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Old 09-16-2005, 05:37 PM   #1
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I am in the process of deciding what kind of truck to purchase since we are anticipating graduating up from ground camping to the luxury of a new travel trailer or 5th wheel. I am trying my best figure out all the pro's and con's (is that possible?) in deciding on a short or long bed truck. I will not be driving this daily, but very frequently. I am under the impression that a long bed will be a better choice to pull a 5th wheel. Am I being led down the wrong path? As far as a tow vehicle I am looking at the 350 Ford or 3500 Chevy diesels with auto trany.
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Old 09-16-2005, 05:37 PM   #2
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I am in the process of deciding what kind of truck to purchase since we are anticipating graduating up from ground camping to the luxury of a new travel trailer or 5th wheel. I am trying my best figure out all the pro's and con's (is that possible?) in deciding on a short or long bed truck. I will not be driving this daily, but very frequently. I am under the impression that a long bed will be a better choice to pull a 5th wheel. Am I being led down the wrong path? As far as a tow vehicle I am looking at the 350 Ford or 3500 Chevy diesels with auto trany.
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Old 09-16-2005, 06:30 PM   #3
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Al long bed truck is best for a 5th wheel as you do not need a special hitch. I have one and would buy another. The problem is that my truck is 22 feet long which makes parallel parking nearly impossible. If you buy one you will have to park and walk to get to the store. It is not a problem.
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Old 09-16-2005, 09:56 PM   #4
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Thank you for the info. Though I have just recently joined I have followed and learned quite a lot since I found this web site a bit over a year ago.

A quick follow-up question: If I chose a short bed I would obviously have to use a slider hitch. I have seen manual and automatic sliders advertised. How much of a hassle are slide hitches and does anyone have experience with the automatic? Is there any great advantage over the manual?
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Old 09-17-2005, 01:42 AM   #5
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ScottyP

Welcome to iRV2 !

and congrats on your decision to get a trailer. You will certainly have a lot of fun with it.!

Is there any great advantage to the automatic slider hitch over the manual slider? Well ... they certainly are more convenient. I have had a manual slider hitch though for 5 years. It is very easy to use, a one man job, but it still does require that you get out of the truck and set the hitch upon need. The upside is that it is very easy to do and in all actuality I only choose to set it once or twice every trip i take. Notice i said choose and not need. There is also a big cost diferential betwen the two. Also, removing the manual hitch from the back of the bed after we arrive back home is a one man job, albeit a heavy job, but still a one man job.

I have had short beds my last two trucks. I will get a long bed the next. The extra 18 inches in my opinion is inconsequential in around town driving and is very handy. I have alwasy preferred the short beds and have owned many trucks, but i am now moving to the longbed.

The one option I didn't see you mention was the dually. Carefully consider what kind of trailer you will want and how heavy it might be. Do you have lots of kids and accordingly will want a long trailer?? You might just want a dually. With that you are probably going to get a long bed anyway. Again, over the years i have needed a SRW (single rear wheel) truck, because of offroading preferences, but i am now also deciding to go dually with next tow vehicle.

And you mention the Ford F350 or Chevy 3500. If that is your decision process so far, i would also include the Dodge in that look-see as well. All three are robust haulers. I would be very happy to own either one. I have personally owned Fords myself. (Some of the guys here have a lot of fun posting pics of me underneath my Ford fixing it on the side of the road at a campsite. They are just my friends having a little fun at my expense and will live to regret the day they thought to do that horrible thing to me. )

Also the diesel makes a very robust hauler. It cost prox $4000 more the the gasser. That buys a LOT of gas or diesel. I believe it is well worth it. But that goes back to the question of weight. If you are towing a trailer heavy enough to want a diesel, maybe you are also going to want a dually, and that predominantly comes with long-beds.
You really have to think it thru. Again, i needed/wanted a diesel shortbed SRW so the options do exist for different needs.

