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Old 04-07-2011, 11:38 PM   #1
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Newbie with a truck and towing concern

Hi.

I am a newbie, this is my very first post. First of all, I really like this IRV2 site. Good stuff from so many folks (thank you).

My problem / concern.
My wife & I just bought a 30 ft. 2002 Holiday Rambler Presidential 5er. 10,000 lbs dry and a GVWR of 12,000 lbs. We own it.

So now I have to buy a truck. I came across a 2004 RAM 2500, with 5.9L Cummins TD, automatic, Quad Cab, Short Bed, 4x4, 3.73:1 axle ratio. Only to realize (per the spec sheets) I am very close to the limits of this truck's GVWR, payload and CGVR, etc.

If I can keep the weight of my "stuff" (to include water) to 1,000 lbs I might be able to use this truck. Is this a realistic number? Or should I go to Plan "B".

All comments / advice are appreciated and welcome.

Dmitri
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:17 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

Since you already have the truck and trailer, I'd be for running it over a CAT scale to see what it really weighs. Posted weights for 5th wheels and RV trailers are notoriously low, and don't count "accessories" like 2 batteries, AC and so on.

Anyway, most important is to not exceed the weight rating of the tires. I prefer not to exceed axle or gvwr ratings on anything, but many people do.

I started with a 30' 5th wheel toy hauler, and an 03 Ram 3500 single rear wheel one ton, HO cummins, 3.73's and stick. It handled that trailer fine, and was within ratings.

Eventually I wanted something with a 14' separate garage, which I knew would put me into the 40' range and would need more truck, so I got an 06 Ram dually, stick, 3.73.

Before I found my big toyhauler I had occasion to pull the 30' one with the dually...

After a long ride up and down a narrow, twisty and uneven road I found myself much fresher and ready to ride when I got there.

Though the SRW handled it fine, the dually is just more stable and relaxing to drive with. Now I have a 40' 5th wheel, and with the dually it is a pleasure to tow.

Anyway, run the rig over a scale and see what it really weighs would be the first thing I would do.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitri View Post
Hi.

I am a newbie, this is my very first post. First of all, I really like this IRV2 site. Good stuff from so many folks (thank you).

My problem / concern.
My wife & I just bought a 30 ft. 2002 Holiday Rambler Presidential 5er. 10,000 lbs dry and a GVWR of 12,000 lbs. We own it.

So now I have to buy a truck. I came across a 2004 RAM 2500, with 5.9L Cummins TD, automatic, Quad Cab, Short Bed, 4x4, 3.73:1 axle ratio. Only to realize (per the spec sheets) I am very close to the limits of this truck's GVWR, payload and CGVR, etc.

If I can keep the weight of my "stuff" (to include water) to 1,000 lbs I might be able to use this truck. Is this a realistic number? Or should I go to Plan "B".

All comments / advice are appreciated and welcome.

Dmitri
From what you have stated you, have not bought the truck yet?
If this is so. I would look for a 3500HD single wheel truck for your needs, as a minimum. I would also buy a 6 spd manual transmission in any truck that has the 5.9L engine in it. The early Dodge trucks were not know for very reliable automatic transmission in them. You will also need to add an aftermarket exhaust brake to truck to help in stopping the trailer and truck safely. A diesel engine will not offer any compression braking with out the use of an exhaust brake.

Now if you can afford a newer vehicle, I would look at a 2007.5 or 2008 Dodge with the 6.7L engine and a 68RFE 6 spd automatic transmission. These trucks also have a factory integrated exhaust brake, with a full 225 braking horsepower at the wheel, for towing heavy. I know the fuel mileage will not be as good as 2004 vehicle but you are going to a 350HP vehicle with 650 ftLBS of torque. This will allow you to pull anything that you can handle.

I would also go with a long bed truck. This will help you in towing and you do not need a slider hitch with this body style.

I have attached the Dodge Body Builders . Com Web site link for their tow specs on a 2008 6.7L engine tuck.
http://www.dodge.com/bodybuilder/2008/docs/dr/mlup3500.pdf
Jim W.
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:39 AM   #4
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If you go with the later model Ram, the 68RFE 6-sp auto tranny is stronger than the manual tranny. They are not as easy to find, but 4.10 gears (with an auto tranny) will increase your towing capacity significantly. I would definitely go with a DWR and longbed truck. Good luck with your search!
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by gdbontly View Post
If you go with the later model Ram, the 68RFE 6-sp auto tranny is stronger than the manual tranny. They are not as easy to find, but 4.10 gears (with an auto tranny) will increase your towing capacity significantly.
Yes, the 4.10s are quite rare. Most of us who have them had to order the trucks to get them. The 68RFE automatic is a nice piece of work for trailer towing. It is a double overdrive transmission (5th and 6th are both overdrive ratios), and our truck is only turning 1612 RPM @ 60 MPH. It makes 4.10 gears very easy to live with - much more so than with the NV5600 or especially the G56 single overdrive manual 6-speed transmissions. Our previous truck with 4.10s and the NV5600 ran 2000 RPM @ 60 MPH.

