2020 Ford F-250 Towing Capacities

The late model Ford F250s just keep getting better when it comes to their overall towing capacity and the 2020 models had the highest ratings I've seen so far, having a maximum rating of 22,800 lbs! 

Keep in mind that you will have to have the right equipment installed on the truck in order to achieve that rating and there was more than a 10,000 lb difference on the low end of the spectrum, if you did not have these optional components installed on your truck.

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

2020 F-250 Overview

Overall Towing Capacity: The 2020 F250s had quite an impressive towing capacity, ranging from 12,200-22,800 lbs. which is quite the gap and a couple of the main factors that contributed to the trailer weight ratings were the engine you had equipped in the truck and the axle ratio of the rear axle.

Engine Options: The 2020 model year trucks had three different options, instead of the two options that we saw with most of the later model year trucks and these were a 6.2 L engine, a 6.7 liter diesel engine and a 7.3 L engine. The 6.7 L engine was the only engine out of the three that was fueled by diesel.

The diesel option for these trucks definitely had the higher capacity ratings, if we look at the chart to compare the data. What was surprising to me was the fact that these 6.7 L diesel engine had even higher ratings than the 7.3 liter engine and is how you were able to achieve the highest 22,800 pound rating in the charts.

Axle Ratios: There were four different axle ratios for these trucks and if we compare the data, we can see that the 6.2 L engine was paired with either a 3.73 axle ratio or a 4.30 axle ratio. The 6.7 liter engines were paired with either a 3.31 axle ratio or a 3.55 axle ratio and the 7.3 L engines had two choices of a 3.55 ratio or a 4.30 ratio.

So all these engines had different axle ratio choices, for the most part besides the two diesel engines that shared the 3.55 axle ratio.

Assumed Weight: Ford did specify and assumed weight for a driver and a passenger in the truck when listing the trailer weight ratings. They assumed that each occupant weighed approximately 150 lbs. and since there were two occupants in the vehicle as the assumed weight, then we get a total of 300 lbs. of assumed weight in the vehicle in order to obtain those ratings.

If there are any more occupants in the vehicle or if you have any additional cargo either in the bed of the truck or inside the truck or aftermarket equipment installed on the truck, then you will have to deduct the weight of those items from the weight ratings that were posted.

Standard and Gooseneck Charts:

The 2020 F250s still have the two separate charts for conventional hitches and fifth wheel/gooseneck hitches, but there was an additional engine option for the 2020 models and it seems they took out some of the variables of the chart that we saw with earlier model years.

If we look at the charts below, we can see a lot of information that we will need to plug into the table in order to get an accurate maximum trailer weight rating for these model year trucks.

You will need to plug in each and every one of these variables in order to get the correct trailer weight rating in the chart, but I will go through all of the variables, what they mean and how to find them in this article.

2020 Ford F-250 Towing Chart
2020 Ford F-250 5th Wheel Towing Chart

On a side note, I was also able to find information on the trailer frontal area limitations when pulling enclosed trailers behind you and also tailgate clearance height information if you're planning on using a fifth wheel hitch or a gooseneck hitch.

F-250 Frontal Area Considerations

Trailer Frontal Area Considerations

2020 F-250 Tailgate Clearances

Tongue Weight Rating:

Ford recommends a trailer tongue load of 10% on your vehicle's hitch, that is 10% of the trailer's overall weight and if you're using a fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch, then that amount is increased to 15% of the trailer's weight.

This is pretty vague though because if you look in the owner's manual, Ford states that you will want to be in the 10 to 15% range when using a conventional hitch or a 15 to 25% range if you're using a gooseneck or fifth wheel hitch. Ford makes it very clear that they do not want you to go below or above this range, as it can make for unsafe driving conditions.

2018 F-250 Tongue Weight

What Axle Ratio Do I Have?

One of the variables that you will need to figure out on your truck is what axle ratio you have equipped on the rear axle. There are only four different choices available for the 2020 F250s, but you will still need to find out which axle ratio you have equipped.

You can find this information on the certification label and this is located on the driver side door jamb or the door itself and looks like the label that is shown in the image below. Once you find this label, look towards the bottom of it and you will see the words "axle" and then below that you will see a two-digit code that you will need to jot down.


Once you have that 2-digit code, you will then need to plug it into the chart I have listed below, that you can also find in the 2020 Guide that Ford offers. The only axle ratios that you need to look at are the 3.31, the 3.55, the 3.73 and the 4.30 axle ratios. Since this chart is for many different F-series trucks, it applies to many models, but those are the only four that you need to be concerned with.

Once you plug in your code to the chart below, you will not only find the axle ratio that was equipped on your truck at the factory, but you will be able to determine whether it is a limited-slip axle, a non limited-slip axle or an electronic locking axle. 

It doesn't matter which type of axle you have when it comes to the trailer weight ratings, but will be additional information that you can possibly use at a later time.

2020 Ford Super Duty Axle Ratos

What's Your Wheelbase?

