F150 - 5.5' vs. 6.5' bed?

BigAl

Expedition Leader
I have a 6.5 tundra. I could easily live with 5.5. I even haul a lot of landscaping tools to care for my business property. I can't reach that extra foot in the front of the bed anyhow. I keep a pole with a hook on it just to grab items that have slid forward. 5.5 with a leer cap would be my choice.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
In a crew cab, could you sleep in the back of the cab if it is just yourself?

View attachment 527066
It's possible, I suppose. As I said above, if you're tired enough you can sleep anywhere. Ask me how I know that! :D

All things being equal, I'd prefer an SUV to a pickup. It just annoys me mildly that truly "utilitarian" SUVs like my Suburban are no longer made. Modern Suburbans, Tahoes, Expeditions, etc, are so loaded up with "luxury" features that compromise is ability to be useful. It's really not possible to buy a "base model" of any of those unless its a special order.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
As I casually shop around for an eventual replacement for my Suburban I'm running into the same issue of cab length vs. bed length.

Can't understand why the manufacturers have settled on the 5.5' bed size as the "standard" CCSB for half ton trucks. 5.5' seems to be a very strange choice. Why not 6'? Compact trucks have had 6' beds for decades, and even in "the old days" when you only had "short bed" and "long bed" trucks, short beds were either 6' or 6.5'.

The 6.5' beds just seem too long in a crew cab truck. And the "half cab" trucks (GM Double Cab, Ram Quad Cab and Ford Super Cab) seem too small to have back seats that are actually comfortable for adults to sit in.

It annoys me that GM decided to dump the Avalanche in 2013 since it was IMO an ingenious way to square that circle: With the disappearing mid-gate, It could have either a usable 8' bed OR the ability to carry 5 ADULT passengers, and all in a package that is actually smaller than a modern CCSB half ton! But GM killed it so they could focus on the cheaper Silverado. :mad:

My dilemma comes down to whether I want "Short bed/Long cab", "Long bed/Short cab" or "long bed/long cab." The latter, IMO, is the least attractive to me.

One could propose a simple analysis which would be "which do I do more often: Carry passengers in the back seat, or sleep in the vehicle?" If it's passengers, that suggests long cab/short bed. If it's sleeping, that suggests short cab/long bed.

The truth is, I rarely carry adult passengers in the back seat AND I haven't slept in the back of a truck since 2014. So really, by that analysis, either configuration would work for me.

If I'm being honest with myself, the potential ability to carry passengers in comfort and safety probably outweighs the very limited likelihood that I'll sleep in the back. At 6'1" I could - barely - sleep in the back of my '04 Tacoma. A sleeping platform in a 5.5' bed MIGHT allow me to sleep at a diagonal. Probably not super comfortable but eh, I've slept in worse conditions (once I spent 2 weeks sleeping the front seat of an M151 Jeep, leaned up against the machine gun post. Granted, I was a LOT younger, but it can be done if you're tired enough and the ground is muddy enough.)


Well, for starters the 5.5' bed on a super crew fits in a lot more garages than a 6.5 bed will. I have less than a foot to spare when I pull my truck into the garage, a 6.5' bed would not fit.

With the exception of people on this website, I don't know a single person that sleeps in their truck bed. The truth is the percent of truck owners that sleep in their truck bed is so small that it's irrelevant to manufactures.

The nice thing about the Supercrew F150 is the way the rear seat bottoms fold up. It creates a massive amount of storage if you don't have passengers. By massive I mean bordering on obnoxious. I usually keep the passenger side down with my daughters baby seat strapped to it and on the other side goes her stroller and what ever else I toss in there.

The bed is deep enough to allow a 5.5 bed to have roughly the same volume as older 6' and 6.5' beds. I know the 5.5' bed on my F150 holds quite a bit more stuff under the tonneau cover than the 6' bed in my 2002 Tundra ever could. While it's shorter, its also wider and much deeper.
 

