2004 F350 Towing Capacities

The 2004 F-350 trucks were some of the largest vehicles made by Ford in 04 besides the other larger F Series trucks and they had a massive towing capacity attached to them as well. The top rating for these trucks was an impressive 14,200 pound rating, but you had to have the proper equipment installed with the right options in order to achieve those ratings.

You might be surprised to hear that some of these trucks only had a 6,800 pound rating which is unbelievable for these sized vehicles, but it was true! I go into all of the details about these trucks in this article, so let's dive in!

Your owner's manual has tons of different information regarding your truck and I recommend that you read through it to get familiar with your truck and its limitations. Be sure to follow Ford's recommendations and requirements as well.

2004 F-350 Overview

Overall Capacity: The overall towing capacity for the 2004 Ford F-350s ranged from 6,800-14,200 lbs. and was a massive gap, mainly due to the three different engine options and the 5.4L engine being a far less superior option for these trucks.

Factors that contributed to your overall capacity numbers for these trucks included not only the engine you had equipped but the axle ratio you were using, the cab style you had and a couple of other variables.

Capacity By Trim Options: I listed the five different trim levels for these trucks below and looked up their engine options and wanted to use that data to show the capacity range of each trim level, according to the engine options that were available.

  • XL:6,800-14,200 lbs.
  • XLT: 6,800-14,200 lbs.
  • Lariat: 6,800-14,200 lbs.
  • King Ranch: 6,800-14,200 lbs.
  • Harley Davidson: 9,900-14,200 lbs.
2004 F-350 Trim Level Engine Options

By Engine Options: Looking at the engine options for these trucks, I was really surprised to see the 5.4L engine as a choice for the heavy weights! The 5.4L engine had the least amount of power out of the three options, which equated to the smallest capacity numbers.

The 6.8L engine had the highest rating out of all of the engine options on the high end, but the 6.0L diesel engine had the best capacity range, with a low end rating of 12,400 pounds.

  • 5.4L: 6,800-9,300 lbs.
  • 6.8L (V10): 9,300-14,200 lbs.
  • 6.0L (Diesel): 12,400-13,400 lbs.

Automatic vs Manual Transmission: I wanted to also compare the differences between automatic transmission models and manual transmission models but after reading the data and jotting down the specs, there was really no difference in the overall capacity numbers.

  • Automatic Transmision: 6,800-14,200 lbs.
  • Manual Transmission: 6,800-14,100 lbs.

Conventional and 5th Wheel Specs: If you were planning on using a 5th wheel hitch with your truck, then you had a slight advantage over models that used a conventional hitch, but only by about 300 pounds.

  • Conventional: 6,800-13,900 lbs.
  • 5th Wheel: 6,800-14,200 lbs.

The Two Tow Charts:

The two charts for the 04 F-350s were dedicated to two different types of hitches, like most other F Series trucks and these hitches were a conventional hitch and a fifth wheel hitch.

You will need to know a few things about your truck in order to get the correct trailer weight rating which includes things like the cab style you have, whether you have a Single Rear Wheel or Dual Rear Wheels (SRW and DRW), do you have a 4WD or 2WD model, your axle ratio, the type of transmission you have installed and the engine you have equipped in your truck.

2004 Ford F-350 Towing Chart
2004 Ford F-350 5th Wheel Towing Chart
Ford MTW Definition

2004 F350 Trailer Packages and Hitch Capacities...

The first image with the chart below shows us what came standard with these trucks and even includes optional accessories. The chart is for all of the 04 vehicles and I outlined the vehicles we are interested in the red boxes.

The image below that is for conventional hitches and illustrates how you need to have a weight distributing hitch installed in order to achieve the higher ratings that were specified in the chart when using a conventional hitch setup.

2004 F-350 Tow Package Options
2004 F-350 Hitch Capacities

Trailer Brakes...

You can use trailer brakes with these trucks and they must be installed correctly, according to the little bit of information I found in the owner's manual. This is the only bit of information I found on trailer brakes for these trucks.

You will need to know what your local and Federal laws are and what they require as far as trailer brakes and trailer weight goes.

Ford Trailer Brakes Note

The Certification Label...

Ford Certification Label

GVWR & GAWRs: The GCWR figures were provided but the GVWR and GAWRs were not in the charts or the owner's manual, in fact, they weren't in any of the resources I used for the research of this article. These two specs can be found on the truck on a label called the certification label. This label looks like the image above and can be found on the driver's side door or the pillar.

The GVWR and GAWRs are located at the top of this tag and will be specified in pounds and kilograms. The above image is blank but your sticker will have these figures listed, along with a lot of other helpful information.

GCWR: The GCWRs were specified in the chart and these ranged for the 2004 F350 trucks from 13,500-20,000 pounds. This was a huge help and listing these figures in the tow charts is pretty standard for all Ford vehicles.

Axle Code: There was also an "axle code" listed at the bottom of this label and was a code for the rear axle that was equipped on your truck or in other words, the rear axle ratio that your truck was equipped with at the factory. You will have to decipher this code and use an alternative website to do this, like this one to know what your axle ratio is because Ford did not provide a legend for any of their 04 models. Once you have the axle ratio of your truck, you can plug it into the chart.

A Few Helpful Links:

It is probably hard to believe that I only used three different resources to gather all of the information for this article, but probably more surprising than that is that I gathered most of the information from only one of the three resources!

The tow guide was where I gathered most of the information in this post and was very helpful when it came to charts and various other images. The brochure's strong point was comparing the different trim levels and seeing what options were available for each trim level and the owner's manual filled in the rest of the gaps of needed information.

Last updated on April 27th, 2022 at 06:55 pm

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