Dually trucks are popular in the RVing and farming world primarily for the increased towing and payload capacity.
But what exactly are they, and what are the benefits? What does dually mean? We have traveled the country full time for 6 years with a dually so let’s dive into the world of dual-wheel pickups.
In This Article
- What Is a Dually Truck?
- Who Makes Dually Trucks?
- How Much Does A Dually Truck Cost?
- What Is a Dually Truck Good For?
- Do You Need a Dually for Towing a Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer RV?
- Do You Need a Dually for a Truck Camper?
- Cons of Dually Trucks
- Are Dually Trucks Worth It?
What Is a Dually Truck?
A dually truck has two rear wheels on each side — six altogether. They have wider rears to accommodate the extra wheels. The wider base can support more weight and makes these trucks more stable.
Sometimes you will hear or see a dually truck referred to as DRW or dual rear wheel, vs a SRW or single rear wheel truck.
Who Makes Dually Trucks?
All 4 major US truck manufacturers make dual-wheeled trucks. If you’re particular to a specific brand, there’s an option for you.
Ford, Ram, Chevy, and GMC all make both gasoline and diesel dually trucks. All four brands have different configurations like trim packages, extended-cabs, and four-door models. Each brand differs, so each model will have different specs, payload, and towing capacities.
How Much Does A Dually Truck Cost?
Dually trucks come as one of the most expensive types on the market. If you’re looking to purchase a new truck, prices begin around $35,000.
The higher towing and payload capacity, the higher the price. Newer and heavier-duty trucks can cost as much as $75,000 or more!
What Is a Dually Truck Good For?
Most people don’t buy dually trucks just because they look cool. These trucks can do some heavy hauling and have higher weight ratings. Here are the top benefits of these heavy-duty trucks.
Higher Towing and Payload Capacity
Duallies win when it comes to increased towing and payload capacity. If you need to haul a trailer that weighs over 20,000 lbs, this is the best option! Truck camper owners appreciate the increased payload capacity of these trucks, too.
With four rear wheels, these trucks’ stability beats out the regular versions. Needing to tow and carry large loads in your truck bed or camper make duallies a great option.
Perfect for Towing Large Rigs
Duallies are perfect for towing large RVs, horse trailers, and truck campers. These trucks are serious workhorses! Having extra towing capacity can increase your peace of mind on long road trips and while traveling over mountain passes.
Do You Need a Dually for Towing a Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer RV?
You don’t need a dually for most fifth wheels and travel trailers. However, these trucks can haul the heaviest trailers and fifth wheels safely. If your camper weighs more than 14,000 lbs, it might be time to consider getting one.
Most of the towing capacity does not come from the drivetrain however but the extra safety they provide with the extra tires on the rear end. Getting a flat or having a blowout when towing heavy can be catastrophic. A 3/4 ton SRW diesel truck can technically tow as much as a dually, but should it? Probably not.
Do You Need a Dually for a Truck Camper?
Truck campers sit in the truck bed using the truck’s payload capacity rather than towing capacity. The weight of many truck campers requires heavy-duty trucks.
Some truck camper manufacturers make lightweight models that don’t require a dually.
Many people with truck campers love the advantages of a dual-wheeled pickup because of the extra payload capacity and the camper’s stability sitting over the rear wheels. If you are considering a heavy truck camper then you will want to go dual wheels. Keep in mind the gear you will bring along as well.
Cons of Dually Trucks
Dually trucks have many awesome features but come with some drawbacks! Let’s look at the cons:
If you’re not towing a camper, you’ll experience a rougher ride in a heavy-duty dual-rear-wheel truck. With 4 high-pressure tires on the back, they don’t absorb bumps as well and also have stiffer suspension for hauling.
If you’re not a full-time RVer or using your truck for towing or moving heavy things often, you may want to consider a different truck.
There’s no doubt about it: duallies are the most expensive kind of pickup out there! The cost of a new one can deter many people. In addition to the upfront cost, maintenance and tires all cost more too. If you want the extra towing capacity and can afford it, go for it!
Decreased Fuel Economy
With a larger truck comes more weight and decreased fuel economy. Add on a super-heavy trailer, and you lose even more fuel economy! Most of the cons about dual-rear-wheel pickups boil down to the cost of the vehicle, fuel, and maintenance.
Worse Off Road And Snow Performance
Dually trucks are wide, meaning they dont fit on off road trails as well. Having two tires also prevents them from gripping properly in ruts and uneven terrain. Duallies can even get rocks stuck between the tires! Its not uncommon to end up with one tire off the ground as well in these situations.
Having dual tires also hinders winter performance. Dual wheels can trap snow and float more than a single wheel. Installing chains on dual tires is more of a pain as well.
BIG and W I D E
Being wider and larger in general makes driving these trucks more difficult in cities and construction. Parking lots are harder to navigate and finding parking can be harder. Most people take some time to get used to driving a truck this big and need to change their driving styles.
Are Dually Trucks Worth It?
These trucks have increased stability, can pull much more weight than a single rear wheel truck, and allow you to pull bigger campers and trailers! The increased capacity makes the associated costs worth it.
If you have a large trailer, truck camper, or want to upgrade, dually trucks are worth it. Particularly for the safety and peace of mind they provide.
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