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Trailering with an F250

I have a 1996 Ford F-250 with 110,000 miles on it. It’s in good shape and was mostly used for plowing or when another car is in the shop. I currently have two horses and am looking at getting a third. I would also like to have at least one extra place. Bassically my question is do you think it would be worth it for me to get a gooseneck tow hitch installed (I’m in the Midwest)? Also do you think my truck would be able to handle hauling a four-, five-, and/or six-horse trailer? There would be minimal hauling through mountains if any at all.

It would be prudent for you to research the specs on your exact truck, but a cursory google search showed towing capacities from 5300# - 10,000# for 1996 F250s, depending on how they were equipped.

So you’re going to be underpowered for what you’re looking for. Also, you’re probably going to want the stability of a dually if you’re considering getting a six horse trailer. :slight_smile:

A 2- 3 horse gooseneck will be fine unless you have a big living quarter on it. You do need to check your truck’s specs before you buy.

Depends on the truck but my 2007 F250 4x4 crew cab with a 6.8L V10 pulls the shit out of my 2+1 trailer and stops it as well.

It does already have a towing package just not a gooseneck hitch

It’s not the hauling up a hill that is the issue…it’s the stopping.

for a 2+1 you are probably fine…but not more.

It’s a V8 engine and extended cab. It also has a tow package (bumper pull) but I would add the gooseneck hitch

Yes…I’ve pulled many a trailer with an f250…and had one similar age as yours. It isn’t heavy enough to safely pull a 4+ trailer. I’d only be comfortable up to 3 horses and even then you would be maxing it out. It will be stopping that is more the issue.

We have no problem pulling a 2+1 with our F-250 diesel. For our 4 horse head to head we use our F-350 diesel dually. Would not use the F250 for what you want to do. Not enough power to get on the highway quickly enough and not enough weight to stop in a hurry.

We never had a problem with our old F250 diesel non-dually pulling a steel 2 horse that had a tack room & living quarters topping out just over 10,000lb in the Mid-West. You will find the gooseneck is a lot more stable. Make sure you have electric brakes that work and don’t carry the proverbial kitchen sink or any other “just in case” junk in the living quarters.

Diesel or gas? Agree with SLR, wouldn’t pull a 4H head to head or a 6 horse without a diesel dually.

Is your question whether it is worth putting a $1000+ hitch on an older truck and committing to a GN trailer? If the truck dies a fatal death you will need to replace it with something big enough to tow the GN or sell the trailer. You can always have the hitch taken out of the old truck and put in the new one so it’s not a total loss (you lose labor but not the part).

ETA I said “always put it in the new truck” but I guess that’s not quite right since they are made for the different model/make/Year beds. But you could look into that to figure out what is the chance of your being able to still use or sell?) the hitch if the truck dies.

I was always taught a dually is a must for a 4 horse or bigger for the needed breaking surface.

This is a little off topic, but I am jumping in for similar advice. My dodge 2500 may have died yesterday. Service shop is doing a post mortem today. It just so happens I found a F250, 1997 V8 gas within my comfortable budget. It is in FL (I’m SC) so I’m doing what I can up front before I commit to a trip.

My one and only trailer is a 2 horse straight load aluminum (ramp load) BP with a tack room in the front and electric brakes. Two horses plus trailer averages @ 7000 lbs.

The dodge did okay, even with two horses (though the original tranny died, got a second from a less than good shop, it died, and now it was pulling well), but my concern is it has 236K miles on it.

I suck at buying vehicles (aka that POS dodge), so jsut looking for thoughts on what to ask, look for, but basically, if it was in good shape, engine tranny seem okay, would the F250 work for me priced under $5000

I LOVE my 97 7.3L F250 diesel (not a dually & only @ 125K miles) - I have a AL GN 3h slant w/ the biggest tackroom I’ve ever seen, I’ve never had 3 horses on it but traveled all over the country with very full loads and it hauls great. JP60, I’d consider a diesel with that king of mileage on it but I don’t think I’d look at a gas engine with so many miles on it. It might depend on what kind of distance you travel every year though - all my trips are long since I’m in the mid-west.

The 250 would be just fine for up to 3 horses, as long as the trailer didnt have a big living quarters. If you are ok with keeping your trailer options within those ranges, then yes put the hitch on the truck. If you are set on being able to haul 4 or more, wait until you have the bigger truck and put the hitch on that.

My budget limits access to diesel (sigh) though my trainer said the same thing. Excluding one offs to Texas and PA, my trips are no longer the 4/5 hours and that is maybe once or twice a year. Most times its 2/3 hours though I do haul 1 hour a week to my trainer’s barn for lessons.

Thanks for the input. I didn’t mean to highjack the thread.

JP60, I am not by any means an expert but would also be reluctant to buy a gas truck with that kind of mileage (it should be plenty of truck for your trailer, though-- mine is an '01 gas F250 and I feel like I have power to spare). It could be a great bargain or need a ton of work done in the next few years. The upside is that if it’s spent most of its life in FL it might not have much rust, which is a big issue with Fords.

I pull my 4 horse trailet with my 99 F250 super duty diesel. I wanted to sell it for a larger truck and I had many, many reputable horse trailer people tell me I was FINE. The F350 has the same engine.