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tennesseewj

Observer
My last three trucks were a 6.5' bed, then a 5.5' bed, and currently a first gen Tundra with the oddball 6'2" bed on a crew cab. The crew cab with 6' bed combo really is the sweet spot!

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 

Cackalak Han

Explorer
Well, for starters the 5.5' bed on a super crew fits in a lot more garages than a 6.5 bed will. I have less than a foot to spare when I pull my truck into the garage, a 6.5' bed would not fit.

With the exception of people on this website, I don't know a single person that sleeps in their truck bed. The truth is the percent of truck owners that sleep in their truck bed is so small that it's irrelevant to manufactures.

The nice thing about the Supercrew F150 is the way the rear seat bottoms fold up. It creates a massive amount of storage if you don't have passengers. By massive I mean bordering on obnoxious. I usually keep the passenger side down with my daughters baby seat strapped to it and on the other side goes her stroller and what ever else I toss in there.

The bed is deep enough to allow a 5.5 bed to have roughly the same volume as older 6' and 6.5' beds. I know the 5.5' bed on my F150 holds quite a bit more stuff under the tonneau cover than the 6' bed in my 2002 Tundra ever could. While it's shorter, its also wider and much deeper.
In my list of priorities, ability to sleep in the back would be maybe #30. I would not base my decision on whether I can stretch out in the back, but then again, I’m not planning on living out of my truck. Besides, every time I go out, it’s with my family. We do not all fit in the back, and even if we did, I’d hate to move all the cargo out just to sleep back there. Good tent, takes 2 min to set up, and we’re happy.
 

Amp34

Member
As I casually shop around for an eventual replacement for my Suburban I'm running into the same issue of cab length vs. bed length.

Can't understand why the manufacturers have settled on the 5.5' bed size as the "standard" CCSB for half ton trucks. 5.5' seems to be a very strange choice. Why not 6'? Compact trucks have had 6' beds for decades, and even in "the old days" when you only had "short bed" and "long bed" trucks, short beds were either 6' or 6.5'.

The 6.5' beds just seem too long in a crew cab truck. And the "half cab" trucks (GM Double Cab, Ram Quad Cab and Ford Super Cab) seem too small to have back seats that are actually comfortable for adults to sit in.

It annoys me that GM decided to dump the Avalanche in 2013 since it was IMO an ingenious way to square that circle: With the disappearing mid-gate, It could have either a usable 8' bed OR the ability to carry 5 ADULT passengers, and all in a package that is actually smaller than a modern CCSB half ton! But GM killed it so they could focus on the cheaper Silverado. :mad:

My dilemma comes down to whether I want "Short bed/Long cab", "Long bed/Short cab" or "long bed/long cab." The latter, IMO, is the least attractive to me.

One could propose a simple analysis which would be "which do I do more often: Carry passengers in the back seat, or sleep in the vehicle?" If it's passengers, that suggests long cab/short bed. If it's sleeping, that suggests short cab/long bed.

The truth is, I rarely carry adult passengers in the back seat AND I haven't slept in the back of a truck since 2014. So really, by that analysis, either configuration would work for me.

If I'm being honest with myself, the potential ability to carry passengers in comfort and safety probably outweighs the very limited likelihood that I'll sleep in the back. At 6'1" I could - barely - sleep in the back of my '04 Tacoma. A sleeping platform in a 5.5' bed MIGHT allow me to sleep at a diagonal. Probably not super comfortable but eh, I've slept in worse conditions (once I spent 2 weeks sleeping the front seat of an M151 Jeep, leaned up against the machine gun post. Granted, I was a LOT younger, but it can be done if you're tired enough and the ground is muddy enough.)
The 6” difference between a 6’ and 6’5 bed truck doesn’t differentiate them enough IMO.

I’d also argue that the”half cab” trucks still have plenty of space for rear passengers. They have the same legroom as most mid size cars, and more than the average non North American doublecab truck (Hilux, L200 etc).

