Short Bed versus Long Bed Trucks for Towing 5ers

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GaryB

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I'm not sure whether this is the correct forum category for a question on trucks....

I'm planning to buy 2WD extended cab truck at the time I buy a 5er.? I've read that long beds have many advantages (no need for slider hitch, extra space for hauling generator/bicycle, larger fuel tank, better stability due to longer wheelbase).? From my viewpoint, the major disadvantage is the extra length itself since it would seem to make it more difficult to negotiate turns.? Long bed/long cab trucks are close to 22 ft long.? I'm looking at 5ers in the ballpark of 32 feet.? Adding those and subtracting 3 feet for overhang results in a combined length of 51 feet.? Wow!? I've never even driven a large pickup truck before, much less negotiating turns with something 51 feet long.? How difficult is it to manuever something that long (i.e., making turns around corners, backing up and turning, etc.).? Is it easy to get accustomed to?? Would a short bed truck be alot more wothwhile for those reasons (even though I'd have to give up the advantages of a long bed)?
?
Thanks
Gary
 

OldSoldier

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If you are in the market for BOTH a 5'er AND and new tow vehicle (TV) then you haven't made any of the common mistakes yet, and hopefully being here will help you avoid many of the pitfalls that are possible.

If you are looking at a 32+ foot trailer then you must be very careful how you select your TV.  There are several VERY knowledgeable people on this forum that can help you.

I also suggest that you do some searches for what you are looking for.  There is already a great deal of good info here.

Best of luck.  :)
 

Carl L

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Adding those and subtracting 3 feet for overhang of 5er into the truck bed results in a combined length of 51 feet.  Wow!  I've never even driven a large truck before, much less negotiating turns with something 51 feet long.  How difficult is it to manuever something that long (i.e., making turns around corners, backing up and turning, etc.).  Is it easy to get accustomed to?  Would a short bed truck be much easier to manuever?  Maybe I'm just paranoid since I've never driven anything remotely that long.

Relax, it bends in the middle.  The main thing you have to watch out for is the tendency of a 5er to act like a semitrailer and cut inside the track of the tow vehicle on turns.  That is way you see those "wide turns" signs on the backside of semitrailers.  Take'm wide and you will be ok.

One other question, is there much of a difference in mpg between a V8 and V10 engine WHEN TOWING, or between a 3.73 and 4.1 axle ratio?  I know bigger engines and higher axle ratios  get worse mpg when NOT towing.  But when towing, one would think the mpg difference may not be so great since the smaller engine would have to work harder, thereby offsetting the fact that it's a smaller engine.  Is that true?

Wrong question.  The right question is what tow rating in a truck do you need to haul the trailer you intend to buy.  Pick out the trailer of your dreams, come on back and let's talk about the truck you need to tow it where you are going to tow it.  You cannot talk about mileage issues until you know that.  In any case, you are not going to be getting a small engine to haul a 32 footer -- at least I hope you are not.  In towing, nothing replaces cubic inches/liters.
 

GaryB

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Carl Lundquist said:
Wrong question.? The right question is what tow rating in a truck do you need to haul the trailer you intend to buy.?

Carl - Thanks.  I was just wondering whether engine size, axle ratio and 5er weight make a larger or smaller difference (in mpg while towing) than does highway speed and aerodynamic drag.  Of course, I plan to properly size my truck to the 5er.  I've learned that much by all my research and questions here over the last month  ;).  But I still can't help wondering about those mpg issues based on the above factors. 

Don't worry - I'll be back for a final sanity check before I actually buy something  ;)
 

Carl L

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  I was just wondering whether engine size, axle ratio and 5er weight make a larger or smaller difference (in mpg while towing) than does highway speed and aerodynamic drag.

Yes.

Drag is highly variable.  Almost zero at 20mph, horrific at 75.    Generally speaking, your mileage will go into the toilet geometrically above 55 mph. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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GaryB,
In general, the larger engine and higher axle ratio will yield superior towing performance with no cost in mpg when towing. In fact, in some cases the big engine will get better mileage than the smaller one when towing.  The large engine will be doing what it was designed to do, delivering large amounts of power without breaking into a sweat and its fuel consumption will show that.

Yes, it's easy for most folks to get used to driving a rig that is 50+ feet long.  There are only a few times when you need even be aware of that length and the only real danger is forgetting about it when one of those occasions does arise.

The primary drawback of the longbed is that extra 18 inches when you have to park in a crowded supermarket or restaurant lot. But you will get used to dealing woith that too.  However, you can tow with a short bed and it is not the disaster that some folks would have you believe. Personally I would not even bother with a sliding hitch. But I also think the extra room in the bed is worth the hassle of the larger truck.
 

joelmyer

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Carl Lundquist said:
Yes.

Drag is highly variable.  Almost zero at 20mph, horrific at 75.    Generally speaking, your mileage will go into the toilet geometrically above 55 mph. 

Carl,

I know that is what the math says.  I tend to use cruise control and set it for 1800 rpm or 61.8 mph.  Camille doesn't use cruise control and tends to run at 65-70.  No obserable diference in milage.

Haven't kept it below 55 since we got it broken in.  Maybe I ought to try that someday.

