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I’ve been doing research on moving to an RV lifestyle when I retire (~ 18 months). I pretty much know what RV I’m going to buy, but the truck is still an uncertainty. The things I do know is that it will be a diesel, crew cab and long box….all of those are certainties.

 

So as background, to start, I expect that we will be RVing only during the Ohio winters, but transitioning to full-time based on the first year or two of experiences. To those means, I have developed an extensive list of things we will be taking. I’ve gone as far as to weigh them (or acquire their weight), determine where they will be stored in the RV, and have used some simple engineering force formulas to calculate a realistic payload requirement for the truck. (NOTE: GCWR and GAWR are not at risk. It’s only the truck’s GVWR and Payload that I am concerned about). Knowing that only the Dodge Ram’s Super Duty is SAE J2807 compliant at this time, the only thing I could do is use the manufacturer’s specs when looking at payload ratings. The good news is that with Ford redesigning their Super Duty line in 2017, they and GM have committed to the SAE standards in 2017. That helps me if I buy something new, but not is I buy something used. That said, my calculated payload has a maximum requirement of 3,900 lbs, which eliminated the 2016 Ford SRW which comes in approx. 3,600 lbs. Bummer, because I like the Fords. 2016 Chevy is approx. 4,200 lbs and 2016 Dodge Ram is approx. 4,300 lbs, both are SRWs. Given these are approaching the upper limits of the vehicles, I’ve been contemplating going to a DRW, which I would prefer not to if given a choice. But I need to be realistic too.

 

Anyway, after reading a number of other forums elsewhere on the internet on the subject of “DRW vs SRW”, I’ve determined that it is best that I consult a group of people in similar situations as I am. The forums had good info, but the types of towing varied. As a result, I thought I would come here for the perspective of an experienced audience.

 

So the RV I am interested in is a fifth wheel, has a GVWR of 14,000 lbs and the max. payload required (trailer, passenger, hitch, etc.) will be approx. 3,900 lbs. What are some of the pros and cons between SRW vs DRW when it comes to towing something like this configuration? Also, while I don’t expect it to be my DD (daily driver) in the off season, I do expect to use it some when not towing. As well, when I am towing, I expect we’ll need to use it for getting around; e.g. sight-seeing, grocery shopping, laundry, etc., and I may ask for it to eventually become a full-time towing vehicle. Last point, we expect that boondocking will be our preferred style of accommodations when we do go RVing.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

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Sounds like you're right on track with your thinking, however, depending on what part of Ohio you're talking about, you might have a big trade off to consider. A DRW is going to increase your CC (and would be preferable for the weights you're talking about, IMO) but they also handle very poorly in snow. A NE Ohio winter with 14k on your rear-end would NOT be enjoyable.

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Sounds like you're right on track with your thinking, however, depending on what part of Ohio you're talking about, you might have a big trade off to consider. A DRW is going to increase your CC (and would be preferable for the weights you're talking about, IMO) but they also handle very poorly in snow. A NE Ohio winter with 14k on your rear-end would NOT be enjoyable.

Thx Yarome. I've read that the DRWs are not very good in snow or on wet roads. But I should have added that if all goes to plan, my boondocking in the RV will be when it's winter in Ohio and hopefully the snow won't be much of a problem. I'm expecting to be spending the winters in Arizona, California, Texas, etc.

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I'm expecting to be spending the winters in Arizona, California, Texas, etc.ove

 

Gotcha!! My mistake. I read it bassackwards. Then yes.. I would definitely be looking toward a DRW (in that weight class). One thing to consider is that those published weights are also not going to take in to account any factory options above the base model. That will cut directly into your CC so what may seem as being "just shy of max" on paper will likely be 'over' once the wheels hit the pavement.

 

Of course.. I'm also of the "more truck is more better" clan. Take it with a grain of salt.

Edited by Yarome

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I have had trouble parking my DRW in 2 campgrounds due to width; Gouldings in Monument Valley and a cg I don't remember in Moab. Other than that, no issues with width. I usually park far from other vehicles at Walmart, Lowes, etc. Just makes it easier to get in and get out without having to worry about someone dinging the fenders. I also keep my mirrors out in the towing position. That way they are always in the same spot and I do not have to adjust anything when I am towing.

 

I have never seen any verified data on SRW vs. DRW handling. There are plenty of opinions though.

