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Towing 3rd Gen Dodge Ram Towing Questions


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  #1  
Old 02-16-2011, 10:27 PM
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two4ruff two4ruff is offline
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Default Suggested Mods for a 2005 1500 for towing

I ordered a North Country 28 BHSS. It's supposed to be about 7300 dry. The truck is capable of 8600 since it has the Hemi and 3.92 gears. I do have an equalizer hitch and brake controller from my smaller 2007 Mallard 18CK. The Ram has the factory tow package and the stock transmission cooler looks to be about 8x12 inches. I have not yet taken delivery of the trailer and was interested to know what mods people have made to similar trucks to improve handling and all around towing.

Thanks in advance for the input.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:32 AM
SnowChief SnowChief is offline
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As you mentioned, the intergrated trailer brake is very important as it helps tralier sway and prolongs the life of your truck brakes.

You may want to visit any RV website (e.g. Campers World) as there are a lot of rear suspension accessories you can add to give your truck more stability and sway control. For example, Hellwig and Spring Master make rear leaf springs or tension springs that help maintain your factory leafs normal stance. Also, there is a company called Timbren that makes heavy duty rubber cylinders that replace the factory bump stops (mounted on frame and rest on axle under heavy loads). Although Timbrens work well to level your rear load, they are not as good in the sway department as "helper" springs are. There are a host of rear airsprings as well that some serious trailer folks use.

Even though the Hemi is a powerful gas motor and you have a good gear ratio, I think you will find that between your trailer weight of about 7.3k and your load, the Hemi is going to struggle if you will be towing up hills and on other unforgiving terrain. I would try to keep the load weight in check and never exceed the factory ratings.
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:34 AM
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You are very close to your limit. When you say dry weight it often doesn't account for the appliances, propane, batteries, etc. You may want to weigh it just to be safe. You will be struggling in the mountains as the air gets thinner. I could not believe how much altitude effects power output.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:38 AM
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My mods so far are dual exhaust, a K/N CAI, Firestone Ride-Rite air bags, 305/55 X 20 E range tires, Mopar 1 ton hemi trans cooler, Prodigy brake control, Equalizer hitch and a sway control.

I took a trip last month from Spokane Wa over to the Oregon coast. I kept the speed around 60 on the highway. The Hemi did fine over the passes I just kept the engine speed down (the 5 speed auto likes to shift down too much). The only problem I noticed was on really rough sections of the 101 the trucks front suspension was a bit soft.

I still would like to get a 3/4 ton but the Ram is paid off and only has 50K
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:36 PM
turborich turborich is offline
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You have the right set up with the HD trans cooler and you have got the safety aspect handled with the proper WDH, sway control & brake controller. You also seem very safe when it comes to your driving speeds.

I still say that you should weight your trailer loaded just to play it safe. If you are within limits then go for it. Sounds like you need a turbo diesel, Then you could pull what ever you wanted.

I haven't towed with my Ram 4.7 yet as I just got it. I normally tow with my 2000 Expedition 5.4 liter and when you get up to 8,000 ft+ you really know it. I looked up the hp loss at 9800 feet & it was something like a 33% loss at that altitude.

I would also suggest checking your trailer tires frequently for the correct pressure and any problems. Most trailer tires these days are made in China and blowouts are very common. I don't ever tow above 65 mph and I have had 2 blowouts at correct inflation on newer tires.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:12 AM
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Good info on the tires. I'm kind of a nut when it comes to checking all that stuff. I even carried a touque wrench the first few times out since the trailer is new and has aluminum wheels. I'll probably weigh it next time I have it out.
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:24 PM
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Yep, You can never be too safe. Good idea about re checking the torque on the wheels.
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Old 10-14-2011, 05:20 PM
440Magnum 440Magnum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two4ruff View Post
I ordered a North Country 28 BHSS. It's supposed to be about 7300 dry. The truck is capable of 8600 since it has the Hemi and 3.92 gears. I do have an equalizer hitch and brake controller from my smaller 2007 Mallard 18CK. The Ram has the factory tow package and the stock transmission cooler looks to be about 8x12 inches. I have not yet taken delivery of the trailer and was interested to know what mods people have made to similar trucks to improve handling and all around towing.

