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Towing 4th Gen Dodge Ram Towing Questions


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  #1  
Old 05-21-2013, 08:48 PM
Tjthehemi Tjthehemi is offline
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Default my Ram 1500 towing and gears review

I have a 2011 ram 1500 st qc 4x4 hemi, originally with 3.55s, now with 4.10s. I tow a 23' attitude 23fsak toy hauler, 11000gvwr, claimed dry weight of 5500#, actually weighed in empty at ~6800#s. loaded w/o water (which is how i pull it until i get 1 mile away then fill up) just 2 quads, food, drinks, gear, it weighs around 8200#s, and water would then put it at 9kflat. I also have air bags, wdh and sway control and integrated trailer brakes as well as e rated a/t tires and a spacer lift with mopar cai and custom exhaust. Now onto the actual towing, originally with the 3.55s, it seemed to be a tad heavy for the 1-2 shift up hills, as i live in socal and tow it through many steep hills and slow twisty hills, it couldnt hold 2nd up slow hills without heating up quickly. Now with the 4.10s, i can hold 2nd up the same hills with more weight and also has perfect ratios for long hills, 3rd gear at 55mph at ~3500 rpm pulls the biggest hills no problem without losing speed, rarely over half throttle, and cruising smaller grades in 4th at 60 @ 2500rpm and holds 5th (in tow haul mode of course) at 55-60 np on relatively flat or small hills. It does squat a tad with this load, as i suspect the tongue qeight is high, still adjusting the wdh system a tad, but overall, this truck pulls it great, plenty of power and nearly no sway. Also i should add, the tires I have are Nitto Terra grapplers 295/75R18 (34.3") so it lost a considerable amount of tqe once i added those with the 3.55s over the stock 31's". Only downside to the towing process is, since I have the ST model, i have no temp gauges outside of the basic needle coolant temp one, so I do not know what the engine oil, trans or rear end temps are at, the coolant needle sits below half pulling anywhere flat and on highway, small hills it slowly rises to a tad above half (a hair below 5/8) and when i stupidly decided to go through the San Marcos pass north of Sanata barbara (20+ miles straight up at 7-11% grade, no flats) sitting at 3500rpm in 3rd at 55mph, it slowly rose to 3/4, then i had to slow to 35 for a slow rv which put alot of stress to build speed back at the end, it crept over 3/4 until crest then immediatly back below half on downhill, so that was defintely a test and it made it. no lights or loss power. Now for comparisons of 3.55s to 4.10s for daily driving and mpg. Once i had the cai and tires, i dropped from averaging 15-16mpg (80% city) to 13-13.5mpg with the 3.55s, now with the 4.10s, i consistantly have gotten 12.8mpg. so i would say i lost half a mpg city, argueable less due to the fact i have been hot roding it around a bit more since the gears make it fun to launch.. I have not done a long highway trip unloaded yet, but with the 3.55s and a quad and dirtbike and camping gear in bed (800lbs)going up to flagstaff and back (500 miles up to 7000ft altitude) i averaged 16.2 up 17.4 back, holding 75-90 up and down hills. Now for the rpm change for the gears, 3.55s in 6th (or final gear) @75mph = 1750rpm, 4.10s @75mph = 2150rpm. so a bit of a increase, however, it seems to actually help since i now sit in mds more often...also I can sit in 5th or 6th longer up steep hills. I feel like the truck is faster from a stop, however, from a higher speed roll-on (50mph+) it seems to be a tad slower due to the 3-4 big drop at 85mph, with the 3.55s, 2nd gear went to 90mph and 3rd to 96-100mph then the drop to 4th, the extra length of 2nd and 3rd seemed like it helped, with the 4.10s, 2nd gear hits 75, 3rd 85 then 4th drops from ~5700 to ~3800 and it defintely loses a lot of accel. But i have not ran anything official on this yet.
I just wanted to post a thorough review for towing a heavy trailer and the gear swap for people, I am no expert, just have a little experience with this specific situation, and this is what I have noticed.
One thing I would like to add for people looking for towing help for the 1500, Under no circumstances believe mfr weight ratings on trailers, they are way off once you have any accessories added, mine was 1300# higher, which i did not expect.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:47 PM
seanbeckaroo seanbeckaroo is offline
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That is simply an awesome review! Exactly what I have been looking for. I have an 2009 with 3.55's and I too was thinking of going to the 4.10 gears. I only pull a 4000lb dry weight trailer, and I find the the power is great, but the gearing just didn't seem adequate. I have the SLT Big Horn package with tow package, so I can see all my temps in the EVIC. Basically towing 5000lbs on an 80 degree day on a flat road going 65 mph my tranny temp was north of 175, engine oil temp north of 230, and cooling temp at 200. It seems to sluggish on any slight incline, since it continually searches for the right gear, even in the tow mode. I will eventually upgrade to a larger trailer, and when that happens, I believe I will upgrade to a 2500, just my personal preference. After reading your review though, I believe I will go ahead with the 4.10 swap, because it is really what I want.

Rep points for the great review!
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:47 PM
Judgedredd Judgedredd is offline
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I have done a 4.10 swap from 3.55 in mine haven't got any towing numbers but i do seem to be getting 1 more MPG in town with the 4.10's and 1 less mpg on the highway with the 4.10s. at 75-78mph
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:44 PM
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h2oman h2oman is offline
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Outstanding post dude.

Thanks.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:07 PM
Dragonmaster13 Dragonmaster13 is offline
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lots of good info, just really hard to read. edit that beast with a few separate paragraphs and I'll send some rep your way.
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