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View Full Version : For what size trailer would *you* want a dually?



Snaffle81
Dec. 7, 2010, 12:51 PM
Just for kicks and giggles... I'm toying around with thoughts of new trucks and trailers. I just wanted to get a feeling about what trailer length (or weight) would you feel like you would need a dually the extra stability?

Thanks everyone!

ChocoMare
Dec. 7, 2010, 01:28 PM
3 horse and up.

goodhors
Dec. 7, 2010, 03:30 PM
Dually is great for added control of ANY trailer, you never get the slap of air pushing you over when a semi passes you. You have a lot more stopping ability if the trailer brakes should fail, with 6 tires working for you.

So you might want to consider length, rather than just how many horses or what size horses, the trailer carries in thinking dually.

I loved my dually, made an instant difference in trailer control on the roads. Extremely stable feeling when hauling, big or small trailers with big horses or empty, no sway to it whatever passed you or the weather winds hammering on you. Midwest driving is a place you meet lots of wind, dually makes a huge difference pulling the trailers.

MLD
Dec. 7, 2010, 03:36 PM
If you can afford a dually and the maintenance that goes with it, then buy a dually. Even with a small two horse BP (BP tend to sway more than GN) it will improve your towing abilities. Besides, you never know what kind of trailer you might end up with in the future.

appaloosalady
Dec. 7, 2010, 03:39 PM
Bought my first dually before my first "real" trailer. I told the salesman that I was going trailer shopping and the last thing I wanted to worry about when I found the trailer of my dreams was whether or not my truck could pull it. I really do love the stability a dually adds when pulling anything.

To answer the OP's question though, I wouldn't pull anything over a 3 horse without one. That's just my personal preference though.

Foxtrot's
Dec. 7, 2010, 03:39 PM
I think for normal towing a dually is a bit overkill on a two or three horse trailer, but with a camper added definitely much more stability. But it has to be a good reason to put up with the inconvenience of driving and parking through town.
One hardly ever sees a dually without some damage to the wide fenders.

Snaffle81
Dec. 7, 2010, 03:41 PM
Dually is great for added control of ANY trailer, you never get the slap of air pushing you over when a semi passes you. You have a lot more stopping ability if the trailer brakes should fail, with 6 tires working for you.

So you might want to consider length, rather than just how many horses or what size horses, the trailer carries in thinking dually.

I loved my dually, made an instant difference in trailer control on the roads. Extremely stable feeling when hauling, big or small trailers with big horses or empty, no sway to it whatever passed you or the weather winds hammering on you. Midwest driving is a place you meet lots of wind, dually makes a huge difference pulling the trailers.

Whoops... poor wording. I did mean length. Thanks for your comments. I realize that a dually is great for added control and support for any trailer, but it's also a vehicle that is not for everyone. So I just wonder type of comfort level other people have. Thanks again!

MLD
Dec. 7, 2010, 03:44 PM
I drove a dually for years as my grocery getter, boat hauler, horse hauler and camper tow vehicle. I never hit the fenders. You have to give up drive thrus which really isn't such a bad thing. You find yourself parking in the back of parking lots but the walking is good for you. When I test drove the truck to buy it, the dealer wanted me to drive it up the mountain (I live near Lake Tahoe). I knew it could do that with no problem so instead I drove it through the grocery store parking lot because that is where I knew I would have problems. The truck and I passed the parking lot test with flying colors.

appaloosalady
Dec. 7, 2010, 03:45 PM
I think for normal towing a dually is a bit overkill on a two or three horse trailer, but with a camper added definitely much more stability. But it has to be a good reason to put up with the inconvenience of driving and parking through town.
One hardly ever sees a dually without some damage to the wide fenders.


My husband told me that I would hate driving my dually everywhere and that I better not take the fenders off in a drive-thru :winkgrin:. I actually LOVE driving my dually everywhere (except some very small parking garages :eek:) and haven't hurt a fender yet in 12 years - even using drive-thrus. Knocking on wood furiously now :lol:.

hosspuller
Dec. 7, 2010, 04:19 PM
Size/length of the trailer isn't a factor in dually selection. The major factor is the hitch weight of the trailer. This is the amount of weight the trailer puts on the truck. A dually can carry more weight than a 3/4 ton or class two truck. Minor factors are stability, tracking, and user preference.

I consider a single rear wheel (SRW) 350 truck just a tarted up 3/4 ton.;)

SonnysMom
Dec. 7, 2010, 04:57 PM
I understand what people are saying about a dually being good for bumper pulls and smaller trailers. Yet in my area I don't see 4WD duallys virtually ever- especially a used one.
For the bumper pulls, for the type of driving I do, I prefer a 4WD pick-up. I park in too many muddy fields to have only 2WD.
I currently have a 2 horse BP, extra high/extra wide with dressing room.

If I lived in a different area of the country my preference might change.

IslandGirl
Dec. 7, 2010, 06:00 PM
Are you talking about gooseneck or bumper pull trailers? Particularly for goosenecks, it's not so much the length as the width and the weight of the trailer.

