great comparison between a V8 ram and an F-150 powerboost. They saw significantly worse mileage with the powerboost. Mileage is the only real issue with a twin turbo 6. There is no way to maintain those HP/Torque numbers using a V-6 without spooling up those turbos. That is going to give mileage a serious hit.

But when you aren’t towing the V6 is likely to get better mileage.

Pick your poison

Here’s a link to the video.
https://youtu.be/yWf8L2g9Z4I
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmglidden View Post
Earlier today I saw a great comparison between a V8 ram and an F-150 powerboost. They saw significantly worse mileage with the powerboost. Mileage is the only real issue with a twin turbo 6. There is no way to maintain those HP/Torque numbers using a V-6 without spooling up those turbos. That is going to give mileage a serious hit.

But when you aren’t towing the V6 is likely to get better mileage.

Pick your poison

Here’s a link to the video.
https://youtu.be/yWf8L2g9Z4I
Thanks, that was a fun video. Using ~1 gal. extra up that grade is not surprising, especially given the difference in gear ratios and as you mentioned, with the turbo's kicking in.

However, IMO the Ford wins the overall contest based on:

1. Quieter (lower RPM)
2. Quicker acceleration
3. Higher payload?

I've always believed in "There's no replacement for displacement", but the EcoBoost has definitely got me thinking differently.
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Old 06-07-2021, 05:50 AM   #8
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Nothing against Fords but have you looked at the Dodge Eco-diesel V6? Specs: 260 Hp, 480 ft/lbs torque, 12,560 lb tow, 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway. Diesels are made to tow because the have max torque and hp at low rpm.
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Old 06-07-2021, 07:25 AM   #9
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I'm not much of a fan of Dodge products or diesel engines but to be fair, I ought to look at them. Thanks.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:07 AM   #10
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I suppose the unasked/unanswered question is what do you plan on towing?
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:09 AM   #11
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I tow a Micro Minnie 1708FB and a two-horse trailer.....but not at the same time.
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Old 06-07-2021, 12:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn Charlie View Post
Nothing against Fords but have you looked at the Dodge Eco-diesel V6? Specs: 260 Hp, 480 ft/lbs torque, 12,560 lb tow, 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway. Diesels are made to tow because the have max torque and hp at low rpm.
I have. My buddy just traded his because the EGR cracked days before it was due to be replaced under recall--leaving him stranded and without a rental car because of the rental car shortage.

Replaced under recall with, as I understand it, an EGR that is likely to fail again.

The numbers for that truck are phenomenal, but they're not all they've cracked up to be in terms of reliability.
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Old 06-07-2021, 05:41 PM   #13
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I suspect in CO at least you might be legal to tow both at same time ;-)

I'm always amazed at seeing the truck + (big) 5thwheel + boat setups going down the highway.. no way I'd attempt that.
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Old 06-09-2021, 04:29 PM   #14
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Owned and towed with an economist. I loved the power delivery of the motor. What I didn't love was the abysmal fuel economy (when not towing). After break in and putting a few miles on it I averaged 13.5mpg in mixed conditions. Also the payload was somewhat limited in my steel body version, the newer aluminum bodies have much higher capacity.