I’m also over 6’ and there’s only two of us, so we went with a supercab 6’5 bed, but have done long trips with four adults and not had a problem. In fact we’re doing several thousand km next month with four of us.

If we had teenage kids then the vehicle would probably be different, but I don’t think 6” of additional bed space would help us. If it did then I’d have bought a long bed quarter ton instead.
 

ultraclyde

Observer
I had a Super Cab 8' bed, OBS F250 and now have a 5.5' bed Crew cab '13 F150. Overall physical size of the trucks is shockingly similar. For what I do, the 5.5 is better. The one down side to the 5.5 is that my mountain bike barely fits in the bed with the tailgate closed and the front bike wheel off.

I originally was looking for the 6.5' bed, specifically for sleeping in it. Which meant a camper shell. Which then meant a hitch rack for my bikes, assuming I wanted to take them on an overnight trip. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I'd rather have the bed for cargo on an overnight and take a tent than sleep in the back of the truck and deal with greatly reduced cargo flexibility and an expensive/ limiting camper top. Plus there's always RTTs if you do it a lot.

The big discovery for me was that the fold up back seats and giant flat floor of the crew cab Ford are a huge advantage over the extended cab. I actually could sleep in there if I needed to on a normal single air mattress, albeit with knees slightly bent. It's hard to explain how useful that rear seat cargo area is on these trucks.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
My neighbor bought the 6.5 two yrs ago. He said it was nearly impossible to find one. He loads 2-3 dirt bikes in his needed the 6.5 in a big way.

I have watched the packaging closely in recent yrs I’m due for some sort of new family rig. More and more I feel like the packaging is being driven by marketing to major metro areas and leased vehicles. City dwellers don’t want long vehicles and if they never own one only rent it for 3yrs who cares if they are $70,000 or have stuff on them they never use and prone to being broken etc.

I buy my vehicles use them and keep them a long time. I feel like Ford models are getting to full of marketing junk, tho the F150 you can still nearly custom order exactly what you want, but at a high price.

I look at what people buy in our area, million + dollar homes and pretty high incomes. Most buy used Toyota SUVs and trucks. The new stuff are typically mid trim Honda pilots and Highlanders. Full sized stuff are Yukons, F150’s and GM trucks.

Lots of new Kia and Hyundai 8 pass SUV things which are not over done with giant glass roofs, turbos and 60-60-70-80,000 dollar price tags. These are people who are pretty savy/smart with money, investments etc.

I don’t see any of these over dressed crazy high priced rigs in our area. But our recent trip through Nevada, AZ I saw lots of the fancy high priced stuff. Which makes me think actual ownership of new vehicles is very low and is dramatically impacting the unrealistic packaging and pricing of many new vehicles.
 

Cackalak Han

Explorer
My neighbor bought the 6.5 two yrs ago. He said it was nearly impossible to find one. He loads 2-3 dirt bikes in his needed the 6.5 in a big way.

I have watched the packaging closely in recent yrs I’m due for some sort of new family rig. More and more I feel like the packaging is being driven by marketing to major metro areas and leased vehicles. City dwellers don’t want long vehicles and if they never own one only rent it for 3yrs who cares if they are $70,000 or have stuff on them they never use and prone to being broken etc.

I buy my vehicles use them and keep them a long time. I feel like Ford models are getting to full of marketing junk, tho the F150 you can still nearly custom order exactly what you want, but at a high price.

I look at what people buy in our area, million + dollar homes and pretty high incomes. Most buy used Toyota SUVs and trucks. The new stuff are typically mid trim Honda pilots and Highlanders. Full sized stuff are Yukons, F150’s and GM trucks.

Lots of new Kia and Hyundai 8 pass SUV things which are not over done with giant glass roofs, turbos and 60-60-70-80,000 dollar price tags. These are people who are pretty savy/smart with money, investments etc.

