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View Full Version : DRW vs SRW and Gas vs Diesel



krhyde
11-23-2011, 03:53 PM
I'm looking to upgrade to a F350 for my 2012 Landmark Key Largo. I think I need a DRW but I've heard they do not have good traction. Has anyone had any experience with poor traction on snow or mud with a DRW vs a SRW. Also, how about the gas engine vs the diesel for towing a 13000 pound dry weight RV? I have diesel now but gas prices vs diesel prices give me pause. Any thoughts on the subject? I have a 2010 F250 SD PS Kings Ranch Crew Cab now. Ken

letourno
11-23-2011, 04:09 PM
We have a BH3585, very similar weights to the Key Largo. Also a 2011 F-350 SRW diesel. I would not go to the gas version based on fuel prices because the gas engine fuel consumption would be horrendous (it comes with a 4.30 axle instead of 3.30 for diesel) and the maximum trailer weight is rated at 15100 rather than 16000. Note that the 4x4 will also reduce the cargo carrying capacity by about 400lbs therefore causing an overweight situation.
The 4x2 diesel will do a nice job for you.

branson4020
11-23-2011, 04:13 PM
I would not even think about towing a rig that size with a gas engine. As for DRW vs SRW or 2WD vs 4WD, as long as you get a truck that can safely handle the pin weight, its a matter of usage and personal preference.

caissiel
11-23-2011, 04:29 PM
Price for diesel is at a 10 percent or so premium over gas, and diesel has 30% more energy then gas, so its a no brainer for me.
The Diesel will regain its value quickly on trade in, so to me its a no brainer.
I would rather drive a used Diesel then a new gas anyday.
Gas truck will possibly be ok for short trips but the diesel has much better equipment for long trips.
I don't see to many class 8 trucks switching to gas, though the suppliers in the US have been trying to get rid of all diesels in favour of gas vehicles and selling our diesel fuel abroad in return for cheap gas,
The Europeens have it right, their has been an advantage diesels forever and we are still being told to go gas.


I would never buy a gas DRW as it will be a pig to get rid of, so SRW has advantage. And I do see lots of gas HD's around now but not sure if it will stick, its been a bad time since 2007 1/2 diesel models but they are catching up now as the 2012 will surely be dependable.

Urban350
11-23-2011, 04:41 PM
I have owned both srw and drw trucks and if I can avoid it I will never go back to a dual rear wheel truck, what you have heard about getting stuck all the time is true. I travel on a lot of gravel/muddy roads (winter snow covered) and the srw does much better. Now that being said if you are mostly going to pull a trailer with it then I would go with a drw. Just a side note were I live Diesel is now $0.22 a liter more than gas,about $1.00 more a gallon, and maintanence is way more, but I will still own a diesel.

GOTTOYS
11-23-2011, 05:25 PM
I don't think you have much choice. 13,000# empty will wind up being around 15,000# loaded. Now that there aren't any big block gassers anymore..that gas powered truck will be huffing and puffing when you get into the hills. Plus I don't know if any of the 3 American manufacturers even offer a gas engine in a 3500 series truck. Anything smaller than that wouldn't handle the weight very well. Now the dually vs: sgl rear wheel thing is easy to solve if your only concern is traction. 4wd is the only way to go if that matters. In a truck that size the difference in fuel economy between 2wd and 4wd is almost nothing. In my neck of the woods there aren't any 2wd trucks to be found. Not saying that we need 4wd very often because we don't. Sure a 4wd costs more to buy, but try and sell a used truck without it...can't give em away. Now if we could only do something about the cost of diesel vs:gas. $1.20 a gallon difference around here today. I've parked mine unless I really need it....I hate getting ripped off by the oil companies!...Don

RollingHome
11-23-2011, 05:39 PM
I've had gas (big block) & diesel. I've had drw & srw. I now have a drw diesel. My 502 cu (8.1L) gasser got 3 to 8 MPG ouch. Putting in a aux gas tank is a PITA. Putting in a diesel aux tank is easy. The diesel does 9 to 16 MPG. drw are terrible without weight on them. They even break loose in rain. BUT... they spread the load out when loaded and are terrific. So... when you are light, go easy. IF, you will be using it for a daily driver without weight, I suggest going srw. Either way, sooner or later you will need and wish you had 4wd. JMO, but I'm always right, well sometimes I'm right... Okay, I was right once... just kiddin.

krhyde
11-23-2011, 06:11 PM
Thanks for the responses. The problem with a SRW F250 vs F350 is that the F350 has only 500pounds additional towing capacity over the F250. By going to a DRW, you gain 5800 pounds on the F350 and 8800 pounds on the F450 vs the F250. So DRW is needed for the 5th wheel. But this will be my daily driver and the lack of traction with the DRW is a problem. Perhaps if I get the 4X4 it will help in "slick" situations or I could keep the truck loaded with tools and stuff to weigh it down. See my dilemna??