How long of a trailer will you want? Camp out in the desert primarily or are you going to try and get into the shorter spots of County RV Parks? The desert is more forgiving and you can get a SB (shortbed) without a slider; the County Parks would just about require a slider with a SB, or at least make that LB an attractive option. By the way .... not all SB drivers use a slider hitch. They are NOT necessary by any means. I personally wouldn't try and save $500 and not get one, but some guys don't. The cost of the auto one is exorbinant in my mind but some guys LOVE them. If i towed my trailer an awful lot thru the city streets, i would consider one maybe.

A thought you are also going to want to keep in your head is weights. It is going to be easy for you to start considering some of those gorgeous trailers out there on the sales-lot, and some of them will be HEAVY HEAVY. The one-ton trucks (F350, 3500,..) can indeed tow a lot, but you can also get too heavy for them very quickly. Have some fun looking, and stay in touch with us here as your choices and wishes evolve. There are many many years of experience here.
Get ready for some great times!!!
Mike
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Old 09-17-2005, 04:52 PM   #6
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The sliding hitches aren't hard to use, you just have to USE them.
I've got a dent in my rear cab column when my navigator failed to watch the directions and we had to turn the rig'round.
We want the dual cab, but w/a LWB its just way too long for me. I drive mine daily, the dual, LWB is an ark.JMMO
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Old 09-17-2005, 06:15 PM   #7
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You will almost never hear a LWB owner say that they wish they had a SWB truck. With the Dodge Quad Cab, the total length a LWB truck isn't as bad as a Chev or Ford crew cab, and the turning radius is pretty good.
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Old 09-19-2005, 06:12 PM   #8
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For a true tow vehical, a long bed is the only choice!! Longer wheel base, larger fuel tank, more room in the bed for firewood and camp tools ect...

It is still a personal choice but for me a long bed is the only choice.

Happy camping.
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Old 09-19-2005, 09:04 PM   #9
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From the information the Chevy and Ford dealers gave me the specs are in favor of the Ford for GVWR and GCWR for comparably equiped trucks. The Ford I am considering ('06, 350 super duty diesel, SRW) has: GVWR 11,500 lbs and GCWR 23,500 lbs. Chevy: GVWR 9,900 lbs and GCWR 22,000 lbs. If I make the assumption (that's a dangerous word) of a loaded tow vehicle weight of 8000 lbs, that would leave me with a TT/5th wheel of CVWR or 13,500 lbs and a Cargo capacity or 3,500 lbs. Am I barking up the wrong tree or is my reasoning sound? I have decided on the SRW. I won't be towing full time and it makes more sense right now for us to stick with the SRW.
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Old 09-20-2005, 09:38 AM   #10
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My '99 F350 Crew Cab dually with me and a full tank of diesel weighs in about 7,600 lbs. So I would think 8,000 lbs for a loaded SRW would be safe to use. I drive mine daily and really have not regreted having a long bed. I have second quessed myself on the duallies a couple times though. Your thought process is correct but your math is a little off. GCVWR 23,500 less curb weight 8,000 would be 15,500 not 13,500. Most people here will recommend 80% of that to be on the safe side. As long as you stay within the ratings, you should be happy with eihter Ford or Chevy. Personnally I would take a look at Dodge as well.
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Old 09-20-2005, 11:18 AM   #11
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about five years ago I went thru then same question. at that time the difference in proce between a SB or LB was about $ 400. The SuperSlider hitch was $ 3000. The made my decision alot easier.
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Old 09-21-2005, 01:13 PM   #12
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I had two SWB and now have a LWB. First SWB did not have slider hitch. Replaced back glass. Second SWB had a SuperGlide.

I wouldn't go back to a SWB. Just my personal preference. Ride is much better towing 5'er with LWB too.
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Old 09-21-2005, 10:04 PM   #13
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I bought the F350 6.0L SD diesel, crew cab, long bed, SRW. It has all the tow command system, 12.5k receiver, 11,500 GVWR package and camper package (rear stabalizer bar).

Thank you to everyone for the great insight from all your experience. Now to start looking for something to tow......
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Old 09-22-2005, 04:06 AM   #14
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Congratulations on the new truck. You will be very happy with it!
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