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Old 07-05-2019, 01:24 AM   #1
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How to find tow capacity

How do I find the towing capacity of my truck? I've searched all over, and the more I look the more confused I am. I've looked at the door sticker, and the only thing it tells me is the GVWR (6650lbs) and front/rear GAWR.


NADA lists towing capacity at 4350lbs
JDPower shows 4350lbs
RVsafety.com shows 7800lbs

Trailerlife shows it at 7900lbs
Camping World shows 8100lbs


I tried to download the owners manual from Dodge but the file is corrupt. Original manual was lost/stolen


2005 Dodge Ram 1500
5.7L Hemi w/ 3.92 axle ratio

2WD Quadcab SLT short box, 20" tires

tow package



Thanks for any help! (I may go to the local dealer tomorrow and see if they can help too.)
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:58 AM   #2
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I found this with a quick Google search, but I would verify it with the dealer. Good luck...it can be confusing as heck.
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:46 AM   #3
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What do you want to tow? A hay wagon out of a hay field? Tow capacity is not what you really want.

If you are going to tow a camper you will want cargo capacity 1st. That will be your limit as to how much weight the truck can carry.

Example: Ford will advertise a 10,000lb tow capacity with a truck that has a cargo capacity of 1,600lbs. Your typical 10,000 lb travel trailer, in this example will put 2,000lbs of weight on the hitch if the truck. That is 400lbs over the cargo capacity of the truck.

But a boat and trailer weighing 10,000lbs will only put 1,000lbs of weight on the truck.

I towed my 6,500lb camper trailer with my friends 2005 Ram 5.7 Hemi 4x4. I felt that was too much weight for that truck.

You should be looking for a camper trailer that weighs around 5,500lbs loaded and ready to camp. A camper with a dry weight of 4,500 - 4,800lbs.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPVagabonds View Post
How do I find the towing capacity of my truck? I've searched all over, and the more I look the more confused I am. I've looked at the door sticker, and the only thing it tells me is the GVWR (6650lbs) and front/rear GAWR.


NADA lists towing capacity at 4350lbs
JDPower shows 4350lbs
RVsafety.com shows 7800lbs

Trailerlife shows it at 7900lbs
Camping World shows 8100lbs


I tried to download the owners manual from Dodge but the file is corrupt. Original manual was lost/stolen


2005 Dodge Ram 1500
5.7L Hemi w/ 3.92 axle ratio

2WD Quadcab SLT short box, 20" tires

tow package



Thanks for any help! (I may go to the local dealer tomorrow and see if they can help too.)

So what did the dealer or mfgr tell you???
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:52 PM   #5
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2WD-8,900 lbs 4WD-8,600 lbs GCWR- 14,000 lbs Now reduce the tow rating by 20% and you're in the ball park (7120 lbs/6880 lbs) Now, take into consideration that your vehicle is nearly 15 years old. Pulling 7K lbs with it, it will leave you on the side of the road shortly. I'd look at 4K lbs max.
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:13 AM   #6
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Simple physics tells you that a truck with a curb weight of less than 5000 pounds should not be towing a trailer that weighs nearly 9000 pounds. As Tuffr2 said, 4500 dry, 5500 gross is the range you want.
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Old 07-06-2019, 03:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPVagabonds View Post
How do I find the towing capacity of my truck? I've searched all over, and the more I look the more confused I am. I've looked at the door sticker, and the only thing it tells me is the GVWR (6650lbs) and front/rear GAWR.
The GVWR of the tow vehicle is all the specs you need to get a good estimate of the max weight of a tandem-axle travel trailer, cargo trailer or utility trailer you can tow without being overloaded.

GVWR minus the weight of the truck = payload capacity.

GVWR minus the weight of the wet and loaded truck ready to back up to the trailer = payload capacity available for hitch weight.

Payload capacity available for hitch weight divided by 13% = max weight of a properly-loaded tongue trailer ready for camping. Payload capacity available for hitch weight divided by 20% = max weight of a properly-loaded fifth-wheel trailer ready for camping.

You won't find the answer in any source, because nobody knows the weight of the people, pets, tools, toys, camping stuff and other weight you will haul in the truck while towing. So to get the answer you must load the truck with everybody and everything that will be in it when towing, fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded truck.

The Owner's guide will explain how to determine the GCWR. The towing guide will give you the tow rating. Tow rating is GCWR minus the weight of the empty truck. GCWR tells you the max weight the rig can have without exceeding the power and torque of the drivetrain, and thus overheating something in the drivetrain. Tow rating is intended to help you determine the max weight of any trailer you want ot tow. But it usually yields wildly optimistic results because it ignores payload capacity. Yes, GCWR and tow rating do not consider payload capacity. Most trucks will exceed the payload capacity of the truck well before they reach close to the GCWR or tow rating. So ignore GCWR and tow rating and concentrate on GVWR and payload capacity.

If you want a good estimate of how much trailer you can tow without being overloaded - and without being the slowpoke holding up traffic on hills and passes, then you must take the time and make the effort to load the truck, fill up with gas, then weigh the wet and loaded truck, then do the math.
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Old 07-06-2019, 03:50 PM   #8
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Go to a truck stop with CAT scales. Take your family and weight it after you fill up the fuel tank. Subtract your total weight from your GVWR (on your door sticker) and that's your cargo limit. Divide that by 0.15 and that's the max travel trailer weight I would consider. Anything more than that will have you overloaded.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post

I towed my 6,500lb camper trailer with my friends 2005 Ram 5.7 Hemi 4x4. I felt that was too much weight for that truck.
I have to agree with this 100%. I had a 2004 Dodge 1500, 4x4, 20". On the first tow (from dealer) with that truck and GD 2500rl (5990 lbs) both my wife and I decided to get a f250 before we towed again.

The 1500 did fine with boats but even the 2500rl empty was over the top of what I felt good towing.
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Old 07-11-2019, 06:20 PM   #10
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Varago - I started my towing experience with boats. Agree my friends 2005 Ram 1500 4x4 5.7 hemi could tow a 6,500 lb. boat but not a travel trailer with the same weight.

Like I said I towed boats and yes, I equated a boats weight to a travel trailer. The 1st time I towed a travel trailer I thought holy smoke, this is not a boat. It put a lot more weight on the truck and pushed the truck around.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:05 PM   #11
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Also, that boat is streamlined to cut through the water, most likely that travel trailer is like a parachute.
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Old 07-21-2019, 07:01 AM   #12
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A 6,500lb boat only puts about 650lbs of weight on the truck as most of a boats weight is over the tires and the heaviest part (the motor) is in the back.

A 6,500lb travel trailer will around 1,000 lbs of weight on the truck. Are you are right, it is not nearly as areodynamic.
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