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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, love my 13. Really set against trading it. it's been one of the nicest, most consistent vehicles I've ever owned... and it's paid for, lol.


The tough part. The wife wants to get more into glamping than camping. So out goes the tent. to the thought of a travel trailer.
The only real requirement she wants is a bathroom. and my only requirement is a bed big enough for me. darn full sizes just aren't really big enough. Sooo.. by the time we get to a queen size bed and a bathroom, we're looking at 6000# plus units. most are 7k.



Granted, we're talking perhaps 4 weeks and a few weekends that'll be short hops a year, but the tow rating on the laramie is 6800#. I've had 5k back there before, and she was working a lot more than I was used to to keep that rolling.



airbags are going in next spring, and Was considering bumping the gears to 3.92's which should give me theoretically a lot more grunt pulling.



Just wondering if its going to make a real world difference. vs the cost. which I have no idea actually what a gear swap runs these days. probably $1 to #2k per axle I'd bet. and at that price, I could probably rent a half or 3/4 ton truck for trip duration for several years.
 

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It's great that you are thinking about this before you actually buy a TT, so many people (myself included) end up having to upgrade after the fact!

First to answer your specific gear question. I made the swap from 3.21 to 3.92 on my '14 Ram 1500 CC Big Horn to tow our camper. The truck ran at higher RPMs and pulled the camper with ore ease on hills, but no real difference on flat ground. I made the upgrade because I was buying a 7600 lb gross weight travel trailer to go camping with the family, an upgrade from our 5900 lb gross weight trailer. The truck did an ok job pulling the 7600 lb trailer on the 2 trips, but it still had its struggles and one of them was staying level. I started looking at airbags and other options, and in my research started to question my numbers. So, I'll go through them for you.

7600lb Trailer, 12% tongue weight is 912lbs. That 912lbs counts against your payload capacity, not your towing capacity. I use a WD hitch as is always recommended with a trailer that size, but it adds about 100lbs to your payload. Curb weight of my truck was 5521 and GVW was 6900. 6900 minus 5521 equals 1379 payload minus 912 tongue equals 467 minus 100 lb hitch equals 367 minus 280lb driver and 150lb passenger equals -63. I was 63 lbs over my payload with nothing else in the truck. I still needed to add in 300 lbs for 2 teenagers, 50lbs for a dog and roughly 300 lbs for bed cargo because that's where the bikes and beer fridge went. There was just no way for me to tow a 7000lb trailer with my family in the truck with me.

So, my warning to you is to actually calculate everything that is going in the truck and see where it nets out. I ended up upgrading to a 3500 SRW 6.4L Mega Cab with 4250lbs of payload and now I can pull a 13K lb trailer and still fit everything I need in the truck.

The other thing to consider is staying within the GCVW, but I often find that the easier thing to do with the 1500's. I had no problems there, I could go over payload put the truck and camper on a scale and say "I'm within GCVW so I'm good." However, clearly I wasn't that good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks like this is suddenly irrelevant. Buddy found me a listing for a dealer that carries a 15 foot unit with a queen bed, and a wet weight of 3700#. gonna go shopping this weekend.
 

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Looks like this is suddenly irrelevant. Buddy found me a listing for a dealer that carries a 15 foot unit with a queen bed, and a wet weight of 3700#. gonna go shopping this weekend.
Sounds like a good candidate. Good luck, hope to see a pic once you get it.
 

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Does your truck have the 8 speed? I've seen many members here with the Hemi/8HP70/3.21 combo pulling some pretty large travel trailers with no issues according to them.
 

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For 2013 Ram didn't count for anything more than the actual weight of the transmissions when determining tow ratings between the 6 and 8 speeds. I use the 2015 numbers as a guide because instead of being based off of arbitrary BS, 2015 ratings are based on the SAE J2807 criteria. Nothing was changed in those years on the Hemi 8 speeds, though the V6s went from the 8HP45 to 845RFE which actually is a stronger transmission. I've towed 8500 lbs before and I'll do it again-the powertrain has more than enough power and the brakes, suspension, and frame aren't any different than a 1500 rated to tow 10,000+ lbs.


I certainly wouldn't regear, and I really don't think you need a new truck. There are quite a few large trailers that will tow at around 7000-7500 lbs (not dry weight).
 

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Looks like this is suddenly irrelevant. Buddy found me a listing for a dealer that carries a 15 foot unit with a queen bed, and a wet weight of 3700#. gonna go shopping this weekend.
I would assume in that small of a unit it would be a "short" or "rv" queen which are usually 60" x 74". Jayco has a ~20 foot model with a walk-around "short" queen, 2-person dinette and dry bath if you want to take a look at that one. Its the Jay Flight SLX 7 195RB. We have a 2015 Baja model - tops out at 3750 wet. One of our requirements was NO crawling over each other in the middle of the night to get to the bathroom. Also, Jayco was about the only line where we could find a small tub/shower combo instead of just a shower.

It's a really easy and stable tow. Actual loaded trailer weight for us is ~3700 and with ~12% for tongue weight that ends up being around 440lbs. We also use an Andersen No-Sway weight distributing hitch that only weighs 60lbs. We've put close to 20K miles on it since 2015 with an overall average mpg of around 12. We have the 5.7 with 3.21 gears and the 8-speed. Cruises right along on the flats ~1750 rpm at 62mph.

You might check the actual payload for your truck and post that number here. That would help others provide better feedback based on your specific payload. Just look on the Tire and Loading information sticker on the drivers door jamb/door for the phrase "The combined weight of occupants and cargo should never exceed XXX". This will tell you how much your specific truck can carry as delivered from the factory. If you've added other accessories after delivery such as tonneau/topper, bed liner, etc. the weight of those items must be subtracted from this number as well.

You'll find with the higher trim level 1500's you will run out of payload well before you reach the rated tow capacity. Better to figure that out now and match a camper to your specific truck's capabilities. Look around - there are definitely smaller camper options that will fit safely within your trucks capabilities.

Good luck and keep us posted on what you are looking at as well as any other questions you may have.
 
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