JohnDar
11-23-2011, 06:23 PM
My 3500 4x4 DRW is also my daily driver. I just prefer it and since I don't have to drive far, I don't use a lot of diesel when not towing. It is a bit light in the rear end on snow, so I put 400# of sand bags over the axle once the white stuff falls and sticks around. I didn't buy it (or the BH) to save money for my old age or so our savings could put a smile on some distant relative's face.

In regards to 4x2 vs. 4x4, if you ever get stuck on wet grass, loose sand, or mud with the rig still on the hitch, you'll appreciate having the 4x4. Or in heavy, wet snow when the streets have not been plowed. I still answer the FD calls at zero-dark thirty in the winter.

mmomega
11-24-2011, 02:07 PM
I also have a 350 4x4 DRW as my daily driver, I upgraded from a 350 4x4 SRW and towing is a big difference in ride and stability. I doubt you'll have many traction problems unless you turn the traction control system off. I have never had my new truck break loose in the rain ( and I try ) unless I turn traction control off, which then makes it spin and slide without even trying.
Towing something as large as a Landmark I personally wouldn't even consider a gas engine, the pulling torque just isn't there for very heavy loads.

You can get a V8 gas engine in a Ford DRW but even with a 4:30 rear end you are looking at 14,700lbs of 5th wheel towing compared to the diesel with 3:73 gears and 21,500 lbs of 5th wheel towing. the 3:73 will be friendlier to you as a daily driver and is still a good towing gear.
Keeping a 3:73 in a gas engine 350 drops your tow rating down to 11,700 lbs.

The gas engine GCWR for your truck and trailer is only 19,500 lbs with 3:73, a landmark is a good 14,000lbs easy leaving only 5k for the truck and a super duty is well over that.
You're looking at 22,500 GCWR with 4:30 gears with gas engine which would be right at the line if not over already and that's without loading up for camping.

Now look at a 350 DRW with a diesel and your GCWR is 30,000 lbs. This leaves a good sized safety net where weight is concerned.

Also I'm not sure if like me you have a Kroger or Walmart gas station right down the road. So buying groceries gives me 10 cents to a full dollar off/gallon on diesel. Most I've accrued at once was 60 cents off diesel when regular price was 3.45 so that was nice but I haven't seen diesel over 3.55 locally.

Birchwood
11-24-2011, 05:30 PM
I use a GMC 1 ton 2WD dually with Duramax diesel to haul our 16550 lb GVWR Landmark Pinehurst.
I would never go with a gas engine for hauling this much weight and dual rear wheels is a
personal preferance .If you can purchase a SRW and not exceed its GVWR then thats ok.
As for traction its never been an issue.It really depends on you lifestyle what you require for a
tow vehicle.

rumaco
11-24-2011, 07:11 PM
After owning three differant desiel configs I must admit (oh I hate this!!!) that the DRW Dodge is going to be my puller (Bighorn 3580RL). It really is the only true desiel (inline) and the milage and power simply can't be beat. I wish I could hook it to an Allison tranny and a Ford body...........what an idea!!!!! I bashed Dodge many times on this site and now it is time to eat some of them yummy crows. Taste ok with a little tabasco and salt!!!!!!!!!!

rumaco
11-24-2011, 07:19 PM
Forgot to add it will be a 2WD which can pull 1300# more than a 4WD simply because of the drive weight and configuration of a 4WD. Don't foget that most of the posts are about STOCK rigs and there is a concern there; but, begin modifications and you will see a world of difference. Air bags, sway stabalizers, dual capacity tranny coolers, bypass systems, Donaldson cold air intakes, high capacity reservoirs, triple guage stacks, adjustable chips (transmission tuned), synthetic oils and tranny fluids, and an array of other items. I had a Super Transmission built in Barstow CA and it is made with Titanium parts............makes the crappy Ford Transmissions a little less and they are guaranteed 250,000 miles so hey no loss!

