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Old 09-20-2011, 07:16 PM   #15
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2009 27' FB Flying Cloud
1991 35' Airstream 350
Jay , Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,635
We have been looking at new tow vehicles, and I have about decided to install a service body on my next TV. The new fiberglass units are much more streamlined than the old ones.

I added a shell to my current short bed. The shell has a toolbox on the driver's side. It has convinced me that a full-on service body would be great. Cabinets down both sides for generators, fuel and all the rest. Still with some open cargo area. Everything locked up and dry.


Jeff & Cindy
'09 27FB Flying Cloud
'91 350 LE MH
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:39 PM   #16
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1966 24' Tradewind
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Crew-Cab, Short Bed, No Shell

We are presently on our fourth Chevy Suburban and our third pickup. So, we have tried every combination known to man.
The first pick-up was a regular cab F-150, long-bed, with a shell.

I will never own a long-bed tow vehicle again, unless I intend to spend the rest of my towing days on the interstate, or in truck stops, or Walmart parking lots, or pull-through RV parks.

My second pickup was a beautiful 2500HD Chevy Duramax with the 6'6" bed. The best tow vehicle ever. I had a sprayed in bed liner, a rubber bed mat, and a shell installed.

I cursed the shell until I sold the truck. It turned the versatile pickup into a pseudo Suburban. It was no longer a pickup, but it wasn't a Suburban either. Loading heavy stuff in and out of the bed was back breaking, especially if hooked up to an Airstream.

My third pickup and the one I tow with now, is a 2500HD Duramax diesel with a sprayed in bed liner, and a 6'6" open bed. I love it. At our White Sands Rally this weekend, I was in and out of that bed 6 or 7 times a day, and not crawling around on my hands and knees.

The Suburban is for more light duty towing out to the pistol range and back with the range trailer.

Hope this adds perspective.

P.S. I too would like a service bed, but my wife thinks they are too... well too service looking.

Ken L
1966 Tradewind 24
2007Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax/Allison
Four Corners Unit WBCCI #8654
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:44 PM   #17
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Hillsboro , North Carolina
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I have the 6.5 foot bed and a nice topper with back and side opening swing up windows. The side ones are a must.

Though am thinking of, for the next truck, as you originally mentioned, a utility body, one of the mil spec type with an enclosed and lockable interior space. All steel. No need for the Knack locker.

Plenty of easy to get to bins and drawers for everything. Probably with a telescopic roof like a Knap.
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Old 09-21-2011, 05:29 AM   #18
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1981 27' Excella II
mays landing , South Jersey
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We have the 8 foot bed, but could use a 10 foot, or maybe I just have toomany toys. Sal.
Sal & Nora
Let us live so that when we die even the undertaker will be sorry. Mark Twain
AIR 42483
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:57 AM   #19
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2011 30' Classic
Kingwood , Texas
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My current TV is a Ford F250 crew cab short bed. So far no issues with short bed. Between the back seat and bed plenty of room for stuff. I went with the bed rug and am very happy with it. Since I want to use my TV as a pickup when not towing, I went with the Pace Edwards retractable cover. It provides good security, but does allow a little water in. Since I also want to take bikes when camping, I got the optional Pace Edwards rails that accept Yakima mounts. So I have the Yakima bike carriers over the bed.
2011 30' Classic
2015 Ford F250 4X4 Platinum
ProPride Hitch
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:12 AM   #20
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2005 28' Safari
saline , Michigan
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Silverado, extended cab with 6.5 bed. Totally agree about turning radius especially if you want an extended cab or crew cab. Also, overall weight is reduced with shorter bed. As I haul a 28' AS, I am weight sensitive and don't carry anything I don't think I am going to need. I built a lightweight rack to hold my Kayak and carry my two bikes in the back.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:37 PM   #21
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Sunset Beach , California
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Hi All,

Wow, thanks for all of the great information! I'm going to explore all of the suggestions. At this point, based on everyone's recommendations, I'm probably going to go with a short bed and a spray in liner to start with. From there I'm going to look at the various recommendations and see what makes the most sense for me.

