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Old 01-11-2009, 09:04 PM   #1
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Question Wheel Base Length LONG or SHORT???

Is it better to tow with a long wheel base or a Short Wheel Base truck???? Newby here
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:43 PM   #2
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:53 PM   #3
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Long for towing.. short for backing into tight places..
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:19 AM   #4
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I have a crew cab, short bed. Check out and compare the vehicle dimensions that you are considering. The crew cab is just a little longer than the extended cab and makes moving people much easier. Although I like a long bed, a CC LB 4x4 is a bear to park at the grocery store. Add a 31' AS and you have to park with the 18 wheelers.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:13 AM   #5
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The wheelbase should be long for a long heavy trailer but truck weight, overhang to rear wheels, and type of hitch are equally important to trailer towing safety. All these things are relative but I know of no published formula that you can use to calculate required wheelbase for a particular rig. You might be able to publish what kind of trailer and trailering you intend to do here and hope that somebody with similar circumstances will respond.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:07 AM   #6
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Long, especially if your tow vehicle is correct.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:33 AM   #7
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Longer is better from a comfort and towing control perspective but shorter is better for manouvering into tight spots. The limitations of shorter can be overcome by with technology -- to an extent (in our case by using a Hensley). We specifically wanted a 7 passenger short WB vehicle to make it easier to manouver around and into the Provincial Park sites we frequent. Had we had a longer WB vehicle we would have not been able to get into a lot of sites. Our former SOB was a 30 foot ultra light, and the short wheelbase (116") of our Yukon made handling it a relative breeze.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:44 AM   #8
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I would have to say that if towing with a pick up you would want a 4 door crew cab with at 6 1/2 ft. box. I presently tow with a mid 90's F250 super cab with a 8' box. If I went much longer (4 door crew cab with 8'box) I would feel uncomfortable trying to get in and out of some rv parks because some of them are fairly tight with what I currently have and my trailer length. Some parking lots don't have room for a long wheel base vehicle. Towing with a SUV I would prefer the Suburban.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shermantic View Post
Is it better to tow with a long wheel base or a Short Wheel Base truck???? Newby here
I towed our previous trailer, a 27 ft Award, first with a Safari AWD minivan.
then with a 1/2 ton extended cab pickup.

While both had more than enough power, I found a huge difference in the feeling of control and safety that I had with the pickup which had a wheelbase about two feet longer. With the shorter wheelbase, I always felt i was on teh verge of having the tail wag the dog.

Now, with a Classic 30 AS, i have moved to a heavier truck with a wheelbase one foot longer than our half ton truck. No experience towing with it yet, but I'm pretty sure it will be great.

Long way round to say "answer = longer!"


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Old 01-12-2009, 08:33 AM   #10
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Another factor, not as important perhaps as length, is turning circle. Our truck has a very small turning circle for such a large truck and that sure helps getting out of tight spaces.

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Old 01-12-2009, 08:45 AM   #11
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Talking about wheelbase without talking about the rest of the combination does not hold much value because all specs are interlaced.

The Porsche/ Hensley/ Airstream combination shown in this Airstream promo video is a good example of a great handling, super stable "combination". It is interesting that the wheelbase of the Cayenne is only 112". Airstream, Inc :: Why Buy?

Having a very long wheel base actually slows down the vehicles ability to get through an emergency avoidance maneuver or a sudden lane change.

If you are looking for an all around great handling "combination" go with...

A. A TV with good handling specs with a medium wheel base.

B. Competent connection hardware properly adjusted.

C. A top handling TT like of course an Airstream that has a low center of gravity and IS.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:55 AM   #12
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Talking about wheelbase without talking about the rest of the combination does not hold much value because all specs are interlaced.

The Porsche/ Hensley/ Airstream combination shown in this Airstream promo video is a good example of a great handling, super stable "combination". It is interesting that the wheelbase of the Cayenne is only 112". Airstream, Inc :: Why Buy?

