F250 vs F350: What’s The Difference?

Are you in the market for a new truck? Sick of how your 1/2 ton truck tows? 1/2 ton trucks drive and tow much different than a 3/4 or 1 ton truck. Many 3/4 tons and 1 tons come with a diesel engine which produces way more torque than a gasoline engine, making towing much easier.

Either way, more than likely you’ve looked at an F250 or F350. What is the difference, and do you really need a 1-ton truck?

F250 vs F350: Engine and Transmission

Both the F250 and the F350 are available with gas or diesel engines. Most are equipped with the diesel because it is more economical and hauls/tows better. Both the F250 and F350 are also available with both an automatic, and manual transmission.

So what’s the drivetrain difference? There isn’t one. The F250 and F350 share the exact same drivetrain.

F250 vs F350: Axles

Depending on which year you Super Duty you’re looking at, the front axle may be a Dana 50 or Dana 60. Older F250s and F350s use the Dana 50, which is an excellent axle. Newer F250s and F350s use the Dana 60 which is slightly beefier than the Dana 50.

All years of the SRW (Single Rear Wheel) F250 and F350 use the Ford/Sterling 10.75. The F350 gets a slightly larger center section, otherwise, it’s the same as the F250’s rear axle. All years of the dually receive the Dana 80.

Basically the only difference is the SRW F350’s larger center section. You can read more about this in our Dana 44 vs Dana 60 article.

F250 vs F350: Suspension

All years of Super Duty trucks are available with heavy duty springs and standard springs. Both the F250 and the F350 have optional overload springs. The F350’s leaf springs are slightly stiffer, but it’s such a small difference you probably wouldn’t notice on the road.

The F350 has stiffer springs up front as standard, the F250 has those same springs as an option. Something that surprised me is that both of these trucks come with factory blocks in the rear. The F250 is equipped with a 2.5″ block, which lifts the rear up to help the truck sit level whilst towing.

The F350 comes factory with a 4″ rear block. The bigger rear block on the F350 gives it a slightly higher tow rating.

To put it simply, the F350 has marginally stiffer springs, and a 4″ block compared to the F250’s 3.5″ block.

F250 vs F350: Which One is Better?

Something I didn’t mention above is the fact that some states will consider the F350 to be a commercial vehicle. This will make your insurance and registration costs go up. If you live in a state where that is not the case, I would say get an F350.

The slightly stiffer springs will make towing a little bit nicer. Prices for both the F250 and F350 are nearly identical, so there’s really no reason not to go with the F350.

27 thoughts on “F250 vs F350: What’s The Difference?”

  1. Best info on this subject I have seen after looking a lot.
    Seems like not a lot of difference to account for the differences in GVWR.
    F250 = 10,000 F350 =14,000
    I have a 2016 f250 SD Diesel. I want to pull a 5th wheel
    My problem is allowable pin weight as calculated below.
    pin wt 1700 = gvwr 10000 – truck wt 7800 – contents 500
    Pretty low and eliminates a lot of trailers.
    Some people say get a big trailer and don’t sweat it. That ok or I should beef up the springs?

    • I’d do the dually with such a long heavy load….the ass end of both the f350 single wheels I drive likes to walk when I have to brake hard. Much safer.

    • I’ve pulled a 8,000 pound trailer with extra with an F150 raptor with beefed up springs. You should be able to do it without for an F250.

  2. This is by far the best article I have read regarding the subject. I am not a mechanic and all the numbers thrown around often confuse me. I just wanted to know what was the best choice to haul a 35 foot fifth wheel. You broke the information down to simplistic terms that even my wife could understand. I am going with a used 2015 F350 dually. Much appreciated and looking forward to reading more articles from you. GO BIG BLUE

    • I have a 2002 F250 7,3l diesel 8′ bed. I pull a 34.5 foot Wildcat 31TS fifth wheel GVWR 12,100 lbs fine with my truck. The truck feels very safe up and down hills and stops well going downhill no issues in crosswinds over bridges etc. I hope this helps you out

  3. I have a 2015 F250 Super Duty SRW. I opted for the King Ranch interior. I did not want the DRW because this is going to be my daily driver and parking could be dicey. I pull a very large fifth wheel RV (42.5 feet long and weighing in at almost 20,000 lbs.). The pin weight is around 3800 lbs. I had a Timbren Suspension Enhancement installed that increased my payload capacity to 6100 lbs. Along with the electronic trailer sway control, I have absolutely no problem towing that big of a trailer. I also benefit from a nicer highway ride when running without a load. Just make sure you get the tires that can handle the weight.

  4. I will be buying my truck down the road to haul a light weight fifth wheel (14k lbs, 41′). I go back and forth, either an F-350 dually or an F-250. I can’t seem to come to a decision. I read and heard both pros and cons. I’ve heard “buy a F-350, no matter what. Then I hear F-350 will be too much and it rides best loaded, but not good when unloaded. I heard F250 will have better fuel mileage when not hauling and a smoother ride. Here’s the big picture, this vehicle will be our only wheels, hauling or not. I also have to contend with comfort because my wife has fibromyalgia and I have back issues, there for it’s imperative to get the right pickup for us the first time. Any thoughts on this? As a PS, this truck will be a post 2017.

    • For your lower back and wife’s condition, you can get the heated/cooled seats on Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum.