Thanks again,

GinMame (Rion & Nobuko DuVall)
AIR# 58703
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:37 AM   #22
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We recently purchased a 2011 Sierra 2500HD pickup. Our last pickup had a plastic bedliner and a cap which we decided against this time because of all the cons already listed in this thread. Instead, we set up the truck with a spray in bed liner, roll-up tonneau cover, and a removable, slideable track-rack system. We think this set-up will better satisfy our needs for transporting lots of toys including kayaks, bicycles, camping gear, and motorcycle. The attached photo shows the truck all rigged up for its maiden voyage with eager dog faces in the windows.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:54 AM   #23
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1977 27' Overlander
Trotwood , Ohio
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F250 Longbed Crew Cab. I am not sure about the new 6.6 Deisel. I have the 7.3 and love it. I know people are tellin ya short bed but I dont think so. U may not see it now but there will come a day you will wish ya had it. I would go with some form of bed rug and a Leer cap or any of its competitors. LOOK FOR Warranty. Id go with a wedge shaped cap which will re-direct the air flow over the AS, it will help with fuel mileage.Look at the big trucks of today and see how that cab is shaped,are they wrong?? What ever you decide you will be stuck with for a while so choose wisely. Longwheel base trucks no matter what brand ride easier and when hooked up with the proper hitch they ride even better. GOOD LUCK
Roger & MaryLou
7.3 liter Power Stroke Diesel
1977 27ft OVERLANDER
AIR # 22336 TAC- OH-7
May your roads be straight and smooth and may you always have a tailwind!
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:30 PM   #24
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Rockville , Maryland
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Ford OEM spray in liner - love it, 4-Door short bed, perfect combo for me other than the small fuel tank - one 50 gallon Titan Tank latter and I have the PERFECT truck for me!
John "JFScheck" Scheck
2015 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL
2015 Mercedes Sprinter 3500 XL Chassis with Mercedes BlueTec V6 Diesel
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:57 AM   #25
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1993 34' Excella
York , South Carolina
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Gotta love this thread, as many opinions as which Airsrtream to buy. Remember, you can haul a little load with a big truck but you can't haul a big load with a little truck. Wheelbase is everything. You CANNOT have the tail wag the dog, ever. Besides, you never know when you might want to upsize to a longer trailer. If you already have the big truck, you're halfway there. 1 ton DRW diesel. If you do some research you will find that you can probably buy the 350 for less than a 250. More is actually less.
Highrise Leer top( Head room), side windows that open(reach in, not crawl in), built in Thule roof rack system(carry water toys), built in shelving along sides of bed (still have 50'' wide main floor still open) to store traveling essentials, and full length running boards (often overlooked) so you can stand on them to reach in the side windows. Bed rug(might need that 2nd bedroom). Get rollin'.
Safe & happy travels .John
WBCCI #3892 Palmetto State Airstream Club 22
Region 3 , 1st VP

Go often to the house of a friend, for weeds choke the unused path........Emerson

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Old 09-30-2011, 06:07 AM   #26
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2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
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We use a GMC 2500HD diesel crew cab with short box and Leer cap.

Our previous truck was a 1500 with the club cab (short doors in the back) and we find the full crew can much better.

A long box would be nice, but when combined with a crew cab makes for a pretty long vehicle.

We are both retired and don't drive long distances on a typical day so we just use the truck as our daily driver. Even the short box can be a bit of a pig to park at local shopping centres - I usually just try to fond an end spot far away from the mall entrance - a long box would be that much worse.

Our truck came with the GM drop in liner - seems very sturdy, but slippery, so I have a big rubber at on top which helps a lot.

The Leer cap is great - I had a cheaper one on our last truck that had problems.

We make great use of the truck bed to keep clutter out of the trailer - lots of big rubbermaid boxes for extra food, drinks, shoes and boots etc. Also lots of room for tools gennie etc.

More valuable stuff - laptop, camera gear etc goes in to back of the crew cab, lots of rom for everything with the seats folded up as it is just teh two of us traveling.

We carry a couple of mountain bikes on a front mounted 2" hitch on teh truck.

This setup works very well for us.

Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:08 PM   #27
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Sunset Beach , California
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Wow! I really love the advice that you get here on the forums! Thanks Everyone! I'm in the process of checking out the different covers and rack systems. I admit to liking the idea of the long bed, but me thinks it would be too long to park in my neighborhood. I guess that my next question is the 3/4 or 1 ton truck? However to avoid hijacking my own thread, I'm going to start a new one. Thanks everyone for the great advice. See you on the road!

Happy Airstreaming,
GinMame (Rion & Nobuko DuVall)
AIR# 58703
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:54 PM   #28
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1977 31' Excella 500
West Sacramento , California
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I purposely purchased a supercab shortbed so that the truck would fit in my garage. At the same time, I wanted the longest wheelbase possible. 3/4 ton is fine for all but the heaviest and longest of Airstreams. The newer trailers are much heavier. If I had a newer 34 footer that weighed over 10,000lbs I probably would want a 1 ton truck. The 3/4 ton handles my 31 footer that weighs 7500lbs just fine. A cap will maximize the storage capacity of the bed. With your dual generators, you might find a short bed will not give you enough storage without a cap.

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