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Old 12-06-2019, 01:26 PM   #1
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Exceeding 80% of tow capacity

I have a RAM 2500 Diesel with a tow rating of 15,160lbs, and getting ready to buy a 5er. I've heard that you shouldn't try to tow more than 80% of rated capacity, which means I should keep my 5er GVWR under about 12,100lbs. But the 5er I want to buy has a GVWR of 14260. Should I worry about this? What concerns will I face?
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:38 PM   #2
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You’ll be overloaded on payload longggg before you hit max tow rating. This is easily 1 ton territory.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:50 PM   #3
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I've heard that you shouldn't try to tow more than 80% of rated capacity
Urban myth. No idea where these things come from. The engineers at Dodge rated it at XXXX lbs for a reason.

As archer75 stated, you will likely exceed the payload capacity before the towing capacity.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:06 PM   #4
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You’ll be overloaded on payload longggg before you hit max tow rating. This is easily 1 ton territory.
Uh oh, I hadn't thought of that. So by payload I assume you mean hitch weight plus cargo in the bed, cab, and front of rig above the hitch? The dry hitch weight of the 5er is 1895 lbs and payload of the RAM is 2030 lbs, so I'm close and will probably exceed with any cargo. Cause for concern?
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:10 PM   #5
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You'll likely exceed capacity the minute your passenger sits in the truck with you. Not to mention tools, food, clothes, water, adult beverages, the dog, its toys, etc etc. No question, you'll be more than a little bit over capacity.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:11 PM   #6
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Uh oh, I hadn't thought of that. So by payload I assume you mean hitch weight plus cargo in the bed? The hitch weight of the 5er is 1895 lbs and payload of the RAM is 2030 lbs, so I'm close and will probably exceed with any cargo. Cause for concern?


And add the weight of everyone in the vehicle. You’ll be way over.
I have a ram 2500 as well and can easily overload it with just a travel trailer when we’re loaded for boondocking. Full water tanks plus all the additional gear we bring. Adds up fast.
I wish I went with the 3500 as I know a 5th wheel is in our future.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:48 PM   #7
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The typical 250/2500 series trucks really can not tow many 5th wheels because they can not carry the weight of the 5th wheel.

Even small to mid sized 5th wheels will easily put 2,500 lbs on the truck. This is more than a lot of 250/2500 trucks can carry. It exceeds their door sticker payload.

In my mind 250/2500 series trucks can tow travel trailers. 350/3500 series trucks are needed to tow a mid sized 5th wheel. Dually trucks are needed to tow large 5th wheels.

Oh, there are zero 150/1500 series trucks that can tow a 5th wheel. So a 5th wheel with a HT (half ton) designation can probably be towed with a 250/2500 series truck.

So your truck can tow a 5th wheel. But only the smaller 5th wheels.

Note: 5th wheels typically have most of their storage in the front which puts a lot more weight on the truck.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:02 PM   #8
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If you have to be here asking this just stick with the payload rating as your limit. The real legal limits are your axle ratings but i wouldnt recommend going that route if youre inexperienced.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:46 PM   #9
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On a 3/4 ton truck, your limiting factor is going to be the GVWR, the rear axle GAWR and the trailer pin weight when loaded. A typical 5er will have a loaded pin weight around 20% of the trailers GVWR. A 12000# GVWR 5er will have a pin weight when loaded of about 2400#. The 2400#, plus the 5er hitch, plus any cargo and passenger load has to be less then the trucks rated payload capacity per the yellow sticker inside the door jamb.

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Old 12-07-2019, 12:42 AM   #10
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Just make sure you aren't over your axle ratings. GVWR isn't a big deal. You can basically ignore it.
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Old 12-07-2019, 05:14 AM   #11
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Do not overload your tires. Your 2500 rear gawr should be maxed out at your tire capacity. If you have other tires and wheels from stock check the capacity. Your 2500 will be maxed out or overloaded with that 5th wheel. The gvwr is there for a reason. Towing at the max limit or over it is just waiting for something to break. I was maxed out on my truck. Towed ok but had white knuckle moments. Moved from a 3500 srw to an F350 daully. What a difference. My 5th wheel is 13k lbs with 2500 lbs of pin.
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Old 12-07-2019, 06:38 AM   #12
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Uh oh, I hadn't thought of that. So by payload I assume you mean hitch weight plus cargo in the bed, cab, and front of rig above the hitch? The dry hitch weight of the 5er is 1895 lbs and payload of the RAM is 2030 lbs, so I'm close and will probably exceed with any cargo. Cause for concern?
Your finding out what I found out about three years ago. I bought a Chevy 2500 with the Dmax, and then went about looking for a 5th wheel toy hauler. Putting the truck on the scale, I found out what it weighed after I put a bed liner on it, and my usual junk. I was left with 2360 lbs., which is actually pretty good for a diesel, but nowhere near what I needed for a 5th wheel. A 12K lb 5th, you are talking about 2,400 lb pin weight. Ended up with a hitch toy hauler, which is what will give you the most flexibility in weight.

I just solved my problem, by updating the truck to a 3500 srw, and next summer will be looking at mid-weight 5th wheels.
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Old 12-07-2019, 07:20 AM   #13
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Ignoring the GVWR is not really good advice. Why would the manufacture put a number on the sticker that you can ignore? You will find that you should not exceed any number. Payload, GVWR, Axle Rating, Tires etc.
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:10 AM   #14
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Ignoring the GVWR is not really good advice. Why would the manufacture put a number on the sticker that you can ignore? You will find that you should not exceed any number. Payload, GVWR, Axle Rating, Tires etc.
For licensing and warranty. They dont (not that its remotely a good idea) want you putting 20k in your pickup bed.
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