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Old 06-15-2017, 10:19 PM   #1
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How to tow properly - tow gear and in drive?

Hi, i was curious how to tow correctly with my dodge ram. What i mean is that i set the tranny to tow haul with the button at the end of the shifter (auto) and then i put it in drive and go. Should i be using 3rd gear all the time instead?

The reason is that my 1500 wants to get up and go when it downshifts and then it realizes it has a 5th wheel on it and it gets ticked off lol... So its downshifting quite a bit and dont want to break anything. Should i just put it in 3rd or continue to use drive and just try not to let it downshift too much.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:12 PM   #2
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Frequent/repeated shifting (hunting) will kill a transmission.
Tow/Haul Mode is best for towing......stays in each gear longer/higher rpms and will downshift/decelerate when slowing/braking

Sounds like your 5th wheel is too much for that 1500

What 5th wheel and which 1500....brand/model/year
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:35 AM   #3
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I would let it manual shift 1-2 and then hold it in third.
Out on the freeway let it shift up to 4th but if it begins to downshift repeatedly pull it out of 4th and leave it in third.

That's not much motor for a 5er so might need to let it rev.
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:41 AM   #4
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2008 ram 1500 quad cab 5.7 with heavy duty cooling which says i can tow 8500 lbs and combined at 14000

2007 Gulf Stream Conquest Supreme 24 FRBW, dry weight 6505. And its just me so i know im not overloaded on the trailer part which is 1735 capacity.

Plus i use an andersen hitch which is very light.

here ya go...

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Old 06-16-2017, 02:39 PM   #5
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Pushing the limits (if not over) on that 2008 1500
Have you ever weight truck/5vr...truck alone?

You'll be surprised at the weight numbers..especially when Full Timing
(we hit the scales every year so we KNEW )

Compare actual real weight numbers with trucks ratings....

And with that combo.......tow/haul 3rd when it 'starts hunting'
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:55 PM   #6
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Yes i weighed the truck but not the truck and RV, i will do that either in santa rosa or at another TA along the way as i dont want to go back to Albuquerque to do that.

Yes im sure im close to the limit but not over i dont think. Its a good strong engine and tranny, had the tranny drained and fully serviced, fuel system cleaned, tires balanced, oil changed, new air filter, plugs changed, and grease job all 4mos ago. I just checked the oil last night after 4mos and it has not droped even a spec on the stick so no leaks at all, and a new battery 1 month ago.

I also noticed and im embarrassed about this that i dont have a 3rd gear, i thought all autos had 3rd gear . i have a 2nd gear but thats too low. Ill just take it easy in drive, if it starts hunting ill try 2nd gear for a bit if im on a hill and just take it slow, and try to keep it under 5500 rpm if i can.

Part of the reason i have a 1500 is my dad, they traveled around with a 5th wheel for 15 years or more before getting rid of it. He told me that 1500 could tow an older RV no problem. He said he used to tow a 30 footer with his old ford half ton all over the US and never had a problem.

So now i have the truck customized just exactly like i want it and i find out i may need a bigger one soon, its really disapointing..

The test will be how it handles between here and santa rosa, its really hilly and ill find out how she is gonna run. Then the positive thing is that after that texas and the rest of the way east is pretty flat.
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Old 06-16-2017, 09:25 PM   #7
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I leave mine in overdrive unless I am going up a hill that I would estimate that transmission would down shift. Then I manually downshift before the engine starts to lug down.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:13 PM   #8
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Forget dry weight, what does it weigh wet and loaded for traveling. Sounds like you're under trucked to me! What's the real payload of the truck after the scale?
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durango Dave View Post
Yes i weighed the truck but not the truck and RV, i will do that either in santa rosa or at another TA along the way as i dont want to go back to Albuquerque to do that.

Yes im sure im close to the limit but not over i dont think. Its a good strong engine and tranny, had the tranny drained and fully serviced, fuel system cleaned, tires balanced, oil changed, new air filter, plugs changed, and grease job all 4mos ago. I just checked the oil last night after 4mos and it has not droped even a spec on the stick so no leaks at all, and a new battery 1 month ago.

I also noticed and im embarrassed about this that i dont have a 3rd gear, i thought all autos had 3rd gear . i have a 2nd gear but thats too low. Ill just take it easy in drive, if it starts hunting ill try 2nd gear for a bit if im on a hill and just take it slow, and try to keep it under 5500 rpm if i can.

Part of the reason i have a 1500 is my dad, they traveled around with a 5th wheel for 15 years or more before getting rid of it. He told me that 1500 could tow an older RV no problem. He said he used to tow a 30 footer with his old ford half ton all over the US and never had a problem.

So now i have the truck customized just exactly like i want it and i find out i may need a bigger one soon, its really disapointing..

The test will be how it handles between here and santa rosa, its really hilly and ill find out how she is gonna run. Then the positive thing is that after that texas and the rest of the way east is pretty flat.
1500 Truck can tow a lot more trailer (bumper pull) vs 5th wheel.
5th wheel pin has to be carried by trucks rear axle which adds a lot of weight directly on the truck.
1500s have low 'payloads' so 5vr pin weight can put the truck overweight very easily.


Your 1500 has a 5 speed automatic transmission
Place it in drive and it shifts up thru 1,2,3,4,5 (4 & 5 being Over Drives)
Unless the O/D OFF has been selected

Here is Owners Manual...........read ALL of it.
But page 283 has transmission info which you should be aware of.
https://pictures.dealer.com/tomahlch...42297a93ef.pdf

You had truck weighed.....
What did weigh ticket show?

