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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Dually VS SRW....I was in Horror Driving my SRW Truck

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TC John

Chihcago

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Posted: 03/29/09 08:35am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last year ( Summer) I purchased what is known as a light weight hard side. The camper weighed in at about 4500 pounds ready to go.
I loaded that on my 45k investment long bed 8 ft NEW GMC 2500HD.....I bought new tires with a 3750 E rating ( I did not need the 19.5 tires for sure and am glad I did not purchase them)......put on some air bags and went to the scale.

As you probably can guess the camper and truck more than exceeded the GM and GVW camper &truck weight recomendations. I did not however exceed the tire weight limits nor the axle loads.

So I thought I am good to go...wrong

I always defended the the SRW trucks and since I just spent 45 on a new truck I had to validate that expense.

I took a 3000 mile trip as planned and guess what......I had never ever had driven a truck with a camper on the back... it felt very uncomfortable the entire trip.

I never liked the feeling of all that weight on just two tires. I had my family in the truck and was nervous the entire trip during the drive.

To say I was paranoid the entire driving portion......like what if I have to swerve to avoid something..or I get a blow out etc. I dont feel I would stand a chance being so top heavy.

I made my mind up dring the trip to sell the truck when I got back home if I was going to continue to partcipate in Truck camping....

I was willing to take the loss..which I did to the tune of about 15k!

I bought a used 3500 Diesel Chevy crew cab long bed. You can buy these for around 23k these days.

I could not wait to get the TC on my new used truck.....This time I made my own tie downs instead of purchasing them from the two that offer them...

The dealer tied to my bumper on the rear tie downs and that was stupid on his part. I was shocked as he drilled into my new bumper and said that was good enough...The bumper ended up flexing and got bent during the trip. This guy has been in the business a long time and I felt he was in a hurry thats why he used the bumper...big mistake especially if you had an accident.

The turck camper is on the dually and off I went for a short drive.....I was in shock how much difference the extra two tires made for the stability. The tires give me about 10,000 pounds in the rear and the wide track made a huge difference. I dont need the air bags either as they also were a pain to dal with. One was always leaking even after having it checked for leaks several times.

The air bags are another thing I dont have to worry about. It sits level on the overloads and rides and drives perfect. To say nothing about the nw gas milage I am hoping to get along with the new found power the diesel is great!

To sum it all up if you had a hard size of any size........do yourself a favor and buy the dual wheel truck....one accident is worth it......not to say the comfort level I just recieved and piece of mind..

I was quick to defend the SRW trucks without enough experiance and knowledge....to say I WAS WRONG..was an understatement...

All told this error in my judgement cost me about 20k...yep I was wrong...

If I can change just one persons mind this post will be worth it..by the dually...

jmtandem

western nevada

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Posted: 03/29/09 08:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Welcome to the dually side. It only took me one trip and I saw the difference, so evident.


'05 Dodge Cummins 4x4 dually 3500 white quadcab auto long bed.

PapPappy

Wilmington, NC

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Posted: 03/29/09 08:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the advice...and the "Lesson Learned"...sorry you had to take such a financial hit, but it'll be worth it to you!

Thanks again


Bill & Claudia / DD Jenn / DS Chris / GS MJ
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ken white

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Posted: 03/29/09 09:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My story is similar and I can't wait to see how much better driving will be.

[emoticon]


2014 RAM C&C 3500, 4x4, Club Cab, Hauler Bed, DRW, Aisin, 3.73's, etc...

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spkncarl

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Posted: 03/29/09 09:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good for you! A wise man indeed!!![emoticon]

It's funny with all the dually advice here, there's still some that buck the system. That's what I tell my son when he tries to make things harder...quit swimming up stream...[emoticon]

Americamper

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Posted: 03/29/09 09:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have never heard of a "light weight hard side " that weighs 4500# . Mine weighs 2200# and I'm sure there are lighter ones. I have gone on several long trips so far with no problems to speak of and I currently have no suspension mods.


2000 F250 Superduty 7.3 SB SRW, E rated Michelins, Torklifts, fastguns,2004 Northstar Laredo, , Ducati Hypermotard 1100, KTM 250XC

PR Connection

Powell River BC

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Posted: 03/29/09 09:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I made the switch it was litteraly night and day difference

DAn


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middlecalf

Sweet, ID

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Posted: 03/29/09 09:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TC John wrote:

Last year ( Summer) I purchased what is known as a light weight hard side. The camper weighed in at about 4500 pounds ready to go.

The air bags are another thing I dont have to worry about. It sits level on the overloads and rides and drives perfect.


I would not say this was a "light" anything (4500 lbs), regardless of the truck you're putting it on. And the dually doesn't have anything to do with the level of the ride, it's the suspension (including the overloads you mention).

jimh425

Western MT

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Posted: 03/29/09 10:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm glad you like your dually, it has to be worth something to put up with an ugly truck with hips that's harder to drive when the camper isn't on it. [emoticon]

Seriously though, 4500 lbs on a Chevey 2500 is way off course. BTW, 4500 on a Chevy Crew Cab 3500 diesel doesn't leave a big margin of safety.

It sounds like you didn't quite understand the concepts. Happy Jacs are not the best tiedown system for heavy campers or even close for a heavy camper. Ford's have the most capacity, 19.5s do help a lot (night and day as you say it), and you have a really heavy camper. SRWs aren't for everyone, but duallys aren't either.

BTW, if you have a blowout on the front, you aren't exactly safe with a dually either. I'll put my SRW with 19.5s up front against your DRW with E rated tires any day. 19.5s on my truck are for the extra margin of safety, and are not installed because I'm over capacity.


'10 Ford F-450, 6.4, 4.30, 4x4, 14,500 GVWR, '06 Host Rainer 950 Dbl Slide, Torklift Talon tiedowns, Glow Steps, and Fastguns. Bilstein 4600s, Firestone Air Bags, Hankook DH-01 225/19.5 Fs, Curt front hitch, Energy Suspension bump stops.


capterik

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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Posted: 03/29/09 11:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

4500 is HEAVY. It makes a big difference on how the airbags are filled as to how it makes the truck ride, takes some experimenting, since there is no set rule. Being someone that has switched from SRW to DRW I am not sorry with my switch. I was never concerned with the ride on my ford, I had done the upgrades and it always felt and was safe. i decided to switch when I saw how much weight I was carrying and I felt that it would wear the truck out a lot quicker. The fact that you can pick up great duellies now for such low prices makes it that much easier and now I have a dedicated vehicle that doesn't even feel the camper. I would recomend the switch to anyone, but do not hesitate to say that a well set up SRW can do the job just as well. Do what makes you comfortable, becouse if you aren't you will not enjoy the experience as much.


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