RollingHome
11-25-2011, 12:33 AM
KR, Don't know what kind of roads you'll be on as a daily driver in KY. Here in PA., we have hilly, turning, bumpy roads. Driving any empty PU (Ford, Chevy, Dodge, BRAND DOESN'T MATTER) without weight in the bed ON WET ROADS (ie Rain) or on slick roads can be tricky. Here in PA my DRW 1 ton PU breaks traction all the time when the roads are wet, slipery (ie wet leaves etc) and I am empty, I don't have "to try" it just happens regardless of what is turned off/on in the truck. The same thing happens to my neighbors and friends who drive other brand PU's. If you are on flat straight, snowless roads (like in parts of TEXAS) you will probably be fine using a DRW as a daily driver. If you will be on PA type roads with an empty DRW PU... be cautious ! It's just common sense, spread the weight out over more surface area (ie DRW v/s SRW) and the load pounds per square inch reduces = you will slip more in a DRW v/s a SRW with the same load (ie EMPTY). Load the square inch surface area of either and traction increases - a DRW will carry aproximately 1/4 the weight of a SRW on each back tire (2 v/s 4) with the same bed weight and the tires will slip more. For example a 2000 pound bed weight = DRW each tire carries 500 pounds (approx) v/s SRW = each tire carries 1000 pounds each (approx), I know I didn't calculate the front tires, etc. but you get the idea. When it snows here in PA I use my tractor to put snow in the bed for weight to increase traction. As the street snow melts so does the bed snow, one compensates for the other. This is not opinion, it is science, (unless someone has figured out how to defy the laws of physics). Some have a tendency to over state the superiority of their PU to prove their brand is best... brand doesn't matter, all are pretty much equal. I have a DRW diesel because I haul a lot of weight with my truck, both fifth wheel and goose neck trailers. I purchased my brand because of personal preference, I liked it, nothing else. I also have my PU registered (tagged) to haul heavy loads to keep everyone happy, especially Mr Policeman. My wife's cousin got fined $2,500.00 because his PU was towing his race car trailer and was under tagged - ouch ! ... This is experience, not emotion or opinion.

JWalker
11-25-2011, 10:39 PM
This is my first DRW truck and it really surprised me on how poor the traction was. Just a little snow and it just sits and spins. I'm really glad I have 4wd. At our home campground, almost every site is on a slight grade. When backing uphill and cutting the corner into the site, it will loose traction quite easily. My last truck was a SRW and I didn't seem to have this problem.

That being said.....I love my truck.

PUG
11-25-2011, 10:59 PM
If you pull very little and camp in your driveway go with the gas SRW. . If you go with the gas make sure you have a long bed so you can add a big enough aux gas tank to get you out of town. I have had all of the aforementioned combinations and DRW and Diesel are the only way to go. I live in Idaho and get a fair amount of snow and ice. I just add a little weight to the bed and it works fine but I also have 4 x 4.

letourno
11-26-2011, 07:09 AM
It may be that I don't understand mathematics anymore... Here are actual weights for my 2011 F-350 Crew Cab SRW short bed 4x2 taken from my latest public scales appearance (actual/max specs):
Truck front axle: 4576/5250
Truck rear axle: 6468/6730
Truck total: 11044/11400
Pin weight: 3058
Trailer axles: 11418/14000
Total Trailer (axles+pin): 14476/16000
Combined weight: 22462/23500
The truck weight includes a full fuel tank, a Reese Elite 18k, one passenger and 2 cats. The trailer is loaded for the trip, empty water tanks, about 20 gals. fresh water, no washer-dryer.

Now, add an auxiliary 50 gallons fuel tank (150 lbs + 350lbs fuel) and you end up close to 250lbs overweight on the rear axle. Make it 4x4 and you get another 400lbs extra. Your fuel ecomomy goes down, your safety margin is gone and air bags won't change a thing except add more weight.


