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Old 08-21-2008, 07:19 PM   #1
Raj Mahal
1990 29' Excella
lethbridge , Alberta
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Dually versus non-dually

I have poked around this section a bit but have not seen anyone post specifically if a dually is better for towing say a 29er A/S than a non dually would be.

I have the opportunity to buy a '99 dodge ram 3500 Cummins dually with next to no miles on it and thought that this might make a fine TV.

Have done lots of towing and carrying with a '94 Cummins TV and would consider no other engine.Still have the'94 and can't wear it out!!

Are there any reasons why a dually would be a bad choice?

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Old 08-21-2008, 08:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ShikariJones View Post
Are there any reasons why a dually would be a bad choice?
Trying to park it in downtown Calgary!

Cameron & the Labradors, Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:16 PM   #3
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There are the occasional parking issues, however I believe you get a better pull with the extra stability of the dually. I was pulling my 34' with a F250 and traded to the same year in a F350 (both 2000 Powerstrokes). The dually definitely handles the load much easier. With that said, if you like to use it as a daily driver, not sure it's worth it. Extra fenders and tires to worry about.......I'll deal with it for the added security.
Oh yeah, they look cool too
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:20 PM   #4
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The only issue that I know of with a dually as a tow vehicle is the stiff rear suspension. I would get an Air Ride hitch or other airbag type hitch to keep the tongue ride from being too hard. I think all of the other components are virtually the same. Other than that, I don't think there is any difference as far as towing power goes between a dually and non-dually with the same engine.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:25 PM   #5
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Tow with a 99 f-350 dullay. Can't beat a dullay for towing anything as the extra wheels take any sway you may get from a passing or when passing a big rig. Besides the A/S I also tow a 12,000 lb. boat. Will never use anything else! Cameron is right about parking however. Unless the parking spot is angled you'll be backing in. The turning radius also has to be taken into account cause its like trying to turn around an elephant in a phone booth.
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:32 PM   #6
Tom, the Uber Disney Fan
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I have to back into my parking space at work. The aisle in the parking deck is too narrow for me to back out if there are cars parked on the other side of the aisle. Glad I have a back-up sensor or else I'd back into the concrete knee wall every morning.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:05 PM   #7
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I tow with a 3500 GMC DRW with a cummins. It's definitely the way to go. The cummins was transplanted into the GMC to marry (in my opinion) the best truck with the best motor. I towed my 31' sovereign, and other than slowing down up the hills (4 cylinder cummins with 105HP), i couldn't tell the trailer was back there. ROCK SOLID.
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Old 08-21-2008, 09:24 PM   #8
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Never towed with a dually but

It seems to me that the cost of extra tires, and the stiffer suspension aren't good things. I use a Reese Dual Cam - and had a blowout on my tow vehicle's rear roadside tire at high speed. The weight distributing hitch gets credit for keeping the old Suburban and 25 FB safely upright. Must admit though that a dually might be better during an incident like that.

I've always thought you probably only need a dually if you're pulling a monster 5th wheel. I've got a ridiculous amount of power to spare with a 3/4 ton diesel Silverado towing a 25, and I know a few people who pull 34's without going to a full one ton, much less a dually.

Make your decision based on safety, your pocketbook and what OTHER uses you have for a tow vehicle.

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Old 08-22-2008, 12:01 PM   #9
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Dually pilot here. For all but the biggest and latest model conventional Airstreams I think it is overkill. Extra pair of tires...but they do come in handy when you start blowing more than one at time (3 in one night!) Made it in on the last 4 rolling. They can be a PainToPark, especially in the close in city areas where parking is at a premium and you are hard pressed to find room to park even a smart car.

I have seen some damaged caused to the Airstreams by the tow vehicle being too strong/rough in the hitch area. I plan on using an AirRideHitch when I start towing again regularly.

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Old 08-22-2008, 01:30 PM   #10
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I'll also throw in that i've taken a few leaf springs out of the rear spring pack to take care of that 'stiff' ride. My dually is a DD'er, so i needed it to ride smoothly with or without a trailer behind it. Also changed out the front coils for something softer.
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Old 08-22-2008, 01:34 PM   #11
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In truth, the only Airstream you would want a dually to tow, would be one of the Squarestream or Integrity fifth wheels. It's much too stiff for a regular trailer, it will end up causing problems.
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Old 08-22-2008, 02:55 PM   #12
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When I bought the Airstream I already had the dually. I switched rear spring packs to a softer set (---alternate GM springs) - which also lowered the rear end about 4 inches. With that modification made, I've got nothing but praise for the handling and ride of the dually. I've yet to find a campsite where the length and width of the dually was a problem. It will, in fact, turn inside of the turning radius of my older 1995 Chevy extended cab 4 x 4 short bed! True - you can forget parallel parking - and even some of the typical parking lot layouts - but I've always been able to find a spot to park way out in the lot - and the extra walking doesn't hurt me one bit! Some home garages can be a problem - but generally in length more than width - which means it isn't necessarily a dually problem alone. This same logic relates to the maneuvering problem getting into a campsite in that it's not specific to the dually. Sway, using a simple weight distributing hitch alone, is virtually non-existent and there is some extra measure of safety with the duals relative to a blow out. The duals, no doubt, have more flotation on soggy ground but, with 4 x 4, I've never had the occasion to use it. Last, the dually is still about 6 inches narrower than a wide-body Airstream. My only negative comment is that the duals have too much flotation to be worth a damn in snow and ice. Accordingly, my dually stays parked in a nice dry garage throughout the winter! One final comment with respect to tire wear - i.e. - the duals appear to be wearing at about half the rate of single tires. I no longer rotate the tires and, at this point, it would appear that I could get as much as 75,000 miles on the duals. At 55,000 miles, I'm on my third set of front tires - but that's a different subject altogether, having little or nothing to do with the dually subject!

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Old 08-22-2008, 06:03 PM   #13
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I couldnt imagin wanting a dually. My one son had one , I towed with it what a pain (side clearence) My other son wants one with stacks to blow black smoke (he's 17) They call me old (42) My Super Duty is everything I need and so much more. My buddy just bought a new race trailer 38 footer has a lift in it. Sleeping quarters, No Dually for him either. New Super Duty 350 deisel. It is an elephant on stilts in the snow. Or mud.
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:46 PM   #14
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I have pulled with two dodge cummins both single rear wheels. The 92 had a suspension that was way too tight for the 34' 94 limited. I used 285 tires and had a very good footprint not as great as two 225 but still pretty substantial. My new truck has 265's and is even more stable with a softer suspension than the 92. A duelly will not fit into my 9' garage door and that was one of the reasons the other is that I haven't found it necessary or desirable to add another wheel on each side. I have pulled from coast to coast and am very satisfied with the single real wheels.

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