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Old 08-28-2005, 04:24 PM   #1
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Question for the owners of 3500 ram deisel w/duals.

Am considering a large 5th wheel towards the published published combined weight limits (21000) for auto with 3.73 4x4.

I currently pull a small 25ft travel trailer (6-7k) and enjoy just blowing up hills like they werent there, with my stock cummins.

Question is.... am I going to hate going up hills with a big 5th wheel?.

Thanks in advance.
TimK
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Old 08-28-2005, 04:24 PM   #2
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Question for the owners of 3500 ram deisel w/duals.

Am considering a large 5th wheel towards the published published combined weight limits (21000) for auto with 3.73 4x4.

I currently pull a small 25ft travel trailer (6-7k) and enjoy just blowing up hills like they werent there, with my stock cummins.

Question is.... am I going to hate going up hills with a big 5th wheel?.

Thanks in advance.
TimK
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Old 08-28-2005, 05:08 PM   #3
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You'd be much happier with the 4.10 rear.
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:23 PM   #4
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charliez
How heavy is your rig?
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:27 PM   #5
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You will be looking for more horsepower. I pull a 5er almost 14000 pounds and an extra 100 horses do well on the big ones but that will require a transmission upgrade.
Larry
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:56 PM   #6
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I'm running a 3500 QC SRW SB and pulling a 11.5k 5VR. I do in fact LUV blowing by those guys going up hills and I have the 235hp Cali diesel. You did not list which Ram you actually have??? I did add the Banks Six Gun w/Speed Loader and yes there is a difference in overall performance.
I agree with the rest as far as the 4.1 gears, it will give you better performance and give you an extra 2k load pulling capability. The truck will run just fine as is but adding a performance chip and upgrading the tranny may be on order depending on how heavy you actually plan on pulling. You will most diefinately need a Pyro to monitor EGTs. If you plan on going really realy heavy then look into getting a MD80 or Freightliner, yes it will cost you but by the time you set up one of these 1 tons you will have spent the same amount about $80K.
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Old 08-29-2005, 04:30 AM   #7
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We pull a heavy 5th wheel (see signature) with the truck shown in the signature. I agree - for towing heavy, the 4.10 gears are a real help. Our truck was ordered specifically to get the highest GCWR available in 2002, and a Jacobs exhaust brake was part of the deal. That's great with a 6-speed, but really won't work with an automatic unless you have transmission mods to keep the torque converter locked up when the exhaust brake is in use. Gauges for heavy towing are highly recommended as well.

Our truck is running a mild timing/fueling box (Edge EZ) with medium-size injectors (Diesel Dynamics Stage 2) that put it at 347 HP/762 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels (DynoJet 246C dyno) - a conservative number for the Cummins B-series 5.9L. That power level makes for a nice tow rig for a heavy 5th wheel.

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Old 08-29-2005, 05:06 AM   #8
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My rig is not very heavy. Right at 8K, not counting all the crap the wife stuffs in the fridge for an overnight trip.
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Old 08-29-2005, 03:31 PM   #9
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The deal is, I just bought the truck its an 05. Couldnt resist the employee deal that they were pushing, traded in my 03. So 4:10's are kinda out of the question, at least price wise, dont even want to think what that would cost, 4x4 and all.
I have considered a mild box, ez maby, and some guages. Dont really want to get into the transmission, but I did toy with the idea on the 03.

So my question really is; mostly stock am I going to hate going up hills with something like 12000-13000 lbs glued to my bed?
Havent pulled anything near that heavy, so I really have no idea what its going to be like.
The 5th wheels we have been thinking about claim to be in the 10500 dry range.

thanks again tim k
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Old 08-29-2005, 04:34 PM   #10
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That dry weight really means nothing. That's the weight BEFORE any options. A fridge, an ac, wh, slide, several slides, are all options. Even the awning. It's more of a number the salesman can use to talk someone into buying a rig with too small of a tow vehicle. Well, maybe not exactly, but it's not a number you can use to calculate anything. It's required by the feds. What exact model is it and how is it equipped?

I hate to say this, but you should have checked before you bought it. On the other hand, alot of people buy a bigger truck, then get the fever to upgrade. But, I'm not trying to knock you for your decision. It's a good truck and will make a good TV.

You just need to investigate what it's limits is, and apply those number to what you would like to purchase. Some dealers will let you weigh a rig, others won't but you need to know the full weight not the unloaded (before option) weight.
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Old 08-29-2005, 08:58 PM   #11
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Hi Tim, welcome to the forum. I can relate my experiences with my 1996 Dodge CTD, BR2500HD. It had 3.55 gears,AT, and factory stock 180HP. I pulled a 10K Dutchmen 30'5er all over the western U.S.A. with absolutely no problems. We traded for a Grand Junction 35TMS that weighs near 14K loaded, and my truck would really strain on a 8% grade, slowing to about 20mph topping the hill. I installed 4.10 gears and that same 8% grade was now topped at 35mph. This is at 180HP remember, so your truck will perform much better. Dodge recommends the 3.73 gears for towing. Since diesel engines require about $10 per HP when upgrading(if everything is done right), I opted to buy a new Chev K3500 Duramax and I barely know our new 2nd home is behind it. For gearing/rpm questions visit here: gear calculator, I found that 2180rpm at 65mph is rather costly running the Dodge 4.10 gears.
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:40 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ray,IN:
I found that 2180rpm at 65mph is rather costly running the Dodge 4.10 gears. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>For those that may not be aware, Ray is referring to a 12-valve (pre 1998.5) B-series Cummins 5.9L. The 24-valve Cummins (1998.5 and later) operates more efficiently at higher RPMs than the 12-valve.

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Old 08-30-2005, 09:04 AM   #13
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That's correct. I have the later 24 valve, and it runs right a 1900 rpm's at 70 mph, with the 5'er in tow, 4.10 gears. I used to pull a popup that was the exact height of the tailgate and got better mileage with it back there.
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Old 08-30-2005, 09:28 AM   #14
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Charlie,

Are you SURE about the 4.10s? Your RPMs sound right on the money for 3.54s. Our truck (with 4.10 gears) runs 2350 RPM @ 70 MPH in 6th gear. That's consistent with Ray's 2180 RPM @ 65 MPH with his 4.10 gears.

Rusty
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