Is It Better To Tow With A Short Or Long Bed?

Is It Better To Tow With A Short Or Long Bed?

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Is It Better To Tow With A Short Or Long Bed?

A short bed is better for single-towed items that don’t require much storage space. A long bed is better for heavier loads requiring extra storage space. They also tow better than a short bed because the long-bed truck will have more towing force than the short-bed truck for two reasons:

  1. The longer cab gives more leverage.
  2. It has an open back that allows you to use more towing force when it connects with the hitch.

A short bed will perform poorly in heavy-duty jobs, but with proper equipment, they can still successfully tow behind most models of SUVs.

The difference in performance is small and depends on what storage space you are trying to gain.

It would take more time to put heavy loads in the bed of a short bed truck because the front half of the truck will block any other entrance into your storage area.

A short truck gives more access for smaller payloads because it will go straight up rather than turning around and back out again if there is no place for a load on the first pass.

Why Are There So Many Short-Bed Trucks? 

Bed trucks in commercial operations look down on the bed about 36 inches from the ground.

You use bed trucks primarily for loading and unloading trucks; however, you can also use them for loading/unloading customers’ cars.

These trucks generally have a low profile to allow them to squeeze between the beds of cars in the tight spots often seen in parking lots, factories, or other industrial work areas.

1. Price

Short-bed trucks boast affordability compared to long-bed trucks. These trucks come in standard and extended cab models, which are much more affordable than a crew cab.

2. Fuel Efficiency

Since short-bed trucks have smaller beds, they have to conserve space by packing in their engines tightly. Their engines also use multi-valve technology to increase fuel efficiency.

3. Space

The space in a standard-size bedroom is only 30 × 40 square feet, while the average size bed is 80 × 60 inches, which would take up 14% of the bedroom space.

Is It Better To Tow With A Short Or Long Bed?

Short bed trucks save you from buying larger furniture to accommodate your truck and thus result in more living space for other purposes.

4. Manageability

Short-bed trucks boast manageability both in suburban and urban areas. With their compact dimensions and nifty designed interior space, the vehicles are perfect for city living.

5. Roomy Cab

Short bed trucks have space to comfortably fit 3 passengers or less, with room for additional passengers during parties or large gatherings.

Long-bed trucks will only fit 2 passengers if you get a shorter version of that particular long-bed truck.

6. Design

Short-bed trucks are compact, functional, and economical but still retain the beauty of their trucks’ original design, which is useful for those who like keeping their vehicles original.

7. Style

Short-bed trucks have a more modern look compared to long beds, which are easier to spot in traffic and are generally old-fashioned looking.

8. Cost

Short-bed trucks cost less than long-bed trucks, which may be useful for those on a budget.

Short Bed vs. Long Bed Trucks Which Are Better?

FactorShort BedLong Bed
Length7-8 feet6-7 feet
Cargo Capacity18,800-21,600 pounds14,500 pounds
Fuel Economy11 mpg city/14mpg highway (wider turning radius) and 10.6 mpg city/12mpg highway (narrower turning radius)10-11 mpg city/12mpg highway
Payload Capacity8,000-9,500 pounds 6,000 pounds
Ground Clearance (Swing Out with Ramp at Front)22 inches  15 inches
Body ConstructionConventional cabExtended cab
Price$17,000-$28,000$13,000-$19,500 (depending on model)
Overall Score (Rating of all nine important factors)4.5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars

When Should I Buy a Pickup Truck?

Large FamilyIf you have a family with kids, buying a pickup truck will allow you to haul larger items.
Off-RoadingIf you enjoy off-Roading or want to take your truck up mountains.
Larger Items/Smaller carsIf you want to use your car for hauling large or bulky items.
 Cargo HaulingIf you want to move cargo.
 Heavy DutyBest for transporting heavy items such as furniture, tools, and building materials.
 Off-Roading/MountainsIf you are off-road or want to climb a mountain, a pickup truck is best for carrying supplies and equipment.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Long Bed Trucks?

