Towing a 5.0- Wheelbase Choice - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 07-14-2018, 03:09 PM   #1
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Towing a 5.0- Wheelbase Choice

A question for you 5th wheel towing experts: Is a longer bed on the tow vehicle a better option than a shorter bed (say 8 ft. vs 6 ft.)?
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:19 PM   #2
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My 6.5 ft bed works good, plenty of clearance for trailer, still has reasonable storage space and not overly long so easy to maneuver.
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:24 PM   #3
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I have the 5 And a half foot bed works well for me I wanted a shorter truck but not much space in the bed if you don’t mind driving a longer truck more space is helpful!
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Old 07-14-2018, 03:30 PM   #4
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8ft best for extras, but too long for parking in town. 6.5 optimal IMHO .
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:49 PM   #5
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I'm used to the 8' bed, I can carry pretty much anything I wish including the canoes. At home I use the truck a lot as a truck, I can carry a yard of loam or full sheets of plywood.

The only down sides are the turning radius and getting used to parking it. I do sometimes have to park farther away then others and take up 2 spots due to the length. Come to think of it, I have a harder time finding spots wide enough then long. Seems in the not too distant past they shrunk all the parking spots for the little cars.

If you have no need for 8' at home, then go with the 6.5', I'll be hard pressed to decide when the time comes. I imagine a longer wheel base is better, but given that the 5.0TA is so short it probably makes little difference what config you get, at least for full size trucks.

Here's a "rule of thumb" for wheelbase to trailer length randomly pulled off the internet, there are a number of sites that proclaim this formula, no idea how valid it is.

Wheelbase. The wheelbase is the measurement from the front axle to rear axle of the vehicle. The longer the wheelbase, the less likely that the weight of the trailer/boat will push down on the rear axle and lift the front end. A longer wheelbase also has the added effect of providing more control over the rig. As a general rule of thumb, the first 110 inches of wheelbase allow for a 20-foot trailer. For each additional four inches of wheelbase length, you get one foot more in trailer length.

Supposedly I'm good for 34'.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:39 PM   #6
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Good info, all- thanks! Think I'm leaning towards the 6.5 ft. bed as a compromise since we will probably get a 4-door crew cab.

Now I just need to figure out which brand to buy!
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:21 AM   #7
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In the Ford I don't think you can get the 8' bed with a crew cab so it's a moot point. No idea about the other manufacturers.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:02 AM   #8
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I went with the super cab as opposed to the super crew. Itís over a foot shorter while still providing a reasonable back seat. I removed 2/3 of the rear seat to provide extra room for my dog which worked well for him and I can still carry an extra passenger.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chotch View Post
I went with the super cab as opposed to the super crew. Itís over a foot shorter while still providing a reasonable back seat. I removed 2/3 of the rear seat to provide extra room for my dog which worked well for him and I can still carry an extra passenger.

That rig looks nice! I would prefer the smaller cab like yours but we will be traveling with two cats at times so I was thinking the super crew might work a little better. I wonder if some people put their animals in the trailer while traveling as I understand it is legal to do so with a 5th wheel?
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:33 AM   #10
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I would look for a vehicle with a minimum wheel base of approx 150 inches
That allows the trailer to clear the truck cab and you have room for storage in the truck bed
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I would look for a vehicle with a minimum wheel base of approx 150 inches
That allows the trailer to clear the truck cab and you have room for storage in the truck bed

Good info. So that would give two choices for the Ford 150:


From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_F...nth_generation)
  • 122.4 in (3,109.0 mm) (Regular cab 6.5' box)
  • 141.4 in (3,591.6 mm) (Regular cab 8' box)
  • 145.0 in (3,683 mm) (SuperCab 6.5' box/SuperCrew 5.5' box)
  • 156.8 in (3,983 mm) (SuperCrew 6.5' box)
  • 163.7 in (4,158 mm) (SuperCab 8' box)
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I would look for a vehicle with a minimum wheel base of approx 150 inches
That allows the trailer to clear the truck cab and you have room for storage in the truck bed

I remember, years ago, we were camping at Montano de Oro State Park near Los Osos, Ca. We were in a small Lazy Daze class C at the time, sitting outside at our campsite when a brand new truck and 5th wheel pulled in next to us. It must have been the couple's maiden voyage in this new rig as the man struggled to get into the site. He ended up jack-knifing the trailer and the corner of it hit the rear truck window, which promptly exploded.

