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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    1,569
    Location
    Colorado
    Tractor
    2000 New Holland TC29D with 7308 FEL, and top & tilt. 1950 John Deere B. 1940 Farmall A.

    Default Pickup question, long bed vs short bed

    I have a full size Chevy long bed 1/2 ton pickup. It has suited my needs just fine, except for one thing. I can't get my whole family (wife and 2 kids) in the cab (not legally and safely anyway!). So, I'm considering trading for an extended cab. I don't need one of those crew cabs (or whatever they call them), just something with seats in the back for young kids (currently 6 years old).

    Adding that extra length and sticking with a long bed will make for a pretty long wheel base. I can see where the long wheel base will be handy for towing and it would ride better. How about parking though? Will a long bed with an extended cab be a pain to drive and park?

    I have a cap on mine. Since I don't live in town, I usually buy materials during my lunch break, so the cap is nice to keep things dry and locked up (security is a minor concern though, I'm not really that worried about anyone stealing stuff from my work parking lot). A short bed would take this advantage away, since most lumber is 8' long. I'm sure I could get by with a short bed (a little water is not going to really be a problem). Some stuff, like downspouts, conduit, and roof drip edge are 10' long anyway. And, I have a 6'x8' utility trailer if I need to get a lot of stuff.

    Sorry about the long question here. The short of it is, how much of an advantage is a long bed vs a short bed?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    101
    Location
    Will County,IL
    Tractor
    Kabota L3000DT, 1944 Farmall M, JD345

    Default Re: Pickup question, long bed vs short bed

    I have a 2001 ford f150 extended cab with the eight foot bed. It sure is nice with the four doors, tons of room for everyone. Turning radius is poor, its long, and yes hard to park. Driving her in downtown Chicago is especially fun [img]/w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif[/img] But she will haul more wood, or mulch and I have no problems with 12' material. So if you a not driving in a big city, and it will fit in your garage, great. But I don't think you can go wrong either way.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    10,204
    Location
    Triangle Of North Carolina
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: Pickup question, long bed vs short bed

    Mosey,

    I have been through this decision on my last two trucks. I
    ended up with the long bed both times.

    I need to haul long stuff from time to time and that means an
    8 foot bed. And with a bed box in the truck a long bed ain't
    really all that long even if the bed box does not got to the
    floor of the truck. I need 8 feet.

    I had an extended cab and as my child got bigger she and her
    seat would not fit in the back easily. We ended up with the
    Crew Cab so that she and the seat would fit in the truck.

    Once she grows up to the size where she can sit in the trucks
    seat she could fit in the extended cab but it would not be
    comfortable for trips that last an hour or more... And it will
    be a few years for her to grow to that size.

    So this pushed us to a Crew Cab from an Extended Cab. And
    I already had to have an 8 foot bed. Sum that up and you
    get a big truck.

    There is no parking difference between my old Extended Cab
    and the new Crew Cab. The Crew Cab is a bigger truck by
    a couple of feet but both can be a PITA to park. Is not
    really a big deal for the most part but there are some parking
    garages I can't get into. But the problem existed for both
    cab types.

    I can't really see us NOT having a truck with a Crew Cab. It
    makes it so much easier to haul people and stuff. It does
    not make it any harder to park the truck over an Extended
    Cab. And the back is comfortable as well for long trips.

    My two cents..... Well the truck was more than two cents.
    [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Later,
    Dan

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    1,579
    Location
    Waco, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910; Kubota T1670

    Default Re: Pickup question, long bed vs short bed

    Mosey,

    I have a short-bed extended cab with a topper and couldn't be happier. It's problem enough to park at Home Depot, don't know what an extra 2 feet would be like. Anyway, one thing to consider is the fact that everything seems to slide to the front of your truck bed. With a topper there's usually only one way to get it. If the bed is fairly short, you don't have to crawl up in the bed as often to get stuff that slid to the front. Another downside is the increased wheelbase makes it easier for your truck to get bridged offroad.

    Would the extra 2' be handy. Yes, on occasion. To my eye the shortbed looks better, but that is a matter of opinion. I'd drive them both and figure it out that way.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member jwstewar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    2,341
    Location
    South Central Ohio
    Tractor
    2003 New Holland TC24D

    Default Re: Pickup question, long bed vs short bed

    I currently have a '99 Silverado Extended cab with the short bed. On my '97 with the same configuration I was really happy, but then when I bought the new truck all of a sudden when I got married and had a house of my own and property that needed workin' the short bed is/was a PITA. Like you said have difficulty hauling lumber. Can't lay plywood flat and stack stuff on top and keep the tailgate to keep stuff from sliding out. As far as 10' downspouts and everything go, with the long bed you can lay them diaganolly in the 8 footer and still keep the tailgate up or shell closed - can't on the short bed. Other thing is when we went to get mulch in the spring (also when I hauled the sand for the kids playset) the mulch feel in front of the bed as well as down the tailgate to the bumper. As far as the extended cab vs. crew cab on the Silverado it isn't too bad. The Silverado has more room in their extended cab with the suicide doors than the new Dodges do with their "4 real doors." I just wish I would have waited and got a 2000 with the 2 rear extended cab door vs. mine with just a door on the passenger side. It makes it real difficult putting the little ones in their carseat on the driver side - we have 2 little ones in car seats so putting it by the door isn't an option - we already do. Bottom line is my next truck will be a crew cab long bed. Already have the wife looking at them with me. That new front end on the Silverados looks sweet. Now if I would pursuade her that we need the Duramax and I would figure out a way to afford it.........

