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Old 06-26-2018, 09:55 AM   #1
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Short or long bed for TT towing (Not 5th wheel)

I know you give up some maneuverability with a long bed, but are they significantly better for towing. Buying in near future and like short-beds, but...

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Old 06-26-2018, 10:47 AM   #2
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Significantly better ??? That depends on the rig, how close you are to maximum capacities in GVW, GCWR, GAW, and hitch weight. It also depends on the type hitch you have, often a 2 point WD hitch is just no match for a combination and you'll get sway with any tow vehicle. On the other hand, a 4 point WD hitch may not control sway in a rig that's not set up properly or that is simply "outclassed" in any of the above "maximums"....

That said, from a control standpoint, the longer the distance from the rear axle to the front axle, the less impact and "equal distance" from the rear axle to the hitch ball will have on sway. Lateral forces on the hitch ball will "push" the front axle of the tow vehicle in the opposite direction from the forces on the trailer ball. The further the front axle is from the fulcrum (rear axle pivot point) the less impact you'll feel in the steering wheel.

So, generally speaking, all other things being equal, yes, the longer the wheelbase the more stable the rig will be.

A fifth wheel does not "induce front axle sway" because there is no fulcrum. The trailer connection point is directly over the rear axle (or very near directly over it) so there is no push/pull in the opposite direction.


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Old 06-26-2018, 12:33 PM   #3
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Properly set up, I think the average driver won't see a major difference. I have pulled with both long, and short bed trucks, and actually the short bed is more nimble when maneuvering.

Another major consideration is whether your truck will be a daily driver. We just came out of an F250 Crew cab long bed into our F350 CC short bed, and the difference is night and day in "regular driving"! It may not seem like much, but we can actually park now without sticking out into the aisle at the store. By comparison, the older truck was like driving a school bus.

Good Luck,

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Old 06-26-2018, 03:53 PM   #4
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I have owned and pulled with both. You asked if a long bed was "significantly" better; no. If you load correctly you really can't tell any difference. Some folks love long beds and I get that; they are better for some things, but, a short bed is better for some things as well. As pull toy mentioned, maneuverability is critical to me, and my wife, in particular. The SB is far easier to maneuver in a parking lot than the LB etc. - so I drive and like the SB. JMO
Danny & Susan wife of 51 years
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Old 06-26-2018, 03:54 PM   #5
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Thanks all. Good information.
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:55 PM   #6
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Just came back from a camping trip with friends and one guy noticed my 2011 passport has a wider spacing on my axles and said hey I bet you that thing travels with less wiggle I believe he's right. So the trailer you're towing would make a difference how it's set up.
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Old 06-27-2018, 05:09 AM   #7
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One other thing to consider is the cab size. The wheel base of a standard cab is much shorter than a crew cab.

Mark S.
2014 Cougar 318SAB
2015 Silverado 3500HD 6.6L Diesel 4WD CC SB
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Old 06-27-2018, 06:34 AM   #8
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Currently we have a 96 2500 Standard cab with a long bed. We plan to buy a 2500 Crew cab. Our current trailer is a 21RBSWE. Plan to keep it for many years. Wa have an Andersen hitch and love it so far.
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Old 06-27-2018, 06:41 AM   #9
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With a bumper pull it isn't about the BED LENGTH, it's all about WHEELBASE...
'15 Cougar 333MKS
Plenty of truck...
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:03 AM   #10
Ken / Claudia
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Wheelbase, you heard that already it's all about wheelbase. I have had 2 short beds and 3 long beds. For me never another short but, it's not about towing it's about what can be carried. Example a co-worker went to a cattle auction last spring and showed me photos and prices of new Ram trucks for sale at big discounts of all cab and drive trains types. He said talking to the salesman they could not sell any. Seeing the photos of them and they were nice trucks but, everyone was a short bed. I said that's why they were not selling, cowboys need work trucks with long beds. He said that's what the salesman also said.
I pull my listed boat with a 2002 chev trailblazer or the f350. Those are way different in wheelbase and the f350 is much easier to back and maneuver then the smaller vehicle. The same truck in a long or short bed likely not that noticeable.

2013 24RKSWE (27ft TT) Cougar 1/2 ton series
2002 Ford F350 4x4 CC 7.3 Traded off 03-19
2013 Ford F350 4x4 CC 6.7 8ft bed 3.55 rear end lariat
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bed, tow, towing

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