Sign in to follow this  
jrbartlett

Dually vs. Single Rear Wheel Towing

Recommended Posts

What are your opinions on the merits of dual-wheel vs. single-rear-wheel heavy duty pickups for towing big classic cars? I am in the market for a new tow vehicle to pull 10,000+ pounds of car and trailer. I currently use a conventional Class 5 hitch mounted on a extended cab long-bed F250.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drive and tow with a Dodge Diesel Ram 3/4 ton single rear wheels. My Son, working with me, tows with a Dodge Diesel Ram 3/4 ton dual rear wheels. There is NO apparent difference in towing or handling or braking characteristics. I see no advantage to dual wheels nor does my Son. We pull a 24' enclosed trailer with cars weighing as much as 7000# without difficulty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim

I've had the exact opposite experience than Jeff. I saw a huge stability difference using a truck with dual rear wheels and the same type of hitch. I found that I wasn't looking in my mirror as often with the dual-rear-wheeled vehicle (perhaps not rightfully so, I just seemed to forget that there was 10,000 pounds behind me). I especially noticed the difference when driving down the freeway with 50mph winds hitting me from the side, or when passing or being passed by semi trucks. The whole rig never budged, while the Suburban with which we normally towed would have been pushed all over the road.

That said, a dual-wheeled truck is not much of a dual-purpose vehicle, while the Suburban (or Avalanche, or similar vehicle), can be used on a more regular basis and kept in a regular sized garage. So, unless you're okay with spending a lot of money for a single-purpose vehicle, I would recommend the Suburban/Avalanche and drive accordingly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
.............. I especially noticed the difference when driving down the freeway with 50mph winds hitting me from the side, or when passing or being passed by semi trucks............

That said, a dual-wheeled truck is not much of a dual-purpose vehicle, while the Suburban (or Avalanche, or similar vehicle), can be used on a more regular basis and kept in a regular sized garage. So, unless you're okay with spending a lot of money for a single-purpose vehicle, I would recommend the Suburban/Avalanche and drive accordingly.

I agree with West totally. I have gotten used to the blowby from trucks now, but the extra stability from a dually would still not be enough to pry the extra money from my tight little hands.:)

Tightening the equalizer bars up on your tow vehicle is the secret to a good handling tow vehicle!;)

We've been on 3 tours so far this year, all with an open trailer. WOW, 13.1 mpg the last trip home from Mt Airy. Beat that Ford!:D

Ok, so I was only pulling a '32 Ford pu, missing a few solid body parts. (rust):o

We have just signed up for the Vintage Tour in July, so we will have to use an enclosed trailer for our early Essex. So much for gas mileage, about 9mpg is expected.

Wayne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We regularly get 14 mpg on the Cummins diesels pulling a loaded trailer. I like the Dodges partly because they weigh over 7000# and are very stable. Try going thru a bank drive thru with a dually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, diesels are always better on fuel.

Bank drive throughs? We even have problems getting the Suburban through those narrow things.

W.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe dually trucks are better suited for fifth wheel trailers, better tire weight distribution (remember the tire pressure thread??).

I like a 3/4 ton Suburban, am on my second one, looking for my third. If the trailer and car has any substantial weight to it, then you either need an 8.1 or a diesel. A 6.0 is OK for light trailers and a light car, but as the racers say, there's no replacement for displacement. GM quit putting the big engine in Suburbans in 2006, unfortunately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a one ton single wheel truck, followed by a pair of duallies. The duallies were far more stable towing vehicles. Didn't matter if it was a tag-along, goose neck, or fifth wheel trailer, the dually was a better choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not trade my 1 ton Dodge Dually Diesel for anything. I pull Packards on a dual axle trailer and the truck hardly knows any of it is there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A slightly-used big dually tow vehicle may be one of the best buys on the market. About two or three years ago, my brother told me of a five-year old (at the time) Ford Super Duty XLT twin cab, tow package, dually.... everything. It had just 12,000 miles on it. Clean as a whistle. The asking price was $10,000.

Limited use for him and no storage space, so he passed on it. As I said, if you have a place to park it, or if you feel comfortable using it as an everyday vehicle, that's what I'd do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jrbartlett said:
What are your opinions on the merits of dual-wheel vs. single-rear-wheel heavy duty pickups for towing big classic cars? I am in the market for a new tow vehicle to pull 10,000+ pounds of car and trailer. I currently use a conventional Class 5 hitch mounted on a extended cab long-bed F250.

 

What you are pulling determines what you use to pull with and stop with

 

Common sense that is often overlooked ;)

 

Only you know what the maximum combined weight rating

for both trailer & vehicle(s) will be .....

 

Start with that total - add 20% - then go from there

 

My personal preference - based upon full time towing day in & out

in all weather & road conditions imaginable ....

 

Ford F350 dually w/ 7.3 IDI engine 

 

Jim

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pull with a Ford F-350 crew cab dually. Would not pull with anything else. Very stable on the road. With the V-10 engine , it will pass everything but a gas station. It is also my bad wheather vechicle. Have pulled with 3/4 ton single axle trucks and did not feel safe when it was windy and when tractor trailers passed me. Came close of being sucked into one once.

Edited by dbirchmire (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not that I don't feel safe driving the 3/4-ton Suburban/Avalanche, it's just takes a LOT more attention, and is very tiring on a windy day. If there's no wind, not really any issues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dbirchmire said:
I pull with a Ford F-350 crew cab dually. Would not pull with anything else. Very stable on the road. With the V-10 engine , it will pass everything but a gas station. It is also my bad wheather vechicle. Have pulled with 3/4 ton single axle trucks and did not feel safe when it was windy and when tractor trailers passed me. Came close of being sucked into one once.

