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Post Info TOPIC: Dually---a must for a safe, smooth ride?


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Dually---a must for a safe, smooth ride?


I know this topic has probably been asked about and answered more than once. However, we're on the brink of purchasing our pickup and need to be able to save where ever an opportunity presents itself, without sacrificing safety. I am aware that individuals have preferences as to whether or not dual rear wheels are necessary for a smooth safe ride when towing. What I need to know is whether this is an option we can forego when purchasing our pickup and not regret having done that later as the quality of our ride when towing might then be compromised. Is there someone out there who tows without them and is satisfied with their ride when towing and is traveling safely?



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I have had both, a SRW F350 and now a DRW F350. To address your situation, the determining factor is almost always the Rear Axle Weight Rating. My SRW truck pulled and stopped my 15,200 lbs 5th wheel (pin weight of 3,200 lbs) just fine. But I was 200 lbs over the RAWR of that truck and we were 900 lbs over on the GVWR. This concerned me, because of the strain on the equipment and when operating overweight, I was voiding my truck's warranty, and was a safety issue, IMO. That drove me to upgrade to our current DRW truck.

Now that we are loaded for full timing, our weight has gone up. Our 5th wheel now weighs 16,400 lbs and our pin weight has gone up to 3,720 lbs. The Dually easily handles these weights with plenty of reserve, so safer in that regard. The towing experience is definately better. Before, with the SRW truck, the bow wake of passing 18 wheelers was very noticeable, as were strong side winds. With the dually, both of those are improved. Honestly, when a 18 wheeler passes us now, it is barely noticeable. More stable and more capable.

I know it's tempting to avoid the expense of a DRW truck, but this really isn't where you want to "get by" IMO. Many do it and will tell you it's just fine. That was why I started out with a SRW truck. Cost me a little to get the "right" truck, the second time. My final comment would be if you trailer's various weights don't exceed the truck's weight ratings, then you can get by with a SRW truck. The weight rating that is most often exceeded is the Rear Axle Weight Rating.

Good luck. Be safe.



-- Edited by RonC on Monday 5th of June 2017 08:14:38 AM



-- Edited by RonC on Monday 3rd of July 2017 03:31:25 PM

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Anything OVER 14K I would highly advise a Dually. Bottom line you want the truck to perform in adverse conditions.

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I've towed the same 15,000 lb 5th wheel with two different SRW trucks and two different Dually trucks. Both duallys felt more stable towing the 5th wheel.

The SRW trucks handled it fine...I just feel safer with the duallys. Most noticeable difference is when going around a turn in the SRWs the rear end of the truck gets a squishy feel to it. Kind of like the front of the 5th wheel is pushing down and out on the hitch. It's not bad but I don't get that feeling with the duallys.

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Come away from the brink! Have you purchased or selected the RV? With that information you'll receive a better set of opinions regarding a TV.



-- Edited by LarryW21 on Tuesday 25th of April 2017 05:16:33 PM

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If you do your shopping homework you can get a DRW cheaper than a SRW .plus if you have a flat tire you can limp off the road to get it changed, SRW not so much

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Are you still looking at the Open Range 3x388RKS? If so, it has a GVWR of 16450lbs.

JMHO... buy the DRW. Anything less is asking for trouble.

FWIW, Brian.



-- Edited by BiggarView on Wednesday 26th of April 2017 03:12:34 PM

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But we do have a very nice veggie garden. 



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Thank you for all the responses. They really help make the decision easier, because it is as I thought it would be. Brian, yes we are still looking at the Open Range and that will most probably be what we end up with.

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Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

 

W.C. Fields



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I have owned several SRW And DRW trucks and also managed a large fleet of trucks in the past. While Single Rear Wheel trucks will do the job pulling all but the heaviest of 5th wheels I have found Dual Rear Wheel rigs to track the road better while giving a smoother more stable ride. When I picked the truck we were to hit the road with full-time our choice was a 2007 Dodge Ram Megacab DRW 4x4 with a Cummins 5.9 engine. We have never been disappointed with this decision. The one addition I recommend with whichever truck you purchase is to add airbags. They level the truck under a load and give a much nicer ride loaded or empty. Best of luck with your new truck. Happy RVing!

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Try the website Fifth Wheel Street for an easy way to figure out what size truck to tow your choice of trailer. 