At the end of the day yout truck brand is a personal choice, either for comfort, driving feel, personal image, etc... What is important is getting something that meets your requirements and budget. I use my truck mainly to pull my BH, not for every day driving. I also do not intend to shop for a heavier rig in the near future. And I won't mind paying a few dollars (or a beer) to the guy who will pull me out if I ever get stuck on wet grass. It will still be far cheaper than paying for and carrying the extra weight of a 4x4.

hoefler
11-26-2011, 08:35 AM
One thing to take into consideration on having a DRW truck. When empty and not towing, let the air out of the rear tires to get a better footprint and better tire wear. I am on my 3rd DRW truck, have drive the 3 of them over 200,000 miles combined. I live in the Ozark Mountains, west of Branson Mo., if you have ever visited Branson, you know every where you go is either up hill or around a windy curve. It does snow here, we get our share of ice and freezing rain. I am a volunteer firefighter, respond in my personal vehicle, 24/7, and in all types of weather. My DRW truck is my daily driver, my emergency response vehicle, my work vehicle, and my vacation vehicle. I have 4wd, when you use common sense in inclimate weather, you can go any where. I don't experience spin outs in wet weather, I can get around quite well in the ice and snow with out adding weight, and using the 4wd sparingly. I run 40 psi in the rear tires when I am running empty or hauling my 16' enclosed trailer. When the I am pulling the coach, the pressure is 80 psi. I rotate the tires every 7500 miles and get exceptionally even tire wear.

lwmcguir
11-26-2011, 11:46 AM
We have several trucks we use daily when home on the farm and ranch. We have had Ford's for over 45 years. We used dually's as needed and mostly tow the medium loads with the F550. For our truck we chose to tow the Augusta we wantd something nice and also safe. After looking at all the specs and driving Dodge and Chevy we settled on the F350. It is completely legal for what we do and it drives and handles great. Best Buy we have ever made.

branson4020
11-26-2011, 11:47 AM
One thing to take into consideration on having a DRW truck. When empty and not towing, let the air out of the rear tires to get a better footprint and better tire wear. I am on my 3rd DRW truck, have drive the 3 of them over 200,000 miles combined. I live in the Ozark Mountains, west of Branson Mo., if you have ever visited Branson, you know every where you go is either up hill or around a windy curve. It does snow here, we get our share of ice and freezing rain. I am a volunteer firefighter, respond in my personal vehicle, 24/7, and in all types of weather. My DRW truck is my daily driver, my emergency response vehicle, my work vehicle, and my vacation vehicle. I have 4wd, when you use common sense in inclimate weather, you can go any where. I don't experience spin outs in wet weather, I can get around quite well in the ice and snow with out adding weight, and using the 4wd sparingly. I run 40 psi in the rear tires when I am running empty or hauling my 16' enclosed trailer. When the I am pulling the coach, the pressure is 80 psi. I rotate the tires every 7500 miles and get exceptionally even tire wear.

Yes, even in my SRW 3500 I drop the pressure from 80 to 50 in the rear tires when unloaded. Gets a much better ride too.

JohnDar
11-26-2011, 05:59 PM
Well, I dunno what to say. I've got the truck in my signature, full size bed, 4x4, and a 56 gallon tank. The RVSEF report from the Goshen rally gave the following actual vs. rated maximum weights:

Front axle: 4400 / 4860
Rear axle: 6600 / 8200
Pin (vertical load): 2950 / 4000
Trailer front axle: 5650 / 7000
Trailer rear axle: 5925 / 7000
Total trailer weight: 14525 / 16000

For the truck, the GVWR is 11400 and the GCWR is 23500. The weight of the truck, after dropping off the trailer was 8050, with me, the wife, and about 20 gallons left in a 56 gallon tank. The tanks on the trailer were empty when we pulled in but we had our full compliment of stuff loaded in the trailer.

Net result was that I was 1475 lbs. under the allowable tow weight and 1050 lbs. under the maximum vertical (pin) weight, 400 lbs. under the GVWR and 925 lbs. under the GCWR. So, it would appear that having the DRW with it's 8200 lbs allowable rear axle weight is preferable to being limited to 6700 lbs. Shortly after getting the truck, I took it to a CAT scale. With just me, a full OEM 34 gallon tank, and only the hitch and a lightly loaded tool box in the bed, the weight came in at 8040 lbs (4480 front axle, 3560 rear). The 4x4 unit isn't putting me over any weight limits.

letourno
11-26-2011, 06:26 PM
I agree with you. I was just making the point that a F350 SRW 4x4 might be overweight if it also had an auxiliary tank. The DRW puts you in another league. However there is no way my better half would drivt around town given the width of the thing. And she has a veto right...


