2017 Ford F-250 Towing Capacities

The 2017 Ford F250s we're just as capable as any of the other later model year trucks in their class and were actually able to achieve a pretty astounding towing capacity of up to 18,500 lbs.! In order to achieve those types of ratings though, your truck had to be equipped properly because on the lower end of the spectrum, these trucks were only able to achieve a 12,200 lb rating, which was more than a 6,000 lb. difference between the two numbers!

There is a lot to go through in the charts in order to verify your maximum trailer weight rating, but I break all of that information down in this article and go through everything individually to make it a lot easier. Let's get started!

I recommend that you read through your owner's manual to get familiar with your 2017 truck and that you abide by all of Ford's recommendations and requirements.

2017 F-250 Overview

Overall Towing Capacity: The 2017 Ford F250s had an overall towing capacity that ranged from 12,200-18,500 lbs. and varied depending on many different factors. These factors included the engine you had equipped, your axle ratio, your cab style, your wheelbase length and your bed length.

Some of these factors impacted the numbers much more than other factors, but all of them had an impact in some way.

Engine Options: There were only two engine options that were available for these trucks and this was a 6.2 L engine or a 6.7 liter engine, which was found on a lot of the later model year F250s. The 6.2 L engine was a gasoline-powered engine, while the 6.7 liter engine was a diesel-powered engine.

Trucks that utilized the 6.7 L engine had slightly higher overall trailer weight ratings compared to models that had the 6.2 L engine equipped. It was hard to compare the two engine's specs side-by-side because there were different axle ratios that each engine used, but if we look at the data overall, we can see that the 6.7 liter engines had the ability to produce 1,000 to 2,000 lbs. more capacity, on average.

Axle Ratios: Like I already mentioned, the axle ratios that were used for each engine were different and if we look at the charts, we can see that models equipped with the 6.2 L engine used either a 3.73 or 4.30 rear axle ratio. Trucks that had the 6.7 L diesel engine equipped, utilized either a 3.31 rear axle or a 3.55 rear axle.

Assumed Weight: I was able to find the assumed weight that Ford specifies when listing their maximum trailer weight ratings and this includes the driver and one passenger in the truck, each of which weighs 150 lbs., for a grand total of 300 lbs. of assumed weight. Here is what I found in Ford's Guide:

"Maximum Loaded Trailer Weight assumes a towing vehicle with any mandatory options, no cargo, tongue load of 10% (conventional trailer) or king pin weight of 15% (5th-wheel trailer) and driver and passenger (150 lbs. each). Weight of additional options, passengers, cargo and hitch must be deducted from this weight"

Enter your text here...

Standard and Gooseneck Charts:

The 2017 Ford F250s had quite a few different variables when it came to the charts, as you can see from the images below. It was also able to achieve a quite impressive maximum trailer weight rating too, set at an impressive 18,500 lbs.!

If we look at the charts, we can see that we'll have to plug in a few different variables in order to get an accurate figure for your specific truck. You will need to know the cab style or cab configuration that you have on your truck, along with the axle ratio and what engine you had equipped.

Along with those couple of items, you will also need to know whether you have a four-wheel drive or two-wheel drive model, the length of your wheelbase and how long your bed is. There are also two different specs listed and this is labeled as max weight carrying and max weight distributing, which we will dive into later in this article and all the other elements as well. 

2017 F-250 Towing Chart
2017 F-250 5th Wheel Towing Chart
2017 F-250 5th Wheel Towing Chart 3

Trailer Frontal Area & Tailgate Clearance: I also listed the trailer frontal area considerations that I found in the guide and this is basically the amount of area on the front of the trailer, which creates drag and the more drag you have, the less safe it is to tow on the road, so manufacturers will usually list a frontal area in square footage that you should not exceed.

For these model year trucks, Ford recommends a maximum of 75 square feet of frontal trailer area for all fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches, while that number is reduced down to 60 square feet for all other types of hitches.

If you are planning on using a fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch, then you will need the other image I have posted below, which talks about the clearance from the ground to the top of the tailgate.

F-250 Frontal Area Considerations

Trailer Frontal Area Considerations

2017 F-250 Tailgate Clearance Specs

Tongue Weight Rating:

The tongue weight rating was listed at the bottom of the charts and smaller print that I was able to magnify and posted a screenshot of below. You can click on the image to enlarge it if you would like to read it, but it states that the trailer tongue load weight should be 10% of the trailer's total weight for conventional hitches and 15% for fifth wheel hitches.

In the owner's manual, it states that you will not want to go below or above 10 to 15% of your trailer's total weight for conventional hitches or 15 to 25% if you're using a fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch.

2017 F-250 Tongue Weight

What Axle Ratio Do I Have?

The first variable on your truck that we are going to talk about is the axle ratio, because you need to know what your axle ratio is in order to plug that into the chart and get your specific trailer weight rating.

You will want to find your axle code, which can be found on the certification label that is located on the driver side door or driver side door pillar. All you have to do is open your driver's door and look for a label that looks like the one posted in the image below. At the bottom of this label, you will see the word axle, along with a two-digit code below it.


Once you have your code, you'll need to use the axle ratio code cheat sheet that I have posted below, that I was able to find in Ford's guide. These axle ratios that are listed in this chart apply for not only the F-250 series trucks but also the 350-550 series trucks as well, so I went ahead and outline the four different axle ratios that were available for this model year truck.

