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Old 02-14-2020, 06:58 AM   #1
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Moving from a 1500 to a 2500 – campground maneuverability

For anyone that has made the move from a 150/1500 truck to a 250/2500 truck, do you miss the easier campground maneuverability with the shorter truck? Was the adjustment to a longer truck difficult?

We’ve camped in some sites that were kind of tight backing into with our 1500, with trees and other vehicles sometimes being in the way. I suspect I would appreciate a more heavy duty truck while on the road, I have some reservations when it comes to maneuverability in the campgrounds. It would not be a daily driver. I appreciate your insights.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:35 AM   #2
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I went driving small German sorts cars to an f-150 as a daily, I adjusted just fine. After a few F-150s I went to an F-350. I adjusted just fine. Seat time is key with any transition
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:39 AM   #3
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Made the change to 3/4

SeaLevel, we made the move from a 1/2 to 3/4 because we were over on payload capacity.

There are definitely trade offs - 1/2 has independent front suspension (GM has on 3/4), better handling without a load, lower height. All that said, we are very happy with the more firm feel when towing of the 3/4 and no more worries about payload. Length was nominal; 5’7” box to 6’4”.

Fuel economy is the same or even a little better. That extra 1000 lbs of gross weight makes the combo fell more “planted” and doesn’t get pushed around when a semi passes.

Another plus if you move up is all the safety technology available today from the Big Three. Adaptive Cruise and autonomous braking are awesome. Set the range to max, sit back and steer.

I think most who make the change will tell you the benefits outweigh (pun intended) the negatives.

Photo is of new and old side by side.

Good luck with your decision!
Jeff
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmc306 View Post
I think most who make the change will tell you the benefits outweigh (pun intended) the negatives.

Photo is of new and old side by side.

Good luck with your decision!
Jeff
Thanks Jeff. I understand all the benefits, but my question is about maneuverability in tight campgrounds, and how much of an issue that was (or wasn't) for people that made the switch.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:51 AM   #5
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SeaLevel,
Sorry, I forgot to mention about maneuverability.

I have noticed I might have to make a few more back and forth to get into a tight spot but it's getting easier with practice. The rest depends on the site you're backing into. So far we have not camped at any that we could not get into due to the bigger 3/4, State parks included.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:10 AM   #6
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Hi Jeff. We started with a Tahoe, then used Suburbans for a number of years. We then moved on to a one ton Silverado with an 8' bed. For the last few years, we have Silverado 2500 with the 6.75' bed. With over 2,000 nights at campsites, I have never noticed any appreciable difference in campground maneuverability. I have always found that I adapt to any tow vehicle that I am driving pretty quickly.

In the GM line, the 1500 and the 2500 with the standard bed are both the same overall length.

Brian
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:29 AM   #7
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Outside of a bit rougher ride, no maneuverability issues and no learning curve.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:16 AM   #8
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Hi

If you go to a much longer truck when you make the transition, then indeed you will notice that part of the transition. Since you can get same /same length trucks in the 1500/150 category as in the 2500/250 category this is very much a "that depends" sort of thing.

Same thing applies to turn radius. Depending on exactly what you are going from and going to, you may notice a hit or you may not. Typically the bigger truck will have a larger turn radius, but not always.

Has any of that been a deal breaker? nope. Does any of it send me back looking for the smaller vehicle when we're out camping? nope. Parking in town is about the only time I notice it.

Bob
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosetags View Post

In the GM line, the 1500 and the 2500 with the standard bed are both the same overall length.

Brian
Hi Brian,

I am currently driving a GMC 1500 (overall length 230"), and the GMC 2500 I am looking at is 20" longer (overall length 250"). The wheelbase would go from 143.5" to 159" - 15.5".

So it sounds like people just adjust, and manage to maneuver into campsites without too much problem. That's good to hear.

Ken
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:54 AM   #10
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New longer truck

I was told when I purchased my 2018 27'Tommy Bahama that my 2016 Ford Expedition. I loved this because of the short turning radius. After a few trips and the TB almost lifting the car driving through LA I had to change this for safety.

I ended up with the 2019 Ford 250 D with regular bed. My God that was a huge difference. I loved the power and felt much better with that part but I too was concerned about getting in to some parks and spaces.

I ended up going to Flying Flags in Buellton Ca and requested back in space. They have great, fairly large spaces to practice getting in to and if lucky you can go in and out several times.

You can do this. It just takes practice and going slow. This allows all the other campers to check out you rig and see how awesome you and your rig are. Have fun
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:36 AM   #11
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I switched from a 2013 F150 to a 2016 GMC Duramax because I needed more cargo capacity due to high hitch weight. The F150 had an extended--not crew--cab and standard bed because that is what would fit in my garage with everything else. The Duramax has GM's equivalent cab and bed.

