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Old 02-21-2011, 12:37 PM   #1
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Crew Cab vs. Extended Cab

I would like some input from the group on extended cab vs. crew cab.

I am shopping for a new truck for my soon to be purchased pop-up truck camper. I have pretty much decided on a new Chevrolet 4x4 Duramax 3500 long bed. I need the 8 foot bed as I plan to tow Lucy with this unit.

I have pretty much ruled out a regular cab truck as I will need some storage behind the seat and may like to carry passengers now and again. Of course, I would like a truck as short as possible. The overall length of the the extended cab truck is 249"; the crew cab truck is 259". For the extra 10", I guess I am leaning toward a crew cab. On the other hand, since the extended cab back doors are hinged at the rear, it feels like it has better access to the area than the crew cab does.

I know that many of you out there have each of these configurations. I would sure like to hear the pros and cons of each of these.

Thanx, Brian

SuEllyn & Brian McCabe
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:46 PM   #2
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Brian I owned a 1990 chev extend a cab. It didn't have the reaerward hinged doors and I found that getting into the back either to retrieve items or for passengers was very awkward. Since then I have owned two crew cabs both with long beds. Access into the back seat is much better. The downside is that the truck is very long and I have run in to some difficulty backing some trailers into sites in campgrounds. I have even run into tight spots backing up a 5th wheel.
Can you get by with the short box and is it available on the crew cab? You wouldn't believe what a difference a couple of feet make while backing into tight spots.

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Old 02-21-2011, 01:51 PM   #3
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I currently have a crew cab GMC with the short bed, and my previous truck was an extended cab GMC with the same bed.

I think it's just whatever you want to do. I liked the extended cab because I could manuever it easily. I disliked the extended cab because the rear doors were short, they hinged from the rear, and the back seat was really too small for adults to sit there.

I like the crew cab because of the bigger doors, bigger back seat, and the doors are hinged like real doors. I dislike the crew cab because it is MUCH harder to manuever into parking spaces, and just barely fits in my garage without room to walk around it at the end.

It's one of those things like, "you can't have your cake and eat it too".

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Old 02-21-2011, 01:52 PM   #4
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these cover the issues somewhat.

NOT having a B pillar tween the doors is an issue...

crash data is worse, especially rollovers.

depends on what is going in the back seat and how u plan to use the space.

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

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Old 02-21-2011, 02:06 PM   #5
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Well, Tags, we have similar 25' FB trailers and both carry kayaks. I had a '00 GMC 2500 extended cab 8' bed and liked it fine but the rear door hinges were inconvenient and the back seat was tight for our grandchildren as, for some reason, they grew. We upgraded to our current '05 GMC DMAX 2500 crew cab 8' bed when GM was doing that first employee pricing. There was nothing wrong with the '00 but we went for the opportunity. So the '05 is super roomy. We can carry everything and everyone in comfort. Because of it's size I always park in two slots at the far end of parking lots.
Make that 4 when hitched up. At home we use our little car or bicycles for getting around.

Tomorrow we're headed for the lower Colorado River for a month of kayaking and tandem bicycling. We're all packed and there's still plenty of room.

P.S. Around here people like the dual rear axle when for use with a pickup camper. No added weight capacity but fewer problems with cross winds.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:16 PM   #6
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I wouldn't trade my long bed, crew-cab dually for any other configuration. This vehicle has such great stability on the highway that I'm more than willing to put up with the slightly more difficult task of backing into tight quarters. I've never encountered a "backing situation" where another 10 inches of length would have made a difference - outside of maybe one more short "jog" forward and back. Sort of like comparing a 34' to a 30' Airstream --- not enough difference to worry about. As for the disadvantage of the short bed, I couldn't fit my 4' bed-slide, plus a 35 gallon blue tank, plus a rack of 2 x 6 levelling boards, plus a 3'-6" Rubbermaid storage box, in a short bed with a fiberglass tonneau. Nuff said! The only real consideration is whether or not the beast will fit in your garage.