Higher Towing CapacityExpensive to buy and maintain.
Longer WheelbaseSome models have short or no warranty.
Better Ride QualityTire wear can be higher.
Maintains The Same Turning RadiusHigh fuel economy.
Larger Fuel Tank CapacityDifficult turning radius & maneuverability.
Easier to add accessories like side rails, roof racks, or bed linersRisk of rollover accidents and Higher operating weight.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Short Bed Trucks?

Fuel EconomyBed may be too small for some tasks.
Beds Easy to StoreMay not have full power-train warranty if the truck is 10+ years old.
Truck is Easy to StoreLess ground clearance than a standard-size truck (6.5”).
Stable UndercarriageMay have problems with hills and hauling large loads.
Easier to load on a TrailerLimited cab/sleeper space.
Easy to Maneuver in Tight SpacesFewer bed options than regular trucks.
Rear-Wheel Drive

Do You Require A Long Bed To Tow A 5th Wheel?

Yes! Towing a 5th wheel is much easier on a long-bed truck. The extra length of the truck bed allows you to tow with greater ease and without much strain.

A long-bed truck is also better for carrying skis and recreational equipment, like kayaks and mountain bikes. You can also tow a small trailer with a long bed.

Is It Better To Tow With A Short Or Long Bed?

Long bed trucks are usually equipped with a higher set of rear axles than regular trucks due to their greater measurement and rear axle gears that are stronger and larger than conventional smaller trucks.

Such axles and transmission gears are necessary for the long beds to tow the great weights that fifth-wheel trailers can hold. So, consider using a diesel truck if you’re going to tow a fifth wheel or any heavy load in your truck.

If you wish to tow a fifth wheel, I recommend looking for trucks with a greater set of rear axles and larger gear. This will make the truck powerful enough to take the trailer’s load.

Since most trucks are fitted with modern electronic controllers, they usually have dual rear axles, which will help control your back wheels while they turn and drive.

Another advantage of a long-bed truck is that it provides more room for passengers. If you are going to travel with your friends and family, then a long-bed truck will surely be of great help.

With more room in the truck, you can easily accommodate all your friends and family members for a relaxing and enjoyable trip. Consider using a long-bed truck when traveling with a large group of people.

Off-Road Performance Of A Short Bed Vs. A Long Bed

FactorShort BedLong Bed
Fuel Economy3.92 MPG4.78 MPG
Weight Distribution3,400 pounds per ton4,000 pounds per ton
Maximum GVW and LPG tank capacity (Front)8,500lb or 3200kg9,500lb or 3600kg
Maximum GVW and LPG tank capacity (Rear)8,500lb or 3200kg9,500lb or 3600kg
Cargo Capacity of the Passenger Compartment(Take out seats) 165 cu ft(Take out seats) 199 cu ft
Maximum Payload2,900lbs or 1360kg3,200lbs or 1490kg
Maximum Towing Capacity5,000lbs or 2260kg7,000lbs or 3100kg
Turning Circle39 feet45 feet

Is A Long-Bed Truck More Stable For Towing?

Yes! A long truck boasts more stability for towing because it has a lower center of gravity due to its larger wheelbase.

This means that the truck can better distribute the weight of the load over its four tires, making for an even distribution of weight across the long bed.

In tandem with a lower center of gravity, long trucks also have a greater wheelbase, allowing them to accommodate more legs between two axles.

The greater distance between the axles helps to stabilize the truck and prevent it from tipping over when pulling heavy loads.

Long trucks also sport bigger wheels that can easily manage the weight of heavy loads.

In addition, your long truck engine is designed to handle a heavier load. On top of that, long-wheelbase trucks feature a stronger rear end and a higher maximum towing capacity than conventional trucks.

Is It Better To Tow With A Short Or Long Bed?

This means that long-bed trucks can manage more cargo than their short-bed counterparts.

In addition, a longer truck would also be better off towing various trailers in tandem, allowing the transportation of more cargo effectively.

Remember, that any heavy load will require greater stability and better handling performance.

Long trucks sport more powerful engines that manage heavier loads than smaller vehicles.


Long and short-bed trucks have benefits and drawbacks.Consider the situation and what you plan on using your truck for if you want to make the right choice.

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