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Pick the RV first…and get the numbers (total loaded weight even though you may have to estimate this and pin weight) and then run the numbers to decide whether you need a 250/350/450/550 series truck. Rear axle rating will almost always be the first limit you reach.

If the trailer weighs over about 14K loaded for travel…I would get the dually…(well, I would recommend the dually in all cases for a 5ver.



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Neil and Connie wrote:

Pick the RV first…and get the numbers (total loaded weight even though you may have to estimate this and pin weight) and then run the numbers to decide whether you need a 250/350/450/550 series truck. Rear axle rating will almost always be the first limit you reach.

If the trailer weighs over about 14K loaded for travel…I would get the dually…(well, I would recommend the dually in all cases for a 5ver.


A bit of a "fine tune" to Neil's excellent advice if I may.  In the case of 450/4500 - 550/5500 trucks - commercial trucks - one will most likely run out of Gross Combined Weight Rating before rear axle.   Especially with the 5500 trucks.  It's just due to the math and the de-rated (for long life) commercial versions of the engines.  Also if considering a 4500/5500 (450-550 is the same - just marketing) I strongly recommend going to the 5500 series.  The extra cost is minimal - really drops in the noise - and I find 4500's are right in the marginal range for some ratings - like rear axle where its needed.

(BTW - the F-450 non-commercial "pickup" runs out of rear axle first.  Don't confuse the F-450 pickup with the F-450 commercial truck like Howard has. Totally different trucks - and the model year matters a lot as to specs. All years are not the same.)

I also recommend not using on-line weight calculators or the like.  They simply don't always take all the numbers into consideration as a "package."  Seen that more than once when I tried to use them and they can indicated a "OK" condition when in the big picture that is not the case.  So, IMO, do the math yourself and in so doing you will learn the relationships between the ratings.

Remember, just because some truck's specs say it can tow a 30,000lb trailer doesn't mean the truck can actually connect to a 30,000lb fifth wheel trailer and not be seriously overloaded.  Careful of the marketing rating numbers.  Half-truths are dangerous - as are single wheel trucks towing most fivers of any size regardless of ratings.  It's that safety / stability thing.  ("Ask me how I know this.")

My 2 cents

Bill



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Bill: I will probably regret asking because your answer might scare me to death, but here goes, "How do you know"?

Karen

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Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

 

W.C. Fields



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ChefMom wrote:

Bill: I will probably regret asking because your answer might scare me to death, but here goes, "How do you know"?

Karen


 Karen:

Well, it’s not all "that bad;" but it could have been. :)  I've driven SWD trucks and can really feel the difference. In taking corners with a "big" fiver (our previous one) with a smaller 2006 DRW truck I could feel the 5er trying to "push" the rear of the truck out of the turns.  Simply put the truck needed to go more left (or right) but the momentum of the trailer, especially going downhill, wanted to go more "straight."  From experience with both SRW and DRW I could tell a marked difference with the DRW staying on track and not being tilted and the rear of the truck pushed off track by the trailer.  The titling thing is significant as well.  Four wheels are more stable and gripping than two.  Pretty simple.

Secondly, coming down I-17 from Flagstaff to Phoenix - a pretty steep road that just never seems to end - we lost a tire on the DRW truck due to a rock cut.  It was not obvious, tire pressure monitor or not, till we pulled into the Sunset Point Rest Area where I checked tires and brakes as a natural thing.  The inner dual tire was "flat." “How about that Linda.”  But we did not have an "event."  Changed the tire and went on our way with only some sweat on my part from changing the tire to show for it.

Some may say these experiences are just my opinions and aren't that big a deal.  So be it. But I would hate to lose a rear tire taking turns on a mountain road with 18,000lbs or more wanting to go one way while I'm trying to go another regardless of the speed.  Granted if one loses a steer tire there isn't much one can do about that except initiate the correct recovery technique (which is not braking hard.)  But one can do something for safety and redundancy with the rear tires in addition to more carrying capacity.  That’s two reasons why a DRW truck is strongly recommend with a fiver.

 

Bill



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I'd give Bill a healthy dose of respect regarding his comments. If your concern is the size of the truck, this too will pass with time, practice and familiarity with the equipment. Good driving habits, in concert with selecting the appropriate TV for your needs, are essential as well and cannot be overemphasized. 