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    3,371
    Location
    California - S.F. East Bay & Sierra foothills
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT Standard Transmission

    Default Re: Pickup question, long bed vs short bed

    <font color=blue>just something with seats in the back for young kids (currently 6 years old)</font color=blue>

    I wouldn't mess around with the extended cab if I were you, Danny.

    Your kids are about to explode vertically and they're gonna run out of leg room sooner than you think. I'm basing this on a couple of personal observations -- my own kids (ages 10 and 5), and a friend with a Ford extended cab. His kids are 5 and 3, and he is already moaning about how tight it's getting in the back seat. "Didn't think it would be a problem this soon", he sez.

    I've been looking into these trucks myself, and I'm convinced the crew cab is a must. Of course, by the time I can afford it, the kids will probably be grown and have their own cars. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    251
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 4300 HST

    Default Re: Pickup question, long bed vs short bed

    Danny, if you are going to buy new, just get the 4 wheel steering on one of the GM trucks, and the turning radius won't be a problem.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Gary_in_Indiana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    3,388
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Tractor
    John Deere 4200 MFWD HST w/ JD 420 FEL w/ 61" loader bucket & toothbar & JD 37 BH w/ 12" bucket

    Default Re: Pickup question, long bed vs short bed

    Danny,

    I agree about getting the four door cab if you're planning on keeping this truck a while. When my kids were the age of yours an extended cab was fine. By eighth grade my daughter was 6' tall. Her younger brother was right behind her and looking down at her a year or two later. Darned kids... they just keep eating and they just keep growing. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Personally, I prefer a short box truck just for the ease of parking, etc., but I don't do much hauling at all, either. A short bed extended cab only has a slightly longer wheelbase than a standard cab 8' bed truck. I can drop the tailgate to haul 8' material and use a trailer for 12' and longer.

    I don't need to worry about hauling kids anymore but, when I did I went with an SUV and a trailer. It, like anything else, wasn't perfect, but it got the job done.

    I even considered getting a car and an old truck just for hauling as well as trucks like you're considering. I don't know if my choice was the right one, but it worked well for me through the years of parenthood upon which you're embarking. Just make sure you take into consideration how much and what kind of hauling you do and how often you do it.

    One thing I will say in favor of the SUV/trailer solution is that now that I'm past that I still have the trailer and still use it on occasion. I've kind of converted it to accomodate my Goldwing now and it's still a nice thing to have around. I never hauled particularly heavy stuff so a light trailer worked for me. Most suppliers around here deliver so I used that option a lot.

    If you have to haul some fairly heavy stuff and want to pursue the trailer option, I might suggest just going with a heavier trailer. Someone on here had a post about a dump trailer. I've never used one but could see how it could be handy to have one. Good luck with whatever you decide. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Location
    Colorado
    Tractor
    2000 New Holland TC29D with 7308 FEL, and top & tilt. 1950 John Deere B. 1940 Farmall A.

    Default Re: Pickup question, long bed vs short bed

    You're all making some good points! I have that same problem with things sliding to the front. I keep a couple bungy cords hooked to the clamps that hold the top on so I can just hook the other end to stuff to keep it from sliding around. I've tried putting 10' stuff at an angle and it sticks out few inches so I can't close the top door. A crew cab will be too much for me, and if an extended cab is not going to be enough room for the kids, then I guess I'll just have to forget the whole thing. I don't have a need for all 4 of us to ride in it, just thought it would be a nice convenience. I can't afford a new one, but that 4 wheel steering is a great feature (not surprised to see GM come out with a new idea - again - soon others will copy it!). But, even with the tight turning the overall length of a crew cab is too much for me and my garage. I guess I'll have to just go look at some extended cabs and see for myself if there's enough room back there for the kids. We have a Suburban, which my wife drives, and they can haul quite a bit with the rear seat out and the middle seats folded down. We hauled a lot of stuff in it before I got my pickup. 10' stuff is no problem in a Suburban! But, the interior carpet can take a beating, so I don't like to use it for that. I thought about getting another Suburban and taking the carpet out of the back, but there are times I need to haul taller stuff and the top doesn't come off of a Suburban (not without a cutting torch anyway!). At least with the pickup I can take the top on and off easy. The new Avalanche is a good idea, but too much money for me right now and I'd trash the interior hauling mulch, sand, gravel, etc.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    14
    Location
    Stanwood Wa
    Tractor
    YM 169D

    Default Re: Pickup question, long bed vs short bed

    Ditto what Harv said. That is exactly how it went for us. We used to use our extended cab F150 for trips because we wanted to take the dog with us (BIG Lab). We held out until my son was 10. He was definately not comfortable by then and my wife and I were tried of having the front seat moved forward so that we were uncomfortable too. My wife lobbied for, and got of course, "her" new car with lots of back seat room. Now we take that on trips, and the dog goes to the local doggie motel. Jim

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