I ended up trading in and went to a diesel 6.7l. I get 17.2 average and don't have a shortage if towing capacity. The difference in economy pretty much makes up for the higher diesel costs
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Old 06-09-2021, 06:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geewizard View Post
I'm not much of a fan of Dodge products or diesel engines but to be fair, I ought to look at them. Thanks.
Ford also makes a V6 diesel. Fwiw
I pull a Minnie Drop with my F150 eco boost. It has no problems at all pulling the trailer. MPG is about 10 mpg while towing.
The only problems with the F150 are the transmission and the timing belt tensioners. I’ve already had to replace the tensioners at around 25k miles.
So if you do decide on a F150 eco boost definitely recommend the extended warranty. Lol
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Old 06-09-2021, 06:53 PM   #16
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I just completed a 3 month 8k mile trip from Ohio to California with my Chevy 1500 5.3 V8. Over all average mileage for the 8k miles was 11.9 mpg. I'm satisfied with that. Happy Trails!
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Old 06-10-2021, 06:06 AM   #17
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I pulled our TT with a 2013 F150 5.0v8 for years. Avg gas mileage 18.5, Avg pulling 10.5.
Traded 3 month ago for 2021 3.5 V6 ecoboost F150. I was delightfully surprised at the added power and torque. Avg. gas mileage 22.0, Avg pulling 1st trip in tow haul mode 9.5. The dealer suggested I try pulling in ECO mode and 2nd trip went to 10.5. I don.t think that is advisable in mountainous terrain. I love this truck.
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Old 06-10-2021, 08:43 AM   #18
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It really is a choice best decided by what you do the most. For example I've read of people trying to decide a truck or car for their tow vehicle. The car got poorer MPG while towing than the truck. But if 95% of the time you are not towing, maybe the car's the better choice over all.
In your decision, that 6 will likely be most economical, while being driven that 95% it's not towing. Maybe even that would make it the better choice.
And I know engines are lasting longer, but putting a turbo on an engine to get the horsepower of a larger engine is really working that engine hard. Not to mention turbos are expensive to add when new, and to repair later.
And then that turbocharger spins at speeds of up to 150,000 rpm; And since it is hooked up to the exhaust, the temperatures in the turbine are also very high too. Not to mention it creates back pressure on the exhaust, and more heat in the combustion chamber, heads and valves. Those are all reasons the expensive synthetic oils are required in turbo engines.
They make it seem like there is a free lunch, but these engines will not last as long as a normally aspirated engine, and later in life, the cost to repair them will likely be a hard decision on an older, and less valuable rig.
Many older diesel trucks don't cost much more than their gas counterparts used, even though their new cost was much higher; because of anticipated costly rejuvenations ahead. I'd expect that same type of expectation for high mileage turbos.
My in-law had the heads off his 2010 Ford V8, and they found little wear at 200,000 miles. Not what I'd expect from a much harder worked engine. Of course we older people keep our stuff a long time. Then too, if this truck gets replaced every 4 years, the long range issues will mean nothing to you at all. That's the next guy's stuff. Also a major factor.
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:01 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick 99037 View Post
It really is a choice best decided by what you do the most. For example I've read of people trying to decide a truck or car for their tow vehicle. The car got poorer MPG while towing than the truck. But if 95% of the time you are not towing, maybe the car's the better choice over all.
In your decision, that 6 will likely be most economical, while being driven that 95% it's not towing. Maybe even that would make it the better choice.
And I know engines are lasting longer, but putting a turbo on an engine to get the horsepower of a larger engine is really working that engine hard. Not to mention turbos are expensive to add when new, and to repair later.
And then that turbocharger spins at speeds of up to 150,000 rpm; And since it is hooked up to the exhaust, the temperatures in the turbine are also very high too. Not to mention it creates back pressure on the exhaust, and more heat in the combustion chamber, heads and valves. Those are all reasons the expensive synthetic oils are required in turbo engines.
They make it seem like there is a free lunch, but these engines will not last as long as a normally aspirated engine, and later in life, the cost to repair them will likely be a hard decision on an older, and less valuable rig.
Many older diesel trucks don't cost much more than their gas counterparts used, even though their new cost was much higher; because of anticipated costly rejuvenations ahead. I'd expect that same type of expectation for high mileage turbos.
My in-law had the heads off his 2010 Ford V8, and they found little wear at 200,000 miles. Not what I'd expect from a much harder worked engine. Of course we older people keep our stuff a long time. Then too, if this truck gets replaced every 4 years, the long range issues will mean nothing to you at all. That's the next guy's stuff. Also a major factor.
Couldn't agree more. Although turbo's have come a long way since their introduction, there's a lot of heat generated. Heat will fatigue anything faster.

I bought my 2001 F-150 5.4 V8 new and just turned over to 100,000 miles. Right after I got my TT, I performed a major maintenance schedule and replaced everything I could. Tires, brakes/rotors, shocks, belts, hoses and all fluids. Cost me $3000 but it runs and drives like new. I originally thought about trading it in but now glad I didn't. Yeah, she looks beat up in places and I don't have all of the techno-wizardry, but with the money I saved, I can upgrade to a few nicer RV parks.
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:46 PM   #20
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I have been around turbo's for most my life. Great when they work but when there's a problem.....go to the bank before the mechanic.
If you are considering the Ford Ecoboost I would think twice. In a poll 90% of Ford Mechanics would take the 5.0 engine over the Ecoboost for their own vehicle.. This was just before the 7.3 "Godzilla" came out. The 5.0 has been around or a long time and is as bulletproof as you can get. The 7.3 is new and I would give it a couple of years yet.
The only other alternative if it fits your towing needs is a Toyota Tundra. Old fashioned, hasn't had a make over in years although it's rumored that there is a new Tundra in the near future. These trucks are rock solid......gas hogs though.
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