The foot print of these two trucks is essentially the same. The Duramax is a lot taller. I have found no difference in campground maneuverability.

The Ford was a great truck but the Duramax is a much better TV for my application.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:01 AM   #12
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Went from a full-size Chevy Suburban to Expedition, and the shorter Ford does make for easier positioning of the trailer.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:15 AM   #13
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Test the truck before you buy. We went from a Ford to a Chevy (both diesel and both the same size) and there are two big differences with the slightly newer Chevy. This diesel is much quieter than the Ford and it is also much more nimble and easy to turn.

And, the newer one gets better milage as well, so we've been very happy. We thought it wouldn't be any real difference.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:19 AM   #14
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You can get use to it enough that for most (over 95%) sites it is a non-issue might even be easier. My father had an F350 crew cab with 8' bed 80% of the time he could back into a site in 1 shot, on one trip my parents took my mothers Tahoe and my father only manged to back it in in only 2 shots once.
A big mistake some newbies make is acting like their TV has digital steering when backing up (straight or max turn) and the longer wheelbase can reduce the overreaction.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:31 PM   #15
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We went from a Ford F150 supercab 6.5' bed (144" wheelbase) to a RAM 3500 dually longbed (169" wheelbase) and noticed a huge difference in maneuverability. It took a lot of backing & filling to get into a tight spot. Parking lots were always a challenge, even when not towing. Now we have a RAM 2500 6.5' bed (149" wheelbase) and that is no problem to maneuver. I think the big difference was having the 8' bed on the 3500. Key specs to check out are wheelbase and turning diameter between your current truck & the one you're considering. As others have said, drive it for yourself & see how it feels to you.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:34 PM   #16
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Smile

A full crew cab w/8ft box would take a forty acre field to turn around [pun intended]. Box size and cab size makes dif. not 1/2 or 3/4 ton, as for 1 ton IMO not needed for normal towing & waste of money. I had 1 ton full cab w/8 ft. box 30 ft AS never had prob. parking & in spots was told could not get in but I have over 75 yrs exp. starting on farm, later spotting semi trailers w/out power steering.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaLevel View Post
For anyone that has made the move from a 150/1500 truck to a 250/2500 truck, do you miss the easier campground maneuverability with the shorter truck? Was the adjustment to a longer truck difficult?

We’ve camped in some sites that were kind of tight backing into with our 1500, with trees and other vehicles sometimes being in the way. I suspect I would appreciate a more heavy-duty truck while on the road, I have some reservations when it comes to maneuverability in the campgrounds. It would not be a daily driver. I appreciate your insights.
We went from a 2018 Chevy Suburban to a 2018 Ram 2500 diesel and I have not found a huge difference in backing into the campground. And the tradeoff was well worth the feeling of safety I get when I am behind the wheel pulling out 2018 27 Flying Cloud.
Member #4364 Florida
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:23 AM   #18
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Hi

By the time you get to an 8 foot bed and a crew cab, that's a long truck. Light weight or heavy weight, it's a long truck. Put a hitch / stinger on the back of it and it's an even longer truck. There aren't a lot of parking spaces set up for something that size. It's getting into the same 23' to 25' length range as a lot of trailers ....

Bob
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:24 AM   #19
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SeaLevel; we recently transitioned from the F150 with 5'5" bed to the F250 with the 6'5" bed (actually those numbers may be an inch or two off; I forget. But neither had the full 8' bed). I have only backed in to two camping spots since I got it and haven't noticed any additional effort. However, where we store our 27'AS has a fairly narrow lane and I have to work harder and be more exact setting up for the "turn" into the spot as I back down the lane. Unfortunately we are about halfway down that lane and not close to an end spot. Luckily there is an empty spot in front of ours so it gives me some extra space and I can also pull forward some to get it straight. If someone parks a long trailer in one of the other spots it will make it even harder. It is not impossible, but I have to pay more attention to the details of positioning and turning (pivot point and such) as well as make sure I don't hit something with the front of my truck!

In the end, watching some other people do it, I realize that if you get good at backing a trailer, it is amazing what can be done. So basically I think it will always be possible but you might have to work a bit harder. To me that's a challenge, which I like! (though less so when people are watching!!! :-) ). To me the advantages (primarily payload but also trailer stability) of moving to the slightly longer, slightly taller truck have out weighed the disadvantages.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:29 AM   #20
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Actually, no, our Ram 2500 LB is about 2 feet longer than our 1500 short bed, but the Airstream is the same length. I think a longer Airstream would be harder to maneuver, but the longer truck is only more difficult to park at the grocery store. The long bed certainly has advantages when loading for a trip.
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