To me, it is more a case of, which would you prefer... being alive and safe and maybe regretting that you have too much truck or possibly laying in a hospital bed or worse because you didn't have enough or the right type of truck. I think we'd all like, and your family too, to sit around the campfire and hear of your adventures and not potentially mourning the loss of a friend. Not trying to "scare" you, just not have you tempting fate unnecessarily.

JMHO, Brian

 



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no Mor/ryde IS, no disk brakes, no solar
no tow vehicle or RV... but we are shopping... 
But we do have a very nice veggie garden. 



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Brian's post gave me pause. I know that most people "play the odds" ... but in truth, every decision is binary, it either happens or it doesn't. The "odds" thing is an effort to determine the likelihood of something happening or not happening. It can give a false impression of safety when none exists. Tires either blow or they do not, but no tire blows out 2%. So another way of looking at "odds" is to determine if the worst case should happen, is the outcome acceptable? In the case of SRW trucks, the odds are heavily in favor of nothing going wrong, even if slightly overweight, which is why so many people do it. They roll the dice every time they operate over weight. I'm a worst case scenario planner. Each to his own, but to me there is no level of acceptable risk to me or my family that is worth the difference in cost between a SRW truck and DRW truck. Not judging, just putting it out there. MY personal decision is just that, my personal decision. Others may chose differently and I respect that.

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2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016



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Yeah…you're right…with our 5500 we would run out of GCVW first but not by too much. For most non 5500s though…I would think you're closest on the rear axle…although the only one I can say for sure on is the F450.



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Neil and Connie wrote:

Yeah…you're right…with our 5500 we would run out of GCVW first but not by too much. For most non 5500s though…I would think you're closest on the rear axle…although the only one I can say for sure on is the F450.


 So, when I was doing the math for a replacement truck as well as for others with heavy trailers (New Horizons primarily but not solely) I found the GCVWR was running out before the RAWR.  I specifically looked at the 4500HD and it didn't have the numbers to handle some of the heavy trailers.  I've found, in most cases, when trailers go over the 23K-24K range and are long(er) the pin weight starts to really climb.  Duh, not surprising.  When I looked at the 4500 (commercial) it just was too close on my spreadsheets.  So that just pushed me on the the 5500 as having the best numbers for the purpose intended in the real world.  The commercial F-450 had enough rear axle in some limited cases as I recall but not enough GCWR as an example.

But to the point, as I was looking at trucks for a number of people with pins going into the 6,000+ range we where still good on rear axle but bumping the GCWR "first" as I fiddled with the numbers and pin weight percentages / numbers.

All this campground conversation to say, do the math for each situation.  "It depends." 

-30-



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Classy Chassis RV Hauler Bed Conversion \ Aux Fuel Tank 



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Bill and Linda wrote:
ChefMom wrote:

Bill: I will probably regret asking because your answer might scare me to death, but here goes, "How do you know"?

Karen


 Karen:

Well, it’s not all "that bad;" but it could have been. :)  I've driven SWD trucks and can really feel the difference. In taking corners with a "big" fiver (our previous one) with a smaller 2006 DRW truck I could feel the 5er trying to "push" the rear of the truck out of the turns.  Simply put the truck needed to go more left (or right) but the momentum of the trailer, especially going downhill, wanted to go more "straight."  From experience with both SRW and DRW I could tell a marked difference with the DRW staying on track and not being tilted and the rear of the truck pushed off track by the trailer.  The titling thing is significant as well.  Four wheels are more stable and gripping than two.  Pretty simple.

Secondly, coming down I-17 from Flagstaff to Phoenix - a pretty steep road that just never seems to end - we lost a tire on the DRW truck due to a rock cut.  It was not obvious, tire pressure monitor or not, till we pulled into the Sunset Point Rest Area where I checked tires and brakes as a natural thing.  The inner dual tire was "flat." “How about that Linda.”  But we did not have an "event."  Changed the tire and went on our way with only some sweat on my part from changing the tire to show for it.

Some may say these experiences are just my opinions and aren't that big a deal.  So be it. But I would hate to lose a rear tire taking turns on a mountain road with 18,000lbs or more wanting to go one way while I'm trying to go another regardless of the speed.  Granted if one loses a steer tire there isn't much one can do about that except initiate the correct recovery technique (which is not braking hard.)  But one can do something for safety and redundancy with the rear tires in addition to more carrying capacity.  That’s two reasons why a DRW truck is strongly recommend with a fiver.

