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Old 11-14-2017, 04:01 AM   #1
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Default What are the pros and cons of duallys?

As we contemplate buying a class B we were wondering if anyone could talk about the pros and cons of dually wheels?

The Paseo and CrossFit both have duallys and a spare wheel. Changing a single wheel is one thing but we’ve never done an inner wheel which would be just our luck to be the one that gets a flat, in the boonies. Any extra tools required?

The Paseo/CrossFit isn’t much heavier than say a Travato so apart from the high roof Transit comes with the duallys, what’s the advantage? I heard some tolls are higher because of the extra wheels.
We do like having the spare tucked underneath whereas the Travato doesn’t have one.

The aluminum wheel option makes for more access holes for the air fill valves but no extensions are included by Ford for inner. Also, no MTPS on Paseo likely due to higher weight over 10k whereas Travato has them. Yes you buy after market but ...
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:26 PM   #2
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Dualleys get you more payload plain and simple. That's why you have them. Forget all the other reasons.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:41 PM   #3
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What Davydd said. Plus, the out-the-gate suspension is heavier, usually, and the handling seems more stable, particularly if you are going to tow.

Coachmen (Crossfit) is working with their supplier to provide valve extensions and should have a finalized version soon. They will be sending us a set gratis but we don't have them yet so can't tell you how well they work.

The downside is the additional cost for two more tires when you buy new and the dually means more wheelwell space is taken inside the coach - so a little less storage. It also costs about a mile per gallon.

As an aside, if you don't have the valve extensions, you can drill the inner wheel and add a second valve in a more accessible position, according to our RV tech.

I know many people do it, but I would hesitate to change a rear wheel on a converted van with the stock jack. The conversions are very heavy. On a flat surface in a safe location is one thing, by the side of the road on the berm is another. That's what roadside assistance insurance is for.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:43 PM   #4
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What davydd says is true IF you need the extra capacity. There are again getting to be quite a few B's that don't need the capacity of dual, so don't have them.

Similar statement would be:

If you don't require extra capacity, don't get duallies and ignore all the other reasons.

Of course this is short sighted, too, as there are other pluses and minuses to weigh against the capacity in making a dual/single wheels decision.

You will get lots of opinions, I think, but take them for what they are, opinions, and then decide for yourself.
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input thus far.

The Paseo/CrossFit vans are heavier than say the Travato and I appreciate the ability to carry the extra load although we intend to be pretty basic and won’t be piling in loads of stuff or towing.

Whilst we prefer the Transit platform the ying to the yang of the duallys is the issue of having to replace a wheel/tire especially the rear one or the inner. Having to buy better equipment to do this and then find space to carry it seems counter productive to some extent.
It’s good to see Coachmen saying they’ll provide the extended tire inflators they seem to be more responsive than Winnebago on the face of it unless it’s just WGOs style.
Having to drill holes in wheels to get a feature isn’t confidence inspiring.

The Canadian Tribute Class B is built on Transit but doesn’t hVe duallys and has a Travato K like floor plan, much more to our liking. Their bro here even says it has TPMS. Not sure if this van will be offered in USA or meet US standards but we will keep an eye on it.

Realize roadside services can and do wheel repairs etc but if you’re off road in the boonies is that a viable option?
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:33 PM   #6
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.

be wary of those unscrupulous upfitters...

They will sell you aluminum wheel upgrade ($$$),
but only give you the outter wheels in aluminum. The insides (out of sight) are steel. And they don't tell you that.

Big headache when you need to change a wheel,
because the steel wheel stud/nuts are different.

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Old 11-14-2017, 03:19 PM   #7
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One more thing. Borrow a buddies dually and go for a drive in the snow or on a backroad that you would want to take your Class B. Then take a similar - single rear wheel vehicle on the same roads and see if you notice any traction differences. Try to make the best apples to apples comparison that you can when using demo vehicles. If you will never be offroad or in the snow or ice then that’s one less consideration when choosing your Class B. And yes we looked through an Okanagan B on the single rear wheel Transit chassis. Very nice layout and they did some things even better than WBO did, ie the sliding entry door layout / screen. Good luck in your search.
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:33 PM   #8
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Did you find out why the Tribute only has single rear wheels considering its the sMe high roof Transit platform as Paseo/CrossFit? Just curious.

Sounds like you liked the Tribute but didnt buy it?

We will test drive Paseo/CrossFit...were just trying to amass info as we can so we can be more objective when we go to the RV Show in JNuary and start going to dealers.
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:44 PM   #9
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I liked that the Tribute was on the Ford chassis with the Ecoboost, but didn’t like it was 22’ long (the tail section hangs a long way over the rear axle) and for what we do, we wanted to stick with 21’ long. Ford was also having some drive shaft issues that I have no idea how much of a problem it was or wasn’t. It had some very nice features and a similar layout to the Travato K. In BC, (and may be that way throughout Canada for all I know) Okanagan is handled by a large RV dealership/chain that we were not interested in dealing with, so we didn’t consider it seriously. That and we had already done our homework on a Travato K.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:06 AM   #10
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I agree that duallys are for higher payloads. Having said that, I would not buy a Class B (or even a pickup for that matter) that was so heavy that it required dual rear wheels. I don't need the downsides of duallys including buying extra tires, changing inside flats, getting rocks stuck between the two tires on backroads, etc..

