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Old 02-09-2006, 03:11 PM   #1
30' 1999 Excella
 
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Question Wheelbase question for TV

We're looking at getting a tow vehicle for our 30' 1999 Excella we bought last month. Our first two trips were in high cross-winds, and our 1999 Navigator (which was barely big enough to begin with) was very difficult to control. NO FUN !

This is a question about wheelbase, not about which vehicle, as we pretty much know what we want (used 4x4 diesel pickup.) I won't name the model or brand because I don't want to get into that. This is just about wheelbase.

Our Navigator's wheelbase is 119 inches. Our choice in wheelbase is the regular bed truck at 156 inch wheelbase or the long bed at 172 inch wheelbase.

Will that 18" be worth it? I know longer is better, but is it THAT much better? Its harder to find that model and I'm told it makes everyday driving and parking really difficult.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 02-09-2006, 03:21 PM   #2
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My 2 cents.

I prefer the long wheel base, and yes it is a pain to find parking. But I love it when we are pulling our 31 foot it just seems that little extra to make you feel safe. I went from a sports car to the truck, but from the soccer fields, picking up at school and just plain parking it has been a chore at times. But the truck has more on it then my car had and I just love it.
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Old 02-09-2006, 04:09 PM   #3
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1993 30' Excella
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i love my 1 ton van. it has a 138 in wheel base it is a nice comprimise to the longer wheel base pick ups. it is a little easier to park also, but not by much. i think you will only be able to negoiate pulll through spots with a 172.
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Old 02-09-2006, 04:26 PM   #4
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Big bed vs small bed

The 8 ft bed will give you extra room for stuff like bicycles and even a short kayak like I carry sometimes. Plus, if you leave the trailer behind, you can just take the truck into back woods areas and sleep in the back. The longer wheelbase also gives a smoother ride on the interstates where the concrete slabs have shifted. Most places I just take two parking spots and drive half way thru the slots in the shoping malls. It makes it easy as I do not have to back up to get out.
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Old 02-09-2006, 04:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
The 8 ft bed will give you extra room for stuff like bicycles and even a short kayak like I carry sometimes. Plus, if you leave the trailer behind, you can just take the truck into back woods areas and sleep in the back. The longer wheelbase also gives a smoother ride on the interstates where the concrete slabs have shifted. Most places I just take two parking spots and drive half way thru the slots in the shoping malls. It makes it easy as I do not have to back up to get out.

Dwight,

Please use the outlying spaces and not any double space up close. I hate it when someone takes up two spaces near the front. If you need two take them in the back, it will also be easier for you to park and leave.

Bill
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Old 02-09-2006, 05:03 PM   #6
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I think 156" for a 30' coach would be fine. There are plusses to the 172" wheelbase, namely those that have been discussed, as have the minuses.

I have about 130" for a 25" coach and it does fine and your talking another 2+ feet for 5 feet more of coach compared to another 1.3 feet between the 172" and 156". I'd leave it to the folks that have 30' coaches, but I've seen many 130" tow vehicles do fine with a 30' coach. My thing is that for the size RV you are talking about you should be clearly in the 3/4 ton size truck.

I will say that 130" has been a challenge parking sometimes...other than that, it's been great...not sure I'd survive city life with another 2 feet though.
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Old 02-09-2006, 05:24 PM   #7
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:50 PM   #8
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We find the 156" wheelbase perfect and no Hensley. Add some high quality adjustable shocks similar to Rancho 9000s and you'll love it. 4X4 and 3/4 ton is even better. The Hensley would be another quality upgrade that certainly couldn't hurt but is not absolutely necessary as your wheelbase approaches and goes beyond the 155" mark. Try it and if you'd feel better with the Hensley it can be easily added. Hensley owners love the setup and I haven't found one who would do without.
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:50 PM   #9
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I went from a shortbed regular cab 1/2 ton 4X4 to a 3/4 ton (really 1 ton) shortbed extended cab 4X4 with my 31' '77 Excella 500 and it was like night and day. I've always disliked the look of the long bed pickup and the crewcab long bed looks like a nightmare to maneuver in the woods/logging roads I travel while deer hunting. There are so many areas in our large town where I would have trouble parking it unless I parked far away from the buildings. There are so many places in town where I would worry about all that extra length sticking out where someone in the opposite parking area could back out and just hit me. For these reasons I live with and enjoy the shortbed extended cab and couldn't see where any longer wheelbase would help me with the 31' or my newer 25' Sovereign.
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Old 02-09-2006, 08:11 PM   #10
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Decision time!

I think I got started on the long bed when I was thinking I needed something longer than the Navigator. But when you throw in the really long crew cab, you don't need the bed to be that long.

Thanks for all the feedback... I think we'll stick with the long cab - short bed.
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Old 02-09-2006, 08:16 PM   #11
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I agree with norbert, I love my 1-ton van. Although not new, or blessed with long wheelbase (125in), it tows our 34 footer very nicely. Plus it carry's the 4 kids and all their considerable amout of stuff, and friends and animals and ........

Chris

P.S. That slightly shorter w/b allows me to thread into many sites I see smaller campers struggle into.
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Old 02-17-2006, 08:47 AM   #12
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The short bed, crew cab Chevy HD 2500 Duramax Diesel is great pulling my 31' Sovereign. Never does the tail wag the dog.

In 1995, I had a 2500 Dodge Cummins Turbo-Diesel with the long bed, and it was just too long for parking lots and back woods driving (but nice on the interstate).
Hope this helps.
Ken
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