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Old 01-31-2011, 05:27 PM   #1
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Towing in mountains

I just bought a 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 crew cab with a short bed. I will be getting a pull-rite slider hitch. The axle is 3.73 ratio and is rated to pull up to 14200 pounds with a bed weight of over 3000 pounds. The question I have is what the maximum weight of a trailer should be for towing in steep mountains like Colorado if I don't want to damage or strain my transmission? I don't want max out on the weight. We are a family of 5 and we are looking at the Komfort 3530bfh which weighs 11800 pounds. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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What motor? that makes a hugh difference in how much trailer you should get.
incidentally, that 3000 pounds you suggest is for a base strippo truck with one 150 pound driver and a 1/4 tank of fuel. In other words it is purely a fictional number. Actual load carrying capacity will be the difference between your scaled ready to camp weight and the trucks GVWR. If you have a SRW then you probably have a GVWR of 9900 pounds.
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:52 PM   #3
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I have the cummins diesel engine 6.3 liter
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:59 PM   #4
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Correction,
It is a 6.7 liter Cummins turbo diesel engine. Maximum payload capacity is 3360 pounds for the crew cab that I have. Regular cab is 4650 pounds.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:13 PM   #5
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To see your real limits, you need to load up the family, fill up the fuel tank, normal travel cargo and get the truck weighed. Add 200# for the hitch.

The door jamb list a GVWR and the owners manual will have the GCWR for your truck, cab, engine and axle ratio.



GVWR - Loaded truck weight = Max loaded pin weight of the trailer.

GCWR - Loaded truck weight = max loaded trailer weight.

The 11,800# trailer weight has got to be dry weight from the brochure. Loaded and on the road, you will probably be over 12,800#. What is the GVWR for the trailer.

Here is a good site to help understand the towing terms and a spread sheet link to help with the calculation.
RV and Tow Vehicle Weights

You will probably be close on weights. The truck is very capable. Don't let the engine lug down. Better to downshift and back out a little on the throttle.

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Old 01-31-2011, 08:54 PM   #6
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The truck will do fine pulling those weights in the mountains and comming down. Keep ithe tranny in tow/haul mode going up the mountain. Comming down the mountain just downshift the tranny to keep the rpms above 2500 so the turbo brake can help slow you down or use the T/H feature. The more rpms the more power for turbo/tranny combo braking the Cummins will do for you.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:04 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice. Sounds like I will be fine. I just want to leave myself a buffer so I am not maxing out my tow capabilities.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:45 PM   #8
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Please go back and read Kens post. IMHO when you are all loaded up with stuff and family members, that mystical 3000 number you mentioned will shrink to less than 1500 pounds. Before you go spending money on any fivers,do yourself a BIG favor, load it up and go to the scales.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:15 AM   #9
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I will weigh the vehicle with us in it but I seriously doubt that we add over 1500 pounds with some snacks and a few games for the girls. We probably will add just over 600 pounds. Thanks for the good advise though.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridarvfam View Post
I just bought a 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 crew cab with a short bed. I will be getting a pull-rite slider hitch. The axle is 3.73 ratio and is rated to pull up to 14200 pounds with a bed weight of over 3000 pounds. The question I have is what the maximum weight of a trailer should be for towing in steep mountains like Colorado if I don't want to damage or strain my transmission? I don't want max out on the weight. We are a family of 5 and we are looking at the Komfort 3530bfh which weighs 11800 pounds. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi,
I am no expert by any means, but I do pull a 5er with a 2008, 2500HD Mega Cab, 6.7L CTD, 68RFE auto, 4X4 with 3:73 gears. My truck is set up to tow a 318SAB Cougar that GVW is 11,660 LBS with a slider hitch. The trailer can and does carry almost 2528 LBS in cargo. This is food, water and all of the paraphernalia that we bring with us for our comfort.
By set-up, I mean I have gages for my exhaust gas temperature readings, boost pressure and transmission temperature readings. I have also installed an Al. auxiliary transmission pan and AL differential covers. These allow me to have extra fluid capacity and cooling ability. Are they necessary? No, but they do help with keeping the fluids cool.

I checked out the Komfort 5ER, 3530BFH. I could not find any weight information on this trailer. This is a new model for 2011, correct? I did see the website but the information on the site says's TBD. Where did you get the 11,800 LB's mass for this unit? Is this an estimate from the dealer?

To me with out seeing the actual numbers, I think this might be to big of a 5er to be pulled by a 3500HD, SRW, Crew cab, short wheel base truck. You might be better off with a smaller 5er then the one you are looking at. Since you already have the tuck.

To my way of think the TV should be a dually truck with this size camper. Unless the weight numbers are a lot less than I think they will be.

You asked for opinions.
Jim W.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:54 AM   #11
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Thanks for the information. I got the trailer weight directly off of a model we looked at. We saws it at Dustys RV. I also saw that the website had not been updated.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:09 PM   #12
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Maybe I missed it, but is your TV a dually? If you are going to have that much weight sitting in your bed a tire problem could spoil you whole day. You mentioned Colorado mountains. Our home sits at 8900' here in Colorado, and my 7.3's tranny once began to overheat on Douglas Pass last summer, and we weren't pulling but 7500# at the time. I don't know much about Dodges but hear good things about them. There sure are plenty of them up here, more Dodge diesels than Ford. (I did see a Chevy once!) But these tall hills with their thin air do keep the tow companies busy, especially during tourist season when all the flatlanders forget where they are. And where they are is often out of cell phone range and hours from assistance. So keep the tranny cool as possible, make sure you've got as much whoa power as go power, and keep that good attitude about not overweighting any of your TV's components and you'll have a great time up here.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:40 PM   #13
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I was hoping to hear from someone in the mountains of Collorado. I do not have a duelly. A bit more information about my truck GAWR front 5000 lb / GAWR rear 6200 lb / GVWR 10100 lb. The advice I have been getting is great. I am looking at fifth wheel bunkhouses that are 10000 pounds or under now. RV dealers seem to look at tow weight and not much else. Thanks again for all the advice.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:08 PM   #14
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All good advice here. While a DRW would be better, I think you are still okay. Ensure to always keep it in tow/haul mode when towing. You will love the exhaust brake.

I have the same truck and my 5RV weighs just over 11k empty. It rides and pulls very good.
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