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2016 TCM Dream Truck Winner

Earlier this week, the 2016 Truck Survey revealed the trucks we have.  Now it’s time to unveil the trucks we want, and their specifications.  The 2016 Dream Truck Winner is…

dream truck winner 2016

Every two years we poll Truck Camper Magazine readers about the trucks they have, and the trucks they want.  On Monday we published the 2016 Truck Survey Results showing some fascinating six year trends for the trucks we have.  To see those results, click here.

Today we announce the truck we want; the 2016 Dream Truck Winner.

The 2012 Dream Truck winner was a Ford F-350, Diesel, Crew Cab, Long Bed, Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive, Dual Rear Wheel.

The 2014 Dream Truck winner was a Ford F-350, Diesel, Crew Cab, Long Bed, Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive, Single Rear Wheel.

The 2016 Dream Truck winner is a Ford F-350, Diesel, Crew Cab, Long Bed, Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive, Single Rear Wheel.

Congratulations Ford!

Except for the change from Dual Rear Wheel in 2012 to the Single Rear Wheel in 2014 and 2016, the same Ford truck has won three years in a row.  Now that’s impressive!

Thank you to all the readers who participated in the survey.  These responses are sure to have an impact on truck camper design and dealer inventory decisions in 2016.

Here are the results of the 2016 TCM Dream Truck Survey:

1. DREAM TRUCK MAKE

Once again, Ford dominates the dream truck make category with 40.18% in 2016, and has gained +6.63% since the 2014 survey.  In the same time period GM-Chevy/GMC fell -14% to 26.23% dropping GM from second to third place.  Ram is the big gainer with a +8.5% move from 2014 landing Ram in second place for the first time in our six year survey history.

Further down the list, Toyota has made a 34% increase, but represents just 4% of the total dream truck data.  Nissan ranks last with a mere 0.48%.

DREAM TRUCK MAKE 2012 2014 2016
Ford 42.31% 37.68% 40.18%
Dodge Ram 22.31% 24.23% 26.30%
Chevrolet 20.38% 16.78% 14.92%
GMC 8.08% 13.72% 11.31%
Toyota 3.65% 2.93% 3.93%
Other: Fuso, Unimog, Jeep, etc. 3.27% 4.39% 2.89%
Nissan 0% 0.27% 0.48%

 

2. DREAM TRUCK MODEL

The dream truck model data is a bit less conclusive, but there are a few data points worth discussing.  First, there is significant loss in the Mini (-27.7%), Half-Ton (-4.52%), and 3/4 Ton (-9.48%) categories over the full six years of survey data.  The move to larger trucks shown in the 2016 Truck Survey (what we have) is on full display in the 2016 Dream Truck Survey.

Second, the 1-Ton category is gaining momentum.  While it dropped -6.35% from 2012 to 2014, it gained +13.35% from 2014 to 2016.  During the same time period (2012-2014) the F-450/F-550/4500, etc. category dropped -19.67%.

This change might be attributed to the often dramatic improvements in payload capacity offered by the new 1-ton trucks.  For may rigs, the increase in 1-ton payload negates the need for larger F-450/F-550/4500 trucks.

 

DREAM TRUCK MODEL 2012 2014 2016
Mini: Ranger/Tacoma, etc. 2.31% 1.60% 1.67%
Half-Ton: F-150/1500 4.42% 4.39% 4.22%
3/4 Ton: F-250/2500 16.35% 15.56% 14.80%
1-Ton: F-350/3500 52.69% 49.34% 55.93%
F-450/F-550/4500, etc. 24.23% 29.12% 23.39%

 

3. DREAM TRUCK FUEL TYPE

It’s no surprise that diesel is the clear winner versus fuel.  That stated, it is somewhat surprising to see diesel consistently declining against gas over the six year survey data.  As of 2016, the dream truck data is essentially 75% diesel, 25% gas.

 

DREAM FUEL TYPE 2012
2014 2016
Diesel 78.99% 77.27% 75.26%
Gas 21.01% 22.73% 24.74%

 

4. DREAM CAB TYPE

While Crew Cab is consistently more popular than Extended Cab, the dream truck data shows no clear percentage trends between these two choices.  In short, Crew Cab remains between 65-70% of the dream truck market, while Extended Cab remains 26-30%.  At just 2.56%, Regular Cab continues to fall further out of favor.