 

Dually means 2 extra tires to replace. You may want to get a contraption to make checking/adding air pressure to the inside tire easier.

 

If I was a fulltimer, I'd be a resident of SD and have an HDT instead of a DRW, but that is another topic all together.

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We has a couple single rear wheel trucks for fiver towing and while they were just fine for the lighter ones I really wish I'd have gone with the dual rear wheels on the last pickup as the fiver and cargo put it close to the maximum.

 

Handling on the single truck wasn't too bad until we hit rutted pavement or cross-winds, then it got a bit wobbly, not sure if the duals would have helped with the ruts but they would have helped with the cross-winds.

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We are on our third DRW. For a spell we lived in NE Oklahoma and the DRW was my daily driver, summer and winter. Never an issue with snow or ice or wet roads. During the winter, I place about 300# of sand in bags over the rear axle and never a problem.

 

There are a lot of so called "experts" on the subject of DRW that have never driven one.

 

So you need to base your selection on SRW vs DRW based on the pin weight of the trailer and the trucks weight capacity. For a 14,000# 5er, you might get by with a SRW, but do you home work first. Do not use the trailer manufacturer's pin weight. Use 20 to 22% of the trailers GVWR as the estimated pin weight.

 

Ken

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I am right about your weight, 16,000 loaded, and I went with the DRW: 2015 F350. I can't compare to a SRW in towing with the same unit but I have driven a srw and pulled a smaller trailer before.

 

People, including the dealer, tried to scare me off the DRW, but the weights pointed me in that direction and I didn't want to cut corners. I am from Michigan but have not driven it in the snow. However because I am from that part of the country I went with the 4x4.

 

It has been rock solid. It is big and it does take getting used to , but I did get used to it. As the previous poster said I will park farther away in lots when I have a choice but I have never not gone somewhere because of the truck. I have had no traction issues in rain, gravel or dirt even without the 4X4. I use the 4X4 very very infrequently but do like knowing it is there.

 

The big thing is the pulling even in winds is just really steady and no sway whatsoever. I do not feel any pull when semis go by me. The truck is a beast and it gives me a confident feeling. One less very important thing to worry about.

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For that weight of trailer, I would prefer a dually. I have a SRW ford and F350 4x4 Dually. I am comfortable towing something in the class you are talking about with the dually but not the SRW. Mine was our daily driver when we were on the road and it is NOT the issue that a lot of people make it out to be. The truck is more stable at speed than a SRW with a lot of reserve capacity for your tow weight and that is not a bad thing when your family is riding with you.

 

I have never had an issue parking in a campground, the fiver is wider than the truck. If the truck wouldn't fit, the trailer sure isn't going in the hole either.

Edited by GeorgiaHybrid

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I have owned three Dodge RAM Cummins diesel. My first which you can see on my website below in Photos was a 92 long bed dually with that gawdawful jump seat but was great room for our pup. We towed both a 90 HitchHiker 34.5 foot aluminum skin also on the website, as well as a 36 foot much heavier Damon Challenger. The dually was perfectly stable, in fact it was like not having a trailer behind us in heavy side winds. My next was a SRW 2002 long bed Dodge/Cummins for running around and towing a utility trailer at most after we came back off the road to care for aging parents in 2003. Now I have a Dodge Cummins 2006 short bed. I sold the 92 with around 700k miles on it to my mechanic and it is still in service. My 2002 was sold with 425k miles on it and looked and drove like new. My 2006 is a never again. http://s1359.photobucket.com/user/RV_Roadie/library/Pups%20and%20Property/Vehicles?sort=3&page=1 The quiet engine and power are unbelievable, fast! But the short bed combined with the SRW is really less stable than my SRW long bed by a mile. If you are going full time go dually.

