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Old 07-03-2015, 12:20 PM   #1
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Towing: Short vs. long bed?

All other things being equal, would a long bed pick up be any more stabile than a short bed for towing?
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:31 PM   #2
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I have a short bed and think as far as towing goes a long bed would be better. Now in a campground or parking I prefer the short bed. I bought used and I would buy a long bed if one were available at the time, so I bought the next best. Longer wheelbase is the key.
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:38 PM   #3
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We have a 6'6" bed on our Ford F350 Crew Cab, would not want a bed any longer which would be 8'. Too long for grocery stores, camping ie backing up. etc. We have plenty of stability.
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Old 07-03-2015, 12:46 PM   #4
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I am also glad I did not get the 8foot bed with our F250 for the reasons mentioned above
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Old 07-03-2015, 01:14 PM   #5
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A long bed does afford a bit more capacity for backing. Think of it this way: The distance between the hitch ball and the middle of the back axle of the truck determines how much "swing" the truck will provide as you turn the steering wheel while backing. The larger that distance is, the more swing you get.

By the same token, by the way, the near complete lack of distance between the middle of the axle on the truck and the hitch head on a fifth wheel is what makes those things rather challenging to park. You turn the steering wheel to get some swing, and ... nothing happens, at least right away.

By yet again the same token, that same distance is what also makes very short trailers -- especially rigs like pop-ups -- rather challenging to park. You turn the steering wheel to get some swing, and the thing swings waaaay too fast!

Oh, how do I know about this stuff? Through no fault or plan of my own, I wind up backing in about half of the rigs that come into the park. In the end, though, it's turned out to be enlightened self interest: When I back rigs into sites for the guests, I don't hit electric posts, barriers, faucets, people, or anything else. (If I did, my wife would just kill me.)


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Old 07-03-2015, 01:19 PM   #6
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8 ft box

I will not go back to a little box.I drive a 2015 F350 Supercrew 4x4 8ft box single rear wheel everyday.This is my second one,previously had four F150 Supercrews with the little box and a supercharged Ford Lightning Regular cab swb..
I have no trouble with parking or maneuvering and the long wheelbase is a plus when towing (more stable).

Nice to have a truck that you can put things in without dropping the tailgate.For me a 8ft box is the only way to go.They ride smoother loaded and unloaded due to the longer wheelbase(my wheelbase is 176 inches).
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Old 07-03-2015, 01:30 PM   #7
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The 6'6" bed, with a full crew cab, seems to me a good compromise. I wouldn't want a shorter one, nor the 8'. So for us, we went with the Sierra Denali HD Duramax/Allison with crew cab and 6'6" bed.
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Old 07-03-2015, 01:46 PM   #8
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To answer your orignal question...

Yes. All else being equal, the longer the wheelbase, the more stable the towing platform. So for two identical trucks, the long bed version will be more stable than the short bed.

If you want to look at physics, you have a longer "Moment Arm" from the back wheels to the front wheels. The trailer is attached to the hitch and it will try to turn the truck. The longer that Moment Arm, the less effect the trailer will have on the side to side on the truck.

This being said, if you have an extended cab truck with a short bed, it is probably fine, as it's just as long a regular cab truck with a long bed.

I tow a 36' Avion with a Dodge 2500 4-door long bed. It works great.

Oh, one other thing to mention, at least with the 2500 Dodges....what I found with a 4-door shortbed was that every time I ran over a shadow on the road, I felt the bump. The extra 18" of wheelbase in the long bed made a huge difference in ride quality. Much moreso than I would have thought. They're sprung pretty heavily though.

If you decide to use a Chevy Citation instead, make sure you really crank in the weight distribution before you take the back wheels off
(it's actually been done, Citation pulled the Airstream with the back end completely off the ground....)
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Old 07-03-2015, 02:04 PM   #9
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Towing: Short vs. long bed?

Over 130" WB becomes meaningless. The curve flattens out at that point. It just makes maneuvering more difficult.

Same for TV weight above 4000#. Up to that is stability increased. After that isn't helpful. Rollover tendencies heighten and worse braking distances.

Yet again, as with tongue weight. Up to 15% is helpful. After that the curve flattens. Places more burden on the tow vehicle without corresponding benefit.