 

Dave ...

 

You drive an F350 dually AND you have the Mustang pictured ?

 

I'm not jealous 

 

 

Jim ;)

Edited by Trulyvintage (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah. If I were Dave, I'd be driving the Mustang and leave the F350 at home.

Dave's Mustang is the centerspread in Antique Automobile for the current issue. (Sorry about the staples, Dave)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the heavier tow vehicle the more stable it is, Usually duellies are heaver so they are better for towing. I used to tow with an old xplorer motorhome single rear wheel. it was a great tow vehicle never a problem, I changed to a custom van same wheel base larger engine, be a lot lighter, it was not a very good tow vehicle. I also think the trailer makes a big difference. an open trailer tows a lot better that an enclosed trailer of the same weight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've towed 10,000# combined 24 ' box trailer and Lincoln successfully with a 3/4 ton and a 454 engine but there is the problem with suck when tractor trailers come down the passing lane at higher speeds and wind push with heavy crosswinds when pulling a 24" box trailer.

I used to pull an open trailer loaded with a 5,000 # car and these kinds of problems were minimal with a 3/4 ton single wheel truck..

If I were logging a lot of miles every year I would think it would be easier and safer with the extra stability with dual wheels when pulling a box trailer.

I just switched to a Suburban because of the greater passenger carrying ability as compared to my single seat 3/4 ton pickup. it has much better gas mileage when not towing.

Martin Lum

24 foot box trailer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For towing, I love my 2008 F-450 crew cab dually. 6.4 twin turbo, long bed, 4:88 gears. This beast will pull anything, anywhere, any time, any grade, any speed. Tractor-trailers don't pass me I pass them. In fact, the truck is scary powerful in mountainous terrain. Don't ask about the fuel milleage though; there is none :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thought I would close the loop on this thread. I wound up buying a 2009 Ford F350 crew cab dually with a V10 engine. Found one with less than 8,000 miles on it. Didn't want an old-generation diesel, and I sure like the quietness of the V10. It won't get nearly the fuel mileage of my old '99 F-250 7.3 diesel, but I was tired of how noisy that truck was, plus the smell and smoke of the engine. I looked at the new trucks, and liked the Dodge, but all the manufacturers' new diesels are overpriced and overpowered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great choice by the way. I just filled my 2000 f-350 dulley today for the trip to Bristol. It took 28 gal at a cost of $100.00. That V-10 gets 9 miles per gal Towing. But I do tow with ease and comfort. You don't even feel the trailer behind you. Good luck with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thought I would close the loop on this thread. I wound up buying a 2009 Ford F350 crew cab dually with a V10 engine. Found one with less than 8,000 miles on it. Didn't want an old-generation diesel, and I sure like the quietness of the V10. It won't get nearly the fuel mileage of my old '99 F-250 7.3 diesel, but I was tired of how noisy that truck was, plus the smell and smoke of the engine. I looked at the new trucks, and liked the Dodge, but all the manufacturers' new diesels are overpriced and overpowered.

Overpowered ?? Is there such a thing ?? That word isn't in my vocabulary....lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, in the sense that they've sacrificed fuel economy and reliability. I've heard horror stories on all three manufacturers' diesel engines. I attribute it to their efforts to appeal to buyers who use these trucks as family cars, want them to accelerate fast, just don't care how much fuel they have to buy, and get a new one every few years. Folks like us are far more interested in economy and reliability during towing, and multi-hundred-thousand-miles of use. My '99 F-250 7.3 diesel was perfect in those respects. I just got tired of the diesel noise, smell and oil-change hassle and wanted more of the modern interior amenities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ford has quieted the 6.4 diesel to where it is comprable to a gas engine as far as noise goes. I vowed I'd never buy a diesel due to the noise, but when I heard the 6.4 run I bought one. The 6.4 came out in 2008 and has now been bumped to 6.7.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, in the sense that they've sacrificed fuel economy and reliability. I've heard horror stories on all three manufacturers' diesel engines. I attribute it to their efforts to appeal to buyers who use these trucks as family cars, want them to accelerate fast, just don't care how much fuel they have to buy, and get a new one every few years. Folks like us are far more interested in economy and reliability during towing, and multi-hundred-thousand-miles of use. My '99 F-250 7.3 diesel was perfect in those respects. I just got tired of the diesel noise, smell and oil-change hassle and wanted more of the modern interior amenities.

Having more then enough power has always been important in a vehicle to me but, a vehicle has to be reliable before I buy it. Even the toys I buy have to be somewhat reliable, I don't want to worry everytime I shut it off "Is she gonna start?" I like working on cars but I don't want a money pit I have to spend my weekends repairing, daily driver or not. Gas mileage is relative to me. I'm willing to give up a few miles per gallon for more power but, it has to fit into my budget, regardless of its use.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must admit that I am very surprised that nobody made a comment about the safety factor with the dual rear wheels. If you are towing a large classic with a tag along trailer and suffer rear wheel blow out, the probability of a roll over is 400 percent greater on a single rear wheel truck. Sway bars and a weight distributing hitch WILL NOT PREVENT ROLL OVER. We have seen it several times over the last 20 years, one where we lost both driver and passenger in the crash. I won't mention names, but they were well known nationally in the hobby. I would NEVER tow my Pierce without dual rear wheels. Ever

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this