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Towing with a long bed crew cab


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A cursory search found no posts related to towing with a long bed crew cab, so here's my question:

We currently own a 2013 F-350 Super Duty (diesel) 4wd long bed crew cab that we purchased as a work truck for our ranch and to tow a 30' 5th-wheel.  Since then we traded the trailer for a B+ class motorhome, but kept the F-350 as we needed it for hauling hay, equipment and towing a large utility trailer.  It has been a great pickup; no mechanical issues whatsoever and gets great MPG - 15-20 mpg highway and 12 mpg towing the 5th-wheel. The pickup has relatively low miles at 50,000 and is fully depreciated as a farm expense.

We hate to trade a perfectly good pickup for a new, smaller one, mainly because we know ours works and it has fewer electronic/computer controlled components, (although what can a person do on today's engines, aside from changing the oil and adding fluids?), than a newer model.  That being said, a 1-ton Super Duty is a definitely a bit of overkill for towing a 7,000# trailer.  We might still have an occasional need to tow a substantial load with our utility trailer, but two of our sons have pickups that we can use (payback for the times they have borrowed ours).  My thought is that a smaller tow vehicle might be in our future for towing the Elite II we have ordered, but we don't want an additional vehicle to maintain and insure (one of the reasons we are getting rid of the MH).  

We do still want the crew cab for the extra passenger capacity and inside storage, and 4wd is essential.  The engine type/size is negotiable.  I welcome comments from anyone who has towed an Elite II with something this size.  Do you find the length prohibitive?  (My husband is a retired milk truck driver, so towing and maneuvering any length is a piece of cake). To those who have towed with smaller pickups, would we gain much in fuel economy by trading down to say a 3/4-ton?

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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If you are OK with the ride, then keep the old truck, try it for six months and then decide. I personally find older one ton trucks to be far too punishing over long distances. However the latest Ram 2500 trucks with either coil or air suspension ride astonishingly well. I haven’t driven any of the very newest HD trucks from other brands. The new Ford 7.3 commercial gas engine looks very interesting, with diesel-like torque and super easy maintenance, but with none of the other many disadvantages of an emissions equipped diesel.

My suspicion is that if you were to test drive a recent HD truck, you would sell that older SD in a heartbeat. So don’t do that, unless you are prepared buy. You would probably be happier with a short bed, just in terms of reducing the sheer length of the rig, but I don’t think losing 18” should be a deciding factor.

In terms of better fuel economy, you wouldn’t see any improvement by downsizing, all other things being equal, since most HD trucks are identical other than spring rates, and maybe gearing. For example, the only difference between a 2006 Ram 2500 and a 3500 was the extra overload spring in back, standard clearance lights, and badging, everything else was identical. The only way you will see a significant fuel savings is by going to a 1500, and that savings will only be for non-towing situations. Generally the towing mileage will be a little worse because the smaller engine has to be driven a lot harder.

My wife and I used to enjoy just going out and test driving new vehicles, unfortunately that led to a few less than prudent purchases. We don’t do it any more. At least, not very often..... I drove a new Power Wagon a few months ago and was pretty excited, but not enough to buy.

My advice is just wait, try towing, and decide later. In the mean time, if you don’t already know this, watch a bunch of The Fast Lane videos, especially their tow tests. They are very educational. ....l The Fast Lane channel

 

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Susan,

We tow with an F150, but find that when our trailer is fully loaded (water, food, gear) that we're right at the limits of the F150 Payload.
So I'm planning to move up to a Super Duty in the future.  I like John's idea to give it a go for a while.

In my case, if I trade in my F150, it will likely be for the F350 short bed.  We tried the long bed and it's just a bit much to also use as a daily driver and parking on our side parking pad.

Also...if you want to see some of the various high quality electrical adapters, cables and such, check out our list on the Oliver Trailer Outfitters page on Amazon. 

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2019 Elite II (Hull 505 - Galway Girl - August 7, 2019 Delivery) 
Tow Vehicle: 2018 F150 EcoBoost, King Ranch, FX4, MaxTow Package, 10 Speed, 3.55 Rear Axle
GVWR 7,000#, Payload Sticker 1557#, Truck GCWR=18,100# ,Tow capacity: 12,200#

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We tow a E ll with a Ram 3500 crew cab long bed SRW Cummins. Overall length right at 45’. Usually run 14 -16 mph with little effort. Would be hard to give up the storage and the long bed. Have been able to get around everywhere we have go with no issues. I think it actually rides better with the long wheelbase. Try your SD for a while and then decide. 

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5 hours ago, John E Davies said:

If you are OK with the ride, then keep the old truck, try it for six months and then decide. I personally find older one ton trucks to be far too punishing over long distances. However the latest Ram 2500 trucks with either coil or air suspension ride astonishingly well. I haven’t driven any of the very newest HD trucks from other brands. The new Ford 7.3 commercial gas engine looks very interesting, with diesel-like torque and super easy maintenance, but with none of the other many disadvantages of an emissions equipped diesel.