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Old 02-21-2011, 02:23 PM   #7
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Brian, IMHO wheelbase is one of the most important parts of safe towing. The longer the better. Hours upon hours & miles upon miles of peace of mind towing are worth the occasional squeeze into a tight campsite. Maybe just move to another(bigger) site. Antique Pedaler is right about the dual rear wheels You would quickly come to appreciate them with a slide in.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:31 PM   #8
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the op is gonna use a sliDe in camper shell.

he's tow'd the stream fine with a shorter suv thing.

so the main issue might be camper shell size/configuration.

as in how long is the front sleeper section that extends 4ward over the cabin.

and are there any concerns about that relationship. (support/vision/wind/noise)

probably lots of posts on this issue on the truck/shell/slide camper forums.

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:41 PM   #9
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Go with the crew cab dually.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:11 PM   #10
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I'll echo dougsale, "go with the crew cab dually".

My current TV is a 2007 Classic Chevy crew, dually, w/8'bed, 4x4.
I've had an extended cab on a different truck and glad I got the crew on the 2007.

The crew cab makes it easy to travel with pets, I fold it down and pad it up. Makes a nice large bed for them. Then when we have to use it for people and the seat is not down, there is plenty of leg room back there.
Oh, don't forget to get the leather seats, sun roof, and all the bells and whistles.
All the extras make for a great over the road vehicle.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:24 PM   #11
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We use a crew cab with the 8' bed as well. Wheelbase is 164", which provides an amazing amount of stability.

I do have trouble (trouble = not hitting the mark correctly the first time) at times backing into sites, more to my lack of ability to compensate for the extra length rather than the extra length itself. I just have never quite gotten the hang of it after we upgraded from a 119" wheelbase vehicle.

I like being able to access the rear of the cab without opening 2 doors on a side. Opening only 1 door ensures the dogs jump into the back seat.

Good luck on your purchase.

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Old 02-21-2011, 05:37 PM   #12
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IMHO, It also depends on the amount of time your going to be carrying along passengers! We bought our crew cab to accomodate our growing children and thought when we became empty nesters we wouldn't need a crew cab! Well now we're there and...., wrong, we seem to haul more passengers than before. We enjoy the extra company, and guess I just trust my own driving over other campers We've ridden with! As long as we have an Airstream, we'll always have a crew cab!

Just a thought. Good luck on your choice.

Regards, Terry.
I know you think you understand what you though I said, but I'm not sure that what you heard is what I actually meant!

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Old 02-21-2011, 06:30 PM   #13
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Extended Cab or Crew Cab

Hi Brian:

We sold our 02 GMC Yukon XL 8.1 and 4.10 with 51K miles in December to another Airstream couple with a 25 ft. trailer. We ordered a 2011 GMC Sierra Denali 3500 HD Duramax crew-cab, short bed, single rear wheel truck on 15 December it arrived two weeks ago. Got a GREAT deal from a small dealer in CA. We only have 250 miles on it but it sure is nice with all the improvements. The diesel is wonderful. We ordered a crew cab and short bed as the truck is 20 inches longer than our Yukon was and was concerned about the extra 18 inches of bed in some of the smaller parks in California. For extra passengers and pets, the crew cab is the way to go. I also think from the number of crew cab trucks on the road, they might be easier to sell when that time comes. We tow a 30 ft. Classic so should not be a problem with the new truck just better mileage than the 8.1.

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Old 02-21-2011, 08:08 PM   #14
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Crew Cab is my vote. I have been in the back seat of an extended cab full size for a 3 hour ride. The rear window was touching my head, leg room was marginal, waiting for the front seat person to get out (or open his door) made me feel like a kid (in a bad way). 10 ines is not that much when you have already picked your manufacturer, model and size - Crew Cab is the way to go. I also did not think of the 2Air comment, the door frame support for side impact would get me there for safety alone. Had a side impact once in a 2 door 'yota, it was close.


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