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Old 12-29-2014, 11:21 AM   #1
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Pros and cons of a dually vs single wheel tow vehicle.

I ask this as I am working on the idea of trading a 1 ton GMC Dually for a 3/4 ton GMC Single wheel Drive truck. I tow a 25 FC. Seems like a good idea as the 1 ton Dually is a Beast Mode truck. Good for a large camper but unnecessary for a AS 25. And it would be nice to own a truck that actually fits in my garage and more graceful in the parking lots I am looking for opinions....
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Old 12-29-2014, 11:30 AM   #2
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Thiatt,

I've had both and there is absolutely no reason to have a dually to tow a 25' Airstream. In fact IMHO a one ton single axle is overkill for an AS. A 3/4 ton is more than adequate. Don't ask me how I know.

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Old 12-29-2014, 11:42 AM   #3
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Mid-sized Airstreams are a dream to tow when properly hitched and by a vehicle that meets your particular passenger and payload needs. On the other end of the spectrum, we use a light duty truck for our 25' that has taken us throughout the country multiple times. Nice with and without the Airstream, comparatively inexpensive to buy, operate and maintain and great daily driver.

Base your search on your own needs and use a top performing hitch system with it.
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Old 12-29-2014, 11:46 AM   #4
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I tow with a Dodge one ton srw. Way more than enough truck. Peace, jim
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Thiatt55 View Post
I ask this as I am working on the idea of trading a 1 ton GMC Dually for a 3/4 ton GMC Single wheel Drive truck. I tow a 25 FC. Seems like a good idea as the 1 ton Dually is a Beast Mode truck. Good for a large camper but unnecessary for a AS 25. And it would be nice to own a truck that actually fits in my garage and more graceful in the parking lots I am looking for opinions....
You almost answered your own question. 3/4 is too big for towing a 25 ft Airstream.

Unless you have a none towing use for the truck downsize.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:42 PM   #6
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There is not an Airstream trailer built, or ever built, that would benefit from being towed by a one ton truck, let alone a dually.

Now if you were hauling a big over the cab camper, or a big fifth wheel, of course, but not an Airstream. Of course, this is my opinion.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:55 PM   #7
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HowieE:
What are the payload and towing ratings for that vintage Excursion? Im towing a 25 with an F150 and i have very little payload left after tongue weight, driver, and passenger. I should have enough towing capacity (rated for 8600#) but still had trouble getting up an 8% grade. I've been thinking about upgrading to 3/4T diesel.



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Old 12-29-2014, 01:10 PM   #8
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HowieE:
What are the payload and towing ratings for that vintage Excursion? Im towing a 25 with an F150 and i have very little payload left after tongue weight, driver, and passenger. I should have enough towing capacity (rated for 8600#) but still had trouble getting up an 8% grade. I've been thinking about upgrading to 3/4T diesel.

Thanks,Al
I almost never look at manufacture ratings when buying a TV since I change so many things within the TV.

The prime consideration if you are going to be towing in hills is the rear axle ratio and how that relates to the torque band of the engine. Most trucks have rears designed for so called fuel economy and thus can't pull there way out of a wet paper bag.

I changed the rear in my 87 6.2 diesel Suburban from a 342 to a 373 and cleared the continental devide pulling my 34. Several people at the truck rally I was going to did not believe when I got there.

My Excursion rear is too high, but being a 4x4 I am not changing them out. Thus I am about 200 RPMs below the torque curve at 60 mph so 55 is my limit on a 6% grate unless I pull it down a gear.
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Old 12-29-2014, 01:11 PM   #9
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Pro's and con's of a dually vs single wheel tow vehicle.

A one ton and a 3/4 ton have progressive springs.That means the lighter the load the less heavy spring effect is being used.A one ton and a 3/4 ton ride on the same primary spring when lightly loaded or unloaded so they ride the same.The only difference in the two is the one ton has a heavier duty differential and in some cases the brakes are more HD.A 1/2 ton also has progressive spring an when loaded to close to the max as most people on this forum do,They are using all of the spring pack and therefore getting the roughest ride that the 1/2 ton has to offer.The 3/4 and 1 ton are only using 2-3 light springs from the available spring pack.
There are many misconceptions on this topic partially due to lack of information (or being able to locate it).
A dually offers greater stability than a single wheel and a greater load carrying capability that TA required in most mega 5th wheel applications but not needed for Airstream trailers.
There is a price difference of $650 to upgrade to a one ton which is a bargain for the items received.Even if you never use its spring capability.And the ride loaded is smooth.Add a Airsafe hitch and your trailer rides much smoother then hooked to the back of a 1/2 ton that is over or near maxed out on payload and using the entire spring pack,so very little spring rebound is available.

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Old 12-29-2014, 02:06 PM   #10
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Your comment able the lesser number of leafs used in the heavier spring pack of a 3/4 ton is correct. However since those leaves are carrying the same empty weight, the truck bodies are almost identical, as the spring pack on a 1/2 ton the capacity is not in the number but rather the size of the leaves. An empty 1/2 ton truck is designed for a soccer Mom and thus has a soft ride. An empty 3/4 will not have the soft ride you are referring to.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:35 PM   #11
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I have found on both of my 3/4 tons that I have had (a GMC, and now a Ram), if the WD hitch is not set to return 100% of the front axle loading, the rear suspension will be bottomed out on the overload spring, and the result will be a very harsh ride.

The truck will carry the load without the WD set right, with no complaints, but the ride is rough.

If however you return the front axle load with the WD hitch, the rear suspension will be will off of the overloads, and provide a reasonably good ride.
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Old 12-29-2014, 02:57 PM   #12
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Love our 2500 towing the 34' triple axle.. it will be PLENTY for towing your AS, a WD hitch would be swell to have.. it will let you properly 'load' your TV... Additionally, you might find you can put more in the TV to carry your 'stuff'...where the 1500 might cross the line sooner...
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:22 PM   #13
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HowieE, it sounds like you have done some tweaking of tow vehicles. Your opinion please. I have a F250 with heavy haul package thus a 4:10 rear end and a V10. We have a 1987 Sovereign 25' and are thinking about a 27' FB. What do you think of changing out the rear end to increase fuel mileage?
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:31 PM   #14
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Howie and Steve, I hope the readers realize these are your opinions only. The thousands of AS owners towing with real trucks would disagree with you. That's my opinion. Peace, jim
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