 

Bill


 Bill:   Thank you. Understood and convinced.

Karen

 



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Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

 

W.C. Fields



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Karen,

Here is an idea that I did for Ruth and Dale (NWEscapees) some years back.  We had gotten acquainted here on RV Dreams and they were going to be visiting Oklahoma City when we still lived there.  We got together for a meal (supper, I think) and I let both of them drive our Ford F450.  They were looking at an identical Mobile Suites RV as we have, so I wanted them to see and experience the size, both in appearance and in driving, of an F450.  Point is, I don't think either of them felt intimidated by the size of the truck.

That said, if you are concerned with size, look around to see if you can find someone, perhaps even some kindly person in an RV park, to let you drive their truck.

Terry



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Terry:

 

Very good idea as you really don't know if you are comfortable with the vehicle and what the difference in handling is unless you drive it. I'm certain some of the friendly individuals we've run into in parks would be o.k. with a little test drive.



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Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

 

W.C. Fields



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Our approach was to be as safe as possible. I didn't even give consideration to ride quality or truck size when deciding to go with the F-450 dually. After one year, absolutely no regrets.

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Just saw your response Dave & Denise and I understand. Safety must be priority number 1. We all, no matter what our economic/financial place in the world want to be safe, want our families to be safe. You are fortunate not to have to consider a smaller truck, however, as hard working humans with a budget, we would certainly give consideration to a smaller truck pulling a lighter 5th wheel.



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Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

 

W.C. Fields



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I'm pretty sure that all of us are (or were) hard working humans with a budget.

Nothing wrong with going with lighter weight equipment if that fits YOUR budget better. Just don't go big trailer, little truck.

Depending on your needs and wants ... going with a 5 year old F450 you'd probably spend less than on a new F250. My point is that you have a lot of control over costs by going with "other than new" equipment. That goes for the truck and the trailer.



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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016



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Thanks for your advice. This may be the answer. As usual, we'll overthink it for a while and then decide.



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Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

 

W.C. Fields



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Bill and Linda wrote:

I also recommend not using on-line weight calculators or the like.  They simply don't always take all the numbers into consideration as a "package."  Seen that more than once when I tried to use them and they can indicated a "OK" condition when in the big picture that is not the case.  So, IMO, do the math yourself and in so doing you will learn the relationships between the ratings.

My 2 cents

Bill


 Bill, I don't disagree with your comment entirely. However, I would like to know your thoughts and opinion on RV Tow Check 3.0. Please respond by a private message so not to distract from this thread. 



-- Edited by Cyclone Dave on Monday 3rd of July 2017 01:17:55 PM

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Cyclone Dave wrote:
Bill and Linda wrote:

I also recommend not using on-line weight calculators or the like.  They simply don't always take all the numbers into consideration as a "package."  Seen that more than once when I tried to use them and they can indicated a "OK" condition when in the big picture that is not the case.  So, IMO, do the math yourself and in so doing you will learn the relationships between the ratings.

My 2 cents

Bill


 Bill, I don't disagree with your comment entirely. However, I would like to know your thoughts and opinion on RV Tow Check 3.0. Please respond by a private message so not to distract from this thread. 



-- Edited by Cyclone Dave on Monday 3rd of July 2017 01:17:55 PM


 PM sent as requested.  Tried the calculator again.  Comment still stands.

Bill



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2016 RAM 5500HD \ 4-Wheel Drive \ Link Air Ride
Classy Chassis RV Hauler Bed Conversion \ Aux Fuel Tank 



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You never want to be a LB over weight when towing a trailer. If you have a accident and the weight limits are investigated you will automatically be at fault. Make sure you buy the proper vehicle that will easily handle the trailers full weight, with personal items, water, and everything else your putting in it. Make sure you have a safety net of extra weight to play with. I'm no expert on this subject, but I did extensive research recently on the subject.

 



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" If you have a accident and the weight limits are investigated you will automatically be at fault."

I have heard this so many times it makes my head spin. I have NEVER heard of this happening. Can you or anyone else show proof it this happening?

Commercial vehicles yes this can and does happen!

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2016 Mobile Suites 39TKSB3 "Highly Elited"

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