Wow! Such good relies for my first post. I am trying to purchase a travel trailer that has an empty weight of 7,000lbs. I guestimate that the average trailer gets an additional 1,000 lbs of “Stuff” when loaded for camping (people, bikes, food, gear, etc.) bringing the tow load to 8,000 lbs. When I told the RV dealer that we were considering the RAM ½ ton Hemi with tow package he suggest other ½ trucks with leaf springs or moving up to the Ram 2500. In fact the dealer said when towing this weight,going up steeper grades, the truck would lose lots of speed and it would be "very slow going". I was already considering adding the air bags to compensate for the higher tongue weight of a trailer. The dealer almost had be talked out of the ½ ton, glad to hear the coil spring aren’t that big of an issue, we really like the 2011 RAM hemi.
They switched to coil springs mainly for comfort and handling, but there is no sacrifice in towing capacity or stability. If you look at the rear suspension, it is VERY beefy, it is essentially a 4 link with a panhard bar, it will keep the suspension located better than a leaf spring. As far as the load carrying capacity, some think coils aren't capable of as much as leafs, but dodge appears to keep up with(actually surpasses) the other trucks as far as payload and towing capacity(my payload is over 1600 lb, that's ALOT for a half ton), and the hemi is definitely one of the stronger motors out there, it won't struggle.... A Ram 1500 with the hemi and coil rear suspension would be great for your application, don't let hard headed stubborn people convince you to get an inferior product