Using these numbers as givens for maximum size, it is sophistication that then edges aside mass in the better tow vehicles.
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:17 AM   #10
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Generally speaking the long box will give you a better ride. As far as the F250 and 350 you will need an 8' box to get the larger fuel tank. The 6.5 box will also give you a nice ride but with a smaller fuel tank.
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Old 07-04-2015, 10:49 AM   #11
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All other things being equal... I prefer the long 8" foot box. Yes... parking in the city is harder and sometimes you have to park further out... but for all the other reasons cited above... towing stabilty, ease of backing... ride comfort...storage space under the cap... etc... I would never have a short box
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:04 AM   #12
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long or short box

When we ordered our 2015 Classic, we decided to get a new truck. My husband is a mechanic and he was very determined to have the long box so his tool box could still be in the bed. We also pull a 5th wheel horse trailer and that takes up space in the box also. We started looking for a crew cab, 250, with a long box. It was not easy to find one. We ended up driving around and looking at the few we found. We finally found one like he wanted and we are so happy with it. He even modified the 5th wheel ball to carry a bike rack in the box. We love it and it pulls and ride beautifully!
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:19 AM   #13
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We own a Silverado crew cab with a standard bed. I would not want to have a long bed because this truck can be a challenge when parking, etc.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:23 AM   #14
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I moved from a short bed Dodge Ram to a long bed F350 dually for a large cabover camper. The Ram I thought was perfect for towing the AS. Until I towed with the F350. The ride is smoother with the long wheel base and I haven't noticed any problems backing. I'm sure that will come and I'll deal with when I have to. Once in a while I have problems in tight parking lots, but most of the time a long bed isn't an issue. I can park a little farther out if needed. I use this truck as a daily driver and would never go back to a short bed because of the ride alone.
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Old 07-04-2015, 12:28 PM   #15
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The op only wanted to know if one was more stable than the other. We got way off base.
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Old 07-04-2015, 12:31 PM   #16
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If you're concerned about the trailer pushing the trailer sideways and that force leveraging to the front axle, get a Hensley or ProPride hitch. The sideways movement is felt over the rear axle, not behind it. No noticeable movement leveraged forward. Wheelbase length is taken out of the picture, our 120" Ram is solid as a rock in all wind and traffic conditions.

Longer wheelbase makes it harder for the w.d. hitch to distribute weight, especially if heavy gear is behind the rear axle.

Get what you like and need, trailer stability can be mitigated with short wheelbase.
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Old 07-04-2015, 12:44 PM   #17
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So far everything has been helpful
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Old 07-04-2015, 01:17 PM   #18
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"If you decide to use a Chevy Citation instead, make sure you really crank in the weight distribution before you take the back wheels off
(it's actually been done, Citation pulled the Airstream with the back end completely off the ground....)"

You can go back even farther. Back in the mid-60's, when the Olds Toronado came out, there was a commercial showing a Toronado towing an Airstream, and they had removed the Toronado's rear wheels to show that it was front wheel drive. Remember, that was the first front-wheel-drive American car in 30 years or so.
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Old 07-04-2015, 11:14 PM   #19
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We came up with this from experience using this reg cab 120" wheelbase towing our Airstream throughout this country many, many times, dodging deer running into the roadway and errant drivers cutting us off in lane changes. Semis pass us even in strong cross wind with no effect. Absolutely stable in all conditions, traffic and weather.

Hensley came up with the Hensley hitch design and began selling them over twenty years ago. Trailer yaw is stopped by the truck's rear axle, wheelbase has little to nothing to do with it.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moflash View Post
The question was not about hitches he asked long or short box....


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
Yes that is true, but the hitch stuff is also relevant.

My screen name, by the way, is Lumatic, but you can also call me Marshall.

It may be helpful, especially to me, to put this in a context. My tow vehicle is a 99 F 250 extended cab with a short box and a Triton engine. After years of towing my 25'*Tradewind I began having some pretty serious sway problems. It was kind of OK before I had some front end work done (perhaps coincidental) I have since repaired a lot of other loose front end stuff and it is better, but not cured. Recently I got a 34 foot Excella. My Tradewind is about 4500# with a 450# tongue weight. My Excella 8500# with a 800# tongue weight. Still some sway problems, but also my F250 is working pretty hard on hills. Hence I am thinking of upgrading to a diesel.

I have a Husky WD hitch with friction sway bar mounted to a Air Safe Hitch to soften up the ride. The Airsafe puts the hitch ball about a foot further behind the receiver compared to where it would be otherwise. I wonder if the extended position of the hitch ball may be also contributing to sway.
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