Just for reference, the four different axle ratios that were available were the 3.3 one, the 3.55 oh, the 3.73 and the 4.30 axle ratios. This chart will also verify whether you have a limited slip, non-limited slip or an electronic locking rear differential, which doesn't matter when it comes to the trailer weight ratings but will give you a little more information about your rear axle.

2017 F-250 Axle Codes

Wheelbase Measurements:

Moving down the list of the many variables, we get to the wheelbase measurements, which were labeled in inches and in the charts, they were labeled as 142" WB, 148" WB etc. The wheelbase measurement is basically just the measurement from the front wheel to the rear wheel, measuring from the center of the wheels. I included an image below that illustrates what I am talking about.

You will have to physically measure your wheelbase in order to know what your measurement is, so you can plug it into the chart. This process is going to be a lot easier with two people.

Ford Truck Wheelbase

Box (Bed) Lengths:

Moving on down the list, we are now going to talk about the box lengths that are listed in the charts, which is just another way of saying the bed length of your truck. There were only two different bed lengths available, and these were an 8-foot bed or a 6 3/4 foot long bed, which is also known as a standard bed.

You can measure these if you would like, but keep in mind that an 8-foot bed is going to measure a bit longer than 96 in. (approx. 98 inches) and the standard bed will measure approximately 81 inches.

Weight Carrying vs Weight Distributing:

The next variable that we need to talk about that was mentioned in the chart was weight carrying vs. weight distributing trailer weight ratings. The weight carrying metrics are what most people are going to look at because the weight distributing metrics are for people who are using a weight distributing hitch in their setup.

If you look at the fifth wheel and gooseneck chart, you do not see the weight carrying vs weight distributing figures, like you do in the conventional chart. So, the weight distributing numbers will only apply for those of you out there that are using a conventional hitch and you have a weight distributing hitch installed, as well.

Cab Styles...

Finally, we get to the cab styles or cab configurations that are listed in the top of the charts. The 2017 F250s had three different cab styles available but didn't make a huge difference in the overall trailer weight ratings, especially if we compare a truck with the same engine option and axle ratio, just looking at the different cab configurations and seeing the subtle differences in the trailer weight ratings.

I posted an image below of what the three different cab Styles or cab configurations look like, to give you a better idea of what your truck is utilizing.

Trim Levels Explained:

There were five different trim levels available for these model year trucks, which I was able to find listed in the super duty brochure and these were listed as the: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum trim levels.

The trim level you had on your truck did not affect the trailer weight ratings that were listed in the chart directly, but some trim levels had certain options that were standard, like the engine that was equipped in the truck, which would indirectly affect your trailer weight ratings.

GVWR and GAWR Figures:

GVWR & GAWRs: The gross vehicle weight rating and gross axle weight ratings were not listed anywhere in the charts, like the gross combined weight rating were, but I was able to find information on where you can find these specs.

Certification Label: You can actually find both of these metrics on the certification label, that we already talked about when we were looking for our axle codes. Again, this label can be found on the driver side door or driver side door pillar and looks like the label that is shown in the image below.

At the top of the label, you will find the gross vehicle weight rating, along with the front and rear gross axle weight ratings.

Ford F-250 Certification Label

Standard Equipment & What's Included...

Now, a lot of the basic trailer equipment is included with these trucks, like they are with many other model-year F250s and I posted a chart that I found that lays out what's included with these trucks and also what's included with the additional tow package (535) that is needed in some cases to achieve higher ratings.

I was not able to find any information on what's included with the optional 9,900 lb. gross vehicle weight rating (68D) package. If I do, I will update this post as soon as possible.

2017 F-250 Standard Equipment

(4) In-cab, no controller (SRW). (7) F-350 DRW/F-450 only. (8) Requires 6.7L diesel engine. (9) Chrome (Lariat/King Ranch) or Polished (Platinum).

Trailer Brakes:

Trailer brakes are an absolute must when pulling a heavy trailer behind you because your truck's brakes are only designed to stop your truck when it is fully loaded, not your truck plus the additional weight of a trailer, which for these model your trucks, can be a substantial amount of added weight.

Ford requires that you have trailer brakes installed on your trailer if it weighs 1,500 lbs. or more and remember these brakes will have to be independent of your vehicle's braking system. You will also want to check with your local state or county laws to see what they require as far as trailer brakes and trailer weight.

Ford F-250 Trailer Brakes
Ford F250 Trailer Brake Note

Other Notes I Found:

As I was making my final rounds in the owner's manual, I came across a couple of notes that I thought were worth mentioning. The first note talks about how you will have to reduce the gross combined weight rating of your truck by 2% for every 1,000 feet of elevation change.

If you're traveling or planning on traveling to higher elevation areas, then you will need to keep this little fact in the back of your mind and adjust your trailer or vehicle weight accordingly.

The other note talks about the octane rating of gasoline, if you have a gasoline-powered engine or the 6.2 L engine. Ford does not recommend getting gas that has a lower octane rating of 87, which (they state) is usually offered in higher elevation areas.

Ford F-250 GCWR High Altitude Warning
2017 F-250 Octane Rating Gasoline

Helpful Links:

All of the information in this article was gathered from just a handful of resources, all of which I posted links to below. Most of the information I gathered came from Ford's Tow Guide, which includes a lot of the images, but I was also able to find a lot of other helpful information in the owner's manual and the 2017 Super Duty brochure.

Last updated on April 27th, 2022 at 06:47 pm

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