F150 - 5.5' vs. 6.5' bed?

zuren

Adventurer
I have another thread going about the EcoBoost engines in the more recent F150s, and I'm also considering bed length.

My initial thought and main goal was that I wanted a 6.5' bed, with the thought that if I wanted to sleep in it (with a topper), I would fit (I'm 6'2"). A couple things have come up that have me questioning the 6.5' bed:

  • Availability - it seems I can buy a F150 with a 5.5' bed anywhere, all day long. I rarely see a 6.5' listed.
  • Garage fit - I will need to check this closer based on published specs, but the 6.5' may fit albeit VERY uncomfortably in my garage.
  • Trailer - I have a 5x8' utility trailer so if I REALLY need to carry big items, I'll pull the trailer.
  • Pop-up topper - My vision was a truck with a pop-up topper (e.g., AT Summit), so a longer bed would have maximized the interior living space, but I have confirmed that such a topper will not clear my existing garage openings. So either I need to build an additional building that it can park in (love the idea...not likely to happen) or I may need to switch gears and start researching lightweight bed campers (shell) that can be set off when not in use.
  • Wife - she seems to think the 6.5' is a big deal and doesn't want it. I tend to disagree. Mind you, this will be "my" vehicle that I drive most of the time.
I don't work in the trades, so for me a truck is just buying a versatile vehicle to haul stuff, family (2 young kids), and go adventuring, not something that I'm entrusting my livelihood and being able to easily carry 4x8' sheets of "whatever". I am a DIYer, so I am carrying lumber and other items on occasion, but if there is big stuff I will go for the trailer.

So I'm just curious to know what thought processes others went through before landing on their truck with a given bed size. If I didn't have to compromise with a spouse, I would looking at 3/4 ton crew cabs with 8' beds and manual transmissions! :p

Thanks!
 

gringo m

Observer
The 5.5 bed is quite limiting in my opinion. Very uncomfortable to sleep in, or haul much. (I have both, 150 w/5.5 and a 250 w/6.5.) Won't personally buy another 5.5 anything. Just my 2 cents.
 

Cackalak Han

Explorer
If you can fit it in the garage and could use the longer bed, I'd say go for the 6.5' bed.

Here's your excuse:

The Heavy Duty Payload package is only available with a 6.5' bed, which gives you over 2k lbs of payload. And you'll need all of that for the pop-up topper and all the cargo, while pulling the trailer.

I am shopping as well, but I'll be sticking with a 5.5' bed. I think it's still plenty useful. Hauls camping stuff, bikes, fishing gear, dogs, and most other things I typically carry.
 

mnwanders

Member
I'm interested in this question too. I'm confident that I would like the 6.5' bed except for one thing...the turning radius. Does the extra foot of wheelbase make that big of a difference in turning? I've heard a lot of owners say that longer bed is really tough to turn. Any thoughts on that?
 
I'm interested to hear what others have to say about this as well....subscribed.

I will say that I've had an f150 with the 5.5ft bed, and an f250 with the 6ft8" bed. I didnt really notice much of a difference in hauling "stuff", although I liked being able to fit 8ft boards diagonally with the tailgate folded up in the f150.

I never slept in the back of the f150, but a cot fit beautifully in the back of the f150.
 

MR. ED

Observer
I had a ‘13 5.0 5.5 foot bed and work in the trades... I hated it(bed). If I could’ve justified it I would’ve kept it. Great truck otherwise. I’m short and was able to sleep diagonally in it. Loved the big tank and 18 mpg.
 

Taco-Bender

Member
I think of you have any intentions of sleeping in the back under a topper then 6.5' is the only way to go, especially if you don't "really" need the bigger back seat (i.e. small children and car seats).

My Tundra has the 6.5' and I'm 6' and the Mrs and I sleep like baby's back there.

525783
 

kahos

Member
I've had a 5.5ft box in a F150 supercrew and 6.4ft boxes in Ram Quad Cabs. I've also had a Colorado and Tacomas with the 6ft bed.