For heavy 5th wheels, the long-bed dually configuration is preferred. The problem you'll run into with a SRW (single rear wheel) truck is that a heavy 5th wheel will transfer 20% or more of its loaded weight to the truck as pin weight that the truck must carry, and this often results in exceeding the SRW truck's GVWR or even rear GAWR ratings.

Rusty
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:04 AM   #6
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Dmitri, Welcome to the forum. Better to have more than not enough if you can do it.
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:56 PM   #7
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From personal experience towing that much fiver with a 3/4 ton is just not any fun. And the idea of the RV lifestyle is suppose to be fun. Get a 1 ton either SRW of preferably a dually and don't look back.
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:08 PM   #8
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I pretty my echo the comments as above. As a minimum, a 1 ton SRW and preferably a DRW would be my choice. After a couple of years you will probably want to move up to a larger trailer and you won't need to upgrade the truck.

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Old 04-08-2011, 09:06 PM   #9
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If the '04 is a HO its the 305/555 engine with the 48RE auto tranny which has a steller reputation with haulers. The '04 will have no problems pulling a 13k + lb trailer.

I pull a 11200 GVWR 5er with a '03 2500 Dodge/Cummins. Dodge gives these these truck a tow rating in the 13000 + lb range.
Dodge also certifies our 2500 truck at 6000 RAWR/tire capacity for carrying loads such as a GN or 5th wheel hitch that sits over the trucks rear axle. The FAWR/RAWR is on the trucks certification lable.
Many 4x4 2500 Dodge trucks have around a 2800-2900 unladin rear axle weight which leaves 3100-3200 lbs for a payload. Subtract the hitch in the bed and other gear over the rear axle and a percent of folks in the truck and your looking at approx 2500-2700 lbs for a "wet" pin weight. Actual weight can only be determined by weighing the truck front and rear axle seperatly.

I would say your going to be under the trucks GAWRs/tire load capacities. You may be over on the trucks GVWR but its not a legal issue. Just the trucks GAWRs/tire capacities.

IMO a DRW for this size 5er is overkill which is fine if your feel the need.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:20 PM   #10
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The OP has a fundamental decision to make. Does he want to tow within the manufacturer's ratings or not? If he does, then the following statement from the Dodge body builder's guide towing specs that gives the "manufacturer's trailer tow rating" applies:

Quote:
Additionally, the GAWRs and GVWRs should never be exceeded.


If, on the other hand, the manufacturer's ratings mean nothing, then he can pull the trailer with anything he wants. I guess we need some clarification from him before we go too far down this road.

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Old 04-08-2011, 09:38 PM   #11
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Jim, he can probably pull the trailer OK and be at or over limits with a loaded trailer. The short comings of a 3/4 ton truck are the GVWR and GAWR.

I prefer to have the OP educated about towing ratings and make his own decision on towing. As some posted, use Ken Lenger's site and learn about weights.

These are not commercial vehicles, so the the rules that apply to commercial vehicles do not apply here.

As an registered professional engineer, I cannot ethically tell anyone to exceed the manufacturers ratings on a vehicle.

ken
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:32 AM   #12
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Wow ! Thank you, thank you, thank you ! I really appreciate your responses and admire and respect the courtesy and professionalism in which you all display within this forum. I hope to contribute some day as well.

I am off to the dealership to get some clarfication on the specs. I'm just surprised that a 3/4 ton, Heavy Duty, diesel may not do the job for a 30 foot 5er, (rookie mistake). 1 ton SRW (GMC / Dodge) is plan "B".

Safe travels and THANKS SO MUCH!

Dmitri
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:49 AM   #13
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Check your rating. Towing a trailer behind a truck is rate much different than towing a fifth wheel.
The weight of the fifth sits in the bed and usually the weight rating for tow a fifth is high that trailer.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:10 PM   #14
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I'm not a truck owner...My brother had a 99' 2500 Dodge V-10 to tow his 9500 dry 38' toy hauler. But once he loaded it up with 6 quads + tools & water, he was well over 14k. The truck couldn't handle it. He had to break down and buy a new 3500 diesel Dodge. One thing to think about on the Dodges...My brother has now owned 3 and all have had weak front suspensions. All have had to have everything replaced, most out of warranty.

Quote:
I am off to the dealership to get some clarfication on the specs. I'm just surprised that a 3/4 ton, Heavy Duty, diesel may not do the job for a 30 foot 5er,
Unless the dealer is in farm country and sells a bunch of trucks, most dealers know squat about towing and what their vehicles can tow. Especially when your asking about older model....
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