Mike Brandl discover the good, the bad, and also the ugly around converting his 2017 Ford F-450 truck to supervisor singles. The benefits are considerable and also the look at is incredible, but so space the costs and potential maintenance. Are super singles ideal for you?
Uber high value overland rigs have actually long employed “super singles” together a method of improving off-road performance and also giving their vehicles a heavy dose of the go-anywhere aesthetic.
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Most famously, Earthroamer converts their trucks indigenous the factory 32-inch diameter, 6-inch wide, 10-ply dual rear wheel tires to single 41-inch diameter, 12-inch wide, 22-ply armed forces tires. This provides their motorhomes much better tracking on off-road trails and eliminates the dreaded absent stuck in between the duallies.
Truck camper owners have long learned this principle for a effectively demountable rig. For example, in respectable of 2020, we showcased Avi Myers’ Cirrus 920 and Ford F-550 rig with a fury 37-inch tires and 20-inch Hutchinson rims. Native Avi’s example and also others, you can build a truck v Earthroamer-like upgrades and put the under a truck camper. The result is maybe the best of both worlds.
Technically, supervisor singles are single tires that offer the capacity to replace the volume of a dually set. Most typically the term describes wide-base tires (their appropriate name) supplied to replace dual-wheels ~ above semi-trucks and trailers. This approach turns 18-wheelers into 10-wheelers.
In an overland auto or van camper context, the term, “super singles” typically refers to heavy military-grade tires designed for AM general Humvees and also Oshkosh JLTVs.
This deserve to all get an extremely confusing together the hatchet “super singles” it s okay thrown around a lot between the various marketplaces; semi-trucks, pickup trucks, and overland camper builds. What’s necessary is the idea that replacing 2 rear truck tires through one if retaining the volume of the two.
Opinions of the benefits of super singles operation the gamut. In the semi-truck world, supervisor singles deserve to reduce rojo resistance and weight the a truck and also trailer and have been displayed to enhance fuel economy by approximately 3-percent.
For a pickup truck and camper, the wanted larger and beefier army tires add a far-reaching amount the weight and also reduce rolling resistance, but improve off-road ability and (arguably) rig aesthetics.
As you’re about to read, the real-life pros and cons because that super singles in a truck camper construct are many, and quite involved. Given the intricacy of the conversion and the connected cost, this is no a adjust anyone would make lightly. And yet, there is a the majority of interest around this subject.
What much better way to learn around it 보다 to speak to a other truck camper that not just went v a dually to super single conversion yet actually walk the mass of the occupational himself?
Introducing Mike Brandl. Mike’s first article discusses the pros and also cons of supervisor singles and his ownership experience. We will certainly follow up v a second article on Mike’s surroundings process. Both story are vital for everyone who’s also curious about going v super singles.
Above: Mike Brandl’s 2017 Ford F-450 and 2018 Lance 975
You simply recently purchase a Lance 975. The is generally known as a an excellent candidate because that a one-ton dually truck. Therefore why did girlfriend opt because that a Ford F-450 rather of one F-350?
I to buy a Ford F-450 so ns wouldn’t have to worry around the payload volume or straining the truck. I also considered one F-550, however the F-450 has an ext than sufficient capacity to take care of a Lance 975. The F-450 offers me a feeling of security when driving.
I remained in an accident v my ahead Lance 855S rig. I believed that it to be my camper version for life. After the accident, i was looking for another 855S.
I headed to a Lance dealership and looked at your campers. That’s wherein I witnessed a Lance 975 v a an ext open feel, much more windows and also a mid-bath.
Then ns randomly came across a pre-owned 975 about ten-miles from the dealership. It to be stored inside an airplane hanger and also in wonderful condition. It was a an excellent deal and also I to buy it prior to I had actually the truck to draw it. I actually had actually to lend a friend’s van to get it home.
I was in search of an F-450 and was around to walk to Minnesota come grab one that i found. A girlfriend of mine had a 2017 Ford F-450 and wanted to upgrade to a 2021, for this reason I put the push on him. He marketed me his truck and bought a 2021. That had about 76,000 mile on that with an excellent records. I like to purchase trucks wherein I recognize the history.
