2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty: The best way to tow my old truck is with a big fancy new one

The HoonTruck, my 1965 Ford F100, was due up in the Bay Area for a wrenching session. I would need to find a way to haul it on a round-trip journey that would see me cover nearly 900 miles of California highways. When you’re facing down such an excursion, what sort of tool would prove best for the job?
Why a brand new 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty seems like a smart choice, no?
After hauling my old truck up and down the state, I can answer in the affirmative that this is one hell of a machine. 

While I occasionally think my FE-era Ford 390 is a large motor, I have to take a step back and realize what sort of hulking power maker sits under the hood of the modern truck. There’s a 6.2-liter gas-drinker V8 you can get, but this particular truck is a heavily loaded Platinum-trimmed beauty, and it’s bringing the beat with a 6.7-liter PowerStroke turbodiesel V8. That’s a tick more cubes than I’ve got on the ol’ Custom Cab, but it’s so much more power.
Ford is basically offering the Hellcat of the torque-loving truck world. While the cars fight for horsepower numbers, it’s this Ford engine that has the towers and haulers of world with their tongues wagging. Well, ones in their mouth because those ones don’t have trailer sway control. The modern truck has 440 horsepower ready to handle highway duty and a staggering 925 pound-feet of torque to help you get up to that speed.
Nine hundred and twenty five pound-feet of torque.
I could’ve towed my truck over the ground without even attaching the wheels and tires. Dragging it from Orange County up to the Bay Area would’ve worked, and I’d probably only see a minimal dip in fuel economy.

Heading North through Los Angeles traffic, I was comforted by the massive mirrors and the abundance of towing safety features and cameras. You can line this trailer up on your own thanks to the on-screen lines that make sure your hitch is heading in the right direction. Snap it all up. Make sure everything is secured. Then head off with a wonderful sense of confidence that you and both trucks are going to arrive safely.
That’s what happened here, but I also arrived to my destination comfortably.  This is the Platinum trim, after all. The sound system is paired to my phone and playing some great tunes, while the heated and cooled seats do their climate dance over my body. There’s little effort required to keep the steering wheel centered, and the brakes work in concert with the trailer to make sure it’s a smooth affair to haul this setup down from highway speeds.

Our trip up to the Bay Area was to undergo a bash and thrash session on my old truck. We are shot a five-video series on the truck in partnership with our friends at Valvoline. Over the course of the video series, we replace a busted clutch, swap a cam, add in a sprinkling of valve seals, and fab up a builder’s exhaust kit from Magnaflow. It was supposed to be a three-day affair that blasted on into the fourth day. The wrenching and video bits finally stopped at 2am on Tuesday, and the F100 was loaded back onto the trailer by 3am.
There was to be no waiting around, and myself and the hired cameraman set off south. The journey was equally as comfortable and smooth as it had been on the way up. A delightfully open road provided a scenic sunrise and magnificent views of the green world that is California’s interior highway corridor.

Eventually, we found our way to back to the Los Angeles area and the truck once again started to shine. There’s an infamous section of road that’s called the Grapevine. It has a both a steep climb and a sharp descent, and it’s brutal on all manner of motorized vehicle. Running in the middle lane, I was passing semi-trucks with their flashes on that had relegated themselves to the far right, and the oblivious left-lane hogs with their noses in their phones planted in the far left. The seas of the road parted, and the climb was dispatched as if we were towing nothing.
On the downhill portion, the brakes and all of the control systems to make sure the trailer doesn’t step out into an Irish jig work flawlessly. At the end of it all, I believe we averaged between 12 and 15 miles per gallon while towing. I arrived home safely after dropping off the cameraman. It was time to unhitch my old rig and give the modern rig a break, that it didn’t need. Still, this was an $80,000 truck that probably wanted to rid itself of the $3,000 truck hitching a long ride in each direction.

So I stepped up to the trailer, opened the cab, and struck my key in the ignition on the left side of the dash.
Nothing… my alternator was failing and I hadn’t known about it, so it drained the battery during the 400+ mile trip back to Orange County.
Time to relax for a bit longer in the front seat of the Super Duty… then it was time to push my ’65 off the trailer.

[Disclaimer: Ford tossed me the keys to the Super Duty F-250 and included a tank of fuel.]

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8 responses to “2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty: The best way to tow my old truck is with a big fancy new one”

  1. mdharrell Avatar

    “When you’re facing down such an excursion, what sort of tool would prove best for the job?”
    Are… are you asking me for advice? Clearly you should have used a second ’65 F-100 for the sake of parts compatibility while towing. Just as clearly, you shouldn’t ask me for advice.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      That’s fantastic

    2. CraigSu Avatar

      I would ask which one is the parts car but that would be a rhetorical question.

      1. dead_elvis, inc. Avatar
        dead_elvis, inc.

        No kidding. They’re both made of parts!

    3. acarr260 Avatar

      This is why the Hooniverse is awesome.

    4. Victor Avatar

      When your car is so shaky that you bring your parts car with you.

  2. outback_ute Avatar

    More power (if not torque) than some guys have to move 10 times the weight, no wonder you liked it!

  3. Victor Avatar

    These pictures bring home the difference between the years,Love both of those Ford Trucks.