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Old 02-26-2015, 07:47 AM   #1
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F350 SRW, DRW or a F450

I am still a year or so away from retirement, but I am planning on doing several 4-6 week trips a year with a fifth wheel after that. Maybe even some snow birding or longer caravan tours. There will only be two of us, plus the dog. I will be 56.

I have been looking at the Keystone Montana/Mountaineer, etc. That class of RV anyway. Probably ~35 or so, but buying used I will not have as many choices. I will likely buy used a 2009+ model and will be able to make offers and wait for a deal.

I have a truck, a 2003 F350 7.3 PSD SRW Crew Cab with a 6 box. It only has ~95,000 miles and I have owned it since new. No real problems, other than maintenance so far. I plow with it, so there have been the usual brakes, ball joints, etc. It does not have a fifth wheel hitch on it. I do not want to put a $1,000 fifth wheel hitch on a 14+ year old truck (in 2017)

I will also likely be buying a new (to me) truck, 95% chance a Ford F350 crew cab, Lariat 4x4, 11,400 GVWR package. I will buy the truck first in late 2016 or early 2017, as I will need to use it to drive the trailer home. I do not want to have a trailer than I cannot use.

I will be buying a diesel, as that is the way to go with trailering (or plowing). A crew cab will decrease the payload a bit, but the interior space is worth it.

I have never driven a DRW, and have no problem with it other than the cost of ownership. My own F350 truck is no compact model either. With an F450 there is extra fuel, tires, registration costs, etc. Their may also be some road restrictions with a F450, as far as GVW limits.

Also, I also assume that is I have a choice, go with an 8' bed for towing a 5th wheel. I know about sliding hitches, but I think it is better off to just avoid the chance to crush my cab in the first place.

Here is my question; it is basically a DRW vs SRW question, except I do not know any weights or capacities at this time.

If I am going to do a dual wheel, should I then go with a F450 and have plenty of capacity for anything the RV world can create? Or stick with a F350 SRW and assume that most used trailers in that class will be close to capacity of the truck but would not cause issues. Or go in-between and get a F350 DRW, even though I may not actually need it.

Any thoughts?
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:32 AM   #2
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Why????

Why just limit yourself to the ford truck?

I would look at all three of the diesel truck manufactures, leaning to the Ram 6.7L Cummins (medium duty truck engine) and the 6 Sped Aisin transmission ( medium duty truck transmission).

You will be surprised on the quality and ride of the 2013.5 Rams and up trucks.

Jim W.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:37 AM   #3
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I have always had Fords, but am open to others. Ideally, Honda would make a 1-ton...

I just do not want to buy a truck, and then find a great deal on a used trailer and not be able to pull it safely. Or wish I had bought a larger truck. Or wish I had bought a smaller one.

It's jut trying to clarify my future truck decision.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:46 AM   #4
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The 3500HD Reg Cab 8'ft bed 4X2 DRW truck has the highest payload and tow rating in the 1 ton class. This truck meets the SAE J2807 towing standards.

This truck is rated to tow a 29,970 LB trailer maxium with a payload of 6,540 LBS.

Good enough for you?

Jim W.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:47 AM   #5
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BTW: Here is a link to the Ram Body Builder's guide for towing.

http://www.rambodybuilder.com/iph/ip...ammlup3500.pdf
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricinMN View Post
If I am going to do a dual wheel, should I then go with a F450 and have plenty of capacity for anything the RV world can create? Or stick with a F350 SRW and assume that most used trailers in that class will be close to capacity of the truck but would not cause issues. Or go in-between and get a F350 DRW, even though I may not actually need it.
Assuming a late-model truck, the F-350 SRW will probably be overloaded towing a 35' Montana or similar 5er.

So for that much trailer, you want a minimum of an F-350 DRW.

Beginning in 2015 model year, there is again a big difference between the F-450 and the F-350 DRW. The cab and interior are identical, but the chassis on the F-450 is more robust. The F-450 has bigger brakes, wheels, tires and rear axle. The F-450 comes only in CrewCab 4x4 diesel, and it weighs 469 pounds more than the F-350 DRW 4x4 CrewCab diesel.

But GVWR is probably the limiter as to how heavy a 5er you can tow, and the F-450 and F-350 DRW have the same 14,000 pound GVWR. So an F-350 DRW can actually tow a heavier trailer than the F-450 because the F-450 is heavier.

The F-450 has 5,000 pounds more GCWR, but it cannot all be used for towing a 5er because of 5er hitch limitations. If your trailer is a gooseneck LQ race trailer, and your gooseneck hitch is rated for more than 31,200 pounds, then you can use all the GCWR of the F-450. But a Montana is not a gooseneck trailer, so the main advantage of the F-450 dragging a 5er is it can climb steep mountain passes with less drama than the F-350 DRW.

