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Old 03-29-2014, 02:39 PM   #1
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Towing weights question

I'm trying to crunch the numbers on what our Ram 1500 can pull and not overload it.

The specs on the truck are:

2003 Ram 5.7L V8 Hemi Magnum - 99,300 miles
3.55 axle
tow package

GCWR - 13,000
Payload - 1773
Max tow - 7850
GVWR 6700
Curb - 5018

When loaded for travel the truck will be 5500 (including people & stuff)

Do I subtract the "loaded" truck from the GCWR and then deduct the hitch weight from that? If I deduct 700 for the hitch then I have 6,800 lbs. left for a "dry" trailer.

13,000 - 5500 - 700 - 6,800 lbs.

The trailers we're looking at are:

6164 lbs./670 hitch
6355 lbs./720 hitch
6,498 lbs./560 hitch
6,975 lbs./845 hitch

Thanks for your help.

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Old 03-29-2014, 03:27 PM   #2
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I remember going through that when we were looking for a TT. We had the exact same truck as yours. We ended up buying a Coachman Freedom Express 24 footer with a 4 point equalizer and could barely tell it was back there. You can go bigger, but then you get into the lite ones which IMO don't hold up as well as a fiberglass one. Ours was fiberglass with everything electric (jacks, tongue jack, awning, etc.) We were very happy with that TT and highly recommend it. We got our brand new for 15k and three years later got 18k for it. The only reason we got rid of it was because we outgrew it with two kids and a dog.

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Old 03-29-2014, 04:00 PM   #3
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According to your data, you have 1200# to put on your truck to max out the GVWR. You should not exceed GVWR. The important thing is the tongue weight which goes against the GVWR of your truck. GCWR is only a guide and should not be used to determine towing capacity.

You will not know what your tongue weight is until you weigh it. The manufacturer is giving you the dry weight of the trailer which does not include any options you may get or the weight of liquids. But remember that tongue weight should be 10-15% of trailer weight.

That said, the trailers you are looking at should be ok except the last one. You should allow for some extra weight capacity. Also, consider getting a lower gear ratio (a higher number means lower gear ratio) which typically gives you 1000-2000# of extra towing (but does not raise the GVWR).

Good luck!
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:01 PM   #4
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You can't tow a dry trailer, no one does. You have to figure some additional weight added to the trailer.
I would look at TT's in the 5000 dry range. Loaded up you will be close to 6000lbs. Figure around 600-720 for the tongue. I would use 720lbs for the tongue just to be safe.
You say your truck weighs 5500lbs with people and stuff. Add 720 to that and you have 6220lbs. 480lbs under the trucks GVW.
If the TT weighs 6000lbs loaded and the truck weighs 6220lbs loaded then your GCVWR is 12,200lbs. That leaves you a cushion of 800lbs.

If you try and buy a TT with a dry weight of 6800lbs then by the time you load it up you'll be over the trucks GCVWR and near the GVW. A 6800lbs dry TT will weight 7800lbs loaded.
Now figure the tongue weight on the 7800lb TT. That's going to be 780-950lbs.
FWIW our last TT was 7300lbs loaded and had a 900-950lb tongue weight.

JMO but you need to look at 5000lb dry TT's.
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:03 PM   #5
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I agree with Cumminsfan. Did you remember to include the 156lbs of gasoline in the 5500lbs calculation for the truck?
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