I had an 18'-long, 84"-wide 2-horse bumper pull. Couldn't even tell it was back there behind the dually.

However, a dually will make a wider gooseneck much easier to pull. I had a 96" wide 4-horse slant with mid-tack and 16' living quarters trailer that was HEAVY (the whole setup, with one horse, weighed in at over 19,000 pounds). And LONG...I was almost as long as a tractor trailer. My dually pulled it fine, but didn't stop it as well as I thought it should. Had one too many close calls, so I sold that trailer and bought an 90" wide 5-horse head-to-head that pulls (and stops!) like a DREAM, even fully loaded.

JackSprats Mom
Dec. 7, 2010, 06:25 PM
I have a dually that I drive everywhere, pulls a 4H BP, only thing I would change is make it 4WD...they're out there you just have to look!

ACP
Dec. 7, 2010, 11:58 PM
For anything other than a standard two horse straight or slant load, no dressing room or a very small one, go with the dually. I drove them for years. Have I downsized? Not at all. Now we use a motor home to pull our two horse!

Nezzy
Dec. 8, 2010, 10:58 AM
Eby Stock trailer.

dani0303
Dec. 8, 2010, 12:04 PM
4 horse and up.

cherham
Dec. 8, 2010, 05:21 PM
I guess I am the odd girl out here. I do not like dually trucks at all for hauling. I find them too wide to park and terrible for traction in mud, snow conditions. I have a large 3 horse with living quarters (ie: heavy trailer) and haul mine with a 3/4 ton diesel single axle pick-up with no problems at all. When everyone at the horse shows are spinning their rear dually tires I just put my truck in low gear and go. Hardly anyone in my area tows trailers using the dually's anymore.

I think if you are carrying a lot of weight in the rear bed then the extra tires would be great for the added support but for towing....no way!

shakeytails
Dec. 8, 2010, 05:30 PM
4 horse and up, or 3 horse with LQ.

MLD
Dec. 8, 2010, 05:33 PM
I guess I am the odd girl out here. I do not like dually trucks at all for hauling. I find them too wide to park and terrible for traction in mud, snow conditions. I have a large 3 horse with living quarters (ie: heavy trailer) and haul mine with a 3/4 ton diesel single axle pick-up with no problems at all. When everyone at the horse shows are spinning their rear dually tires I just put my truck in low gear and go. Hardly anyone in my area tows trailers using the dually's anymore.

I think if you are carrying a lot of weight in the rear bed then the extra tires would be great for the added support but for towing....no way!

Hmmmm... you must not have had experience with a 6 speed, 4 wheel drive dually.

Oh, and duallys don't have double axels, they too are single axels in the rear (which is what I hope you meant in your post).

jcotton
Dec. 8, 2010, 08:40 PM
Cherham,
Do not know where you are located.
But in Texas it is rare to see a single wheel 1 ton pulling a trailer. 4WD 1 ton dually 4 door or extended cab trucks are the norm.
I will always have a 4WD dually 4 door truck.
Personal preference is 7.3 liter engine ---so I have to keep my current truck going for a very long time!!!!

MLD
Dec. 8, 2010, 08:44 PM
Cherham,
Do not know where you are located.
But in Texas it is rare to see a single wheel 1 ton pulling a trailer. 4WD 1 ton dually 4 door or extended cab trucks are the norm.
I will always have a 4WD dually 4 door truck.
Personal preference is 7.3 liter engine ---so I have to keep my current truck going for a very long time!!!!

I don't understand why Ford felt the need to get rid of the 7.3L engine. I miss mine... I was stupid enough to sell it.

gldprimr
Dec. 8, 2010, 09:06 PM
I traded in my 7.3L as it wasn't a 4 wheel drive. I miss the motor, but love the 4x4.

mvp
Dec. 9, 2010, 08:15 AM
Cherham,
Do not know where you are located.
But in Texas it is rare to see a single wheel 1 ton pulling a trailer. 4WD 1 ton dually 4 door or extended cab trucks are the norm.
I will always have a 4WD dually 4 door truck.
Personal preference is 7.3 liter engine ---so I have to keep my current truck going for a very long time!!!!

Yes, well, Texas is Big by nature. I assume Big parking spaces. Wide rows and all. People who know how to value and drive Big Things.

The closer you get to say, Manhattan, or the cow paths of Boston, the less true that seems to be.

A dually, crew cab, long bed is a honkin' big truck (with a turning radius to match).

Great thread topic, I will say.

wildlifer
Dec. 9, 2010, 10:32 AM
4 horses and up, I would want a dually. There are lots of single rear wheel 1-tons here in NC, folks just don't want to deal with the extra width. We have lots of tight parking lots and old, narrow roads, would be my guess!

WildBlue
Dec. 9, 2010, 10:57 AM
I have an aluminum gooseneck with an open box (16 ft long interior). The paperwork says it weighs 4,200#.

Pulling with an F250, you can't really feel 1 to 3 horses (plus gear, water, etc). Four horses is beginning to be a load, but totally manageable. Five horses is definitely something back there. It still handles fine on hills, curves, etc., but you can feel the load. If I was hauling that many routinely, especially longer distances, I'd upgrade the truck.