IOW, if the truck you're considering is a 2011 or later model, then the F-350 DRW is all the truck you need for towing any Montana without being overloaded over any of Ford's weight ratings.

For Ford pickups, they no longer make a DRW shorty. So if your truck is an F-350 DRW, it's going to have an 8' long bed.
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:46 AM   #7
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Eric:

I too have a 2003 F250 7.3. When I bought my 2015 model fifth wheel trailer, I limited myself to a 11K lb. mid size trailer with a 2K lb. pin weight. My trailer is a 37' bunkhouse with 4 slders, so we're not suffering by buying lighter.

My truck has a 80 hp econo tune and a 60 hp tow tune--and it's very strong pulling. With 120K miles, my truck has much more life in it and as a Lariat it's still plenty plush and good looking. I did invest in a Curt custom hitch mount and a B&W Patriot hitch. AirRide air bags on the rear eliminate all trailer squat.

If you're buying a new truck to tow a full size fifth wheel trailer, go with a 1 ton dual rear wheel diesel powered truck.

My truck is too good to trade, and we just chose to limit our towing weight. I just wasn't ready to part with $100 cash for a new truck AND trailer.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:04 AM   #8
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Open the hood on all three that should help you decide!
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:23 PM   #9
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For extended travel I would want a DRW no matter what the brand or powertrain.
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:06 PM   #10
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I currently have a DRW Ford F-450 2012. My truck is just a slightly beefed up F-350.

What I notice:

When towing it is really a sweet ride. Stable, plenty of power, and I pass all the SRW trucks that travel in the right lane at 62-65 mph. I also pass most motorhomes. The only better way to go must be tag-axle motorhomes because they pass me. Those guys really motor.

I have not looked but I think the new F-350 DRW truck is better than my 2012 F-450. The new F-450 is way better than my 2012. In 2012 a F-450 cost about 5k more than a F-350.

Now - I agree with those that say to look at all the trucks. The Ram is really a sweet truck and same for the Chevy.

Other info. My truck gets slightly better mpg than my friends 2011 Ram 3500 DRW truck. Oh, either truck is comfortable for long trips. Either can be driven 700 or 800 miles/day with no driver fatigue. I got to drive the Ram 3500 DRW 550miles towing a 40' horse trailer. It was an easy tow. No fatigue or close calls.

I would advise a DRW truck. My DRW truck saved my butt at least one time on a very sharp exit. The larger brakes on the F-450 came in handy as well as the DRW's to keep the truck planted firmly on the sharp curve. (I did not brake while on the curve).

I believe in 2011 all heavy duty trucks were improved so even a used DRW truck could be found to save you a bit of cash.

But if you have the finances then my 1st pick would be that new F-450, followed by the souped up Ram 3500/F-350 tie.

Good luck
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:17 PM   #11
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Are you still planning on plowing with this new truck? I have "heard" that DRW's are not the best for this.

Other than that, if I were you, I would go for the Kentucky made F350 DRW. You get a dang good truck and help out your fellow American's and yourself.
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Old 02-26-2015, 04:43 PM   #12
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Are you still planning on plowing with this new truck? I have "heard" that DRW's are not the best for this.
That is true. No plowing. I am giving that up to go traveling and get out of MN in the winter.

Quote:
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Assuming a late-model truck, the F-350 SRW will probably be overloaded towing a 35' Montana or similar 5er.
That is what I was afraid off. I originally thought any 1-ton diesel pickup would tow any 5er, but after reading these forums I have a better knowledge base regarding towing and capacities. Of course the RV salesmen tell you it's OK.

The big question was SRW or DRW, and if DRW why not a F450? I am definitely leaning towards a diesel DRW 1-ton (Dodge 3500, Chevy 3500 or Ford F350).

Since I do not know the actual trailer I will buy, and I do not want to see a great deal but 1000 lbs over my limit, and have to pass on it. Worse, I get the trailer anyway, and pull over loaded and have a blow out or some other catastrophe.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:23 PM   #13
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The big question was SRW or DRW, and if DRW why not a F450?

Money. For the size you are getting, a 450 just is not necessary. My 350 DRW has a carrying capacity of 6100 lbs. More than enough for the trailer you have in mind.

But if you want a 450, and money is not an issue, then get a 450. It will work fine.
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:25 PM   #14
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One other thought...I was told to buy the trailer 1st...then the truck.

Remember - the best 5ers are heavy.
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