Hello and Question about Trailer Towing
Brand new to the forum and really enjoy reading all the informative posts. I have had my 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 for about 6 months now, nice truck! I plan on buying a travel trailer camper in the spring and would really appreciate some tips. I am buying a 31' trailer and fully loaded the weight is right at 7500lbs. Now I have had 100 people say that I should have bought a 2500 with a diesel....well, my truck is my truck and it will have to do the job. So my question is: What would be practical performance upgrades/modifications that I can do to increase power and stability while towing this trailer? I am going to get a load balancing hitch, however suspension and engine wise it is mind boggling how much stuff is out there and every aftermarket vendor says their stuff adds power. So, a few tips by you seasoned pros would be much appreciated.
My first answer is a question. Are you sure a 31' travel trailer is only 7500 lbs? That sounds light.
If it does really only way 7500 lbs loaded, it should be O.K. behind your truck. You want to make sure the trailers brakes are good and working, and install a good brake controller. If you have the tow package, this is very easy to install.
Hopefully your truck has the towing package, if not you will want to install a good tranny cooler.
If you have a lot of tongue weight, you might want to install a set of air bags.
It sounds like you are going to get a good wieght distrubuting hitch, so that will help, but you might also want to get sway control also.
Good luck, and you don't need a 3/4 ton diesel to tow 7500 lbs. Power is not the issue with towing, its stopping and trailer stability that will get you in trouble.
Get a good brake controller.
Get a cold air intake on the truck.
Get a freer flowing muffler on the exhaust or go to a dual system.
Get a programmer. I prefer the DiabloSport Predator.
You might consider a different set of gears, say going to a 3.92 set.
I agree with ^^^^ on the load leveling air bags. Firestone makes some really excellent ones.
I also agree with adding a transmission cooler if you don't already have one.
Load distribution and anti-sway hitch is a must. Also, make sure your receiver hitch is the proper class to meet your tongue weight specification of the trailer.
Thanks guys, totally appreciate the input. To clarify a couple of the questions: Yes, I have the tow package and I believe that the dealership told me I had the 3.92 rear gears but that might have been wrong information. The trailer is 5300lbs dry and 2200 carrying capacity. Looking at a Keystone Bullet 281BHS. I think the cold air intake was the first thing I was looking at and then the programmer and definitely the airbags. For the trailer I am also putting in the brake control. Just seems that there are a lot of options but trying to stay practical. Again, very much appreciate the feedback.
Thanks again, Deryck
Just my opinion here, but I wouldn't spend my money on a cold air intake, and I have one on my Challenger. They add a little bit of power, but not always as much as advertised. A programer will help more on the power end more than anything else.
Spend your money on a good hitch, sway control and weight distrbuting, and good brakes on the trailer and a good brake controler for your truck. A hemi Dodge with 3.92 gears will pull the weight you are talking about with no problems.
^ I second what's been said, if you do have 3:92s I would have the fluid flushed and install a mag hytec cover. Make sure the rest of the truck is up to maintenance. Being stranded with a trailer is terrible.
i have the same set up and i am pulling a 5th wheel around 8000# i added two extra leaf springs and new shocks, my trailer hitch is a TrailerSaver that has air bags, it does a good job of towing ( stock ) it does kick up to around 5000 rpms when going up a hills but if i keep it around 62 mph and 1800 rpms i got as good 9.1 mpg if i go any faster its around 7 mpg
i did put a K&N air filter on it last week but i wont do any towing until next year
if you can afford it i would get a Hensley Arrow trailer hitch i had one on my last camper (26 ft TT) its the best out there, they have videos on line check them out
with that hitch you may not have to do anything to your rear springs
Tranny cooler is standard on these trucks, what you might want to do install the 3500 tranny cooler, much bigger. The only downside I have heard about these on a 1500 is that in really cold climates, it doesn't let the trans fluid get up to proper temp for a while.
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