Above: Mike’s F-450 before the super solitary installation
The Ford F-450 comes standard v 19.5 wheels, which countless truck campers take into consideration to the finest option for larger truck campers. Why did you want to readjust from 19.5 wheels to supervisor singles?
This to be my first dually truck and also the drive was lot rougher than I to be accustomed to. The share tires were hard like a semi tire, therefore if there’s a cracked in the road you feel it. I additionally felt prefer the second wheel in the rear would track and pull from grooves in the road.
Now mine rig has actually a smoother ride when unloaded and also loaded. The larger sidewalls absorb an ext of the bumps and also vibration. I have the right to air the tires under to 40psi and also it rides like a boat. They can be aired down even lower because that sand. Aired down, the supervisor singles perform far better than double rear wheels on the sand. And also with super singles, I have actually two fewer tires come maintain.
I was wanting to build an F-450 super single truck even prior to the accident. I couldn’t purchased it at the time, but I’d to be researching at sight singles for around a year. I found a truck with super singles online and also thought it was a an excellent idea. I also love the look.
What make and also model the super solitary tires did you finish up getting?
I bought five Goodyear G275 MSA 335/80/R20 army tires. They space 41-inches high on 20-inch rims. Every one of the super single conversions i’ve seen usage a military-grade tire. The tires space 14-inches wide, so they room also broader than a share tire yet not crucial a broader footprint in the rear.
That is wide. For reference, the 235 80R17s on our 2018 lamb 3500 dually room 9.3-inches wide. What walk the Goodyear at sight singles cost?
About $600 each without rims. My Toyo pack F Mud-Terrain tires on my previous Ford to be $500 each, so it no that large of a shock for me. The price appeared reasonable since they are military tires.
Keep in mind the the F-450 is no my everyday driver. I’ll obtain 60,000 miles from the supervisor singles lasting number of years. Lock are an ext expensive, however I feel more secure with military-grade tires.
Why did you obtain Goodyears and not Continentals?
I determined Goodyear since they had actually the highest speed rating of 81 miles every hour in ~ 6,395 pounds. A lot of the other tires had actually a 50 to 60 mile-per-hour rate rating.
The Goodyears room sand and highway hybrids, like what they usage for Hummers and also military deliver trucks. Some of the other super singles have more aggressive mud tread and also would have actually a louder and rougher ride.
Finally, the Goodyears have a capacity of 6,395 pounds each. In total, I have actually 25,580 pounds of tire capacity. Ns will never be that high with my van camper rig.
Per tire, what perform the supervisor singles weigh?
210-pounds each placed with the rim and also tire together.
Wow! That’s nearly five times more than our share 44-pound tires. As soon as we had 19.5s, ours speedometer was substantially off due to the fact that of the boosted tire diameter. Have you adjusted your speedometer?
I have actually not readjusted my speedometer, however I could with a programmer. As soon as I’m walk 56 miles every hour on mine speedometer, I’m in reality going 70. The much faster I go, the more it’s off. If I see 60 on mine speedometer, I’m actually approaching 80 miles every hour.
The means I screen my speed is the Waze app. It features as a GPS and shows the speed I’m traveling. If i’m in one area that ns don’t know the rate limit, the app shows my speed and also the rate limit. It’s an extremely helpful.
You’ve extended a variety of the advantages of supervisor singles. What space the downsides?
Super singles make the truck a small taller and also they advanced the center of gravity of the rig.
The most challenging part the owning at sight singles is obtaining the tires balanced. Also though castle ride smooth, they have a little shake the end of balance. It took me three different wheel shops till I uncovered one that had actually a balancer solid enough to hold the wheel and fit the 41-inch size.
Traction is an additional important consideration. In the rain, you can hydroplane much easier with the more comprehensive footprint. The tires have deeper tread and also the van is fairly heavy, for this reason it’s unlikely. In special snow, a fellow super single enthusiast increase north claimed super singles would certainly track much better than twin rear wheels. However, top top a slick road, twin rear wheels might be better.
