[Wow, truly a wealth of information and work on your part to share this information with me.
Thank you very much.
QUOTE=SmokeyWren;1293649]It seems easy to me, but then I have an MBA from a good school, so I'm sort of a numbers guy.
Your truck has numerous weight ratings. Hitch weight rating, axle ratings, tire ratings, payload rating, tow rating, etc. But the only two weight ratings you need to be concerned with are the GVWR and GCWR of the truck. You should never
exceed either the GVWR or GCWR of the truck.
The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) indicates how much weight you can haul on the truck suspension, including the weight of the truck and everything in it, and including hitch weight of any trailer. The GVWR is usually the limiter on a 250/2500 diesel pickup.
The gross combined weight rating (GCWR) indicates how much weight your engine and drivetrain can pull at a reasonable speed without overheating anything or breaking anything in the drivetrain. Your Cummins diesel is a powerhouse that can pull a lot more trailer than the Ram chassis can haul the hitch weight
Most of the weight ratings are firm limits, but two are computed and therefore the accuracy depends on the assumptions used in computing those two. The payload rating is GVWR minus the shipping weight of the truck and a skinny driver. The tow rating is the GCWR of the truck minus the shipping weight of the truck and a skinny driver. The shipping weight of the truck is the weight of the new truck without any options or cargo. Therefore both the payload and tow ratings are overstated. Don't use either one to match trailer weight to truck towing capacity.
Instead, after your truck includes the options and accessories you added to make it "yours", including tools, spares, coolers, people, pets, bedliners and trailer hitch, drive to a truckstop that has a CAT scale and fill up with fuel. Then weigh the wet and loaded tow vehicle.
Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GCWR and the answer is your actual tow rating. But that realistic tow rating ignores hitch weight, so only if your trailer is a wagon-style trailer with almost no hitch weight can you use that number without more computations.
Subtract the weight of the wet and loaded truck from the GVWR and the answer is the maximum hitch weight of any trailer you can tow without exceeding he GVWR of the truck.
The GVWR is on a Federal Certification Lable on the driver's door or doorframe of the truck. The GCWR is in the Owner's Manual, and usually requires you to know which engine, axle ratio and maybe transmission you have.
Looking up your truck in the 2006 Dodge Body Builders guide, I see it probably has a GVWR of 9,000 pounds and a GCWR of 20,000 pounds. If those weight ratings are the correct ones for your truck, then the answer to your question is no, you cannot tow a 5er with a GVWR of 13,500 pounds without being severely overloaded over the GVWR of your truck. And if your wet and loaded truck weighs more than 6,500 pounds, then you'll also exceed the GCWR of the truck when the trailer is loaded to the GVWR of the trailer.
If you limit how much weight you haul in the truck so the wet and loaded truck weighs only 7,500 pounds when wet and loaded for towing, including passengers, tools, hitch, and a full tank of gas, that leaves only 1,500 pounds of unused payload for hitch weight. That trailer is probably going to have a hitch weight of about 17% or more of wet and loaded trailer weight. 1,500 divided by 17% = 8,824 max 5er weight you can tow without exceeding the GVWR of the Ram.
I could have told you that in a much shorter reply, but I thought you might be interested in the logic behind the numbers. I had a Ford diesel pickup with 8,800 GVWR and 20,000 GCWR. But I ran out of GVWR capacity at around 15,000 combined weight. My longbed 4x2 CrewCab diesel weighed about 8,000 pounds when wet and ready for the road, and I was overloaded with a 5er that weighed only 8,000 pounds.
As a general rule, 5ers with a GVWR over 12,000 pounds is why they make one-ton duallys. 5ers with GVWR between 8,000 and 12,000 pounds is why they make 3500 SRW pickups.
And by the way,