 

DREAM CAB TYPE 2012
2014 2016
Crew Cab: Four Doors 65.32% 70.17% 68.72%
Extended Cab: Half Doors 30.25% 26.23% 28.72%
Regular Cab 4.43% 3.60% 2.56%

 

5. DREAM TRUCK BED TYPE

The big story for truck bed types is the growing interest in short bed trucks.  Comparing the 2012 data to the 2014 data, short bed trucks have grown an impressive +19.95%.

During the same time period, long bed trucks remain dominant, but have dropped -2.14%.  This is somewhat misleading as most of the Custom Storage Bed and Flatbed votes are likely also long bed votes.

Another interesting data point is how Custom Storage Beds and Flatbeds have failed to gain traction.  In fact, Custom Storage Beds have dropped -11.90% since 2014.  Flatbeds have dropped -21.12% in the same time period.

 

DREAM TRUCK BED TYPE 2012
2014
2016
Long Bed 62.33% 56.31% 60.99%
Short Bed 17.59% 22.58% 20.62%
Super Short Bed N/A 0.66% 0.48%
Custom Storage Bed 14.72% 15.54% 13.69%
Flatbed 5.35% 5.35% 4.22%

 

6. DREAM TRANSMISSION TYPE

It’s always nice when the data lines up to show a consistent set of results.  Looking the dream truck transmission type results, the growing preference for automatic transmissions could not be more clear.  From 2012 to 2014, the preference for automatic transmission has increased +6.95%.

 

DREAM TRANSMISSION TYPE 2012 2014 2016
Automatic Transmission 82.49% 86.96% 88.23%
Manual Transmission 17.51% 13.04% 11.77%

 

7. DREAM DRIVELINE TYPE

The ‘Go Anywhere, Camp Anywhere’ spirit of truck camping almost necessitates four-wheel drive.  This fact is reflected in the data with Four-Wheel Drive winning three years in a row, by a huge margin, and gaining in popularity.

 

DREAM DRIVELINE 2012 2014 2016
Four-Wheel Drive: 4×4 92.12% 92.15% 92.49%
Two-Wheel Drive: 4×2 7.88% 7.85% 7.51%

 

8. DREAM REAR WHEEL CONFIGURATION

We saved the best for last.  For the second survey in a row, Single Rear Wheel trucks beat Dual Rear Wheel trucks.  The margin between these two could not be closer and was actually 50/50 for almost the entire voting process.

Keep in mind that only two categories of trucks (1-Ton: F-350/3500 and F-450/F-550/4500, etc.) are available as dual rear wheel trucks.  In other words, these two categories essentially represent 50% of the market, while the other three categories (Mini: Ranger/Tacoma, etc., Half-Ton: F-150/1500, 3/4 Ton: F-250/2500) plus 1-ton single rear wheel trucks make up the other 50%.

 

DREAM REAR WHEEL CONFIGURATION 2012 2014
2016
Single Rear Wheel: SRW 48.85% 52.25% 50.16%
Dual Rear Wheel: DRW 51.15% 47.75% 49.84%



Wrap-Up

Looking at both the 2016 Truck Survey and the 2016 Dream Truck Survey, some obvious patterns emerge.  Ford rules, but Ram is a serious threat and gaining fast.  GM-Chevy/GMC has some work to do to catch up.

Generally speaking, we are moving towards 1-Ton trucks and away from smaller 3/4 Ton, Half Ton, and Mini trucks.  Even the larger F-450/F-550/4500, etc. is losing favor compared to the 1-Ton category.

Diesel is still the clear choice for 75% of our readership, but Gas is gaining consistently with every survey.  Crew Cab wins our hearts by a healthy margin over Extended Cab, while Regular Cab continues to diminish year after year.

Long beds remain firmly in the lead with short bed and super short beds slowly gaining ground.  We strongly prefer automatic transmissions to manuals and four-wheel drive continues to be a must for most.

Finally, we’re split 50/50 between Single Rear Wheel (SRW) and Dual Rear Wheel (DRW).

If you’re researching a truck purchase for a truck camper rig, please start by reading our Newbie Corner.  Specifically, read “Matching A Truck and Camper“, “The Payload Match Challenge: Part 1“, and “The Payload Match Challenge: Part 2“.


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Founded in 2007, Truck Camper Magazine is a free online magazine dedicated to the exciting go anywhere, camp anywhere, tow anything lifestyle of truck camping.

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