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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,


I'm looking to buy a 16300 GVWR RV and tow it with a Ram I'm probably going to purchase within the next year. Can I get by with a 2500 SRW with a gas engine or am I living in a dream and will really need a diesel engine to pull that much weight? The Hitch weight is 2338 (+ ~500 lbs for loaded probably). Also can I get away with a SRW or will I need a dually? This truck will likely become a daily driver but my purpose in buying it will be to pull that rig around. The RV specs are:


Dry: 13340
GVWR: 16300
Hitch Weight: 2338
Length (in case it matters): 41' 10"
 

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Here's my opinion, and bear in mind I don't tow over 8000# trailering, so I have no heavy hauling experience.

A single rear wheel 4x4 3500 maxes out at 15,620 towing with a crew cab short bed, 6.4, 4.10 axle. There's plenty of payload to handle the weight (3990#) if you're staying under the max ratings of the trailer; you'll have about 2,000# for passengers, gear, etc before you're max'd.

A dual rear wheel gasser will give you more payload (6670 with a long bed) but the trailer max is 15,600, so no advantage in trailer capacity, but I suspect it will be more stable.

So if you want to max out the trailer ratings, you can't do it with a gasser. Here's the towing specs. If you get a truck with decent options, the capacity drops.
https://www.ramtrucks.com/content/dam/fca-brands/na/ramtrucks/en_us/towing/2018%20Ram%203500.pdf

If you're towing short trips on tame terrain, you can work the SRW gasser, but if you're putting on significant miles, the diesel will save fuel and pull better.

If you're buying a purpose built towing rig, I would opt for a DRW, HO Cummins, Aisin trans, and 4.10 gears. It'll cost, but you'll have the best towing experience and no " I wish I would have" moments while you're lugging a 15,000 pound trailer up a mountain, or down the mountain for that matter (diesel exhaust brake).
 

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My opinion is you'd be living a nightmare. With the high hitch weight I assume you are talking a fifth wheel. In a 2500 with a 10,000#GVW, the pin weight will be 2/3 of your payload with a gasser. If you put the Cummins in, you will be over your GVW before you get into the truck. I'm towing a 12,000# fifth wheel and with some stuff in the bed, my rear axle weight is about 6400# with a spec of 6600#

I really think you need to be in a 3500 with a Cummins.

Unless you are not planning on venturing more than 100 miles from your home occasionally.

JMHO
 

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You're going to want the extra yank of a diesel at that weight, and if you need a diesel you always want a 1 ton, not a 3/4 ton. That's a big trailer.


The difference in MSRP for a similarly equipped 2500 and 3500 is like $500, so get what you need
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the input. The guy at the dealership basically said what you're saying, just wanted to confirm from people without a financial interest in me spending an extra 10K. A 3500 DRW it is I guess. I did drive one today and it wasn't quite as bad as I'd feared (though obviously not anywhere near the 1500 limited I have).
 

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Are you sure you need the DRW?
 

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That's true, but its more of a PITA to drive and your tires don't last as long because you can't rotate them all the way around. Also you have to buy an extra two.


DRW is like the diesel engine, I wouldn't get one if I didn't actually need it
 

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From everything I've read, at over ~32 feet on a 5th wheel DRW makes the pull a _lot_ more stable.
I don't agree with that. I've read it but for the most part, I think it is happy speech used to justify a dually purchase. I read a comment once from someone here that said he wouldn't pull anything over 25 foot with anything less than a dually, still scratching my head over that. If you don't have the weight on the truck, the tire/roadway contact is going to be minimal. You will always be adjusting your rear tire air pressures, times 4 tires. With a SRW you only have two tires to adjust. I run 80 PSI in the rears when loaded, 60 PSI when empty.

I pull a 41 foot Montana 3790RD, about 15,000 pounds equipped for our camping needs and I tow it with a 3500 SRW. I have zero stability issues, even in crosswinds with 35 MPH gusts.

Going to a dually is more about increasing payload than increasing stability. A SRW will get you around 4,000 pounds of payload +- the vehicle options. If you are going to need more payload then yes, dually. If you are going to tow more than 17,000 pounds, then yes, Aisin otherwise, keep your money or better yet, invest in the rear cargo cam, fifth wheel prep, and the rear air leveling system.

Something to think about with a dually is parking, particularly at sightseeing venus that already has limited parking. Drive-throughs and car washes are not dually friendly either.

In my opinion, the only justification for going with a dually is to increase the payload for pulling a bigger trailer. I realize some just want one and that is fine. You Texans like your things big. A 10K upcharge for a dually is ridiculous. The dually is a $1,200 charge over a SRW which is about $1,000 over a 2500. Added the $2,600 upcharge for the Aisin and you are looking at about $4,800 for the dually over a 2500.

BYW, your stated hitch weight is for a dry trailer, once you get all your personal items, battery, propane, fresh water, and camping equipment loaded, your pin weight is going to increase. To be safe, always calculate your pin weight as 20% of your RV's loaded weight or GVWR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A 10K upcharge for a dually is ridiculous. The dually is a $1,200 charge over a SRW which is about $1,000 over a 2500. Added the $2,600 upcharge for the Aisin and you are looking at about $4,800 for the dually over a 2500.
The 10K was for the upcharge from gas to diesel, not SRW to DRW. Interesting thoughts on pulling with a SRW. I'd much much rather have a SRW than a DRW (and frankly a 2500 vs a 3500 for the smoother unloaded ride) so long as the pull is safe and stable.
 

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The 10K was for the upcharge from gas to diesel, not SRW to DRW. Interesting thoughts on pulling with a SRW. I'd much much rather have a SRW than a DRW (and frankly a 2500 vs a 3500 for the smoother unloaded ride) so long as the pull is safe and stable.
Got it.