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I'd recommend the DRW as you said "pretty much know what RV I’m going to buy" and " extensive list of things we will be taking" so to be safe if you end up with a heavier fifth wheel and all your stuff get the dually. Also, if you add an auxiliary fuel tank/toolbox in the bed you'll appreciate the dually. I love the extra diesel tank so I don't have to maneuver in fuel stations when towing. Don't forget to add a couple hundred pounds for the hitch in the bed. My wife and I drive ours every day, easy to get use to as others have said. We haven't been unable to park in campgrounds (including Gouldings) but it can sometime be tight (SRW or DRW). You will not find a drive through car wash that accommodates a dually so get use to washing it yourself. Our first dually was a 4x4 but in 7 years only used the 4x4 a couple times. We don't go north in the winter (if we had to we'd rent a car) and now have a 2x4 F350 which is lower than the 4x4 so easier to get in and out of. It also has a more towing and payload capacity without the front drive hardware. We have Good Sam emergency road service if a tow is needed. Get the dually and enjoy your travels! Greg

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I totally agree with Big Greg and 1300 miles between fill ups is great when traveling. Three point parking has become a way of life, pull in, back up, then pull straight in. I had many SRW PU's in the past, but non were duallys. I never did like the DRW design from a looks or function stand point. Now that I have a dually, it has been the best truck, especially for full timing. Going on 10 years old, 300k and still pulling chevy strong, 4 years full timing.

Greg

 

We have been in DC for 2 weeks now and still burning $1.53 Mississippi diesel.

Edited by gjhunter01

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We used a 07 Dodge dually when we towed a 5th wheel. Loved its stability on the highway, no issues parking it etc. Ours was along bed crew cab. Never needed the extra weight of carrying extra fuel. Since our travel days were about one tankful wed just fill at end of day. Never had issues finding fuel or maneuvering in stations

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I had about 1500 pounds in the bed of my truck. That and our two bodies. a dog, and the stuff in the bed made it overweight when we carried our full Transfer Flow Fuel tank's 64 gallons, and have a full water tank and black or gray tank, all 30 plus gallons. Just be aware of the weight of the fuel tank empty and the weight of diesel 7.15 pounds per US gallon. For my 64 gallon in bed tank that's 457.6 pounds. That gets added to the pin weight on the bed, and the axle weight capacities can be exceeded easily with the 92 dually I had. No full size fifth wheel I've towed had only a couple hundred pounds of pin weight.

 

Here is a calculator that can help:

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-trailer-weight-fw.shtml

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The new 1 ton dually will have a much greater towing and payload capacity than a 1992 or even our old 2007 F350, our auxiliary tank holds 70 gallons plus the toolbox. If you travel expressways truck stops and freeway stations are easy to maneuver in but not always so easy if you travel secondary roads. Yes, if you have an auxiliary tank/toolbox you need to weigh your rig to be sure you are overloaded and have a safety margin. You should weight it period. A DRW gives a lot more payload flexibility than SRW. Greg

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I am right about your weight, 16,000 loaded, and I went with the DRW: 2015 F350. I can't compare to a SRW in towing with the same unit but I have driven a srw and pulled a smaller trailer before.

 

People, including the dealer, tried to scare me off the DRW, but the weights pointed me in that direction and I didn't want to cut corners. I am from Michigan but have not driven it in the snow. However because I am from that part of the country I went with the 4x4.

 

It has been rock solid. It is big and it does take getting used to , but I did get used to it. As the previous poster said I will park farther away in lots when I have a choice but I have never not gone somewhere because of the truck. I have had no traction issues in rain, gravel or dirt even without the 4X4. I use the 4X4 very very infrequently but do like knowing it is there.

 

The big thing is the pulling even in winds is just really steady and no sway whatsoever. I do not feel any pull when semis go by me. The truck is a beast and it gives me a confident feeling. One less very important thing to worry about.

On a related note, if I go dually, which it looks like I should, I like the '15 Ford F-350. I know in that model year, Ford beefed up the turbo and as such beefed up the exhaust brake rather significantly. Did you have a Ford before the 2015? If so, can you feel the difference in the exhaust brake going down steep grades? Thx, Chris

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Thanks for all the input, guidance and advice. This was the right place to come for feedback as I was struggling doing what my heart wanted, but my head was telling me otherwise. I’m not fond of duallies. But given what I WANT to do and how I will be using it 95% of the time, your comments are validating that I need to use my brain when it comes to important matters of safety and confidence when moving move than 20K of total weight down the road. After all, it’s not only my safety but the people around me on the road too. Thanks again. Keep the feedback coming, if there are any others. Thx, Chris

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I totally agree with Big Greg and 1300 miles between fill ups is great when traveling. Three point parking has become a way of life, pull in, back up, then pull straight in. I had many SRW PU's in the past, but non were duallys. I never did like the DRW design from a looks or function stand point. Now that I have a dually, it has been the best truck, especially for full timing. Going on 10 years old, 300k and still pulling strong, 4 years full timing.