Joel
 

Carl L

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Haven't kept it below 55 since we got it broken in.  Maybe I ought to try that someday.

Haven't driven in Califorina much have you?  The maximum speed limit for towing vehicles is 55 mph on all roads.  Because a trailer is an easy target for cops and radar guns, I drive that max myself.
 

Jim Dick

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joelmyer said:
Carl,

I know that is what the math says.  I tend to use cruise control and set it for 1800 rpm or 61.8 mph.  Camille doesn't use cruise control and tends to run at 65-70.  No obserable diference in milage.

Haven't kept it below 55 since we got it broken in.  Maybe I ought to try that someday.

Joel

Joel,

Anywhere but CA you will be impeding traffic at 55!!! ;D ;D ;D
 

GaryB

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Thanks RVRoamer!

Just the type of info I was looking for!  Nice to hear that if I decide not to use my TV as my daily driver, I can get a bigger engine/axle without sacrificing mpg as compared to a smaller engine/axle.

Gary
 

GaryB

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By the way, if I get a short bed instead of long bed, where could I ever put a generator if I decided to get one later?  Is there a place in the 5er itself where generators are often placed?

Thanks
Gary
 

Jim Dick

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Gary,

There usually is a lot of storage in front of the 5er where you could place the generator for travel. All you would have to do is take it out and hook it up to your power cord. Not a big deal with the newer, quieter models such as the Honda.
 

GaryB

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Jim - do you mean to take the generator out of the basement area of the 5er to use it?  I hear generators can run over 150 lbs.  Would I have to lift it entirely out of the basement?  If so, that may be reason enough to opt for a long bed truck.  Will a generator fit into the bed of a long bed truck (as opposed to short bed)?

Thanks
Gary
 

Jim Dick

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GaryB said:
Jim - do you mean to take the generator out of the basement area of the 5er to use it?  I hear generators can run over 150 lbs.  Would I have to lift it entirely out of the basement?  If so, that may be reason enough to opt for a long bed truck.  Will a generator fit into the bed of a long bed truck (as opposed to short bed)?

Thanks
Gary

Gary,

Take a look at the Honda generators. They start around 29lbs and go up from there. You will need to decide what you want for power. I'd say you would want the full 30amps so you can run everything but you could get a smaller unit to charge the batteries and run less at a time. They aren't cheap but they are very quiet and efficient. I don't remember the model but one of them can tie two together for the 30 amps. That would be quite expensive, though.
 

Dave R

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Many of today's 5ers have provisions for the generator to be permanently mounted in the generator bay. We gave a 30 ft Cameo by Carriage and
it is prewired for a generator and the compartment is sealed to accommodate it.

On milage, We used to tow between 60 and 65. Since the price of fuel has gone up so much we no tow between 55 and 60 and we have gotten allmost
a 20 percent increase in fuel milage

Dave
 

rubysamm

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Rhode Island
I'm setting up for a fifth wheel in the future, Just purchased a 2500 Chevy with a short bed.  I still have my Class C, not ready to switch over to the fifth wheel yet, But needed to replace my everyday vehicle anyway and the pickup was one of those can't beat deals! Still waying pros and cons of Motorhome or TravelTrailer.  In doing research I found Glendale has the answer to the short bed concern,  I wonder why more manufacturers don't take that into consideration and redesign accordingly.
 

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joelmyer

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GaryB said:
By the way, if I get a short bed instead of long bed, where could I ever put a generator if I decided to get one later?  Is there a place in the 5er itself where generators are often placed?

Thanks
Gary

Gary,

Very good point.

I have a short bed, and therefore a SuperGlide hitch (big!) so I don't bash the truck with the trailer, plus a tool box.  There isn't room in the truck bed for a generator.  I have the Yahanni 1000i (essentially identical to the Hondo 1000i except it's blue and doesn't say Honda) that weighs 29 pounds and fits in the toolbox.  No room in my 27 1/2 foot trailer.

DaveR has a long bed, little tiny hitch, no tool box and lots of room in the bed plus room in his 31 footer.

You pays your money and makes your choice!

Joel
 

chas.watson

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Jul 18, 2006
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I tow a 24' Aljo Lite 5'er with a Toyota Tundra Limited V8, Access cab (short bed).? This rig is is just? short of the Truck's gross combined weight limit, and tows comfortably at 55-60 mph.? I have a manual sliding hitch, but it's a pain to use, so I don't bother with the sliding feature.? But I do have to be careful to not crunch the rear of the cab when backing up.? Forward turning has not been a problem.?

I have a tool box, plus I carry a 600 watt portable generator, cable locked to the hitch in the truck bed. Good enough for battery charging when dry camping, but won't even run the microwave, let alone the A/C.

I like the Tundra because it is my everyday vehicle and is a little smaller and easier to park than a typical 1/2 ton.? My towing mileage is 8-10 mpg and by installing performance headers and exhaust I have increased low end torqe by about 10%, and it handles mountain passes fairly well.

If I ever decide to go to a bigger trailer, I will definitely need a bigger truck, like a Ford 250 or Chev 2500.? Hope this information is usefull.
 
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