Before my wife and I bought a tow vehicle or trailer, I did considerable research online and as you have discovered, a mix of information that in the end cancels themselves out causing me frustration.

So we took a different approach. We started visiting campgrounds on weekends and visiting with folks. Amazing how friendly they are and how willing they are to share what they did right, wrong, and how they should have never listened to the RV dealer and/or their truck salesperson. What an education we got.

We saw it all, half tons pulling fifth wheels, dually's pulling travel trailers, and mostly, 3/4 ton trucks pulling fifth wheels. Few of the folks we talked with knew anything about payload or their trucks towing ability. Sad but true but then again, who in their path was going to teach them outside of themselves. Likely few of them even knew what questions to ask.

I learned from them, I didn't want to make a mistake that I couldn't afford to fix. Once you buy you buy and are stuck with your trailer and truck purchase. Our plans were to see the country in an RV, living on the road for a few years. I wanted capability and safety, and reliability hence the Cummins.

Here is something to consider, what are your travel plans, what states are you planning to RV in. The reason, some states have strict laws on tow weights and payloads and I believe Texas is one of them. In Florida, if you cause an injury accident and it is discovered you were overloaded, you can be hit with a felony. Where I live in Michigan, the rule is basic, if you can pull it you are good to go but that could change at any time. In California, you might just as well put your hands up and surrender your wallet.

The 2500s empty, ride much nicer than an empty 3500 but, the quality of ride is directly proportional to the quality of the roadway. On nice roads I don't have any issues with my 3500, on the not so nice roads, break out the kidney belts and your piss jug.

If you want to stay with a 2500 consider a bumper pull travel trailer, they have some really nice ones. I would not go with the fiver you posted about with a 2500. That fiver is going to far exceed the 2500's payload rating. The 2500 and the 3500 SRW have the same tow ratings, but much different payload ratings.

Makes some friends over at the rv.net forum, you will be able to learn a lot about the laws in different states, may help keep you from sharing your coin will politicians and you on this side of the bars.

If your plans are staying local and not much pulling, then you could get away with a gaser in a 2500. Get the rear air leveling system, you will be glad you did.
 

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Look, it's a proven fact, 60% of the people towing trailers exceed at least one weight safety rating on their tow vehicle. 55% of trucks towing 5th wheels exceed at least one the truck's weight ratings. If that does not concern you, then, by all means, follow the crowd.

However, the only one that can learn with certainty how much your truck can tow without exceeding any of the weight safety ratings is you and the RV Tow Check app. There is plenty of other helpful tow rating reviews and info at the Fifth Wheel Street website.
 

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Look, it's a proven fact, 60% of the people towing trailers exceed at least one weight safety rating on their tow vehicle. 55% of trucks towing 5th wheels exceed at least one the truck's weight ratings. If that does not concern you, then, by all means, follow the crowd.

However, the only one that can learn with certainty how much your truck can tow without exceeding any of the weight safety ratings is you and the RV Tow Check app. There is plenty of other helpful tow rating reviews and info at the Fifth Wheel Street website.
Looks like an add to sell a $1.99 phone app.

Simpler to follow the manufacturer's payload and tow weight recommendations.
 

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Looks like an add to sell a $1.99 phone app.

Simpler to follow the manufacturer's payload and tow weight recommendations.
You, sir, exemplify the person who is naive and lack the education to understand that the realistic vehicle towing capacity of a tow-ready truck configured to tow a fifth wheel trailer will rarely meet the published manufacturer’s TWR. Manufactures never take into account of the additional weight added above curb weight and two people weighing 150 pounds each. Those who take the time to study the vehicle’s owner’s manual would know this reality.
 

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You don't need an app to tell you that GCWR minus curb weight is what you can pull and that you still can't go over your GVWR minus curb weight in terms of payload with pin/tongue weight. GAWRs shouldn't ba a huge concern if the previous limits aren't exceeded

Its really not complicated, people just fail to account for all the considerations involved
 

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I've gone through all the numbers. Pin weight, GVW, GAWR, Trailer weight, had everything weighed on a certified scale and believe I am well within ratings. I could not find a GCVW rating, but believe it to be around 22,000#.

I was interested in seeing to what detail the app went too as many things effect the capacity. Since I've already done my research and I am cheap, I will not get the app nor will I recommend it without trying it out.

I agree, it seems like an ad for a 1.99 app.
 

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You, sir, exemplify the person who is naive and lack the education to understand that the realistic vehicle towing capacity of a tow-ready truck configured to tow a fifth wheel trailer will rarely meet the published manufacturer’s TWR. Manufactures never take into account of the additional weight added above curb weight and two people weighing 150 pounds each. Those who take the time to study the vehicle’s owner’s manual would know this reality.
Look I get that it's more complicated than simply looking at those two numbers. I got turned by not doing it right and had to buy a new truck, I also got burned by not understanding wheelbase impact before my last truck. But regardless, that seems a bit harsh. I don't think you have to spend 1.99 on an app to get it right, experience helps, and learning from others helps, and reading and learning is important. An app is great for those that want it, but no need for bashing on a guy for a comment.
 

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My recommendation: dually 3500 diesel, minimum.


BTW, the head out to campsites and talk to folks who tow is sound advice.

that said, be choosy, reason tax forms are designed for idiots. Most folks qualify.


Chat up teh guy with the nicest rigs. truck and trailer. One ton or more kind of fella. Maybe even single axle semi kind of guy.
Ask him why he is using those for tow vehicels.



Most folks learn the hard way but those lessons tend not to be forgotten.
 

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You might get a biased opinion if you do as gofishn suggests - only talking to people with 1 ton and larger :)

I personally prefer SRW as it is easier to park when you go off sightseeing.
 
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