Greg

Good idea on the 3-point parking. And I hadn't thought about the extra fuel tank with the added capacity of the dually. I need to add that to the list. Thx, Chris

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I'd recommend the DRW as you said "pretty much know what RV I’m going to buy" and " extensive list of things we will be taking" so to be safe if you end up with a heavier fifth wheel and all your stuff get the dually. Also, if you add an auxiliary fuel tank/toolbox in the bed you'll appreciate the dually. I love the extra diesel tank so I don't have to maneuver in fuel stations when towing. Don't forget to add a couple hundred pounds for the hitch in the bed. My wife and I drive ours every day, easy to get use to as others have said. We haven't been unable to park in campgrounds (including Gouldings) but it can sometime be tight (SRW or DRW). You will not find a drive through car wash that accommodates a dually so get use to washing it yourself. Our first dually was a 4x4 but in 7 years only used the 4x4 a couple times. We don't go north in the winter (if we had to we'd rent a car) and now have a 2x4 F350 which is lower than the 4x4 so easier to get in and out of. It also has a more towing and payload capacity without the front drive hardware. We have Good Sam emergency road service if a tow is needed. Get the dually and enjoy your travels! Greg

Greg, The dually would give me more flexibility than the SRW. Adding a toolbox was something I wanted to do. I was playing around with weight distribution and was considering a cargo carrier on the hitch to move weight off the pin. With a dually, I don't have to worry about that. Thx, Chris

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I towed Travel Trailers for years and had no desire to go to FW until my 32 foot trailer would not stop swaying so I stepped up to my FW. I had a 2011 F-250 the first year and it towed the 14,000 lbs FW fine but I know I was over the 10,000 GVWR by the time I added all the things in the truck including 3 adults and 50 gallons of fuel instead of the 26 from the factory and the 300+ lbs for a hitch. Just those things add up to over 1000 lbs additional. I was going to go to Alaska so over the winter I looked for an F-350 dually and found a good buy on a 2014 and took it to Alaska 12600 mile trip and the DRW was a dream it towed so much better than the SRW less movement, less noise and better control. Sure it might be harder to park a dually but it is worth it to me.

Edited by N TX Dave

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I towed Travel Trailers for years and had no desire to go to FW until my 32 foot trailer would not stop swaying so I stepped up to my FW. I had a 2011 F-250 the first year and it towed the 14,000 lbs FW fine but I know I was over the 10,000 GVWR by the time I added all the things in the truck including 3 adults and 50 gallons of fuel instead of the 26 from the factory and the 300+ lbs for a hitch. Just those things add up to over 1000 lbs additional. I was going to go to Alaska so over the winter I looked for an F-350 dually and found a good buy on a 2014 and took it to Alaska 12600 mile trip and the DRW was a dream it towed so much better than the SRW less movement, less noise and better control. Sure it might be harder to park a dually but it is worth it to me.

Thx N TX Dave. Alaska is my dream trip. I've already laid out where I want to go and things I want to see. I'll bet you have some memories that will last a lifetime from that trip. Thanks again for the insight re: your experiences. Chris

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Our 2007 F350 had no engine-exhaust break, the 2014 does. The 2014 has no switch to turn it on or off like the newer F350s. All have Tow Haul which uses the tranny to hold the truck in lower gears when starting and downshifts and uses the integrated engine-exhaust brake to help descending hills/mountains. Another nice thing with the newer 6.7L is the ability to sift manually by pressing a button when descending so you can hold it in lower gears as needed. All the new diesel 1 tons are good tow vehicles. Greg

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I went through the same process when I bought the new truck. I ended up with a SRW.

 

Whatever decision you make it will be fine. The ONLY downside to my decision, was now that I am looking at a truck camper it would have been nice to have the extra set of wheels and the increase in weight capacity that it gives.

 

On backroads...yeah a DRW is a pain. However, it is only a pain when you meet somebody. You will meet less people on those roads than you think and.............if you know how to drive on Forest Service roads it will make it much easier: http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2010/03/driving-backroads.html

 

Even with a SRW long bed my diesel is 23 feet long. In town, I drive my wife's SUV. It has gotten so bad that she wants "her own" SUV.

 

IF your comfortable with driving a DRW in urban areas, you will be fine on backroads.

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