Having still never towed a 5th wheel, I want to avoid that scenario!
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hilola View Post
That rig looks nice! I would prefer the smaller cab like yours but we will be traveling with two cats at times so I was thinking the super crew might work a little better. I wonder if some people put their animals in the trailer while traveling as I understand it is legal to do so with a 5th wheel?
We have traveled for many years with up to four cats in a small fifth wheel. Initially we tried riding them in the truck when we had only one cat, but found that they much preferred settling into a cozy spot in the trailer. Check out the photo album on my profile page for some pics of them in the trailer.
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:10 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hilola View Post
Good info. So that would give two choices for the Ford 150:


From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_F...nth_generation)
  • 122.4 in (3,109.0 mm) (Regular cab 6.5' box)
  • 141.4 in (3,591.6 mm) (Regular cab 8' box)
  • 145.0 in (3,683 mm) (SuperCab 6.5' box/SuperCrew 5.5' box)
  • 156.8 in (3,983 mm) (SuperCrew 6.5' box)
  • 163.7 in (4,158 mm) (SuperCab 8' box)
All I know is one of the couples we camp with have a Ram 2500 with the 6 ft 4Ē bed towing a 5th wheeler and he has a beautiful crease in the back of the truck cab plus the rear window of the cab leaks .
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Hilola View Post
Good info. So that would give two choices for the Ford 150:

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_F...nth_generation)
  • 122.4 in (3,109.0 mm) (Regular cab 6.5' box)
  • 141.4 in (3,591.6 mm) (Regular cab 8' box)
  • 145.0 in (3,683 mm) (SuperCab 6.5' box/SuperCrew 5.5' box)
  • 156.8 in (3,983 mm) (SuperCrew 6.5' box)
  • 163.7 in (4,158 mm) (SuperCab 8' box)
I wouldnít treat 150in as some magic requirement. I would argue that the majority of 5.0s are being pulled by trucks that donít meet that threshold. Sure strictly speaking a regular cab long bed would be best for towing and backing, but in the real world most people want more room than the regular cab and once you extend the cab you either shorten the bed or deal with a longer vehicle. Longer truck is fine going down the highway but itís less fun in tight parking lots.

Like everything in life it is a trade off, but if I had to guess I would say the number one rig in use for the 5.0 would be an F-150 super crew 5.5 bed, just like Reace and Tammy, owners of ETI use. Personally I wanted more bed so went super crew & 6.5 bed.

Lots of options, you just have to decide what features are most important. Keep an eye on the payload stickers when looking though, it is usually the limiting factor.
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:37 AM   #16
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We have traveled for many years with up to four cats in a small fifth wheel. Initially we tried riding them in the truck when we had only one cat, but found that they much preferred settling into a cozy spot in the trailer. Check out the photo album on my profile page for some pics of them in the trailer.

Thanks, David! Enjoyed your kitty pics, and good to know you can ride four cats in the trailer. Did you get them used to riding back there by having a person with them initially? And where do you put the litter box(es)?
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:39 AM   #17
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I wouldnít treat 150in as some magic requirement. I would argue that the majority of 5.0s are being pulled by trucks that donít meet that threshold. Sure strictly speaking a regular cab long bed would be best for towing and backing, but in the real world most people want more room than the regular cab and once you extend the cab you either shorten the bed or deal with a longer vehicle. Longer truck is fine going down the highway but itís less fun in tight parking lots.

Like everything in life it is a trade off, but if I had to guess I would say the number one rig in use for the 5.0 would be an F-150 super crew 5.5 bed, just like Reace and Tammy, owners of ETI use. Personally I wanted more bed so went super crew & 6.5 bed.

Lots of options, you just have to decide what features are most important. Keep an eye on the payload stickers when looking though, it is usually the limiting factor.

Thanks, Mike! We are going to look at 5.0TA later next month. The person showing it tows with a Supercrew but not sure on the bed length so will ask him about it.
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Hilola View Post
That rig looks nice! I would prefer the smaller cab like yours but we will be traveling with two cats at times so I was thinking the super crew might work a little better. I wonder if some people put their animals in the trailer while traveling as I understand it is legal to do so with a 5th wheel?
The super crew does have more room but our 90 lb dog was quite comfortable back there.
Thatís him looking out. The larger cab adds over a foot to the wheel base (145Ē) which I didnít want as the truck is my everyday driver, not just my tug.
As far as traveling with my dog in the trailer Iíd never even consider it. Your traveling with the trailer buttoned up itís going to get warm. The ride will be rougher than your tow also.
The dog was much happier with us, even had his own AC vent blowing on him.
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:25 AM   #19
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My truck has the 6.5í bed and the trailer easily clears the cab. 😎
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Old 07-15-2018, 02:15 PM   #20
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I am using a 2010 F 150 5.5' Super Crew and an Anderson Ultimate Rail Mount hitch. Everything works fine. It is possible to jackknife the trailer while backing up and get contact with the cab but I have turned the truck as tightly as I can while driving forward (doing doughnuts) and there is plenty of room and no contact.
My truck is getting old so I am planning to order a 2019 F 150 Lariat Super Cab with the 6.5' bed and 4 X 2 drive. Seems like all the Lariat models have the Super Crew Cab and all the Colorado pickups have the 4 X 4 so I assume I'll have to do a special order.
I hope I'll have more visibility of the hitch with a Super Cab vs. Super Crew, also hoping that the backup trailer assist will work with a fifth wheel on the 2019 model. I also want the bells and whistles that come with the Lariat and higher versions; adaptive cruise control and lane assist especially. If I can't get those in a 2019 I may just get a cheaper XL or XLT and use it for two or three years until the more spiffy options are available.
One of my goals in life is to own cars which are built in the same decade I'm living in so buying a 2019 and keeping it a long time kind of violates that principle.
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