2018 or 2019 2500 for towing--Non-negotiables when purchasing? - DODGE RAM FORUM - Ram Forums & Owners Club! - Ram Truck Forum
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HD RAM - TOWING All about towing with the big dogs!


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Old 06-17-2019, 09:49 PM
SummerPerk SummerPerk is offline
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Default 2018 or 2019 2500 for towing--Non-negotiables when purchasing?

We recently purchased a Northwood Arctic Fox 5th wheel--27.2 ft, GVWR 8500, axle weight 5610, hitch weight 1410.

We had originally planned on purchasing a 2500 2019 diesel 4x4 single cab w/an 8 ft bed until we realized we'd have to special order it and are having trouble justifying spending that amount when there are so many good deals on 2018's right now.

We're now considering a 2018 crew cab diesel 4x4 w/a 6'4 box (using an automatic slider for the hitch)--simply because there are more of them out there. Likely Big Horn--we don't need fancy--SLT is a possibility as well. Really struggling with what features we need to look for already installed that are critical for towing safely vs what we can add on after purchase. Finding our wishlist configuration just isn't really out there and would like to open up our purchasing options.

Also, are we good with going w/a 2018 2500 for towing vs 2019? We want a good safety margin and if needed will pay the extra for the 2019--I've spent so much time researching the 2019 I don't know what all we would be missing out on w/the 2018 other than the safety package we were pretty keen on (blind spot detection, etc--but that's not worth an extra $10,000 if that's the only major difference).

Would greatly appreciate any advice. I feel like I'm just spinning right now.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:51 AM
Monster5601 Monster5601 is offline
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A 2500 does not come standard with limited slip rear axle and some trims do not have the brake controller installed, unlike the 3500s. I also recommend the cargo camera option, rear air leveling suspension, and fifth wheel prep package. It may be difficult to find the latter two options on an 2018 model.

I also suggest you add a BD Diesel Transfer Case Control Low UnLock kit. This will allow you to select 4x4 low gearing without engaging the front wheels. Eliminates front wheel binding and lessens the need to use the accelerator during campground maneuvering.
https://www.amazon.com/BD-Diesel-103.../dp/B01HZV41G0
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:20 AM
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Just about anything can be added after the purchase in regards to towing, but I believe the more you get already installed on the vehicle the better off you'll be. Not dealing with parts cost, labor, etc and if already installed from factory most if not all items will at least fall under bumper to bumper warranty.

Not that the weight is an issue but is there anything ruling out a 3500 SRW? As Monster5601 said a 3500 is going to be more likely outfitted with most/all your needs but they may not be as abundantly available like 2500's are.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:41 AM
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I highly recommend getting the cargo cam - makes hitching up much easier.
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Old 06-18-2019, 10:50 AM
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Thank you--cargo cam was not on my radar, but I am seeing it as one of the options on the majority of the 2500's I've looked at. I have specifically been looking for the limited slip rear axle and have been seeing it.

I was afraid someone was going to suggest a 3500--I'll take a look!

Not seeing much in the way of rear air leveling suspension nor 5th wheel tow prep on any of the inventory, even 2019's. Both of those were included when we did our build, so I'm disappointed not to see them--dumb question, but do air bags accomplish much the same thing as the rear leveling suspension? I need to go back to the RAM site and see what all was in the 5th wheel prep package.

Another question reflective of my limited knowledge--Is the 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Towing Prep Group ("This option provides mounting holes for a fifth wheel hitch and for a gooseneck ball, covers for these mounting holes, and a bed mounted 7-pin connector") going to be compatible w/a sliding hitch?
Not sure how critical this option is--it does seem to limit my search by quite a bit and wondering if it's something that I can address after purchase or if I really do want a truck that already has it.
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'm not familiar w/the unlock kit, so will definitely look into further.
Thanks again!!
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:43 PM
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Just be careful with the payload on a 2500 Cummins truck, you're looking at about 2300# on a 2018 CC truck. That gives you 900# to play with in a best case scenario, on an empty trailer.

The auto level rear suspension isn't the same as just adding air bags, it will give you an alternate height that makes it easier to hook up to the trailer and it manages the air pressure.

If you can find an '18, you can get 72 months of 0% financing- that's money in the bank.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:57 PM
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Thank you--we don't want a narrow margin--the 2019 2500 diesel has a greater towing capacity, correct?
I did just find a 2019 3500 that appears to have everything we want--sent an inquiry. Anyone have experience buying from Dennis Dillon in Idaho??

Thanks for the clarification regarding the auto rear suspension--trying to figure out if it is on the 3500 and/or if it's on the one I'm looking at. Unfortunately, I think not.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:03 PM
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Default Consider the future camper

Went through this same thought process on camper weights. I decided to choose the 3500 diesel Ram MegaCab because of the increased payload rating over the 2500. I am glad I did. Campers come and go, but weight always seem to increase. I decided to buy a fifth wheel this time and I am now sure that I made the right decision. If you ever think you might buy a 5'er consider the 1 ton. Hitch pin weights of these campers will easily put you over on payload weight.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:27 PM
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We purchased our 5th wheel a few months ago--definitely put the cart before the horse! Original plan was to get a 2019 Ram at year's end and then purchase a trailer next year, but we got a price we couldn't refuse from a family friend w/a 5th wheel who had only taken it out a few times. Northwood Arctic Fox. It's 27 ft long; gross dry weight 7020 lbs. So it's not huge, but definitely bigger than the little baby A-liner we were originally looking at that would fit in the garage!
We live in Oregon and want a tow vehicle that will get us over mountain passes without worry. If this 3500 I'm looking at works out, it may be just what we're looking for.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:51 PM
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I don't think you made a mistake by choosing your truck after getting the camper. You now know what you need in a truck to be safe. Too many folks mistakenly believe that just because a truck can pull something, it's safe to drive. Too many camper salesmen don't ask, don't tell or don't know. I guess I could throw a few truck salesmen in that pile, too!



Indeed, most of these newer trucks can pull 10K, but doing the math (or simply looking at the sticker on the door frame) to determine what load the vehicle is rated for gets forgotten.



In my estimation, payload rating is one of the chief numbers to know when choosing a camper. Go over on payload and you risk a white-knuckle experience or worse. In today's truck world, any truck that can meet your payload requirements should easily be able to pull what you need. Finally, never trust the published numbers, always check the door frame sticker and weigh your loaded camper.
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