Get truck/trailer combo weighed for reality check
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durango Dave View Post
Hi, i was curious how to tow correctly with my dodge ram. What i mean is that i set the tranny to tow haul with the button at the end of the shifter (auto) and then i put it in drive and go. Should i be using 3rd gear all the time instead?

The reason is that my 1500 wants to get up and go when it downshifts and then it realizes it has a 5th wheel on it and it gets ticked off lol... So its downshifting quite a bit and dont want to break anything. Should i just put it in 3rd or continue to use drive and just try not to let it downshift too much.
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:10 AM   #11
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Truck weighed 6500, which i dont know why, the only thing in the toolbox thats heavy at all is a small floor jack of 80lbs. It must be the lift kit and the tires that the prev owner did. My additions bull bar, side steps, dont weight much at all, the tool box is light as well. Plus i removed the bed liner. So have no clue where the extra weight comes from (1000 lbs if i recall) compared with factory released weight.

I was originally going to get a pull trailer but my dad said no dont, 5th wheel is the way to go, it pulls easier and much safer.

Yes OD selection is off. Thanks for the link. By the way i checked the vin listing and i fought with the dealer over and over again that the 5ver might be too much, i read a bunch of docs on the truck. I complained so much that the salesman, owner, and senior tech, myself, and my dad all got together and they told me my truck would be fine just take it easy and that it could tow 8500 lbs. So i said OK.

UPDATE: OK i think i got it... select tow haul and OD off and use D, and if going up steep grade then use 2nd (not over 45) or 1st (not over 25)
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durango Dave View Post
Truck weighed 6500, which i dont know why, the only thing in the toolbox thats heavy at all is a small floor jack of 80lbs. It must be the lift kit and the tires that the prev owner did. My additions bull bar, side steps, dont weight much at all, the tool box is light as well. Plus i removed the bed liner. So have no clue where the extra weight comes from (1000 lbs if i recall) compared with factory released weight.

I was originally going to get a pull trailer but my dad said no dont, 5th wheel is the way to go, it pulls easier and much safer.

Yes OD selection is off. Thanks for the link. By the way i checked the vin listing and i fought with the dealer over and over again that the 5ver might be too much, i read a bunch of docs on the truck. I complained so much that the salesman, owner, and senior tech, myself, and my dad all got together and they told me my truck would be fine just take it easy and that it could tow 8500 lbs. So i said OK.

UPDATE: OK i think i got it... select tow haul and OD off and use D, and if going up steep grade then use 2nd (not over 45) or 1st (not over 25)
That should have been your first clue. Unfortunately for you, the truck/5ver combo you now have is what it is. So many of the people on this and other forums who volunteer their information on the "best" combination of truck/5vers should be listened to but in to many instances they are not. I wish you luck on somehow working out a safe alternative to what you could be facing with your setup.
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Old 06-17-2017, 11:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durango Dave View Post
Yes i weighed the truck but not the truck and RV, i will do that either in santa rosa or at another TA along the way as i dont want to go back to Albuquerque to do that.

Yes im sure im close to the limit but not over i dont think. Its a good strong engine and tranny, had the tranny drained and fully serviced, fuel system cleaned, tires balanced, oil changed, new air filter, plugs changed, and grease job all 4mos ago. I just checked the oil last night after 4mos and it has not droped even a spec on the stick so no leaks at all, and a new battery 1 month ago.

I also noticed and im embarrassed about this that i dont have a 3rd gear, i thought all autos had 3rd gear . i have a 2nd gear but thats too low. Ill just take it easy in drive, if it starts hunting ill try 2nd gear for a bit if im on a hill and just take it slow, and try to keep it under 5500 rpm if i can.

Part of the reason i have a 1500 is my dad, they traveled around with a 5th wheel for 15 years or more before getting rid of it. He told me that 1500 could tow an older RV no problem. He said he used to tow a 30 footer with his old ford half ton all over the US and never had a problem.

So now i have the truck customized just exactly like i want it and i find out i may need a bigger one soon, its really disapointing..

The test will be how it handles between here and santa rosa, its really hilly and ill find out how she is gonna run. Then the positive thing is that after that texas and the rest of the way east is pretty flat.

Your dad's old Ford half ton was way more truck than a modern half ton. Now days they are practically cars with beds on the back, loaded down with so many gizmos there is no capacity left not that it matters because the 3 leafs springs are already maxed out.

I'm sure a 1500 ram will pull your trailer it just how long do you want to put up with the constant shifting and bad mpg doing it.
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1320Fastback View Post
Your dad's old Ford half ton was way more truck than a modern half ton. Now days they are practically cars with beds on the back, loaded down with so many gizmos there is no capacity left not that it matters because the 3 leafs springs are already maxed out.

I'm sure a 1500 ram will pull your trailer it just how long do you want to put up with the constant shifting and bad mpg doing it.
I thought the same but i looked and I have 4 leaf springs and with the trailer hooked up it only drops the rear end 1/2 inch which is pretty much nothing.

I know i need a bigger truck, at least a 2500 but there is no affording that right now. My big concern now is to just not be a danger on the road, to take it slow, and get this trip accomplished and then i can focus on a bigger truck. I have been planning this trip for 5 years, sadly over that time (until recently) i have received some incomplete information which is why i bought the truck i did.
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