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Towing 4th Gen Dodge Ram Towing Questions


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  #1  
Old 06-17-2010, 09:11 PM
fewtree fewtree is offline
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Default Towing Limits

I am looking at getting a Fifth Wheel and was curious if I am understanding the towing capacity correctly.

I have a 2009 Ram 1500 4x4, 5.7L HEMI® V-8
5-Speed Automatic Transmission, Big Horn Addition with Towing Package.

According to the Dodge site http://www.dodge.com/en/towing_payload/2009/
the towing capacity is:
Towing[12]:
5000lbs - std
8850 lbs - max
Payload[12]:
1480 lbs - max


Based off of this it would seem that I could tow around a 6800 lbs. fifth wheel assuming an additional 2000 lbs. for people, lugage and gear. This would be a total weight of 8800 lbs.

Is this the correct way to figure this out? The only reason I ask is it seems like many of the 28' + fifth wheel weigh more than 6800 which would suggest a fifth wheel would be out of the question unless I wanted something smaller or could locate a lighter version of a 28' one.

Any advice would be great.


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  #2  
Old 06-17-2010, 09:39 PM
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Would the fifth wheel be classified under Payload or towing? I ask this because the fifth wheel is in the bed of the truck. The towing weight should be for the hitch on the back. It is a totally different trailer so I am not sure what you should be looking at for the limits.

This is just a though I do not even know myself. I am just throwing it out there for something to think about
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:25 AM
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That is a good question as I have heard that because it sits in the bed of the truck you can actually pull more than just hitch capacity. Again, I have not found any factual info. on this, but have heard from two people that this is the case. Since I am not able to find that I can tow more the the hitch limits with a fifth wheel, I was/am strictly basing it off the towing capacity. Hopefully it is not just the payload capacity alone or I wouldn't come even close.

Well, I'll keep looking and post here if I do find an answer.
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:28 PM
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Isn't the payload how much weight you can safely put in the back of the truck? You would need to find out the tongue weight of the fifth wheel, and see if it's under the payload capacity of your truck. Most fifth wheels are double axle, so that it where most of the weight will reside. I thing towing capacity is the same regardless of whether it's a trailer or fifth wheel. Is there anything in the owners manual, under towing perhaps?
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:15 PM
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go to an rv place that sells 5th wheel trailers. (even if you have no intention of buying from them, they don't have to know it).

I was looking into a travel trailer a few years ago, the sales vulture asked me about my truck, what size engine I had, towing package, etc... he looked at a chart that he had, then he said my truck would be able to two x amount of pounds. He then showed me about 25 different trailers that were within the weight limit.

I didn't buy any of them, as I was just looking

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  #6  
Old 06-19-2010, 12:13 AM
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long bed & short bed trucks have a different towing capacity, long bed rating is higher

then you have to consider wheel rim sizes
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:52 AM
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There are number of factors to consider -

Gears....makes a difference to the max trailer weight....and the GCVWR.
For example - 3.55 gears reduces both the Max trailer and GCVWR by 1000 lb, as compared to 3.92 gears.

Payload = Everything you put in the truck, Gas, people, luggage, tools, tongue weight/hitch weight, coffee cups.....everything.

GCVWR = Truck + Payload + Trailer (The total weight of the rig on a scale) This rating must NOT be exceeded!

GVWR = Truck + Payload (The total weight of the truck on a scale)

If your truck has 3.92 gears then the GCVWR = 14,000 lb, and the GVWR = 6700 lb, and the maximum trailer weight = 8800 lb, and the base curb weight of your truck is ~5000 lbs.

NOTE - 6700 + 8800 = 15500 lbs....which is over the GCVWR! Soooooo, if your trailer weighs 8800 lb, then your payload is limited to (14,000 - 8800 - 5000) = 200 lb (That's you + Gas + passengers + luggage......)

Can you pull an 8800 lb trailer...YUP....with less than a 1/4 tank of fuel, no passengers, luggage, etc......and as long as you are 5'10" or shorter....and thin!

For your case (assuming 3.92 gears) with a 6800 lb trailer -
6800 (trailer) + 6700 (GVWR) = 13500 (GCVWR = OK)
Payload will be - 6700 (GVWR) - ~5000 (Curb weight) = ~1700 lb
1700 = You + passengers + Luggage + FIFTH WHEEL WEIGHT + fuel + etc. If the fifth wheel weight is 1000lb, that leaves you with about 700 lb for people, fuel & luggage.
If the fifth wheel weight is 1500 lb......only room for you!

This is why most fifth wheel applications benifit from 3/4 or 1 ton suspension. There is at least some capacity left for the family!

Information source - Chrysler Canada - Fleet Operations commercial guide to trailer towing - 2009 Ram.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:11 AM
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this chart should be close to what your looking for

http://www.dodge.com/bodybuilder/201...ammlup1500.pdf
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:14 AM
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Hey GT....great find on the charts....they also show GAWR! That's not always easy to find on 1/2 tons!
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:17 PM
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Also refer to note #4 at the bottom of the chart which mentions "The max trailer weight is 5000lbs for a weight carrying hitch. A weight distributing system is recommended for trailers over 5000lbs." I believe the weight distributing system they refer to is indeed a fifth wheel hitch. But only up to ~8800lbs (w/o exceeding your GCVWR), as mentioned by Brad.
---> Great write up BTW Brad, very informative!
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Last edited by Subydude09; 06-19-2010 at 12:19 PM.
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