I found there wasn't much difference when hauling stuff between the 5'5 and 6.4. E.g both my ATV and motorcycle needed the tailgate down either way. For my purposes, they worked just as well 99% of the time.

I've had toppers / fiber caps on the rams and tacoma and camped in them a few times. I thought not having that option on the F-150 was a bit of a bummer as I had enjoyed that experience . It felt like getting a shell over a 5'5ft box would have been a waste if I couldn't sleep in it. It was good enough 99% of the time but I couldn't shake the feeling that I shouldn't have made that compromise. I think the idea that I couldn't turn it into a low cost camper never completely went away.

That being said, the f-150 was starting to push the boundaries of acceptable overall length in the city I live in. Some drive-troughs or parkades had turns that likely would have meant a 2-3 point turn in a longer vehicle. The f-150 fit in my garage but barely. Not that big of a deal as it slept outside 95+ % of the time.

The f-150's turning circle is notoriously bad. The Ram had the same overall length but felt like it was more nimble.

I downsized to a Jeep for a different kind of experience, but if and when I get back in a pick up truck a 6ft+ bed is very likely to be a criteria. Not because it will be massively more practical. i guess that deep down I just really like the idea of 6+ft bed.
 

canuck479

New member
I had the same debate with myself several years ago and found the 5.5 bed on my F150 lost out I ended up getting a crew cab F250 because I liked the 4 doors and had the 6.5 ft bed but was too much to deal with as a daily driver. I down sized to a Ford ranger extended cab with 4 doors and the 6 ft bed and am very happy, it is the best combination for me.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
I have the 5.5 bed on my personal truck and had the 6.5 bed on two work trucks. There is no real difference when hauling stuff.
 

rruff

Explorer
So I'm just curious to know what thought processes others went through before landing on their truck with a given bed size. If I didn't have to compromise with a spouse, I would looking at 3/4 ton crew cabs with 8' beds and manual transmissions! :p
Will your wife be driving it?

I'd say garages are for all your stuff, tools, and work projects. The cars and trucks live outside.

The best reason to own a F-150 is all the factory customization that is possible. Get exactly what you want; don't settle for what's on the lot. And don't forget to explore lots all over the country.

My truck has a long wheelbase. It's a bear in some tight parking lots and trails. Whether that matters depends on where you live and go.
 

Littlehouse

Adventurer
Does the short bed have the big gas tank avail? That alone would be a deal breaker for me. Once you go down the road of bigger tires, lift, pop up topper, I doubt the truck would fit in a standard garage anyways. If you're in some crazy HOA area then that would force your hand to 5.5', but if not, park in the driveway. I've got the 5.5' bed on my crew cab Silverado and wouldn't do it again. Like others have said, it "works" 90% of the time, but I'd rather get the 6.6' to work 100% of the time. In my area, a truck is a terrible DD, especially getting 11mpg, but it's safe, comfortable, and capable.
 

deserteagle56

Adventurer
I found there wasn't much difference when hauling stuff between the 5'5 and 6.4. E.g both my ATV and motorcycle needed the tailgate down either way. For my purposes, they worked just as well 99% of the time.
One of my criteria when shopping for a new light truck 3 years ago was that my Yamaha Kodiak fit in the back with the tailgate up. It would not fit in the Dodge 6'4" bed. It fits in the F150 6'6" bed with about a half inch to spare.

Love my 2016 F150 3.5 Ecoboost. Not one problem to report since I bought the truck new. Where I live (remote, very few gas stations) that 36 gallon tank is wonderful. 700 miles since the last fillup and can still go another 100 miles!
525830
 

bglenden

Member
I really like my 6.5' bed with supercab (i.e., suicide doors). If I needed a regular crew cab (it's usually just 2 of us in the truck) it would be a close call - I wouldn't want to be any longer on the trails, but I'd hate to give up the bed length.
 
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