It really isn't that hard to design a Class B that is below the payload limits of vans with single tires. That is even the main draw of a Class B - smaller, lighter and more mobile than Class C's, Class A's, etc.. Then I would spend the extra money on suspension upgrades which can offset any ride qualities of duallys.
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:59 PM   #11
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I have had six tires and I have had four tires beneath my small motorhomes over the decades. I guess I am old school and simple: if it has six tires I consider it a truck and if it has four tires I consider it a van. NOW, I know that is not technically correct anymore, but that is still the way I think of it.

If the layout and size and carrying capacity you desire require dual tires, just accept that you will be buying 50% more tires when you replace them (4 vs 6) and that you will have to maintain 50% more tires.

We have a small Class C (B+ to most) and a Roadtrek 210P. We love the C for long term camping, don't like it for driving. It is a truck.

We have an older true B (Roadtrek) which we love to drive on shorter trips. It is a van and drives, handles and parks like a van.

The choice is driven by personal preference, need for weight capacity and both have trade offs one with the other.
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Old 11-15-2017, 01:08 PM   #12
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On thing: If you have duallies, IMO it is imperative to have a tire pressure monitoring system. The reason is that it is not difficult to lose pressure in a rear tire on the highway and not realize it until it is torn to pieces.

Unfortunately, TMPS is not required on small trucks, so they typically are not an OEM option on dually-equipped vehicles. We have an aftermarket "screw on" system and metal stems. Saved my bacon once already.
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
On thing: If you have duallies, IMO it is imperative to have a tire pressure monitoring system. The reason is that it is not difficult to lose pressure in a rear tire on the highway and not realize it until it is torn to pieces.

Unfortunately, TMPS is not required on small trucks, so they typically are not an OEM option on dually-equipped vehicles. We have an aftermarket "screw on" system and metal stems. Saved my bacon once already.
Could elaborate on your system? The Ford Transit has an idiot light on the dash. It monitors all six tires but doesn't tell you which one has the problem. Was wondering if there is a better add-on system.
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe3 View Post
Could elaborate on your system? The Ford Transit has an idiot light on the dash. It monitors all six tires but doesn't tell you which one has the problem. Was wondering if there is a better add-on system.
I have the TST 507:

https://www.amazon.com/Tire-Pressure.../dp/B01DTGH66M

(there is a version with 6 sensors).

Not the greatest UI, but it works very well.
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:04 AM   #15
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Advanced RV installs Doran 360HD TPMS and welded steel tube extensions so you can reach every tire.

Truck and Trailer TPMS | Doran MFG | Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems, School Bus Safety and LED
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:20 AM   #16
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Yes, do NOT install external sensors without also upgrading to metal stems. The rubber ones WILL fail.

Ask me how I know.
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Old 11-16-2017, 03:05 AM   #17
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Back to the original question. If you detect a flat on one-off the inner wheels how difficult is it to change it out for the spare?
Do you need additional equipment as opposed to the outer wheel and does the jack etc that comes with the van include the additional equipment? I realize a road service could do this but imagine youre in more remote or less populated area etc

Sounds like the van vendor doesnt necessarily include TPMS or the right equipment which seems ridiculous especially.Id certainly Panay for what I might need.

Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:04 AM   #18
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Thumbs down My experience with duallys (pro&con).

My 1st (and only so far) RV was a tiny Sunrader pop-top on a Toyota chassis with duallys. Here are my experiences.

Pro: Winter driving installing chains. Simply place leveling blocks under inside rear wheels and drive up on them. The outside wheel will then be suspended in the air. Makes it easy to install chains on outside wheel. [No state requirements to have chains on inside wheel].

Pro: Damned rugged. Never got a flat even over rough terrain. Good traction on soft ground.

Con: Very difficult to maintain inner wheels. You can't see them without crawling under the coach. It is also hard to add air, even with valve extenders. Prepare to get dirty and scrape knuckles.

Con: Even though my RV was small enough to fit in a standard garage, almost no repair shops would take me because "duallys don't fit on our lift racks". Hard to get your RV repaired.

Con: The rear wheels do not track the front wheels - ever. They are wider and tend to clip curbs and fall off the roadway edge. It's like riding a trike instead of a bicycle. Awkward.

Con: Toll issues. After throwing coins in an automatic toll bucket, a uniformed attendant ran in front of our RV and shouted. "You have duallys. That will be 10 cents extra." That was embarrassing - I knew they charged by axle but I didn't know they charged by wheel count!

Overall: I found duallys a pain in the butt. One of the big advantages of a classB over a classC is their easier driving and simpler maintenance. Getting a classB with duallys defeats much of that advantage.

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Old 11-16-2017, 12:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
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................. Do you need additional equipment
The only additional piece of equipment needed that I can think of might be an extension bar if using your own tools instead of what comes with the vehicle.

I always have a compressor, jack, breaker bar, correct size deep socket, a torque wrench and foot long 1/2" drive extension onboard. I have to add an additional extension piece if working on duallys to comfortably clear the side of the vehicle.

I also carry a tire plug kit to perform a quick temporary repair. Plugging a leak and adding air would at least let me get to a safer place to do the correct repair.
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