I am having trouble making up my mind. I am in the planning stages of buying a new truck I am thinking of F450. My plans in the future are to get a bigger Toy Hauler and want to have the right truck to handle the weight of the new rig which could be around 16k to 20k fully loaded. The truck will be my only driver. I am concerned about daily driving with a dually. Is it more hassle than it's worth? I would like to hear from you Dually owners.
Having owned both an f-350 srw and now an f-450 drw the difference between the two is very different. Both are very capeable towing vehicles, and both drive equally well. The main differences are exactly what you'd expect. The 350 srw was much better on milage and ride when unloaded, the 450 drw tows like nothing else. The wide track front axle on the 450 makes a big difference when parking a camper. IMO if your primary use is towing the drw does give you better stability and pin weight capacity. If you don't tow often and this is going to be your primary driver a srw truck should be fine a long as the camper does not exceed the weight limits of your truck.
With that kind of weight, you need a dually if you pull a lot. Besides, the F-450 only comes in a dually. I can drive my dually just about any place a SRW can go, except drive through banks, and fast food. lol
You will get used to driving the dually and will be glad you had it. There are lots of people on here that wish they had a dually to pull the loads they pull. Anyone with a dually pulling heavy loads will not say they wish they had gotten a SRW truck.
I've owned both, and like others am very happy towing heavy loads with the DRW, now a heavy load doesn't push the truck around. That being said, I have the truck I have because some fool bought it for a daily driver. Me, my run-around vehicle is a Focus. Gets much better mileage and the cost-per-mile is low enough I can afford to let the big-truck just sit (unless I am towing or hauling a load). I would think about getting the right truck for your towing, then getting something cheap to operate for your run to the store for a carton of milk.
If the Dually was your only vehicle would you do it again?
Man that's a really tough call. Honestly I'd probably say no. The srw 350 suited my neads just fine, but after I wrecked it, the deal on the 450 was just too good to pass up so that's what I got. Like most others it's not my daily so tires, fuel, etc are manageable. I can understand your dilema.
My previous was an 06 250 srw and current is a 08 350 DRW, 5.4 vs V10 (sorry no diesel for comparison). I get 1-1.5mpg less with the dually, but get much better overall capacity. I feel the current truck rides much better than the 06. I had a daily driver car but that was wrecked a few months ago by an awesome driver who couldn't see a parked car on the side of the road . 350 became a daily driver which was fine but I want my good vehicle off the road during the salty winters here. Picked up a cheap used taurus to commute with. Driving isn't any harder with the dually and I know it has the capacity to tow my dump trailer. You are looking to get a big trailer and that should be the the deciding factor on what vehicle you get. Seriously, find a used car to get around in. Let the truck be your need vehicle (towing) and maybe the weekend ride, this is how my setup is. Yea I choose to park in the back of the parking lot, not because I can't park the thing, but because other people are poor drivers.
If a truck will be your only vehicle, and you need it to tow the weight you are referring to, then an F350 DRW is certainly up for the job, I don't think you'll need the F450. From a personal standpoint I've always been a "go-big-or-go-home" kind of guy, and because i like the stability the DRW set up gives, I went with that. A SRW will do the job as well I am sure, but it boils down to your personal preferences and how you think the truck drives for your needs.
I used to tow a 15K fiver with a SRW. Always had the feeling the fiver was trying to push the rear of the truck especially when descending on a curvy hill. I don't have that feeling with the 450 DRW. If you end up with a 20K fiver you might be pushing the upper limit of the combined GVW with a 350 DRW.
At 15-16K I would be hard pressed to go with the 450. The sticker price difference between a like equipped 2012 350/450 is significant. I'm not sure the reduced turning radius and increased brake size on the 450 are worth it. (Although I sure like the 450 turning radius.) I might go with disc brakes on the trailer and settle for a 350.
Let me start with the fact that I have no problems making these trucks tow right at the maximum rated weight. You need to decide what you are really looking at for a load and make your choice from there.
Your best tow rating (5th wheel) on an F-350 SRW is going to be around 16,000 pounds, depending on the cab style (and hence frame length), gearing and 4X2 vs. 4x4.
Step up to an F-350 DRW, your best will be somewhere above 22,500 pounds.
Step up again to an F-450, you're looking at a 24,500 pound rating.
Here is the 2012 towing ratings for the F-250/350/450 trucks.
The difference between an SRW and DRW tends to be overlooked. Technically, an SRW is rated to tow just a bit MORE than a DRW. However, what can be carried in the bed is a LOT more with the DRW. For instance, my posted payload is just a hair under 6,000 pounds, which is great for carrying stone, cement, black dirt, etc. In contrast, an SRW loaded with a lot of options can have a surprisingly low payload rating.
As to the rear tires experiencing accelerated wear, I haven't seen it, and several people on the boards have posted that they don't even rotate the tires on the rear axle because when the truck is unloaded each rear tire doesn't even have half the weight that the front tires do.
The turning radius of the superduties improved majorly when the front coil springs were phased in. For me, drivability has just never been an issue.
To be fair, I also have other vehicles available, so I tend to only drive my dually when there is a need. For instance, simply to drive to and from a store that is 10 miles away requires two gallons of gas, which is $7. If you're going to buy a ten dollar item, it costs you twice as much!
For instance, simply to drive to and from a store that is 10 miles away requires two gallons of gas, which is $7. If you're going to buy a ten dollar item, it costs you twice as much!
I often think about this. Driving 10 miles uses a gallon of gasoline. All I picture is a gallon of milk and how that much gas gets used in 10 minutes or less!! The price for capacity! Picked up another commuter car thankfully.