Want a Pick up - possibly for future towing.

Looking to get a used pickup, for light hauling( to the dump) and possibly for a future boat or RV Trailer. I can take a chance on an older truck, since I won't be towing anything heavy right away. In time, I can see how well the truck performs before I commit to an RV.

I've been looking in Auto Trader for trucks but it is hard to determine what the towing capacities might be with the limited info. Is there a way to tell from the VIN#, what the towing capacity was when new? Or is there some other way to determine the capacity. Even if the seller has that info, I don't know whether I should trust it.

Looking to spend under 10K. That's not much, but I am hoping with the economy and fuel costs, there might be some bargains out there. Is there a part of the country that would be better to look in?
Someone local has a 2002 Ford F350 for sale with a 7.3L diesel, that looks promising. Aside from price and condition, after looking at tow ratings and seeing that a F250 and a F350, with drive train being the same, the tow ratings are identical. What is different between a 250 and a 350 that would be worth considering as far as pulling an RV is concerned. Is there another consideration I have missed?

C Nash

Senior Member
Just depends on what size rv you think you want. The 250 should handle most rv up to 35 ft IMO. The 350 will have a beefer frame, supension ect. The 350 is also probably a dualy.
A Ford F350 could be a Single Rear Wheel (SRW) or a Dual Rear Wheel (DRW) it does make a difference on towing. Generally if you are going to be pulling a fifth wheel or a gooseneck trailer then the Dually will haul a lot more due to the axle and tire ratings. If you are going to bumper pull, then there is little difference between a F250 (SRW) and a F350 (DRW). When in doubt refer to the towing guides, here is a link to Trailer Life's TG's, they breakdown all the possibilites.


Most importantly, don't pull more than the truck is rated for, you are asking for trouble if you do.

Be Safe!