As you stated, the supervisor singles advanced the elevation of your rig. What is the full height of her truck and also camper?
I’m 12’6” come my highest point. Nobody to trust me, yet I measured.
The bed elevation with the share 19.5 wheels and also tires to be 37-inches. With super singles, the bed height is 40-inches.
Did you require to add a lift to the truck to fit the bigger super solitary tires?
I had actually to lift the behind 1-inch come give an ext clearance because that the rear tires. The F-450 had a low center of gravity, to begin with, so it’s not overly high now, even with the larger tires.
Does the spare super single fit where the spare 19.5 wheel and tire did?
No. The super single will not fit wherein the 19.5 wheel and tire did before. That area is now complimentary for mine onboard waiting system. To lug the spare super single, I constructed a custom spare tire mount the goes ~ above the front truck hitch.
The mountain swings down to the floor so the it deserve to be conveniently loaded and unloaded native the hitch. Ns can likewise lock that in ar so the it doesn’t acquire stolen.
If ns in-state, I will leave my spare in ~ home. I have actually an onboard air and also a plug kit, so ns can obtain myself home. That course, I understand that noþeles can take place at any time.
If you have actually a breakdown, execute shops commonly have supervisor singles in stock?
No, nobody stocks these tires. If I have actually a problem my preventive is mine lifesaver. Forget Pep Boys and the various other chain tires shops. However, tires shops that resolve semi-trucks have strong enough machines to work with mine wheels and also tires.
I learned this the tough way. I had actually to true the supervisor singles. Truing is the process of turn the tire and also shaving down the high point out to make it round. Once that was done I likewise needed to have the tires balanced. I want to stop bean bags or beads, so I chose to carry out standard wheel weights.
Most shops couldn’t manage the super single because the was too heavy. Fortunately, I found a shop the handles intake trucks, semis and large mud tires.
Are all 5 wheels and tires identical, even the spare?
Yes, all five of mine tires are exactly the same, even the spare. The tires room non-directional, so all four can rotate. My front pickled in salt is the very same as mine back. It’s just turned backward.
What did the conversion from 19.5 wheels and also tires to super singles cost?
It cost around $10,000 in parts, but that doesn’t encompass labor. Ns did all of the work-related myself other than for painting the fenders and balancing the wheels.
If you rental a agency to perform the conversion, it can be around $20,000 including shocks, airbags, elevator kit, fenders, painting the fenders, bumper spacers, cutting and welding the subframe and also cab, and the super solitary rims and tires themselves.
Holy smokes. That’s fairly the investment. Where did you acquisition the rims?
I bought the Goodyear tires and also rims indigenous Stazworks excessive Offroad. I also found a company in Texas dubbed DBL Design. They’ll send you a packaged kit for the conversion. Friend can acquire a kit native a shop or you can piece buy the parts. I made decision to do all the occupational myself by researching and purchasing piece by piece.
I’m lucky that I prospered up through a dad who worked on cars. Ns am also an wait conditioner mechanic by trade, so ns handy. Ns am by no means a tires professional. Ns am self-educated and also learn from my mistakes.
I likewise talked come anyone I can think of. Ns talked to mine diesel mechanic. I talked to the wheel guy at Stazworks. Ns asked questions like, “What carry out you think around beads and balancing?” ns picked a most brains. YouTube likewise helps.
If you do the super solitary conversion yourself, you have to know just how to weld and also be mechanically inclined. If friend don’t have the forced skills, a shop is the way to go.
How around tread wear through super singles versus double rear wheels?
With supervisor singles, i am most likely going to run into much more wear problems than dually trucks. I’m certain I will additionally have to obtain my tires trued again as they wear. My tires can be shaved because they have really deep tread.
Did you need to make any type of other changes to the truck because that the at sight singles?
I am often asked if I required to change the axles. I did not. I actually did not need to adjust the truck much. I’ve kept it pretty stock.
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What ns did change is comprehensive in component 2, installation Super Singles top top a Ford F-450. As you will see, that process was extensive.