If you want to buy a pickup truck, you will need to decide whether you want a long bed truck or a short bed truck. Depending on what you want and need, this choice may be more important than you think.
If you’re not sure which one is right for you, think about these things.
Pickup Truck Bed Lengths
When you think about pickup truck bed lengths, you might think there are only two sizes: long and short. In fact, this isn’t quite right!
In fact, most pickup truck models come with a standard bed length, which means that this is what most of them have.
Different bed lengths have different sizes, but the difference may not be as big as you think.
For example, if you find a truck with a “short bed,” it means that the bed is about 5’8″ long, which may or may not be long enough for you depending on what you plan to haul.
A pickup truck’s standard bed is usually about 6’5″ long, which is about nine inches longer than a typical short bed. Even though this may not seem like much at first, it can make a big difference if you need to move big things like furniture.
Lastly, a long bed pickup truck has an 8-foot bed, which should be big enough to carry almost anything you want. If you want to use your pickup as a work truck, it can be very helpful to have a long bed.
Before you decide on a truck, always check with the dealer or measure the bed yourself, since the size can vary by a few inches from one manufacturer to the next.
Is a Short or Long Bed Better?
Here are some pros and cons of each type of pickup truck to help you decide which one is better.
Short Bed Advantages
First of all, a short bed pickup truck is much easier to drive and park because it can fit into tight spaces and smaller parking lots.
If you want to buy a new pickup truck but don’t have a lot of money, keep in mind that short bed trucks are usually a little cheaper than long bed trucks.
So, if you don’t think you’ll be doing a lot of hauling, a short bed truck could save you a lot of money.
Lastly, families often buy short-bed pickup trucks.
Even though they are cheaper, most short bed trucks still have enough space in the bed and cab for everyone to have plenty of head and leg room, as well as enough space to carry camping gear, sporting goods, or other things.
Long Bed Advantages
Now that you know some of the pros of short bed pickup trucks, let’s look at the cons and see why you might be better off with a long bed truck.
The ability to haul things may be the biggest advantage a long bed truck has over a short bed truck. Most pickup trucks with long beds have more powerful engines, which makes them better at hauling large loads in their beds as well as campers or other types of trailers.
If you have a camping trailer or other big trailer, you should really think about getting a long bed truck.
When you have a long bed truck, you almost never have to worry about not having enough space to haul whatever you want. A long bed truck is perfect for moving furniture, lumber, ladders, or almost anything else.
One last benefit that sometimes surprises people is that long bed trucks tend to be easier to drive. Since the truck is longer, its wheels are further apart, which gives it a little more balance on roads that aren’t perfectly flat.
Is a Long Bed or Short Bed Better for Towing?
Since you’re planning to buy a pickup truck, it’s likely that you don’t want it to just sit in your driveway. Instead, you want to take it out on the road and use it for many things, including pulling campers and trailers.
But before you buy your truck, keep in mind these things that affect whether a long bed or short bed pickup truck is better for towing.
Even though a properly equipped short bed truck can safely pull a small travel trailer, most drivers agree with us that a long bed truck wins hands down when it comes to towing.
Along with more power and torque, a long bed pickup truck has a much longer wheelbase. This gives it the extra stability it needs to pull a big trailer at higher speeds on the highway without feeling like it’s a battle the whole way there.
If you have a fifth wheel, you should get a pickup truck with a long bed. A fifth wheel hitch will take up a lot of space in a truck bed, but if you have a long bed truck, you’ll still have a lot of room to carry cargo.
Also, you won’t need a sliding hitch for your fifth wheel if you have a long bed truck. This is good news for you because these hitches are expensive, take up a lot of space in your truck bed, and are very heavy.
If you have a long bed truck, the space between the back of your truck and the front cap of the fifth wheel is already bigger.
Pickup Trucks with the Longest Beds
If you’re now thinking about getting a pickup truck with a long bed, you’ll want to know which brands and models have the longest beds.
If so, we’ve found a few trucks that are very popular with drivers, have some of the longest beds on the market, and can haul a lot of things.
The Dodge Ram 1500 is the first.
Your Ram 1500 can have up to 702 horsepower and can tow up to 8,290 pounds. It has a bed that is 8 feet long.
But if you’re buying a brand-new Ram 1500, you’ll have to ask for the long bed because it’s considered an extra.
The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is up next.
If you need a couple of extra inches to haul something, this truck’s bed is 8 inches and 2 inches longer than the Ram 1500. When you add that to the fact that it can pull a trailer that weighs up to 36,000 pounds, you have a very strong truck.
The bed of the Nissan Titan is 8’2″ long, just like the bed of the Silverado. However, Nissan is seen as a bit more stylish than Chevy or Dodge.
Also very powerful, this can be a good choice if you want a truck that looks good hauling or driving around your city.
If you like things to be simple, the Toyota Tundra may be the right truck for you. It has an 8-foot-long bed. If you want the optional long bed, you’ll need to ask the dealer for it, and you’ll probably also need to buy an upgraded double-cab truck, so keep this in mind.
The GMC Sierra has 420 horsepower and gets 20 miles per gallon. It also has an 8-foot bed that can carry almost anything. But not all Sierra models come with a long bed, so you may have to look around a bit to find the one that fits your needs.
Lastly, no list of powerful pickup trucks with long beds would be complete without the Ford F-150, which has been the best-selling pickup in the U.S. for more than 30 years.
The long bed option on this truck is not as expensive as some others. It has an 8-foot bed, is known for being durable, and has as much power as any other truck on this list.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is a 5-foot pickup bed big enough?
This will depend on what you plan to do with your truck every day. If you don’t plan to haul a lot of big things, a smaller bed like this one should work fine.
But if you want to haul a camper or large pieces of furniture or other heavy, bulky items, you might want to think about getting a truck with a bigger bed.
Can a Short Bed Convert to a Long Bed?
Yes, a truck with a short bed can be changed into a truck with a long bed. But to do that, you should find a long bed from the same truck you already own, if possible.
If you do this and take your car to a body shop with a lot of experience, this job can often be done in one or two days.
No matter if you choose a short bed or a long bed for your pickup truck, we’re sure your F-150, Silverado, Ram, or another model will be put to good use every day.