I don’t see any of these over dressed crazy high priced rigs in our area. But our recent trip through Nevada, AZ I saw lots of the fancy high priced stuff. Which makes me think actual ownership of new vehicles is very low and is dramatically impacting the unrealistic packaging and pricing of many new vehicles.
Aren't all homes in CA $1M+?? :D

Good thing with the F150's, you can get a dolled up Platnium, or a pretty basic package, if you don't want any of the fluff. Look at XL's for sale. Crewcab, 4WD, 36 gal tank. low to mid $30k's. That's not bad at all.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
Thanks for all of the replies. As I mentioned before, as I'm starting to look around at places like Autotrader.com, it seems like 6.5' beds are almost non-existent. I'm looking for 2-3 year old trucks; can't afford new and 2017 seems to be a sweet spot. I'm searching out 300 miles from my zip code and only find a handful of 6.5' beds. I guess I'll just need to be ready to jump when one appears.

I live in a rural area in a small town, so parking and maneuvering isn't much of an issue.

As for parking in the garage - I live in Michigan, on a gravel road, so getting vehicles under cover in the winter and stormy season is nice. We also have lots of vermin running around that have taken to climbing into engine bays to make homes and chew on wires. I'm eradicating most of them, but it is a challenge; vehicles parked inside eliminates the issue. My neighbor has too many vehicles parked outside and has spent thousands of dollars repairing rodent damage.

When I buy a vehicle, I tend to hold it for a long time. I've owed my 2 cars for 14 years and 10 years. I fear that if I go the easier route and go 5.5', there will be a time in the future that I'm kicking myself that I didn't go with the 6.5'.

Has anyone been inside a Four Wheel Camper (or similar) shell for a 5.5'-ish bed? I'm wondering if it would be big enough to sleep 2 adults and 2 young kids (adults on the main bed, kids on bunks along one wall).
The four wheel campers just hang over the end on the 5ft beds. They are built about hour from me. I spent allot of time trying to figure out how to make it work with family of 4. I scrubbed the idea. The closest I got was a shell model with homemade bunks and gear selfing. Basically too cramped on floor space to realistically work for 4. Add the premium price and I just couldn’t justify it.

For a couple I think they are awesome.

8 yrs using the Original lifetime tent trailer which is 4x6 floor with a full sized bed on both sides I’m seriously thinking custom trailer build.

Basically a combination of things I like taken from several builders.
Popup 4wheel camper top on 10ft long 5-6ft wide and 6-7ft tall when closed up trailer.
Intech style slide out front kitchen, double rear doors and side door.

Two separate single, sailboat style pipe berths hung at the top of the hard wall forward, then a murphy style wall bed that flips down across the back for the parents. Beds can be flipped ip out of the way, bikes and camp gear stowed via back doors. Low roof tow mode/performance. Easier storage options etc.
 
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Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
I feel like Ford models are getting to full of marketing junk, tho the F150 you can still nearly custom order exactly what you want, but at a high price.
It all depends on which F150 you want. I have the STX and brand new mine was 32k out the door... my brother has the Limited and his was over twice the cost of mine.

For me I wanted a "basic" truck that was comfortable, my brother wanted to combine the luxury and performance of his BMW 5 series as well as be able to use it for work. For him the 70k truck ended up saving him money over owning 2 vehicles.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
The big discovery for me was that the fold up back seats and giant flat floor of the crew cab Ford are a huge advantage over the extended cab. I actually could sleep in there if I needed to on a normal single air mattress, albeit with knees slightly bent. It's hard to explain how useful that rear seat cargo area is on these trucks.
It was a huge selling point for me. Stuff that I had to put in the bed of my Tundra easily fits on the floor of my super crew.
 

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Bayou Boy

Adventurer
For me I wanted a "basic" truck that was comfortable, my brother wanted to combine the luxury and performance of his BMW 5 series as well as be able to use it for work. For him the 70k truck ended up saving him money over owning 2 vehicles.
This is what a lot of guys that shake their heads at expensive trucks don't get. I drive around town for work every day. I go see clients. My employees ride with me to sales calls. I take people out to lunch. I'm not doing all of that in a base model truck. And I don't want two vehicles.
 
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