Well, I dunno what to say. I've got the truck in my signature, full size bed, 4x4, and a 56 gallon tank. The RVSEF report from the Goshen rally gave the following actual vs. rated maximum weights:

Front axle: 4400 / 4860
Rear axle: 6600 / 8200
Pin (vertical load): 2950 / 4000
Trailer front axle: 5650 / 7000
Trailer rear axle: 5925 / 7000
Total trailer weight: 14525 / 16000

For the truck, the GVWR is 11400 and the GCWR is 23500. The weight of the truck, after dropping off the trailer was 8050, with me, the wife, and about 20 gallons left in a 56 gallon tank. The tanks on the trailer were empty when we pulled in but we had our full compliment of stuff loaded in the trailer.

Net result was that I was 1475 lbs. under the allowable tow weight and 1050 lbs. under the maximum vertical (pin) weight, 400 lbs. under the GVWR and 925 lbs. under the GCWR. So, it would appear that having the DRW with it's 8200 lbs allowable rear axle weight is preferable to being limited to 6700 lbs. Shortly after getting the truck, I took it to a CAT scale. With just me, a full OEM 34 gallon tank, and only the hitch and a lightly loaded tool box in the bed, the weight came in at 8040 lbs (4480 front axle, 3560 rear). The 4x4 unit isn't putting me over any weight limits.

JohnDar
11-26-2011, 07:39 PM
I understand. My wife has an Equinox to drive around in, so the truck is all mine. She will drive it (spelling me on the freeway to/from the seasonal site) on occasion if I ask her to, but not with the trailer on the hitch.

For some, the dually 3500 may be overkill, but when I was researching trucks after buying the BH, it seemed the way to go. It's mine, I'm making the payments, and I ain't looking back.

krhyde
11-26-2011, 09:33 PM
All the comments have been so helpful. I've decided to go with a F350 DRW Crew Cab with 6.7L diesel and 4X4. My F250 would be at the very limits of weight both on the rear axle and GVWR. Thanks for all your responses and I look forward to meeting all of you at some rally next year. Ken

Firerad1
11-27-2011, 12:00 AM
I believe you've made a good decision. I run three trucks, all dually's. When carrying a cab-over camper with 10K lb. trailer behind I've always considered it an additional insurance policy. The additional stability in winds, curvy mountain roads and when being passed by semi's is very re-assuring. It's also nice to be off of max load on the suspension. No doubt it won't be as smooth as a sedan when empty, nor get the traction with a light rear end, but you drop the pin down on the hitch and you will be amazed as the traction. Like hoefler said, lowering the tire pressure keeps from wearing out the tire centers, increases traction and smooths the ride out. Even though I'm always running loaded, I've never got less than 57,000 miles per set of tires. Keeping an eye on the pressure, and rotations periodically do wonders. My bride swore she would never drive a dually has figured out hot to scoot the seat up, bring the pedals up, and is pretty confident behind the wheel. Next month she plans on spelling me pulling our BH from Elkhart down to Texas!

Tool958
11-27-2011, 08:42 AM
Also I'm not sure if like me you have a Kroger or Walmart gas station right down the road. So buying groceries gives me 10 cents to a full dollar off/gallon on diesel. Most I've accrued at once was 60 cents off diesel when regular price was 3.45 so that was nice but I haven't seen diesel over 3.55 locally.
Man that must be nice. Ours is $4.09.9 around here and we have a refinery within 10 miles of us. Even Indiana, just across the border from us, which used to be cheaper is as high or higher.

hoefler
11-27-2011, 09:16 AM
You will not be disappointed in your decision, and might wonder why you hadn't done it sooner.

jmgratz
11-27-2011, 09:47 AM
Drove a 99 F350 SRW long bed crew cab pulling a 16000 lbs 5er for 10 years before getting the dually F350. It is amazing the difference. The SRW did the job but the DRW is much more stable. Oh yea, the DRW is the FX4 model (4x4). It has come in handy twice when in the sand. Would have been stuck with the 2 wheel drive.