Thanks in advance for the input.
Just my thoughts, others may disagree:

As others have said, actually weighing the rig is a really good idea. Move one axle at a time onto the scale if you can, and that way you know how each axle is loaded. Make sure no single axle is overloaded. Fiddle with the weight distributing hitch preload to get a good balance on the truck axles. A good "mod" would be LT tires with plenty of surplus load rating. You'll give up some quiet and smoothness when you're unloaded, but nothing bites worse than squirmy P-metric car tires pushed to the limit when towing. Spring for a good trailer sway damper too. More and bigger coolers are always good, but the factory tow package is pretty good IMO. You can add cold-air intakes and dual exhaust... but (don't tell anyone I said this...) its probably some of the least effective money you can spend on a modern truck- its not 1975 anymore and these aren't heavy-breathing big-bore big-block engines like 440s and 383s. Exhaust mods in particular are a weak bang for the buck spent unless you get radical and add headers. A GOOD CAI (not all of them really lower intake air temp and some even raise it) can help more than changing the factory exhaust.

The other thing (probably the most important) is you're own driving discipline. You're going to be really close to your trucks limits, so be patient, don't expect to blast up every hill at cruise speed. Mountain passes will be an exercise in driving with the tach instead of the speedometer and letting other people pass. I did some towing with my 4.7 1500 this summer (only about 3000 lb trailer weight), and found that re-adjusting my attitude, getting used to running with OD off (even tow-haul mode wasn't low enough sometimes), and being courteous to other drivers so I wasn't a moving speed bump made the whole trip more enjoyable. The truck did great, temps never budged above normal, etc... it just didn't do much of anything in a great hurry! :-)


Oh and one other thing I'm kindof a jerk about when it comes to trailers and tire salespeople: HAVE THE DANG TRAILER TIRES BALANCED!! Tire stores seem to always try to tell you that you don't need to balance trailer tires, I guess because you can't feel the imbalance in the tow vehicle. Here's why I think that's a load of manure: The trailer doesn't have shocks on their axles. Any imbalance in a trailer tire is NOT going to be damped out the way an imbalance on the vehicle tire backed by a shock absorber would be. At some speeds, the tire might start literally bouncing. Even if its not that bad, it will always be applying extra effective weight to ONE spot on the tire, and that leads to heat and failures. I have BEEN THERE and SEEN THAT, and also seen the difference when you do have the trailer tires balanced. The very fact that you CAN'T feel a trailer tire misbehaving is the very most important reason to make sure it doesn't misbehave in the first place!

Last edited by 440Magnum; 10-14-2011 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 10-16-2011, 04:38 PM
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Excellent info!
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:38 AM
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Good info from 440 Magnum

I had a ’69 Roadrunner 383 so I know what you’re talking about with old school intake and exhaust mods over the new motors.

The CAI mod definitely has to be done right so you’re not sucking hot air from around the engine. I have a K&N that seem to seal well to the hood. The power gains however are minimal and the K&N version is noisy under a load. Varam makes one that is sealed and uses ducting to the bumper that I might try. It looks nice too kind of like a 440 6 Pack filter.

The dual exhaust was installed to remove Dodges poorly designed 2 into 1 pipe which literally crushes 2 round pipes into 1 pipe. I also have an H pipe in the system.

The CAI and dual exhaust has given me about 1 mpg increase in normal driving. Power gains as I understand are minimal but can be seen with a different tune from a programmer.

I do have E range tires 305/55 20. Good ride and better tread for the snow up in Washington.

Firestone Ride-Rite airbags with moderate pressure gives a good ride and help a bunch over big dips in the road but the front still gives a bit of a bob.

The 1 ton Hemi trans cooler is huge and was a breeze to install as all the fittings are the same.

The equalizer hitch with sway control works nicely

The Prodigy brake control was a big improvement over my old cheap-o unit.

Definitely driving is the most important. 60mph on the straight and flat highways and I always keep the RPM’s under control on the hills and use the slow lane.

I hadn’t thought about the balancing of the tires on the trailer. I thought they were already balanced from the factory. I’ll have to take mine in and get it done.

Maybe my best mod would be a new ¾ Diesel but it’s nice to be paid off.

Good suggestions

Thanks

Last edited by two4ruff; 10-17-2011 at 08:24 AM.
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