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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Wheelbase question

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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 09/21/20 01:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Short box will tow fine.


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IdaD

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Posted: 09/21/20 08:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our short bed crew cab does fine with a fifth wheel. If anything I'd say the truck wheelbase matters less with a fifth wheel because they can't torque on a truck as much as a TT based on geometry.


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schlep1967

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Posted: 09/21/20 12:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Everybody gets hung up on bed length. If you go with wheel base and think back to the days when every truck didn't have a crew cab, a regular cab and an 8 foot bed has the same wheel base as a crew cab and a short bed. they use the same frame.


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Mickeyfan0805

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Posted: 09/21/20 03:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hornet28 wrote:

Your not long until your nearing the 60 ft mark. I'm just over 50 ft with the 5th wheel but 60 ft with my bumper pull car


Very true. I'm just shy of 57' end to end with our bumper-pull. A FW of the same size would likely cut that total length by a good 5'.

That said, once you are in that range, I'm not sure a 10% variance one way or another makes the difference, and the number of people pulling with shortbeds seems to indicate that it's not a world of difference. I think it likely becomes more an issue of priorities. The long bed will give you room for gear and/or a gear box in your bed, and removes the need for a slider. A short bed is a bit easier as a daily driver and will fit into a smaller garage if need be.

Hemling

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Posted: 09/21/20 07:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

From parking in truck stops, I know I'm a little longer than a 53' semi trailer. Probably about 55-56' or so. That's plenty. I'm concerned with getting the new truck with 20" or more wheelbase than my Excursion and pulling my TT with it for a few years until we get a FW.

Edd505

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Posted: 09/21/20 07:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hornet28 wrote:

Your not long until your nearing the 60 ft mark. I'm just over 50 ft with the 5th wheel but 60 ft with my bumper pull car trailer.
[image]

Short guy, 75 ft with a 53 and 78 with a 57ft:
[image]


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Groover

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Posted: 09/22/20 06:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think that you can sum it as this way:
Either will pull just fine

Long bed advantages:
smoother ride, especially empty
more storage
simpler hitch

Short bed advantages:
more maneuverable, unless the long bed has a wide front like the F450
less parking space required, towing or not towing
about 100 lbs lighter

There might be differences in the fuel tank, depending on the truck.

APT

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Posted: 09/22/20 07:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok, another derailed thread. Wheelbase is not significantly or measurably different for FW. Most people tend to prioritize bed use over wheelbase. Those hitches take up a bunch of space, so how much more do you want for other things both with the hitch or if you remove the hitch? Or if the 18" makes a difference in fitting in a garage.


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LIKE2BUILD

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Posted: 09/22/20 09:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hemling wrote:

Currently I tow a 37' TT with a Ford Excursion. We are looking at going FW within the next 5-6 years....Conventional wisdom states more wheelbase is better with a TT, but is that true for a FW? I'll need to be getting a crew cab, but a CC 8' bed truck towing a long TT is going to be a bit to get used to until we make the switch to FW. Probably going Ford 7.3 gas, F-350 SRW. From those who have towed both (TT and FW), do you ever wish you had more wheelbase with a FW?

I've towed a 34' TT behind a CC, short bed truck and I've towed the same TT behind my CC, long bed truck. Towing behind the short bed was definitely easier but it wasn't like a night and day difference. I've only towed 5th wheels and goosenecks in the long bed so I can't really say how different it might be with a short bed.

I can say my CC, long bed RAM feels like a land yacht. I'm fully comfortable driving it just about anywhere, but you certainly need to plan your turns and watch your sides a little more. As others have said, the difference in wheel base between short or long bed isn't going to change how the truck pulls your 5th wheel. The big difference is going to be hitch systems and available bed space when towing.

One thing is for certain...... GET THE FACTORY 5TH WHEEL PUCK SYSTEM!!!! You will not regret this decision one bit. Hitch installation and removal is a snap with these OEM systems and you have no rails or other hardware sticking up in the bed.

KJ


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Mickeyfan0805

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Posted: 09/22/20 02:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hemling wrote:

From parking in truck stops, I know I'm a little longer than a 53' semi trailer. Probably about 55-56' or so. That's plenty. I'm concerned with getting the new truck with 20" or more wheelbase than my Excursion and pulling my TT with it for a few years until we get a FW.


This is a slightly different question than where you began. Wheelbase (the distance between your axles) can give you a sturdier feel. On the F350, the difference between the two beds is 160" vs 176", or 10%, but I've never heard anyone complain about wheelbase as an issue with the F350. Considerations are usually more based on vehicle storage, room for gear, etc., as has been mentioned above. If I were in the market to tow a fifth wheel, the 16" difference in wheelbase would not be my deciding factor.

That said, this second question is not one of wheelbase, but one of total length. The short bed F30 would increase your current total length by 23", the long bed would increase you by 39". On this, I stand by my earlier comment - in the scheme of things, when discussing a set-up that will be upwards of 60' long, I don't think you are going to notice an extra 16" as a particular difference as you are headed down the road.

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