You will also need to plug in your wheelbase length, which is basically just the measurement from the front wheel to the rear wheel, when you measure from the center of each wheel.

This measurement will be in inches and you will be able to plug that into the chart once you know what the measurement is. This is going to be a lot easier to do if you have two people, but can be done by one person if you are careful.

In the chart, these are labeled as: 142" WB, 146" WB and so on.

Ford Truck Wheelbase

Your Bed Is How Long?:

Making our way down the list, we get to the bed length of your truck, which is shown in the chart above as an 8' box or 6 3/4' box. Ford chose to use the word box instead of bed, which I think might be confusing to some people, but just replace the word box with the word bed and you should get the idea.

So the two bed options basically come down to having a long bed or a standard sized bed, which I think a lot of people are familiar with and the 8-foot bed will be the long bed and will measure a little bit longer than 8 ft, I think around 98 in., whereas the standard bed measures in at around 81 in.

Weight Carrying or Weight Distributing...

If we look at the conventional towing chart, we can see the words weight carrying or weight distributing above the trailer weight ratings and this basically just refers to the hitch that you were using.

A weight carrying hitch is just a standard hitch that most people have that sticks out the back of your truck and when they mention weight distributing, those figures that are listed in those columns are for people who are using a weight distributing hitch in their setup.

So most people will want to use the weight carrying column, unless you have a weight distributing hitch installed on your trailer, then you can look at the weight distributing column.

Trim Levels Explained:

There were six different trim levels available for the 2020 models and these were listed as the: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited models.

I didn't see anything in any of the literature it stated that the trim level you had affected the trailer ratings in any way, but there were a couple of notes in the chart that did apply to some of the trim levels where you might have needed an additional package installed on the truck in order to achieve a specified weight rating.

Cab Styles...

Yet another variable that you will have to figure out about your truck is the cab style or cab configuration that you have, as the weight ratings were slightly affected by what style you had on your truck.

There were only three different cab styles to choose from and these were referred to as the regular cab, the super cab and the crew cab or super crew cab. I have attached an image below of what the three different cab styles looked like, so you can match it up with what you have on your truck.

GVWR and GAWR Figures:

GVWR & GAWRs: The gross combined weight ratings were specified in the charts, but the gross vehicle weight rating and gross axle weight ratings were not and these were not posted anywhere in the owner's manual or the guide. These can be found on the truck, on the certification label, which is the same place where we found the axle ratio code.

Certification Label: Again, if you open your driver side door, you should see a label that looks like the one below and at the top of the label it will show your gross vehicle weight rating, along with the gross axle weight ratings for the front and rear axles.

Ford F-250 Certification Label

Standard Equipment & What's Included...

I was also able to find some of the standard equipment options that are included with these trucks and what's included with the two different packages that were also offered for these model year trucks.

The image below shows what was included with each package and the second column lists what was included as standard options, while the third and fourth columns were designated for those optional packages which were labeled 535 and 53Q.

Keep in mind, that the two optional packages only applied to trucks that had the 6.7 L diesel engine equipped.

2020 F-250 Tow Equipment and Options

(8) F-350 DRW/F-450 only. (9) In-cab, no controller (SRW). (10) Requires 6.7L diesel engine. (11) Required on XL.

Trailer Brakes:

Trailer brakes were a requirement for these trucks, due to the very high additional weight that the vehicle could possibly be pulling behind it. 

If you think about it, your truck's brakes are only designed to stop your truck when it is fully loaded, it cannot handle the truck's weight plus the additional weight that would come from the trailer, so you need to have independent brakes installed on the trailer if your trailer weighs 1,500 lbs. or more.

You will also need to check with your local County and/or State's vehicle codes to see if this 1,500 lb. rating complies with their standards.

Ford F-250 Trailer Brakes
Ford F250 Trailer Brake Note

Other Notes I Found:

There were a couple of other notes I found in the owner's manual that talks about higher altitude areas and how the gross combined weight rating needs to be reduced by 2% for every 1,000 feet of elevation change, starting at the 1,000-foot mark. 

If you're planning on traveling somewhere that is 4,000 feet in elevation and you currently live at or close to sea level, then you will have to reduce your gross combined weight rating by 8% before traveling in order to compensate for that higher altitude change on your journey.

The other note talks about the minimum octane rating of gasoline (if you have the 6.2 L engine equipped in your truck) and how in some areas you may be able to purchase gasoline that has a lower octane rating of 87, but Ford does not recommend this, as you need to use a minimum octane rating of 87 or higher.

Ford F-250 GCWR High Altitude Warning
2018 F-250 Octane Rating Gasoline

Helpful Links:

The three main resources I used in the research for this article came from the owner's manual, the 2020 tow guide that Ford offers and the 2020 super duty brochure, all of which I was able to find online. I went ahead and linked to these three resources below, just in case anyone out there wants to check them out for themselves.

Last updated on April 27th, 2022 at 06:46 pm

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