    • With the exception of the health issues I’m in the same boat as Ray Jackson. I am looking at 5th wheels in the weight range of 16k with pin weights between 2300 – 2600 lbs. I’m also looking at the F-250 6.7l diesel but I have seen so many explanations/opinions of the truck/trailer weight combinations I am totally confused on which vehicle is the best for towing and braking. Should I add air bags or not? What can I do to increase payload capacity if necessary? I always see don’t tow 5th wheels with a 4×4 but yet when I drive the highways and go camping I see most 5th wheels being towed by 4×4’s of all manufacturers. Which is better 4×4 or 4×2?

      • Brian, I have a 2016 F250 and I tow a 41″ 5th wheel pin weight at approx 2100 lbs. I did add the “air bags” to my truck. That added a additional 5000 lbs payload capacity (absolutely a must) in order for your truck to run level down the road. I put about 45 psi and it runs level all day long. The only other item I would add is a transfer fuel tank. I added a 50 gallon tank and while pulling I have comfortable range of 650 to 700 miles. A little expensive to fill up, but well worth it.

        • Can you tell me about the air bags you added or recommend. I have an 2017 F250 King Ranch diesel and really don’t want to have to pay out $$ to upgrade to a F350. Pick up my 5th wheel next week and will exceed the truck payload rating by at least 500 lbs. Where is the best place to purchase and also have installed. Thanks.

        • Airbags do not increase payload capacity. The truck specs are the truck specs, period. At best they can help with the leveling and ride control.

  5. I’m looking at towing a travel trailer, not a 5th wheel… max is 35ft and 10k or less in weight. This will also be a daily driver and want a SRW. For this type of use, is it just a pick’em between the 250 and 350… I’d like the most comfortable ride available. thanks in advance for you any advice.

  6. Is there really a 10.75 Sterling axle? I can’t find any specs, google results, etc….plenty of 10.5 search results, but….

  7. For the most part, you are right and did a good job of explaining. However, I disagree with the phrase “exactly the same.”
    Although you can order a 250 with all those features, the F350 comes standard with all of them including overload springs, stronger front springs, and larger axel housing. Overloads are standard on the 350.

  8. This is one of the better discussions I’ve found but still looking for better. I’m looking at a 2019 250 or 350 to carry a bed camper, trying to find the actual mechanical difference between a crew cab, short box, gas engine xlt. Looks like if you get a $160 camper package on the 250 you basically have a 350. The only differences at that point are the 4 inch rear blocks on the 350 compared to 2 inch on the 250 and a 1000lb axle rating difference. Since they both use the Dana60 then more splines??? I can’t find any dealer that can tell me what mechanical difference causing the .3 inch lower height of the F350.

  9. Thank you very much for your input it was very educational I have always liked the F2 50 I have one 2003 with a 7.3 diesel I am wanting to get a 35 to 40 foot fifth wheel and wanted to make sure it was safe for Hauling do you not want to put anybody at risk and the highways

  10. Looks like you can make the F250 the same as the F350 except for the blocks 4″ blocks. If you get the heavy duty service front end and the snow plow prep and camper package plus get the extra heavy duty towing capacity package. Looks like this package give you the same rear axel as the F350.

  11. These are all good comments here. I have purchased a 2019 F350 to replace my 2016 Siverado 2500. There is a difference between a 2500 and 3500. Front end suspension, overload leaf springs, rear shocks and the differential housing is beefier. Everything with the exception of the differential housing can be upgraded. Just because you make upgrades (air bags, overload springs and beefier front end suspension) does not mean you have more capacity (cargo weight or additional trailer weight). The difference housing in a 350 is beefier for a reason…to handle additional capacity. I am mainly upgrading to a 350 due to my current track only has 2200# payload capacity and new 350 has a payload capacity of 3160#. My ping weight on my fifth wheel is 1840#. As you can see, with a family of four, my payload is maxed out. I have not had any issues so far, but that is not to say I will not. Keep in mind, the less capacity that you have (payload and GVR of trailer) the more likely your are to have issues, and you are working the truck harder. This is the main reason I am upgrading my truck. To ensure the truck is capable of towing, with no issues, and in the event of an emergency, I can manuever much easier than if I were maxed out weight wise.

    Please feel free to drop me a note if anyone has questions or comments. Thanks.

  12. You might want to edit several of your facts in this article. It’s sterling 10.5 not 10.75, f250s had a 2” block or slightly shorter not 3.5”. The springs were not stiffer, one code spring will be the exact same stiffness regardless if it’s on a f250 or F350.

  13. My 1999 F250SD has 4″ blocks and overload leaf. Can’t see any difference between that truck and my friend’s 2000 F350 SRW. Diff housing, brakes, springs all measure the same.

  14. Great article and great questions. Here’s mine. I’m driving a 1996 SD F250 (Diesel), crew w/ short box, manual 5-speed, and SRW axle. I occasionally drag a bumper-pull horse trailer (rated 4700 lbs) with absolutely no problem, but I’m getting soft and wanna add an overhead camper, preferably an Alaskan brand, which would add ~2,000 lbs. more(now over the axle). Is there anyway to do this (safely) with my current rig (which I love) or do I need to upgrade to a DRW rig?

  15. I have a 2016 F250 Super duty Super cab 6.6 bed. Up grade heavy
    Duty springs front and back. Heavy duty shocks. Sitting high off the ground. I’m told the max pay load is
    3400 lbs. I’m looking to buy a truck camper weighting wet 4200. Pluses 2 people total 375 lbs plus
    Gas 306 lbs and other things say another 200 lbs. That is a total of say 5200lb. Will my 250 be ok or go f350 super duty


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