My suspicion is that if you were to test drive a recent HD truck, you would sell that older SD in a heartbeat. So don’t do that, unless you are prepared buy. You would probably be happier with a short bed, just in terms of reducing the sheer length of the rig, but I don’t think losing 18” should be a deciding factor.

In terms of better fuel economy, you wouldn’t see any improvement by downsizing, all other things being equal, since most HD trucks are identical other than spring rates, and maybe gearing. For example, the only difference between a 2006 Ram 2500 and a 3500 was the extra overload spring in back, standard clearance lights, and badging, everything else was identical. The only way you will see a significant fuel savings is by going to a 1500, and that savings will only be for non-towing situations. Generally the towing mileage will be a little worse because the smaller engine has to be driven a lot harder.

My wife and I used to enjoy just going out and test driving new vehicles, unfortunately that led to a few less than prudent purchases. We don’t do it any more. At least, not very often..... I drove a new Power Wagon a few months ago and was pretty excited, but not enough to buy.

My advice is just wait, try towing, and decide later. In the mean time, if you don’t already know this, watch a bunch of The Fast Lane videos, especially their tow tests. They are very educational. ....l The Fast Lane channel

 

John Davies

Spokane WA

Good advice . . . . . fuel economy is big so best to stay with the tried and true, for now.  Yes, I'm sure a 3/4 ton would be more comfortable on long trips.

Another consideration: our pickup is already broken in - ie: scratches, etc.  It would be hard to take a new, shiny pickup some of the places we like to explore 😀

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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22 minutes ago, Steve Phillips said:

We tow a E ll with a Ram 3500 crew cab long bed SRW Cummins. Overall length right at 45’. Usually run 14 -16 mph with little effort. Would be hard to give up the storage and the long bed. Have been able to get around everywhere we have go with no issues. I think it actually rides better with the long wheelbase. Try your SD for a while and then decide. 

Thanks for the encouragement.  Your mileage is a bit better than what we experienced towing the 5th-wheel, but then its GVW was 10,000# plus 

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, ctshort09 said:

Susan,

We tow with an F150, but find that when our trailer is fully loaded (water, food, gear) that we're right at the limits of the F150 Payload.
So I'm planning to move up to a Super Duty in the future.  I like John's idea to give it a go for a while.

In my case, if I trade in my F150, it will likely be for the F350 short bed.  We tried the long bed and it's just a bit much to also use as a daily driver and parking on our side parking pad.

Also...if you want to see some of the various high quality electrical adapters, cables and such, check out our list on the Oliver Trailer Outfitters page on Amazon. 

Great info . . . . . appreciate your input.  We already have many of the items on the Oliver Trailer Outfitters page 😖

Edited by Susan Huff

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; taking delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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We test drove, rented, and tried just about everything under the sun.  

 

A few observations:

  • Outside newer rams where there is an actual difference in rear suspension (leaf vs coil) there is little difference between 3/4 and 1 ton offerings in ride.
  • Payload with a diesel  3/4 ton (except new GM 2500s) really makes upgrading to 1 ton trucks worth it.
  • Swapping shocks will make even your old F350 ride better than just about any new truck
  • In a year or two Ford will have the 2021 F150 advances on the SD.  With a capable vehicle I'd hold out for that before buying anything on the market.  Or at least see what the 2021 F150 offers.  If there were a heavy duty payload package F150 with all the safety features (and maybe adaptive cruise and lane centering) that'd be on my short list.
  • Ecoboost and Diesels are less fatiguing than listening to a V8 drone going up a a pass, whether it's a 7.3L Godzilla or a 6.2/6.6L/5.0L. 

Having towed with a 18'5" SUV and a 20'10" HD Truck a few observations:

  • Bigger fuel tank, and better mileage from the HD diesel makes long trips easier
  • Parking into a tight spot is definitely harder as not only is the truck 2'5" longer, but it doesn't have the turning radius to maneuver the trailer as quickly.
  • I would still have gone with an 8' bed if Washington State ferries didn't get silly when you break 22' - as such we went with the shorter 6'9" bed.  When towing the Ollie it wouldn't make a difference as it's the 40-50' bucket then.
  • Our height is more of a limit to non-ollie parking than our length when we head into the cities as some garages are just a little too short.  Sea-Tac's airport parking at 7' is plenty for us though.
  • There's no such thing as overkill.
Edited by WhatDa
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2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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Gosh, so much good information. There is a trend developing - Glad everyone has the opportunity to test and explore. 

10 hours ago, WhatDa said:

We test drove, rented, and tried just about everything under the sun.  

................:  There's no such thing as overkill.

But it does come with a steep price tag. But then, if you can afford a  fully optioned Oliver, what's a dollar or two more....

Have fun out there.

RB

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

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