Having a very long wheel base actually slows down the vehicles ability to get through an emergency avoidance maneuver or a sudden lane change.

If you are looking for an all around great handling "combination" go with...

A. A TV with good handling specs with a medium wheel base.

B. Competent connection hardware properly adjusted.

C. A top handling TT like of course an Airstream that has a low center of gravity and IS.
Another look at it is this: for the safest ordinary car (nothing to do with towing) one needs a 4,000-lb, 120" wheelbase, front-engine, rear wheel drive sedan without any electronic passive or active safety features as a baseline for all comparisons. Low center of gravity, good front-to-rear weight bias, etc, when compared to pickup trucks and SUV's (or, small FWD cars and minivans). This would have been true in 1965, 1985 or 2005.

But the advent of electronic controls changes this picture. Especially, the ones which exert control over vehicle stability and integrated trailer brakes which take the tow vehicle AND the trailer into account.

Only then do you add in trailer specifications, hitch rigging and the scale weights to have a proven combination.

What is obvious to this forum is that a lightweight, all-aluminum, aerodynamic trailer with a low center-of-gravity, fully-independent suspension, and, preferably, four-wheel disc brakes is the best possible travel trailer. It's stability is simply unsurpassed.

What is not so obvious to this forum is that the tow vehicle can be the weak link in road-handling ability.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:46 AM   #13
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What is obvious to this forum is that a lightweight, all-aluminum, aerodynamic trailer with a low center-of-gravity, fully-independent suspension, and, preferably, four-wheel disc brakes is the best possible travel trailer. It's stability is simply unsurpassed.
For sure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post

What is not so obvious to this forum is that the tow vehicle can be the weak link in road-handling ability.
Agree... I believe that the review of many accidents involving an Airstream would reveal that it was the TV's lack of performance, stability, or prowess that was a key factor in the mishap.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:53 AM   #14
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Agree... I believe that the review of many accidents involving an Airstream would reveal that it was the TV's lack of performance, stability, or prowess that was a key factor in the mishap.
Don't forget the driver.

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Old 01-12-2009, 01:54 PM   #15
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Answer the question asked...

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Originally Posted by shermantic View Post
Is it better to tow with a long wheel base or a Short Wheel Base truck???? Newby here
Long.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:21 PM   #16
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If you go with a Crew Cab, the four door truck with a short bed is pretty much the same wheel base, or slightly longer, than the long bed regular cab or extended cab. If you really want long wheel base, go with the Crew Cab with the long bed and forget parking anywhere except the next zip code when you go to Wal-mart or the grocery store.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:58 PM   #17
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I kinda get what your talking about..

but let a truck pass by me and the whole setup is rock solid... The parking spot lines give a point of reference..
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:16 PM   #18
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I Have a 96 Yukon (Tahoe) I will be towing our 26 ft Argosy! Whats your thoughts
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:36 PM   #19
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but let a truck pass by me and the whole setup is rock solid... The parking spot lines give a point of reference..

I'm one of those weird people who like to tow my large trailer with a large "overrated truck". I will only add I like the stability of the long wheelbase(dually probably helps too) truck versus the shorter wheelbase I used to pull with.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Is it better to tow with a long wheel base or a Short Wheel Base truck???? Newby here


I was impressed by the Porsche video but most of us don't qualify as professional performance drivers and we seldom use closed courses. I do qualify, however, as one of the guys that pulls his Airstream with a truck. I returned last night after 1250 miles from Phoenix to western Montana. The roads were typical roads: a little ice and snow, lots of shallow pavement ruts from the semi trucks, and LOTS of wind (always quartering or cross--never a tail wind). I've towed with a shorter truck in similar conditions and I vote for the longer wheelbase. My double cab Tundra was stable, precise and comfortable. It just wasn't as effected by the adverse road conditions. I was impressed by the performance.

I agree with Gene--don't forget the driver.
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