I know people with the same trailer plus tack room (longer overall length), but haven't had occasion to haul more than a couple horses so I don't know if the cut-off would be 4 horses rather than 5. Everyone I know hauling 5 or more regularly went to the dually.

hanohorse
Dec. 9, 2010, 02:02 PM
I have a dodge dually that hauls a 3 horse bumper pull AND a 9' camper all together. Everything is fully loaded with horses, tack, gear and all water (which is heavy). We chose the dually as it is much safer hauling such a top heavy load. We have also beefed up everything on the dually (bags, tires, steering, hitch...). It is also safer if I blow a tire (although my tires are G rated). With the horse trailer alone, a regular pickup is fine, but as soon as you get some width and top load, a dually is better, very stable, like driving a giant go-cart!

Lmabernathy
Dec. 10, 2010, 12:06 PM
I have a 6 horse stock combo with a dressing room I haul with a reg. F250 diesel (shortbed at that) no problems hauling.

I hate driving it around town though. I wouldn't be able to do it at all with a dually. I already have to pull my mirrors in to go through drive-thrus (the bank especially).

Then you have the nuts that want to drive on the yellow line in their compact cars :-(

jcotton
Dec. 11, 2010, 02:41 PM
4 doors and 6 wheels parks where ever it wants!!!
Bank drive throughs are very limiting!

I have a Nissan Murano and enjoy driving it. But my truck is my preferred vehicle except I want to make it last until I absolutely have to get a new one, so it stays hooked to the horse trailer or cow trailer.

rugbygirl
Dec. 11, 2010, 02:58 PM
I do not like dually trucks at all for hauling. I find them too wide to park and terrible for traction in mud, snow conditions.

I agree with you.

If I were hauling almost exclusively on dry, paved roads I'd probably look at a dually for anything bigger than my 2H+Tack BP (extra tall, extra wide.) IF I were hauling on dry, paved roads that are well-maintained.

Where I am though? For sure no dually. Ice radials in the winter and 4x4 are a necessity. About 2/3 of my driving is on a single lane, badly paved highway that has ice, snow or rain on it a lot of the year. Deeply grooved, the dually tires sit outside the grooves. VERY annoying. Stopping, starting, handling, you lose some of it in a same-sized dually versus the single rear wheel version of the truck.

I think a lot of people really sing the praises of a dually, but they had undersized trucks before, and are comparing the heavy-weight (usually over-powered for their application, but that's no problem!!) dually to their borderline-duty previous truck. Yes, with a 3 horse on up, I'd rather a 350 dually over a 150 SRW. I wouldn't choose the dually at all though, assuming I had a SRW with adequate towing capacity.

2bee
Dec. 11, 2010, 05:17 PM
I don't ever really "want" a dually. My 3500 SRW has a little over 3000lbs capacity on the rear axle, assuming a 20% pin weight allows a 15,000lbs trailer. More or less sufficient for a 6H slant, 4H hth, or a 3H with 10' LQ.

Beyond those size trailers I'm going to want more engine than can be had in a pickup anyway. :)

weasel1088
Dec. 13, 2010, 02:11 AM
Dually is great for added control of ANY trailer, you never get the slap of air pushing you over when a semi passes you. You have a lot more stopping ability if the trailer brakes should fail, with 6 tires working for you.





Just wanted to point out that this is actually false. More tires=weight spread out over more surface area=LESS traction.

No offense intended at all, the rest of your comments were spot on. :cool:


As for me, probably anything over a 3 horse. Stability is really the main factor there, plus the added weight in the bed a larger trailer would have.


Im scared of some people saying they have 6 horse trailers and single rear wheel trucks, there is just no way that the tires are not overloaded...hello liability.:eek:

2bee
Dec. 13, 2010, 09:52 AM
Just wanted to point out that this is actually false. More tires=weight spread out over more surface area=LESS traction.

No offense intended at all, the rest of your comments were spot on. :cool:


As for me, probably anything over a 3 horse. Stability is really the main factor there, plus the added weight in the bed a larger trailer would have.


Im scared of some people saying they have 6 horse trailers and single rear wheel trucks, there is just no way that the tires are not overloaded...hello liability.:eek:

l'm scared of people who can't do math. ;)

My friends 6H (trails west IIRC) is 7K empty, loaded with 6 horses and whatever junk kept in the tack room it is just over 14K loaded. According to my Sherline scale the pin weight just under 3,000 lbs. That would squeak under most 3/4 ton's axle limit, my SRW 3500 has almost 1000lbs 'extra' capacity. :)

appaloosalady
Dec. 14, 2010, 10:09 AM
I don't know why anybody thinks that a 4 wheel drive dually doesn't have enough traction to drive in any conditions. Regular 2 wheel drive? Sure, they get stuck on a wet paper bag - ask me how I know, but 4 wheel drive duallies are fantastic in snow and mud. I actually like the fact that my outside tires don't sit in the groove made by other traffic. It usually provides a track with more available traction.